Hmm.. I definitely have Bat-burnout after RIP, which I found stupidly anticlimactic like a story that never came together and so was used to direct readers to the event comic by the same writer.
So, I was not excited in the least for this book. Just saying that going into it because it probably affected my opinion of this book.
The cover looked a little better in print than digital, but Damien still looks like a git with a weird shaped cranium (Talia didn't have a gourd for a head, did she?) and Batman still looks like his suit and cape need dry-cleaned and pressed or something. Quitely is one of my favorite artists, I wish there were an inker I could blame this on, but his hatch-lines are getting out of hand. In some cases they are not looking like shading and texture but are making Batman especially look like he slept in his suit for a week in a trash dumpster behind a Wendy's. Other than that, Quitely looks good here.
The new Batmobile is getting a lot of love. Personally, I like the design in Batman Beyond, this thing looks like a ladybug trying to take a dump.
The story's ok, mostly set-up as has been said, but I can't dismiss the lingering bitterness from RIP when I read it. Will any of this go anywhere? Is there any meat to any of it beyond a bunch of scattered ideas and images GM thought were cool? I don't know, but none of the setup here was strong enough to guarantee I'll be back for more. I feel like I've seen the torturer with the pig mask thing before--or it could be the torturer with the baby mask in Brazil, I dunno. Mr Toad? Mildly entertaining but nothing I'll be thinking about tomorrow or next week.
This issue is pretty good, has no real flaws, but I've never been a Nightwing fan. When he was in the New Teen Titans he was my least favorite character, acting like a prig and refusing to give Starfire the ol' bouncy-bouncy. I started to like his last series right before it was cancelled. I'm not sure what the DCU is gaining here by losing Nightwing and having him act like Bruce. Damien...75% annoying, 25% funny--a lot like many OH posters, actually. I'm not sure if I have any taste for him in the Robin role long-term, but maybe.
Five years ago if you'd told me Grant Morrison would be the prevailing architect of the DCU I'd have been thrilled--but now I question his motive at every turn. I just don't want to feel RIPped off again.