I'll break this down the simple way. DC stuff today, Marvel stuff tomorrow. It's 4 books to 5, so it's basically even. Sound good? Fantastic.
Batgirl #8 - Does Tim look old on the cover? Awful lot of lines on his face. Maybe it's the teeth-gritting.
Red Robin surprises Steph in the Batcave. He's not happy to see her in a costume, and acts bossy, Steph gets defensive, and then the computer says someone is breaking into Dr. Thompkins' clinic, so off they go. Separately. Where did Grayson and Damien set up shop? Ra's is up to something, so Tim and Steph borrow some clothes from a store to infiltrate the party Leslie is at, and try to extract her before things go wrong. No dice. Credit to Steph for taking the dress heels off before she and Tim beat up assassins. There's a sort of reconciliation starting between Steph and Tim, interrupted by a "Pru" who Tim knows. How they know each other is not mentioned. It is covered in Red Robin #10, which we'll get to in a couple of paragraphs.
There's some things I want to discuss, but most of them revolve around the Tim/Stephanie relationship, and they're better saved for a post of their own. As someone who knows the past history, I'm not a proper judge, but Miller did a good job providing the gist of their relationship, as well as the things that came between them. Since the issue is written from Batgirl's (it's odd to think of her as Batgirl) perspective we're not only aware of her pain, but her awareness of how she screwed up and how she's struggling not to let this fall into old patterns. We don't get that with Tim, at least not in this comic, so mostly we see that he's hurting, but he's also kind of a jerk.
Talent Caldwell's the guest penciler and things are a little rough, as I think Caldwell could use an inker. Or he could stand to ink his own work more heavily, as things look unfinished in places. Mostly faces, and not always. Yvel Guichet and John Stanisci handle the end sequence, and their work is also a bit rough. The lines are heavier, but I'm not sure it's helping. Batgirl's pupils vanish in one panel, but only one panel, the why is unclear.
Red Robin #10 - Ra's learns his assassins couldn't kill Dr. Thompkins. So he sends some of them after Tim. We learn Pru is with the League of Assassins, worked with Tim, and is here to kill Steph. Or not. Batgirl kicked her butt either away, so who cares why she was there? Tim cops to making mistakes, asks for Steph's help. Hooray, possible reconciliation is go! If they survive all the assassins. Also, Vicki Vale is looking for Tim and pestering Alfred, and Ra's is making Hush get him all Bruce Wayne's stuff.
OK, first question, was that Katana Ra's goons had beat up in Hush/Wayne's place? he called her an outsider, but I don't know if that's sort of a "general, loner" outsider, or "member of the Outsiders", outsider. This issue is written from Tim's perspective, so we get to see what he feels guilty about, the mistakes he knows made and so on. So the books work well in tandem that way, though Tim's regrets circle around not convincing Stephanie to give up the costume at the start as much as anything else. Right, because her mom, dad, Batman, Cassandra Cain, and the Birds of Prey couldn't accomplish that, but he would have. *rolls eyes*
I like Marcus To's artwork. It has that clean but detailed linework I enjoy, and his Tim isn't quite as big and bulky as Caldwell's, which works since I never figured Tim for being a linebacker. Also, Tim and Steph are more similar in size here, which I'm accustomed to. I'm not so fond of the designs for the assassins. They're kind of dorky-looking, but maybe it's hard to find good assassins these days.
Power Girl #10 - According to the cover, men and women alike check out Power Girl's rear end! Look at the people on either side behind her. Gotta love the cockiness the kid is exuding there. I take that back. I'd actually like to clean his clock, by which I mean wipe my muddy boots on his Green Lantern shirt. What, that's too cruel? Fine, how about a punch in the nose?
Terra threatens to go '90s on Satanna unless she tells Terra how to get the doohickey off Power Girl. Title character saved, they head back to Peej's apartment, where she is confronted by the twerp, who blackmails her over the photos. Power Girl agrees, and that is how she winds up at a comic book store, helping the kid look awesome in front of the other comic buyers. Then Terra starts defending villainous activities, Manhawks show up, and it turns out Ultra-Humanite's inside Terra's body. OK then.
First off, did anybody see Terra/Humanite eating a banana in this issue? Power Girl said it was that and the bad behavior that gave it away, and I figure she's making a witty comment, but with Amanda Conner you never know, she might draw Terra eating a banana in the back of a panel, but I didn't see it, but I could just be missing it, so I thought I'd ask you. Besides that, I'm wondering how Power Girl will manage to resolve this situation. Is she still going to want to help the Ultra-Humanite, now that he does know all about her secret identity and could wreak havoc anytime he chooses?
Secret Six #19 - Black Alice infiltrates a Brother Blood cult looking for someone. She's about to die when Ragdoll charges in and kills a bunch of people, followed by most of the rest of the team, except Bane, who is being annoyed by the lack of discipline. They learn about the kid, worry about the growing whatever between Alice and Ragdoll, and leave to receive their payment. Which they don't receive, because the creepy old rich guy is up to something. Chesire has been attacked, and beat up by three oddballs, who took her (and Catman's) son. For some reason, they want Catman to kill his teammates, and the kid will live for one year in exchange.
I don't know what to say about the issue. There are many things to discuss, but they need their own space. Oh, I was surprised to see some members of the team have stealthy black variants of their costumes. Especially Ragdoll and Deadshot. I'd think Ragdoll would find them drab, and Deadshot wouldn't care if his costume stood out. I like the banter between the team, as usual, and strangely, that Scandal wears a sort of business attire to collect their payment. It's professional. The other thing I'm wondering, after the revelation of last issue, is how does Waller factor into what's happening here. Does she factor in at all, and if not, would she attack to protect her unsuspecting pawns? Probably not.
Tomorrow, various Marvel comics from March!