That's about how long it'll be until I'm either a very happy or very sad panda. I'm speaking, of course, of the impending release of Robin #151, which will tell me whether DC has once again decided to kick me squarely in the nuts by ruining a character I like. Right now, the odds that they won't seem to be "slim" and "none" and Slim is on life-support in the hospital after being the victim of a GTA-style drive-by from the notorious Didios. But it's not as bad as it seems.
There's a quote I heard once. It sounds like something Batman would say, but I think it's from the ten minutes of Swordfish I actually watched. It's something like: "There's what you see, and what you think you see." That ties in with a scene from Robin #150. As Tim is breaking into Blackgate, he thinks back to some wisdom imparted on him by Batman, which goes like this: 'Get out in front as quickly as possible. With ordinary crooks, it's relatively simple to learn their plans before they implement them. . . but with extreme criminals, it's not always that easy. And with them, it's critical you get two steps ahead of them as soon as you figure out what they're doing.'
At that point, Tim comments on how all he's done since this began is play catch-up, and how he's ready to turn the tables. And he tries. When he breaks Cain out, he interrogates him, trying to get some idea what's going on. But either Cain doesn't know, or he's not talking, so Tim just has to keep jumping through the hoops set for him. And when you do that, it's fairly easy for someone to make you see what they want. That's true for Tim, and for us. This whole story has been about Beechen (or DC Editorial) throwing stuff at us, and us reacting to it. It started when they showed pages from Beechen's first issue, culminating with Robin standing over a bleeding Batgirl. "Oh no," we cried, "they've killed Batgirl!" To which DC, replies, "Psych!" I don't know about you, but I think they're going back to the well.
The pages from Robin #151, what do they show us? Cassandra trying to make Tim shoot her father, Tim refusing, them fighting, Cassandra shooting her dad, and Tim saying he's dead. But that's what he (and we) think is happening. Remember, when Tim and Cass went to Bludhaven, she demonstrated she could take a bullet without flinching, and play dead, no respiration, no heartbeat. Now, who do you think she learned that from, hmm?
We're being played, I'm absolutely sure of it. I don't know what it is they've got planned, but I know they're fooling with us.