Getting back to some of the Bloodlines storyline, to take a bit of a break of the end of the world around me.
Robin Annual #2
Story by Chuck Dixon
Pencils by Kieron Dwyer
Inks by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Carlos Pedrazzini, and Frank McLaughlin
Colors by Adrienne Roy
Letters by Albert De Guzman
Edited by Jordan B. Gorfinkel & Denny O’Neil
We start off with Robin falling off of a building and giving a “I bet you’re wondering how I got here” internal monologue.
The story proper fits with the formula of the Bloodlines event thus far – one of the aliens in disguise as a human (in this case a red haired woman in a trenchcoat) lure a human into an alley (in this case several cat-calling men), turns into a monster, and then kills them to feed on their spinal fluids.
We then go to Tim Drake with him preparing for a night on the town as Robin, operating out of a condo his dad had in town. On the start of his patrol, he sees a group of what are basically Shadowrunners breaking into Wayne Tower. Robin shows up to intervene, and the thieves immediately book it.
Robin tries to stop them, but they parachute off of the building, leaving some hight teck hacking kit behind.
Once the team, the “Psyba-Rats”, goes to their meet with their Johnson, empty handed. He is very disappointed with the team’s failure, with them particularly having been hired to tap WayneTech’s satellite communications in order to get information on Project Echo (remember that?)
So, the Johnson – who is known as The Collector (and going from searching apparently previously appeared in a couple issues of Catwoman), has his goons wack the team. Megabite (one of the team member’s Shadowrunner Street Names) takes several bullets for the team leader, “Razor” (real name, Rae). Hackrat uses their van to create a distraction, so Razor and Channel can flee into a construction site, where one of the aliens is lurking.
The goons also follow, forcing Razor and Channel to split up. Razor brings down two of the goons by shoving a stack of cinder-blocks on top of them. Two more goons find Channel, who has been attacked by the Alien, and who are attacked in turn. Finally, Razor finds all three, and she too is attacked and fed on.
We return to the Drake’s condo, where Tim is examining the Psyba-Rats custom gear.
Back at the construction site, GCPD has arrived to survey the aftermath, with Gordon, Sarah Essen (who is still using her maiden name), and Kisch. We learn that GCPD is referring to the killings as by the “Spinal Tap” killer – presumably, Gordon has not informed the rank-and-file know that these killings are by an alien or aliens – presumably from having this leak out to the public and leading to ensuing panic due to Gotham starting to have Metropolis Problems.
With some digging, Robins puts together the identities of the Psyba-Rats, and what their racket is (including some product placement for The North Face).
At the Psyba-Rats lair, Razor regains consciousness after being out for two days, after her and Channel being rescued by Hackrat. Both Razor and Channel have developed powers after the attack. Razor’s arms can become blades, like the T1000’s. Channel’s consciousness appears to have moved to the displays in the room. And during this reveal, Hack-rat faints.
Meanwhile, Robin goes after The Collector, at the same time Razor is – though for different reasons. The two run into each other mid-infiltration, but they skip the obligatory superhero misunderstanding fight thanks to an interruption from The Collector.
Ultimately, they both reach the Collector, where Robin gets defenestrated, leading us back to the start of the issue. Razor leaps out the window and catches Robin, and slows their descent to a safe landing with the use of a parachute and her blades.
That’s right, unlike the last couple tie-ins, the Collector is still ticking, and we didn’t have a confrontation with the alien – and we don’t know what Project Echo is.
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