Batman: Battle for the Cowl by Tony S. Daniel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Things are still spiraling down as Gotham's heroes try to keep things under control in Gotham. With Batman no longer around to scare the criminals, they've declared themselves the new rulers of the city.
Robin is increasingly pulling himself thin trying to help keep the crime down while telling Dick that Gotham needs a Batman to keep it from destroying itself. Dick resists the idea that they need to take up Batman's cape and cowl to bring Gotham back to some sense of order.
Because of the dire situations they're in, other heroes from different parts of the world come together in Gotham to create the Network. Together they try quell the crime that threatens to eat Gotham whole.
Then, a mysterious, murderous Batman starts a killing spree, taking down Gotham's criminals ruthlessly, breaking "the bat code" of not killing, forcing Tim to make a drastic decision. (And it's no surprise who it turns out to be in my opinion.)
It was nice to see other heroes coming to Gotham's aid, especially Knight and Squire, and you can really just feel Gotham's pain as it continue to sink deeper and deeper. I think Tim's desperation and exasperation of the situation shines through the best, though. You watch him fall deeper and deeper into an angry sadness.
Three people assume the identity of Batman in this book, but only one victor emerges.
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