RED ROBIN #2 by Chris Yost and Ramon Bachs . . . . .
Based on a satisfactory experience with the 3 titles I've sampled so far I've decided to explore the Batman: Reborn titles a little further, continuing with this one which I picked up without benefit of reading Issue #1 for two main reasons:
1) It's a Batman-related book, and;
2) I like the cover art, a two-sided light/dark view of Robin/Red Robin descending from a spire into battle - - obviously symbolic since neither event occurs within the book but it's a nice touch - - as if to imply that the main character is going through some internal conflict with two separate directions/choices.
Indeed he is, and you can pick up the story and still enjoy this book without having benefit of reading Issue #1. It worked for me. It's a good, fast-paced story with some keen insights into how calculating Tim Drake has grown/become. If only he could confirm that he made the right decision to bolt and run from the Wayne family/Batman clan and pursue his personal mission to locate the missing/presumed dead Bruce Wayne/the real Batman. But he still doubts himself just a little and finally gets some support for his viewpoint from an unlikely ally at the end of this story.
His mission takes him on a globe trotting pursuit of clues from Paris to Berlin, all the while pursued by assassins. It's during his battle with three of them that we see how he has evolved as the captions share his thoughts during battle, always estimating the capabilities of his opponents and their next moves. It's an effective way for the writer to convey this to us, and the battles are a great way to show off the artist's talents. I was entertained and I'll be back again.
I can't say the same for the five-page preview of the re-booted DOOM PATROL in the back of the book. Based on what I saw here I'm staying away from that upcoming title. It looks to take place on Oolong Island, haven for mad scientists and mad monster creations (and one of the worst side-plots in the disappointing 52 series) and pits the Doom Patrol against guess who? - - another mad scientist and monsters. The new Doom Patrol features a huge gorilla in armor (at least it doesn't talk) and a blend of new and familiar faces, including Cliff = the brain inside the robot, and Larry = the energy being beneath the Invisible Man wrappings. I used to like both of these characters. What has happened to Keith Giffen? Is he all out of worthwhile ideas?