I know many of you gave up after the first issue, and even more of you passed entirely on Tony Daniel's "Battle for the Cowl," but I stuck it out until the end because that's what I do.
And like everything I do, I do it for you.
So now that I've read all three issues, plus too many tie-ins to bother counting, I can safely say that "Battle for the Cowl" has been a terrible mini-event, not worth the paper it's printed on. Here are just five reasons why, and they're all based on just issue #3:
1) The whole thing about Black Mask unleashing all the villains on Gotham? Ultimately pointless. Though emphasized in the first issue, by issue #3 it's barely an afterthought. More anti-climactic than "Salvation Run"!
2) The Jason Todd/Dick Grayson confrontation becomes Oprah-style pop-psychology and punching.
3) Any time a character faced upwards, Tony Daniel draws their necks and chins as a black slab, as if the neck-to-chin line is as flat as an iron. It's a little thing, but it's the type of approach you see in a lot of amateurish superhero art, and Daniel can do better.
4) SPOILERS! Jason Todd falls to his "death." Again with the falling to the death? See the ending of 99% of superhero movies ever for the same ending.
5) SPOILERS AGAIN! In-story reason for Dick Grayson adopting the Batman identity? None! Not really. He just does because he kind of realizes that he should. In-story reason for Damian adopting the new Robin costume (which will be spotlighted in the Morrison/Quitely "Batman and Robin" comic)? None. At all. So a series seemingly designed to fill in the the gaps between the last Morrison run and the new one just ends up as a bunch of irrelevant fight scenes, an attempt to show how far Jason Todd has fallen (and, by the way, Jason Todd wears the domino mask under the Batman cowl!), and the thinnest of justifications for the new status quo.
When the new "Batman and Robin" series begins with the line, "After the death of Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson has adopted the role of his mentor. Joined by young Damian Wayne, they are...Batman and Robin," well, then "Batman: Battle for the Cowl" will be immediately rendered irrelevant.
Raise your hands if you were going to say, "I told you so."