Robin War is the 2015 Bat Family Crossover storyline concerning the characters who bear the title Robin, as a celebration (along with Batman and Robin Eternal) of the character's 75th anniversary. The storyline portrays the continuing changing face of Gotham in the aftermath of Batman: Endgame, this time focusing on the sidekicks.
Damian Wayne, the current Robin, has returned from his worldwide sojourn only to find out that things are completely different: his father, Bruce Wayne, is no longer Batman, the GCPD is running around with their own, armored Batman, and what's worse, there's a bunch of kids running around calling themselves Robin. To Damian, this just will not do. The GCPD agree and are out to put away anyone bearing the "R". Even more, Dick Grayson, Red Robin and Red Hood have returned to Gotham and get tangled up in the mess. And hiding in the shadows, the Court of Owls make their move, unfettered without the original Batman's influence...
The main story is told across the following titles...
... while aftermath of the story will be depicted in:
Though not official installments of this story, the following served as complementary tie-ins:
Robin War uses these Tropes:
- Artistic License Law: Justified. After a cop is seemingly murdered by a Robin, a law is passed that gets anyone in trouble if they're caught bearing an "R" or sporting the trademark red, yellow and green associated with Robin. A lot of people in-universe have mentioned that this is very excessive, especially when the kids who are captured are locked up in cages. Since this is a Court of Owls plot, it makes very much sense.
- The Bad Guy Wins: The Court of Owls ultimately get what they want: Dick taking the title of the "Gray Son of Gotham".
- Batman Gambit:
- Dick manipulates his brothers into mentoring and training the street Robins, and then sets them up to be arrested by Gordon, in a move to not only keep them off the streets and safe, but also to make sure that the trained Robins are there to protect them.
- Damian is able to fish out a small detonation device and throws it at flammable liquid. Though the device is put out, it does achieve his main goal - lowering the cages so he, Red Robin, Red Hood and the Robin Movement can get free. They just didn't expect an Owl and a bunch of Talons to come and see what the fuss is.
- Big Bad: The Court of Owls, of course. Lead by Lincoln March
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Damian absolutely wrecks Jason AND gives him a verbal beatdown within the span of a few panels. He also cleans house with the rest of the Robins as well.
- Deal with the Devil: Damian ends up joining the Owls to prevent them from trying to tear down Gotham with their elite Talons, then quits. Dick later joins the Owls to save Damian.
- The Dreaded: The Court of Owls to the Robin Movement. They all thought they were nothing but myths.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Damian. Full stop. He's not particularly please at the We Are Robin movement, and doesn't hold back beating and berating them to show them strength.
- The Face: Dick, for the real Robins. Somewhat ironic, given that his Hypnos obscures his face from strangers. Jason and Tim also called him into Gotham because he's the only person that Damian will take orders from.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Duke and Damian, by the end.
- Godzilla Threshold: One of the street Robins kills a cop, leading to GCPD finally tiring of teenaged vigilantes & trying to take them all off the streets by sending their Batman after the kids.
- Hijacked by Ganon: The Big Bad is Lincoln March, who has seized control of the Court of Owls since the ending of Batman Eternal.
- Jerk Ass Has A Point: Done intentionally, probably. While Damian lashing out and attack the street Robins is a bit uncalled for, he does make good points, as they are untrained and have caused a lot of trouble.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Heavily invoked by both Damian and the Court of Owls - Damian wants to be the only Robin. The Court of Owls is still seeking the latest Talon and are dragging in every Robin they can.
- Dick and Batman have a moment before realizing things just aren't adding up.
- Shout-Out: At one point in the second issue, one of the robins asks, "Should we do something? We should do something."
- There Can Only Be One: This is essentially Damian's drive for the war: He's Robin, not these kids.
- To Be Lawful or Good: The new Batman is tasked in arresting the kids. The new Batman isn't sure he wants to do this at all. When he sees the kids trapped in cages, he decides that he needs to find out what's going on. Ultimately, upon freeing the kids from their cages, he tells them that he's going to take in some criminals... and tells them, as kids, to go home while he deals with the Talons.
- Wham Line: From the Court of Owls."All is well. The Gray Son of Gotham is here. Soon, the Nightwing will rise again."
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Damian's reaction to the new Batman. A reaction that's shared by quite a few readers.