Batman: Battle for the Cowl

Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1

Cover Date: May 2009
Subtitle: A Hostile Takeover
Writer(s): Tony Daniel
Artists(s): Tony Daniel, Sandu Florea
Storyline: Robin and Squire tracked a gang wearing clown masks. When they finally got to them, they were tied up with a note stating "I am Batman." Robin also found a batarang at the site. Nightwing and the Network were busy with some thugs wearing pig masks. Robin noted that Nightwing had shut himself off lately.
Black Mask (either back from the dead or a new person in the persona) hijacked a prisoner transport. He recruited all the passengers to his team when he detonated something in one of their heads, killing a man. He also blew up Arkham Asylum, which was about to reopen after recent destruction.
Robin told Nightwing about the fake Batman and that he believed one of them should wear the batsuit. Nightwing disagreed and left. Tim analysed some of the clues he found at the site before suiting up as his partner and leaving. Alfred told Dick he should wear the costume.
Damian went out in the Batmobile, but Oracle tracked him. Killer Croc (now working for Black Mask) caused the car to crash. Nightwing swooped in to save the boy before Croc or Poison Ivy could get to him. His glider was bombed. The fake Batman saved Nightwing and Damian from the shooters.

Batman: Battle for the Cowl #2

Cover Date: June 2009
Subtitle: Army of One
Writer(s): Tony Daniel
Artists(s): Tony Daniel, Sandu Florea
Storyline: Two-Face was positive that Penguin's crew had stolen a weapons shipment from him and that Killer Croc was working for him. Penguin got word that he'd been framed. Neither knew that Black Mask was playing them against each other.
Nightwing fought the fake Batman (Jason Todd). Both he and Damian were shot and needed medical attention. Dick talked about the situation with Alfred. Alfred continued to nudge him toward the batsuit.
Black Mask sent some of his crew out. Firefly, Jane Doe, and Zsasz hit the police headquarters. Batman (Todd) shot down some of his regular goons, seemingly knowing where they would be.
Batman (Tim Drake) found Todd's personal Batcave and bumped into Catwoman there. Dick realized Tim had gone out as Batman as the two Robins fought in the guise of their mentor. Both were injured, but Tim ended up with a batarang sticking out of his chest.

Batman: Battle for the Cowl #3

Cover Date: July 2009
Subtitle: Last Man Standing
Writer(s): Tony Daniel
Artists(s): Tony Daniel, Sandu Florea
Storyline: Nightwing went looking for Tim while the network continued its work. Gordon watched as the military descended upon his city. The new District Attorney had been killed in Two-Face's assault on police headquarters.
When Damian refused to stay down, Alfred gave him a Robin costume and sent him out with Squire.
Nightwing found Jason's cave while tracking Tim's signal. He confronted the man who once took his place as Batman's sidekick with Bruce's final message to him - get help. Jason's rage grew as he continued to battle Nightwing. Squire and Damian found Tim as Jason and Dick fought throughout the tunnels and onto a subway train. Dick's last kick sent him over the edge and Jason refused to let him help him up. He let go and fell into the harbor.
Back in the cave, Dick accepted his birthright and put on the batsuit.

#1 variant cover

#1 second print

#2 variant cover

#3 variant cover


  • The collected edition also includes the two Gotham Gazette issues: Batman Dead? and Batman Alive.
  • Go here for the tie-in issues.
  • DC published a checklist for the tie-in issues here. Warning - it's a pdf, so it may be slow to load / crash your browser. Here it is in normal text (note: all contain the Battle for the Cowl banner: Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? / Battle for the Cowl 1 / Azrael 1 / Oracle 1 / Commissioner Gordon / Man-bat / Battle for the Cowl 2 / Azrael 2 / Oracle 2 / Arkham Asylum / The Underground / The Network / Azrael 3 / Oracle 3 / Battle for the Cowl 3 / Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive?
  • Two-Face killed another Gotham City District Attorney.
  • Dick Grayson, the original Robin, began his new career as Batman after taking down Jason Todd, who'd been masquerading as their mentor.