The root of the problem with this little 3-part mini is not the fault of the artist or writers. It goes higher up, to the Powers that Be at DC. These folks decided that the gimmick for 2009 should be Batman’s death. Never mind the major movie that just came out; let us lose an iconic character and really alienate new readers!
Far more energy has been put into the loss-of-Batman aftermath than his actual demise; you will be hard put to find the comic or the panel in the comic in which one of the major pillars of the DC empire actually does bite the dust — I have never seen it myself. The reasons for this are obscure — the cynical might call it incompetence. I feel it is a touching attempt at misdirection. Nobody believes that Batman is really dead and gone. For one thing, comic book characters very rarely ever die the True Death; for another, another Batman movie is going to appear in due course and the comics will bring him back for that. I, personally, do not believe in Batman’s death for one tiny minute, and can imagine no evidence that could prove it to my satisfaction. His funeral? the body in the coffin? It is to laugh. Veterans benefits? A social security payout? the Wayne will going to probate and the estate settled? No. Wayne Manor sold and turned into a townhouse development? In this economy, never. Autopsy? mummification? Well — only if I see the organs in the canopic jars, okay?
DC having set out on this doomed enterprise, comics had to be written. Battle for the Cowl is one of the many minis and arcs devoted to this interregnum. The villains depicted on this cover are in the throes of the unhealthy excitement that Batman’s absence always arouses, and his loyal lieutenants (Robin, Alfred, and so forth) are holding the fort. However, all resolution is being shoved off onto other titles, including the various reboots of Detective and Batman and other new titles like Batman and Robin and Batman: Streets of Gotham. This last may be the pick of the litter among the new offerings; we shall see. In the meantime Battle for the Cowl is pointless wheel spinning that leads nowhere. Save your money.