Is this actually going to be an annual for the sake of an annual? No crossover? No continuing story?
I would think DC would have dropped "The New 52" label about a year into the project because it's all they're publishing anyway, right? Even the Earth One books are technically New 52 stuff because they take place on one of the New 52 Earths, right? The only reason I can see for DC keeping "The New 52" label on their books is if they're planning on bringing back the old universe in some format, side by side with The New 52 universe. I have a feeling old universe stories will begin trickling in at some point, perhaps one shots in prestige format. Those books will test the waters to see how many fans are willing to return to DC with the old versions of their heroes. If they're successful, DC will put out a handful of monthly comic books without the New 52 label. Or if they're really ballsy, they'll just make one of the New 52 worlds the old universe and incorporate the old universe into The New 52 titles. They really should try that. Hawkman failed spectacularly? Fuck it! Make Earth 47 the Old Universe. Put out a new Hawkman title based in Earth 47 and just make him old history Hawkman. But DC can still fuck with it enough to not include any stories or history that might cause them legal issues. That's easy enough through exclusion. Just don't mention those things one way or the other and fans can simply assume they're still part of Hawkman's canon.
Although, seriously, I wasn't really thrilled with Old Style Hawkman either.
I'm more interested in a stand alone Batman and Robin story than the old Hawkman, but not by much. Non-crossover annuals (you know? The real kind!) tend to inhabit that weird space where they don't feel like part of the actual title because they're meant to be an introduction to curious readers or to spotlight new talent. But this issue is written by Tomasi who writes the regular issues and the art is by ex-Batgirl artist Ardian Syaf and Turds of Prey inker Vicente Cifuentes. So no new names. Looks like this artist team worked on Red Lanterns #0 and possibly some Batgirl titles together. I didn't do my research that diligently!
But it appears Damian has!
And then there are the kind of annuals that are just fun to read. Thank you, Mr. Tomasi! This has already made me laugh!
Aha! A clue as to how insurance companies survive in Gotham! Looks like they have decent rates until you're a victim of a superhuman crime. And then POWIE! Your monthly rate goes through the fucking ceiling.
Later that night, Damian Skypes with Batman. I'm pretty sure Damian just blew his whole game though because he stands in front of a green screen so Bruce thinks Damian is at the next location. But even people who aren't anywhere close to being the best detective in the world can tell when someone is standing in front of a green screen! Stupid kid! He probably knows the concept of the green screen but, having probably never watched television in his life, doesn't realize how poorly it actually does what it's supposed to do.
Or maybe not. Perhaps Damian has superior Wayne Tech Green Screen Technology.
Back in Gotham, Damian is out driving the Batmobile and stopping muggings when the Bat Signal lights up the sky. It doesn't take Gordon long to realize he's talking to Robin which is when Damian takes off to continue his investigation on the gas eater. I think Batman is going to be a little bit annoyed with all the explaining he's going to have to do when he gets back in town. Whatever is in Barcelona had better be worth it.
The reason Bruce is in Barcelona.
Ha ha! I knew the green screen would be Damian's undoing! Well done, Tomasi!