SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Teen Titans #20 by Adam Glass, Bernard Chang, Marcelo Maiolo and Rob Leigh, on sale now.
When a traditionally street level character leaves the comfort of the city they protect and heads for the stars, it’s not surprising if they return to Earth with an entirely new perspective on how things are done, and that’s exactly what’s happened to Damian Wayne following the events of Justice League: No Justice.
Having staked out a role for himself outside the Batman family, Robin has established a new team of Teen Titans operating out of Brooklyn and a new approach to supervillains that would make Batman quite angry, should he ever find out.
Robin returned from space unsatisfied with the usual operating methods of Batman and his allies, but unsure how to proceed next or what his new methods would be. That was until his favorite Gotham restaurant was attacked by goons working for Black Mask and its owner was killed in an explosion, leaving a family without a home, business or a father. This led Robin to seek out Black Mask but his tour of Gotham’s underworld led him to realize that people are so used to Batman’s no-kill methods, it’s becoming even harder to operate effectively when the criminals know that there are no real consequences to not cooperating with the heroes. In an attempt to change things, Robin confronted Black Mask in a sauna and, having already taken out all his guards, shot the villain point blank in the face.
But this week’s Teen Titans #20 reveals that isn’t the whole story, as we learn more about Robin’s new headquarters for the Teen Titans, Mercy Hall. An abandoned juvenile detention center in the heart of Brooklyn, Mercy Hall was one of Batman’s secret stash houses which he has scattered all over the world, though it was deemed to have structural concerns and was removed from Batman’s list.
However, Robin faked the report, leaving Mercy Hall completely off the grid to Batman or anyone else. This move has allowed him to dedicate an entire building to incarcerating supervillains, including Brother Blood, Onomatopoeia, Atomic Skull... and Black Mask.