The best Batman stories are those where theres a true threat of danger. This is why The Dark Knight Returns, the Nolan trilogy, and What Ever Happened to the Caped Crusader (to name a few) work so well. I think thats why Robin-centered stories tend to be more engaging than most. Robins have a tendency to die and die tragically. They are, arguably, Batmans greatest weakness, which leaves all of his greatest villains clawing after the little sidekicks. To Kill a Bird is steeped with threats and comes after a very deadly period in this Batman timeline. Willingham handles it deftly. There were a dozen characters I didnt know, but it didnt matter because they all felt fresh and self-explanatory. There were a hundred issues of history behind this volume that I hadnt read, but Willingham boiled them down between intense scenes. This volume made me strongly reconsider reading the Fables series. That just leaves artwork, which looks as bright and bubbly as a Saturday morning cartoon yet doesnt leave you feeling any safer.