Published: September 3rd, 2000 – December 31st, 2000
Written by: Scott Beatty, Chuck Dixon
Art by: Javier Pulido, Robert Campanella
DC Comics, 203 Pages
I loved this miniseries when I first read it back when it was collected into a trade paperback form around 2001. I actually pick it up every few years because it just hits the right notes for me and I’m a lifelong fan of Dick Grayson.
I absolutely love the art style here by Javier Pulido and Robert Campanella. It fits the story well and it also gives it a similar tone to the classic Batman events that Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale were doing in this era: The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Haunted Knight and Catwoman: When In Rome.
This was also written by Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon. Beatty had worked on a few Batman related books and Dixon was one of the top Batman writers of the ’90s with his massive Knightfall arc and the creation of Bane, Birds of Prey and Stephanie Brown.
The story is exactly what it implies, it follows Dick Grayson in his first year as Robin. It does a great job of examining the struggles he faces with his new life, responsibility and how bringing a child into the crime fighting world weighs heavily on Batman, Alfred and James Gordon.
This is comprised of four double sized issues. Each issue works as a standalone story with its own tale. However, it still forms a larger arc, as we see all the key crime fighting heroes evolve due to Robin’s inclusion in their lives.
We get to see Robin go up against several notable villains, the biggest of which is Two-Face, who pops up in more than just one of the four issues.
I really liked the first chapter though, which saw Robin take on the Mad Hatter, one of my favorite villains and one that always seems to be underutilized or just used as an easy, humorous foil that is typically taken down with ease.
We also get to see Mr. Freeze and some lesser known villains but the story really takes a turn towards more serious stuff when Robin leaves the Bat-life behind and starts training under Shrike.
This is such a good series and while it is very much centered on a young Robin, it’s a story every Batman fan will probably love.
Pairs well with: Batgirl: Year One, as well as the Batman related books by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale.