• April 2016
    S M T W T F S
    « Mar   May »
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
  • On Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Comic Blog Elite

    Comic Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

The ’90s Revisited: Robin #1


robin0001aOutcast

Story: Chuck Dixon
Pencils: Tom Grummett
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Adrienne Roy
Letters: Tim Harkins
Asst. Editor: Jordan B. Gorfinkel
Editor: Dennis O’Neil
Covers: Tom Grummett, Scott Hanna
Cover Date: November 1993
Cover Price: $1.50 (Newsstand) / $2.95 (Collector’s)

Robin is no longer welcome in the Batcave. Bruce’s back is broken, the man himself off searching for Jack Drake (Robin’s father) as well as his own doctor. Jean-Paul Valley, formerly Azrael, is now the Batman. And Valley is not keen on having a partner. So, Robin takes off–now officially split from the “Batman and” designation.

A gang is stealing cars–and opts to hit a Gotham Heights dance, figuring there’ll be rich kids’ cars there as easy pickings. Meanwhile, Tim is in attendance with Ariana, and the two get caught up in things. Tim pursues as Robin, but gets run off the road…and encounters a new figure who does not seem that friendly.

It’s been probably 15 years since I read this. Elements, I remember. Ariana, and I recognize some of the names of other characters in the cast as characters that play a role going forward. I originally read this when it came out, back in late 1993, and I may have re-read it during my college years when I “caught up” on the series, buying a run of issues 1-40 or so to match to my run from around #50 to whatever was current at that point.

There’s no “previously” page here. No real description of the premise on the opening page. Only some small context to bring us up to date. So, to pick this up “cold” it’s a bit lacking as a first issue, that big question of “what set off ‘Batman’?” But this issue takes place very much in context of the overall “Bat-Universe” of the time, amidst stuff going on with Knightfall/KnightQuest, and part of the overall story at the time, part of the continuity was that with Jean-Paul Valley taking over as Batman, he wasn’t suited for a partner…certainly not a “junior partner” with more experience than he himself had at the time. So it was a good point for the story as a whole to see Robin split off…but in order to take a character like Robin–Tim Drake–and remove him from the midst of the Batman-centric stuff…it makes sense to explore the character in his own series. SO, as the start of the series, we see him essentially kicked out of the Cave, to begin his solo adventures.

I love Grummett‘s Robin work. It certainly works extremely well here…I see the character on these pages, and this IS “my” Robin. Flip through this issue, and it’s simply ROBIN. The character I grew up with. Reading through the issue, nothing stood out or took me out of the story in a negative way…I just flat-out ENJOYED the issue.

Dixon did a fantastic job with a number of Bat-elements…Robin being one of my favorites. As said above…though this issue wasn’t one to come to “cold,” it fits very much in the Bat-Universe, and Dixon does a great job with the character and supporting cast. Having read this, I’d love to dive in and re-read some more, time permitting.

The first Robin Annual–part of Eclipso: The Darkness Within–was the first time I’d see Robin featured on the cover of a comic, getting his own title. I now know (but didn’t at the point in summer 1992 when I first acquired the Annual) that Robin had had a mini-series (and I’ll be darned if I can remember if Robin II: The Joker’s Wild was out yet or not…but I’m pretty sure it was). Then there was Robin III: Cry of the Huntress, that I ‘discovered’ in late 1992, around the time of the Death of Superman, Sword of Azrael, Spider-Man 2099, and so on. Then the Summer of Superman and Bloodlines, Knightfall and the start of KnightQuest…and Robin gets an ongoing title.

A title that lasted some 180 issues, that with a couple of gaps I’ve since filled in I followed mostly from this issue to the end, 1993 to 2009.

robin0001bI’ve seen this newsstand edition in quarter bins a couple times. The copy I read for this post I got off a 4/$1 rack at a Half-Price Books; and I got a copy as part of a 100-something issue set I bought several years ago (for the price of about 10 modern comics). I don’t see the “collector’s edition” much…but both covers are rather iconic to me. I think I did get both when they came out; and though I presently despise variants, I don’t have the same problem with stuff like these that I do with contemporary variants: there were a static TWO COVERS available. To my knowledge, they were individually orderable by comic shops, and they were NOT “ratioed”–neither cover was intentionally “more rare” than the other as far as comic shops. The “Collector’s Edition” was “only” available through comic shops, while the “Newsstand Edition” was what would be found at Waldenbooks, 7/11, grocery stores and general non-comic shop locations. Since they were different venues, and both covers were available through comic shops…I’m ok with them. Additionally, the “enhanced cover” was twice the price…so rather than merely “missing out on” a preferred cover image, you were SAVING MONEY getting one cover over another. You would pay more for the “variant,” sure, but everyone paid the same, and it was readily available.

All that aside…the early issues of this series in particular were quite good, and though this one single issue might not suck you in…for myself, this was well worth the 25 cents, time spent reading, and time spent writing this post.

Advertisements

One Response

  1. I jusr re-read this one myself… I was out shopping with the wife, and while waiting I found out that this issue was available for free on my phone. I’m really not keen on the whole digital thing… but, it was either that or just sit there while my wife tried on clothes…

    I will always dig Chuck Dixon’s Robin. This was no exception.

    I am always a bit taken aback when reading early 1990’s Robin. He appears to have some things in common with Jubilee from the X-Men… not just talking about their wardrobe either.

    They both seemed to start the 90’s in their mid to late teens… and end the decade in their early to mid teens. This Robin just feels a fair bit older than the one that would join Young Justice, just as Jubilee seemed (far) older with the X-Men than when she would be when dropped into Generation X.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: