In book 20 of the DC Comics Graphic Novel Collection we take a closer look at the original Boy Wonder - Dick Grayson.
Narrated by Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, Robin: Year One tells the story of Dick Grayson's first year as Robin. This is not a back to the beginning origin story - Dick's past trauma with The Flying Graysons is briefly mentioned and he has already become Robin - but instead the story shows what happened after Dick was taken under Batman's arm.
The book is written by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty and illustrated by Javier Pulido and for the fourth part, Marcos Martin.
In this book Robin faces The Mad Hatter, Killer Moth, Mr Freeze and Two Face amongst others. Although the artwork seemed simplier than other novels at first, I really found myself growing to really enjoy Javier Pulido's art style as the story progressed.
The book has many highlights, from Alfred's affection toward the Boy Wonder to showing a Robin who is able to manage his secret identity with his normal life much better than Bruce Wayne has ever been able to. The story doesn't take itself too seriously to being with, with Robin acting in a much less serious manner than Batman himself, but as events progress the ante is upped for Robin as he begins to realise that fighting crime is often violent and cruel.
The second story in this book is yet another classic - this time from Detective Comics #38 back in 1940 where Robin was introduced for the first time. This time the story IS an origin story, but like most of the silver age stories it is told briefly before jumping in to a story for Batman and Robin to solve.
With book 20 we've arrived at a third of the way through the initial 60 book collection. We've yet to see an solo appearance from Wonder Woman (coming soon) or Aquaman (and I'm not sure if we will?), but we have had a healthy dose of Batman and Superman stories together with our first appearances of The Flash and Green Lantern in recent books, and several Justice League stories. With stories as good as Robin: Year One, it is hard to complain - but it would be nice to have a bit more variation with the characters featured.
- Not another origin story
- Interesting story changing tones as we progress
- Easy to follow throughout
- Includes Robin's 1940 introduction story.
- Alfred's narrative is often hard to read
Robin: Year One was reviewed from a purchased retail copy.
- Release Date:
12 May 2016
- Story 1:
Robin: Year One
- Story 1 Source:
"Robin: Year One #1 - 4"
- Story 2:
The Sensational Character Find of 1940
- Story 2 Source:
Detective Comics #38