This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Robin: Tragedy & Triumph
Series: Batman/Robin #4
Author: Chuck Dixon & Alan Grant
Artist: Norm Breyfogle & Tom Lyle
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Format: Paper Edition
This graphic novels entails 2 different stories that aren’t related.
The first story, entitled Rite of Passage, is the backstory of the tragedy surrounding Tim Drake’s parents. How his mom died and his dad was totally incapacitated. They were multimillionaires, investors and their plane was hijacked. They were held for ransom by the Obea Man in Haiti but he had planned to kill them along no matter what. Batman rescues them but not before they drink poisoned water, which kills Mrs Drake and puts Mr Drake into a coma. While all of this is going on, Tim is back in Gotham tracking down a computer hacker who has been stealing from Gotham banks and depositing the funds into peasants accounts across the world.
The second story is the Robin II set of comics that introduces the new Robin as his own character. Batman is out of town, the Joker escapes and it is mid winter with a huge storm coming in. The Joker kidnaps a computer programmer and takes over the city and demands Batman deliver him a billion dollars. The Joker blows the truck up to kill Batman and in the ensuing confusion (As Robin has set things up) Robin takes down the Joker and puts him back in Arkham. Thus he puts to rest any doubts he has about being capable of being Batman’s partner.
I can understand why they put these 2 stories together, but they really didn’t mesh well. The tragedy surrounding Tim’s parents is only touched upon in Robin: A Hero Reborn so it is good to get the full story. It is amazing how the birth of a hero always seems catapulted by some sort of deep tragedy in their own lives. Nobody, as far as I can tell, just wakes up in Comic World and decides to fight crime for the fun of it. I obviously haven’t read every about superhero, nor do I have that desire, but Motivation seems to half the battle when it comes to creating a “hero”. Nothing beats a good old death of mum n dad to help someone along the path.
The Robin II storyline, with Tim facing off against the Joker, was your stereotypical comic book storyline. A whole city helpless, only one man, or boy in this case, can save the day. The Authorities completely stymied, every person in power panic’ing and their brains nullified. It is the dream of every teen. It also showcased how comics in the 90’s were still grounded in our world. None of this alternate reality, science fiction, fantasy kaka I see nowadays. Once a Superhero moves out from “our” world, they become just another character, no longer a Superhero.
This Robin book didn’t impress me as much as the previous book. It wasn’t as good but it also wasn’t as ridiculous. It was a comic book about a teenager (Drake’s only 14 for goodness sake!) for teenagers. I’ve been looking around at other Tim Drake/Robin books and I think I’ll be leaving them alone. Drake’s origin and first real mission, that’s a good place to stop.
I’ve got one more Batman/Robin graphic novel coming up, Under the Red Hood, which deals with the return of Jason Todd. I have no idea if Drake is involved or not, but either way, I’m ok with this little bit I already own and have no real desire to chase down more.