Friday, December 04, 2020

Reader's Diary #2151 - Various artists and writers: Robin / 80 Years of the Boy Wonder

For someone who's shared his disdain on Batman many, many times, I've sure read a lot of his comics. Perhaps even more oddly, very few of these featured Robin, though supposedly they are the quintessential superhero/sidekick team. So it was more out of a completist's goal than anything else to finally read some Robin comics, to try to get a sense of the character and his relationship with Batman. 

Robin: 80 Years of the Boy Wonder is a hefty volume and it includes a lot of must read material, from his very first appearance in print to the passing of the Robin moniker from Dick Grayson to Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Damian Wayne. Reflected in these stories and their art are the values of yesterday to today, the simpler hero tales to the grittier, more complex turn superhero comics took from the 80s onward. 

Despite the size though, I'd argue it's still not perfect as far as being a representative summary. While I realize Dick changed his alter ego to Nightwing, and not Robin, I felt the story of how that happened was missing. Likewise, the endings of partnerships with the latter Robins are never shown. We're told in an essay that Jason Todd was killed off as the result of a fan vote, but this is never shown. Call me morbid, but I wanted to read that! 

Still, additional features, like an essay by Burt Ward who played Robin in the campy 60s live action TV show, helped make up for at least some missing stories. 

All in all, a really good collection, just shy of great.

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