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Chuck Dixon's work has included Batman Chronicles, Legends of the Dark Knight, Birds of Prey, Catwoman, Captain America and Punisher War Journal. Scott Beatty has worked on numerous titles including Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and JLA. Javier Pulido has worked on The Batman Chronicles, Hellblazer, Human Target, The Incredible Hulk and The Uncanny X-Men.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
I just loved this book. Robin here is depicted as a competent crime-fighter instead of the bumbling child he is so often relegated to. I don't know how I missed this one, I suppose it's a "sleeper hit". Rather than explaining and over explaining his origin story the book starts with Robin new at, but in the thick of his partnership with Batman. Most of the story is narrated by Alfred who's character achieves a deepness here I don't think I've read anywhere else. It is almost the story of Alfred as a father and his two sons Dick and Bruce, rather than the usual father/son relationship with Batman and Robin. The coloring in the book is amazing. Yellows, greens and oranges are used instead of the standard blue, gray, and blacks. I though that was a fascinating choice. The pencils seem like an ode to a 40's or 50's Batman era. I can't say enough good things. If you've been let down by "year one" books before give this a shot, it might make a believer out of you.
In his crusade against crime, Bruce Wayne (Batman) meets a young man whose parents are murdered. Moved to deep compassion, Bruce adopts the boy and trains him as a crimefighter. Dick Grayson shows great potential and promise.
However, many have doubts. Alfred fears that another boy has had his childhood stolen, and Commissioner Gordon heartily disapproves; what if the child is hurt? Alfred, as the narrator of the story (great choice) relives the difficulties of raising Bruce. Can Robin prove he is worthy of superhero status?
"Robin: Year One" does a great job of showing the relationship between Alfred, Dick, and Bruce. Alfred is the father of the two men, giving aid and support that make Batman and Robin possible. Dixon does a magnificent job making it feel like a "family."
Using contrast, Dixon portrays a brooding Batman whose darkness is brightened by the undying optimism and good cheer of Robin, the Boy Wonder. While Bruce did not have many friends growing up, Dick is extremely well adjusted socially. Together, one complements the other, and a truly dynamic duo is born.
However, like any family, there are moments of strife, tension, and sorrow. Dixon paints such a believable and identifiable picture of the Robin character that readers will feel as Robin feels. Can he prove that he is worthy? Will he lose his childhood in a scramble for justice?
"Robin: Year One" is one of the best Batman universe graphic novels out there.
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The �Year One� story has become commonplace in comics today, and far too often the writers attempt to retell or update the character�s origin, failing in the attempt. (For a perfect example of this see �Spider-Man: Chapter One.� Better yet, don�t.) This story evades that trap entirely and turns into a great character study of the boy who would become Nightwing and his relationship with his shadowy father-figure. Chuck Dixon, between his work on Robin, Nightwing and the Birds of Prey, has got to be the most successful writer of Batman�s �family� there ever was. In this book he teams with Scott Beatty to craft a tale not of the origin of Dick Grayson�s Robin, but of his early adventures after he already secured the job. It shows off a new villain, makes it clear that things were not as easy as it would seem, and showcases the precarious nature of the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson in a fashion as good or better than any I�ve ever seen. Dixon and Beatty also fill in a few blanks along the way. In encounters with later Robins -- Jason Todd and Tim Drake -- we learn that the criminal Two-Face was obsessed with Batman�s junior partner. This story shows off how that began. We get to see a lot of the lamer villains -- the Mad Hatter in particular, in a far creepier light than usual. We even get some good character moments between Robin and then-Captain Jim Gordon, who is one of the best supporting characters in the history of comics. All in all, a really good book for the Batman or Nightwing fan.
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I liked this book more than I thought I would. I started out thinking it was going to be great but it turned out to be amazing! One of the reasons I might have liked it so much is I've read about 20 batman graphic novels and tpb's and this was the first one that dealt with robin (except for dark victory). I thought a book about robin would be too kidish so I didn't really spend my time looking for Batman books with Robin in them. But after reading this book I went to Amazon and Ebay looking up books with Robin.
In this book Robin is portrayed as a kid with a mature side. He still has a kid personality but his character also recognizes the fact that the "Robin business" is a serious business. That's the biggest aspect that made this book such an enjoyable read.
Also I liked the way Batman looked. In many books he looks like a terror of the night (and that's awesome!) but in this book he looked more like a guy in a costume. I really liked that because most artists try to make Batman seem extraordinary cool or supernatural looking (and I like that). But in this case it was nice to see a more human look to Batman. It was modern Batman in the Adam West look. Also, because he didn't look VERY cool it didn't take away from Robin being in the spotlight for this book.
All the other characters were done well and the rest of the art was good. Not the best I've seen but for this book it was perfect.
The story was great. It wasn't an A-B story...it was more of A-C-D-B type of story. What I mean is it wasn't straight forward, it had some other plots thrown in. It definitely wasn't complicated but it was nice to have other things going on besides the main plot.Read more ›