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Robin, The - Archives - Volume 1 (Robin Archives) Hardcover – October 1, 2005
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In this book, the full awesome power of Robin is on display in his first twenty-one solo adventures in Star Spangled Comics from 1947-48. Each story runs about 11 pages including the cover. While the story's length is short by modern standards, each adventure is a plot-driven romp. In this book, Robin travels to India, gets stranded on a desert island and single handedly takes on a troop of escaped Nazis on a desert island, he stars in a movie, travels through time, and even gets his own supervillain in the Clock.
My big question is how could you be a preteen in this era and not being reading Robin? He's what every boy wants to be boy: tough, smart, courageous, and encountering adventure every turn. He's also a role model as he's also compassionate, but not sappy, and several stories feature a strong anti-juvenile delinquency message. This book is the ultimate boyhood fantasy. It's even freed from bounds of political correctness as Robin uses a gun to hunt in the wild and even goes whaling with Eskimos.
This is an great book tells stories from a time in American history when being a boy was great and being the Boy Wonder was pure awesome, full of fantasy and wonder. This is Robin at his finest.
Even in the 1940s, DC Comics knew what they had on their hands with Batman and Superman, and found every way to extend those franchises to the hilt. When the Superboy series proved to be a smash, it made sense that DC would follow suit with a series of solo Robin stories in struggling anthology book entitled "Star-Spangled Stories", collected here in the "Robin Archives".
It's probably worth pointing out the caveat of vintage age comics: plot trumps character. This is invariably true of most super-hero comics prior to the 1960s. Naturally, this applies to a series of stories about a teenager aimed at a teenage audience. That having been said, the stories aren't particularly more juvenile than the material found in "Batman". Robin generally handles crime involving youths, including setting a delinquent gang straight, or helping an heir to a fortune realize he's not a detective. But there's also a fair amount of serious business, as Robin frequently clashes with his own super-villain, the Clock.
Most of the writers of these stories are unknown. However, there are plenty of talented artists identified, including Win Mortimer, Dick Sprang, and Jack Burnley. Modern readers will certainly be astonished by the remarkably similar styles employed by the artists to create a specific "look" for the Batman family. The artwork, while fairly detailed, is still quite cartoony, underscoring the whimsy of the stories.
This is definitely one of the most satisfying collections in the DC Archives series in terms of reproduction and content. While Dick Grayson has grown up, for most, he's the definitive Robin. Pick up this volume to see why.