Credits: Chuck Dixon (writer), Tom Grummett (penciler), Ray Kryssing (inker), Albert DeGuzman (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)
Summary: Tim Drake prepares for the return of his father, and reunites with Bruce Wayne. After they take his father home, Tim shows Bruce the current condition of Wayne Manor. When Bruce learns that Jean-Paul, as Batman, killed Abattoir, he’s adamant that Jean-Paul give up the cowl. They break into the sealed-off Batcave and soon confront Jean-Paul. He slams Bruce against the wall and leaves. As Robin, Tim tries to chase him in his Redbird car, but can’t keep up. Later, Bruce reveals to Tim his plan to retrain his body.
Irrelevant Continuity: Bruce Wayne is walking again, although none of the stories in this collection explains how that happened. Tim also mentions that Bruce “brought back my father,” which is another reference to events that are not reprinted.
Review: After around sixty comics or so, the Knightfall trades finally get around to reprinting an issue of Robin, which I think leaves Legends of the Dark Knight as the only Bat-title not represented so far. I have a random collection of Dixon’s Robin issues from the ‘90s, and the overwhelming majority of them are quite good. He took the initial concept of Tim Drake as the more “intellectual” Robin and ran with it, essentially turning him into Peter Parker as Batman’s sidekick. We see a few elements of this during the issue as Robin is placed in awkward secret identity situations, and deals with the guilt of abandoning his feeble father in order to play superhero. The only action in the issue comes during a chase scene, which doesn’t do much to advance the ongoing storyline, but reminds anyone who’s missed the past year of stories that Jean-Paul is too reckless to be Batman. (Seeing him drive against oncoming traffic while escaping Robin actually is kind of cool.)
This is the last issue reprinted in the second Knightfall trade, which gives me another invitation to complain about what isn’t in the book. More specifically, I’d like to gripe about what is included instead. The Joker and Catwoman storylines do nothing to advance the major plotline, but I suppose they’re significant as the new Batman’s first meeting with the iconic characters. While it’s hard to cut anything from the Joker arc, surely we didn’t need all four chapters of that Catwoman crossover. At the very least, the first chapter in Catwoman could’ve been easily skipped. Any issue of Shadow of the Bat could be dropped without disrupting the continuity, except for the debut of Jean-Paul’s new costume. Dropping Bunny and Gunhawk wouldn’t hurt the flow, either. And that Abattoir arc…yeesh. Just spare us and reprint the first and last chapters. Now, wouldn’t this leave plenty of room to explain why Bruce Wayne can walk again?