Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ROBIN #12 - December 1994


Bullies
Credits:  Chuck Dixon (writer), Phil Jimenez (penciler), John Stokes (inker), Albert DeGuzman (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)


Summary:  Tim Drake is harassed by two punks while at the movies with Ariana.  In order to protect his secret identity, Tim allows the punks to embarrass him in front of his girlfriend.  That night, as Robin, he tries to make himself feel better while taking down hoods with Batman.  The next day, he runs into the punks again.  He easily defeats them when alone in an alley, but is later upset to learn the store belonging to Ariana’s family has been vandalized by gangsters seeking protection money.  Later, the heads of the Troika meet.  An assassin enters, declaring he will kill Batman and Robin.


Irrelevant Continuity:  
  • I don’t believe this assassin appears in any future chapter of “Prodigal,” which means his identity is never revealed in this reprint collection.  I suspect he’s supposed to be an update of the KGBeast, or NKVDemon.
  • Tim Drake’s future stepmother, Dana Winters, is introduced as his father’s physical therapist.


Review:  There’s no obvious reason for this story to be reprinted, aside from the “Prodigal” logo appearing on the cover.  The reprint collection has currently reached an awkward stage, now that Two-Face has been defeated but Bruce Wayne hasn’t returned yet.  Ideally, there should be more of a character arc for Dick Grayson to go through, but he really doesn’t have that much to deal with by this point.  That means this issue of Robin reads like almost any other issue from this era, except a different guy is playing Batman during his brief appearance in the issue.  And that’s not to say it’s a bad issue of Robin at all; in fact, I first read this as a random back issue years ago and have always enjoyed it.  Dixon captures a teenage boy’s fear of being embarrassed in front of his girlfriend remarkably well, and he manages to make Tim thoroughly likable throughout the ordeal.  Dixon always knew how to handle the teen superhero drama during this run, and I have to reiterate that it’s a shame DC doesn’t realize what a great Robin Tim Drake made during the ‘90s.  From the perspective of putting together a truly complete trade paperback, however, I have to say that Robin #0 should’ve taken this story’s place several chapters ago.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I don’t believe this assassin appears in any future chapter of “Prodigal,” which means his identity is never revealed in this reprint collection. I suspect he’s supposed to be an update of the KGBeast, or NKVDemon."

I'm pretty sure he doesn't or at least there's no closure with the Russians within the Knightfall tradepaperbacks. That's because all of the Russian stuff comes to a head in the 4-part Troika story, which takes over the Batbooks right after Prodigal concludes. It's the story that features Bruce's "real" return to Batman, and it's the story that introduces the Micheal Keaton style Batsuit to the comics, and it'll stick around through the early 2000s, I think. And yeah, Troika isn't included. Kind of annoying...