Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Boy Wonder is Born (Robin: Year One Review)

Batmania readers, welcome to another edition of Graphic Novel Monday. This weeks review is on the Boy Wonder's debut, Robin: Year One. Written by Dixon and Beatty (the writers of the Nightwing series), Dick Grayson, the future Nightwing and Batman, the kid who had all the tools and determination to change the DC Universe, and one of the biggest fan favorites of all time. Robin: Year One shows the many firsts of Dick Grayson. Grayson's first year as Robin shows him tackling the Mad Hatter, Mr. Freeze, and his own mortal enemy, Two-Face.

Robin: Year One shows the untold origin of Dick Grayson, not the death of his parents, the Flying Graysons, but his first encounters with some of Batman's big villains. The novel is cut into four sections, and the first tackled is the abduction of young girls that seem to be disappearing all over Gotham. When a girl from Dick's class goes missing, he looks into it and eventually finds out that the Mad Hatter is behind the girl's disappearance. Along with Hatter's appearance, Robin tries to tackle the cold hearted Mr. Freeze without the help of The Dark Knight. And an appearance by Two-Face shows you why Harvey Dent's alter ego is to Dick Grayson what the Joker is to Batman.

Robin: Year One has a lot of recurring themes, including Jim Gordon being afraid of Robin getting hurt. He's not the only one, as Alfred also shows concern for Grayson, but Bruce believes that Grayson is something special ... and as we know Dick Grayson is. This is a very well written book, it establishes that Grayson isn't just some kid fighting adults, he's a determined, athletic young man ready to take on the world if he has to. The artwork is reminiscent of Batman The Animated Series, yet goes well with this type of story. Still, it seems a little rushed, and a little hard to believe that Dick could take on some of the biggest villains in Gotham with absolutely no help from Batman. I give Robin: Year One a 8.5/10.

- Jason Todd

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