| I have provided scans of the pages Dick appears in. The text is too small to read... this is deliberate. The purpose of the scans is to show other fans the scope of Dick's role. If you want to read, you will need to buy a copy of the comic... and support DC writers and artists. |
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The following is taken directly from the blurb on the back of the graphic novel. The story of Robin's never-before-revealed final test - an elaborate game of hide-and-seek that would test all of Dick's skills and establish him as the standard against which all of Batman's future partners would be judged - is told here for the first time.
From the meanest of Gotham's City's strees to the heart of its theater district to its seediest harborside docks, the young Dick Grayson must elude Batman from sundown to sunrise.
But before the test even begins, Robin saves a man who is being brutally attacked, unaware that he's just interfered with gotham's powerful underworld. Suddenly, Dick must evade not only the Batman, but hired guns who plan to keep the kid quiet - permanently!
Will Bamtan be able to find his ward in time for a last-minute rescue, or will Robin have to run this gauntlet on his own?
This story gives us a great insight into Bruce's thinking. Why would he allow a boy to join him in such a dangerous pursuit? In his own words - "The whole concpet of Robin is important to Dic, Old Friend... and it's important for Dick. When I lost my parents I had no way to release my anger, my... grief. Though he hides it well, those same emotions are churning away inside Dick. Robin will be his release valve - a way to exorcise that darkness before it can corrupt his soul. Nobody else can given him this, Alfred. Only I can. And I will!."
We see from this that Bruce truly does have reasons for what he is doing and that he has no intention of placing Dick in danger until he believes Dick is ready.
When Robin first encounters thugs, one of them refers to him as 'Robin Hood' a nice reference to Bob Kane's inspiration for the characters.
When Robin rescues a man being mugged, the injured man gives him a deck of cards for Captain James Gordon. Robin opens them to discover the cards show naked ladies and he things - "Gordon must have a wild side Batman doesn't know about'. (g)
Unware he has the prized possession of Gotham's darkest and deadliest underworld figure, Robin continues with his test - but with Minette's hundreds of lookouts now watching for him.
There is an exchange between Batman and Gordon that left me giggling.
Gordon - Ricky Terranova. His methods are unorthodox, but he gets results.
Batman - I like him already.
The big black bat had a sense of homour in these days. Of course, it is something of a shock to him when he discovers that Robin has the cards everyone is after making him a target.
Batman follows the clues Dick leaves but realizes he is taking too long and so decides to pay Minette a very personal visit. He warns him to "Keep your slimy hands off the boy!" Minette realizes he cares about 'the boy' and sends in all the men he can get his hands to bring in the boy... or his corpse.
When Batman finds Robin, he watches from the shadows, admiring the boy's skill. When Robin is finally cornered by Minette himself and about to be shot, Batman appears behind Robin, shocking Minette and giving Robin the split second he needs to disarm and capture the gangster... and all without knowing Batman has helped him.
The final exchange brings a smile to the face. "Come on. Let's go and introduce you to Captain Gordon, partner."
I enjoyed this. We see Robin as young and naive, but very competent.