| 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. |
One Off |
Micke W. Barr
| Story Arc:
Batman Year Two - Det Comics #575-578
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This is the sequel to Batman: Year Two which ran in Detective Comics # 575-578. It is set a number of years later. The story starts with Robin being careless and Batman grounding him. This leaves Batman alone to be lured into a trap. Batman is then subjected to drugs and a filmed re-enactment of his parent's deaths to persuade the hero to commit suicide as a result of survivors guilt.
Dick, realizing his mentor is in trouble, defies orders... and Alfred's best efforts to stop him... and races to the rescue. He snaps Batman out of his drug-duped horror and Batman defeats the Reaper who is revealed to be Joseph Chill, Joe Chill's son. Batman then holds Joseph over a vat of acid threatening to throw him in... with Robin coaxing him to do it. This is simply so far out of character it may as well be another character. I know this is an emotional point for Batman, particularly considering he has just relived his own parent's death over and over but Dick has no such excuse. He actually encourages Batman to kill the other man, not once but twice. The writer clearly doesn't understand Dick's character at all. Bruce has taught Dick the value of life... that they are not judge and jury and never can act that way or they end up as bad as those they hunt. Dick understood this... Jason did not. If this Robin had been Jason, then I could accept the character's reaction. Quite simply, the writer got it wrong.
Dick's voice should have been the one of reason. In the end it is Joseph Chill's son Joey who plays this role. Batman spares Chill's life, reflecting that what began with Joe Chill and Thomas Wayne should end with Chill's grandson. Hence, things have come full circle.
After the police arrive and Chill is taken away in an ambulance, Batman goes to a bridge and throws into the ocean the gun that Joe Chill used to kill his parents... finally ending this deadly cycle.
While Bruce is shown to be distant in this comic, we see just how much he cares for Dick. He also states that he wouldn't be able to handle being responsible for Dick's death. After reprimanding the boy, he sends Alfred with chocolate cake.