Comic Corner: Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular Pt.1

Previously- Captain America: Captain of Nothing |Coming soon- Robin 80th Anniversary Pt.2

Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular has a whole host of amazing writers, artists, colourist, and letterers involved. I will be looking at the stories individually and will credit along the way. Since there are quite a few I will be splitting the issue into two posts.

What do you need to know?
Not a thing. The book is made up of ten stories which follow different iterations of Robin.

What do you need to have read?
Nothing. Come on in!

Cover of issues shows Robin shooting across a red background.

Dick Grayson, Robin in “A Little Nudge”
Marv Wolfman (writer), Tom Grummet (Penciler), Scott Hanna (inks), Adriano Lucas (Colourist), Tom Napolitano (Letterer)

Beginning with the first Robin the story shows the progression from Robin to Nightwing. It shows the tension that exists between Dick and Bruce, especially since it’s obvious that Dick is older now. The intention of this story is to shows why Dick felt he had to break away from Bruce and it is successful in doing that. But that’s all it does. It does the job it set out to do but as a comic it is lacklustre. Asa result it’s not emotional enough to be memorable.

Dick Grayson, Nightwing in “Aftershocks’
Chuck Dixon (W), Scott McDaniel (P), Rob Hunter (P), Protobunker (C), Carlos M. Mangual (L)

This second story feels exceedingly short and follows Dick as Nightwing, helping an EMT get to a pregnant lady and deliver her baby in the aftermath of an earthquake. Is that the sort of story that appeals to you? It does not appeal to me and it was a boring story. There was nothing to it other than that very basic storyline. There wasn’t any depth. It didn’t offer glimpses of characterisation. There was not anything to get excited by. After seeing Dick in his final days as Robin in the previous issue this was a great opportunity to show us some growth. It was an opportunity squandered.

Dick Grayson, Nightwing and the Titans in “Team Building”
Devin Grayson (W), Dan Jurgens (Layouts), Norm Rapmund (Finishes), Hi-Fi (C), Troy Peteri (L)

I tend not to read Titans books because they don’t interest me. This story sees incompetent henchmen tell their boss about coming up against Nightwing and the Titans. The change in POV, and an unusual POV, was interesting to read. I also appreciated, especially after the previous story, that we get a full arc. It was interesting and decent but not showstopping.

Dick Grayson, Agent 37 in “The Lesson Plan”
Tim Seeley & Tom King (W), Mikel Janín (A), Jeromy Cox (C), Tom Napolitano (L)

This was another interesting story as I’ve never read any Agent 37 stuff before and know very little about this time in Dick’s life. It squeezes a lot of story into a small number of pages and as a result in can feel a little rushed. However, it’s better to have too many ideas than not enough and have it feel stale. We get to see Dick’s growth into his new persona as he adopts a mentor role, which gives way to a fascinating parallel between the two.

Jason Todd, Red Hood in “More Time”
Judd Winick (W), Dustin Nguyen (Art), John Kalisz (C), Steve Wands (L)

Jason is my favourite BatBoy and while I enjoyed this story and think that it was a shame it’s his only one. He has such an interesting journey that there are a lot of places you can take him and plenty of complicated emotion. This story uses a narrative from Jason’s childhood in parallel with his present. There is not a lot of story, however, there are implications to a bigger story. The focus is on characterisation and emotion which is a nice change of pace for the book. It’s also worth pointing out that Alfred has one line, and it’s the first time we’ve gotten quality Alfred in this book.

Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular is available from Comixology, Forbidden Planet, or your local comic book store.

Coming Soon… Robin 80th Anniversary Pt.2

In the meantime, why not check out… Batman: A Court of Owls, Red Hood: Dark Trinity

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