web stats

CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 167

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we take a look at a neat Robin “Year One” Annual by Chuck Dixon and Jason Armstrong…


1995’s Robin Annual #4 was part of a series of DC Annuals that year that were all using a “Year One” theme.

Dixon decided to focus on the original Robin, Dick Grayson.

The book opens with a beautiful splash by Jason Armstrong…

Quickly we see Dick’s parents die and Dixon adds in a great scene where Dick is taken from his circus family while Batman is outside doing detective work…

Dick ends up in an orphanage where he has to fight pretty much every night, until he decides to make an escape…

How cool is that intro of Batman?

After Batman tells Dick that his parents did not die by accident, he tells Dick to stay put…

this leads to some great sequences with Dick at Wayne Manor, including some very good scenes with Dick and Alfred…

Finally, though various circumstances, Dick learns Batman’s secret…

Again, well drawn by Armstrong and well-handled by Dixon.

Now working with Batman, Dick agrees to basically snoop on his circus buddies at his parents’ funeral – Armstrong totally nails Dick’s conflicted feelings here…

All this coolness and we haven’t even gotten to the debut of the Robin costume or the revelation of who was behind his parents’ death (at the circus, that is)!!!

Go find this comic! It shouldn’t be too expensive.


“Wait, you didn’t bring any shoes? What are you, kid, retarded?

I’m the goddamn Batman!”

I love this… it’s probably the best version of Dick Grayson’s origin since the original.

“She uses an extraordinary number of towels.”

Alfred is the funniest man in comics.

I have never read this. I think a visit to eBay is in order! Thanks for all the great example of cool comics Brian.

I love this… it’s probably the best version of Dick Grayson’s origin since the original.

I agree, but you know, something struck me as I was doing the bit – this is a loooong comic book. It’s a 54 page story. So with 54 pages, Dixon probably had more room to work with for all of those great little character moments that sort of MADE the comic so good. That’s not a knock against Dixon or anything, just noting something that was probably a factor in why this origin stood out from all the rest.

This is amazing.

I wish this version of Dick Grayson’s origin had been included in the recent Robin: The Teen Wonder collection instead of a shorter version published a few years later.

At least as of last week, the original art of one of the pages shown above is on sale on eBay. (I have no stake in that; in fact, I’d prefer that no one buy it so the asking price comes down to my level. But hey, someone might want it more than me.)

Ah…DC before Geoff Johns decided to dictate everything! Good times, good times…

Holy crap, those excerpts were freaking awesome.

Why the hell isn’t Dixon writing Robin and Nightwing anymore? Frigging DC…

The Crazed Spruce

June 17, 2010 at 7:20 pm

This was definitely my favourite version of Robin’s origin. Too bad I lost my copy in a house fire a few years back. I’m totally in the mood to reread it right now.

love Dixon writing the Bat family. i miss him…..

“Any more surprises like that one?”
“Nothing I can speak of at the moment, young sir.”

Haha, very nice.

[…] Detective Comics #38, I can think of Batman: Year Three, Batman Chronicles: The Gauntlet, 1995’s Robin Annual #4, and the Robin: Year One miniseries, just to name a few offhand. Batman & Robin Annual #2 joins […]

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives