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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 269

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 comics posted so far!

Today we look at the official debut of Tim Drake as Batman’s regular partner in Batman #465, “Debut” by Alan Grant, Norm Breyfogle and Steve Mitchell.


Quickly, to give you an idea of what kind of story this one-off issue (which was the first issue of Batman to feature Tim Drake as the official sidekick to Batman. Tim had debuted in #442, and was soon named Robin, but he trained for a loooong time and did not even debut in the new costume until the #450s, at which point he did MORE training, which was captured in the hit mini-series, Robin, by Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle) is…

So yeah, this was an issue to rejoice. I’ll let Alfred’s good news be a mystery to those who have not read the issue (there are two major bits of good news in this issue – that’s one and the other one was revealed on the previous page, as well).

In any event, Grant, Breyfogle and Mitchell by this point in time were a well-oiled machine, cranking on top-notch comics month after month. This was no exception.

Check out this sequence of pages from early in the issue…

Besides the exemplary artwork by Breyfogle, you can see the sort of character-driven stories that Grant told, while also managing to work in a goodly portion of humor (while still keeping the book dark enough to be, you know, a Batman comic book).

This was a stand-out issue in a stand-out run (that lasted over THREE different titles, as the trio went from Detective to Batman to Shadow of the Bat).


Shoot, I don’t have this one. But they brought back the kids from the gang issue of ‘Tec! Neat. Love me some Harold, too. I like the bonding with Alfred over soaps bit.

Breyfogle will forever be my definitive Bat-artist. These pages are gorgeous. I think he’s one of the few guys in comics whose art is better on newsprint, where the inks can really seep into the page.

I agree that this is a great issue, though I prefer the follow-up issue “No More Heroes” which came next.

Oh, Alfred.

Breyfogle is slated to appear at the local Con next month. For once, I am seriously considering attending.

I don’t see Alfred watching soap operas.

Tim should avoid property damage such as beheading stone lions.

Breyfogle’s my bat-artist too. So dynamic and stylish. And I love that original Tim Drake Robin costume (designed by Neal Adams I believe). Who says all 90s outfits were terrible?

Who’s Harold?

He was a mute, hunchback genius that Penguin was taking advantage of to create bad stuff. Batman took him and had him build stuff for him.

Was Harold an Alan Grant creation? Was much done with him between Grant leaving the Bat books and (what I’d guess is) the last time Harold appeared? (Don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m being quite vague) And if he hadn’t been used, say, during No Man’s Land and that era, why did (creative team not revealed to prevent spoiler from over 5 years ago) bring him back at all?

But given how succinct and, presumably, accurate your description of him is, Brian, wow, that’s a dumb sounding character.

No wonder Bill Reed likes him :)

And Breyfogle’s doing nice work on that new Life With Archie mag. I gotta get me issue 2 soon. Even though the story is kinda depressing.

I believe Harold first turned up in The Question, so Denny O’Neil probably created him. He did actually appear in NML – there was an issue about him deciding to go out and “fix up” Gotham.

But he actually appeared very rarely after the Knightfall era. He was still around, we just didn’t see him.

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