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17. “Robin Dies at Dawn!” (Batman #156)
Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris gave us this striking Batman story that stands out as a strong story NOW but REALLY stood out in the early 1960s when it first was released.
The basic idea is that Batman takes part in an experiment in sensory deprivation. The result are some messed up hallucinations…
The rest of the story involves Batman’s inability to put what happened in his hallucination out of his mind. How can Batman fight crime when he is constantly imagining Robin dying? Well, he had better get with the program or else he might end up seeing Robin die for REAL!
16. “To Kill a Legend” (Detective Comics #500)
This anniversary story by Alan Brennert and Dick Giordano has the Phantom Stranger show up and tell Batman and Robin of a world where Thomas and Martha Wayne have not yet been killed. The Stranger gives Batman the opportunity to save their lives. Robin tags along and once there, he discovers that this world is unique in that it has never had ANY heroes of any kind…
This brings us to the heart of the matter. Does Batman save his parents and likely deprive this world of its only superhero? Robin has a problem with that idea…
It’s a tragic question and one it is probably unfair for Robin to ask of Batman, but it is an interesting one nonetheless. How it all resolves is really impressive on Brennert’s part – very cool stuff.
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