Today we're going to take a look at the first appearance of contemporary Robin, Tim Drake in the graphic novel "A Lonely Place of Dying".
Splitting the writing duties on this book are industry legends Marv Wolfman and George Perez (these are reprints of issues of Batman and The New titans). Drawn in the style of comics of the day (circa 1989) the art is classic Jim Aparo sort of look and it serves the story just fine.
This story comes on the heels of the death of Jason Todd (which we'll be taking a look at sometime next week) and follows Batman's descent into a dark and brooding madness over his failure. Seeing this, a young pre-teen detective (Tim Drake) seeks out Dick Grayson. Why Dick Grayson? Well he was there on that fateful night at the circus when Two-Face murdered the Flying Graysons and was their number one fan. On TV one night, he saw Robin do an acrobatic trick that only Dick Grayson and perhaps a few other people on Earth were capable of. Putting two and two together and doing a lot of detective work, Tim correctly arrives at the secret identities of the caped crusaders.
Becoming obsessed with their career, he follows news of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson and Batman and Robin. He knew that Dick left to become Nightwing, knew that Jason Todd took over and was aware of his death.
Keeping up with Batman, he sees this descent into brutality Bruce is going through and decides the only thing that can fix it is if Dick goes back to being Robin.
I like this book a lot, but I would understand if a lot of people didn't, particularly if they aren't as big of a Batman nerd as I am. The art is very 1989 and so is the coloring and the writing and comics have gotten a lot more sophisticated since this era. But the story is well-told for the conventions of its time and is an important milestone in the Batman mythos for every fan to, at the very least, know about.
Unfortunately, you'll have to borrow this comic unless you have deep pockets because it is out of print. Why? I don't know. But it goes for as much as $160 on Amazon used. (Though you can find it on ebay for as little as $6.)
Final word? If you're a batfan, you should probably have this book.