This series is written by Chuck Dixon and penciled by Tom Lyle. The story starts with the young intelligent detective Tim Drake the third Robin in the Batman series. Tim is in the Batcave pondering if he has what it takes to be Batman’s sidekick. Bruce gives him encouragement that inspires him to leave in order to learn how to take care of himself on the street and in turn learn so that he can be a better sidekick. Tim goes to Paris to train and the story develops from there. In the first issue, Tim learns about healing and from there he learns how to become a better fighter, as well as how to take a beating. Over the span of 5 issues Tim learns several styles from several different instructors and he learns unique things from each. This at first seems like a traditional 80’s movie storyline but it grows into something much deeper. As each issue progresses you see young Tim grow in skills. The Robin story is not something you would see in a comic today this story had true depth. This story did not have to rely on shock gimmicks, “you can’t miss this, this will change everything” tactics and end of issue cliffhangers. This story had true progression and character. I will admit this story does have one twist but it is not a twist that is a marketing tactic instead it is a twist for the sake of the story. In this twist the reader knows something that Tim does not know and it makes you care about him even more as the story progresses.
Another thing this book had that you will not see in a mainstream book today is true heroism. In today’s comic books heroism is often replaced with moral relativism. On two occasions Robin is presented with a choice of weapons to learn and in each situation he makes a choice to pick non-lethal weapons (or at least less lethal than most). In issue 4 of the series Robin is asked to pick a weapon and he told the instructor he already had one the sling (could this have been a Christian tie to writer). The instructor told him that the sling is for children and she had him pick another weapon, this time he chose the staff. After he made his choice his teacher told him that he would be facing the most dangerous of criminals and that he should choose again, Robin responded “I won’t fight murderers by becoming one. I’ve taken a pledge to my mentor and myself that I won’t kill even to save my life”. The response from his instructor is one that we will never see in a mainstream comic today “How Christian of you”, followed by a brief pause and another comment “How white of you”. I dare to say that we would never see a statement like this in a comic today since it paints a white American male as well as Christians in a positive light.
In the end, Robin grows to not only become a good sidekick he learns skills and confidence so that he can be a solo hero as well. The character and the story had a smooth pace that never lingered or moved too fast. I suggest that you save your money and buy this series instead of a current issue of a modern book you will be thankful that you did.