DCAU #122: Round Robin

IN THIS ONE... A tabloid claims Robin was fired, leading several kids to put themselves in harm's way by way of audition.

CREDITS: Written by Ty Templeton; art by Rick Burchett.

REVIEW: There are some fun ideas rolling around in this issue. The first is that the "National Insider" claims that Batman fired Robin and asks who will be his new partner. Very real world. It stands to reason that the DCU would treat its superheroes as celebrities and spin all sorts of juicy gossip about them, outing secret identities and the like on a monthly basis. And these stories are dangerous. A darker tale might have shown a person falsely accused of being Batman attacked and killed by one of the Dark Knight's rogues. Here, the simple claim that Batman's hiring leads a number of kids to play dress up and put themselves in harm's way.

There's the kid who gets badly beaten when he tries to stop an armed robbery. There's another who shoots a flare gun into a neon sign and could really have hurt someone. Another doesn't take it seriously and gets scared straight. The one who gets the best deal is "Carrie" (see In the Mainstream Comics for why this is cool), who turns out to be quite capable, but in this context, something of a pest.

It's a good thing she's there though. Had they all been incompetents, it would have diminished the point of the story, and that's that - despite DC history to the contrary - not everybody can become Robin. Dick has been trained almost from birth in acrobatics and fearlessness, and from a young age in crime-fighting. That makes a difference, as does his overall attitude, his discipline, sharp mind and positive outlook. So he's very capable in this comic, going off on his own to save the kid who emulated him, and succeeding without Batman's help. That's Dick, and his shoes are pretty big.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: Carrie Kelley, the female Robin from The Dark Knight Returns appears as one of the auditioning Robins in this story. As of the New52, she is a contemporary of the mainstream DCU's heroes and Damian Wayne's acting instructor (and of course, not a Robin).

REREADABILITY: Medium-High - A fun lark that showcases Robin's talents without sidelining Batman.

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