CREDITS: Written by Ty Templeton; art by Brandon Kruse and Rick Burchett.
REVIEW: Behind a great cover, there's a pretty great Robin story that takes him back to Haley's for a limited engagement, one that introduces Boston "Deadman" Brand to the DCAU in a fairly unusual way. We know Deadman as the ghost of a trapeze artist, but this story sets him up as a living aerialist some time before he ever gets shot and trapped between the realms of the living and the dead! With the first Batman animated series officially over, things seem to have relaxed on the tie-in comics front, and we can now start to see many more characters that would have fit that universe, but just weren't adapted for it during the four-season run. It may clash with TV appearances down the line (Justice League Unlimited in particular brought in a LOT of characters), but as there are no guarantees a character like Deadman will ever make it in at this point, feels perfectly fine.
And in any case, he's not the superhero (if I can use the term) he'll eventually become. His history makes you think he might by the end of the story, but Robin saves the day in spectacular fashion and saves the man who, until very recently, had been his number 1 suspect. But just being a jerk - and Boston answers to that qualifier - doesn't make you a criminal. It just means people are more willing to think the worst of you, and that you could make a fine patsy for those who really are dirty. And surprises there too, though completely justified.
The issue gives us Robin calling a particular jurisdiction and Batman trusting him enough to not interfere, some solid detective work, a fight with a lion thrown in for fun, and whether this appearance leads to Deadman's origin story in a later comic, or as a winking prequel for comic book fans, a well-used guest star.
REREADABILITY: High - Top notch. Pays tribute to a larger DC history while also confounding expectations.