Originally published at FORTRESS OF BAILEYTUDE. You can comment here or there.
There are those that believe that Batman works best as a character when he is the lone, grim vigilante striking fear into the hearts of criminals with only his wits and super awesome fighting skills to rely on. There is some merit to this take on the character but I respectfully (depending on the person) disagree. While I like the all alone with no one there beside him Batman I prefer a Dark Knight that has allies to aid him in his quest to fight crime and pummel bad guys mercilessly about the head and shoulders. This makes a lot of sense where you consider that my first ongoing exposure to Batman was watching re-runs of the sixties Batman television series. On that show the Caped Crusader could depend on Robin, Alfred, eventually Batgirl and to a lesser extent Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara to pick up some of the crime fighting and solving slack.
And thus the sub-series of Bat-Month titled Partners and Allies was born. At first it was going to be a five part series but then I realized I have too many partners and allies to discuss, so this one will take as long as it takes because…well…it is my blog and I get to dictate how things work out around here.
I am going to lead things off with Batman’s very first partner. He has been known by several names. Batman called him Robin. He called himself Nightwing. Ladies and gentlemen I present…Dick Grayson.
You know what’s interesting about this entry? It is the only Dick Grayson as Robin Who’s Who profile that DC gave us and it wasn’t even in the first series. This entry comes from the back of Batman Annual #13 from 1989. In the original 26 issue Who’s Who series they had an entry for the Earth-2 Robin and then went right to Jason Todd. They did a similar thing with Superman and Wonder Woman and I always thought that was a shame because I wanted to see what sort of artwork DC would have commissioned for an in-series Earth-1 Robin entry. My personal theory is that DC wanted to promote Dick Grayson as Nightwing since that identity was so new and popular at the time. I do appreciate the fact that someone at DC decided to include this Robin entry in that annual though again the armchair editor in me thinks they were trying to promote the then upcoming Batman: Year Three story-arc.
Speaking of Nightwing…
This was the first Eath-1 Dick Grayson entry people read in the original Who’s Who series. Read it. Love it. Soak in the awesome George Perez art. This entry was followed by another one in Who’s Who Update ’88.
Nightwing also had an entry in the Loose Leaf edition of Who’s Who with art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.
While I like the mid to late ’90s Nightwing costume the one featured in this entry is my favorite. Nothing against Garcia-Lopez but no one drew this variation on the costume better than Tom Grummett.
Earlier in this post I mentioned that the Earth-2 Robin had his own entry. This was odd because by the time that issue of Who’s Who came out Crisis on Infinite Earths was over. In any case it is nice that they gave him an entry. Would have been nicer if the Earth-1 Superman had gotten one too but still.
That is it for today, folks. Come back tomorrow as we explore the Who’s Who entries for the second Robin, Jason Todd.
More to follow…