Comics / DC Comics History

DC Comics History: Robin (1964 - 1967: The New Look)


By Deejay Dayton
December 15, 2019 - 10:10

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Even though Robin was appearing regularly in four different series during the period 1964 – 1967: the New Look, he didn’t fare quite so well as a solo hero. He would team up with Batman in that hero’s own book, and in Detective Comics, and they would work with Superman, and as a team with Jimmy Olsen, in the pages of World’s Finest. On top of that, Robin was also the leader of the first incarnation of the Teen Titans. There were only three stories during this era, which appeared in the back pages of Batman, that gave Robin a solo spotlight. Although, even there, his logo was sublimated below that of his mentor.

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In Batman 172 we see that Batman has created drone cameras to monitor Gotham.  These do not become a regular feature of the comic.  But they do alert Bruce and Dick to a robbery.  Batman gets called to a Justice League case, so Robin handles the thieves himself. This proves tricky, as the gang (called the Flower Gang) have flowers that induce hallucinations, which Robin falls prey to, allowing them to escape. Robin tracks the gang to their hideout, and makes them think Batman is with him.  But he still manages to defeat all three men himself.

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In the Robin back-up in issue 184, Batman has to leave town again, this time for an Alfred Foundation function in Federal City, so it’s up to Robin to protect Gotham. This is an entertaining outing, as it appears that Robin just keeps screwing up. He rescues a woman from a motorcycle accident, only to find out it was a stunt in a movie. Still, there are indications that someone is trying to kill hero, so Robin remains with the production, rescuing her a couple more times, and trying to figure out who the would-be killer is. He gets that wrong as well, although everything does work out for the best. At the end of the tale, Batman chastises the boy for not investigating enough, and jumping to conclusions too quickly.

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Batman shows up only in the final few panels of the Robin back-up in Batman 192, which is set largely at the school Dick Grayson attends. As Dick pretends to be a timid weakling at school, he becomes the prey of a bully, but also winds up gaining a mysterious protector, a guy who is able to throw the bully high into the air, almost as if he had super strength. While it’s not difficult to figure out that the “guardian angel” is the really tall kid who has become friends with Dick, there is a little more to it. The boy has borrowed a “man-amplifier” from his father, which helps a person lift heavy loads, which is how he was able to throw the bully in the air.

Robin continues in the next period, 1967 – 1969: It’s a Happening!

Robin: Batman 172, 184, 192 (June 1965, Sept 1966, June 1967)

Next up – Tomahawk!

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Last Updated: December 31, 2019 - 20:28

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