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Hey, y’all you’ll never guess what

...New volume, new thread

That’s some weird kerning on “Dick Grayson Dons the Cowl,” huh
Like I wasn’t gonna do the one that’s all Dick Grayson having dad issues, pffffffffffffft
We open with Dick Grayson and Tim Drake recapping the history of Robin to each other which I acknowledge is necessary and good for an audience but also Dick was THERE when Tim became Robin

You can also see Dixon draw up the outline for Robin: Year One seven years early
Then, because he’s learned a lesson about burnout that later writers will entirely ignore, Bruce says he needs to do some soul searching after All Of This and Dick’s gonna fill in for him.

Aww, look Tim’s so happy. His boss isn’t a guy who’s literally hallucinating anymore
How... is cape formed
If your Bruce Wayne is a character who can complete literally any minor household task I instantly lose respect for it, I’m sorry, Burns Water Trying to Load the Dishwasher Bruce Wayne is the true version of the character
Don’t worry, going through the entire Knightfall era without giving James Gordon a single heads up about what was going on DOES eventually come back to bite Batman in the ass, and it’s maybe one of my favorite scenes in all of Batman continuity.
Phrasing, boys.
They’re just... good! boys!
I love any Batman story where Gotham’s problems are rooted in perfectly boring City Problems; in this case prison overcrowding following Bane destroying Arkham leads to understaffed prisoner transfers leads to Two-Face just... Deception Checking his way to freedom.
“Modem this over to the cave.” Ahhh, the ‘90s
Jack Drake knows exactly what the teens are into in these hip happening times of the 1990s: Tennis
“JUST TELL HIM YOU USED TO BE ROBIN” I scream, both the first time I read this and now.
Harvey please
Absolutely incidental to the plot and dialogue, the art of this issue decides to reveal that while sharing the manor Dick and Tim each have their own cartoon of orange juice to drink directly out of

2. How do you tell them apart
3. I’m telling Alfred
The idea of Two-Face being obsessed with computers because of binary is Smart, I think, but maybe something that only could have been done in the ‘90s when this seemed like a Galaxy Brain Idea
I don’t remember this part of Cars
Dick has a pretty distinct silhouette from Bruce so it’s disappointing that most of the art in this arc makes him look indistinguishable as soon as he puts on the suit. Leave it to Graham Nolan (I think, Lee Weeks is also credited here) to capture a perfect Dick smile, though.
Presented without context.
Damn Phil Jimenez didn’t have to go this hard for a page spread montage but He Did
‘OK, Phil just give me a page spread of Batman and Robin fighting some crime”

Result: Impeccable composition, three separate locations, eleven characters, a saint carving, a shower of diamonds, a hopscotch grid in perspective, a smashed car hood, two different graffitied surfa—
I’m still staring at this page spread. I want a giant like 20,000 piece puzzle of it.
So is Dick’s ponytail just like... chillin down his back under the cape?
So a guy in a metal suit has been slashing up dudes on rooftops all over Gotham and Dick is like OBVIOUSLY IT’S AZRAEL AND I’M GONNA KICK HIS ASS, FINISH OUR FIGHT, AVENGE BRUCE’S HONOR but then he finds Jean-Paul just, uh
As a kid I took this as Jean-Paul’s cosmic retribution for being a bad Batman but now I would really like someone to throw some Wayne money into Jean-Paul’s recovery from having his brainwashing enabled by a mentor who is ostensibly our hero.
Anyway, the guy who is ACtually slashing people up is, uh

*checks notes*

Who the fuck even is this
I had always assumed this was just some minor villain I wasn’t familiar with but it turns out this is actually his first appearance and, uh, no wonder he never made it big.
This final issue is split between artists Phil Jimenez and John Cleary and, uh, you can tell.
I hAtE tHiS
Anyway, Daddy’s home, as you can tell from this romance novel cover
Dick Grayson’s guide to forcing your stoic masculine archetype father to communicate
Meanwhile, I still HaTe ThIs
Jason being dead was tonally important to Batman because it gave him a moment of ENORMOUS personal fallibility to motivate him, not just the random tragedy of his parents’ deaths, and that’s a hill I have built a nice cottage on.
Of course by this point literally every Robin and Bruce himself have all died and come back at some point so it wouldn’t work anyway *grumbles about all the different conflicting ways I feel about the potential of character death in never-ending serial narratives*
But wait. Richard finally articulates why he’s so mad.

And Bruce throws him a curveball.
And then Bruce takes that curveball and drop kicks it into my heart
And then Dick just straight up fucking murders me
And then Bruce, Dick, Chuck Dixon and Phil Jimenez have a nice little picnic on my grave with THESE TWO FUCKING PANELS.
I shit you not, immediately after this moment is two pages of this again.

Like, there’s thinking your audience is bored by characters talking and then there’s a completely unrelated action sequence drawn in a totally different style juxtaposed between MAJOR character moments.
Let’s bring it home:
Believe it or not there is actually ONE MORE volume in DC’s Knightfall collection, so I will be threading it because I am a completionist, but not tonight.

(It includes Dick going to Europe to do Bruce’s emotional labor for him + get Alfred to come home + I LOVE that story.)

This whole arc is one of the reasons I was put off of Dick becoming Batman after Bruce died in Final Crisis. I felt like we had already worked that out, inside a legendary Batman arc.
Dick was Batman for a bit, and he found it to fit him poorly. And Bruce didn’t want Dick to sacrifice his own identity, essentially, for his. He wanted his son to step out of his shadow.
Dick being Batman wasn’t something either Dick or Bruce wanted. That’s satisfyingly complicated and, in my opinion, much more interesting than the Sidekick Becomes Mentor trope we see so often.

Also Tim is the true successor, but THAT’S ANOTHER LECTURE
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