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Detective Comics #38 saw the publication of "Robin, the Boy Wonder". The story sees the debut of Dick Grayson as his sidekick "Robin, The Boy Wonder" to help Batman capture the murderer of the his parents. The story was presumably written by Bill Finger and drawn by Jerry Robinson, though Bob Kane was credited.

"Robin the Boy Wonder"[]

Synopsis[]

The Grayson family arrive in Gotham City as trapeze artists for a travelling circus. After a session of practice, their son Dick training overhears an argument between the owner Mr. Haly and two unnamed men, who are demanding he provided "protection" payments. The following night, many of the city's citizens arrive to oversee the Flying Graysons perform, including Bruce Wayne. However, during the stunt, the trapeze's cord breaks, leading to John and Mary's deaths.

After the "accident", Haly decides to pay protection to the thugs to prevent further "accidents". Dick once again overhears it and plans to tell the police. Batman is also present and stops him, revealing that the criminals work for Boss Zucco and that they police officers under his thumb. Relating to their similar pasts, Batman reveals that the thugs were able to stage the accident by burning the ropes with acid and reluctantly allows Dick to help bring them to justice.

Taking him in as his ward, Bruce Wayne trains Grayson to help fight crime and combat. After many months, Dick takes on the identity of "Robin, the Boy Wonder", basing the identity on Robin Hood. Sending him out disguised, Batman and Robin learn of Zucco's protection rackets and illegal gambling establishments. Batman begins to targeting many of them, subduing Zucco's henchmen and disrupting their operations. He also sends a message to Zucco warning him not to press to leave the city and threatens to arrest him if he carries out an attack on the Canin Building.

Undeterred by Batman's threats, Zucco decides to blow it up and carry it out himself. Unknown to all, Robin is also present and follows them to the site. As they prepare to plant dynamite, Robin attacks and subdues several members of the gang, using his acrobatic prowess to navigate the building site. When Zucco's men finally catch up, Batman arrives and helps dispatch the last of the group.

Blade, the thug that set up the Grayson's murders, attempts to escape. However, Batman captures and forces him to give a confession in his part in the Graysons' murders. Angered that he "squeel[ed]" on him, Zucco kills Blade by pushing him from the building. However, Robin takes a photograph, connecting Zucco to a murder and giving them enough evidence to convict him. They send both directly to the Governor, ending his activities in the city for good and bringing about political reform to the city.

Though he has obtained vengeance, Dick decides not to return to the circus and stay in the city to help Batman's operations, believing his parents would have wanted him to fight crime and enjoying the thrill of adventure. Despite his reservations, Batman decides to allow him to help in his further adventures against crime and corruption.

Appearances[]

Individuals[]

Locations[]

  • New York City (Original Intention) / Gotham City (Retconned Appearance)
    • Wayne Manor
    • Subway (First Appearance)
    • Zucco Residence (Only appearance)
    • Camin Building (Only appearance)
    • Unnamed Tailor Shop (Only appearance)
    • Unnamed Butcher Shop (Only appearance)
    • Zucco's Gambling House (Only appearance)
    • Unnamed Laundry Store (Only appearance)
  • Haly's Circus (First Appearance)

Objects[]

Stay Out of Town

Bill Finger brings back the Bat-Note for the first time since he first introduced it, now with a new gift box presentation

  • Robin's Uniform (First Appearance)

Vehicles[]

Notes[]

  • The issue serves as the debut of Dick Grayson and the Robin identity. It also features the first appearance of the Flying Graysons, mob boss Tony Zucco and Haly's Circus.
  • Interestingly, the issue is among the first to acknowledge corruption in the Police Department, something that would serve as a major focus in later Batman stories and media.
  • During the story, Robin knocks a criminal from the building in self-defense. This serves as one of the only examples of Grayson defying later codes against doing such. Batman also allows Blade to fall to his death, something later incarnations would later avoid at all costs.
  • Other stories in this issue include an untitled Spy story, an untitled Red Logan, Ace Reporter story, an untitled Crimson Avenger story, "The Kidnapped Singer" (Speed Saunders, Ace Investigator), an untitled Steve Malone, District Attorney story, "At The Arctic Circle" (Cliff Crosby), and an untitled Slam Bradley story. This is the first appearance of the Red Logan, Ace Reporter feature in 'Detective Comics.
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