Detective Comics #38 was a landmark in the Batman mythology, since it featured the debut of the caped crusader’s sidekick, Robin the Boy Wonder. Thus, whether you’re a fan of the Robin concept or not, the historical significance of this issue can’t be denied. Young Dick Grayson lives a happy life working with his parents as a circus acrobat, but things turn grim when a local mob tries to extort the circus’ owner, whose refusal will result in the sabotage of Dick’s parents performance and their death. Fortunately for Dick Grayson, the Batman, who was investigating the mob, offers him to go under his protection and become a crimefighter too. After several months of hard training, Dick will be ready to fight alongside the dark knight as Robin, thus named after the legendary Robin Hood. While it can be argued that Batman’s nature is more inclined to solitary fighting, his training of Robin makes sense, since young Grayson’s story closely parallels his own. Rather than Batman taking in an assistant, he’s helping a young kid through a situation he had to face mostly alone, acting as a surrogate father.
The story was handled by the usual team of Bill Finger as writer and Bob Kane, as well as Jerry Robinson, who developed the Robin concept. Probably the most striking scene is that of Batman storming into a casino owned by the mob boss, swinging the game tables into the air and wreaking havoc. Although we get to know the whole Robin origin story, this is a quite short affair, at just 12 pages, since Detective Comics was an anthology magazine. Thus, this issue features nine other stories, though it’s obviously Batman’s that makes this a thoroughly sought-after issue. Detective Comics #38 doesn’t reach the outrageous price of issue #27 (Batman’s debut), but a near mint condition copy will go for as high as $85000.
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