As my son, Zyler, began his summer reading I picked through my old comics to find ones that would appeal to him. Teen Titans being popular as they are currently, Robin is one of Zyler’s favourites. It was a score when I discovered a run of a dozen or so of Robin’s own title from the late ’90’s – early 2000’s hidden amongst the long boxes. He was especially excited when I showed him this cover, and it was the first comic he has ever read on his own. I am unsure whether he was thrilled or disappointed that this Robin title isn’t so much about Robin as it is a day in the psych ward with Joker.
This classic looking Joker opening up his cranium to reveal a frightened Robin, an 8-ball, a rubber chicken, and what looks to be a pencil sharpener, is brought to us by the books penciller and inker, Pete Woods (Deadpool, Superman) and Jesse Delperdang (Flash: Flashpoint, Dark X-Men). Despite the ‘Robin on the Brain’ title shown on the cover, that is not the stories title. Also there is the comic version of click-bait with the promise at the top ‘This Issue: Batman Dies!!!’ Three exclamation points- they might be serious.
Oh geez, what a hairy, manly arm- wait, I know that hairy, manly arm- could it be? Yes! It’s Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules hairy, manly arm getting some modern day tattoos. Honestly, I had no idea that there was a Hercules video game for the N64. Advertisements work. Has anybody played this? It promises 3 controllable characters, but I can only think of two main characters from the show. “Mess with the best go down like the rest.” = bloody epic.
Volume 4 #85
Price $3.75CAN (Todays worth: $1 if you’re lucky)
Written by Chuck Dixon
Pencils by Pete Woods
Inking by Jesse Delperdang
Colours by Noelle Giddings
The book opens with a young Joker, as a tale is narrated on what may, or may not be cannon Joker backstory. When a young boy is given a pony to love and take care of, only to be taken from him in the most graphic of ways because of a typical child mistake.
At which point Joker reveals his possible pet ponies name as ‘Snuffles’.
The psychotherapists on the other side of the wall question the stories validity as he has now revealed 20 versions of ‘motivating childhood trauma’. Setting Joker off to talk about real childhood trauma, a story to twist your guts, the story of Robin the boy wonder-
Joker gets into the morality issue we have all questioned about the dynamic duo, how Batman sends Robin unarmed to face violence and monsters on a regular basis. And he makes some valid points about Batman’s own sanity, especially in regards to his child endangerment-
“It’s a jungle in there.” Better bring a bright yellow GameBoy Color! You know what always bothered me with GameBoy Color, is in Canada I couldn’t get a GameBoy Colour, so if I had one I’d have to look at this spelling mistake constantly. Donkey Kong Country was a sweet game though.
Joker gets into his goals and destiny to kill the boy wonder, and how at one point he thought he did, until he returned. But twist- at least to Joker- there is more than one Robin. One grew up and disappeared-
Then he came back a kid again, with more edge, and all was right in the world. But Joker couldn’t have that-
So imagine Joker’s surprise when he came back, again-
How do you sell hormone packed, puss filled animal nectar to support a dairy industry that pretends this stuff is super healthy? Jackie Chan with a milk mustache swinging from a helicopter while cars explode under him, that’s how! Oh and a quick message about how calcium is good for bones without mentioning all the other sources of the vitamin.
Then a thought occurs to the clown prince of crime: if there is more than one Robin, maybe there is more than one Batman, and perhaps, the Joker has succeeded in killing the Bat, more than once. Is this where that click-bait promise from the cover comes in? I sure hope not (hint: it is).
This new Robin was smart, and driving Joker crazy… well more crazy? “Batmen. Batgirls. Bathounds. And Robins… maybe they’re clones. Now there’s a dumb idea” – ouch, poor Spidey.
Also, there’s this reference to a certain song scribbled on Joker’s cell-
Looney Tunes racing! What? It was probably terrible. And wasn’t this at the height of Tiny Toons? Where the heck are the Tiny Toons?
Then Joker loses his proverbial shit! He trashes his cell, and smashes the two-way mirror. Only to discover that his therapists are Robin’s. And security is Robin’s. They’re all Robin’s and Joker knew it-
Which doesn’t go to hot for the clown prince-
Leaving Joker to his crazy-
Not much good in this one, besides the clever name ‘Round Robin’. Jerry Popek goes off in his Robin appreciation and request of a Dynamic Duo title. They shoot him down instantly, I hope Jerry held out for the All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder title by Frank Miller and Jim Lee released in ‘005, because those books were amazing! Also there is a pump to read Batman #587 before reading the next Robin issue, I hate when they do that.
Lobo and Gotham Girls webisodes! In full Batman: The Animated Series style!?! I had never seen these before, definitely worth a look up. In fact, I enjoyed them so much here’s episode 1 of Gotham Girls-
Thanks booknerds, next time we deconstruct some classic Spider-Man!