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Millennium Editions: Detective Comics #38
Reviewed by JYD

There are 8 different stories in this comic, celebrating the first appearance of Robin, the boy wonder. Amazingly, aside from the Batman comic, all the rest of them follow a very similar format. The writing is clocky and awkward, the dialogue is really goofy, and the antics and physics are worse than some superhero comics I've read. I'm of mixed opinion. On one hand, I'm glad I had the chance to read it. On the other, I don't think I would have been a comic book reader if I lived in 1940 (and something like Greg Rucka's version of Batman was around). Here are quick reviews of all eight stories (reviews reflect my opinion, as a reader in the '00s--which basically asks: does this story hold up 60 years later?) :

"Spy" (Siegel and Kashuba): since when does thunder come before lightning? Bart, the title hero, must stop an evil mad scientist before he electrocutes all 200 million people in America. Uh... yeah... Grade: B-

"Red Logan" (Unknown and Unknown): REALLY goofy characters interact in unbelievable ways trying to track down a possible vampiric killer. No wonder the creators wanted to remain anonymous. Grade: C

"The Crimson Avenger" (Red Lahti): probably the closest thing in here to a superhero (aka Batman)--Crimson is actually entertaining, even if the plot is weak and predictable. Grade: B

"Speed Saunders: Ace Investigator" (Guardineer): if you can ignore the fact that a guy is defying physics by hanging onto a flying plane wing w/ no parachute, then the story might be enjoyable. I wasn't able to ignore that fact. Grade: C-

"Steve Malone: District Attourney" (Lynch): Watch as a city's DA single handidly punches his way towards bringing down a mob boss!! Squint your eyes and try to read all 100,000 words per page!! Sheesh. Grade: C

"Cliff Crosby" (Unknown and Unknown): another case of Alan Smithee strikes in this goofy story of two adventurers find a tribe of stereotyped black men running around the Arctic w/out any clothes on! More crazy things happen! Grade: C+

"Slam Bradley" (Siegel and Neville): even though this story just takes massive plot leaps, and Slam's assistant looks like a troll, the story is decent and holds up. I'm still scratching my head over the bad guy's explanation though. Grade: B

And finally...

"Batman" (Finger, Kane, Robinson): three classic and lauded Batman collaborators combine to produce the legendary tale of Robin, the Boy Wonder. The art is the best of the issue and Kane has improved his style over the past year since Batman's inception. The story is...different than we would be used to. It clips along 100 miles an hour w/ little transition. Good things we've heard it all before. However--some things of note: Robin kills some mooks (and nobody cares), Batman does all the quips, there is no mention of Dick Grayson being adopted/ward, etc. This story is noticably more light-hearted than #27. It's cool though to finally READ the origin story everyone already knows--and it is superior to the rest of the stories of the issue, by far! That this story and character are still around (in one form or another) 60 years later is just as amazing. Grade: B+