Back when I was 7 or 8, an early issue of Robin was one of the first comics I ever bought with my own money and there was something nice about knowing the series was still out there when I was almost 21. Despite not having read the titles in years & having a limited understanding of what was going on in DC at the time, I picked up two issues.
Cover artist Patrick Gleason described these covers as, "My 'Norman Rockwell Before & After' but with superheroes".
I think that's the best way to describe these two issues; it almost felt like I was getting caught up with an old friend that I hadn't heard from in years.
Sadly things have not been going well for Tim Drake, the third Robin and the star of this series. And if you think about it...things haven't been going well for him since before he even became Robin.
Before he even officially earned the mantle, his parents were kidnapped and it resulted in his mother, Janet, dying via poisoning and his father, Jack, left paralyzed and his central nervous system so badly damaged it'll take a miracle for him to live.
She then follows up by chewing Tim out for not letting her know that he was still alive, telling him to never speak to her again.
He's not being callous or cynical but rather, very realistic. However he does not want to watch this man kill himself.
Instead, Tim says something that stuck with me ever since I first read it and has really resonated over the past two years.
The issue ends in the city of Bludhaven, where Dick Grayson (Nightwing) is getting in after an evening of crime-fighting. However when he sees that Tim wants (or needs) to talk, he decides that sleep can wait.
And I absolutely love that ending. I feel lately there's a lot of bleakness and nihilism in comics and not enough optimism. It was nice to see that after Tim talked about how he had someone to talk to that it was very true.
Mr. Beechen was kind enough to let me know my interpretation (while wrong) worked just as well.
One thing that did help though, was talking to someone, whether it was a family member, a friend or even a trained counsellor.