The boy becomes teen becomes man.
The Bronze Age was the biggest period of change for Dick Grayson. In the beginning, he left Gotham for Hudson University and in the end, he gave up being Robin altogether. In between were some of the most entertaining stories of his storied career — including the start of his will-they-or-won’t-they relationship with Barbara Gordon. (You can read more about that here.)
I was really into Robin during this stretch. I dug him in the Silver Age (as you can see here) but it was in the Bronze Age that I really began to identify with him, which makes sense because in 1970, I was a little kid and in 1984 — when Dick became Nightwing — I was 17. In some respects, his growth reflected my own.
Other ROBIN WEEK coverage:
It’s ROBIN WEEK! Click here.
13 COVERS of Robin in the Golden Age. Click here.
13 COVERS of Robin in the Silver Age. Click here.
Jason Todd’s first look: The Greatest Robin Costume That Never Was. Click here.
(My standard caveat: This is a subjective list and not a ranking of any kind. This is pretty much what I dig and you may feel very differently. So, rather than beef about a cover you don’t see, instead join in the fun and share your own choices in the comments section or in whatever social-media thread you saw this.)
OK, I’m going to cheat. But that’s alright seeing as how I make up the rules:
Batman #217 is easily one of the most important Robin covers ever — even if he’s not really on it. This is the issue, of course, where Dick goes off to Hudson University in New Carthage, the first major shift in the Bruce-Dick, um, dynamic. In the truest sense, nothing would ever be the same. There would be retcons of the details, but this is where Master Grayson first struck out on his own.
Batman Family #2 is basically a reprinted Gil Kane/Murphy Anderson cover from the Silver Age (the whole issue was reprints because of deadline issues). But I’m including it because this was the first issue of Batman Family I ever got and it had a profound impact on me, all things considered. So it’s here for sentimental reasons.
Cover images and credits from the fantastic Grand Comics Database.