January 1991 saw the first ever Robin title. Relegated as Batman’s sidekick for 50 years, Robin finally gets his own comic! Robin #1 featured the third Robin, Tim Drake. Drake first appeared in Batman #436, August 1989. He appeared as Robin in Batman #457, December 1990.
It didn’t take long for Tim Drake/Robin to get his own book…one month. Robin Vol 1 is a five-issue limited series. In Robin #1, Batman sends Robin to France to learn specialized martial arts from an old Tibetan master.
In the limited series Robin teams up with a rogue DEA agent and a female assassin trying to stop the release of the Bubonic plague…seems fitting today.
Along the way Robin learns old school fighting techniques and martial arts from the ancient master. More importantly, he learns to deal with his emotions and inner demons.
Robin #1 (and the entire five-issue series) is a great introduction to the new Robin. Tim Drake went on to form Young Justice, a new version of Teen Titans. He’s now fighting crime under the name Red Robin.
Robin beating up bad guys in Paris and saving the world from a plague outbreak is great and all but what about the ads?
Let’s find out!
The first ad on the inside front cover is a full color glossy page for Arch Rivals, a different take on the basketball video game. The game is billed as ‘a basket brawl’ which may be a knock on Atari’s game called Basketbrawl. Basketbrawl for the Atari 7800 was mildly popular in the Atari circles, but really, did anyone even own an Atari 7800?
Arch Rivals first appeared in arcades before hitting the Nintendo. I played it a few times at the local Aladdin’s Castle in the mall. It’s a good game, featuring different players with their own skill set. I liked playing Mohawk (pictured in the ad) he was mean, tough and a decent shooter.
A full color guide for all Nintendo games! It’s easy to dismiss this one but back in the days before the internet, this book was a goldmine! You could see ALL the games available for the Nintendo, not just the games at your local Target.
It also included game reviews and peeks at upcoming games. A must have for all Nintendo owners.
Another Nintendo ad, this one for Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight. This game was develop by Capcom and is in the Street Fighter universe but it’s not canon. In Street Fighter 2010 you play Ken, 25 years in the future, who is now a cyborg scientist fighting to avenge the death of a friend.
It was an OK game, well not really, it wasn’t great at all There’s a reason it’s not an official part of the Street Fighter universe.
Video games are big in this issues. Fans of Robin, the Boy Wonder must be big video game players. Rad Racer II is the sequel to the popular Rad Racer. In the original Rad Racer you could pick between an F1 race car or a Ferrari 328. Rad Racer II dropped the F1 race car in favor of the Ferrari 328, which was my car of choice in the original.
Rad Racer II did get comparisons to Out Run, which shares similar gameplay. I like both games, but overall Out Run wins the battle. Out Run had the advantage of being an arcade game first which helped it’s popularity. But that doesn’t mean Rad Racer II isn’t worth playing. If you haven’t played Rad Racer II check it out for free on OldGameShelf.com If you don’t want to play Rad Racer II you can watch someone else play.
Great Eastern Conventions were huge in the late 80s and early 90s. Growing up in the Midwest the East Coast seemed so far away. I’d never get to one of those conventions. The Great Eastern Conventions ended in the mid 1990s, replaced by the Big Apple Comic Con.
Do you remember sending a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) to a company to get more information? I do. I sent a few of them out. What a great racket…you pay for shipping and the company will send you a catalog.
The top part of this ad is a mess with small, hard to read text. The only thing to draw you in is the familiar names plastered across the page; Nintendo, Game Boy, Genesis. If you squint real hard and read the ad you find out it’s for a gaming Tip Line! Not just a Nintendo tip line, a line for all gaming systems. Stuck in a game? Call 1-900-TIP-LINE! Only .95 cents a minute.
East Coast Comics offered comics through the mail. Like the other big name in mail order comics, Mile High Comics you could order anything. Unlike Mile High Comics it doesn’t appear East Coast Comics has a physical location. I never ordered comics through the mail, low trust level I guess. Based in Jersey, it was probably a front for the mafia…
This compilation of ads reminds me of late 70s, early 80s comics. Filled with GED classes, Atlas Body, muscle building, and comic back issues. I prefer the x-ray glasses and switchblade comb.
According to the American Heart Association, Americans are living five years longer than in 1970. Good news.
Wonder Woman’s double-sized 50th issue! This issue celebrates the 50th anniversary of Wonder Woman, not just the 50th issue of the book. Wonder Woman made her first appearance in 1941! She’s one of the original DC Superheroes.
I didn’t read Wonder Woman on a regular basis. No fault of hers, I didn’t read many of the mainstream DC titles. No Green Lantern, no Flash, no Superman. I like the darker characters like Batman (I know, he is THE mainstream DC hero), Lobo and Deathstroke.
One thing I noticed about Robin #1 is the quality, or lack of quality, of the paper. If you look back at the ads the paper is a cheap, pulp quality. The text is muddy and the ink and color is dull. For the first issue of Robin you’d think DC would make the issue higher quality.
Maybe they didn’t have faith in the title and didn’t want to sink too much money into it.
Until next time, keep your comics bagged and boarded…unless you want to thumb through them to check out the great ads!