"Master of Fear": Scarecrow has Batman and Vicki Vale captured and reveals his plan. He had Christmas cards and skeleton masks sent to 50 people chosen at random. The cards were coated with one of his new hy
- Gentlemen-- meet the new ROBIN!
Synopsis for "Master of Fear"
Scarecrow has Batman and Vicki Vale captured and reveals his plan. He had Christmas cards and skeleton masks sent to 50 people chosen at random. The cards were coated with one of his new hypno-toxins that removed a person's fear. After the toxin had time to take effect, Scarecrow called them all and suggested they try killing, which removed of their inhibitions and they did. While a city in fear was pleasing to him, it was all just an elaborate trap to bring Batman to him so he could use his various fear toxins on him and slowly "unwrap" his mind...the ultimate Christmas present to himself.
While beginning Batman's fear sessions, Rico Marcuse and his henchmen drive away with the bonus money Scarecrow had given them. When Rico opens the envelope he is doused with Scarecrow's gas and, in a fit of rage, attacks the driver. The car, now out of control, crashes into a storage pile of toxic waste.
Tim Drake has taken a cab to the Scarecrow's hideout and searches for the Batmobile to see if Batman fell into the trap. He sees it and decides he must attempt a rescue. Tim traps two henchmen and knocks out a third before coming upon Scarecrow and Batman. Donning a ski mask to avoid being recognized, Tim orders Scarecrow to free Batman. However, he forgot to survey the scene and he is attacked by the henchman who was holding Vicki out of Tim's sight. As Tim disables him, Scarecrow grabs the latest fear gas he was using on Batman, called "Essence De Trauma", and throws it at Vicki and Tim.
While Vicki suffers from reliving having her puppy run over by a car, Tim is tormented by the Obeah Man. Tim is paralyzed with fear when images of the two previous Robins appear telling him not to fight the fear but to live with it. They remind him that feeling fear doesn't mean you can't still act. Taking their advice, Tim manages to get to his feet and slam Scarecrow into the shelves holding all his other fear toxins which douse and effectively disable him.
Tim takes off his mask in front of Batman who, still somewhat delirious, calls him Robin. Tim frees Batman then goes back to the Batmobile to avoid being seen. Some policemen arrive having been called by Tim's taxi driver who was concerned leaving a kid alone near a deserted factory. They take the Scarecrow into custody and Vicki to the hospital.
Batman finds Tim. Tim fears he will never be Robin now for disobeying Batman's orders but had deduced it was a trap set by Scarecrow. Batman asks Tim why he didn't don the Robin suit and Tim says he was afraid that, if he failed, he would disgrace it. Batman tells him that sometimes, when justified, heroes get to break the rules and calls him Robin. Back at the Batcave Tim admits his apprehension of wearing the previous Robins' suit due to the history it carries. Batman acknowledges the weight the symbol carries and presents Tim with a new, upgraded suit which he dons for the first time.
Appearing in "Master of Fear"
- Obeah Man (In a vision)
- Dick Grayson (In a vision)
- Jason Todd (In a vision)
- Jack Drake (In a vision)
- Janet Drake (In a vision)
- Thomas Wayne (In a vision)
- Joe Chill (Flashback only)
- This issue marks the debut of Tim Drake's Robin outfit. The costume was designed by Neal Adams with the exception of Robin's revamped 'R' chest insignia and the addition of a collapsible staff. The latter details are courtesy of Norm Breyfogle who interestingly, had an earlier redesign published in Batman Family #13. Breyfogle's contribution in that issue however, was made as a fan and appears alongside three other reader entries on a single page.
- The story continues in the Robin miniseries with issue Robin #1.
- The events in issues #455 through 457 all occur within one calendar day.
- This issue is reprinted in the Robin: A Hero Reborn trade paperback, in Robin: Reborn and in Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 4.