"Dark at Dawn": Batman and Robin deal with the fallout of Genesis in Gotham City. There is a massive crimewave as superheroes lose their powers, and people believe the apocalypse is happening. Batman and Robin
- Maybe you always thought dying young was kind of cool. But now you're close to it and you don't like it much. Death's easier for you when it's the other guy. Death's never been easy for me.
- — Robin
Synopsis for "Dark at Dawn"
Batman and Robin deal with the fallout of Genesis in Gotham City. There is a massive crimewave as superheroes lose their powers, and people believe the apocalypse is happening. Batman and Robin take down an overweight military nut named Mackey who is shooting bullets indiscriminately at the street from a rooftop. Batman asks how Robin got out of the house while grounded, and Robin explains that he snuck out while his dad is on a business trip. Robin asks Batman what the point is of dealing with individual criminals while the world is ending. Batman explains that he is not in this fight because he knows he can win, he is in this fight no matter what. Batman tells Robin that he can't give in to that hopelessness, because he's better than that. Robin admits that the crisis is not the only thing making him feel fatigued. He's tired of living life as Robin, and tired of living life as Tim Drake. Batman suggests that he go home for the night. Robin gets into the Redbird so he can drive back to Drake Manor.
In another building, the False Face Society are selling heavy-duty weapons to Young El of the Trey Street Samurai. This deal is interrupted at gunpoint by sheriffs Cissy Chambers and Shotgun Smith. The criminals shoot their way out of the building and make it into the streets, where they split up in different cars. Cissy and Shotgun follow the False Facers. Robin sees them and decides to follow the Trey Street Samurai. Young El shoots at Robin and the gangbangers crash their car into a ditch.
Robin pursues on foot, and easily takes down Young El's partners with batarangs. Young El escapes into a condemned building, where Robin follows. Young El shoots the building up while trying to hit Robin, and causes the building to collapse around him. Young El is pinned under ceiling beams in the basement, with the water level rapidly rising around him. Robin tries to help pull the beams off. Young El threatens him with the gun to make sure he stays, but Robin throws the gun into the water. Robin is unable to lift the beams, but he hopes that the water level will lift them off of Young El. This means Young El will be submerged for several minutes and must use a rebreather. Robin notices that Young El has lost all traces of his gangster attitude, and it's clear that he's only a scared kid. Young El asks why Robin is helping him. Robin says that Young El has never taken death seriously, and Robin is helping him because he's always taken death seriously. Internally, Robin wonders if he even believes the words he's saying. Young El is submerged under water, but the beam shifts onto his lungs so he can't use the rebreather. Robin tries to manually kiss air into Young El's mouth, but Young El fights him and dies.
Robin returns to Cissy and Shotgun, who have the other thugs in custody. They ask where the third shooter is, and Robin explains that they'll need to have County Services drag Young El's body out when the rain clears up. Shotgun tells Robin not to beat himself up over this, because sometimes these things happen. You have to pick up and move on. Robin tells Shotgun that he's heard enough cheap words and false sentiments for one night, all of them coming from himself.
Appearing in "Dark at Dawn"
- Ariana Dzerchenko (Mentioned only)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Jack Drake (Mentioned only)
- Karl Ranck (Mentioned only)
- Mackey (Single appearance)
- Mrs. McIlvaine (Mentioned only)
- "Dark at Dawn" was named #85 on Wizard's list The 100 Best Single Issues Since You Were Born.
- This issue was reprinted in Robin, the Boy Wonder: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- Robin Recommended Reading
- Batman: A Lonely Place of Dying
- Batman: Dark Victory
- Batman: Year Three
- Batman and Robin (Volume 1)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2)
- Batman & Robin Eternal
- New Teen Titans (Volume 1)
- Robin: A Hero Reborn
- Robin II: The Joker's Wild!
- Robin III: Cry of the Huntress
- Robin (Volume 2)
- Robin: Son of Batman
- Robin: Year One
- Teen Titans (Volume 3)
- We Are Robin
- Young Justice (Volume 1)