- I am to be remembering you. You are being called Robin and I am to be killing you.
- -- KGBeast
Appearing in "The Hammer"
- Ariana Dzerchenko (First appearance)
- Mr. Dzerchenko (First appearance)
- Earlene Hollingsworth
- Sebastian Ives
Synopsis for "The Hammer"
While attempting to bust-up a group of out-of-town neo-Nazi thugs called the White Wolves, Batman and Robin are suddenly forced to duck for cover when a rival gang's helicopter fires hundreds of rounds of bullets into the room, killing all of the White Wolves, and nearly killing Batman and Robin as well. When the bullets finally stop flying, Batman decides that Robin should stay off the streets for a while until he determines who all of the players in Gotham City's gang wars are.
Meanwhile, Huntress spies on some apparently foreign drug lords, who are meeting with Tony Bressi, one of Gotham's top mob bosses. She can only assume that they are peddling a big score of designer drugs. Later, she breaks into the drug peddlers' hotel rooms and, hoping to find out what they were selling in their luggage, she finds only blank paper.
At school, the next morning, Tim Drake is invited by his friend Ives to his birthday party. Afterwards, he has an encounter with a teacher, Ms. Hollingsworth, who suspiciously asks after his father Jack's recovery. That night, he joins Ives and his family in Little Odessa for the birthday party. When Tim sneaks off to the bathroom, he overhears some Russian thugs beating up on a nearby store-owner, Mr. Dzerchenko. Before he can intervene, the thugs leave, and he helps Mr. Dzerchenko's daughter Ariana take him inside. Mr. Dzerchenko refuses police help, despite Ariana's protests, and she promises Tim she'll work on changing his mind. Despite the circumstances, there is some romantic chemistry between the teens.
Elsewhere, the thugs who beat Mr. Dzerchenko return to their commissar, who is disappointed in their failure to make him cooperate. He orders them to return later, and bring a shadowy figure with them - one whom he claims will not disappoint.
When he returns home to Drake Manor, Tim encounters his father. When Tim expresses an interest in going to Wayne Manor to run a computer program (a cover for going out as Robin), his father forbids it. Disappointed, Tim complies, but only until his father falls asleep. Then, he sneaks down to the wine cellar, where Harold has installed a secret passage to the Batcave. Hitting the streets as Robin, Tim feels guilt for both disobeying his father and his mentor's orders to stay out of trouble.
Tim stakes out the Dzerchenkos' printing store, waiting out past 1AM until a car full of armed goons parks outside. He hopes Batman won't find out, as he leaps into action. He manages to save Ariana from one of the gunmen, but not before the store is set aflame by one of the goons' flamethrowers. He feels as though he's winning until he is faced with the goons' leader. He recognizes his new adversary from Batman's files as the KGBeast. He realizes that he is way out of his league.
- This issue was published with an alternate cover, featuring a lenticular panel.
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