I think I might be more judgmental of it if this were Huntress III: Cry of the Robin, but eh. I’ll reread and see how much sense the circumstances make. I don’t recall being bothered by it when I read this the first time, but I might not have been paying much attention.
OK, this was sort of cool, but it set up some of what I think made Robin by far the weakest of Dixon’s batbooks (and I’m saying this as by and large a huge fan of Dixon’s work - his Nightwing, Birds of Prey, and Detective Comics runs are some of my all-time favorites; Hey, if you like Frank Miller and Knox likes Mike Barr, I can like Chuck Dixon).
First, the romantic drama was very haphazard. Ariana gets kind of unceremoniously dropped for Steph (when Tim had been written as very much not interested up to that point) at a certain point, and Steph’s own development is a mixed bag, sometimes more interesting than Tim’s and sometimes downright uncomfortable.
Second, the secret identity drama is extremely repetitive. Something happens that puts the double life at risk, and Tim has to make a sacrifice to salvage it. And that works fine here. But when you hit like the third or fourth time that happens, you never actually worry that his identity will be compromised, and instead just watch the inevitable downward spiral that is his life. It stops creating tension and starts just fostering depression.
For the villains, I’ve never found KGBeast very interesting, but Dixon’s quasi-comedic take was at least passingly amusing here and in the Nightwing No Man’s Land tie-ins. King Snake isn’t my favorite either, but I’ve always found him reasonably adequate for the stories he was in. There’s a pretty cool story late in Dixon’s Robin run where King Snake takes over Kobra, which was probably the only time I thought he was really interesting and the first and last time I ever thought Kobra was interesting at all.