One of my favorite comics dealing with a young Dick Grayson is "Robin: Year One". Written in 2001 by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty and illustrated by Javier Pulido and Marcos Martin, "Robin: Year One" chronicles Dick Grayson's first adventures as well as first grave threats. While in some of these adventures, Dick proves his capabilities as a crime fighter to his mentor, another tragic element occurs when Bruce realizes that not only has he put a child in superhero costume, but he's put a child he cares about in harm's way, in the form of Gotham's multiple super-villains.
To me, it shows one of those pivotal moments in which Batman realizes that he sees Robin as more than just a ward he watches over, but as a son, even if he might never admit to it. There are panels where you can just see the anger, the concern, and the pride that Batman has in Robin; it simply bleeds off the page. And while Bruce continues to allow Dick to take up the mantle of Robin, it's also very clear that he will always be making sure that Dick is capable of facing the threats that they face.
I reference this book a lot through out the beginning of "Custody", particularly in Part 2. It features heavily in the beginnings of Chapter 12 as well, when Bruce has a nightmare surrounding the events detailed in "Robin: Year One". I think it added to the significance and understanding as to why Batman could be, for lack of a better work, a jerk by insistently demanding perfection of Robin. Because he doesn't want him to die. Simple as that.
Anyway, I highly recommend this book if you haven't read it. It was written pre-52 and pre-Flashpoint, so continuity wise, it might not still be included with the current DC Continuity. Regardless though, it's still a wonderful comic and a great read for any Robin fan. Fun story, when I went to San Diego Comic Con in 2009, I got my copy signed by Jerry Robinson (who also kissed me on the cheek!). Boy, was I over the moon happy that day.
"Robin: Year One" can be purchased HERE on Amazon.com.
Anyway, till next time!