Monday, April 9, 2012

WORD OF THE DAY! 4/8/12. THE ROBINS.

"Shield me from bullets, Boy Wonder!"
sidekick [sahyd-kik]
noun
1. A close friend or follower who accompanies another.

EX.

THE ROBINS

Robin The Boy-Wonder, the sidekick of the Caped Crusader, Batman, and second member of the Dynmaic Duo is so unanimous with Batman that "Batman & Robin" just kind of rolls off the tongue with familiarity of a popular catch phrase. He is Batman's young ward and ally in a never ending war against crime. The character has been around for over 70 years and yet, some people don't think Batman needs a Robin. I guess the question to be solved here is why Robin was created in the first place and what purpose he serves in the Dark Knight's life.

Batman has only been around for a year when, in 1940, when Bob Kane and Bill Finger created the Boy-Wonder. They thought that Batman needed someone to talk to and share his experiences with, a Watson to his Sherlock Holmes, and thus Robin was born. The character's named for Robin Hood and the artists incorporated the red of the American Robin into his costume. The resurgences of Robin, time and time again, also served as a way to attract younger readers by giving them a character they could relate to.

The first Robin, Dick Grayson, was a member of a famous family of acrobats, The Flying Graysons, when his parents were killed by gangsters in the middle of a show. Bruce Wayne has been at the show and witnessing the event, Grayson having no one else to help him and having witnessed the face of his parent's killer, offers him sanctuary. It doesn't take long for Bruce to give Dick the chance to become his aide and, after extensive training, gives him his own costume that incorporates the designs of parents costumes and creates the alter ego of Robin.

For forty years, Dick Grayson aged slowly, super heroes don't age very quickly, and went from Boy-Wonder to Teen-Wonder until finally in 1984, after finding his true calling as a leader by leading the Teen Titans, he retired his identity as the Robin and became Night Wing.

Dick Grayson is arguably the goody two-shoes of the Robins and the prodigal son of his adopted father, Bruce Wayne AKA Batman. His abilities are those of an exceptional athlete, he has decent detective skills, but where exceeds Batman are in his abilities as a leader. Unfortunately, although Dick might seem the most logical heir to the cowl, should Batman die or go missing, again, I don't think he is the best best choice for this role. He is not quite up the task of the World's Greatest Detective, in my opinion.

It didn't take long for Dick to get replaced by a new Robin, Jason Todd. Jason was a homeless young man trying to steal Batman's ties when Batman discovered him and, for some unfathomable reason, he chose this little jerk to be his successor. I'm not gonna sugar-coat it folks. I HATE Jason Todd. And apparently I wasn't the only one who hated him because in 1988, DC put Jason in a life-threatening scenario and left up to the fans to vote on his fate. By a narrow margin (5,343 to 5,271), Jason Todd was put to death by the fans.


Jason Todd's death changed Batman forever. Well, except, like any other character, his death was greatly exaggerated by the tabloids. This is another universe hiccup that was part of the stupidity of Super Boy Prime punching the multi-verse so hard that it changed reality. In 2004, Todd came back under the guise of the Red Hood, and has cemented himself as a wannabe anti-villain turned obnoxious, unlikeable, d-bag villain that deserves to be punched in the face by Diana Troy every five seconds.

Todd's successor, in 1989, was Tim Drake. Unlike his predecessors, he didn't start out with some over the top melodramatic sob story. He still had a father. His story starts out with his witnessing the death of The Graysons. From that moment, he had a small obsession with Robin and Batman. A whiz with computers and a brilliant detective, though not as physically talented, Tim Drake used his skills to track down Dick Grayson and then won Bruce's respect by discovering his identity. Tim wanted to be Robin because he knew that Batman needed a Robin. Without a Robin, Batman would lose it. He needs Robin to keep him sane.


Tim would continue his role as Robin until the DC writing staff decided to ruin his life by killing his Dad, the temporary death of his girlfriend (Stephanie Brown, Rumor, temporary Robin, and current Batgirl), and disappearance of Bruce. The latter of which was something that Drake never accepted and he sought to find Bruce rather than go after the cowl. Instead, he became Red Robin (I know the name is stupid) and has since become a formidable crime fighter in his own right by taking down international crime syndicates.

Some people think Tim is snubbed by DC, especially when Dick took the cowl in Bruce's leave. But the truth is that, unlike Dick, Tim doesn't necessarily want to be Batman. His only long term goal is to become the Greatest Detective in the World and even Batman thinks he can pull that off.

The last Robin I want to talk about is Damian Wayne. Damian Wayne is the son of Batman and, technically, Ra's al Ghul's daughter, Talia. For the first ten years of his life, Damian was raised by assassins. Talia springs Damian on Bruce to try and distract him but, because of Damian's many social issues, ex. he believes he needs to kill Tim to become the new Robin, he is sorta rejected. It isn't until Bruce's apparent death. He is taken under the wing of Dick Grayson and the two become the new Batman and Robin. This partnership is surprisingly effective as Dick, Tim, and Alfred become Damian's family and help him adjust his sociopath tendencies. Luckily, Gotham is worse than ever when he arrives, so his more direct approach and his tough attitude is almost definitely necessary for him to survive.

And now that Bruce is back at Batman, Dick is Nightwing again, Tim is Red Robin, Damien is Robin, and Alfred is Alfred, they can all be one big happy family. Except for Todd. He can go die in a ditch.


2 comments:

  1. Wow just wow what was that comic in the last?

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    Replies
    1. Fraid I'm not sure. It is very recent, but there are a lot of Batman comics in print right now.

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