For years now, YEARS, I’ve endured endless ridicule over the fact that I think Robin is a badass. However, I’m not going to act as though the character has not been completely destroyed by pop culture. The Joel Schumacher movies certainly did the character no favors, and with both Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale openly discussing how they’ll never include the character in their ‘serious’ Batman saga, it looks like Robin will continue to be shunted by major cultural platforms outside of published comics.
What don't you fucking understand!? No Robin!
Robin was always fascinating to me because I could be
Robin. There is only one Batman, or Superman, or Wonder Woman, but Robin is something more like the Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride
, a role filled as needed by the most suitable replacement, namely (in my imagination), me. From Dick Grayson to Jason Todd to Tim Drake as well as alternate universe Robins, like in Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns”, the options for new Robins are endless. I have black hair, I have blue eyes. All that’s missing is living in the right city, slightly improved cardio, and going through that one pivotal moment that changes everything.
Gotta have nice stems to be Robin.
In recent years Robin has suffered from the inevitable gay joke. Har har, isn’t it funny to imagine Batman and Robin as lovers? Well, now that you mention it? No. It’s not really funny, it’s sort of never been funny, just a go to insult. The relationship of Bruce Wayne and Robin has never been one of romance or father/son. It’s a mentor relationship, a big brother.
But take Robin at face value, and you’ll see the depth of the character. They’re all gifted athletically, like Batman, suffered intense childhood traumas, like Batman, and have a knack for detection and crime-fighting. Like Batman! There’s a reason the Dynamic Duo exists in our linguistic cultural lexicon. It’s not because Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were really good. It’s not because Simon & Garfunkel harmonized well. It’s thanks to Robin.
It’s encouraging that the upcoming release of Arkham City will include Robin as a playable character and from the looks of it, it seems like the most legit Robin in a videogame yet (though they did have to give that lame buzzcut). Here’s hoping that the tide begins to turn on this cool character.
GTLFC: Gym, Tan, Laundry, Fight Crime