Thursday, February 28, 2013

Oops... looks like we need a new Robin!


I've always thought the whole idea of Robin is ridiculous anyway.  While I like the original one, Dick Grayson, his stint as Robin is more camp than anything else.  I mean, what is the purpose of using a child to fight crime?  Even by the suspect standards of comic book logic, this is a hard dose of stupid to swallow.  And look at their mortality rate.  That pretty much bears out the idea having a youthful ward as sidekick is a terrible idea.  Some of the later Robins worked a little harder to justify their place at Batman's side, especially this latest one.  Who, in the interest of full disclosure, I hated.

I found him obnoxious and annoying.  Granted, I've only read maybe two or three of the comics he's appeared in.  But don't get me wrong-- I doubt he was supposed to be likable in any conventional sense.  Usually I gravitate towards edgier, problematic personalities in stories, especially if they're tragic.  In this case, he seemed grafted onto the story too late for me to develop any kind of sympathy for him or his overweening personality.  Kind of like Kennedy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  She just rubbed me the wrong way and I never warmed up to her because she entered the story way too late and demanded a certain kind of attention that I, as a fan, just wasn't prepared to accord her because she hadn't earned it through experience.  On the other hand, her lateness may be the very reason I never developed a like for her-- no time to get to appreciate her positive aspects or her inner pain and all that jazz.

Anyway, getting back to the Boy Wonder in question-- obnoxious character stuff can be pretty funny.  In small doses.  Plus, not every character has to be friendly or nice.  That would be pretty boring.  Characters "you love to hate" are just peachy with me.  So noow that it's done-- and a little too late-- I'm reassessing my take on the most recent Robin.  From various comments I've read and certain online essays, I realize for some people this little guy mattered.  He was made of boy-wonderment.  To you, the fans of this particular Robin, I admit I asked for his death in any number of Facebook comments, but now think I was wrong to do so.  I'll be more objective and careful in the future.

But the main thing is-- who will be the new Robin?  Because even though I think the very concept is asinine, we all know there must be a Robin of some sort.  It's a Batman given.

I can only tell you who it won't be.  And that's Cassandra Cain.  For one thing, she more than likely hasn't even been born yet in the new DC continuity.  Her origin could be reconfigured where she was born in some sort of artificial womb from an egg supplied by Lady Shiva and sperm from David Cain, then rapidly aged and trained in some science fiction-y way with the end result pretty much the same as before.  But she's never been identified with the Robin brand.  There's no real reason for her to become Robin and I wouldn't want her to.  She could still have a slot as Black Bat without interfering with DC's Barbara Gordon plans and backstory.

What about Stephanie Brown?  This is a sentimental pick of mine.  I'd be happy for her fans if this happened and it would smooth over a lot of public relations hurt from the past few years.  Steph has been a Robin before, so there actually is a precedent.  But if she's to be a contemporary with Cass, then she also hasn't been born yet.  Unless they do the fast-aging thing for Cass, in which case Steph is lurking somewhere around the DC universe.  Steph is also more closely associated with the Batgirl and Spoiler identities, so it would make more sense to re-establish her as Spoiler, then maybe work her in as a substitute Batgirl at some point.  But, hey, this is DC and story logic hasn't exactly been their strong suit for quite some time.

All that geeky junk aside, I think we all know the next Robin will be this Harper Row character.  I don't know a lot about her, but she's a Scott Snyder creation and he's taking over as the main Bat-architect.  Plus, the few images of Harper I've seen show her as some kind of sleuthing Nancy Drew-type in a dark tunnel of some kind, which establishes her credentials as a potential Batman protege.  You average, ordinary, work-a-day person tends to stay out of dark tunnels and harm's way.  Unless their average, ordinary, work-a-day job involves dark tunnels and harm.  I doubt she's comics' answer to Ed Norton, so Snyder and DC must be positioning her for some purpose.

Unless this dead kid comes back.  His grandfather does that pretty often.  Come to think of it, so does his dad.

1 comment:

  1. I have always found the teen/child participation hugely appealing in the batclan. I'm not saying that it's an ideal situation, but psychopaths like Joker would still target Bruce's children if they were helpless civilians. In my opinion, training them and having them shadow a experienced grown up vigilante is the best option for their safety. I also think any kid who knew their father was Batman but were not allowed to participate in cape work would sneak out eventually and probably get themselves killed through inexperience.

    I've only read one New 52 (an issue of Batgirl that I was given for Christmas), so I don't really know Damian or Harper Row, but I like the idea of a second female Robin. I don't at all expect the son of Talia Al Goul and Bruce Wayne to stay dead. I mean seriously, his grandfather owns the lazzerous pits.

    Also, I think that the entire New 52 may fall out of continuity sometime in the future.