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Home > TV > Next On The CW…Snapper Carr: The Early Years

Next On The CW…Snapper Carr: The Early Years

October 1st, 2008

Smallville is a show that I’ve watched more or less religiously for the past seven years, even though I know it’s only so-so at best. While Emo Clark Kent (“Waaah, I have the powers of a god! I’m so sad!”) and the bottomless well of self-involvement that was Lana Lang have gotten on my nerves, the many nods to Superman and DC Comics lore have been enough to keep me around. (The actresses who play Chloe Sullivan and Lois Lane are also an inducement, I’ll admit.)

The producers of Smallville have attempted a couple of other superhero-inspired shows. One was an “Aquaman” pilot that failed, even though it was alleged to be pretty good. The other was Birds of Prey, a deservedly short-lived series which somehow managed to squander the concept of three sexy female superheroes fighting crime in Gotham City.

Today, it was announced that they’ve got a new idea in the hopper: The Graysons, a show which would, no joke, chronicle the life of Dick Grayson before he became Batman’s partner Robin.

Oooookay.

Smallville exhibits some dramatic deficiencies, yet it largely works because Superman has such a rich mythology. While the story of “Superman when he was a boy” was officially expunged from DC Comics back in the ’80s as part of the infamous Crisis on Infinite Earths, bits of it are still floating around in the public’s pop culture consciousness.

But there is no “Robin when he was a boy” story. Or rather, the story of Robin as a boy is the story of Robin, the Boy Wonder. Before Batman, Dick Grayson wasn’t a superhero in training. He wasn’t coming to grips with his powers, because he doesn’t have any. He was a happy circus acrobat whose circus acrobat parents just happened to get on the bad side of some gangsters. His tale doesn’t begin until Batman enters the frame.

Sure, I realize that the creators of The Graysons will take a lot of liberties with the character, just as they have with Superman. My contention is that there’s very little on which to build. I suspect that what they really wanted to do was “The Young Bruce Wayne Adventures,” but the success of the Batman films scotched that idea. They see Robin, the boy Boy Wonder as the next best thing. Me, I’d rather see their take on Batgirl. Better yet, how about Ace the Bat-Hound?

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