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Posts Tagged ‘Robin the Boy Wonder’

Ask A Batman

April 26th, 2009 No comments

He IS the night. Recently I had the chance to sit down with a very special guest. You may know him as the Caped Crusader, the Darknight Detective, or even That Guy With The Rubber Nipples.

Under his watchful eye, Gotham City has seen a 14% decrease in crime and a 82% increase in giant, working props.

I met with him in his underground, guano-filled lair. I present to you The Batman.

Me: So, The Batman–

Batman: It’s just Batman. Does anyone call you The David?

Me: Well, my wife…

Batman: Anyhow, it’s a pleasure to talk to you, blah, blah, blah.

Me: Okay. First question. Why a bat?

Batman: Ah, I get asked that a lot. You see, it’s all about striking fear into the hearts of the underworld.

Me: Criminals can be a superstitious and cowardly lot.

Batman: Mostly they’re afraid that I’ll get caught in their hair.

Me: Can you respond to the charge that your presence in Gotham has only encouraged crooks to correspondingly ramp up their own outsized personas? I mean, you’ve got Alice in Wonderland-themed villains, even a guy who commits signal-based crimes. I mean, really, signals?

Batman: I can’t explain that one myself. I’m like, “Oooo, don’t hit me with that stop sign!”

But, to answer your question, I think it helps keep them occupied. All that time spent sewing costumes and building huge, papier-mâché birds is less time spent robbing and murdering.

Me: Fair enough. Switching gears, you are regularly seen in the company of a young boy–

Batman: Don’t. Even. Go. There.

Me: No, no, no. I’m just referring to the suggestion that the reason you dress that child in a bright, primary-colored leotard is to draw gunfire away from yourself.

Batman: Look, the kid’s a professional. He’s a natural athlete. That “leotard” is a carbon-fiber and Kevlar armored suit, augmented by my own Bat-technology.

Me: But aren’t you on your third or fourth Robin?

Batman: Hrm. Next question.

The Batmug.Me: Okay. Harley Quinn or Poison Ivy?

Batman: What do–

Me: You know what I mean.

Batman: Easy choice. Crazy clown girl or kill-you-with-her-poisoned-touch girl? Big Top every time, baby.

Besides, I’m more of a Catwoman man. There was this one time; she had me lashed down with that double-length cat-o’-nine-tails she carries–

Me: Too much information.

Batman: Sorry. Time for one final question.

Me: Boxers or briefs?

Batman: Are you kidding me? Dude, you’re looking at them right now.

Next On The CW…Snapper Carr: The Early Years

October 1st, 2008 No comments

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?