Guilty Pleasures – Robin
Salutations Evil Brothers and Sisters! This week, we’ve been hanging our heads in shame whilst admitting to some of our guilty pleasures here in the Evil Lair. Today I’m chiming in with my geeky admission. As lovers of comics, every now and then we have to face the music and cop to the fact that some of the stuff we love is pretty lame. We’re voracious readers of a media that’s geared to a wide range of ages and tastes, so what’s appealing to a funny-book loving 12-year-old, isn’t going to exactly ring the bell of the refined, elder, arch-comic nerd, leaving us to take the good with the bad. Look, at some point in the 70’s, or even still today, there were probably at least a few people who loved the surely created on a cocaine fueled dare, eyesore that was the Spider-Buggy. Evil Geeks, I stand before you today to show off my own personal Spider-Buggy: The Boy Wonder
There’s really a lot you can ridicule the character of Robin for, but let’s get the elephant right out of the room, Dick Grayson’s Robin was a little bit…festive, shall we say? Yes, in today’s society a single, rich, bachelor shacking up with a hot pants clad, teen orphan seems a little salacious, but times were simpler back when the character was born. Dick didn’t exactly do his masculinity any favors when he dropped the Robin garb and donned his Disco Dancin’ Nightwing costume either. He glittered more than Liberace in the mid-day sun. Dick was pretty much a cheerleader in a cape, so I can’t say I”m a fan of the early Robin or even the second Robin, Jason Todd. I recently just read “Death In the Family” for the first time and my general impression was that the crow bar is the hero of the story. Quite frankly, that crow bar deserves a medal for being a way more likeable character than Jason ever is in that entire storyline. I hate to say this about a boy who only wanted to find his birth mother, but he was an annoying asshole. On top committing the crime of having a horrible personality, he also kept Dick’s original, swishy costume; thus committing the even greater crime of unoriginality.
For me the first Robin that I found interesting was Tim Drake. Tim was different from the other Robins, in that he was mentally the most like Batman himself. Dick’s qualifier for being Robin was his acrobatic skill, Jason’s qualifier was being a street tough, but Tim’s qualifier was his smarts. He could fight with his hands or wield a mean staff, but most often he relied on his brain to get him out of stuff, just like Bruce would. Another thing that really made Tim a much more relate-able Robin was the fact that he wore pants! Gone were the short-shorts, in were the trousers and combat boots. When I was younger my comic habits were 99% in favor of Marvel, with the exception of 2 DC books, one of them being Tim’s solo Robin title (the other one was Green Lantern with Kyle Rainer possessing the ring). My favorite Marvel hero was Spidey, so Tim kind of reminded me of a younger Peter Parker. He was a brainy, high school kid who fought crime in his spare time while trying to lock down a relationship with a hot chick. In other words: at the time, I could identify with him. Except for the crime fighting thing of course; I may have committed a few, never solved any though. Or the hot chick too…sigh. I still haven’t read much of Damian’s tenure behind the domino mask, but from what I’ve seen I think I”m going to enjoy the little psycho.
Robin’s ultimate purpose is to give kids a character with which they can process the story through the eyes through in an effort to sell them more comics. Eventually though, he’s a character that you can easily outgrow as you age, but by then he’s served his purpose: he’s brought you in to the world of comics. He’s a gateway character, that leads you to other character’s. He’s the marijuana of super heroes: he’ll get you hooked on other stuff eventually. Also, after a few hits to the head, both will have you passing out and forgetting stuff. For that reason, I really do enjoy having Robin around.
That’s all for Guilty Pleasures for now, but look to the skies at night, for you may see the Evil Geeks Signal shining in the sky, meaning that we’ll be heading your way with more soon!
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