CB&W: A & B

Decided to play along with this week’s Black & White Challenge, so here ya go! 😊

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My Anna Funko POP!
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My Batman ’66 mini-statue (with bonus “Bazinga! ^_^)

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Holy Recasts, Batman!

…let’s hope this is the last round of Robin-recruiting. The Robin identity is special, thanks in no small part to the character who made it famous. For most of his existence, Dick Grayson was the guy who helped humanize the Batman; and as he grew up, Robin/Nightwing became one of the people who knew Batman best. Taking him away from all of that requires replacing it with something equally compelling, and I’m not sure Grayson’s setup will be sufficient.

Still, I come to this discussion as someone who’s seen a lot of that development firsthand, and therefore may be prejudiced by that experience. Younger fans no doubt have their own preferences about Nightwing and Robin, and they may be just as happy with DC moving Dick out of the immediate Bat-orbit. (In that regard it’s funny to think that with Nightwing and Teen Titans canceled and relaunched, and Damian killed, Jason’s been the most stable ex-Robin of the New 52.) Heck, there’s probably a significant portion of fans who think Batman works best without a Robin, and are content to ignore this whole process. If it were up to me — and this is the point I mentioned earlier, where you don’t have to listen to me — I’d have rolled everything back forty-some years, to a point where Dick was still years away from even considering a Nightwing identity, and no one had even heard of Jason Todd or Tim Drake.

Again, because Robin’s going to be coming back, whoever he or she is needs to be considered pretty carefully, because I’m not sure fans are going to put up with another death-and-revival cycle. Specifically, the next Robin needs to be around for the long haul, and needs the sort of close relationship with Batman that will enrich both characters. (Before the New 52 relaunch, Dick could call Batman out on his foolishness and have the experience to back it up. In the current Batman Beyond comics, the Dick of the future acts similarly.) The next Robin also needs to demonstrate the potential to grow into the next Batman — but the attitude to recognize that Batman’s going to be around for a while, and will need the support of a dedicated partner. Notwithstanding Tim Drake’s solo series (launched after Azrael/Batman kicked him out of the Batcave), “Robin” is by nature a supporting character who works best in conjunction with Batman. That was the default setup from 1940 to 1969, it informed the 1984 Robin-to-Nightwing transition, and it’s undoubtedly part of the upcoming Robin revival.

Finally, the next Robin needs to be someone who can grow old in the role. This is probably implicit in all of the above, but it’s worth repeating. Sure, Batman can trade pointed quips with Alfred in the Batcave, and can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Jim Gordon against the evils of Gotham — but only the youngster in the red-and-yellow costume personifies the fun of being Batman. Without Robin, Batman might be a grim, gothic avenger, meting out two-fisted justice in various shades of gray and black, scaring the bejeezus out of criminals, and looking very cool indeed; but with Robin, Batman is unquestionably a hero. That’s what Dick Grayson did for Batman for all those years; that’s what DC would do well to remember when it considers Dick’s future; and that’s what the next Robin needs to live up to, for as long as he or she needs to.

via Grumpy Old Fan | ‘Grayson,’ Robin and fates worse than death | Robot 6 @ Comic Book ResourcesRobot 6 @ Comic Book Resources.