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Robin


50 replies to this topic

#1
ShadowDog

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What exactly is most people's problem with Robin? A lot of fans hate him, Hollywood usually avoids him like the plague ... I'm just curious why? Is it the gay subtext? How bad the two 90s movies with him was? How bad the TV series was? I honestly don't get the beef with him. You don't see Jimmy Olsen or The Human Torch or Cyclops universally avoided and loathrd like this. It's just bizarre

#2
Driver

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I don't know anyone who hates Robin outside of Christopher Nolan or not-die hard batfans who assume he's still portrayed like Burt Ward.

I think since the 90s, between his cool portrayal on TAS and the introduction of Tim Drake and the first practical costume, he's been more accepted.

Nolan's shots at him are the only example I can think of, but I probably run in nerdy enough circles.

#3
The Human Torch

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There is a valid argument to no Robin, that being child endangerment. However this is why Nolan ignoring Robin was so annoying to me, he had the opportunity to tweak the lore. Bruce rescues orphan, orphan trains at the Batcave and mans the Batcave Computers / remote controls the Batmobile. Something like that should work for people with that endangerment point.

No other argument against Robin works, imo. Plus ignoring Robin robs Bruce of the only growth he is ever allowed to have; the perspective of a father and saving his childself by saving Dick Grayson et al. Gotham is a never ending war, but the "Bat-Family" is Bruce winning battles.

#4
Justus

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What exactly is most people's problem with Robin? A lot of fans hate him, Hollywood usually avoids him like the plague ... I'm just curious why? Is it the gay subtext? How bad the two 90s movies with him was? How bad the TV series was? I honestly don't get the beef with him. You don't see Jimmy Olsen or The Human Torch or Cyclops universally avoided and loathrd like this. It's just bizarre

The type of fans hating Robin belong to the group who convinced themselves that Batman is supposed to be some dreary combination of an isolationist / Death Wish / inspiring Dracula-type fear. They ignore what is arguably the most important decades of the character's life (where Robin played a significant part) and also assume Robin is portrayed in one way (even--referring to old cartoons such as Super Friends as if that was part of the official comic development.

 

The post Miller influence play a large part in successfully brainwashing a couple of generations into thinking Batman was somehow hobbled by Robin--as if the character was come boardroom decision forced on the dark/grim/brutal Batman who was "always" that way. You mentioned the TV series; if you meant the 1966 live action show, Ward's interpretation of the character popularized Robin in a period where the junior partner was struggling to find a place in a Silver Age (notably, the creation of the Teen Titans) that used teenagers as headliners (Johnny Storm in Strange Tales, Spider-Man, the original X-Men), instead of the assistants popular in the WW2 period.

 

By the time of the 1966 series, Robin was no longer there to appeal to a younger set, or as a sounding board for Batman's ideas. He was more or less an equal, and considering the then-growing (or discussed) "Generation Gap," he was appealing by not being the tag-along / lighter element of the early years. Ward could be credited with keeping the idea of teenage partners relevant--popular enough that DC had the freedom to eventually age their teen characters by the end of that decade (going to college, involved in social issues, etc.), in keeping with the real world youth culture taken seriously, instead of ignored.

 

To be clear, i'm not saying Ward's Robin changed like that, but he popularized the sidekick to the point that it lived long enough for DC comics sidekicks to change.

 

Modern day Hollywood avoiding Robin stems from much of what i've observed above: I think the grim/loner/near-psychopath Batman is the one WB will continue to push. i'm winning to bet that the Robin costume  briefly spotted in the Dawn of Justice trailer will lead to an explanation concluding that for whatever reason, Batman wll never have another teenage partner. Problem solved for the loner/grim Batman status quo.



#5
RelentlessMalice

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Side kicks always get abused. Especially if there is not a clear cut leader. Batman is a clear cut leader and that is Robins downfall and why he will never get as much respect or attention.

One of the many reasons why the lone ranger movie failed was because it focused on Johnny Depps horrible acting too much and not the ranger.

#6
RelentlessMalice

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http://cdn.meme.am/i...es/56535478.jpg

#7
Tex

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The truth of the matter is that Robin was created only as a was a way to appeal to the kids. He was essentially the Wonder Twins of his time. The writers have admitted this. He was a goofy gimmick to make kids give a **** about Batman, or, more importantly, to make mom's feel better about buying Batmags for the kiddies.

That's all he was and he's better off dead. All 25 of them.

Holding on to Robin is like holding on to a toy. As an adult. Grow the **** up.

#8
Driver

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Have you seen any other version of Robin then the one you're talking about?



#9
The Human Torch

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"The truth of the matter..."

Opinions are opinions however the assertions are nonsense, but also wonderfully ironic so thanks for that.

#10
ShadowDog

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This conversation is even more fascinating than I thought. There could be a college paper written on this.

Just one aspect that appeals to me ... okag let's say Robin WAS merely intended for kids. So what? If he evolved into something else does the original intention even matter anymore? Looney Tunes were originally intended for adults. Does that mean parents should forbid their kids watching it?

Bobby Singer was fully intended to be a one shot character on Supernatural. Spike was fully intended to have a half season arc on Buffy then die.

So many fictional characters were created with one intention then evolved from there. Hell ... didn't the original Superman come to Earth as an adult and couldn't even fly, he leaped from place to place?

#11
Brando

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I don't know anyone who has been a comics fan who hates him. There are a few people who are at my level of fandom, who have read a couple individual issues and maybe some trades or some graphic novels, but nobody who would consider themselves a real reader. Everyone I know who reads comics always defends Robin.

I still blame the 90s anti-hero craze.

#12
Brett

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I don't think there are many anti-Robin people, I just think there are those who prefer Batman working alone. I'm one of those people, but I also enjoy Robin if he's part of a more fantastical, "crowded" Gotham... like in Hush, or the Arkham games.



#13
Tex

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I also prefer to see Batman work alone. Having Robin around, or even Batgirl for that matter, cheapens the whole thing and makes the end product kiddie fare.

In short Batman loses his cool factor when he's saddled with a sidekick.

#14
Driver

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But there is nothing remotely kiddie about Robin and there hasn't been for years. I am curious what your basing your opinion on.

Dick Grayson has been Nightwing longer than he was Robin, and even his years as Robin were mostly in the silver age where he was older and not hokey. The classic Boy Wonder stuff was from the 50s and the Adam West show. The quippy smart assed Robin was Dick, and he's still like that as an adult-- he's DCs Spider-Man in that way.

Jason Todd was dark and messed up from the start and the Joker murdered him with a crowbar. When he was brought back thanks to Lazarus pits, he became Red Hood, who basically has all of Batman's Training and also likes to shoot people. Also, he has always been portrayed as a teenager or adult.

Tim Drake was certainly younger, but debuted in the 90s and was the first to have a hard edged tactical suit like Batman. While young, it was with him that they started to play with the idea of child endangerment and they used him in a lot of dark ways. since the New 52 he's been portrayed much older. He was a chipper little kid in the animated series from the 90s, but he fit the tone of that show fine, and you'd be hard pressed to find somebody that doesn't see that show as one of the best Batman out there...

Damien Wayne is a little kid-- but he was raised by TAS and Talia so he is psychotic and killed people. His debut as Robin was against Dick Grayson in the Batsuit and the story was a fun reversal wher Batman had the quips, and Robin was dark and broody.

So again, this idea that Robins presence makes Batman kiddie fare is based on a very specific time-- the golden age and Burt Ward's time on TV. There's been nothing kiddie about Robin for decades.

Edited by Driver, 18 July 2015 - 11:07 AM.

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#15
El Chalupacabra

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I also prefer to see Batman work alone. Having Robin around, or even Batgirl for that matter, cheapens the whole thing and makes the end product kiddie fare.

In short Batman loses his cool factor when he's saddled with a sidekick.

Pretty much nailed it there. Especially when the sidekick is a 10 year old.  Robin was specifically added just for that kiddie fare long after Batman debuted solo, so lets remember that.  I don't mind Batman with Nightwing or adult Batgirl, just no kid Robin please.

 

However, Driver is right, TAS went a long way to make Robin more acceptable for me.



#16
Tex

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I remember when they made him Nightwing and I thought it was a great idea. If you're gonna have Robin involved you might as well make him interesting.

My issue with him is that there is nothing cool about him as a sidekick to Batman, and you can't get to Nightwing without first having Robin.

I think it's no coincidence that the two films that included him are the worst of the bunch. There was much more wrong with those movies than just him, of course, but Robin's lameness was a big part of the reason why they sucked so bad.

#17
The Human Torch

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Batman debuted in 1939, 11 issues later in 1940 Robin debuted. This idea that Robin came long after Batman had been around is bull****. The idea Robin was added to help kids relate is also bull****, kids wanted to be Batman. Robin was added for depth and to allow Batman to talk to someone.

It was the involvement of special interest politics that spun Robin as a kid enticing creation. They used him as evidence DC Comics was trying to subvert society with a homosexual agenda and attempted to get comics pulled from stores.

But yeah, let's not let real facts and literary structure get in the way of a lust for a grim solo hero with no need for anyone.

And those 90s Batman/Robin films sucked because they sucked. They would suck with or without Robin.

#18
Driver

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Everything sucked about those movies, not just Robin. I ask again, what Batman are you guys watching that's kiddie fare? the Schumacher films? Adam West series? Golden age comics? Cause those are all honey in multiple ways.

I don't deny that the kiddie fare versions of Batman all include Robin, but that doesn't mean all inclusion of Robin is kiddie fare.

#19
ShadowDog

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The kiddie fare tangent is interesting but what about the idea that Batman is just inherently cooler by himself? (Batgirl was also mentioned as a problem)

I think there is a cool aspect to the lone wolf hero. He doesn't need anybody! He's his own gang! If a sidekick saves the main hero does that diminish that hero? Maybe.

But personally I prefer a sidekick for Batman because it can be utilized to bring out his detective skills in the live action arena where you can't hear his thoughts. Robin is his Watson. "You see that footprint, Robin? This was the Riddler!"

Plus there are so many more storylines you can do when your protag has a trusted right hand man.
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#20
El Chalupacabra

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Why must Batman and Robin be a package? Can't some of us enjoy Batman minus Robin? 

 

 

The idea Robin was added to help kids relate is also bull****, kids wanted to be Batman. Robin was added for depth and to allow Batman to talk to someone.

That's great and all, but I'm not a kid, and even when I was, I thought Robin was lame then.

 

 

I don't deny that the kiddie fare versions of Batman all include Robin, but that doesn't mean all inclusion of Robin is kiddie fare.

True, but as far as I am concerned, all solo Batman stories > most Batman and Robin stories. But like I said, you are right about Robin in TAS, which gave me a better appreciation for Robin. 

 

But at the end of the day, Robin is as superfluous as a third nipple.



#21
Driver

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What Batman stories do you follow?

#22
El Chalupacabra

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I haven't been into comics for a long time, and when I have (had), it is mostly graphic novels and one-off tales.  Mostly, I follow(ed) the Timmverse, movies, and other animated movies. 

 

I know what you are probably getting at, but I just don't have much use for Robin as a character, regardless of which one.



#23
The Human Torch

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I'm not telling anyone they must like or not like Robin. I'm not devaluing the importance of also having solo Batman stories. That would be an absurd position to take.

I am pointing out that taking a position adamantly against Robin is as asinine as saying Watson isn't important to Sherlock* both as a character and a device.

*Samwise to Frodo
*Ron and Hermoine to Harry

Robin is a key piece of what makes Batman the character he is. Exclusion of Robin in totality forces an adaptation to fabricate a person or event to fill the void left by Robin. This is why we get a noname cop helping in DKR. This is why Batman repeatedly learns it's okay to still be Bruce because a woman** set him straight in each story instead of him evolving because of his role as a father.

**Not that women in Batman are bad. LOL There are females, both love interest or otherwise, that are of pivotal importance too. I was specifically addressing the Bond Girl addition in each Batman film.

Afterthought: Kiddie fare, Batman is for kids. Batman makes kazillions of dollars just from his logo, the realism+for adults market is not the bank for Batman. Of course adults can like it too however the market for "grown up, adult, realism Batman" exists not because that is what Batman is, but because adults that can't admit they like a youth franchise demand to be catered to, it is people that haven't let go of a toy and haven't grown the **** up. That is the fans that demand their personal sensibilities get catered to over what the property is. That's the delicious irony here. Just tremendous. Stomp your feet some more, grim-wankers, your position is right if we ignore all facts and literary premises.

#24
Driver

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I haven't been into comics for a long time, and when I have (had), it is mostly graphic novels and one-off tales.  Mostly, I follow(ed) the Timmverse, movies, and other animated movies. 
 
I know what you are probably getting at, but I just don't have much use for Robin as a character, regardless of which one.


I get you-- I'm just saying its a point of view you're basing on some bad examples.
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#25
Jacen123

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I thought it was his obsession with superhero hair, hyphens and the backs of hands. :shrug:


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