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Old July 22 2012, 11:07 PM   #18
A beaker full of death
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Re: Death(s) of Robin

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post

Robin as a sidekick is very, very different than Holmes having with him an intellectual near-equal, adult, doctor.
Not really different at all. It's frequently made clear in the stories that Watson is nowhere near the intellectual equal of Holmes (of course, only three or four other characters ever were - Mycroft, Moriarty, The Woman, and ...?). He's simply not competition for Holmes, and as such, never threatened to take center stage. (The only way in which Watson was able to surpass Holmes was in his ability to have a normal life -- to romance women, to have friends and a wife. It was always made clear these things were of no interest to Holmes -- if they had been, you may be sure that Watson would not have been any good at them).

Thus Watson, like Robin, was never in a position to upstage or surpass Holmes/Batman. To the sensibilities of the time(s), no one was interested in them in their own right, but rather, what they showed us about the hero. Watson and Robin were not the center of their respective universes. They were sidekicks, not partners.

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
When kids read these stories or watch these movies they don't want to be a child hanging out with the superhero or the hero they want to BE the hero.
But these characters were surrogates for the reader (indeed, Watson was the narrator). These types of sidekicks are in part Mary Sue characters who let us into the story to marvel at the hero's accomplishments. What's Batman going to do next? We don't know. Robin doesn't know. We get to "ride along" and find out. Robin becomes our surrogate.

Again, I refer to the literary role of the sidekick prior to the late '60s. After that, a lot changed.
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