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Old July 24 2012, 06:48 AM   #32
shivkala
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Re: Death(s) of Robin

A beaker full of death wrote: View Post
shivkala wrote: View Post
Which is something I always found weird about the 60's Batman series in that Batman, seemingly to help train him, always deferred to Robin on the detective stuff, like the Riddler's riddles. It happened so much, after a while, I kind of wondered if Batman even got the clues or if he just let Robin do the hard work and then reply with an, "Exactly, Robin" to make it seem like he had already reached the same conclusion!
I think that was part of the campiness, the spoofiness of the series. That was one of those things put in to turn the whole genre on its head.
Possibly, but also it could be an extension of the whole "sidekick as entre" bit. In a lot of ways, he was more of a partner on the show than sidekick. The scenes with the clues showed he was as capable as Batman of figuring this stuff out and he seemed to hold his own in fights, at least as well as Batman did. And when the villains got the upper-hand, it was usually both of them who failed, not just Robin. And most often, it was through both of them working together that they escaped.


Right, exactly. Suddenly we were interested in these supporting characters in their own right. This was something very new to literature, part of an egalitarian impulse sweeping the arts and society (among other things, like the rejection of the concept of the hero and the societal order he represented). Suddenly they weren't just supporting characters. Suddenly everyone had to matter, or at least be of interest. They could no longer be mere plot devices or literary constructs.
Which is interesting, because it seems that Dick going to college was the start of all of this, but if I read correctly, that was done to get him out of the title, so they could focus on Bruce/Batman. I think Marv Wolfman and George Perez really were the ones who started using these characters as characters in their own rights. Interestingly enough, Wolfman came from Marvel and as Scipio of The Absorbascon is fond of pointing out, he brought some of the Marvel way into his DC writing. Thus, we get sidekicks who are growing up, staking out their own identity, and distancing themselves from their mentors.

Interesting point, though I think this was the product of the later era, where it was believable that sidekicks were actually in real danger or were suffering the slings and arrows of life. Before that, the danger never seemed real. Hence Lois Lane casually falling off buildings every third day:
While danger may never have seemed "real," it did, at least give the hero something to do. It also gave the writer a chance for the villain to get a "win" without making the hero seem weak.

Your other comments are also most interesting and well taken.
Thanks, that's what I was going for. I was afraid that they'd drifted into the mad late-night rantings of someone who should have been in bed hours ago!

Donald Draper wrote: View Post
That might be true. I just looked at my "Lonely Place of Dying" TPB. At the time of the main story, before the flash back of meeting Dick at the Circus, Tim tells Alfred and Dick he is 13.
Ah, okay, so Tim went to the circus at 9 and started putting together that Dick was Robin, therefore Bruce must be Batman soon after. However, he did not become Robin until he was 13. That makes more sense.

How old was Dick when he started out as Robin? I want to say 10, but I'm not sure.

I've always thought 10 was too young for a sidekick. My oldest is child 12 and I've taught six grade for a few years, so I'm familiar with kids between the ages of 11 and 13ish (sadly some sixth graders are in their teens when I taught them). Knowing the age, it still seems too young to be going out and fighting crime (though, sadly, some are not too young to go out and commit crime, but that's neither here nor there...). I have a hard time picturing a non-powered 10 year old making an effective fighter, sidekick or not. Damian, being genetically engineered still strains my credibility, but I guess he was made to be doing this. I guess 13 is really the youngest I can see it, but I don't think it's wise for a hero to have a sidekick that young (again, barring powers or I guess, being Hit Girl).

Hell, put it this way, even Joel Schummacher went with a 24 year old actor to play Dick/Robin. Even given that Hollywood often uses actors in their 20's and 30's to play teenagers, they're usually at least 15 or older. If I remember, not much is done or said to convince us Dick is younger than early 20's, aside from Gordon dropping him off to Bruce, indicating he might need a guardian. I'd say in the movie, Dick is at least 17.
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