01 January 2012

Definitely Un-round, part 2

Early last month the Box Heroes Corps of Atlanta introduced their orthogonal versions of Batman and Robin at a holiday parade.

Also last month, I stumbled across the fact that in 2010 the University of Queensland accepted an undergraduate thesis in the Film and Media Studies honours program titled “Robin the Boy Hostage: The Evolution of the Superhero Sidekick”.

Unfortunately, access to this work is limited beyond this abstract:
The superhero's youth sidekick has become a mainstay within superhero narratives since their introduction in the late 1930s [sic]. This research will attempt to illustrate the change within the sidekick archetype, from their origins within mythology through changes within youth culture and the comic book industry. This Dissertation will also view how these changes have been implemented with the relationship of the most popular superhero and sidekick partnership, Batman and Robin, and view how the characters[’] popularity has halted changes seen within other sidekick characters.
The entry says this item is “Anonymous” but placed in the repository by Mrs. Isabel Bentley—perhaps a university administrator. If anyone has access to the Queensland file, it would be interesting to know more.


Icon_UK said...

And to think I wasted my time doing a career oriented degree!

One wonders how lavishly illustrated such a thesis might be! :D

Alas, not even on the same continent as Queesnland.

Happy New Year, by the way!

J. L. Bell said...

Always possible this undergraduate was hoping for a career as a superhero, sidekick, or supervillain!

I find it interesting that the thesis suggests that the popularity of Batman and Robin "has halted changes seen within other sidekick characters." Really? Certainly Dick Grayson couldn't develop a heroin habit like Roy Harper or be apparently blown to bits like Bucky Barnes, but there's been a lot of evolution in Robin(s) and the function of that character within the DC universe since the 1980s.

Indeed, Dick Grayson was the first high-profile former sidekick to be moved beyond the identity, costume, and trademark that had made him a household name.

Happy holidays to you, too! And all other Robin fans!