17 August 2014

One Family’s Robin Debate

This week Brad Guigar of the Evil, Inc. webcomic (sample above) posted a podcast debate among himself, his eight-year-old son Max, and his twelve-year-old son Alex on the vital question of who’s the best Robin.

Some observations about the discussion:
  • The gents are almost totally concerned with DC’s post-Crisis, pre-New 52 universe, with perhaps a bit of the animated cartoons thrown in. It’s no surprise to hear them skip Jason Todd’s pre-Crisis past as a trapeze artist since that goes against what made the character most meaningful, but the guys also don’t acknowledge the history of the second Tim Drake, appearing in comics now.
  • The panel amalgamates Carrie Kelley, the possible future female Robin from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Rises, with Stephanie Brown, the short-lived female Robin from the regular continuity about a decade ago. (And of course they don’t bother with the current Stephanie Brown, who had a shorter history.) I think that mostly shows how girls remain an unfathomable mass to preteen boys.
  • The older son makes a sharp distinction between the Robin he likes most as a character (Jason) with the character he thinks is or was the best Robin. In fact, he ranks Jason low on the Robin scale.
  • Neither young panelist sees much to like in Damian Wayne. I believe young readers still want a Robin they can look up to or imagine as their own best selves. Damian’s popularity rests with older readers who get off on his brattiness or neediness.
Thanks to Eric Gjovaag for the pointer to this podcast.

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