Monday, August 21, 2006

Darwyn Cooke: Boy Wonder (or how I learned to stop worrying and love Robin)

I could write forever about why and how much I love Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier. I'm not going to do that, because it's not like anyone needs convincing. It's clearly awesome.

I just want to point out one thing in particular about these books that I was really impressed by.

In just four pages, Darwyn Cooke made me love Robin with no reservations.

This is just so beautifully and perfectly done I almost can't stand it. It makes me want to cry.

Isn't it just so much better than, say, this:

Christ. Anyway.

It took me a long time to warm up to Robin. Years, really. I'm like a lot of Batfans; I like Batman as a loner, and sometimes it just doesn't make sense for Batman to have a partner. Especially a kid in primary colours. And sometimes it just seems that Robin is there for no reason. He's just been around for so long, that no one even bothers to examine what the hell he's doing there.

I've really liked the post-Crisis treatment of Batman and Robin's (Tim Drake) relationship. I'm sure there is going to be some drama ahead, what with the Son of the Demon making a comeback right after Bruce offers to adopt Tim legally as his son. That's going to be interesting. I really love Nightwing as a character. I like that the Robins get older, but Batman just keeps on rocking his mid-late 30s.

I listened to the podcast of the Big Three panel from ComicCon in San Diego. Grant Morrison said that he feels that Batman has learned more from Robin than Robin has learned from Batman. I really liked that comment. There has been a lot of attention in recent Batman comics (and by recent, I mean over the past few years) on the rather large family Batman has now assembled over time. He can't really consider himself to be a loner anymore, and I'm really into that. So I give credit to all the writers for making me like characters that I really wanted to hate. And for making me ok with a non-lonely Batman.

Someone asking a question at comic con to the JLA panel said that he would like to see Nightwing be a part of the new Justice League. The whole crowd, the panel, and myself all went "ooooooo!" That would be rad.

My point is that Robin is good with a little effort on the writer's part. Sometimes I'll be reading a perfectly good Batman story, and then there's an annoying kid hamming it up and ruining everything. It's often a jarring and unwelcome reminder that I spend a great deal of time and money on what is intended to be children's literature.

But, done right, you have one of the most touching relationships in comic book history.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Man the art looks awesome in that! I can't believe how much I suck for having never heard of it prior to my becoming an absolute edition whore. That puppy is gonna look sweet on the shelf.