web stats

CSBG Archive

You Decide ’09 – Who’s Your Favorite Robin?

You know the bit – each day in October I’ll give you folks a poll question. Each poll will last four days. The results will be posted every Tuesday leading up to (and ending with) Election Day on the first Tuesday in November. Here is the master list of all questions asked so far!

Enjoy!

108 Comments

It’s a tricky question.

Are you asking, of all the Robins, which one is my favorite character? Because that’d be Dick.

Or are you asking which one I liked best as Robin? Because I think I’m going toward Tim, but may vacillate to Damian.

I’d say ragdoll (secret six) was my favourite, if only because he was the funniest :)

But it’s gotta be Tim. I would say Damian, but he hasn’t ‘paid his dues’ yet.

It will always be Dick Grayson, no matter how many different mantles he takes on. Sorry, Tim!

The single vote for Carrie Kelly is me!!

You should have a poll for best supporting cast Brian. Personally I think Spidey would be hard to beat with JJJ, Flash, MJ, Aunt May, Robbie, Harry, Black Cat and that blonde girl…what was her name again. …

Not to mention recent(ish) additions like Ezekiel, Carly and Vin.

Damian Wayne is ten types of awesome.

Damian is a badass but Tim IS the Robin. Dick wasn’t cool until he Became Nightwing (even then, it took awhile. Godawful first costume). The B:TAS Dick Grayson is the best Robin of all time, however.

definitely Tim. he also had the hardest job as Robin – coming into the role at a time when people actually spent money phoning a line to have Robin killed. I’d say he’s also the last great superhero introduced in the big two – he was very much his own thing, not just a legacy character.

For one generation it might be Tim, while current readers seem to like Damian.

But I grew up with Dick Grayson and still liked him as both Nightwing and Batman, so it’s gotta be him.

I almost kinda wish there had been separate entries for the Golden Age Dick Grayson and the Silver-to-current age one, as the Earth-2 Dick was quite a different character from the boy that grew into Nightwing…

I guess Damian’s a real boon to writers as you don’t really have to exaggerate Dick’s anxiety and circus-born playfulness when you got a great gung-ho foil like Damian. And in reality what more is a sidekick or a robin really for? So just on concept the Boy-Bastard is my fave.

A surprisingly tough one – I’ve gone with Damien because he’s the first Robin I can read about without ‘child endangerment!’ going off in the back of my head, but Dick and Tim are great characters, too.

I voted for Carrie, although she is probably the Robin with the least appearances of them all.

And, Chris, there were quite a lot of blonde girls on Spider-Man (Liz Allen, Debra Whitman, etc.), but Gwen Stacy is the most famous one.

Spider-Man does have the best supporting cast in super-hero comics, Which makes the decision of ignoring most of it before BND all the more puzzling.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

f it was least favorite it would be Stephanie Brown Hands Down

Dick Grayson. Didn’t even have to think about it.

Definitely Tim. He and Dick are the only ones who feel like they really earned their place as Robin to me, and I’ve always preferred Dick as Nightwing (though I’m enjoying him as Batman now, too).

Tim Drake definitely, but that’s due largely in part to the fact that he just became Robin when I first became hooked on comics. Us fanboys are sentimental.

[…] All 3 have had different identities over the years, but at one point they’ve all been Batman’s partner in crime fighting. Dick is now the new Batman, after Bruce Wayne’s death, with Damian Wayne as the new Robin, Jason is the Red Hood and Tim is Red Robin. My fave is definitely Tim, as he was the Robin I grew up reading about. The poll is still open and you can make your preference known here. […]

I have to admit Tim becoming Robin around the time I started buying comics is a factor, but I still think he’s the best, even though I like Dick and Damien. I wish Steph had had a longer run – that was a real missed opportunity.

What freaks me out is that Tim was 13 when I was 10, and now he’s 17 and I’m 30…

I went with Tim. Dick is my favorite of the bunch and I like Steph a lot but Tim is the one I like best AS ROBIN.

Jason Todd. Dick and Tim are just too fucking perfect to be relatable. Jason(Post-crisis) was down-to-earth, much more tortured, like Bruce in many ways. Stephanie, Carrie and Damian just havent had enough time in the suit though to count.

Tim; Dick’s time as Robin is largely rooted in the stagnant status quo of the original comics, Jason didn’t catch on and is now an exceptionally douche-y whiner-villain, and Damien hasn’t been around long enough. Call it nostalgia since I started reading when he was in the suit, but Tim feels the most natural to the role.

Plus, Tim was the first Robin to wear pants and not look like a costumed catamite.

hard one for i loved dick as robin which helped him become nightwing. Jason was one who voted to have him get whacked by the joker never liked him. stephaine a wasted oppurtunity for she could have been good. so i picked tim for he brought a toughnest and fire long missing to the character. as for damian someone needs to send him back to his mother. or a good therapist in the dcu. and carrie another good thing that made dark knight returns a classic for she showed robin is one character where sex does not matter

Tim was the only one I ever liked for years and years, but Morrison put Damian at the top of the list in the span of three issues.

Guys, could you maybe use the cover of one of the Tim Drake Robin books to represent him along with his first (and much better) costume so as to distinguish him from Dick and Jason since that is the look the character is known by.

Anyways I would say that Dick is the best Robin and Tim is the only one who has ever made any sense as a successor Robin. Jason was bad from day one and the only thing worse that the character was how they killed him off in that stupid 1-900-kill a kid campaign and the only thing worse that THAT was bringing him back from the dead as a generic kill-em-all “hero”.

It would have been Dick if Marv Wolfman never write the Teen Titans and turned them into whiney boomer douches. So I’ll go with Damien.

Always forgetting the Earth-Two Robin. He had the “best” costume. Meaning worst. Of any fictional character. Ever.

I’da split the pre and post-Crisis Jason Todd’s into two characters, too.

Tim because of my love for Young Justice!

Tough decision between Tim and Damian. Ultimately, nostalgia won out and I went with Tim, as the storyline where he became Robin were some of the first Batman books I ever read. Ask me again in a year or two, and Damian may be in first place.

Dicks my favorite character but I like TIm as Robin better. Dick is Nightwing to me.

Damian is a spoiled brat ten-year-old. Damian = Jason Todd.

Tim all the way, although Dick is great as Nightwing. And Stephanie is awesome in her own right.

Dick has evolved into a great character over the years (when written properly) regardless of which costume he is wearing…

Burt Ward!

Tim was THE best Robin- he became as good as Dick if not better, and without the “tragic past” thing to motivate him! (Well until Identity Crisis that is…. ) -_-

I’d sort of like to see a least favorite Robin poll to complement this one: I suspect Damien will get roughly 15% of the most liked poll, which would make him come in third (behind Dick and Tim) and that Damien would get something like 50% in a least liked Robin poll (with Stephanie and Jason also getting a decent amount of the vote in that one.)

While the basic premise of him being Batman and Talia’s son from the whole Son of the Demon thing doesn’t bother me too much, Damien’s name and attitude are extremely gratuitous. It’s the same problem as with Jason where somebody gets the lame idea to make Robin “interesting” by making him a brat.

Tim, without hesitation.

Carrie shes hawt

I’ve basically always hated the entire concept of Robin, but amazingly, Damien actually makes it work for me. Maybe it’s just that I enjoy the genuinely adversarial relationship he has with Dick more than the surrogate father role that Bruce played for Dick and Tim, neither of whom I ever remotely cared about. Anyway, Damien’s still the only entertaining spin on the concept I’ve read outside of Frank Miller’s Dick Grayson.

Carrie was in one of the best Batman stories ever, but her participation seemed like it was more just because there had to be a Robin to serve as a reader surrogate rather than defining her as a particularly interesting character.

The difference between Jason and Damien is that the brattiness WAS Jason. That was his character. The brattiness is a part of Damien’s arc. It actually serves a narrative purpose other than “See, he’s not Dick.”

Dick Grayson is one of the best characters in comics and he started out as Robin.

Damian Wayne is fantastic. In the space of three issues, he has said and done more interesting thing than Tim Drake ever has.

Seriously, Tim? He’s Dick Grayson with ten% less P.T.S.D. How ANYONE could vote for anyone OTHER than Dick Grayson is beyond me.

Daniel O' Dreams

October 12, 2009 at 11:58 am

Tim has had more adventures on his own than with Batman. Does that make him a good Robin? Robin being defined as Batman’s sidekick, probably not. But that, his intelligence and his mainly non-embarrassing costume choices make him my favorite Robin.

Damian’s cool too but too new.

To be fair, Jason pre-Year One and Jason post-Year One were totally different characters, but pre-YO was totally Dick Grayson-light, so . . . I voted for Carrie because she was an interesting character. The badass Robin before Damion!

I also treat the pre- and post-CRISIS versions of Jason Todd as separate characters, though the first didn’t get a chance to develop. Other recurring or significant Robins not on this list are Dick on Earth 2, Dick as Red Robin in KINGDOM COME, Dick in TEEN TITANS GO!, Bruce Wayne Jr, and the kid from ROBIN 3000. Plus, can we vote for the obnoxious delinquent who puts on the costume just in time to die in THE BRAVE & THE BOLD’s “Punish Not My Evil Son!”?

Tim for me was the best ROBIN
Dick is a better character now but to me was better as NIGHTWING than a Robin.

Damian just edges out Dick. They and Carrie were the only Robins that actually had fun. Jason was too annoying; Tim was too perfect. And Spoiler as Robin was just plain stupid.

I have to go with Dick Grayson… he started it and had a lot of different phases to enjoy before becoming Nightwing. Tim is second, then Damian, Jason, and Stephanie is a distant distant last place.

Check out the Robin Appreciation Group on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=115817375816

Tim Is my fave. But Damian should still be Robin right now.

“How ANYONE could vote for anyone OTHER than Dick Grayson is beyond me.”

Grayson ain’t hawt like Carrie.

For someone who hasn’t read older DCU-Batman (rather than Miller’s Dark Knight), what are good stories I should look up featuring Dick or Jason as Robin?

(in Batman/Detective Comics, ie. Robin as Batman’s sidekick, rather than with the Titans)

Bernard the Poet

October 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm

I’ve always hated boy sidekicks. To the extent where I voted to kill Robin during the Death in the Family storyline (what a waste of money that was – they brought in Tim Drake within the year).

I just can’t suspend my disbelief enough to except the idea of the Boy Wonder – the media would have a fit, if a masked vigilante was dragging a kid along on highly dangerous missions. Think of the criticism George W Bush received for sending “our boys” off to Iraq; and they were all over eighteen. Batman would have been locked up years ago.

So I voted for Carrie. The Dark Knight Returns addressed the whole child endangerment issue and also helped the reader understand why Batman has such an unhealthy need for youthful companionship.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 12, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I went for Tim, only because that’s who I think of when I think of Robin, whereas the other contender, Damien, I still think of just as ‘Damien’.

. In the space of three issues, he has said and done more interesting thing than Tim Drake ever has.

Lately, that could be so, but Dixon in his solo book, and the Bat writers of the 90’s did quite a lot with him.
Just becuse editorial has done their best to sabotage a character in the past few years, doesn’t mean that the decade or so prior with the character never happened.

carrie kelly was the best, until DKSB ruined it.

I had no idea there were this many Robins. I’d only heard of three of them. And I’ve only actually read stories with the Dick Grayson version.
I kind of lost interest in DC back in the ’80s, and I’ve never been able to get back into it, even though I know they have some pretty good stuff. (And I have read a few books here and there.) If I ever get more money I’ll probably start buying a few titles, but right now I can barely afford the stuff I buy now.
So when did they have a girl Robin? I really like that idea.

Dick Grayson – he’s the iconic Robin. He’s also got a more organic emotional commitment to Bruce Wayne and Batman than anyone else who’s taken on big R.

People haven’t even learned to spell Damian’s name right. Sheesh.

I choose Dick Grayson but with a qualifier. The pre-Wolfman Dick Grayson, not the post-Wolfman Grayson who became Nightwing.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm

People haven’t even learned to spell Damian’s name right. Sheesh.

Shame on me!

Usually the first thing I do with a new fictional character is memorize the slightly off-kilter spelling of their name, and then make sure I spell it that way every time, never slipping into the more common spelling of the name which I use regularly!
I’m handing in my fan card as we speak!

(Also thinking of getting a coffee and cutting back on sarcasm!)

There is only one Robin; Dick Grayson all day everyday

I have fond childhood memories or Dick Grayson as Robin. For most of us who were kids when Dick was Robin he’ll always be the favorite. For most. He was cool as the Teen Wonder, but I was excited to see him grow into Nightwing, just as I was coming of age myself. Tim will always be my favorite Robin, but Dick will always be my favorite member of the “Batman Family.”

As for supporting casts, the Byrne and post-Byrne Superman had a really good supporting cast. Cat grant, Maggie Sawyer, Terrible Turpin, Ins. Henderson, Gangbuster, Guardian and the Cadmus bunch, the Underworlders, etc, etc,… To bad Mark Waid had to ruin everything with Birthright and now we only see the old standards again.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 12, 2009 at 7:11 pm

To bad Mark Waid had to ruin everything with Birthright and now we only see the old standards again.

Who did he remove?

Cat Grant is in the Superman titles again (quite different, but that’s not because of Birthright), Maggie Sawyer is in Gotham (not because of Birthright), Turpin became Darkseid – but his previous history was intact (not Birthright’s fault he may be dead after Final Crisis), Gangbuster was in Trinity…. so as for those, and the others you listed, none of them were wiped out or even vaguely altered by Birthright….
Birthright changed how he got to Metropolis, and his very first adventure there, not much of anything else….so why hate it for characters who moved on or got reduced roles for totally different reasons?

I mostly hate Birthright because it gave everyone permission to restore all the silly-ass shit that made the Silver-Age impossible to sell to adult readers. I mean, Krypto is back! WTF? Maybe it’s not all Waid’s fault, but he opened the damn door!

And we may see the others from time to time, but not anything like the regularity we saw in the late 80’s to early 90’s.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 12, 2009 at 7:45 pm

I mostly hate Birthright because it gave everyone permission to restore all the silly-ass shit that made the Silver-Age impossible to sell to adult readers. I mean, Krypto is back! WTF? Maybe it’s not all Waid’s fault, but he opened the damn door!

Tim Callahan summed up my feelings about this nicely…
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=23278

I’ll also add that they haven’t really added all the ‘silly ass shit’ at all – it’s a totally different approach to it, they haven’t bought back the stuff that was actually considered ‘really silly’ from those times, and Birthright didn’t have any of that in it.
At all.
Seriously – there’s none of that in Birthright.
The only changes were the ‘life force vision’, when he found out about his powers, his relationship with Lex, his knowledge of Krypton and he was more of an outcast as Clark Kent.
Beyond that, it just tells some adventures of Superman as a youngster.

(And Krypto was part of the ‘Return To Krypton’ storyline that Waid has nothing to do with – in fact his Krypton retcons their Krypton… and so, not Waid’s fault, and it was all happening before Birthright).

Krypto is back? Cool. What about Comet the Super-horse, Streaky the Super-cat, and Beppo the Super-monkey? Are they back yet?

Riiight. Because adult readers are the only ones who matter. Wouldn’t want a next generation of superhero fans or anything.

Favorite Robin?

No question – Carrie Kelly!
With no formal training she patrols Gotham, hacks the Bat-Copter and saves the Dark Knight’s crazy ol’ butt.

I’d choose her to watch my back everytime!

btw, Damian is just Jason “Bratboy” Todd redux. I’d 1-900-Kill-Damian in a Gotham minute!

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 12, 2009 at 8:40 pm

What about Comet the Super-horse, Streaky the Super-cat, and Beppo the Super-monkey? Are they back yet?

Streaky was in Wednesday Comics!

@ daiyongo

The “next generation” is what Johnny DC and Marvel Adventures are for.
@ Funky

Perhaps I have put my blame in the wrong place, but what the Superman titles have lost in the last decade or so far outweighs the “gains.”

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Perhaps I have put my blame in the wrong place, but what the Superman titles have lost in the last decade or so far outweighs the “gains.”

What have they lost?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm

The “next generation” is what Johnny DC and Marvel Adventures are for.

What’s to lead them up to the current books?

Why were the current books good enough for us, and not for them?

Dick, all the way! The first and the best, hands down. I suppose Tim is okay, but I can’t help but love Dick the most.

I agree with Joe Rice’s sentiment that Damian is more likely to grow past his brattiness than Jason was, but I’d add that I hope that doesn’t happen too quickly, because Damian’s attitude is hilarious.

The sequence that really sold me on Damian was when it turned out he was more a genetically harvested clone of Bruce than his son – he’s essentially Bruce Wayne (with all the intelligence, skill and gloominess that implies) trapped in the body of a little kid. You’d be pissed off, too.

Carrie Kelly. She was way more fun than Dick (whiny) or Tim (okay, but not a character that has ever stood out). Damian would get my second place vote.

“What about Comet the Super-horse, Streaky the Super-cat, and Beppo the Super-monkey? Are they back yet?”

Comet came back in the first post-Crisis Supergirl series as a… vaguely horselike angel… who was also a lesbian girl in love with Supergirl… Oh yeah, times have changed… :(

What’s to lead them up to the current books?

The same thing that led Boomers to Rock Music, Gen X kids to Punk and Gen Y kids to Hip Hop would lead kids currently Marvel Adventures “up the line”. You need to let them know they are reading something transgressive, but not “unsafe”. Do not under-estimate the role of UNCANNY X-MEN in keeping the current generation of fans around for life. Young fans got the feeling rejecting some titles as being “kid’s fare” and embracing “grown–up” comics where people DIE.

Sadly, some have never evolved beyond that attitude.

Why were the current books good enough for us, and not for them?

Who is to say the current books are good enough for us?

At the time I came into superhero comics you didn’t have to lead a reader “up the line” because the main titles could be conceivably enjoyed by people of any age. They were not too dumbed down but yet were not aggressively explicit. There was plenty middle ground to work with. Yeah maybe you didn’t get your dose of gratuitous darkness and gore but there were/are other places to go for that instead of trying to do Saw with a cape on it.

Some of you may remember Toy Story. There were the kids Andy and Sid.The industry needs a few less Sids and a lot more Andy’s. To a large extent superhero comics, and maybe even the industry in general right now is a sadistic kid tying firecrackers to his toys and blowing them up just to see their arms fly off.

..and as I recklessly risk overextending my metaphor, Geoff Johns is his own version of the Composite Superman with one side being Andy and the other one Sid.

This is an interesting question. Carrie Kelly and Damian seem to have a mean quality of story level that’s way higher than the others, but that’s only because they’ve been written as Robin primarily by Miller and Morrison. I feel like Damian, in the wrong hands, could be, essentially, Jason Todd, but right now, he’s arguable the best Robin ever because we haven’t had thirty years of mediocre stories to ruin him yet. Carrie Kelly is Robin in what is, if one put it to a vote, probably the best Batman story ever. Grayson just seemed to work, conceptually, for far longer. But that can be and has been argued.

I went Grayson, purely on gut instinct.

At the time I came into superhero comics you didn’t have to lead a reader “up the line” because the main titles could be conceivably enjoyed by people of any age. They were not too dumbed down but yet were not aggressively explicit. There was plenty middle ground to work with.

That may be true, but it is a change that has happened to culture as a whole. TV used to appeal to the broadest possible audience, but with the advent of cable the audience slices got progressively thinner. The same is true of every other form of media.

The difference with comics is that the same characters are used for many different types of stories. If you tune into THE SOPRANOS, MAD MEN or TRUE BLOOD, then you expect complex writing and are not going to get offended if the content gets R-Rated. That programing has been targeted for their expectations. However, if Tony Soprano were a recurring character on his own show, ONE TREE HILL and TWO AND A HALF MEN, then viewers might get a little confused.

That is essentially the situation that comics are in.

If I pick up a comic with Superman, Batman, Wolverine or Spider-Man on the cover, then I have no idea what I am going to get. It could be a moderately sophisticated de-construction of the superhero genre, a straight-up slug-fest, borderline torture porn, or silly trifle meant for little kids. Maybe the art style is a cue, but that is not always true.

“Who is to say the current books are good enough for us?”

Amen. The stories I’ve been seeing the last few years are not half as good as the stories of the 80’s and early 90’s. When even Superman will swing first and ask questions later on his friends and even his cousin there is something seriously wrong. What I see way to often now are juvenile stories with enough blood, bare flesh, and sexual innuendo to pass itself off as being for “grown ups.” We have Geoff Johns and others bringing back the Silver-Age but making it even more juvenile than it was during the actual Silver-Age.

I started reading comics in the mid-70’s. It was the perfect time as the DCU and I “grew-up” at pretty much the same pace. I fell out of comics in the early 90’s when I got married and started picking up collecteds here and there a few years back. The story-telling has downslid…big time!

Back on topic: For those who think Earth-2 Dick Grayson should have his own place on the list I say no. While with Batman the two Dick’s were really the same character in every measureable way. Only after Batman did they part ways. Dick-2 was never, EVER, his own man. After Batman-2 retired Dick put on a Batman costume that had his “R” symbol stitched over the bat and joined the JSA where he never served in any kind of leadership role. Even after he got a proper (and suprisingly cool-looking) adult Robin costume he still just held Bruce’s seat in the JSA, taking direction from the old-timers. He didn’t even stick up for the Infinity, Inc. kids when they frst applied for JSA membership. He was the George W. Bush of Earth-2 super-heroes. In fact, the only time he ever went against Bruce’s old friends was when Bruce accused the JSA of being commies from beyond the grave! Dick-2 knew that wasn’t right but defended Bruce’s rep anyway!

With Batman the two Dick’s were identical. After Batman Dick-2 was such a loser he doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Dick-1, much less be in the same “Best Robin” poll.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 13, 2009 at 6:26 pm

You need to let them know they are reading something transgressive, but not “unsafe”. Do not under-estimate the role of UNCANNY X-MEN in keeping the current generation of fans around for life. Young fans got the feeling rejecting some titles as being “kid’s fare” and embracing “grown–up” comics where people DIE.

This is what I mean though – by the age where I was making my own choices about what I wanted to watch or read, I had no interest in kids titles, I wanted the real stuff.
But, fifteen years ago, the main superhero titles were a lot more nudge nudge about sex, and a lot more into people hitting each other without showing the effects of violence.
The most violent comic I owned in my first year or two of collecting – at age 10-11 I started – was Ghost Rider Annual #2, with a story by Ellis, where you see Ghost Rider snap a villains arm (the sfx let you know he did) and it’s mentioned in caption that he broke every bone and then healed them wrong. It says that, it didn’t show it, and we were all in awe of how violent it was.
But, these days, that’s quite tame to what happens in a lot of comics, and so I doubt that my parents, who weren’t that keen on me reading them as it was, would have let me be reading them if that was going on in them.

So, at that age, I wouldn’t have been interested in the kids line, but it’s doubtful the regular line would have been available to me.

I believe the Ultimate line was conceived with the idea of bridging that gap, but only Spiderman seemed to aim towards it – X-Men and Ultimates were definitely aimed for older readers.

Who is to say the current books are good enough for us?

That we keep going back to it?

Amen. The stories I’ve been seeing the last few years are not half as good as the stories of the 80’s and early 90’s.

But, really, the brilliance of books like YOUNGBLOOD and ANOTHER DAMN X-MEN TITLE FOR NO REASON AT ALL… That comes along once every generation at most.

Tim Drake.

He was the only cool Robin, because he was the only one who was cool with being Robin, and for once we had a sidekick that was responsible and cool-headed. The other Robins all seemed to resent the boy sidekick role somehow.

I’m more fond of Dick Grayson as a character, but not as a Robin.

Tim Drake is the only Robin to have earned the role. He didn’t have it given or thrust upon him, nor did he “steal” it (I’m ignoring his first appearance in the costume). Tim is a detective and a hero. Unlike Dick, who is an acrobat first, or Jason, who’s really just a street thug, or Stephanie, who’s one of those adventure-obsessed kids who think their regular lives are too mundane for words. Carrie Kelly seems like a pile of hero-worship, tho I should really revisit that novel before really making a judgement like that. Damian I have nothing to say about, I didn’t read any of his first appearances so I only know about him from the new Morrison/Quitely title (and I think he’s a jerk).

Sarcasm aside, Mark Andrew is right.

I was there in the early 1990s, and I think there are much better superhero comics now.

As for the 1980s, I’m not so sure, I’m very fond of the comics of the time.

The 80’s and early 90’s also gave us Suicide Squad, Sandman, JLI, post-COIE Superman and Wonder Woman, The New Teen Titans, and Legends Of The Dark Knight.

And Funky, one thing Birthright DID do was turn Clark into a dipshit again, making it completely unbeleivable that he could ever have scored a date with Lois without first telling her he’s Superman, much less get her to accept a marriage proposal. I liked the cool, competant Clark from the Byrne, Ordway, and Stern years.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm

And Funky, one thing Birthright DID do was turn Clark into a dipshit again, making it completely unbeleivable that he could ever have scored a date with Lois without first telling her he’s Superman, much less get her to accept a marriage proposal.

It didn’t bring back Krypto or have any other Silver Age stuff you said it did, but you still hate it and think it ruined the character… because of that?

He acts like a well meaning socially awkward geek, so people don’t pay attention to him, thus preserving his secret identity.
It actually makes a lot more sense for hiding it – as far as these things go – than he was a sports hero who suddenly stopped, and now is looked over just because he wears glasses.
I think having him have to be different as Clark to as he is as Superman actually adds to the character, not detracts from it,
(And he is still cool and competent in the Birhtright world as Clark – like Disco Stu, he just doesn’t advertise).

As for the Lois starting to like and date him thing, that’s easy work to get to, and not so different – after a couple of years of working with him she started to notice what a good principled guy Clark is, despite having written him off at first.
This fits fine with the Planet as it’s shown currently – Perry, Jimmy and Lois, who care about things such as character, all like Clark, where as Lombard and Grant, who are shallow as, seem him as a weakling.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 14, 2009 at 3:59 pm

We have Geoff Johns and others bringing back the Silver-Age but making it even more juvenile than it was during the actual Silver-Age.

Johns has topped Superman forcing Jimmy to marry a monkey?

Johns has topped Superman forcing Jimmy to marry a monkey?

The difference is that the monkey thing was pretty clearly meant to be absurd. Everything Geoff Johns does is supposed to be so serious that his introduction of certain retro-elements (*cough* Superboy *cough*) they verge on camp.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 14, 2009 at 7:59 pm

The difference is that the monkey thing was pretty clearly meant to be absurd.

Yes, but we aren’t at that level are we?
No where near having things like that happening, and thus, it’s not as juvenile as the silver age.

Everything Geoff Johns does is supposed to be so serious that his introduction of certain retro-elements (*cough* Superboy *cough*) they verge on camp.

How is it meant to be so serious?
And before we go further – have you actually read his Superman work, or just assuming (as often happens with these one’s?).
I never found his Superman stuff to be overly serious – it wasn’t as light hearted as Busiek’s was, but apart from the Bizarro story which went dark due to the death of Pa Kent (which was a shame as he and Busiek had really worked hard on that character) – but he just took elements from the silver age and used them to kill a kick arse story.
It’s not done with a nod and a wink like a lot of Silver age stories were… but those stories weren’t the highest sellers in the Silver Age.

You mention Superboy being reintroduced as verging on camp… yet in another posts comments asked why nothing was being done to accommodate Smallville fans… I’d say Superboy is an attempt on DC’s part to make the book fit a similar timeline as that show.

(Also, as this seems to be a ‘you have to choose a favourite run’ type thing, I’ll say Johns updates haven’t been as overly serious and fun-sucking as that issue Byrne did with Bizarro – that was trying to hard to get a square peg in a round hole. I’ll leave Wolfman’s issues out of ‘which reboot sucked the most fun’ just so you’ve got a fighting chance!)

He was the only cool Robin, because he was the only one who was cool with being Robin, and for once we had a sidekick that was responsible and cool-headed. The other Robins all seemed to resent the boy sidekick role somehow.

Don’t retroactively make Wolfman-Grayson into who Dick Grayson always was. The original Dick Grayson was totally cool with being Robin, was responsible and was cool-headed. Just because one fan-turned-writer in the late 80s created on interpretation of Dick Grayson as a self-loathing whiner with daddy issues doesn’t mean we have to be slaves to that interpretation and make it his definitive portrayal.

With Batman the two Dick’s were identical. After Batman Dick-2 was such a loser he doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Dick-1, much less be in the same “Best Robin” poll.

No way, Earth-2 Dick Grayson at least had self-confidence and wasn’t always crying about his childhood.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 14, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Just because one fan-turned-writer in the late 80s created on interpretation of Dick Grayson as a self-loathing whiner with daddy issues doesn’t mean we have to be slaves to that interpretation and make it his definitive portrayal.

Well, he kinda had to stay that way once new Robin’s came in, so that they all had separate personalities.
If not for Jason and Tim, he may have been able to revert, but with them… well, they’ve got Tim to be carefree.
Well… HAD Tim being carefree.

How is it meant to be so serious?

Whatever virtues Geoff Johns may have as a writer, humor is not one of them. He lacks a strong enough sense of character to let them be funny. However, he is so strong with plot, action and suspense that it does not always matter.

And before we go further – have you actually read his Superman work, or just assuming (as often happens with these one’s?).

I’ve read the lion’s share of his Superman run and found it spotty. SUPERMAN: BRAINIAC was very good, but I did not care for his Bizarro story. That is my experience with Johns generally. His Green Lantern is enjoyable, but I detest his Flash. GL is the most humorless of superheroes, but the Flash really demands warmth.

You mention Superboy being reintroduced as verging on camp… yet in another posts comments asked why nothing was being done to accommodate Smallville fans… I’d say Superboy is an attempt on DC’s part to make the book fit a similar timeline as that show.

Those are two separate issues. My point about Smallville is that it has a (comparatively) large audience that should be open to following the further adventures of the characters they love. The objective is to open the Superman books up.

The return of Superboy has the opposite effect. He links Superman back to literally hundreds of very old stories in a way that is difficult for even long-time readers to understand.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 14, 2009 at 10:44 pm

I think the goals have shifted a little here Dean…

Whatever virtues Geoff Johns may have as a writer, humor is not one of them. He lacks a strong enough sense of character to let them be funny. However, he is so strong with plot, action and suspense that it does not always matter.

I don’t think he lacks the strong enough sense of character – I just don’t think he’s that funny a guy.
He’s taking the elements from the past and using them in action stories, which is his strength – and fits in with the way Superman has been written for a long time before he came on board.

BUT, How does this make Johns border on camp?
That was your objection to his use of Silver Age concepts.

Those are two separate issues. My point about Smallville is that it has a (comparatively) large audience that should be open to following the further adventures of the characters they love. The objective is to open the Superman books up.

The return of Superboy has the opposite effect. He links Superman back to literally hundreds of very old stories in a way that is difficult for even long-time readers to understand.

What’s confusing?
Superman had adventures in his youth as Superboy.
The mini Secret Origins will show how this all fits in – wait till the story is finished before freaking about how it all fits in.

Birthright actually did have this as well – c’mon Zor-El of Argo, something you can hold against Birthright that was actually in it! – though I think it did it a much better take on the idea than Smallville or Superboy did, in that he wasn’t in a costume, and he was traveling around the world ‘adventuring’, not in the one spot.

BUT, How does this make Johns border on camp?
That was your objection to his use of Silver Age concepts.

To be precise, that is my objection to his use of Superboy. The re-introduction of Silver Age concepts is a case-by-case thing with me. Some I like and other I don’t.

I think Superboy is a character that takes the core Superman premise and exaggerates it. The small town setting makes the secret identity business laughable. His ultra wholesome morals become preposterous as a teenager. Everything that is hardest to accept about Superman becomes borderline comical in Superboy.

Re-introducing a character that is difficult to believe in a highly dramatic and serious manner is, frankly, kind of campy.

Superboy is a Golden Age concept, incidentally. Sure, he ran all the through the Silver and Bronze ages, but he’d been appearing continuously since 1945.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 15, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I think Superboy is a character that takes the core Superman premise and exaggerates it. The small town setting makes the secret identity business laughable. His ultra wholesome morals become preposterous as a teenager. Everything that is hardest to accept about Superman becomes borderline comical in Superboy.

The only thing I don’t like is having the costume before he goes to Metropolis – kinda takes the wind out of the arrival of Superman, if he’s been seen around before.

But there is hope, I mean there isn’t anything that says he was perfect from the get go – they could use it to show him finding his moral compass during his teens.
And have we had any reference to him having any Superboy adventures that weren’t with the Legion yet… or that he’s still going to have been Smallville exclusive?
Because if his adventures were in another time or place, that takes the edge off of him operating in secret in a small town.

One of the hardest things to accept about Superman is how no one notices the absurdity of someone as ripped as Clark Kent coming off as such a wimp. Back in the 80’s Clark, Lois, Lana, and some recurring Popeye rip-off were on the deck of a cruise ship in swimsuits. Lois noted that Clark never tans, bt paid no notice to Clark’s resemblance to a brick s***house. Byrne addressed this, and those who followed in Byrne’s timeline worked with it. Now Johns’ has Clark being bullied by a guy(Lombard) who is not anymore ripped than he is.

And Funky, Byrne did not suck the fun out of the original Bizarro. He paid homage to the true original Bizarro from Superboy. That Bizarro was a tragic character, too.

“No way, Earth-2 Dick Grayson at least had self-confidence and wasn’t always crying about his childhood.”

The “crying about his childhood” actually worked when Wolfman first started it. Then Grayson was a young man just getting out from under his father-figures thumb and trying hard to get out of his shadow. Many real people of that age go through similiar issues. It’s something we can expect him to outgrow, except that comic book characters age very slowly when they age at all.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 15, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Now Johns’ has Clark being bullied by a guy(Lombard) who is not anymore ripped than he is.

He hasn’t really been bullied, just insulted – Clark turns the other cheek.

Thematically, Lombard works as he highlights that physical ideas of the perfect man do not make the perfect man., contrasting Clark who would be considered a loser or wimp, but is actually the better person.

And Funky, Byrne did not suck the fun out of the original Bizarro.

Yeah, that issue was a barrel of laughs.
To me, that read like the sort of thing people say Geoff Johns does – revives a concept but sucks all the original joy out of it.

He paid homage to the true original Bizarro from Superboy. That Bizarro was a tragic character, too.

Well, there was no ‘too’ in his version – it was just some sad arse clone who flew around a bit and then killed itself, and parts of it’s body somehow cured Lucy Lanes blindness, right when she was about to kill herself.
Great fun that was.

“Well, there was no ‘too’ in his version – it was just some sad arse clone who flew around a bit and then killed itself, and parts of it’s body somehow cured Lucy Lanes blindness, right when she was about to kill herself. Great fun that was.”

As compared to the original Bizarro flying around trying to help people but really just scaring them, and ultimately killing himself to cure the blindness of the one person who liked him, but only because she couldn’t see him?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 18, 2009 at 9:44 pm

As compared to the original Bizarro flying around trying to help people but really just scaring them, and ultimately killing himself to cure the blindness of the one person who liked him, but only because she couldn’t see him?

That was Bizarro Superboy, the much more popular one, Bizarro #1, was good for a lot more stories than just one.

Interesting in the much more ‘grounded’ version they still decided to use the nonsensical ‘he can cure her blindness’ business.

As a character I love Dick the most but as Robin Tim is my favorite .

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives