Thursday, February 9, 2012

Batman and Robin #3

It seems to me the worst reason to have Robin running around with you would be the danger to your secret identity. If you're a high profile rich man with a young boy or ward and Batman is a high profile urban legend who runs around with a young boy at his side, I'm guessing people would make connections. Even if there are a million people living in Gotham. People are going to speculate who Batman might possibly be over tea and biscuits. People are going to realize Batman needs money and technology with his crazy Batplanes and Batcycles and Batboats and Robat Boomerangs. Besides, if you take Detective Comics as part of the mix, everyone already suspects some connection between Bruce Wayne and Batman. It doesn't take much more than a stray thought to connect Damian with Robin as well.

But it is a comic book and secret identities are just part of the suspension of disbelief the readers are asked to maintain. And I don't mind maintaining that aspect of things. Everyone makes comments about Superman and Clark Kent and the whole pair of glasses as secret identity thing. Although some people do it better than others.

So in Batman #3, Robin is hating the Great Dane that Batman purchased for him. Bruce seems to think it's a nice reward for Robin showing restraint while catching criminals. Robin seems to see it as a distraction and an annoyance. I'm with Robin on his one! Stupid big slobbering mutt! I think it would have been funny if Batman got him a purse dog.

Bruce also asks Robin to name the dog before Bruce leaves on patrol, leaving Robin alone to rebel and go out on his own. So now Batman and Robin have a dog just like Aquaman and Mera! I smell a play date coming on! A big stinky play date that smells like fish and big wet dogs.

Every time I go out, I mentally prepare for this.

Robin stops a mugging in that way that every other Robin has never done. I think something might be weighing heavily on Damian's mind. Man, mother issues. Some people deal with them by going out and beating criminal strangers into pulp and other people just write a concept album and animated movie.

Nobody knows everything!

This Nobody guy watches Damian very nearly kill the mugger. He does beat him brain dead. But I guess that's technically not killing him. And he did use the other mugger as a human shield when the first mugger shot at him. But, again, technically that's not murder. Robin didn't pull the trigger! Besides, he's only 10 years old! There's a reason 10 year olds should not be held responsible for criminal acts. They don't actually understand the complexities of ethics and empathy, justice and morality. He's a flippin' ten year old! He knows he wants what he wants and doesn't have the mental ability to really understand the consequences of his actions.

Plus, he's just a ten year old who has been trained to be an assassin. He sort of tries to be good for Batman but it goes against everything he's learned. And at ten, you don't have enough life experience to really judge the things you learn against other ways of thinking or being. He's as helpless to his need to hurt people as a young Christian child is in his belief of God or a vegan's child's belief that meat is murder. These are beliefs they've been given and not beliefs they've come to on their own. And now Batman has to at least show Damian another way he can go.

It might not take. And many people would argue that Batman's way isn't the best way anyhow. A lot of people could easily point out that a dead Joker would be much better than one that keeps escaping from Arkham Asylum to kill again and again. I'm not saying I do! I believe in the Gollum Factor! For you kids today, we can think of it as the Spike Factor, ala Buffy.

Why don't they just kill Gollum/Spike when they have the chance? He's bad and evil, right? But, of course, in the end, the world is saved by Gollum/Spike's self-sacrifice. Not that Gollum meant to be all self-sacrificing! But that's the problem with trying to merge two analogies at once! I've always thought Gandalf said it quite well. But I'm not good with quotes so I'll have to paraphrase. He told Frodo that we don't have the power to give life back to someone who we think didn't deserve to die, so what makes us think we should have the power to take the life of someone we think deserves to die?

Although maybe the Joker should just be killed since the Batman comic is going to go on forever and the Joker is never really going to have his moment to show there was a good reason to not kill him. He'll just keep killing and killing and killing! And the Gollum Factor probably only works in fiction as an interesting plot device. I'm not sure Jeffrey Dahmer could have ever been counted on to save the world, even by accident!

Batman arrives to save the day before Morgan Nobody can corrupt Robin but Batman fails. Batman and Robin end up in some lone drive-in in the middle of Nowhere in a dilapidated convertible. When they come around, Nobody begins a film that will hopefully explain it all!

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