The Batman sequel and all new Batman movies need Robin
The Batman sequel and all new Batman movies need Robin
You won’t know it from about 70 percent of the films about him. But for most of his existence, Batman has never been a loner. Bill Finger and Bob Kane created Batman in 1939. Detective comics #27, and in the 80+ years we’ve gotten Batman stories, he’s only been truly lonely once; by the 1940s Detective comics #38, Robin is born. Eleven comics: that’s how many were published before the creators of Batman decided to give him an assistant.
While were many comics where the Dark Knight flew solo. Each one did so with a rapidly growing cast of caped heroes joining Batman’s crusade in the background, either in the comics or Saturday morning cartoons. At some point, these films seem to have less Bruce Wayne and more Drake. hide the child. The child is Robin. All of them.
If there is a significant deficiency in Batman, is that it is pretty much a remix of the familiar. It’s incredibly stylish and a very good revision of what came before, but it’s a makeover nonetheless. The reason for this is simple: most of the ideas about Batman still unexplored on-screen only come into play. When you surround him with other characters. Robin (any Robin), Batgirl (any Batgirl), Batwoman, Batwing, Huntress, Signaler, Little Red Riding Hood, Azrael and in one very good Detective comics Run written by James Tynion IV, Clayface. It’s frankly odd that a major film studio, best described in Hollywood as “a tulip craze, but for intellectual property,” is leaving so much franchise gold on the table because of the bizarre, ahistorical claim that Batman is a solo act.
This is partly a holdover from a more insecure era when comic book evangelists felt compelled to relentlessly advocate. That the medium No just for kids more. The 1980s saw some truly revolutionary comics. And fans began to perceive Batman as a more “real” hero due to his lack of traditional superpowers. Batman became the Thinking Man’s avatar (emphasis on Man) superhero. However, it’s worth remembering that outside of comic fandom, the touchstone of the average person for Batman was still Adam West. Batman has always contained plenty.
However, Batman didn’t do that in modern cinema, and perhaps this is due to the filmmakers’ reluctance to involve a family of bats other than Joel Schumacher, who played Chris O’Donnell. Batman forever as well as Batman and Robin (The latter also featured Alicia Sylveston as Batgirl). Much like post-Adam West Batman comics, post-Schumacher Batman is most clearly defined by a desire to move away from the blockbuster “Batman” that is considered too toy and childish, and ironically, this is accomplished by similar means: cutting out Robin, the scapegoat for kids. Batman because he is often portrayed as a child. (For more on the cyclical nature of the Batman fandom, check out Glen Weldon’s excellent book. Caped Crusader.)
This is narrow thinking. Robin – and the entire Bat-family – is the answer to all those heavy questions surrounding Bat-movies about whether Batman’s crusade is effective, worthwhile, or accomplishing anything. The Bat-family is how Bruce Wayne’s unique mission can take on a more complex human form, with characters who grow up underneath it, confront it, and interpret it in different ways.
Batgirl and Batwoman start out as independent actors inspired by Batman’s crusade. Each with their own motivations and slightly different moral lines. The various young men who were Robin are constant litmus tests of whether Batman’s idea works. Has he made Gotham a safe enough place to send this young man after him? Did bringing another one of Gotham’s lost children under his wing to make their lives better than his? Sometimes the answer is yes, and Batman’s greatest tragedies often happen when the answer is no.
There’s also the odd side effect of not having a Bat-family in the movie. It makes Batman the only counterpoints of villains, rich people, cops, and his own employees, direct representations of the failed institutions that make Batman’s existence necessary, or, like Lucius Fox, people pay to keep him on. on the same level as the toys. With no other man-bats around, Batman frankly looks deranged, and the world has to warp around him to support the claim that he’s not funny.
To some extent, modern bat films understand this. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy ended up being about Harvey Dent as much as it was about Batman, the symbolic force for good that could purge Gotham from within the system without the need for justice in disguise – and ended with a more optimistic Robin. Take the hood if necessary. Batman at the end of Ben Affleck’s career is haunted by the loss of the invisible Robin, and his arc in the two crossover films is one where he realizes the loss has made him sour and he needs others to keep him focused on hope.
So much of modern Batman cinema is dedicated to selling audiences the fiction that the character sells to criminals: that he’s a strange creature of the night, a boogeyman you never really want to see. Perhaps that’s why the tedious debate continues as to why Bruce Wayne doesn’t instead simply donate money to charity or direct his considerable resources towards something other than custom bat-themed ninja gear. There’s a yearning for a richer world where being Batman does something for Gotham City other than causing allergic rashes to carnival-themed lunatics – a renewable resource that never runs out because Batman is a character that exists to fight such madmen.
It’s disappointing because the answer to “Batman changes something” is and has always been there from the start for anyone who wants to watch. Despite the loss of his family, Batman becomes brave enough to build a new one. This family then creates a better Batman: one that is not limited to one person or the stories told about him.