Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Playing Favorites excerpts, pt 30

Every Tuesday I post excerpts from best selling at not selling super blog, Playing Favorites. 

It isn’t just that Batman is so much better at thinking these things through, it’s that he doesn’t need adulation for it. The same can be said of Spider-Man and Superman, though while they don’t need applause or approval, they do take heed of criticism. This is what makes them humble characters while Batman rides an interesting line between that particular definition of humble and Doctor Doom’s level of social neediness. Batman’s independent nature, perhaps existing almost outside of normal human social interaction is part of what makes him a wish-fulfillment character; our interactions with others are necessary, but many believe that if they weren’t, our lives would be much simpler.  Getting rid of the tedious, mundane human interactions is one aspect that makes him a fun character. Though it doesn’t make him heroic, it does enable him to be more heroic, as he never has to deal with or compromise on moral dilemmas concerning loved ones, wives, parents, etc..

Well, except Robin. Even then, Robin is supposed to keep up with Batman and follow his lead. Robin wouldn’t really lead Batman astray or tempt him with something outside of his moral idiom (like a girlfriend, or sibling might); instead, he takes his own morality from Batman. Even when captured or otherwise endangered, he will encourage Batman to act in the most moral manner possible, absolving him from endangering Robin’s life further by being moral(though the right thing to do is always save Robin, then stop the bad guys). In fact, if you’re going with the “Seduction of the Innocent” angle, (because let’s face it, everyone’s brought it up before and most of you are thinking it right now.) age aside, isn’t Robin (well, Dick and Tim mostly. Y’know, the ‘living Robins.’) the perfectly unchallenging girl/boyfriend? Absolutely loyal. Identical moral code. No challenging moral or intellectual characteristics. Always eager to learn something more from Batman? Oh, it’s not a healthy relationship, for sure. I’m just saying, it’s a damned convenient, unequal relationship that spares one the inconveniences of something real and growth-inspiring.

That said, I only started picking up Batman comics after Bruce Wayne died, so I can’t say too much about the nominal Batman/Robin relationship, with the exception of Damian and Dickbats, which isn’t even close to normal.

For anyone.
Image courtesy of Adriana Ferguson. Click the image for her DeviantArt.

What I can say is that I know Jason Todd was older than most Robins, challenged Batman more, might’ve killed a dude, and got beaten, blown up, and killed by The Joker because he didn’t listen to Batman (He got better).

It is strange though, thinking on it. Is Batman a subconscious prototype for unequal relationship desires in people, or is he something that’s produced by the same mindset that might want those types of relationships?

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