Wednesday, August 02, 2017

A Composite Robin

The Robin on the Teen Titans Go! cartoon is supposed to be Dick Grayson. He has the tragic origin at the circus (those rotten circus animals), the acrobatics, we've seen his future self becomes Nightwing, the attraction to Starfire, etc. His costume and the collapsible bo staff owe more to Tim Drake, and there was an episode where he tries to teach the team about how cool hacking. I wondered if that was a reference to Tim being such a super-great computer nerd/hacker back in the '90s*.

There was another episode I saw recently, when Robin gets jinxed by his teammates, who are tired of him lecturing them. He gets frustrated, breaks the jinx yelling at them, and loses his voice (which is collected by the villain Jinx). The Titans (eventually) try to recover it, but are unfocused without their leader, who has no luck communicating through dance or hand signals.

At which point Jinx chides him, remarking it's too bad he only taught them to respond to yelling and violence. Turns out Robin had forgotten about violence, and starts whaling away with his staff until they do what he wants.

So it occurred to me that the Robin on Teen Titans Go! has a lot of personality traits in common with another Robin, Damian Wayne. The arrogance, the violence, the tendency to treat everyone else as inferior morons who would be hopelessly lost without him.

Damian's the Robin in the current DC Rebirth Teen Titans book**; the solicits showed he's even going to boot Kid Flash off the team (cartoon Robin hates Kid Flash). I had wondered - as I did the last time Damian was on the Titans, in the short-lived JT Krul/Nicola Scott run on the book just before Flashpoint - why anyone would want to be on a team where they had to put up with Damian. I still don't know that I have a good answer, beyond thinking they can help him not be a jerk, or having no place else to go. It would be a clever way to try for some synergy between the comics and the TV show. If the kids like that Robin is angry and yells a lot, has the Teen Titans comic got a Robin for them!

* Or it could just be the Robin on the show has a fixation on the '90s, the way Cyborg has one on '80s TV shows.

** Disclaimer: I'm not reading the current Teen Titans book, just going off covers, solicitation text, and what I know of past characterization.


SallyP said...

Yeah... Damian has again become pretty insufferable.

Tim is secretly my favorite Robin.

CalvinPitt said...

I always found Damian pretty insufferable, but I figured there was a chance he might have toned it down a little over time. Guess not.

Tim's my favorite Robin as well.