Batman and Robin. There are countless homosexual innuendos that spring up surrounding this dynamic duo, everyone has heard them before. Sure it’s amusing, and some people prefer Batman without Robin because it prevents such awkward moments from cropping up in the comics. Personally I’m a big fan of a Batman with Robin, I like Batman to have that youthful counterpoint to his brooding aged pessimism. Generally Robin is a little more easy going and provides a bit of comic relief to the stark, grim nature of Batman. Of course that comparatively jovial tone can be over done, and when taken too far Robin becomes annoying. It all really depends on the writer, and which version of the Boy Wonder is being portrayed. Overall though I like to see the one two punch of Batman and Robin taking out a villain. The partnership creates the possibility for more complex story telling and allows the character of Batman to execute more dynamic crime fighting maneuvers.
Now, about this panel. I really don’t know what the hell is going on here, but this is one of the most awkward panels I have ever seen. I would like to thank David Tavolier for submitting today’s image. As soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for Friday Funny Pages. There are several things that are disturbing about this. 1: Shirtless Robin. What was just going on here? 2: Batman in full gear. When you put Batman in his full costume in front of a shirtless boy it just gives off a creepy vibe. His costume ceases being a superhero disguise, and suddenly seems more like some kind of S&M suit. 3: Batman has “experience.” Hand on the shoulder, leaning in saying, “If you want to talk to someone who’s had experience in that area . . . ” Yikes! 4: Robin is peering into your soul. The Boy Wonder’s direct eye contact with the reader is unsettling. Is it perhaps a cry for help? 5: This image wasn’t questioned. I mean, come on! The artist drew this panel and didn’t think, Hmmmm this might come off wrong? I’m convinced they knew what they were drawing, they knew I needed a good Batman rape scene to go along with my Superman rape scene from a few weeks back. So thanks for that, and thanks for providing more fodder for the Batman/Robin gay joke extravaganza!
More from the Marvel/DC Crossover Classics! Today we get a sampling from the X-Men/Teen Titans team-up. Written by Chris Claremont with art by Walter Simonson, this tale had a hell of a creative match up as well. There was a great deal going on in this story, Deathstroke of course makes an appearance, and there’s a great X-Men training scene in the Danger Room, but the main gist of the story revolves around an epicly cosmic pairing of Darkseid and Dark Phoenix armed with a plan to conquer the entire universe! With such massively powerful supervillains working together you’d think the various comic universes would send their heaviest hitters like Superman and Thor or at the very least Green Lantern and the Fantastic Four, but no. Instead DC/Marvel send in the angsty teen squads to clean up this mess!
There really isn’t anything inherently funny in this full-page spread. Here we have the moment when the Teen Titans and the X-Men officially join forces, we see the two leaders, Cyclops and Robin, of course hashing it out with a handshake, while the other heroes have a few individual moments. What I do find funny is that looking back at this page, nowadays none of these characters are portrayed as kids anymore. For the most part all of these heroes have taken their rightful place in the pantheons of Marvel and DC and sadly many of them have been relegated to teachering positions, instructing their hipper, younger, and even angstier team replacements. Of course some of them have gone on to do other things, Storm and Nightcrawler occasionally manage to get away from the X-Mansion, and Dick Grayson and Cyborg are now brushing shoulders with the big guys.
Basically I’d like a huge framed print of this, with no dialogue, to hang at the entrance of my house. That way people would walk into my home and the first thing that would catch their eye would be the Teen Titans shaking hands with the X-men on a giant asteroid in the middle of an insane cosmic weirdscape. I think that would really get some good conversations started, don’t you?