YouTube has “Batman’s Great Mystery” from The Adventures of Superman radio show. As the story starts we hear Robin “Batman is gone, Mr. Kent.”
I’m going to add this to the research link above. It’s a wiki, which I’m not thrilled with, but it’s the only in-depth source I could find on Ronald Liss.
@MisfitCMJ is keeping us hopping with his Real Robin Facts, which made me realize we completely forget the movie serial. I wonder if some of these are going to end up on the quiz?
Well, that first serial is somewhat forgettable. But it is the reason Alfred got taller and thinner!
The first Robin solo feature? Star-Spangled Comics!
That, we did find. A few of the stories are reprinted in 70s Detective, links above
Although Robin eventually meets Superman, and works with Batman,and spends a little time with Batwoman and Bat-Girl, its not until the Brave and the Bold 54 in 1964 that Dick Grayson meets any other super-characters. (You can check me on this, but Robin’s doesn’t meet the JSA in the two issues that do feature Batman.
Robin Real Fact: Robin is a killer. Everyone likes to bring up early issues when Batman gunned down criminals, but he’s not the only member of the dynamic duo willing to mete out the ultimate punishment. Here in his debut, the Boy Wonder is sends a hoodlum plummeting to his demise.
I’m such a child. That made me laugh out loud like an 11 year old in 1940.
Polls coming this weekend, including what are the most important roles Robin fulfills in the stories. Like, being Watson to Batman’s Holmes.
I think the question is here-- how much thought did the creators give to the actions of the heroes?
So, I think the answer is the very definitive “some.” The broad strokes were purposeful and came from the writer’s ideas of how to construct a story or managements dictates about what was appropriate for DC comics. In the specific example of Robin kicking a man to his death, this is completely in line with Batman’s previous adventures. “But soon after Robin’s arrival, the editor ordered changes, as Finger recounted: 'I had Batman use a gun to shoot a villain, and I was called on the carpet by Whit Ellsworth. He said, ‘Never let us have Batman carry a gun again.’ He was right.”
Finger was also aware the Holmes-Watson effect Robin would have “Holmes had his Watson…Batman didn’t have anyone to talk to, and it got a little tiresome always having him thinking.”
I think other impacts are just the natural outgrowth of writers cranking out stories centered on these two characters. A lighter more jovial Robin just has a natural impact on Batman’s demeanor, so you end of with more quips and a Batman who smiles. The need for story ideas brings out other aspects of the relationship like Frank Miller’s crack about “Robin, the Boy Hostage.” Another good example that @TurokSonOfStone1950 pointed me towards is ‘Bruce Wayne Loses the Guardianship of Dick Grayson!’ in Batman #20. Swindlers pose as Dicks aunt and uncle and gain custody which results in Bruce in anguish “Dick is like my own son!..Your honor, I …I love that boy!” So, we get the development of the father-son dynamic.
Finally, there’s us years later seeing things in these stories that probably were nowhere near the minds of the writers. There’s some very nice academic writing about how Robin allows Batman to process his own personal trauma as they both deal with the after-effects of their parents murder. That’s interesting, and I think true to some extent but certainly not intentional.
Quotes are from Dick Grayson 75 years
The quiz is interesting
The first question is looking at Batman and the storirs analytically. The vengefull Batman from the early issues could not have survived in an atmosphere where comics were attacked as a bad example for kids.
But the second question is what Batman thinks of the situation. My position is that he really clueless about his real motivations
He see a kid in pain, experiencing what he did as a child. He want to help the kid. But his solution sets are very limited because he has no real life experience just the mission.
Later on he finds the kid is useful. And he feels happy that the kid is happy. It doesn’t go much further than that
I often think people/characters are fundamentally simpler than people want them to be.
Regarding poll 1: Needing a Watson for the same reason Conan Doyle creates Watson. The person to ask the questions the reader is thinking. To have a simple hook into story exposition that is required, and especially true with detective type stories. Creating an engagement with young (mostly male) readers and their sense of wish fulfillment. They are basically story telling forcing functions for a number of the other items. So I see those as the most critical.
Regarding poll 2: Bruce has empathy for another orphan. Here is someone he can relate to and have empathy for Dick’s situation. Also, he can brings the kid’s killers to justice. The one thing he has never been able to do. So that is wish fulfillment for Bruce. They are kinda the simplest answers, and while Batman is a complex character, his core is very simple,
As we start week 2, wanted to turn for a moment to the solo Golden Age Robin stories starting in Star-Spangled Comics #57 in February 1947 to Star-Spangled Comics #130 in July 1952. Robin graced the covers of Star-Spangled Comics for 30 issues starting with his debut and ending in issue #95 when you was replaced by Revolutionary War hero Tomahawk. These issues haven’t been digitized, but thanks to backup stories reprinted the 80 and 100 page comics produced by DC in the 1970s we can read three of these solo stories on DCU (links above).
While our polls reflect on the ways Robin impacts Batman, this small sampling of the Gold Age Robin stories show how important Batman’s presence is to Robin. for me, this small sampling of solo Robin stories lack the weight of the Golden Age dynamic duo stories. The presence of Batman, even in his smiling quip a punch mode, and a menace and seriousness of purpose that the solo Robin stories lack. Whether it was the writers purposefully giving Robin less dangerous foes or just the visuals of a lone small boy fighting crime, it was clear to me that at this point in his character development Robin needed Batman.
Here’s a pint sized schoolboy detective solving crime while keeping his identity secret and fighting the power of school aptitude tests.
Great discussion going on about when comics began marketing more towards kids in a group message but wanted to make sure a couple of great sources identified were available to everyone. Here’s a post from @darkstarz25
T. Andrew Wahl sort of mentions the creation of superhero comics, Superman, in the link below. In a nutshell, he brings up the immigration story. Using this ideology, I would think that Superman wasn’t aimed exclusively to kids. Furthermore, Wonder Woman is anything but safe for kids during the years of Marston writing the stories. There are many adult themes throughout her stories. However, I am sure this would go over kids heads. Adults must have noticed because when he stopped writing the books her sales went down. This can be found in the Origins of DC Comics documentary on DC Universe.
Superheroes change the course of history. But history also changes the course of superheroes. Comic book historian T. Andrew Wahl explores how comic books are a mirror of their times.
And @TurokSonOfStone1950 found this encyclopedia entry that includes this “A survey commissioned in 1943 showed that 95 percent of children ages eight to eleven were regular comic book readers. In addition, 84 percent of those from twelve to seventeen and even 35 percent of people ages eighteen to thirty were regular readers.”
It’s worth noting that the level of eroticism and fetishism in Marston’s WW stories is more than we still get in mainstream comics today. I think you’d be hard pressed to take a three issue WW run that Marston did and do a movie or tv show and recreating all of the panels as shots. I doubt it’d get a PG-13 or TV-14 rating.
Marston used sexuality and especially fetishism in those books, and here we stand today, nearly 80 years later, and they’d need to be a DC Black Label book today.
Although as I’m partway through Lapone’s book on Martin, I’d walk this back a little as many of the images in WW are straight out of the early 20th century suffragette/feminist movement.
But, it’s difficult to deny that there was an awful lot of bondage in these book. While some can be traced back to Victorian erotica/smut, one can also see how they were drawn on by Irving Klaw and his bondage photography of the late 40’s and thru much of the 50’s.
So it’s still a double edged sword in term of popular culture. There is no doubt that Martin embraces elements of the suffragette/feminist movement, it is difficult to ignore his use of fetishism as well.
The two were not mutually exclusive.