The Arkham Sessions: Is Bruce Wayne The Best Parent For Dick Grayson?
This installment of The Arkham Sessions covers the final acts of “Robin’s Reckoning,” the highly-acclaimed two-part episode of Batman: The Animated Series, which explores the story of how Dick Grayson becomes Batman’s sidekick. As we learned from Part 1, Bruce refuses to allow Dick to become involved in the case of Tony Zucco, the man who murdered Dick’s family. For reasons unstated, Batman is determined to be the one to take Zucco down, causing a rift between Robin and himself. Despite Batman’s efforts, it is Robin who captures Zucco. In the emotional conclusion, Robin is faced with a decision that could change his life forever.
Is Bruce the Best Parent for Dick Grayson?
As Dick gets closer and closer to catching the man who murdered his parents, we begin to see some behavioral warning signs: reckless behavior, impulsivity, increased aggression, and angry outbursts. Dick’s obsessiveness with capturing Tony Zucco raises questions about his emulation of Bruce’s lifestyle as Batman and the potential that Dick is learning Bruce’s maladaptive coping related to his trauma.
In this episode, we discuss Social Learning Theory and the “Bobo Doll” experiment, a psychology study revealing that children who watched an adult “model” aggressive behaviors toward an inflatable clown toy were more likely to emulate those behaviors compared to children who did not witness aggressive acts. The study established an undeniable connection between observing violence and copying those acts of violence. (There is video of the Bobo Doll experiment–yes, they chose a clown as the recipient of the aggressive behavior, but, to our disappointment, there are few similarities noted between the clown toy and the Joker).
We also discuss the process of primary and secondary emotions in order to make sense of Dick’s rage and violence toward Tony Zucco when he finally has him in his grip. Listen to the full episode for more details on Dick Grayson’s coping, his relationship with Bruce, and his chances for a full recovery from trauma.
Could Tony Zucco End Up Being the Next Joe Chill?
Brian also has an interesting hypothesis about Batman and his parents’ killer. You’re going to want to hear this! It may just blow your mind.
More episodes of The Arkham Sessions can be found on iTunes as well as at Under The Mask. Dr. Drea can be found on Twitter at @ArkhamAsylumDoc. Brian can be found at @Bward028. The Arkham Sessions’ official Twitter feed is @ArkhamSessions.