Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with decades of comics behind, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite names in comics in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
This week we're taking a look at Robin, the Boy Wonder!
Blind bag toys have been a huge market these past few years, and perhaps no brand knows this better than Lego. Since launching the blind bag minifigures back in 2010, Lego has had tremendous success with the collection, which has had 16 proper waves alongside special edition series like Disney and The Simpsons. Early next year, another special series will see Lego celebrate the launch of The Lego Batman Movie, and you might be surprised to see who's being packed inside.
We live in a time when hate speech directed at marginalized people has become too commonplace in public and political rhetoric; a time when the demonization of Muslims, immigrants, transgender people and others masquerades as a defense of security or virtue; when nostalgia for "the good old days" sanctifies a past in which marginalized people were deprived of respect, voice, or power. The fear-mongering of politicians seeps down into everyday conversation, feeding commonplace prejudices.
Even so, it's still shocking to hear that sort of rhetoric presented on the stage at a comic convention by one of the industry's most high profile authors, especially at a panel discussing LGBTQ themes in Marvel's X-Men comics. Yet at last week's New York Comic Con, writer Peter David indulged in exactly that sort of hate speech, in this instance directed at one of the world's most easily and persistently scapegoated communities: the Rromani people.
Many different heroes have held the mantle of Robin over the years. Each of them is completely different, and we all have our favorites (cough Damian cough). Each one also represents a different idea about who and what children are, and how they are depicted in superhero comics. Kids can represent hope, they can represent dread, they can represent immaturity, and they can represent legacy. Let's break down how the Robins can represent all of these things.
Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with over 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite names in comics in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
This week we're taking a look at the Boy Wonder the Teen Wonder the Man Wonder, Dick Grayson, Nightwing! Beginning as the very first kid sidekick in comics and then growing into his own identity as a hero separate from Batman, Dick Grayson has been one of the most beloved characters in comics for over 75 years. In this video, we take a look at his history as half of a dynamic duo, as a hero in his own right, as Batman (twice), as a secret agent, and back again.
Dick Grayson has had a pretty interesting couple of years. He had his identity exposed, he faked his death, he went undercover as an international super-spy in an organization dedicated to finding out other heroes' secret identities and weaknesses, and he even taught a few classes in gymnastics. But for Batman's first partner, that's the superheroic equivalent of going off to college.
Now, he's donning the mask once again and returning to his former codename, and with Nightwing: Rebirth on shelves this week, ComicsAlliance spoke to writer Tim Seeley about the challenge of moving Dick back into his familiar identity, the metaphor behind his return to Gotham City, and just why it is that the first arc of the new series is called "Better Than Batman."
Dick Grayson has done it all. He was in the circus. He was the first Robin. He’s the reason almost every superhero had to have a kid sidekick. He started his own super-team with his friends. He broke away from Batman and became his own hero, and took over for his mentor and became Batman.More than once. He’s been a good cop in a bad city. He’s died and come back as a super-spy. And now, with DC Rebirth in full swing, he’s set to slip back into the black and blue and become Nightwing once again!
Oh, and if you haven’t been on the internet, he also has the unquestioned, best butt in comics. So, yeah, as you might have guessed there’s a lot of fan art of him floating (or flipping, spinning, and swinging) around out there on the internet.
In Detective Comics #27, when he first appears courtesy of Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Batman isn't really Batman just yet. He's the Shadow with a different set of clothes. Over the course of that first year, you can see the pieces start to fall into place that would stay there for the next seven decades, forming the foundation of the Batman that we still have today --- and in Detective Comics #38, released March 5th 1940, the final piece of the puzzle appears when we're introduced to Dick Grayson, better known as Robin, the Boy Wonder.
To say that Tim Seeley, Tom King and Mikel Janin are a hard act to follow is putting things mildly. In a year and a half on Grayson, they took the concept of the original Robin going undercover as a super-spy and made it one of DC's best titles, exploring strange, sinister corners of the DC Universe. When Grayson #18 hits shelves, however, Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly and Roge Antonio are stepping up to the plate for the next three issues ahead of the DC Rebirth relaunch of Nightwing, and it's their goal to take things to an even greater extreme.
To find out more, ComicsAlliance spoke to Lanzing and Kelly about what defines Dick Grayson as a character, their approach to building the biggest story that they can, and how they finally hit the book's limit of shirtless sexiness.
Ever since it launched, Grayson has been defined by blending the bizarre extremes of espionage action with the even more bizarre extremes of a superhero universe full of villains with guns for eyes and mind-altering hypno-contacts, and as you might expect, it's the latter that gets most of the attention. This is, after all, a spy story set in a world of masks and capes, and there are certain expectations that the genre brings with it.
This week, though, Tom King, Tim Seeley, Mikel Janin and Jeromy Cox have taken things in a decidedly more spy-inspired --- or inspyred --- direction. Not only do we get a cover that evokes the beautiful opening of A View To A Kill, and a five-page sequence of Dick Grayson singing a song that sounds an awful lot like the theme from Goldfinger, but, in case you missed it, Dick Grayson just kicked a very familiar face.
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