SPOILER WARNING! Don’t hit the jump if you haven’t read up to issue #8 of Batman Incorporated. Yeah, I know you’ve probably had the issue spoiled a dozen times by a dozen websites already, but just in case this is your only source of comics news, you’ve been forewarned…
Hey Batman! Er, greetings? Humble salutations? I’m not sure how to open a letter to a superhero.
My deepest condolences on the recent loss of your son Damian. I know you have to be going through a rough time right now, but we need to talk, you know, about the whole Robin thing.
If history is any indication you’re already on the lookout for someone new to wear the red and green — in fact, it seems like you’ve got another little wounded-bird all lined up in Harper Row, sassy teenage hacker. She’s certainly promising, but I’m asking you, begging you to step back and reconsider before you give her the Batcave tour.
According to your bosses at DC, you’ve only been Batman-ing it for five years. In that time you’ve lost three Robins. Sure, a couple of them came back to life again, but you can’t go on as usual counting on the fact that Superboy-Prime is always going to be there to punch a magical wall for you. Your Robin safety record is abysmal, and it’s time to reconsider your hiring practices.
First off, no more emotionally wounded children. I’m afraid I’m going to have to be absolutely firm on this one. It simply isn’t working — it causes no end of headaches and heartaches for you, and more than half the time they end up dead. The next Robin should be at least 21 and not recently orphaned. Got it?
Okay, now that we’ve laid down the “no kids” rule, how about a nice lady Robin? It’s not like I spend all day obsessing over it, but I have been following your love life, and I’m concerned. You seem lonely, and dare I say it, a bit desperate. You throw yourself at every villainess that’ll give you the time of day — Talia Al Ghul, Catwoman, Jezebel Jett — the list goes on. Come on, you need somebody you can bring home to Alfred. I mean, listen, I know dating is hard when you’re a superhero. You make connections where you can, I get it, but a female Robin would give you an opportunity to get out of the femme fatale dating pool, and hey, nothing gets the sparks flying like a night of roof leaping followed by a couples foiling of the Mad Hatter.
Next, I know you’re into the “master and mentor” setup, but the world won’t explode if the next Robin is actually better than you at some things. Hell, they could even have superpowers! You’re the goddamn Batman — you’ve saved the world dozens of times, and everyone thinks you’re like, a million times cooler than Superman. You have absolutely no reason to feel inadequate about your superheroing, so no more “everything you can do, I can do better” games with your own sidekick. It’s creepy.
Okay, this is getting a bit long, so it’s lightning round time — no more former-criminals, no former murderers, no more circus performers, no more dudes with black hair parted down the middle, nobody with supervillain parents, nobody with you as a parent, no robots, no clones and definitely not the goddamn Spoiler again.
Finally, who says your next full-time partner needs to take on the “Robin” name? Here’s a suggestion — how about that nice Barbara Gordon? She’s been trying to impress you since the 60s man, and yet you keep her in the sidekick friend zone. Any punk who comes along and tries to steal your tires gets to be your best crime-busting buddy, but you keep Batgirl at arm’s length unless you need computer help. Uncool. Either that or stop dicking around and make Grayson your fulltime sidekick again. He’s a grown-ass man, stop making him feel like he’s not quite wanted because he doesn’t want to wear green underpants while fighting crime anymore.
I’m sorry if some of this came off as harsh, but it needed to be said. I just really want your new sidekick to get through the next big Batman crossover intact, y’know? It’s either hear it from me or hear it from Child Protective Services at this point, so I hope you took some of it to heart.
Nathan M. Birch
PS – If you’re willing to ignore all my previous suggestions, I’m totally up for the Robin thing. Just saying.