Tag Archive: Robin


Jean-Paul Valley is one of my favorite characters in comics by a long margin. Created in anticipation of the “Knightfall” crossover trilogy that saw him take over as Batman for a year, Azrael became a hated symbol of 90s grimdark. But Jean-Paul is so much more than that. In fact, Jean-Paul was not only a refutation of Dark Age thinking but became an active example of the alternative. Over his ten-year story, Jean Paul became a unique and interesting character, examining concepts as varied as non-violence, childhood abandonment, addiction, toxic masculinity, and elective family.

Jean-Paul is a very special character in my mind, and yet he doesn’t have a lot of fans. So, if you’ll indulge me a bit, I’d like to take you on a tour of Jean-Paul’s world. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll make a few new fans and you’ll walk away with a new character to nerd out over. If not, we can at least make fun of this character’s weird history together. So come with me and let’s take a walk.

With “Knightquest: The Crusade” Jean-Paul truly became the star of his story for the first time. “Knightquest” would see Jean-Paul struggle with his programming and his own morality as he learned what it meant to be the Dark Knight.
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Right at the beginning, when I started doing interviews for this site, there were a few creators I just knew I had to try to speak to. But I didn’t want to focus too much on Batman and I wanted to make sure I was asking questions that they wanted to answer and that you’d want to hear answered. Long story short, it’s two years later and somehow I still hadn’t talked to James Tynion IV!

It feels like it goes without saying at this point but James Tynion is a core player in the modern comics industry. It’s technically accurate to say that he’s a future superstar, as I suspect he’ll be an essential writer for years to come, but that ignores that he’s already made it, overseeing both of the Batman Eternal weekly series, each one the core of comics’ most profitable brand.

But perhaps what’s most interesting about Tynion is that he’s not just writing a main Batman title, he’s also filling in the corners of DC’s universe and turning out multiple independent books that are wonderfully experimental and real. He manages to give the impression of a seasoned professional and the up-and-coming rebel out for his job. His work at Boom! has been a huge part of their success in establishing themselves as the place for fresh creator-owned comics.

As such, Tynion was rather busy this year at New York Comic Con, but I was able to find a few minutes to talk to him about his plans for The Woods and what we can expect from Batman and Robin Eternal. Continue reading

In the course of talking to comic creators this year, I started to think about their unique talents and what I think they would be best suited to. Inspired by all kinds of wonderful ideas I’ve seen online and heard from creators, I’ve put together my New 52. These are the 52 books I would publish if DC’s offerings were up to me and, as my friends and I have had a good time discussing them, I thought I would share them with you.

I tried to consider the actual feasibility of these titles, not only in the sense of immediate sales but in their ability to expand DC’s brand long-term. I also recognize that this is a dramatically simplified version of what DC actually has to do. As such, I made a couple of rules for myself.

First, as I don’t have the same knowledge of the creators’ availability and timeliness as an actual editor, I decided that I would allow myself access to any writer currently working in comics, but that I could only assign a creator to one book. Second, I tried not to put a writer on the same book that they’ve already worked on, though some were moved to similar concepts or allowed to expand short work they’ve already done. Finally, while an actual relaunch might do well to include some new books, I limited myself to preexisting titles and IPs for this project.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, on why I’m right, why I clearly screwed up, who should be illustrating the series, etc. But, regardless, I hope you enjoy.

Through seventy-five years of comics, Robin has held a special place in the hearts of comic fans. Whether your Robin was Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, or Burt Ward, there’s something about the character that’s more than just the second part of “Batman and…” Maybe it’s that they tend to be relatable. Maybe it’s that they’re teen heroes who are famous enough to attract big writers. Maybe it’s just the dynamism of the quips and costume. Whatever it is, each of the Robins has their own passionate fan base.

The Robin concept is also impressively viable. The first Robin series ran for almost 200 issues and was followed shortly by Nightwing, at the time the only other living character to hold the Robin mantle, for a similarly immense run of about 150 issues. Dick Grayson’s leadership of the New Teen Titans is considered one of DC’s greatest runs and Jason Todd is better loved today than he was at the peak of his popularity as Robin.

I would love little more than to give the New Year’s 52 a fantastic Nightwing series, however not all of the Robins can justify taking one of our fifty-two slots. I think there’s even more potential in giving all of the Robins a showcase.

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