HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Comics Today's Date:

What Does Dick Grayson Have To Do?

Batman: And what about Dick Grayson?

Superman of Earth-2: Yes?

Batman: Is he a better man on your Earth than he is on mine?

(Long Dramatic Pause)

Superman of Earth-2: No.

Ouch! What is so wrong with Dick Grayson? I understand that he has never finished his education at Gotham University; that he is a somewhat estranged partner to the Batman; he doesn’t have a steady love interest; he doesn’t have a job; and that he is an ex-Titan and an ex-Outsider.

He is, however, probably the greatest hero of his generation. At least Wally West, Donna Troy, Garth and Roy Harper all defer to him. Sure he doesn’t have the all encompassing drive for “the mission” that Bruce Wayne does but who does? One would think that Bruce would find this to be a good thing. It means that he did a good job of filling the void in Dick’s life after the flying Graysons were killed by Boss Zucco. Bruce, however, is apparently not happy with the way Dick Grayson has grown up.

As my father gets older and I rapidly enter into middle age I look upon my works and despair. I am forced to wonder, “is this all there is?”, “have I lived up to the expectations of my father?”

This theme is universal and probably explains why Hamlet is considered one of the greatest plays ever. Every son fears that he has not measured up to the standard set by the father. Some have argued that our current President has attained his position and gone to war in an attempt to gain his own father’s approval.

Can we ever be all that our fathers have envisioned for us? Are we ever rich enough; powerful enough? Loved enough? That must be why when I read Infinite Crisis #3 that the above passage really stung. I may make more money than my father but I will never have to overcome the adversities that he did. In many ways I view him as a standard of man that I can never achieve. I can never be my father and Dick Grayson can never be Batman.

It is true that Dick Grayson/Nightwing has never truly found his way in life. Who would have ever thought that Wally West would be a valued member of the JLA, married with two kids or even Roy Harper would be a responsible parent before Dick Grayson. Donna Troy (freshly back from the dead) is currently leading a mission of powerhouses into space. Only Aqualad seems to be more in the shadow of his mentor than Dick Grayson, but in Garth’s defense Aquaman is a King.

One can argue whether or not Dick Grayson/Nightwing has lived up to the potential that he exhibited in his youth. Is he the same person that led the Titans against Brother Blood or fought a war in the Vega system or even beat the Mad Mod? Has he been (as I like to put it) “Marvelized” into a self-doubting whiner? Maybe, but what on infinite-Earths has the Earth-2 Robin done to earn the disgust of Kal-L?

The good thing about being old is that at a touch of the fingers (when the mental rolodex fails) I’ve got a library of books at my disposal. When I first encountered the Earth-2 Robin in Justice League #55 He was being unanimously voted into the JSA. Nothing was mentioned about Robin’s private life except that the Earth-2 Batman was semi-retired. He did, however, manage to appear in one of the all-time ugliest costumes ever.

It wasn’t until All-Star Comics #58 back in 1976 that we learned something about the Earth-2 Robin’s personal life. In this issue we learned that this Dick Grayson was a U.N. delegate to South Africa. In Justice League of America #135 we saw the Earth-2 Batman and Robin cheerfully working together. In 1979 we learned that the Earth-2 Dick Grayson was a partner in the law firm of Cranston, Grayson and Wayne (the Wayne is Helena “the Huntress” Wayne).

In all of my research the worst thing I could determine that the Earth-2 Robin ever did was to try and kill Boss Zucco while under the influence of the Stream of Ruthlessness. It is hard to imagine that Kal-L would hold this against Dick since while he was under the influence of the same stream he tried to kill Power Girl.

The guy was a member of the JSA, a partner in a law firm and a delegate for the United Nations. What more did Kal-L want him to accomplish? Talk about your tough love. Is Geoff Johns knowledge of DC continuity and history faulty? That seems unlikely. This is the same man that made the JSA a hit; brought back Hawkman and Green Lantern in convincing fashions and has made his reputation by turning lame archaic villains into top notch adversaries. More likely it sees that Johns wishes to intentionally touch a nerve in all men. At least he did in this man.

I will forever wonder if I have become a man that my father can be proud of. In the case of Dick Grayson he hasn’t. It does seem like an impossible standard that Batman and Kal-L have set for him. These are after all two of the greatest heroes of their respective Earths. How on Earth is any Dick Grayson supposed to live up to their example?

The conundrum Dick Grayson finds himself in makes me think of Frank Sinatra Jr. He’s doomed to disappoint before he even starts and yet to paraphrase Richard Gere from An Officer and a Gentleman, he doesn’t quit because he’s got nowhere else to go. Look at all that I got out of four lines…that Geoff Johns is one good writer.

Troy Benson

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites