We Are Robin #4

November 14th, 2015



This one is a three-hander, commissioned by Ruan S, who wants me, Illogical Volume, and Bobsy to write six hundred words on We Are Robin #4.

This is a DC Entertainment comic-style product, written by Lee Bermejo and with art by James Harvey, Diana Egea and Alex Jaffe, and it is almost precisely as “good” as you would expect from a DC Entertainment comic-style product. There are many young people dressed as Robin, who are angsty about angst-making things — one of the young people has apparently died.

There’s narration told in Tweets, because in DC Entertainment comics-style products, Twitter is used by the young persons, rather than middle-aged angry people in the media.

There are inspirational speeches about Batman, and symbols, and legacies, and how important symbol legacies are important and symbolic. There are scenes set in a high school, and there are teenagers who use “Facespace” and perform minor crimes to attract superheroes so they can take selfies.

It is, in short, precisely the kind of desperate attempt to appear cool that one would expect from the talented people at DC Entertainment. I’m a thirty-seven-year-old fat bloke with a beard, and even I know that this isn’t how the kids talk and act.

Over to Illogical Volume

Kids today, with their anti-social medias and their secret identities, doing the troll dance under a bridge as big as the whole world… they sicken me.

I hate them, the children, with their lives and their faces and their shallow concepts of “self” i.e. an endless parade of personal reflections captured in a mirror that’s as big as the whole world.

A lot of things as big as the whole world these days. There’s not enough room for dinosaurs like me in what we’ve made of this place, not enough room for me inside this comic our outside of it.

I’ve read it, We Are Robin #4, but I couldn’t find my way into the narrative. I’m important so this must be important too. You could argue that this is because I tried to read it at a comics convention, in a room full of comics that were all screaming for my attention, a room full of comics and ideas and children, all of them with their own faces – a parade of perspectives, threatening my own.

But no. I think it’s probably just a bit shit.

ART PARAGRAPH: there’s actually something to this hyperactive collage art style, it’s obvious as fuck, like everything else in the book, but if you’re able to disassociate the pictures from what they’re supposed to represent, feel it as pure visual threat, it’s… sort of an experience.

What do you think Brother Bobsy?

Well I thought it was fucking great.

Not really, of course, though I did like the art – the composite pop-collage effect that the fifteen-strong art team managed to rig up to this pointless shitsack of a book is actually kinda good, so well done to them.

I read the first issue of this title lo!, was it really four months ago already? I remember loathing the way it treated the social issues that it skimmed through and surfed over in its breakneck attempt to give its main character motivation, and I hated the way the book’s only response to its tacky tabloid tick-box of problems was to re-inscribe the superhero genre’s traditional cosplay-with-non-consensual-violence as a viable youth solution.

Reader, I loathe it still. Daft as it may be to expect superhero comics to come up with a better frame for today’s world than ‘more superheroes (and young ones this time)’, the flipside of the whole stupid deal of reading these things in the first place is that they must avoid serious judgements of serious issues at all – so when a comic jumps through a plate glass window into the consequences of teen death and attendant grief, like this one does, someone needs to tell it to fuck off.

Batgirl’s in it, she can fuck off as well.

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