I translate life through comic books. Surprised? Not so much. For instance, one time Jason was trying to describe the act of pureeing a particular food item. Over the course of listening to him describe this process, I did the predictable and completely blanked out. In a moment of sincere honestly, I then called myself on it.
Joey: “I just completely stopped paying attention to what you were saying.”
Jason: “OK. I if took a comic book and put in this blender, I would puree it.”
My response may have been an expression of horror in why one would take a blender to a comic book but the point had been made, and my attention was kept.
So, tonight, Jason and I were talking about us, our dynamics and how we interact, relate, and other fun facts. To make sense of this I, again, took the predictable route and made some comic book parallels. In this case, Batman and Robin portrayed the leads.
Ok, yes, one is the main character and one is the sidekick BUT aren’t we all the main characters of our own storylines? We have supporting characters and sidekicks who are integral to the story, and define us as characters. That doesn’t make them any less important. Who is Clark Kent without Lois Lane, or Peter Parker without Mary Jane? Where’s the fun in X-men without the head-butting of Cyclops and Wolverine? Thus, let me briefly examine Jason and Joey through the lens of the original dynamic duo, Batman and Robin.
Batman. He’s dark and brooding. He strives for perfection. He has daddy issues. He seeks redemption and justice. He’s a strategic thinker, always looking for the many layers to any situation. He’s driven by ideals, and notions of right and wrong. If he was a TV show he’d be Lost. He is driven to be the best. He is the rock to Robin, the stability, the visible leader.
Robin (the original one because there’s been like five): He’s light and alive. Raised a circus acrobat, he is agile in any situation and comes along with a safety net that assures those in the audience. He provides humor. While Batman is bathed in dark colors, Robin is donned in bright yellow, red, and green. If he was a TV show he’d be Glee. He is the rock to Batman. Without him, Batman would be consumed by his darkness.
Batman needs Robin, and Robin needs Batman. Comic book characters, just like real people, don’t exist in a vacuum though. Batman and Robin provide the core storyline yet it’s common for Batman to be out dealing with some God-awful threat with the Justice League, while Robin is palling around with the Teen Titans. They need each other as they are defined by each other, yet also find further definition in themselves through their friendships among other peers.
Bats may team up with Superman to take on apocalyptic threats while Robin and Kid Flash go on adventures. Just like in real life. Healthy couples define each other. They complete each other, if we are in the realm mid-90s, semi-drama, romantic film (calling Jerry Maguire, Jerry?) They also continue to grow and make friendships that add to the central storyline.
So, what’s the point? Aside from this being my appeal for comic books being an excellent metaphor for the human condition and reflection of life (only with capes, psychotics, and mutant abilities), it’s a recognition that people and relationships grow over time. Yet, at the core remains a strong, committed duo who rely on each other.
Batman needs Robin to provide light in the darkness, and a human example of what he’s fighting for.
Robin takes a cue from Batman in finding direction, purpose, and to take the lead.
Together, they humanize each other. Together, they define each other.