Harry Potter and Robin the Boy Wonder

Before I run off to join in the madness of a Harry Potter release party, hoping to be able to snag a copy of the new book without having pre-ordered it, I figured I might as well write something here. After all, if I don’t head right to bed after I get back from the bookstore then I’ll probably be reading and have very little interest in hopping on the computer to type something clever. Like so many deranged fans of this series, I am awaiting this latest installment with baited, cliched breath. But, I will endeavor tonight to speak about something slightly less geeky than Harry Potter.

I speak, of course, of Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder.

After checking out Batman Begins a few weeks ago, I’d gotten to wondering if they’d ever be able to bring the Robin character into this darker, more serious series. The latest reimagining of the Batman saga put out by DC Comics, a title by the name of All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, provides a glimpse of how such a thing might be pulled off. It would have to be a careful bit of storytelling, wouldn’t it? I mean, Robin is quite a silly character when you get right down to it. But this new comic book handles it rather well.

First, the comic book takes care of the major thing that didn’t work about Chris O’Donnell in the older films—they keep Robin young. That would have to happen in order for it to really work. Robin in this new book is only twelve and when he sees his parents murdered we really get a sense of how this darkens him. The early part of the book, focusing on his acrobatic act, sets him up as a happy-go-lucky brat and Jim Lee’s stellar artwork provides a menacing transition.

This is definitely something that the makers of Batman Begins could do in a sequel. And, after all, if Batman Begins is based on the comic book Batman: Year One then it would make sense to use this new book as source material—it’s written by the same guy.

So, anyway… I really dig this new title and I’m anxious to see where Frank Miller and Jim Lee take it. It gave me real hope that Robin might one day be able to be tackled in a realistic, humanizing way on film.

But, enough of this babbling… It’s time to go get me a copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.