I’ve written extensively on why I believe comic book characters—and pop-culture in general—is like modern-day religion. As such, Change is usually tantamount to Heresy.
I am not immune to wallowing in my own cozy nooks of Nostalgia. In fact, most of the entertainment I currently consume are from earlier time-periods. In fact…right now I’m knee-deep in the 1950s & 60s.
In earlier time-periods, the name (or, unironic nickname) “Dick” was perfectly acceptable. For example: “See Dick run.”
But I guess somebody in the latter part of the second decade of the current century believed that having a major comic book character called “Dick”—especially one rightly or wrongly best-known for wearing skin-tight long underwear—was not a very marketable idea & in fact lent itself to chuckles.
And so there was an effort on the part of Richard “Robin” Grayson’s owner,
AT&T DC Comics, to change his much-used nickname from the phallic-sounding “Dick” to the somewhat less iconic “Ric.”
And this aborted attempt at rebranding led into a storyline where apparently Dick Grayson was **shot in the head** and suffered brain-damage and believed he was now “Ric” who was a bad-ass and apparently hung around pool halls (which as we all know are dens of iniquity).
This storyline, if nothing else, follows that basic unsaid pattern that “all Robins must suffer.” It is also slightly reminiscent of that episode in Batman ’66 where Dick Grayson donned a leather jacket and went undercover at some den of iniquity.
To provide more context, however, this whole “Ric” Grayson thing seems to be rolled up into yet another “reboot” of all these characters, in a manner that is beyond my meager pay-grade to suss out. Sometimes these “hard resets” happen because the over-zealous management, still holding on to their own childhood “ideal versions” of the characters, set out to “finally make it perfect like the way it was.” And sometimes these reboots happen because the parent media conglomerates want to create a more streamlined version of the superhero universe in question that aligns more with their movies & TV shows. At any case, with the *possible* exception of 1985’s “Crisis On Infinite Earths” (and some would disagree with me), it is the steadily-shrinking comic-reading public who are the losers.
But “Ric” Grayson? Heresy?
As I’ve stated before, it all seems to line up with the “primal” Robin mythos, in which Batman should never have taken an underage ward under his Batwing in the first place, placing him in danger and exposing him to serial maniacs like the Joker. It was simply irresponsible on Bruce Wayne’s part.
Which is why, out of all the versions of the mythos, the 1995 Batman Forever scenario, in which Dick Grayson is easily in his early 20s and Bruce can’t be more than his early 30s, seems to work the best.
But what do I know? I haven’t kept up with the latest continuity in the comics.
How is it called “continuity” when it keeps radically changing? Maybe we scratch the word “continuity” and replace it with “cycles.” Comics, religion, life… “cycles.”
A story of ever-recurring cycles in infinite combinations.