EDITORIAL: The Dynamics of Batman and Robin in Young Justice
Character analysis, critical thinking and emotional depth what makes Young Justice a pioneer of small screen character psychology?
Dick Grayson; fearless acrobatic, intelligent protege, first super heroic legacy and recent Carnie, is often depicted as the crime fighting Yin of Batman Yang (as well as the Yang of many obsessive compulsive female YJ fans on youtube..). Clearly Batman's first son and taught in the ways of the cowardly and superstitious lot Dick inevitably grows away from Batman towards a very different path becoming a character in his own right.
However though the emotional growth, relationship and separation between mentor and protege has seldomly been touched upon short of brief flashback's, interludes and moments of unspoken silent clarity represented onscreen through cliched black and white unexplained arguments, broken pieces objects in Wayne manor and vigorous silent treatments. Well at least onscreen, on paper.. maybe there was something in the 1980's.
Enter Young Justice, and it's serialized format. Unlike Batman: TAS, which followed a loose serial format of isolated episodic narratives, the Young Justice series follows a long running narrative connected by a series of interconnected subplots each effecting subsequent episodes in terms of plot development and character growth. Whereas Batman: TAS had set character types and personalities being analyzed for deeper understanding of tropes, Young Justice has the advantage of anthesis, the onscreen gradual development of characterizations. Not a who they are, but a how they are becoming.
Whereas Batman, the adult has a set role and identity, his character should not grow only understood (like in Batman TAS), the role of Dick is still in its ever-changing primal stage. The gradual developments in Young Justice allows the viewer the opportunity to understand Dick's change from his naive optimism as a leader and Batman's successor to his own skepticism of handling the legacy's burdens. Mirroring this, Batman insight and expectation's of Dick is reflected.. but unpredictably.
(In this more simplistic video review two scenes from Young Justice staring Batman and Robin are presented together, clips beginning at 29seconds and ending at 1 minute 29 seconds.)
Traditionally Batman is depicted as heartbroken and disappointed by Dick's eventual abandonment of the mantel, here however it is implicitly hoped. But the fascinating aspect of the series isn't theme but the execution of the theme. Episodes apart the character's unspoken words ring true to their closeness of their relationship, father/son, expectation/disappointment, growth/change and iconographically it's tied together by the team's emotional councilor Black Carney who attended both scenes of emotional understanding.
Now.. why won't more guys watch it?
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