‘I’m Gonna Be the Best Friend You Could Ever Hope For—And the Worst Enemy You Could Ever Imagine’: Frank Miller’s All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder and the Problem of the Boy Sidekick in the Twenty-First-Century Superhero Narrative
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractAndrew examines the representation of the boy sidekick/adult detective relationship in Frank Miller’s All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder (2005–2008). The chapter explores the ways in which Miller’s graphic novel revises, rewrites and problematises the classic Batman/Robin relationship, with particular emphasis on power, violence and abuse. It explores the disturbing parallels that the text draws between the boy sidekick and the love interest, the troubling power imbalance between the adult superhero and his boy sidekick, and the dangers inherent in introducing an innocent and traumatised boy into the violent world of an adult crime fighter. The chapter concludes by identifying how tonal and structural shifts in the comic-book medium have contributed to the growing prevalence of problematised Robin figures in twenty-first-century Batman narratives.
CitationAndrew, L. (2021). ‘I’m gonna be the best friend you could ever hope for—and the worst enemy you could ever imagine.’: Frank Miller’s All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder and the problem of the boy sidekick in the twenty-first-century superhero narrative. In L. Andrew & S. Saunders (Eds.). The detective’s companion in crime fiction: A study in sidekicks (pp. 215-235). Palgrave Macmillan.
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