For my critical literary theory course during my first semester of grad school, I did a final paper looking at applications of queer theory as it applies to textual and subtextual queer perceptions of Batman.
You know, because I just love a challenge and the fun of blending my fannish interests with my academic ones.
At the end of it all, I came up with “Holy Homosexual Batman”: Queering the Caped Crusader via Text and Subtext. It was almost thirty pages long and super in-depth to make up for the fact that my professor wasn’t a comic person and needed introduction to the genre’s history and culture.
It is, in a word, my baby.
I have so many plans for this paper that it’s ridiculous.
I mentioned from the start that I wanted to share my list of references for y’all to look at and purchase from if you’re interested in working out your own academic thoughts on queerness as related to Batman and Robin. So if you’re interested, continue on!
(Note that all of the links to Amazon are affiliate links so consider buying some books, y’all!)
We’ve all seen that one Shortpacked comic where Bruce is taking inventory of the Robins and he’s pleased with the ones that look like him and lowkey annoyed with Stephanie, the lone Robin that doesn’t. She’s the only individual among the Robins and the whole point is that Bruce prefers his tiny clones over her.
It’s hilarious, but at the same time, it’s just a joke. It’s funny because like four out of five “main” Robins have black hair and blue eyes and yeah, they kind of look like Bruce, but they’re so not like him.
The reality is that if you know anything about the Robins, you’ll know that they have very different personalities and varied characterizations. They’re written as their own people and sure, their Mission lines up with Bruce’s and they share many of his ideals, but good Robin characterization hinges on them being separate from Bruce. If you’re reading a book with more than one Robin and you can’t tell Jason from Dick in either looks or temperament, you’re not reading a very good comic.
Originally posted back in 2012 on my now-defunct MissSynph tumblr blog. I’m reposting this (with a few updates) since it is Robin’s anniversary year. We’ve got so much to look forward to with Robin as a legacy character this year and I think there’s no better time for a repost about why I can’t actually pick my favorite Robin out of the ones we’ve been given.