Your favorite character.
Anyone who knows me and my love of comics for the last 30 years will know the answer to the question, but this is my favorite character:
Not Robin or Nightwing, but Dick Grayson. Granted, when I refer to Dick Grayson, I mean the character as portrayed during the Wolfman/Pérez run of New Teen Titans, but I’ve followed the character ever since (though there is a regrettable lapse when he appeared in Batman titles through the 90s–I totally missed the “Prodigal” storyline). There was something about the contemplative, brooding, weight-of-the-world on his shoulders aspects of the character with which I really identified. In fact, there’s a scene in a New Teen Titans issue where Dick is working out (his frustrations) with a punching bag, while Donna Troy is asking him if there was anything wrong. He denies this, but the Pérez images tell us differently as Dick keeps punching the bag until it falls apart, spilling the bags contents. Back then, I identified with that sequence in how I was feeling as a teenager, being the oldest sibling in the family, having to be the man of the family after my parents’ divorce and then my mother’s marriage to my step-father, etc. I’m probably injecting a lot of meaning into that and many other sequences during the Wolfman/Pérez run, but regardless, I felt a connection.
Of course, there’s the coolness factor of Dick too. He’s the non-superpowered guy among superpowered people, and they defer to his leadership! Hell, he took on Deathstroke and won! He was also the guy that everyone in the superhero community seemed to trust and like, not unlike my second choice for this Challenge category, Superman. In fact, this is highlighted in Brave and the Bold #15 (2008), when Deadman says, “Next to Superman, Dick Grayson is the one guy alive that every crime fighter trusts”. Notice that Deadman said Dick Grayson, not Nightwing. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Dick is quite the ladies man. He has been with Batgirl, Starfire, and others (I was always a Dick and Donna shipper though). What teen-aged comic book fan wouldn’t aspire to be like this guy? :)
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