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Duke Thomas’ New Costume! I Don’t Like It

I try not to get all comic book crotchety too much on this blog. That’s not what I’m about. I’m a happy and positive guy! But I am a big stickler for what becomes of Batman’s sidekicks, and man, DC keeps screwing over Duke Thomas.

Revealed yesterday was his new costume as The Signal, the daytime operative of the Bat-Family. It stinks.

Signal Duke 01

He’s Batman, but yellow

It’s basically just a modified version of his already Yellow Batman costume. It’s going to debut in Batman & The Signal, which is either an ongoing or a mini-series. It’s coming out soon.

Basically, to reiterate my point, this whole thing sucks. Duke Thomas earned the right to be the new Robin. Nobody will ever remember or care about The Signal. It’s a dumb superhero name and it’s completely forgettable. Whereas Batman & Robin are iconic the world over. Remember know and care about them.

So why not have Duke Thomas make history and be the first black Robin? Is Damian Wayne really still that important as Robin? Why not have him graduate to a new identity and let Duke be Robin. Let Duke have a part of the legacy!

Let Duke Thomas be remembered!

Also, while I’m at it, why wasn’t Harper Row made Robin? Remember Harper Row? Of course not, because DC sidelined her with the unmemorable Bluebird identity and then got rid of her.

Man, I just want a cool Robin again…

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They Picked a Bad Name for Duke Thomas

After giving up his Robin gang, during which he was particularly awesome in Scott Snyder’s Batman, Duke Thomas was officially recruited into the Bat-Family in a golden yellow Bat-suit. And for reasons that never really went explained, he did not get a codename to go with his outfit.

Batman Signal 01

Seriously. How does Batman not give Duke a new codename? Aren’t those things necessary in the field? What did they expect Commissioner Gordon to call him?

Welp, DC and Snyder have finally revealed Duke’s name: The Signal.

He’s also going to get his own comic, from Snyder, called Batman: The Signal. Duke’s role is going to be the Batman-of-the-daylight. They’ve done this very concept before with other characters, but now it’s gonna be Duke’s thing. Aaaaaand I don’t like it.

I still like Duke Thomas, for sure! But what kind of superhero name is ‘The Signal’? It suffers from the banality of modern superhero naming conventions.

Nobody ever has the guts to name their new character something like ‘Batman’ anymore. It’s all about trying to be cool and hip, even though superhero comics were built on the backs of heroes with dorky names.

Plus, an argument I’ve made before, nobody is going to remember The Signal. Batman and Robin are the Dynamic Duo. They are household names. Grandmothers have heard of Batman and Robin. Whereas nobody has ever heard of Huntress or Azrael or Batwing or Onyx or The Signal. These hangers-on don’t matter, not in the long run. There will come a time when nobody cares about Duke Thomas anymore. But there will never come a time when nobody cares about Batman and Robin.

Not making Duke into the real Robin is a mistake.

Though I will definitely buy and read Scott Snyder’s Duke Thomas comic!

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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 3/11/17

Comics! Uhn! Whaa-aat are they good for? Absolutely everything! Say it again! Yep, still reading comics over here. And this week I kind of went overboard on the reviews, since a lot of my favorites came out, like Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Detective Comics and Power Man and Iron Fist!

Comic Book of the Week goes to Nova #4 for another delightful issue! I haven’t been a Nova fan since Annihilation, but oh boy, this new series has been a blast! I’m even enjoying Sam Alexander for the first time ever!

Nova Sister 01

And his sister!

Meanwhile, I was really on a tear about the X-Men this week. I don’t know what came over me, other than a combination of nerd rage and disappointment. The X-Men franchise needs a proper reworking after years of wheel spinning, and I fear that ResurrXion is not the answer.

Comic Reviews: Detective Comics #952, Jessica Jones #6, Justice League of America #2, Mosaic #6, Nova #4, Power Man and Iron Fist #14, Silver Surfer #9 and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #18.

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And So There is a Duke Thomas Action Figure I Gotta Have

Toy Fair was this past weekend, and while once again I did not attend, I could very much salivate over all the pictures and good action figure news I found online! Among the good news was this stellar Duke Thomas as Robin action figure that I now gotta have.

duke-thomas-action-figure-01

As a major Robin fan, I’m so far OK with Duke Thomas as Batman’s new partner. I’m not thrilled that he’s Yellow Batman Junior instead of Robin, but I’m hoping DC and their creative people go somewhere good with this. He’s Robin in everything but name.

Fortunately, DC decided to make an action figure of Duke in his badass, helmeted Robin costume instead of his Yellow Batman Junior jumpsuit.

You may recall that I ranked this costume as my third favorite Robin costume of all time! There’s just something about that awesome helmet/jacket combination that tickles my pinks. It’s a perfect modern Robin costume, though I’ll admit it probably doesn’t go as well with the classic Batman costume as the regular modern Robin costume does. But it was great for Duke Thomas and We Are Robin, so I’mma gonna get it.

I’ll try to find this sweet Batgirl action figure too.

batgirl-action-figure-01

I’m a little disappointed in myself that I don’t yet have a sweet Batgirl of Burnside action figure. I love that comic.

Courtesy Comics Alliance for the Toy Fair pics.

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The Definitive Robin Costume Ranking

Happy Thanksgiving, comic book lovers! To help make your Turkey Day a bit more palatable, and because most of the Internet is probably shut down today, I’ve decided to have a lot of fun by ranking all of the comic book Robin costumes! I am a huge Robin fan, and his costume is a pretty notorious hallmark of the character.

1940 was a hell of a year

1940 was a hell of a year

Fortunately, Robin has been through quite a few changes and retcons over the years, producing a whole wardrobe of different outfits, styles and designs. Robin has had almost as many costume changes as Batman! And from hundreds of different highly skilled artists. So I looked up as many as I could find and decided to rank them from my least to most favorite.

This list is as ‘definitive’ as I felt I could get featuring in-canon comic book costumes from throughout DC’s nearly 100-year history. If I’ve forgotten any, let me know in the comments and I’ll find a place for it. But I’ve left out the Elseworlds costumes, the movie, cartoon and video game costumes, and most of the one-off alternate reality costumes. Maybe I’ll throw all of those into a second list somewhere down the line.

For now, join me after the jump for the Definitive Robin Costume Rankings!

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