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.
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…
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.
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!