panel from batman and robin 1

I love this Frank Quitely panel from Batman & Robin 1. Look at the body language, how Robin has his arms crossed like the indignant little snot he is. And the dialogue, how obnoxious he sounds. Then Dick/Batman’s response, trying to teach Robin a few things. He’s been there before, sitting in the Robin chair as Bruce Wayne taught him the same lessons. And then the mini punchline, “I’d have killed for a flying Batmobile when I was Robin.” There’s a levity there that writers didn’t seem to be able to give Bruce Wayne after the 80s.

That, and I do like the actual topic they’re discussing. I hate when comics depict characters with super secret identities yelling each other’s real names to each other in the middle of crowded cities. Batman takes this stuff seriously, like special ops military do. He knows to use codenames in the field so that people can’t overhear their identities. I enjoyed parts of Brad Meltzer’s Justice League of America story, but all the characters calling each other “Clark” and “Bruce” and “Diana” bothered me. It’s one thing for them to know who each other are, but I don’t want to see them signing birthday cards for each other.