In the trailer for Titans, Robin breaks some bad-guy necks, shoots some other crooks, and then utters the line "F**k Batman." This comes out of nowhere, and because it's said with all the commitment of a ninth grader telling his dad that he's not gonna try out for the baseball team, it's been mocked across the internet as yet another attempt by DC to deliver dark, gritty content that no one really wants.
That said, I sort of get it. I don't know the backstory of this particular Robin (Yes, people that don't read comics: There is way more than one. Batman treats Robins like iPhones — he's always looking for the newest model), but given the treatment that a bunch of sidekicks get from their mentors, he might be totally in the right here. Superheroes tend to be particularly harsh when it comes to raising their proteges. Not a lot of Father of the Year awards in the Justice League.
So, if you need further proof, let's run through five sidekicks that would be totally justified if they threw up a middle finger at the superheroes that they usually tag along with.
All Star Robin just gets abused by Batman
Remember All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder? If you've wiped it from your head, let me remind you of the time that Batman told Robin, only a little while after meeting him, that he was "the godd**n Batman." It was at that moment that everyone realized that this new Batman story, written by Batman whisperer Frank Miller, wasn't going to be DC's answer to the Ultimate universe. No, All Star Superman was going to be a thoughtful tale that embodied everything rad about the Man of Steel, and All Star Batman was gonna be about child abuse.
While All Star Batman is out setting criminals on fire and having sex with female superheroes in public (I cannot stress enough how much I'm not making this up,) All Star Robin is abandoned in the Batcave, where he uses an ax to kill a rat for food. And when Batman does get around to training Robin, he never manages to, you know, do it properly, leading to a scene where Robin nearly kills Green Lantern by chopping him in the throat. Batman subtly signals his disapproval by grabbing Dick Grayson by the hair and slamming him on the ground.
So, yeah, "F**k Batman."
Green Lantern's sidekick deserved a better nickname
Did you know that Green Lantern had a mechanic sidekick in the '60s? And did you know that, despite the fact that he was super good at his job and a really great dude to have around, his "nickname" was the most embarrassing thing ever? You see, Thomas Kalmaku was one of the few people that knew Green Lantern's identity and even got to hang out with the guy. This didn't stop him from getting the moniker "Pieface" though, which apparently refers to "an existing term for 'a person with a round face and a blank ... expression.'"
Hal Jordan, you have the willpower to control your power ring, so maybe garner the willpower to get people to stop calling one of your best friends "Pieface." It's literally the least you could do. If I was Thomas Kalmaku, I probably would've ditched Hal within five minutes of figuring out that he wasn't going to help people stop calling me "Pieface."
So yeah, f**k Green Lantern.
Dum Dum Dugan deserved better than being the head of the "Godzilla Squad"
Yes, Godzilla was in Marvel Comics for a while. And yes, it was just as unstoppable and unpredictable there as he is in other forms of media. And no, they did not get all of the Avengers together whenever Godzilla rose up, knowing that only the Earth's Mightiest Heroes would even have a chance of stopping a 300-foot tall atomic dinosaur. No, they left the management of Godzilla to Dum Dum Dugan, a guy with the power to wear a hat.
Dum Dum Dugan was put in charge of the "Godzilla Squad," and man, was he not fit for the task. Along with initially hating Godzilla and eventually having nightmares about the thing, he was also given the impossible task of removing Godzilla whenever it showed up. If you've seen any Godzilla thing ever, you know that Godzilla only leaves when it wants to. So, for two years, Dum Dum Dugan, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., was given a job that he couldn't succeed at, where he attempted to wrangle a monster that no force on earth can stop.
So, for that intense oversight, f**k S.H.I.E.L.D.
Green Arrow does not know how to handle his sidekick's addiction
When Roy Harper was adopted by Green Arrow, he got the nickname "Speedy." Yeah, there are certainly better superhero names, but it's a decent first draft. And then, around the time when Roy was going through a rough break up, Green Arrow lost his fortune. And rather than, ya know, seek solidarity with the kid that he ADOPTED, Green Arrow ditches him. Thus, to cope, Roy becomes addicted to heroin.
You'd think that a member of the Justice League would be able to muster some tact when finding out that his son is now a heroin addict. But not Green Arrow. Green Arrow punches Roy and abandons him on the street, leaving Green Lantern (who is probably trying to make good after the whole Pieface thing) and Black Canary to help Roy out.
So, you know what? F**k Green Arrow. That dude sucks.
Superboy gets abandoned by Superman in Young Justice
Imagine you're a clone of Superman, and you don't know anything. You've been genetically engineered to be a living weapon, and suddenly you're thrust into the world to hang out with other superheroes (which, by the way, you weren't created to befriend. The people that put you together actually wanted you to throttle these guys.) And then you see Superman. He looks just like you, has your powers, and seems to be a leader. Perfect guy to help you become a competent person and functional member of the team.
And then Superman finds the situation just too awkward and flies away.
Superman, I love ya, buddy. You seem like a terrific guy, and you do a lot of good for the world. And I know that you'll eventually come around. But sometimes, when you're in an uncomfortable scenario, you just need to gut through it and start the conversation. This kid is minutes old, and his first meaningful interaction with the world's most famous superhero is getting the cold shoulder.
Yeah, if only for a little bit, f**k Superman.
Daniel Dockery has an adorable Twitter where he talks too much about manga and Batman Returns.