Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thoughts about Dick Grayson...

Okay, I'm about to do something that's going to likely completely ruin my fun. I'm going to try to examine rationally my irrational hatred of Dick Grayson.

It shouldn't be a shock to any reader of my blog that I hate Dick Grayson. I get such sheer enjoyment out of hating Dick Grayson that it belies any sort of reason. There was a temporary span of time (when Wolfman took over Nightwing) that I believed I hated Dick less. As it turns out, while I found Wolfman's Grayson more enjoyable to read...I still hate Dick Grayson.

And the thing is. I have no idea why!

On paper, I should like Dick Grayson. I readily admit, he's a nice guy, open sort, fairly intelligent. He's a skilled fighter. Definitely competent. All things I tend to like.

He's good looking, definitely, he's got silly taste in clothes, good taste in women (Babs and Kory are both too good for him. :-P), he interacts in interesting ways with characters I like, he's even made me like characters I'm normally indifferent to (Supergirl)...

Sure he can be portrayed incompetently, but when he's good he's really really good. (Obsidian Age will always be the pinnacle of adult Dick Grayson portrayals for me).

And yet. His presence in a comic makes me twitch. I read his lines and I grind my teeth all "why is this person clogging this panel time". And for the life of me, I just don't get it myself. He's a largely inoffensive character.

I used to think he could be "salvaged", but now, he pretty much is, and I STILL can't stand him.

I think maybe it's the angst. I love angst in general, but I tend to prefer characters that respond to angst in particular ways. I enjoy characters that are stoic, that suck it up and repress the angst until the point that it gets quite problematic. I enjoy characters that are defiant, that externalize the angst in anger, violence and hitting things.

I don't tend to enjoy what I call "the wallowers". I tend to figure, if a character is aware enough of their unhappiness to mope about it (as opposed to self denial in the form of sucking it up or hitting things) they should probably be trying to find ways to deal with it. (I'm not saying it should be FIXED and that the characters shouldn't ever backslide...just that I'd like to see some effort in that direction)

It's why I like Obsidian much more now than I did when he was a basket case in JSA. Now he's clearly gotten help, he's much better adjusted, and I'm sure if he DID have an angsty moment or two I would be much more sympathetic than I was when he was raving, whiny and evil in JSA.

On the other hand, this is Dick we're talking about, so it's very likely even if he went to a psychiatrist every day, stopped serial dating and just decided to clear his head for a while, cleared up some of those daddy issues with Bruce, and became a happy well adjusted person, I probably still would irrationally hate him.

It's my thing. :-)

Is there any character you guys irrationally hate for no sane reason at all?


  • At April 18, 2007 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Plastic Man. I don't even know that much about him, I just know it irritates me whenever he's on panel. Although I think that might just be visual; he's drawn in such a different way that it's cognitive dissonance for me to see him. I'm the same way about Slapstick.

    Other than that I think I have room to like just about everybody, in the right hands.

  • At April 18, 2007 10:21 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    I also irrationally hate Dick Grayson! I thought I was the only as every other girl I know who reads comic books seems to be in love with him.

  • At April 18, 2007 10:46 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    I'm pretty much indifferent to Nightwing, although I do find his constant neediness to be on the annoying side. I like Tim a whole lot more.

    On the other hand, the one person that I have a totally irrational hatred Snapper Carr.

    I'm sure that deep down, he may be a nice person, but seriously, if he hits on Hal one more time, or SNAPS HIS FINGERS...I'm going to strangle him.

    Huff, huff, huff.

  • At April 18, 2007 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    His character hasn't been salvaged though.Not until he fights Bane and wins.

    If I'm wrong, I remember you saying that you also didn't get Spider-Man, and I sort of feel the two characters are similar in many ways, except Dick has more leadership ability.

  • At April 18, 2007 11:06 AM, Blogger Elayne said…

    I don't hate fictional characters, but I do hold some real-life writers and artists in contempt for the things they DO to those characters. :)

  • At April 18, 2007 12:31 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Guy Gardner.

  • At April 18, 2007 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ishare Elayne's view especially in thecases of Nightwing, storm, blackpsnther and Charles Xavier. But a Character I Hate J.J. Jameson and the Sewerking from Batman the animated sieries. And Ra's al Ghul. Basicly any irredeemable hate monger or particarly malicus evil

  • At April 18, 2007 3:38 PM, Blogger Rob S. said…

    Pretty much any of the X-Men introduced after Rogue make my skin crawl.

  • At April 18, 2007 5:42 PM, Blogger Captain Infinity said…

    Batman. But it's not really an irrational hatred as I have a reason. It's the "he can do anything better than absolutely anyone" characterization he's been given that just irritates the hell out of me.

  • At April 18, 2007 6:19 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Aww, Sally! Snapper? He's so cute!

    Have you read Hourman, actually? That completely turned around my opinion of the character. Snapper shines in Hourman.

    (I think I'm due for a Snapper appreciation day. :-P)

  • At April 18, 2007 6:35 PM, Blogger ComicBookGoddess said…

    Kali - You think it's maybe possible that you're jealous of Dick? That you want to live in the mansion and get to run around with Batman? (Whether you think there was sex involved or not... ;) )

  • At April 18, 2007 9:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Are you saying Kalinara's got 'Dick' envy? :-p

  • At April 18, 2007 9:42 PM, Blogger Derek said…

    I don't tend to enjoy what I call "the wallowers".

    I'm a wallower. It's also called "clinical depression".

    Some people can't just "suck it up".

    As to your question, I can't think of any character I actually hate. I don't particularly care for Starfire... does that count?

    Aha! Teenagers. As a whole. Can't freaking stand them. I kinda ruined my copy of a recent issue of Welcome to Tranquility by attempting to shake the stupidity out of the teenage characters.

  • At April 18, 2007 10:06 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I think personally I'd need to be a lot fonder of Batman to have "Dick Envy".

    Derek: I have a lot of sympathy for real life sufferers of clinical depression.

    I don't know, personally, that I think that's specifically Dick's problem in a narrative sense. Perhaps if I felt that the writing were genuinely attempting to portray the illness I'd feel differently. (As a tangent: I tend to enjoy reading about characters that are taking steps to help solve their problems, especially if getting actual psychiatric help ends up part of the storyline)

    I'm not trying to judge any real life "wallowers", whether or not they suffer from clinical depression. I'm not going to apologize however for saying that the portrayal of Dick's angst is very likely part of the reason I don't enjoy reading about him very much.

  • At April 18, 2007 11:22 PM, Blogger Derek said…

    Oh, no, I totally understand why you wouldn't want to read about an angsty character (well, you said you did like them when written well, but you know what I mean).

    It's the same reason I dropped the latest iteration of The Flash. Which, I'm told, has gotten better with the new creative team, but I'm still hesitant to pick it up.

  • At April 19, 2007 8:55 AM, Blogger Will Staples said…

    I can't stand Harley Quinn. She was totally overused on Batman:TAS, and after a while I just got sick of her.

  • At April 19, 2007 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At April 19, 2007 2:02 PM, Blogger Will Staples said…

    Oh nononononononono!!!!!!!!111oneonetwo I love B:TAS!

    I just think Harley showed up in one too many episodes, and I got burned out on her.

  • At April 19, 2007 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well alright then.:)


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