Friday, May 17, 2013

DC '78 # 14:Teen Titans: Robin's Casebook (The Journal of Dick Grayson)

November 3, 1979

Normally I'm so tightly wound, but I do like to see the other side
on occasion. Mal's been excellent at booking diversified acts for
Gabriel's Horn, everyone from 'Scare Tactics' to 'The Electrics,
'The Familiars' to a 'Hawk & Dove' band! (Of course, our band,
'Rock, Paper, Scissors' gives it a go onstage once in a while, but
people aren't paying to hear me, Wally, and Roy play!)

But the real experience is when Duela drags me to CBGB's, or Lilith
takes me back to our old coffee shop for some spoken word or women's
rights music, or Karen and Mal bring me to Bradley's for some jazz!
That's what I like best--seeing new things through the eyes of my friends.

Because really, I don't sport taste of my own. My childhood was spent...
in other pursuits. Harsher environs. Bruce was great, but my education
was very one-dimensional. To be expected; you can't teach what you
didn't learn. The Teen Titans has served as the only place I've ever
developed as a real person--my only social outlet. The responsibility of
what I do weighs too heavily on me the rest of the time (and, according to
the others, even when I'm here.) 
Donna's friend from The Village, Bill Walko,
did up this cheesy drawing for our Christmas card this year.
I kind of love it.
Here, though...with my family...I'm safe to experience,
even experiment, with who and what I want to be. They broaden my
horizons, even if it doesn't seem like it. I suppose people see me as this
'together' guy--which I am--because I have to be. But under that surface
is an insecure kid....with issues like everyone else. Only I don't have the
luxury of tapping into them and exploring them. I have to be buttoned down,

the strong and professional one, or someone could get hurt.

Donna's the team's heart--The Mom. But there has to be The Dad, too.
Warm fuzzies won't save us from a death trap--someone has to deal
with the unpopular necessaries. I kind of hate being so rigid...but how
do you change midstream?

Barbara's good for me in terms of finding release--fun, outgoing, relaxed.
But I feel somehow like I need someone to completely pull me out of my
shell, or it'll never happen. Weird that I'm all about control but I want
someone else to be in control when it comes to something so...intimate.

I wish I could talk to someone about all of this sometimes, but after
Arkham, Hugo Strange, Professor Milo and all the rest we've dealt
with over the years, Bruce says it's too risky. Tells me I can always
turn to him or Alfred. He means well, but he doesn't understand--he
keeps everything inside and thinks it best.

Last year when the Titans and Infinity Inc. teamed with the Justice
League and The Justice Society, it was so cool to see the Earth 2
Robin in action. He's so filled out...confident, a real adult with a
uniform of his own. An individual.

His costume pays homage to his Bruce , but merged with his own
creation....still standing out on its own. It made me think it might be
time for a change. After all, I've been wearing this kid's outfit, the
outfit of a sidekick for over a decade now. I'm nearly out of college,
and I'm still wearing shorts. maybe the only male hero left who does.

Something to consider.

Speaking of change, the Teen Titans has taken on a life of its own!
Who would have thought that our little club for 'side kicks' would
evolve into something so substantial. Not only is our team at the
largest it's ever been, we have a West Coast affiliate team thriving
and now we're beginning another fully sanctioned team for training
new heroes, right here in New York City!

But with all good comes bad, like Cindy Duncan and the others
starting up a renegade Titans group; Teen Titans G.O.--an acronym
for Government Overthrow, of all things. I'm all for independence, but
these kids are asking for trouble. Not to mention, I don't want the good
work the Titans have done in recent years to be undone by bad publicity.
We barely survived the Swenson debacle.

These kids aren't ready; untrained, angry, rebellious. A bad combination.
They need our help, and they're sure not ready to do what they're doing.
Or is this just me acting as the world's policeman like Don Hall accused
me of? Maybe this is exactly how Bruce felt when we formed the Titans?

G. Gordon, spokesperson for 'The Revisionists.'
"Taking back America," indeed!
Nonetheless, sometimes I hear people like these Revisionists-- people
like Godfrey who want to change everything, control it--and I wonder.
I know they're bat-shit crazy (ha!) but beyond being dangerous loons who
want to sanitize everything and everyone to their specifications, part of
their message about unprepared teen heroes is on the money. There
needs to be some kind of regulation. Yet I know that's a slippery slope.

Of course, I want the kids trained for safety, and these agenda-touting
Revisionist bigots are worried about ex-cons like The Ant, immigrants
like Mas y Menos, black kids like Joshua, Jericho and Cindy (not to
mention her being a woman, I'm sure,) and Hot Spot who's an absolute
unknown quantity...except that he's a former H.I.V.E. Academy trainee!

(I wonder if they're just trying to stir things up--maybe they want the
attention? They could all have a place in the Titans...but I guess we--
I-- didn't offer it soon enough.)

I'm worried about stuff like the fact that the last time we saw The Ant,
he had been brainwashed by The H.I.V.E., and Cindy and Jericho are
mad because they feel neglected by the Titans. Not exactly instilling
my confidence in their effort.

Enough of the doom and gloom--on to more positive stuff. We put
out a feeler to Supergirl for membership, but she's laid down roots
with the Doom Patrol in Chicago. I appreciate loyalty, and we have
enough raw power on the team. Besides, she knows she's always

All right...all that's out of the way...I guess I'm 'well' now!
On to the actual Case File.

Teen Titans Case Files # 69J
Mr. Jupiter and King Faraday got us on the horn to help with cleanup
after the Crisis. One of our tasks was to investigate the Time Warp in
Panama. Teen Titans East and West got yanked into a time displaced
doozy, and only the team-up for the ages could save them! (Man--I see
what Bruce means! All those years of puns have gotten to even me!)

So we saw 'cavemen' and other throwbacks from all ages...coexisting
in one place. Strangely enough, there were some dinosaurs and other
creatures there which shouldn't have been, but I guess that's no worse
than a mixing of Paleolithic Era beings and cavemen (homo sapiens)
and Neanderthals, as well as mixes of African, Spanish, and--see? The
rest of the gang was just like "Cool! Cavemen!" while I was stuck on
the endless record groove of "Time anomalies...yeesh!"

It was pretty radical, though; we met all these different kids....some
of whom had a sort of sign language, others who could grunt and emote
enough to discern meaning, and others who used sand drawings and
wall paintings to communicate. (And then we just kind of had Lilith
do her 'attunement' thing to help figure out the rest, with some help
from our resident caveboy.) But basically beating the snot out of
King Kull was a pretty obvious objective for everyone.

Still, meeting (hopefully these translated sufficiently) Anthro, Korak,
Bomba, Kong, Ur, and Mightor was a blast, and having them team-up
with Gnarrk was great for him. We all try, but he's so lonely here.

We took Kull's gem, left the Warp Zone, got decontaminated again,
and filed our report with CBI. Then we headed back for pizza at the
club before going our separate ways.

Sometimes this life I live is such a blast....I wish things could stay this
way forever. But the realist in me knows that's too much to hope for.
Just have to make do with enjoying the hell out of things while they're
so good.

Time for a quick workout before hitting the books and then heading
out on patrol. So, incenerator time for my short-lived journal entry
tonight. Sorry, my friend. Thanks for listening.

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