Begs to question..?
So Marvel released some photos the other day of Bucky Barnes from the upcoming Captain America flick. For a second I’m going to put aside my anger at Chris Evans being both Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Johnny Storm (the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies). Bucky Barnes (for those unfamiliar with comic books) is Captain Americas Robin! His kid sidekick in hot pants that 1940s comic artist seemed overly obsessed with. Perhaps it was the writers, but ultimately it fell on the editors to recognize that this sort of thing was not right. Maybe they explained it away by saying they needed a kid sidekick for the children reading the comics to relate to, but that didn’t mean they all had to be dressed up like some NAMBLA fetish model. I am a lifelong comic book reader and I have never liked or understood the prepubescent sidekick role. Perhaps it was because I read Rick Veitch’s Brat Pack at an all too young age! It was one of (if not the) first comics to deal with the fucked up nature of the child sidekick. Fresh off the heels of making Swamp-Thing the cross that Jesus was crucified on Veitch took on the subject straight ahead and called out all the old superheroes as pedo-bears in disguise. This was also just after DC had killed off the second Robin in a horrible explosion. Everyone in comics was taking a second (some cases first) long hard look at the kid sidekick (pun intended). It was during the eighties nearly 40 years later that this comic book archetype began to get evaluated and done away with. Now we are used to the trope being marginalized and or ridiculed by the likes of The Venture Brothers. Many comics have tried to ret-con the idea and make it somewhat palatable to modern audiences familiar with the word pedophilia. It was a different time back then, an age of innocence as the historians would have it painted, but we all know that the same demons which haunt mankind today haunted them in the post WWII era, they just didn’t have names for it (or didn’t use them widely) as we do now. Robin wasn’t the only kid sidekick in comics, and far from the first. Young boys hanging around old men, was overlooked, that’s how Catholic Priest were able to carry out their reign of terror for so long. Now Robin has to be Batman’s son or it’s just wrong, and Bucky has to be a little older and in the comics he becomes a Russian super solider and eventually the next Cap himself. Ironically the big Blue Boy Scout never had a kiddy sidekick, just a younger time traveling version of himself! They state that in the new movie Bucky will most definitely be older which is appropriate, and that the relationship between him and cap will be different than in the original 1940s comic. I personally prefer the way the Ultimate universe portrayed it and allowed Bucky to grow old and senile while cap lay frozen. Bucky even married Cap’s girl while he was stuck in a block of ice! A hell of a lot better than being some pre-teen boy toy for some spandex clad creepy Uncle Figure!