GOTHAM CITY – Robin the Boy Wonder, who for years has aided mysterious crime-fighter Batman as part of the so-called “Dynamic Duo,” has announced his retirement from caped crusading, capping a dramatic year for the vigilante pair and leaving Batman without a sidekick for the first time in several decades.
Robin made the decision based on “some personal struggles,” including his eighteen hour entrapment inside an oversized hour glass at the hands of nefarious super villain the Riddler in January.
An official announcement is expected to come Sunday, when a TV advertisement taped by the Boy Wonder is set to air in Gotham City. In that tape, circulated by the media last night, Robin says his “life is taking a new direction, one in which I no longer risk my physical and mental well-being by chasing criminally disturbed assholes who always seem to outwit me anyway.”
In the two-minute ad, with soft music playing in the background, he says he has recently battled depression, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder caused by his current position and wishes to go back to anonymous civilian life.
“Batman taught me that crime-fighting at its very core is about serving others,” Robin says in the video as black-and-white images of him and the Dark Knight flash across the screen. “For several decades I’ve been humbled and honored to protect the people of our city, but seriously, I’m starting to lose my fucking mind. Every night I lay awake in a cold sweat wondering if tomorrow will be the day the Joker finally blows me to smithereens. I can’t fucking handle that anymore”
Robin’s decision will mean that Batman will be working without a sidekick for the first time since 1947. That was the year the masked teenager was first spotted aiding Batman in his nightly escapades to thwart crime in Gotham City.
Given the time span and the fact Robin does not appear to age, it has been theorized that several young boys have been employed as the Boy Wonder over the years. An official investigation into the matter has never been launched as Gotham City police have yet to successfully pinpoint the location of “Bat-Cave,” the subterranean hideout Batman, who top scientists all agree is a mutant hailing from another dimension, allegedly calls home.
Several sources close to Robin said last night that he had been mulling over the decision for as long as a year.
“Faith and begorrah! This is sumtin’ tha Boy Wunder has been thinkin’ about fer a while!” said an unnamed Gotham Police Chief. “He and I talked about it nearly tin months ago over a pint a Guinness and some darts, we did!”
Robin’s struggles with depression and drug addiction were apparent last November when he appeared disheveled and distracted on the steps of City Hall during a ceremony honoring visiting dignitary Commodore Schmidlapp. A Facebook status update the following day from Robin suggested the teen hero had checked himself into an addiction treatment center in neighboring Metropolis.
In 2006, after he pleaded guilty to a charge of driving the Batmobile under the influence of the Penquin’s knock-out gas relating to an early morning car crash outside Wayne Industries, Robin checked himself into the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
In his taped message, the Boy Wonder thanked Gotham City for its support throughout his good times and bad.
“When I made missteps or suffered setbacks, like the time King Tut trapped me in that sarcophagus and threw me into Gotham River, you responded not with contempt, but with compassion,” he said. “Thank you for all the times you lifted me up, pushed me forward.”
Robin has been widely seen as vulnerable, particularly for his uncanny ability over the years to fall victim to so many of the criminals he is supposed to be apprehending with Batman. Gothamites have tended to forgive Robin, though, usually citing the fact that the Boy Wonder is just that—a boy—and probably isn’t as experienced as his older, more dashing, and clearly much smarter partner.
Robin was also a flashpoint recently when he clashed with Superboy, who denied him entry into the Hall of Justice for a formal event due to inappropriate attire. Robin was wearing his usual green slippers; Superboy insisted the event scheduled was “boots only.”
Word of Robin’s decision spread through the superhero world last night.
Wonder Woman said she feels Robin has made the right choice since the crime-fighter has had such a “bad year” and is still reeling from the hour glass incident.
“He feels terrible about being stuck in that stupid hour glass while the Riddler kidnapped Commissioner Gordon, and to carry on while he’s still popping pills and tweaking out is probably not in his best health interest.”
She said second-string superheroes of all stripes could make a serious run for the vacant sidekick position.
Kato, the Green Hornet’s lithe Asian assistant, had harsher words for Robin. Kato stated the Boy Wonder has always viewed crime fighting “like a part-time fry cook job” and that “he was never up to the challenge.”
“Listen, the Green Hornet makes me drive his fucking limo, like I’m his goddamn personal chauffeur,” Kato said in a phone interview. “Meanwhile, who does the lion’s share of ass-kicking when we’re in a pinch? Me. You’ll never hear me complain, though, because my heart is really in this. I have dedicated my life to this art, and I’m grateful for any opportunity. Robin, on the other hand, whines like a bitch every time he stubs his fucking toe.”
Criminal mastermind Catwoman, currently serving a life sentence in Gotham State Prison for infecting all of Gotham’s veterinarians with feline AIDS, said he was shocked at the news.
“What a purrrrrfect surprise,” she said. “Cats don’t like birds anyway. Now there’s plenty of room for me to sink my claws into Batman, meow!”
Aquaman, the rakish hero who spends most of his days chatting with kelp, said he can understand why Robin is quitting, adding that crime-fighting is a “tough business” that takes a toll on superheroes and their families.
“I mean, granted, my gig is pretty good—I stay in great shape ’cause I’m swimming all day, and you wouldn’t believe some of these women I’m savin’ from killer barnacles! But Robin, he probably had it harsh on that land scene. I think the people of Gotham dig his groovy vibe, and we’ll all miss that ‘Holy Whatever, Batman!’ thing that he liked to do.”
Batman did not respond to the Bat-Signal before press time.