johnny ward


Faux Wonders v Boy Wonders

It has been revealed yesterday (31 August) that Brenton Thwaites was cast for the role of Dick Grayson in the live action television serial: The Titans. Thwaites joins the few that had the privilege of playing the live action role of the Boy Wonder.

This post will not delve into my thoughts on Thwaites for Dick Grayson, because I haven’t seen him in anything. Furthermore, I usually like these casting news settles before I give my opinion or else you get my visceral gut reaction. However, I thought it may be fun to go through the actors that were rumored to play Dick Grayson and the fandom’s reaction to them – good and bad.

N.B.: The reason I chose this particular Nightwing picture (Middle Row, Right) by Steven Lau was because the casting directors of the defunct TNT Titans series used this very picture as reference. So I thought it was apropos to use it here.

Robin Actors (in Chronological Order):

  • Douglas Croft (Upper Row, Left): Played Dick Grayson/Robin in the 1943 Batman Serial.
  • Johnny Duncan (Upper Row, Left of Center): Played Dick Grayson/Robin in the 1949 Batman Serial.
  • Burt Ward (Upper Row, Center): Played Dick Grayson/Robin in the 1966-1968 Batman television series and Batman: The Movie.
  • Chris O'Donnell (Upper Row, Right of Center): Played Dick Grayson/Robin in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin films.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Upper Row, Right): Played Robin John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises – not Dick Grayson per say, but he did play a Robin, after a fashion, included on this list for completeness.
  • Brenton Thwaites (Middle Row, Left): Currently casted as Dick Grayson in the upcoming Titans television series.
Rumored Robin Actors (in Alphabetical Order):
  • Adam Driver (Lower Row, Left): Rumored to be Dick Grayson/Nightwing for Batman v Superman, generally negative reaction to this news, was later confirmed to be Kylo Ren for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • Scott Eastwood (Lower Row, Left of Center): Rumored to be Dick Grayson/Nightwing/Agent 37 for Suicide Squad, generally hopeful, albeit a cautious one to this news, but instead played Lieutenant GQ Edwards.
  • Steven R. McQueen (Lower Row, Center): Rumored to play Dick Grayson/Nightwing for The Arrow television series many times, over many seasons, but nothing came of it.
  • Nick Theurer (Lower Row, Right of Center): Rumored to play Dick Grayson in the now defunct TNT Titans series, but the series was dropped as quickly as it was picked-up – never got to the casting stage.
  • Steven Yeun (Lower Row, Right): Rumored to be Dick Grayson/Nightwing in the Batman standalone film, generally liked by fans. Nothing became of these rumors thus far.
REVIEW: Island #11 (comic)


Issue 11

Contributions by: Malachi Ward, Matt Sheean, Grim Wilkins, Robin Bougie, Joseph Bergin III, Remy Boydell, Michelle Perez, Johnnie Christmas, and Tamra Bon Villain. Brought to you by Emma Rios and Brandon Graham.

Published by: Image Comics

All right, full disclosure. I cannot be objective in any capacity when it comes to Island. It’s the single coolest thing on the shelves right now. What Emma Rios and Brandon Graham are doing might not be a new concept (anthology comics) but it is revolutionary. Bringing so many talents and skills and views and things together, it’s beautiful and amazing. That they also happen to be some of the most exciting talents and storytellers in the comic game right now is also a big bonus. Island, quite simply, is the best money you’ll spend every month on comics. The single biggest bang for your buck. So, thank you Emma and Brandon. Please keep up the great work.

And damn is issue eleven a thing of beauty. Filled to bursting with page-turning wonder and strangeness (and how about that Christmas/Bonvillain cover?), with the nothing short of epic conclusion to Malachi Ward and Matt Sheean’s Ancestor story. So massive, so deep. And so pretty to look at. If you’ve been following along (and you have been, right?) then this is a wonderful end to what has been a great piece of work. And to make things even better, the trade is coming out later this month so hopefully you’ve done the right thing and got it pre-ordered already. Seriously, this is great comic storytelling with high concepts and beautiful art throughout.

And then we get Grim Wilkins now in the pages of Island. Grim is a nice dude, and does mind-blowing work (particularly with inks). Mirenda is a stunning work of surrealism that I’m beyond happy to see now included in these hallowed pages. Wilkins does such crazy, amazing things with his work and it sucks you in and by the time you get to the last page it’s…you need more. Truly. Exciting times to be getting this kind of content (though if you were smart enough to jump in on the Kickstarter for Mirenda you already know this).

A truly trippy slice of strange is brought to us by Robin Bougie and Joseph Bergin III with The Incident. It’s short and pretty out there and if sources are to be believed the kind of thing that blasts truth way stranger than fiction. And I want to believe. I really do.

It’s all wrapped up on a somber, thoughtful note. The Pervert, from Remy Boydell and Michelle Perez is brave. It’s unflinching. It’s really the kind of story I think we need a lot more of not because it’s provocative but because it reaches out. It makes you wonder in a way people just don’t wonder enough, I think. About other people, about how they portray themselves and put themselves into the world. 

Congratulations to all and everyone involved in creating another stellar issue of Island. Like I said, it’s the single most exciting thing being put out right now and should probably get on everyone’s pull list. 

I warned you, man. Objectivity doesn’t exist here. I really, truly like Island.

– M