What’s With All the Batman Analogies, Diplomats?

Along with many more consequential revelations, the leaked US State Department’s cables suggest an affinity for Batman/Robin analogies among diplomats. And according to The New York Times, feelings are hurt in Russia:

Asked about a cable that described President Dmitri A. Medvedev as “playing Robin to Putin’s Batman,” Putin said the authors had “aimed to slander one of us.”

…and Canada:

A trove of diplomatic cables, obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of publications, disclose a perception by American diplomats that Canadians “always carry a chip on their shoulder” in part because of a feeling that their country “is condemned to always play ‘Robin’ to the U.S. ‘Batman’.

For this kind of political analysis, we turned to an expert: Thor Parker, from Midtown Comics. What’s this Batman and Robin business all about, Thor?

“Robin is the sidekick, so he’s always in training to be essentially the next Batman. Robin’s parents died when he was young, and Batman took him on, so he’s a real father/teacher figure,” he explains.

But it’s not just paternalism at play in this analogy. Robin is also good PR.

“The original reason Robin was introduced was his mainstream appeal. Batman was kind of dark, but Robin gave young kids something relate to. He was more human.”

That’s not so slanderous! The homoerotic undertones, on the other hand…



What’s With All the Batman Analogies, Diplomats?