The internet is a seething cauldron, not wholly dissimilar from the one belonging to the coven of hags from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Or at least that parallel would be apt if The Bard, in his infinite eloquence, had seen fit to write in all caps or arrange for Duncan, in a fit of fury, to refer to Macbeth as “gay-mo-tron.”
That techno cauldron almost boiled over on Friday, fittingly Friday the 13th, when Justin Bieber, the androgynous stick bug who occasionally chirps into microphones, tweeted the following image…
Are you ready?
Here it is…
If you haven’t already seen this image, and provided your eyeballs aren’t currently bleeding and vehemently struggling to work their way out of your skull, you may now notice that the tweet was accompanied by the cryptic notation, “#robin??” The insinuation here is that Justin Bieber would be playing Robin to Ben Affleck’s Batman in Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman. Five years ago, I believe any of the items mentioned in that sentence would have been geek anathema and enough to make fans’ heads explode like flesh pinatas at David Cronenberg’s birthday party.
In a moment of unprecedented solidarity, the internet came together as one to decry, with the usual brand of misplaced righteousness, the mere suggestion that Bieber, with his grating falsetto and self-worth as overly inflated as his ship’s-prow pompadour, would even be allowed to watch Batman vs. Superman much less be considered for a major role in the film. After about fourteen-and-a-half seconds, once the first rage bubble had popped in our brains and our palsied faces slumped back toward our monitors for a second glance, it was clear as day that this Dark Knight scoop was a total hoax.
But while many are breathing a sigh of relief, I’m left wondering about the missed opportunities here. Don’t get me wrong, my estimation of Justin Bieber is just as low as his own street cred, however I do belieb that there are a few scenarios in which Justin would make the perfect Boy Wonder in Batman vs. Superman. Look, just stop screaming at your computer screen for a moment and hear me out.
SCENARIO 1: JUSTIN BEIBER AS CARRIE KELLEY AS ROBIN
It was during a conversation with my friend Britt Hayes that the striking similarities in appearance between Justin Bieber and Carrie Kelley became apparent; roughly the same stature and both sporting the follicle equivalent of a shark’s fin. Though Zack Snyder and crew were very adamant that Batman vs. Superman would not be a direct adaptation of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, it’s more than obvious that the landmark graphic novel will serve as the inspirational catalyst. That much was made clear during Comic-Con when the film’s very existence was heralded by the reading one of the novel’s most powerful pieces of dialogue.
So I say, if Bieber really wants to play Robin, then Warner Brothers should hold true to this particular facet of the source and make him play thirteen-year-old female Robin, Carrie Kelley. That at least would play into the reasonable misunderstanding most harbor toward Bieber: that he himself is a thirteen-year-old female. This would of course be a tremendous disservice to the character and a sexist piece of miscasting (and we all know how much DC hates to appear disgustingly chauvinistic), but if there is one thing that would put the kibosh on this ego-maniacal pop star munchkin’s gangster machismo shtick, it would be this.
SCENARIO 2: JUSTIN BIEBER AS JASON TODD AS ROBIN
For those of you unfamiliar with the illustrious history of the changing faces of Batman’s crime-fighting companion, Jason Todd was the second person to don the yellow cape after the first Robin, Dick Grayson, had flown the coop. He was later murdered by the Joker in an event that proved to be one of the most emotionally devastating moments in Bruce Wayne’s life. It’s not simply that Robin (Todd) dies, it’s the brutal and bleak manner by which he is shown the exit to this mortal coil. Even though the behind-the-scenes story goes that readers actually voted for Jason Todd’s demise via a hotline set up by DC, as they waffled on whether to continue using the character, fans still mark this as one of the most heartbreaking moments in all of Batman canon; almost as heartbreaking as Justin Bieber being cast as Jason Todd. But there’s a very specific reason it could work.
Now granted, I can’t actually advocate violence against another human being, even in blog form, because it is morally unsound…in that I have genuine moral scruples against me going to jail. Therefore, I will state that it would enormously satisfying to see [Jason Todd] beaten to a bloody pulp by The Joker with a crowbar on the big screen before [Jason Todd] is then blown up with a time bomb, especially after all the social media posturing and terrible music wrought upon us by that helium-voiced punk [Jason Todd]. Maybe they would go full method and actually subject [Jason Todd] to a beating in order to accurately communicate the hellish last hours of Jason Todd.
SCENARIO 3: SEE SCENARIO 2
SCENARIO 4: SEE SCENARIO 2
SCENARIO 5: CONSIDER FOR MOMENT SCENARIO 1, REJECT IT, THEN SEE SCENARIO 2
Ok, so maybe there is no viable scenario in which Justin Bieber should play Robin. And of course by “maybe,” I mean “definitively.” However, we must sometimes face the things we fear most if we ever hope to stand against evil in our own lives.