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  1. #1
    Extraordinary Member John Venus's Avatar
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    Default The Appeal Of Dick/Babs

    I thought this warranted it's own discussion thread instead of clogging up others.

    What is the appeal of Dick/Babs? Why do writers/fans like to see them together? What do the characters see in each other?

    As a Dick/Kory fan I can see the appeal of them being together. Kory helped Dick open up his emotions and move away from the Batman's training which focused on making him cold, logical and emotionless. In turn Dick admires Kory because she is someone who survived a very harsh life yet still very warm, friendly and yet still ferocious as a fighter. Dick's relationship with Kory represents a life outside of Batman's shadow for him.

    So in turn what is it that makes Dick/Babs tick?

    If you want to argue why they don't work then this is the thread for it too.

  2. #2
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    Honestly, it wasn't until Tom Taylor's current run on Nightwing that I really saw the appeal. Previously (especially post-Crisis), I just thought they were far too similar to each other, not only in the good ways, but also the bad, which is why during that time I preferred Dick with Kory. Like you said, she just brought out a side in him that he was almost completely neglected being raised by Batman. On the flip side, I always liked the idea of Babs and Ted Kord for exactly the same reason. It should go without saying that the trauma that Babs suffered at the hands of the Joker was life altering to the point where it almost seemed like she cut herself off nearly as much as Bruce. Who better than half of the Blue & Gold team to help her break out of that? Plus, they already had all that tech stuff in common, too.

    With Taylor's run, though, for the first time I see them as complimentary to each other. They've both gotten past their issues and are supportive, playful, and patient with one another. I hope it sticks, personally.
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  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Darkspellmaster's Avatar
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    Babs brings out the best in Dick and he does the same for her. They challenge each other in a way that Kory and him don't. Babs is super smart so Dick is always upping his interests and intellectual game to make her do the same, in turn Dick is really physical and charming in and out of costume, so Babs has to up her physically and charming game. Same as MJ drawing the more confident Peter out of his shell, I think Dick does the same for Babs, and she draws the quieter more introspective side out of Dick.

    Also great chemistry when written right and very cute too.

  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Oh, I just go with what the story gives and the current story just happens to be Dick Babs, after years of not dating. I didn't read NTT, watch TT 2003, or the current Titans. So Dick Babs is just automatic and I don't feel the need to ask what is the appeal, if anything it's what's the appeal of the others.

    I like Sonia because of the whole your father killed mine thing
    Helena seems to be used when they want Dick to go the dangerous life and destined to not be with Dick so I'm not invested
    Shawn they rushed it so I wasn't as interested
    Kori seems to be the most... their story seems a story designed for love. It's passionate, romantic, and physical. It's intense. Including the jealousy parts.
    Whereas Dick Babs seems like a slow burner. Like really slow. Not dating for 10 years in and out of story slow.

    I guess one appeal is because they've retconned Dick Babs to be childhood friends, it feels more familiar to me as a manga reader. They got loads of those. The less physical and intense it is also more familiar, compared to the more passionate one with Kori. I'm used to relationships not going anywhere for 25 volumes of manga. This is familiar territory.

    ---

    This one's not about the romance and more about character trope or story, but it does affect how I consume media: because Kori's an alien, her initial story involves fish out of water moments, naive newcomer, innocent miss fanservice, those are the tropes that I'm already tired of seeing in anime and makes me cringe a lot. That includes characters like Thor, Wonder Woman, any mermaid or god characters, and so on. Any character/story with that situation is auto-avoid.

    I prefer those characters after they're familiar on earth so I can cringe less, and every time they make them undergo that situation again, even though they're not supposed to anymore, like the DC You Starfire series, I was like, gosh no. Stop. Skip.

  5. #5
    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Godlike13's Avatar
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    Reverse Spider-Man. It’s not always about Dick’s perspective. Especially when it comes to Oracle.

  6. #6
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Part of it is that they were the original two sidekicks for Batman and that Robin used to have a crush on her (and that kiss was pretty impactful in that issue where they fought ghost Presidents), and then Chuck Dixon expanded and developed it a lot across multiple books.

  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    The same is said about Kori doing the NTT when he wasn't part of the Batman editoral. So I lot of what DickBabs is also the same with Dick Kori before Batman editors took him back. Kori also brought out the best in his. Dick and Kori is much quick and not slow burn. The issue with Dickbabs relationship is the slow burn because Babs puts the blame on Dick or that she is jealous for no reason. Like Dick broke her heart when it wasn't his fault. At times it gets too much with Slow burn but I'm very happy that Tom found a way to make it work and make Babs lovable.

    I love both Dickbabs and Dickbabs. It's just Dc many times turns me off Dickbabs due to how Babs acts and Dicks acts. Babs thinks he is always cheating not confident in their relationship

  8. #8
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    Dc could also have said no to having the two break up. So I often feel like they never really have a reason to break them up when they keep pushing for them. Them they keep continuing the pattern. So I never think we will ever see a wedding.

  9. #9
    Mighty Member WonderNight's Avatar
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    Man dick could have a great relationship with almost any woman so that shouldn't even be the main point. The thing people seem to forget is that these characters are also brand ips, I don't believe dick's love interest or best friends should be members if the batfam.

    The bat family is dick's family, They don't have to be his supporting cast, best friends and love interest also! It hurts the nightwing brand by increasing his dependency on all things batverse and Gotham.

    Dick is becoming less his own hero and more batboy the sidekick! A little more space won't hurt.

  10. #10
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderNight View Post
    Man dick could have a great relationship with almost any woman so that shouldn't even be the main point. The thing people seem to forget is that these characters are also brand ips, I don't believe dick's love interest or best friends should be members if the batfam.

    The bat family is dick's family, They don't have to be his supporting cast, best friends and love interest also! It hurts the nightwing brand by increasing his dependency on all things batverse and Gotham.

    Dick is becoming less his own hero and more batboy the sidekick! A little more space won't hurt.
    Well, again, Dixon did a good job of balancing Dick with his own supporting cast (while developing his relationship with Barbara) while also showing his interaction with the Batfamily.

    Of course the relationship with the Titans kind of took a hit.

  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member John Venus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkspellmaster View Post
    Babs brings out the best in Dick and he does the same for her. They challenge each other in a way that Kory and him don't. Babs is super smart so Dick is always upping his interests and intellectual game to make her do the same, in turn Dick is really physical and charming in and out of costume, so Babs has to up her physically and charming game. Same as MJ drawing the more confident Peter out of his shell, I think Dick does the same for Babs, and she draws the quieter more introspective side out of Dick.

    Also great chemistry when written right and very cute too.
    This gives me more sibling vibes than romantic vibes.

  12. #12
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkspellmaster View Post
    Babs brings out the best in Dick and he does the same for her. They challenge each other in a way that Kory and him don't. Babs is super smart so Dick is always upping his interests and intellectual game to make her do the same, in turn Dick is really physical and charming in and out of costume, so Babs has to up her physically and charming game. Same as MJ drawing the more confident Peter out of his shell, I think Dick does the same for Babs, and she draws the quieter more introspective side out of Dick.

    Also great chemistry when written right and very cute too.
    Pretty much this. I think they are on the same wave length and more or less on the same emotional level. When they click well, they seem like a very mature couple that could go the distance.

    Dick/Kory by contrast, even back when the Titans book was actually good, always seemed like a necessary relationship for Dick to grow up, but comes across as something that would burn bright but not last. She got him to become more in tune with his emotions, but she had to put up with his cold demeanor for a long time while he went through that, to the point where even Donna (who loves them both) said Kory's fixation on Dick wasn't healthy for either of them. That she was "more in love with the idea of being in love." They got through that and he became Nightwing, but that was soon followed up by the drama of her arranged marriage. Melodrama seems to follow the two of them as a couple. But then, I always thought the platonic interpersonal relationships in NTT were stronger than the romances (barring Vic/Sarah, which weirdly got dropped). think Robin/Starfire worked much better in the cartoon.

    Babs being from Gotham and in that wheelhouse alongside Dick means they are on the same wavelength and there is less of an "imbalance." Dick sometimes comes across as being condescending to Kory and her emotions-first approaches and he's always a little bit worried she will fly off the handle. With Babs, I feel like they could have a row at each other and not have it get out of hand as often (of course, under certain writers it can- it will just seem a bit less "saw that coming" than with Kory).

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member John Venus's Avatar
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    Dick/Kory are always going to have issues. Since Dick leads with his mind while Kory always leads with her emotions. They're is always going to be moments where they aren't in tune with each other but they need each other to counter balance one another. But what relationship is without problems or disagreements? Even if those problems entail your demon possessed team mate crashing your wedding or you shape shifting roommate pretending to be your lover in bed.


    Dick/Babs is the opposite. For once Dick becomes the bubbly, fun emotional one and Babs is the logical, almost manipulative, emotionally repressed one especially in full Oracle mode. Dick becomes the person who brings her out of her shell and show her a good time and in turn she helps him out with things he can't do (especially tech related).

    It's why I can't see a polyamory between the three not working, Babs takes too much after Bruce's controlling/manipulative side. I don't see her as the type to cede control. She is one of those gals who wouldn't let her lover watch pornography either. >_>


    Depending on continuity or writers, you can interpret Dick/Kory as either two lovers who were always meant to be or two people who once had a fierce relationship but moved on and there is nothing beyond the occasional one night stand. Dick/Babs is two people who once had a sibling like relationship or a crush from a hormonal teenager in tights crushing on an older woman in a skin tight outfit that later became an actual relationship when they were older and actually mature. The worst thing you can do is you can have them pine for each other like in a soap opera and have Dick sleep with her on the night he was supposed to marry Kory.

  14. #14
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    The “why” for me is pretty simple; there was a period where Chuck Dixon and Gail Simone wrote it well enough that I found it nuanced, believable, and infectiously enjoyable.
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  15. #15
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Venus View Post
    Dick/Kory are always going to have issues. Since Dick leads with his mind while Kory always leads with her emotions. They're is always going to be moments where they aren't in tune with each other but they need each other to counter balance one another. But what relationship is without problems or disagreements? Even if those problems entail your demon possessed team mate crashing your wedding or you shape shifting roommate pretending to be your lover in bed.
    I think my issue with Dick/Kory as it was written in the Perez days and a year or so beyond his departure (I don't have much interest beyond that) is that it seemed Dick was getting more out of it than her. She has to coax him out of his shell and get him more in tune with his emotions, which is what he needs and is an important part of his growth, but she has to put up with his coldness until that point and it often makes her feel belittled even when he doesn't mean to. His trying to reign her in makes it seem like the relationship would be stifling to her. Donna in her own way tries to help get Kory to show more restraint, but her approaches as a friend/"sister" come across better to me because Donna is more emotionally stable for the most part in NTT than Dick is. It comes across as a very interesting relationship if I read it as one with a built-in expiration date, but if Wolfman was writing it to be a forever romance it comes up a bit short, IMO.

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