The character was introduced in 1989, an extremist who is also a child prodigy (twelve years old in first comic). Despite being very young he had a lot of followers for the people he was preaching to, the homeless of Gotham.

What bothers me is, why might the writers have portrayed him as a child (even for his mature IQ) who could understand all these concepts and was willing to persuade grown men to join him? What was the point?

  • 2
    I'm throwing that partly as random, but Tim Drake, the third Robin, was also created in 1989. Tim is quite a prodigy himself, so maybe they wanted a showdown of wits between the two. Then again, been a while since I read 90s comics, so maybe this never happened in those ones...
    – Jenayah
    Jul 24, 2018 at 16:07
  • Possibly some of the writers were influenced by real young persons who gathered a number of followers, such as: Joan of Arc (c. 17) , Elagabalus (c. 14), Battarius (c.12) penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/e/roman/texts/cassius_dio/72*.html and Johnny & Luther Htoo (c.9). Jul 25, 2018 at 18:24
  • Because a large part of the readership are adolescent males. Jul 27, 2018 at 19:43
  • @MartinSchröder what’s a ‘readership’? Jul 27, 2018 at 19:54
  • @EdmundFrost en.wiktionary.org/wiki/readership Jul 27, 2018 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


From Wikipedia:

Originally inspired by his personal political leanings, Alan Grant entertained the idea of interjecting anarchist philosophy into Batman comic books. In an attempt to emulate the success of Chopper, a rebellious youth in Judge Dredd, he conceptualized a character as a twelve-year-old anarchist vigilante, who readers would sympathize with despite the character's harsh methods.

This part of the article is sourced to Alan Grant's intro to an Anarky trade paperback.

Grant, Alan (1999). "Intro by Alan Grant". Batman: Anarky. New York: DC Comics. pp. 3–4. ISBN 1-56389-437-8.

So it appears the character's youth was meant to emulate that of a Judge Dredd character. (It's interesting, too, that Chopper, per the Wikipedia entry for that character, was created for 2000AD by writer John Wagner, who was a frequent co-writer with Alan Grant on a lot of stuff.)

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