|And thus Bunker begins his 19 issue |
run of awesomeness and hugs.
Bunker is, obviously and famously, a construction of classically gay signifers; his costume is in two shades of purple, as are his powers (which may even be a conscious choice of his, there's never been anything to say his “bricks” are inherently that colour); his dress sense is at times very stereotypical as is his product-laden hair; and he is both very physical and demonstrative in his affections (he hugs both Red Robin and Solstice minutes after meeting them); as well as being very open about his feelings, in defiance of the classic male stereotype. If I had to think of other characters whose queerness was such a defining part of their personality yet not their main plot generator it would be a very short list. Ser Loras Tyrell, maybe (the TV version, his sexuality is much less explicit in the books).
Okay, so I said this post wasn't about Bunker as a queer character so I should probably end that lengthy digression and move on to the other reasons I think he was an important addition to the team.
This leaves Bunker what? A hazily defined friendship with Bart, is my best stab at answering that.
Ultimately Bunker was one of the New 52's greatest shots at originality and a shot they hit. With Bunker and Skitter off the team the Titans are now composed entirely of pre-Flashpoint characters (okay, Solstice barely counts but the point remains). Bunker especially gave the other characters new things to do. In his first issue Bunker's fresh and carefree attitude to the costumed life has an instant effect on Red Robin: they enter the actual adventure story of #3 gooning around in complete uncertainty and in open defiance of how Tim has been written for most of the last decade.
In many ways Lobdell achieved with Bunker in Teen Titans what Geoff Johns failed to do by injecting Cyborg into Justice League: a shake-up that updated the whole team by adding a little diversity.
I'll miss the fella.