Robin

So, in light of MovieBob's recent The Big Picture episode on Robin and the multiple characters that have held his mantle, I thought it'd be nice to make a thread about him. What are your opinions of Batman's sidekick? Who do you think was the best Robin? And which interpretation of Robin was the best (e.g. the 1960s TV series)?

While I use to think that he was just a goofy kid sidekick that Batman was better off without, I think, in hindsight, that's probably because I've never been that familiar with comic books and their mythologies, so I was mostly exposed to him via the 1960s TV series, which had an overall camp aesthetic. So, even though I still don't have that much in-depth knowledge about him, I can respect his legacy and the role that he serves in the Batman stories: giving an extra dimension to Batman so he isn't just a depressed loner fighting a one-man battle against a crime with no real link back to humanity (or something like that).

Admittedly, the Adam West series made everything about the batman universe goofy. Robin was the least out of place thing there.

Although I think Tim Drake is the best Robin comic wise, my favorite incarnation of him is the Robin from the Teen Titans animated series, based on the Dick Grayson version. He was a great leader, planned things out expertly, and his fightng skills made it look like he could hold his own even with the other super humans on his team. I felt like he was just as awesome as Batman, but was always fun and could trust his friends.

I think Robin is cool, sometimes it's nice seeing him as a contrast to the dark and serious Bat.

Oh and he was awesome in Teen Titans.

Batman just needs a sidekick. Not necessarily Robin, but he always needs someone to play off of. Ever notice how in Batman stories without Robin the rest of his supporting cast that nobody really cares for suddenly starts playing a major role, like how Year One is mostly about Gordon or TDK is mostly about pre-Two Face Dent, or how big parts of No Man's Land are about Barbara, Cass and Alfred?
Batman just needs a straight man playing alongside him, both to keep up the mystique and darkness around his persona and so the audience gets a human perspective on him.

That being said, my favorite Robin is and has always been Jason Todd. He was imo the most relatable out of the bunch and his life, death and rebirth defined and revealed alot about Bruce's character that's still accepted canon today. That and he eventually came as pretty much the best villain in an already high caliber rogue's gallery.

I like him in Arkham City, he's pretty badass in that. I haven't seen him in much else, the female Robin in The Dark Knight returns was a nice, if not slightly creepy change. She pa;es in comparison compared to the other Robin's, but I suppose she is a 13 year old girl...

I also like their back stories, Dick Grayson becoming Nightwing and Jason Todd becoming Red Hood.
I suppose my favourite would have to be Dick Grayson because he becomes Nightwing who is pretty cool and also voiced by Neil Patrick Harris in Under The Red Hood.

I like the concept of Jason Todd, the kid on the streets origin story. It would've fit in nicely with Nolan's "realistic" take on Batman, or maybe Arkham City. I also just kind of feel bad for the guy, never gets mentioned or appears in any DC material other than a really short cameo in Teen Titans and Under the Red Hood.

Damian Wayne is great in basically everything I've read him in, especially under the pen of Grant Morrison. Easily the best of all the different Robins.

He doesn't come close to being as kick-ass as Batgirl though.

To be fair, Jason does have his own book now. Well, he shares it with Arsenal and Starfire, but he's still the life of the party for the most part.

I agree about Batman needing someone to play off of, and I think a lot of the writers agree too, which is why Robin is always around in some form or another. I remember even in the comic version of Under the Red Hood Dick makes an observation that he never really was sure how Batman felt about stuff. Bats was always so stoic and serious that, as a kid, he could never shut up simply because the tension was always so unbearable. He also was never sure if Batman allowed the constant wisecracks because he didn't care, or if he was using Dick as a distraction in order to make his own moves.

But even beyond any reasonable or logical explanation, it's just for the best. Even the most hardcore of the grim-and-grit fans need some reprieve, and Robin is a nice jolt of of it. Just enough to keep you on what you're reading or watching.

GiantRaven:
Damian Wayne is great in basically everything I've read him in, especially under the pen of Grant Morrison. Easily the best of all the different Robins.

He doesn't come close to being as kick-ass as Batgirl though.

I'm kinda torn on Damien. By himself I can't stand the bratty little shit but for some reason you can put him in a double act with basically any character, even ones that aren't particularly good either like Steph or Kara and it instantly becomes entertaining. It's magic.

Best Robin is Dick Greyson as seen in Teen Titans

Comics wise Tim Drake is probably my favourite, Damien is seconds because that kid is hilarious.

Dick Grayson, he will always be my favorite Robin, and he was Nightwing! How cool is that!

Batman needs Robin to balance him out. Without people around him Batman is basically a psychopath, and Robin is one of his links to a more human world. Sure he has others like Gordon, but even someone like Alfred is too deeply connected with Batman.

What Robin represents is a chance for Bruce to complete his goal in a more achievable manner. He became Batman so that no child would ever have to watch their parents murdered in front of them again (sure he has the larger motivation of stopping all crime but really his specific problem is with what happened to him)

When he has a Robin, he has a chance to give a child chances he never had. Nightwing is the perfect example of this, because despite having so much potential to go wrong, Nightwing is one of the most well adjusted characters in the DCU (most of the time). Tim Drake is actually quite similar, and the ongoing rehabilitation of Damian away from being nothing more than a League of Shadows puppet shows it again.

Obviously there are issues, like Jason Todd and his frankly appalling treatment of Stephanie Brown, but through Robin Batman learns to be a better human. A great example would be when he gets into a quasi-relationship with Catwoman in Hush. Without Dick Grayson I strongly believe that would never have happened. Sure it petered out but Batman even from a few (in-comic) years previously wouldn't have found himself in the position that it was possible.

Oh, and the best Robin is Stephanie Brown, followed closely by Tim Drake.

Lonely Swordsman:
[quote="GiantRaven" post="18.386243.15388322"]like Steph or Kara

!

I really hope you're not talking about Stephanie Brown there.

Tim Drake was always my favorite. He was pretty normal compared to the other Robins. He still had his dad, and he wasn't as emotionally unstable as Jason.

And I loved him in The New Batman Adventures, even if they did kill his dad off in it without much reason.

I think Robin is necessary for Batman. Both to help keep him safe (he has someone to protect, so he can't go making unnecessary risks that might get him killed) and also for his own sanity. Robin is basically him at that age. By helping him, he is attaining a certain kind of redemption, I think.

Anyway, I don't really have an opinion on which Robin is the best. The original, I guess.

Gatx:
I like the concept of Jason Todd, the kid on the streets origin story. It would've fit in nicely with Nolan's "realistic" take on Batman, or maybe Arkham City. I also just kind of feel bad for the guy, never gets mentioned or appears in any DC material other than a really short cameo in Teen Titans and Under the Red Hood.

Funny story, Jason Todd is the only Teen Titan who died and didn't get a statue in their hall (according to my friend at least).
I like Robin generally. I'm not a big fan of DC comics, but what I've read Robin is alright. I really liked Robin from the animated series. And I kind really dug what they did with Dick Grayson and Superboy in Infinite Crisis. I didn't like the ending that was planned, but I'm OK with the one we ended up getting.

I like Robin, as well as Nightwing. I do miss Dick G. being Robin, but some of the newer Robins have been okay. I didn't really like Jason Todd as much as the others, however, or the female Robin whose name I have forgotten.

Lonely Swordsman:
I'm kinda torn on Damien. By himself I can't stand the bratty little shit but for some reason you can put him in a double act with basically any character, even ones that aren't particularly good either like Steph or Kara and it instantly becomes entertaining. It's magic.

Steph not a particularly good character? Them's fightin' words boy.

Eh, Stephanie Brown wasn't a good character, she was just another interchangeably ditzy, not-too-competent plucky d-lister. Which was the point, those characters are veyr popular, in the way that Arnie movies are popular, but nobody expects them to be terribly good...and she repalced Cassandra Cain, who really was good, that's not a mark in her favour.

...

Batman needs sidekicks. On his own, he's boring, but as a catalyst, someone to add to the drama by annoying his hangers on, he works very well. But it's someone else's story, IMHO he's best when he's not really a character in his own right that way.

The Adam West show was my first exposure to Robin. Luckily I also had a chance to check out some of the comics featuring 3 different Robins since my childhood! Not to mention some excellent cartoons featuring...Well, mostly Grayson but I think Drake was there too eventually.

So that being said my favorite Robin is Tim Drake from the second series (ie: post re-design) Batman the Animated Series...series. Drake just has such an awesome personality, it's almost infectious. I like Grayson but I think he works better as Nightwing than he did as Robin (I loved Teen Titans though: he was great in that). I was interested in Jason Todd as a Robin but I didn't really know him all that well. Hell, I think I know Jason Todd better as Red Hood than I even knew him as a Robin. I can't remember who the 4th Robin was (it was female but not Carry Kelly) and I haven't read anything where Drake was Robin yet but it sounds like Drake is an amalgamation of Grayson and Drake anyway.

As for the New 52, I like the little twist that Earth 2 Robin became Huntress in the (so far) awesome World's Finest books. As a final note I think Batman and Robin would have worked better if it was Batman and Nightwing: I mean if you change the color scheme of Robin's costume from black/red to black/blue then you basically HAVE a Nightwing costume...with a codpiece and nipples.

 

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