Today marked the 80th anniversary of a certain Boy Wonder first joining Batman and assisting him on his war against crime in Gotham. If it wasn’t for Dick Grayson’s introduction all those years ago, we may never have gotten the side kick character. There would be no Kid Flash, no Bucky Barnes, no Speedy, the world of comics would be a very different place! There would be no Teen Titans. To celebrate Robin’s 80th anniversary and to celebrate all that the character has brought to the comic book industry, I’ve decided to rank the four main characters to have taken on the Robin mantle. To clarify, ‘m only including the four iterations of Robin from the main DC continuity that have held the role for a sustained amount of time. So unfortunately there’s no Stephanie Brown or Carrie Kelly in this list.
4). Tim Drake
Brought in after the death of Jason Todd, Tim Drake had to prove himself to a much further extent than either of the two previous Robins to come before him. It wasn’t until Tim saved Batman himself from Scarecrow that Bruce decided he was capable of becoming Robin. Tim has been shown to have a genius level intellect and at a young age, he deduced the identities of Batman and Robin as Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Tim served as Robin for 20 years before adopting the moniker of Red Robin (very creative). He recently took on the moniker Drake, which is worse than Red Robin in all honesty, but hopefully it won’t last too long.
3). Damian Wayne
Let me just start by saying I like Damian Wayne. His introduction as Batman’s son has created an interesting and fresh dynamic in Batman comics that had held most of the same formula for so long. Son of Batman and Talia Al Ghul, Damian was raised and trained by the League of Assassins, meaning that he’s more than capable of fighting fully grown men, despite being a young boy. His relationship with Jon Kent and their pairing as the Super Sons was one of my favorite team ups in recent years and I desperately miss seeing them interact on a regular basis. Here’s to hoping we get to see a live action Damian Wayne at some point in the near future.
2). Jason Todd
To me, Jason Todd is the most interesting Robin we’ve ever gotten. A complex character constantly fighting his inner demons and struggling to stay on the righteous path, Todd was notoriously known as the complete opposite to his predecessor, Dick Grayson. Grayson was calm, collected and had a firm moral compass. Todd was brash, cocky and brutal. He had to fight the urge to kill criminals all too often and even failed to resist on the odd occasion. Todd was famously killed by The Joker after fans had voted to kill him off, returning decades later as the infamous Red Hood. Now in the role of anti-hero, Todd is the black sheep of the Bat family, a role in which he’s thrived in over the years. Quick side note: Curran Walters portrayal of Todd in the Titans tv show is damn near perfection and does an incredible job of capturing who Todd is as a character and what he’s all about.
1). Dick Grayson
You just can’t beat an original. Dick Grayson first appeared 80 years ago today and kick started the side kick role which would become a predominant feature in many superhero comics over the years. Grayson held the role of Robin for over 44 years and is without a doubt the most famous version of the character. It wasn’t just his role as Batman’s sidekick though that makes Dick Grayson so special. Grayson was the leader of the Teen Titans and he even took on the mantle of Batman during the Knightfall story line when Bruce Wayne was unable to be Batman, but it was the role he took on after his time as Robin which is probably his most definitive now. During Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, Dick decided to leave the moniker of Robin behind, becoming Nightwing. He’s gone on to be Nightwing for the last 3 years and no matter how many times DC try to butcher his character with ridiculous story lines and character shifts (hello Ric Grayson) his popularity with the fans hasn’t wavered one bit. That goes to show how strong a character Dick Grayson is and one can only hope we finally get to see Dick treated properly going forward.
Well, that’s my ranking on the four main Robin characters that we’ve seen over the years! This is all opinion based so feel free to let me know your thoughts on the rankings and tell me how you’d personally rank them yourself!