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The Top 10 Best ROBIN's of All Time

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focus The #1 Nigga, I Don't Need No Hype.Members Posts: 5,362 ✭✭✭✭✭
Ranking the Top 10 Best Robins
Holy IGN lists, Batman!
by Mike Logsdon APRIL 23, 2014

To continue our celebration of Batman’s 75th Anniversary, we are ranking the 10 best Robins. Although Robin wasn’t originally a part of the Batman equation when the World’s Greatest Detective first debuted, the young sidekick quickly became the peanut butter to his jelly, making them an inseparable crime-fighting dynamic duo. Believe it or not, there are actually a lot more than 10 versions of Robin when you factor in parallel worlds, Elseworld stories, and other forms of media. With that in mind, we’ve narrowed our list down to the best Boy or Girl Wonders of all time.

#10
Bruce Wayne
Released 2000
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In 2000, DC Comics began one of the most fun, lighthearted, and downright silly events in their publishing history. The event was known as Sins of Youth and it featured Klarion (🤬 , 🤬 , bummm) the Witchboy flip-flopping the ages of DC’s pantheon of heroes. So, where the adult members of the Justice League were transformed into teenagers, the teen heroes of Young Justice suddenly found themselves all grown up.

One of the funnier situations in this event was Batman being transformed into “Batboy.” Of course, as Tim Drake put it, Batman was “born a grownup,” not much changed for Batman besides his height. This didn’t keep him from being embarrassed though, so when Bruce was forced into action in Gotham, he had a grown up Tim don the mantle of the Bat while the young Bruce sported a Robin uniform.

If the role of Robin is to support the Bat, then Bruce certainly earns his place on this list due to his support of his partner. Tim struggled in his role as Batman as he was suddenly, and unnaturally, forced into the role. However, Bruce, as Robin, was able to help Tim with moral support, Batmobile driving lessons, interrogation techniques, and, quite humorously, in how to talk to a certain famous police commissioner.

#9
Helena Wayne
Released 2012
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Helena Wayne is the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle. No, she’s not from the future, she’s from Earth 2. In this parallel world, Helena grew up with two amazing parents. She picked up the most valuable traits of both Batman and Catwoman, and began fighting as Robin the Girl Wonder. While it’s true that Helena hasn’t had that much time “on screen” as Robin, she earns her place on this list because of her dedication to the ideals of her mother and father, and her dedication to getting back to the world that her Batman swore to protect.

Helena may have grown up with two super-parents, but like so many of the Bat-acolytes, she would all-too-quickly learn the loss of her family. It’s an unfortunate truth that losing one’s parents is an unofficial rite of passage for most Robins, but unlike the others, she would almost immediately experience the loss of her entire world as well. After this, Helena didn’t have a kindly butler to help her in her heroes quest. Instead, she has her best friend Karen Starr, better known as Power Girl. Together, the duo work together to make each other better heroes, and to find their way back home.

#8
Robin John Blake
Released 2012
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The Dark Knight film franchise is an incredibly important piece of work not just for its revitalization of Batman on film, but also for its reassertion of the Batman’s true nature of a grim avenger. The last of these films introduced us to a version of Robin that has never quite been seen before. Although he may be a controversial choice, Robin John Blake makes this list because he is the representation of not just one popular Robin, but several.

Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of the character, as groundedly played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, embodied a variety of elements derived from some of Batman’s most important partners. Like Jason Todd, Blake grew up in a rough area of town and, like most Robins, suffered from the loss of his parents. Growing up in an orphanage, Blake had a chance meeting with Bruce Wayne and deduced that he was secretly Batman by using a set of skills similar to those of Tim Drake. Inspired by Batman’s actions, Blake would endeavor to become a police officer, much like 🤬 Grayson did.

In the end, Robin John Blake also makes this list because, like all Robins, he is inspired by and believes in the mission of Batman. Most importantly, he works to support Batman in his quest to rid Gotham, and the world, of evil in all of its forms.

#7
🤬 Grayson of Earth-Two
Released 1986
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Prior to the events of the classic Crisis on Infinite Earths story, “Earth-Two” was actually known as the home of DC’s original superheroes. On this world you would find the first incarnations of characters like Superman, Wonder Woman, and of course, Batman and Robin. Among many other adventures, these characters actively fought during World War II among peers such as Alan Scott and Jay Garrick, otherwise known as the original Green Lantern and Flash.

While later incarnations would add their own depths to the character, the foundation of everything that we know about Robin today originated with this version of 🤬 Grayson. Of course, that isn’t the only reason he makes our list. Besides being the first Robin, he would also become the first character to take over for Batman upon his retirement and his eventual death.

This fulfilled an important, but unspoken, rule that the sidekick would eventually graduate to the role of the mentor. Though he would maintain the role of Robin, he formed a new Dynamic Duo with the original Huntress (Helena Wayne). This new team would continue to fight the good fight in order to honor a man who had given them and the city of Gotham so much throughout the years. While the 🤬 Grayson of Earth-Two would make the ultimate sacrifice during the original Crisis, his legacy continues to thrive.

#6
Carrie Kelley
Released 1986
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In 1986, Frank Miller set the stage for the return of a grittier Batman that was closer to his original interpretation than the one most comic fans were accustomed to at the time. The Dark Knight Returns was and is incredibly popular, and it has continued to inform the character and his world ever since. For as important as this story was for the character of Batman, it was also important for Robin as well.

For the first time in nearly 50 years, the role of Robin would be taken up by a young girl. Her name was Carrie Kelley, and she embodied the most important traits of anyone who would take on the guise of Robin. After an elderly Bruce Wayne dons the cape and cowl of Batman once more, Kelley has a chance encounter with newly active Dark Knight. She is immediately inspired by his heroism and decides to become his Robin.

Batman is almost immediately impressed with her natural skills, and takes young Kelley on as his newest partner. Kelley proves to be an invaluable partner to Batman, and together, the new duo help to stem the tide of darkness threatening the Gotham City of tomorrow. Today, Kelley has recently been reintroduced into the Batman mythos as Damian Wayne's former tutor. Whether or not she’ll take on the role of Robin once again is still in question.


Comments

  • focus
    focus The #1 Nigga, I Don't Need No Hype. Members Posts: 5,362 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2014
    #5
    Jason Todd
    Released 1983
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    Jason Todd is perhaps the most infamous version of the Boy Wonder. Introduced in 1983, the character was almost a carbon copy of 🤬 Grayson when he debuted, except for his strawberry blond hair. Eventually, Todd would get more fleshed out to become the character that we know today.

    Raised in a tougher part of the city (which is really saying something for Gotham), Todd grew up as a street-tough orphan. Famously, he first encounters Batman while attempting to steal the tires off the Batmobile. Batman, seeing a great deal of potential in the boy as well as the possibility of him turning into a criminal, decides to take him on as the second Robin.

    Todd's turn as Robin was unique in that he would curse, smoke, and often ignore Batman's direct orders. This Robin had a number of failures and victories during his tenure, but he and Batman were never fully comfortable with one another. Todd would tragically lose his life at the hands of the Joker, in a story that still shocks fans to this day. However, because this is comics after all, his condition would later improve. In the end, while Jason Todd ended up helping Batman on a number of important cases, he would later find his true calling as the Red Hood.

    #4
    Stephanie Brown
    Released 2004
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    Speaking of Robins with turbulent journeys, Stephanie Brown isn't too far behind in that category. Debuting in 1992, the character was introduced as the daughter of Cluemaster, kindly described as a third rate Gotham villain. Brown began her crime fighting solely to "spoil" the attempted crimes of her father.

    After successfully leading Batman and the Tim Drake version of Robin to her father's arrest, she decides to become a full-time hero. She starts running into Robin frequently and, eventually, the young heroes become a couple. During this time, she would begin training under heroes like Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. Even with her new training, Batman still wasn't convinced with her abilities. He would reluctantly take Brown on as the new Robin, but she quickly found herself getting fired from the role and inadvertently igniting a gang war.

    Many fans felt that this hero was never given a fair shake as Robin, but Stephanie Brown makes it to this spot on the list for her perseverance, strength of character, and an incredible desire to prove herself as a hero. Though she may not have convinced Batman of her heroic prowess as Robin, she would certainly do so later, after defying death, as the new Batgirl.

    #3
    🤬 Grayson
    Released 1940
    [img]http://oyster.ignimgs.com/wordpress/stg.ign.com/2014/04/3-🤬 -grayson-610x955.png[/img]
    Wait. Haven't we already covered 🤬 Grayson? Sure, but this is the version that most fans are probably familiar with. This Grayson grew up very much like his Earth-Two counterpart that we’ve discussed previously. He was the child of circus performers, and as a natural acrobat, mastered the techniques of his early trade. Eventually, fate would toss the young Grayson a tragic curveball that thematically matched the type of loss suffered by a young Bruce Wayne. Seeing these similarities, Wayne would become the young man’s caregiver, and Grayson’s world would be altered forever.

    The two orphans would form a bond unlike any other Robin thereafter. Robin would fight the darkness of Gotham City with a joke and a smile, and in the process, he would help fight back the same darkness in Batman. Robin was the light in Batman’s dark world. Robin’s presence would help remind the troubled Wayne of what he was fighting to protect. At the same time, while Wayne could never truly get over the death of his parents, Grayson proved that it was possible to move on after such a tragic event, and live a happy life as a crime fighter.

    When he reached his teenaged years, Robin formed the now-famous group of young heroes known as the Teen Titans. Eventually, he would tire of being known as the Boy Wonder, and traded in his identity for that of Nightwing. While Grayson could easily be number one on this list for being the foundation of this heroic legacy, he’s at number three because he only came into his own as Nightwing. Eventually, he would surpass that role as well, to become the new Batman. He proved to be so impressive as Batman that many fans would have preferred that he maintained that role for even longer than he did. Today, Grayson is about to go on a new adventure unlike any he has experienced before, but his legacy will continue to live on.

    #2
    Tim Drake
    Released 1989
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    Tim Drake is the third character to officially don the red and green tights of Robin, The Boy Wonder. This time though, things would be a bit different. For starters, Tim Drake wasn’t an acrobat, or really much of fighter, instead relying upon his wit and intelligence. At an early age, he deduced the secret identities of Bruce Wayne and 🤬 Grayson, and sought out the role of Robin because he knew that Batman ultimately needs a Robin.

    Though Batman hesitated at first, as he was still dealing with the loss of Jason Todd, Grayson ends up convincing Batman that Drake would make a worthy ally. After training with an impressive array of fighters from around the world, Drake became a new and improved Robin. This version of Robin proved to be so popular that he became the first and currently only Robin to support his own Robin solo series (not counting Stephanie's brief five issues).

    For 20 (real time) years, Drake fought alongside Batman in his own unique ways. While he became an accomplished fighter, he always preferred using his keen detective skills before entering the fray. In addition to that, this Robin also had a number of vehicles and gadgets very much akin to the Dark Knight. Drake would eventually become known as Red Robin, and in one of his greatest victories, Ra’s al Ghul would refer to him as “Detective,” a title he had previously bestowed only to Batman himself.

  • focus
    focus The #1 Nigga, I Don't Need No Hype. Members Posts: 5,362 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2014
    #1
    Damian Wayne
    Released 2006
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    Number one on our list is none other than Damian Wayne. The one true son of Bruce Wayne, this incarnation of Robin is quite possibly the biggest challenge ever faced by the Dark Knight. If Jason Todd was a hot head, then Damian was an active volcano. Really though, what else could you expect from a kid raised by Talia al Ghul and the League of Assassins? Damian assumed the role of Robin soon after his debut, sucker-punching Tim Drake and claiming that the role of Robin was his birthright. What a 🤬 .

    Batman had a tough time dealing with Damian at first, due to his murderous tendencies and superior attitude. In fact, though initially off-putting, his superiority complex became his most endearing quality -- he treated Alfred like the help and he wanted to be the next Batman like nothing else, but really, you couldn't wait to see which dangerous villain he was going to sass next.

    However, after some time, Damian would begin to learn a new way of life. Readers were treated to a full hero's journey told in compelling fashion. Damian became a character who, though he would never admit it, grew to care for a great deal of people and even animals like Titus, his pet dog, Alfred, his pet cat, and Bat-Cow, his, well, you know. While that reason alone should be adorable enough to get Damian to the number one spot on this list, he also takes the top spot because of the simple-yet-clever reversal of his grim Robin to 🤬 Grayson’s jovial Batman. This reinvigorated the relationship of Batman and Robin and proved to be a great deal of fun.

    When Bruce Wayne returned to the role of Batman, Damian would continue to be a valuable version of Robin in that he helped to push and evolve Batman’s character to new and unexplored heights. Eventually, Damian would sacrifice his life in order to protect Gotham, his father, and everyone else that he loved, including Bat-Cow! However, we’ve already seen one Robin come back from the grave, so anything is possible, especially for someone as stubborn as Damian.

    For being an explosive cocktail of deadly ambition and hilarious quips, tempered by a love of pets, not to mention being Batman's most personal challenge yet, Damian Wayne is the #1 Robin.
  • dalyricalbandit
    dalyricalbandit Co-Owner Of AllhipHop.com, Super Moderator, Administrator, Moderator Members, Moderators Posts: 67,918 Regulator
    🤬 Grayson #3?
  • Broddie
    Broddie just me and my bitch NYCMembers Posts: 11,750 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Once again IGN gets it all wrong as usual.

    Robin the Toy Wonder >>>>>>>>>>> Robin John Blake

    1541336-batman700_036.jpg
  • jaxn
    jaxn Members Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    exactly. I don't know why IGN even bothers
  • evoljeanyes
    evoljeanyes Members Posts: 3,740 ✭✭✭✭✭
    🤬 Grayson has to be one, he is one of the best street level heroes
  • focus
    focus The #1 Nigga, I Don't Need No Hype. Members Posts: 5,362 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's not like they don't acknowledge that 🤬 could be #1, and specifically address the reason he is not.
  • evoljeanyes
    evoljeanyes Members Posts: 3,740 ✭✭✭✭✭
    True...after going back to read you're correct^^^^^^^
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