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… give or take a few. Here’s a (most definitely incomplete) list of characters who have worn the Robin uniform, played a Robin-like role or a role in a way connected to being Robin.
Starting off, the Big Five: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne.
Anonymous asked: “Tim? Has a temper. A very, very nasty temper”. Not to sound rude or belitting but I thought Jason was the angry Robin?
Hmmm. Okay. It’s important to note that “carries a lot of anger” and “has a nasty temper” are different things. Birds, butterflies, and bats all have wings, but nobody is going to argue that all three are the same type of wing, are they? Same thing with Jason and Tim. Simply because they express their anger in similar ways doesn’t mean they both arrived at that point from the exact same experiences. I don’t claim to be an expert here, but to me, Jason’s rage seems more of the “builds up to the point where it has to come out any way it can”, which is more of a sign of an inability to express anger in ways that help him reach a resolution. Looking at Under the Hood, Jason initially seems angry at Bruce, but later on it becomes clear it’s betrayal and hurt, not just purely anger. Arguably he has the same problem as MCU!Bruce Banner (whose “anger” is more often than not actually fear): he can’t really express his feelings in a healthy way, not because he has a bad temper.
Tim, on the other hand, is perfectly capable of venting his feelings; however, his particular temperament is such that when he expresses anger, he does it extremely violently. This is a personality trait that shows itself consistently throughout the comics canon (wow I’m actually rather happy writers remember this): he trashes his room, he beats Villain of the Week almost half to death, he lashes out at Damian, ad infinitum. Looking at canon, you actually have a much stronger case for Tim being “the angry Robin”, much more so than Jason.
Again, I’m no expert, I’m just a reader like you and this is only my opinion.
Reblogging this because this is relevant to my interests. I agree with everything the writer pointed out.
I’d also like to add that assuming every Robin has a trait is normal (and to fair it’s a good way to tell them apart), but you can’t pretend they don’t share traits. The Robins aren’t just ‘The happy one, the angry one, the detective one, the girl and the son’. The Robin are supposed to be multidimensional characters you could find in real life, they are people.
Dick is known for his bad jokes and sense of humor, but Jason and Tim also have their own dry sarcastic way of making fun of things and Damian is slowly but surely growing one. Tim is the smart Robin but that doesn’t mean the others aren’t able to investigate and pull a Batman on their own.
Jason is angry and doesn’t think much before he jumps into attack, but that doesn’t mean other Robins can’t pent up anger and lash out. And somebody like Tim, who has no idea how to deal with his feelings and tends to keep them inside… well, when he does show anger he kind of explodes.
Can I hug this post? Can I frame it on my wall for everyone to see? Can I freaking marry it?
Because seriously… YES. Yes, yes, yes, yes YES. THIS.
I hate when people try to write the Robins (or Batgirls, or any character, really) into these narrow little boxes. Because Dick is “The Happy One”, and Jason is “The Angry One”, and Tim is “The Smart One”, etc., and there can never be any overlap between them? And their characters can never be any more nuanced than that? HOW ABOUT NO.
Newsflash? EVERY SINGLE ONE of the Robins has a temper. Yes, ALL of them. Even Tim, “the quiet one”. Even Dick and Steph, “the happy ones” (and believe me, I can prove it). Now, that doesn’t mean they’ll all get angry in the same way, or to the same degree, or over the same things. Because they won’t. And it doesn’t mean they’re all equally likely to lose their temper.
But believe me when I say that you do not want to get on the bad side of ANY ONE of the Robins. Because they can ALL be “the angry one” if you push the right buttons, and you don’t want to be there when they do.
Dick may be the closest to being universally loved. But you need to remember Didio had to be blackmailed into not killing him off.
Jason is often called the worst. But even with the writer actively trying to make him unlikeable. The vote to kill him was close, and if it hadn’t been rigged things would be different today
Tim sure is great though. If you like rich, white, cis-het stalkers. Yeah I’ve heard people diss him for everything from having parents to not being athletic enough.
And everyone hates Steph, that’s why DC declared her toxic. Not the huge fan campaign that made her a feminist icon.
Then there’s Damian. One true son of the bat, or a baby assassin, murderer sullying the Robin name.
My point is that everyone has a different view of these characters. Some people love them all, some hate them all, some have mixed feelings. It’s not a one size fits all fandom.
And of course, what you also need to remember is that there’s a substantial portion of the Bat-fandom who simply cannot stand the concept of Robin in general. They don’t care who it is or the specifics of the character, they just don’t want any stupid, brightly-colored kid sidekick messing with the darkness and “realism” of Batman. And I’m not just talking about more casual fans who simply don’t know much about the Robins yet. There are hardcore fans who feel that way. There are even people in the industry who feel that way. If you’ve read Adam Hughes’ book (Cover Run), he outright states that he does not like Robin for that reason.
Which would be my counter-argument to “Dick may be the closest to being universally loved”, really. Not that DiDio wanted to kill him off (which was more or less because Dick was so loved, and he wanted to “shake things up”), but that when people blame Robin for ruining the Batman mythos in general, more often than not it’s Dick they’re pointing the finger at (which makes sense, after all). He’s the one who gets all the “that stupid kid with the bad puns” comments directed at him by people who think Batman works better as a dark loner. Dick may be the most beloved Robin, but in some ways he’s also the most hated, because when people criticize the concept of Robin, he’s the one they direct that hate towards more often than not.
Honestly, I doubt there’s any character, in any fandom, who could qualify as “universally loved” or “universally hated”. Human opinion is simply far too diverse for that. And when it comes to superheroes specifically, we all have a different idea of what makes a compelling hero. Where some people see inspiring idealism, others see sugary naivete. What some people interpret as fabulous snark and attitude, others interpret as abrasive brattiness. I don’t think there’s ever going to be universal agreement on ANY character, and it’s just simplistic to say otherwise.
so what’s the age difference between all of the Robins?
idk about now
But before reboot I always gather that
Dick was about 23-25
Jason about 19-21
Tim was about 18
Damian was 10-11
Thanks Will. I just wanted a rough estimation, since I’m reading The Second Robin.
all of them were roughly 10 when they started i believe
the reboot didnt really change their accepted ages, so they should be around there. i always thought that tim was closer to 16 really
It changed ages because it made Dick like 21, and that de-aged him by at least 3-4 years.
I’m pretty sure Tim was 13-14 when he started
And Jason may have been a little older than that
Dick was between 8 and 12 when he started, depending which version of his backstory you go with. Though having him be as young as 8 doesn’t really work with Tim’s backstory considering that Tim is 8 years younger than Dick and remembers seeing Dick’s parents get killed. So I put Dick at more like 11 when Bruce took him in.
Dick was 19 when he stepped down as Robin, and Jason was 13 when he started.
Jason was around 15 when he was killed, and Tim was 13 when he became Robin.
Stephanie is a year or so older than Tim, and she was around seventeen when she became Robin.
Damian was 10.
Before the reboot their ages were approximately:
Dick - 25 (Robin from age 11-19)
Jason - 19 (Robin from age 13-15)
Stephanie - 18 (Robin at age 17)
Tim - 17 (Robin from age 13-17)
Damian - 10
I’ll concede to Dick Grayson’s stature as a sub par Robin (because yeah Tim Drake is Bruce Jr basically) but as long as we all agree that Nightwing is easily the best member of Batman Incorporated and arguably one of the most important members of the DCU if not THE most important?
Except here’s the thing: The job of Robin ISN’T to be “Bruce Jr.” (which Tim isn’t, anyway, and certainly wasn’t in his Robin days, but that’s a completely different debate). The job of Robin is to balance Batman out. To be his moral compass. To keep him human. To pull him back towards the light. And Dick did that job maybe better than any of the successive Robins.
I mean, okay, first of all Dick was in no way a “sub-par Robin” however you want to look at it. The kid saved Bruce’s life multiple times, he outsmarted Mr. Freeze, he took down Blockbuster, he was an all-around baby BAMF. Oh, and remember that issue where Bruce was brainwashed and trying to attack Dick, and Dick realized what was going on in about a second and calmly knocked Bruce out with one punch? You all should, because it was freakin’ awesome.
Oh, and let’s not forget the part where he founded his own superhero team and was leading them when he was, oh, maybe fourteen years old. And they saved the entire Justice League in at least one version of continuity thanks to whose awesome planning and leadership skills?
So yeah, Dick as Robin was an awesome and competent hero in his own right and he saved the day like nobody’s business, and anyone who says otherwise will have me to deal with.
But let’s just put all of that aside for one minute, because the main reason Dick was an awesome Robin isn’t even his own heroic accomplishments. It’s what he did for Bruce.
Bruce has said himself that Dick “saved” him, and it’s really freakin’ true. Every one of Bruce’s proteges has had a powerful effect on him, but maybe none more than Dick. It’s like he says in Robin: Year One - “Somebody’s gotta help him… might as well be me.”
I don’t think Dick was referring to “helping” Bruce with crimefighting, or at least not just with that. Let’s face it, a Robin might come in handy sometimes, but Bruce doesn’t really need the help when it comes to the technical aspect of what he does. In fact, from that point of view, having some kid tagging along is arguably a liability, not an asset.
What Bruce did need help with - and I think Dick, perceptive kid that he was, saw that very clearly - is with the emotional aspect. Like I said, Dick was and is Bruce’s moral compass, but he healed Bruce on a much more personal level, too. He did the impossible and actually managed to crack through those walls of Bruce’s. Made him smile and laugh again when he’d let himself fall so completely into darkness. Reminded him that he was still a man capable of giving love and receiving it. And above all, Dick made Bruce believe that he could actually have a family. That losing his parents didn’t mean he needed to be alone forever. And you can’t overstate what a huge impact that was on Bruce. Not only would there not be any successive Robins if not for the legacy that Dick created, there would be no Batfamily, period. Because Dick was the one who opened Bruce’s heart up to that possibility in the first place.
The Robin role is what Dick created it as. Robin stands for joy against Batman’s stoicism. Color against Batman’s darkness. Energy against Batman’s deadly calm. Robin connects Batman to humanity, Robin is there to pull Batman back from the edge when he needs it. And the subsequent Robins have refined the role over the years, brought different gifts to the table, played off of Bruce in different ways - but the essence of the role is what Dick made it. He defined what it means to be Robin for every Robin who came after him.
Am I willing to concede that maybe Tim was the superior Robin? Sure, because Tim was an outstanding Robin. He truly understood the Robin role better than maybe any of the Robins, and he made a hugely lasting impact, too. There’s a reason I chose Tim as my Favorite Sidekick in the DCU.
But will I concede that Dick was a “sub-par” Robin? HELL. TO. THE. NO. Frankly, I won’t concede that status to any of the Robins. Because they were ALL awesome, and they ALL did great things in the role, and I’m not going to label any of them as ‘not up to standard’. But I’m CERTAINLY not going to label Dick as such, because he freaking created that standard. He helped Bruce in ways that possibly NONE of the successive Robins ever did, and that, after all, is what being Robin is all about.
Okay, I’m in a lousy mood now, so let’s have some more ranting. Here’s one that’s been bothering me for a while.
If you want to include ALL THE ROBINS who are currently canon in DC’s main continuity, then they are: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Damian Wayne.
If you want to include ALL THE ROBINS who were canon in DC’s main continuity before the reboot, then they are: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Damian Wayne.
If you want to include ALL THE ROBINS who have ever been canon on any of DC’s alternate Earths or Elseworlds, you are going to have a list that’s a heck of a lot longer than that. In fact, you can read it here.
On NO UNIVERSE do ALL THE ROBINS consist of: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne.
Those are the Batboys. I’ve spoken about this before. If you mean the Batboys, you can just say ‘the Batboys’. There’s no need to refer to them as ‘all the Robins’ when that’s clearly inaccurate and has sexist implications by excluding only Stephanie.
ALSO on no Universe do ALL THE ROBINS consist of: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Damian Wayne, Helena Wayne, Carrie Kelley.
That’s just all the preboot main continuity Robins with two alternative universe Robins thrown in. If you’re going to include ALL the alternate Robins, as mentioned above, your list is going to be a whole lot longer than that.
Who exactly decided that these seven Robins are THE ROBINS? Why do Carrie and Helena get preferential treatment over every other alternate Robin ever? Is it because they’re the most popular? The most well-known? (It’s not because they’re girls, because there have been female Robins in other continuities.) I don’t know. But it annoys the heck out of me.
Do you think in-universe Batfans just get like really defensive about their Robins?
A new Robin shows up and they’re like who’s this jerk, getting all snobby about how they’re more confrontational than the last one, or quieter, or with more lady bits, or they have stupid haircuts and costumes and faces.
And like grown men sit around bars bitching about how their Robin wouldn’t go around decking losers with just any old piece of wood, their Robin would find the sturdiest wood he could and maybe hammer in some nails while he’s at it because their Robin was one tough cookie.
Tim, for example, was crotchety as hell when Jason took over, because Dick was his Robin, and some uncultured swine thought they could just waltz in and replace him lol fuck you.
But then, of course, Tim was going through the Time by then, so it was all history.
OMG YES. I approve of this so much.
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