Who Is the Best Robin?

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Posted by No_name_here (1247 posts) - - Show Bio

As the Bat-Family expands (and expands, and expands,) I can't help but look at all of Gotham's alter-egos as being ranks in a kind of promotion system. You know, almost like these heroes are going from white belts to a black belts in Karate. So maybe every vigilante starts off as a Robin, then he or she's promoted to Red Robin, Batgirl, Huntress, Red Hood and Nightwing before the highest-trained ones get to the top as a Batman or Batwoman. Who knows, this comparison might prove even more fitting as this BATMAN, INC. storyline plays out.  

While the rank and order of "masks" on the "path to the Bat" isn't strictly defined, most of these capes start as Robins. And, since there've been at least five so far, I figured it'd be fun to compare and contrast these Boy Wonders (and the couple girl wonders.) Who was good at it? Who was bad? Who made it stylish?

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The original. The standard by which every successor has been judged.  While this flying Grayson is the originator of the mantle, I think most of you maniacs will agree that he's been more interesting as Nightwing and much more interesting as Batman. The "making your own identity" and "accepting your mentor's legacy" themes make for juicier drama than "proving yourself as a sidekick." It's also worth noting that few heroes have had as consistent and enthusiastic female followings as "pretty boy" Dick. == TEASER ==

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The prodigal son. The bad seed. For most of his existence in print, he’s been better defined in his death than in his life, as a sign of Batman’s failures and tragedy. He was really only Robin for about five years and proved unpopular enough with the fans that they actually voted for him to be killed off in A DEATH IN THE FAMILY (although, that vote was decided by a slim margin.) Like Dick, he’s carved an identity outside this tradition and has proved to be more intriguing as the vengeful Red Hood.

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The journeyman. Likely the most well-adjusted Robin out of this bunch. While Dick wore the "R" for many more years in actual history, the focus has been on Tim the longest. He’s the one who had the 16-year-long Robin solo title. While he's had his fair share of personal tragedies and lost loved ones, he's usually stayed out of the drama that's typified the Wayne household. He only just recently struck out on his own as Red Robin, but I feel it’s an appropriate transition for a guy who's done his time and paid his dues.      

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She's kind-of the redheaded stepchild of this family since she never really got a fair shake. Getting Bruce to validate her as a "real" Robin has been a concern that's continued even into her current career as the third Batgirl. While a lot of Robins have been troubled youths, there's something thematically appropriate about this former Spoiler turning from her supervillainous legacy to this superheroic one. We'll certainly have to evaluate her again if we ever do a "Who's the best Batgirl?" feature, too.  

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The usurper. The bad son. I’ll own up and admit it - - I think he’s coolest out of this bunch. You've got to love his petulant, stern-and-serious-beyond-his-years attitude and, considering how often Robin's been described as Batman's symbolic son, it's certainly appropriate that his actual son would take up the mantle. Also, given how ridiculous the mesh trunks and pixie shoes have looked, it's worth saying that his redesigned costume is the first Robin suit  to actually look menacing, practical and even cool. 

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So maybe she's an "unofficial" Robin on account of her being from Earth 31 (that's THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS' designation, right?) but, c'mon, you know she deserves a mention here. With big 80s hair, the neon shades and the slingshot, she’s probably the most "punk rock" of this bunch. And, seeing as how she's an "orphan" only by the virtue of her parents being hideously-negligent stoners, you've got  to appreciate her for being the one who's had the most fun wearing the red, green and gold.  

So there you have it. Do you maniacs agree with me about Damian? Do you disagree? Let's hear your breakdowns of this legacy. Would you include any of the other Robins from across the Multiverse? How about THRILLKILLER's stylish mod Robin? Maybe Robin, the Toy Wonder of the 853rd century? Let's get the discussion going and hear your picks.
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#1 Posted by Cloudleet (14 posts) - - Show Bio

I've always favored Grayson myself

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#2 Edited by skaarason (693 posts) - - Show Bio

it's hard to pick out of his 4 sons !

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#3 Posted by cattlebattle (15947 posts) - - Show Bio

The answer is Grayson
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#4 Posted by MIssfitt (74 posts) - - Show Bio

Grayson, hands down.

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#5 Posted by brc2000 (1686 posts) - - Show Bio

Tim Drake. I liked Grayson better as Nighwing.

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#6 Posted by Gambit1024 (10217 posts) - - Show Bio

Grayson was the best Robin. 
Jason is the most interesting Robin. 
Tim is a close second to Dick, but he was still awesome. 
 I dislike Damian. 

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#7 Edited by imaginaryman (196 posts) - - Show Bio

Tim was certainly the best sidekick to batman out of them all, and to me had the most conviction to gotham, so for that I think he deserves to be my favortie robin. 
Damian gets best costume though, and Dick gets best in combat

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#8 Posted by Bloodstonefreak (154 posts) - - Show Bio

Grayson without a shadow of a doubt...

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#9 Posted by Duo_forbidden (1815 posts) - - Show Bio

Its a close one for me between Dick and Tim, but I have to give it to Tim because of his own comic series. 
Dick is 2nd for me.
Despite hating the little bastard, Damian would be 3rd.
Stephanie 4th because of the costume and personality.
Jason 5th.
Kelly never really had a impact for me when she was Robin in the Frank miller books.

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#10 Posted by iAmZero (51 posts) - - Show Bio

Tim Drake, best Robin costumes, he lies to Batman and best of all, he punched Damian in the face

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#11 Posted by queenfrost_ (2613 posts) - - Show Bio

hehe, Carrie Kelly for the WIN ;D

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#12 Posted by JonesDeini (3874 posts) - - Show Bio

Tim is easily the best Robin, can't ever give anybody else a consideration. Dick was the original but Tim will always be the Robin I Think of. And I laugh at anybody who thinks Jason Todd was a good robin or even a good character period.

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#13 Posted by Supreme Marvel (11575 posts) - - Show Bio

Tim is the better Robin. Even Bruce knows this.

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#14 Posted by ombla2 (108 posts) - - Show Bio

for me Dick and Tim are equal
i agree with you about Damian i really enjoy reading him

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#15 Posted by Son_of_Magnus (15463 posts) - - Show Bio

No other Robin accomplished half the stuff Tim did as Robin

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#16 Posted by chowy (68 posts) - - Show Bio

As Robin, Grayson was kinda cheesy.
It doesn´t make much sense having a character like that along a dark personality as Bruce´s.
They both work great as team leaders with the Titans.

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#17 Posted by ccrosby (72 posts) - - Show Bio
@brc2000: I couldn't agree more-  my favorite moments in recent bat-history were when Batman and Tim-Robin were out on a case and Nightwing would swing in for the assist.    
Honestly i feel Nightwing is the best bat-creation since, well, the joker or perhaps even the batman himself.
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#18 Posted by erik_norris (194 posts) - - Show Bio
@brc2000 said:
" Tim Drake. I liked Grayson better as Nighwing. "
I'll agree with this. Although Damian is awesome too, his cockiness is hilarious.
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#19 Posted by crowncoke (219 posts) - - Show Bio

See this is hard for me to decide... as the best Robin?  Then I would have to go with Tim.  As Robin, he has made the largest impact on the DCU.  It is often this verison of Robin that is represented today.  He clearly overshadows all other Robin(s) other than Dick Grayson.   If this is which Robin is the best character (meaning overall) then it goes to Dick hands down as his career is that of a lynchpin in the DCU.  Even considering whom his Mentor is... every Hero(heroine) in the DCU either likes or respects Dick and what he does and stands for. 
Just because he is cool in the punk brat manner... Damien is worth reading in he dealings with Dick and now his father.

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#20 Posted by kevtoons (11 posts) - - Show Bio

Really it has to be Dick Grayson !!!

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#21 Posted by DMC (2006 posts) - - Show Bio

My knowledge of the Dick and Tim's time as Robin stems mostly from the DCAU. They were both great buuuuut I'm going with Tim ^_^

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#22 Posted by 321angel321 (28 posts) - - Show Bio

It's hard to choose between Tim and Damian, but I would probably say Tim.
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#23 Posted by The_Warlord (1831 posts) - - Show Bio
@erik_norris said:
" @brc2000 said:
" Tim Drake. I liked Grayson better as Nighwing. "
I'll agree with this. Although Damian is awesome too, his cockiness is hilarious. "
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#24 Posted by haydenclaireheroes (11324 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked both Stephanie Brown and Tim Drake 

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#25 Posted by kungnima (182 posts) - - Show Bio

Grayson. Richard Grayson.

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#26 Posted by The Sadhu (860 posts) - - Show Bio

How I rank them... 

1) Grayson 
2) Drake 
3) Todd and Wayne 
5) Kelly

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#27 Edited by Fantasgasmic (1092 posts) - - Show Bio

All you Grayson and Damien fans are wrong. Tim Drake is the best Robin. He's the only one who really EARNED the job. He's the most well rounded, skill-wise, and unlike Damian or (shudder) Jason, he's hard to dislike as a character. Other Robins all aspired to be MORE than Robin. Until Battle for the Cowl (when everyone Bat-suited up) Tim was happy just being Robin, even after Dick took over, Dick had to convince him not to be Robin anymore. He didn't want to give it up without a fight. Other Robins were HAPPY to move on and be something else, Tim tried to make Robin more than just a guy who got kidnapped that Batman would have to save.

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#28 Posted by dewboy01 (2362 posts) - - Show Bio

the one from teen titans go!
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#29 Posted by ShomyCar092 (13 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Damian.... I like Dick as Nightwing and Batman more.... Tim was great Robin, but I think he is better as Red Robin, he matured over the years..... I think we can all agree about Todd....

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#30 Posted by comicbikerscott (152 posts) - - Show Bio

daimen wayne
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#31 Posted by Tmul501 (601 posts) - - Show Bio
@brc2000 said:
" Tim Drake. I liked Grayson better as Nighwing. "
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#32 Posted by xxhanzy1xx (1 posts) - - Show Bio
Hmmm best ever person to have worn the a robin uniform is of course Dick Grayson!!! Best Robin in comics is Tim Drake, best Robin in animation is Dick Grayson (except Jason Todd Robin in Under the Red Hood was ace!)
  Ima Comicfan Hmmm best ever person to have worn the a robin uniform is of course Dick Grayson!!! Best Robin in comics is Tim Drake, best Robin in animation is Dick Grayson (except Jason Todd Robin in Under the Red Hood was ace!) 11 minutes ago · Like
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#33 Posted by roxamilli (194 posts) - - Show Bio

I love all of the Robins! It's hard to chose one, though I will have to go with Jason. He never got the chance to grow out of Dick's shadow as Robin, and when the Red Hood is being the anti-hero instead of the villain, he's pretty cool.
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#34 Posted by Primmaster64 (21668 posts) - - Show Bio

hmmm Dick was the best one.

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#35 Posted by jschambe (42 posts) - - Show Bio

Tim Drake is the best Robin that ever was or ever will be.  I like Dick Grayson, but he's better as Nightwing than either Batman or Robin.
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#36 Posted by Pez85 (208 posts) - - Show Bio

While all the other Robins were chosen by Batman (whether it be by their own merit [Dick], or to avoid some sort of inconvenience [Jason, Tim]), Damian was BORN to be Robin. Sure, he started off as an insufferable prick, but he's quickly becoming one of the most badass characters across the DCU. He's a Robin that's not wrought with personal tragedy, but with the quality of upbringing that allows him to excel at most everything he does. 
The agility of Dick, the ruthlessness of Jason, and the intuitiveness of Tim. Damian is the perfect Robin.

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#37 Posted by Aetheldod (51 posts) - - Show Bio

No Robins would be the best Robin

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#39 Posted by MuadDiab (383 posts) - - Show Bio

Damien's shaping up to be the best

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#40 Posted by clumsyninja (148 posts) - - Show Bio

I will say the best Robin is a draw between Dick and Tim. Dick is a great fighter but lowsy detective while Tim is an amazing detective but okay fighter.
Jason was way too emotional and angry. Damian is a okay fighter but no Tim Drake and too cocky. Stephany Brown, really?

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#41 Edited by johnny_spam (2187 posts) - - Show Bio

Grayson and Drake were the best Robins. 
 I like Damian but he just became Robin not much there though it should be noted he stopped a bomb in Gotham. 
 Stephanie was not Robin long enough to really judge.   
Jason was a good Robin he helped beat Mongul and saved Batman from Blackfire but I think him killing people nullifies any accomplishment. 

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#42 Posted by goldenkey (3033 posts) - - Show Bio

To each their own.  I prefer Tim.  He just grew up so much quicker then the others, and when I got into comics Jason Todd was Robin at the time.  I was young and blown away the there was even a different Robin other then Dick Grayson since the cheesy ass tongue and cheek Batman t.v. show episodes were being re-run on Fox after Tom and Jerry and Woody Woodpecker.  Then BOOB! a few years later Jason was dead.  I somewhat grew up with Tim Drake.  Watching him figure out who Batman was, go thru training and then take up the mantle of Robin for himself.  Thank GOD they took him out of the stupid original costume and put him into a better costume.  The costume alone made me fan of Robin.  I could have lived without a Robin before that.  Now Tim is pretty much grown up, gone from a little kid to a teenager to Red Robin.  By making Tim Red Robin they've aged Tim a young man of 19 or 20.  No a kid, but still to young to buy a case of beer.  Where this will take the Teen Titans is gonna be interesting since he seems to be the only one growing up right now.  Now there is Damian.  Who I completely hated, but is growing on me just because he is easing up to Dick and starting to trust him.  I still don't like that he's only 10.  I understand Robin is supposed to be a kid sidekick, but no that comics are supposed to be more (dare I say it) realistic, a 10 year old is just stupid.  I see 10 year old kids all the time and there is no way in hell they could fight crime.  No 10 year old in the world is gonna be able to fight a grown man.  It just isn't going to happen.  The 10 year old could be 6 foot tall and he's still gonna catch a beating, especially if he's going up against villains, and hired bad guys who have all been in fights themselves.  Wish they made him at least a teenager. 

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#43 Posted by Terrific_T (135 posts) - - Show Bio

Carrie Kelly! That's the sixth Robin I didn't know about! I was finally able to finish my "Robin the Cradle" Quest! Thanks! =)
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#44 Posted by daredevil21134 (15832 posts) - - Show Bio

Jason Todd forever
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#45 Posted by webhe4d (158 posts) - - Show Bio

Tim Drake. When he was a kid being robin, I was a kid reading him as robin. So I just can relate to Tim the most.

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#47 Posted by WhoDunnit101 (72 posts) - - Show Bio

Carrie Kelly.

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#48 Posted by bjames40 (10 posts) - - Show Bio

i'm a real traditionalist and i don't like change ....but damian is the coolest character in batman (men?)  in a long time.... i think i might even like him better than bruce. if you can read batman 666
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#49 Edited by Bruce Vain (1833 posts) - - Show Bio

This is a tough one 
Grayson is of course just great. I mean him being from the circus I always loved , and his on and off relationship with Babs I cherished. He was definitely a Robin that was alot more fun. But I never really loved it whenever he puts on the Batman mantle. Cause I don't like it how it seems like he can't escape from Batman's shadow. For me I loved it when he became his own man and had his own city to protect. That's the way it should be for him. It's one thing for once in awhile for him to wear the cowl as favor for Bruce, but for him to take on the job full time. I don't agree with it. It's like we're not moving forward we're moving backwards here. 
Todd is a total badass. He was definitely a tough Robin and for him to be the Red Hood is very fitting. I know alot of people didn't like him and that's why they had him killed. But I never really had a problem with him. Nor with what he's doing now. In a way he's like a cross between Batman and Punisher. At least in my eyes he is.
Tim Drake you just cannot love. He was probably the best Robin. He was definitely the most intelligent Robin that's for sure. And I'm glad he's out doing his own thing as well. I always appreciated the bond he had between Grayson and him. That brotherhood bond. But I always saw Tim to be Batman if Bruce was ever to give up the mantle or pass away.  
Don't really care for Brown being Robin or Batgirl. She just stay as Spoiler.
Damian I love. He's just an all around no non-sense badass who can be a total dickhead. Kind of like his father. But is alot more ruthless due to his upbringing. He's definitely the tougher and more resilient of the Robins. He would definitely be a nastier Batman as we saw in Batman #666 in a possible future. I always saw him and Todd being very similar too as far as their attitudes go. 
Kelly was so great in Dark Knight Returns. It made sense for Robin being a girl this time. Especially, with wearing those shorts and pixie boots ha ha. I loved her design as well. Since, I'm a child of the 80's and love the whole 80's punk / neo-noir / cyberpunk look. I think that was one of my favorite things in that book. So yea definitely love Kelly and love to see more of her. 
So yea it's hard to just pick your favorite Robin cause they all (except for Brown) offer great qualities of why they were a great Robin.
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#50 Posted by sonic1435 (14 posts) - - Show Bio

I enjoy Tim as Robin just because thats who I grew up reading but im liking Damian alot

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