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7 Ways Robin Could Be Integrated into the DCEU

Written by Dara Berkey

Over the next few years, DC Comics and Warner Brothers have planned a series of movie set in the same universe. The DC Extended Universe includes: Man of Steel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the upcoming Suicide Squad. A new version of Batman was introduced to Batman v Superman. It stands to reason that Robin may soon follow—perhaps in a Batman solo movie. Robin had been a part of the Bat-mythos since 1940. Robin was meant to add some light to the dark and somber tone of the Batman stories.

Since then, there had been a number of people who took the mantle of Robin. Most people know Dick Grayson, the original Robin. Tim Drake’s fame comes from The New Batman Adventures. Jason Todd was a lesser known Robin until he became Red Hood. The current Robin is Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s young son. The DCEU still has a lot of possibilities to do something different and interesting with the DC characters. Introducing Robin into the new universe may be just what the new Batman needs.

7. Spoilers

steph brown

Number seven on the list is using Stephanie Brown as Robin. She was Robin for a very brief period and some do not even count her being Robin. There is a whole sordid debate over it. Stephanie started off as Spoiler, a young vigilante who worked towards stopping crime, but specifically his father, Cluemaster. Stephanie Brown not only would bring in her fans to the movies, but also make a possibility for the appearance of Cassandra Cain or Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. Stephanie became Batgirl prior to the New 52 relaunch in 2011.

Stephanie’s life is full of tragedy and suffering, which would fit with the tone of the newest incarnation of Batman. However, Stephanie never let it get her down. She grew as a person. When she was Robin, she made a lot of mistakes. Her mentor-student relationship with Bruce/Batman was tenuous at best. She was never good enough to him. She might be too unknown to the rest of the populace for the DCEU but using Stephanie Brown as Robin might be one way to introduce Robin.

6. Dark Knight Returns

carrie kelley

Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns was a landmark comic, which also introduced the first female Robin—Carrie Kelley. Carrie was resourceful and dedicated and Bruce begrudgingly took a quick liking to her. This Batman was older, retired, bitter, and somewhat like how Ben Affleck portrays Batman. Perhaps instead of the convoluted multi-Robin history, Dick Grayson was still the original Robin and Carrie became his replacement.

Any of the Robins dealt with the Joker on numerous occasions—conceivably that could have been any of the Robins’ suit. It does not necessarily mean that she’s dead. Considering the dour tone, Carrie’s forced retirement as Robin could have set Affleck’s Batman over the edge. Like Stephanie, she is not as well-known with the non-fan community that there is a slim chance of her use in the DCEU.

5. Daughter of Batman

Helena_Wayne_Robin_Earth_2

In “New 52” Earth-2, Helen Wayne was the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle and she was Robin before becoming Huntress. Helena is Batman’s daughter. And despite the fact that Warner Brothers and DC will probably use the son over the daughter as Robin in the DCEU, Helena is far different from Damian Wayne. Helena had Selina Kyle (Catwoman) as her mother and she protected her daughter fiercely. Helena was more aware of her father’s faults and shortcomings as a father, husband/boyfriend, and even as Batman. She could have spent her teenage years being Robin, just to look after her father, and as far as father-daughter relationships go, she might have gotten fed up and left him to become her own person.

Helena as Robin would not require Dick Grayson to be the first Robin, either. Earth-2’s Dick Grayson never was adopted by Bruce Wayne and became a journalist instead. Helena can have a simple introduction, without too much into the history of Robin so that the non-fans wouldn’t have to know the whole crazy story of Robin.

4. Red Robin

tim drake

Tim Drake was the third Robin. In the New 52, he was always known as Red Robin. The son of the wealthy Drake couple, who were always out of town, Tim became Robin after the death of Jason Todd. Tim had long-since deduced the identities of Batman and the two previous Robins, and has since proven to be nearly equal to Batman himself in his detective skills.

Tim is known for being tech-savvy and probably the smartest of the Robins. Tim as Robin or Red Robin would be a good fit, especially in terms of technology. Tim can keep up with an intense and brooding Batman. Tim is actually a very complicated character, though. He has mommy and daddy issues. He also feels the pressure of being under the shadow of Dick and Jason. Failing is not an option for him.

Tim can be introduced as the son of Bruce’s friends, but slowly Batman will realize that someone was spying on him. I can just picture Bruce trying to derail Tim’s aspirations to join crime-fighting, but eventually giving in because Tim is just that good.

3. The Original Boy Wonder

dick grayson

If and when Batman gets another solo movie,  there will almost certainly be a mention of Dick Grayson in some capacity, possibly even in flashbacks. Dick was a circus acrobat taken in by billionaire Bruce Wayne following the death of the boy’s parents. As the original Robin, Dick is easily the most famous and recognizable.

Depending on the version and the writers, Dick’s age varies from originally being about eight or ten to being a teenager when orphaned. Dick made Bruce happier, or happy as Batman can be on a good day, but Dick was also a chance for Bruce to make sure not another kid went down the same path as him.

Most likely, the DCEU will draw more from the New 52 and Rebirth for the complicated relationship between Dick and Bruce. Never a father-and-son, Dick in his later teenage years felt suffocated by Batman’s controlling nature and Bruce could not handle Dick growing up and becoming his own person and hero. Either he was fired or he quit, again depending, Dick became the vigilante Nightwing. Nightwing was his own (but actually the name came from a Kryptonian myth about Nightwing and Flamebird).

Using Dick Grayson as Robin can make way for the Barbara Gordon Batgirl, who no doubt will either be Batgirl or Oracle somewhere along the way. The safest (because it is comfortable) option for the DCEU writers and editors will be to use Dick Grayson and his origins as Robin.

2. Under the Red Hood

jason_todd_versus_batman-jpg

I have mentioned the darker tone of Batman from the DCEU several times, so it’s no surprise that the Red Hood storyline would be up high on my list. Red Hood was a moniker for a crime boss in Gotham. Joker was once Red Hood, hence the reason why Jason Todd took it on when he came back to life. The writers would have to explain how he came back to life (most likely the Lazarus Pits would be the easiest option), but Red Hood’s war on Batman and what Batman stands for pits former allies against each other.

Jason Todd was unlike the others. With his mother dead of a drug overdose and his father gone, Jason grew up on the streets of Gotham. He famously tried to steal Batman’s Batmobile tires/rims. Jason had much more of a chip on his shoulder than Bruce/Batman anticipated. Robin was an outlet eventually for Jason’s inner rage—he gotten benched and then fired from the role of Robin.

Jason Todd’s death was Batman’s failure and Joker’s triumph. The Under the Red Hood storyline would explain the suit in the case at the cave with the Joker’s taunting message on it and give a reason that Bruce/Batman is so angry and disillusioned (or looking like he wants to cry every other scene).

1. Son of Batman

damian-as-robin-jpg

Damian Wayne is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul (and of course the grandson of Ra’s al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins). Ignoring the Dark Knight trilogy, the League of Assassins was always a good enemy for Batman. Damian was brilliant and far more violent than Jason Todd. Damian was Bruce’s son and that is important to the character Damian at least. If there were any other Robins, Damian would see them as merely placeholders or useless. Since Batman is older in this incarnation, Damian would have to be older as well – at least 15 or 16 – adding teenage angst and daddy issues galore. Damian originally had no qualm killing people, so would fit in perfectly in Zack Snyder’s “Murderverse”.

The conflict (aka the divorced parents’ battle) between Talia and Bruce would spill out on to the battlefields and Damian would be in the cross-hairs. Damian would be an interesting Robin to start off with and he would fit perfect within the DCEU.

To conclude, there are many more ways that Robin can join the DCEU. I just picked all the Robins and gave a reason. Damian, Jason and Dick as Robins are probably the right direction. I have no hope for a female Robin on the big screen because we barely got Wonder Woman on it over the years. I’m not necessarily right or wrong with this list. If you think I missed anything or shouldn’t have added someone, post a comment or join us on Twitter!

About the author

Dara Berkey

Superhero nerd. History nerd. Favorite personal hero--Shazam/The Original Captain Marvel. Favorite female hero--Any of the Batgirls. Favorite male hero, other than Shazam--Any of the Robins.