6 Reasons Why I Love Robin
I love Robin the Boy Wonder. He/She is one of my all-time favorite comic book characters, and a character I will defend to the death if need be. My personal favorite Robin is Tim Drake, but I like the mantle of Robin more than I like any specific individual who has worn the mask. Robin is simply an awesome comic book character. And because there has been a whole heck of a lot of Robin news lately, I wanted to celebrate with this week’s List of Six.
Robin is getting a couple new comics in November. Tim Drake just came out as likely bisexual, and that made national news. Robin is going to appear in the Batman ’89 comic, finally giving those Tim Burton movies a Robin. Various Robins are the stars of the Titans TV show, which just started its third season. There’s currently a “Robin” comic starring Damian Wayne, who is maybe transitioning away from the role? Suffice to say, there is a lot of Robin stuff happening these days and it feels good to be a Robin fan. But why am I such a devoted Robin fan?
Join me after the jump to find out!
6. Cool by association
Simply put, Robin is best pals/sidekick/protégé to Batman, the coolest superhero on the planet. That makes Robin cool by association. Batman is known for being this lone figure, this dark knight who doesn’t even open up to his friends on the Justice League. But Batman keeps this sidekick as a close confidant. Batman trusts Robin, implicitly. And I think that’s cool.
I’d like to think that there’s no debate that Batman is cool. He’s just all around cool. And if Batman thinks Robin is cool, which he does, then Robin is also cool. Robin is as inner circle as it gets with Batman’s coolness. They are an unbreakable team, and that’s awesome to me. I like that this larger than life figure, Batman, has this colorful partner, and that Batman doesn’t treat him/her as anything less.
5. Starred on a steady progression of shows
My love for superheroes translated to a love of superhero TV shows, and there were plenty to watch when I was a kid. First and foremost was the classic 1960s Batman show starring Adam West and Burt Ward. I imagine that was my proper introduction to Robin. And as a kid, Burt Ward’s Robin was fine. I don’t have any particular memory of what I thought of Robin while watching that show, I just know I watched a lot of it on reruns when I was younger, and that must have made an impression.
Because I was super psyched to see Robin in Batman: The Animated Series. Obviously that cartoon was a defining show for many Batman fans in my generation. And I watched it religiously, just like everyone else. But whereas Batman was fine, I can remember being really thrilled about Robin showing up. And BTAS Robin was cool as hell. He was older, so he wasn’t some annoying kid. He had the awesome 90s Robin costume. And he just worked as a great partner to Batman. The fact that he only appeared in a handful of those early episodes made him even more special, all leading up to that amazing Robin’s Reckoning 2-parter.
My memory isn’t so great these days, but I know those two shows played a big role in becoming attached to the character.
4. Very relatable
Robin is an easy character to like. He’s usually just a regular, charming dude who makes friends easily and gets along with everybody. Dick Grayson is everybody’s favorite person in the regular DC Universe. Jason Todd rubs people the wrong way, but he’s still got friends. And Tim Drake is the next generation’s favorite person. Robin is usually good people. Even with Damian Wayne, he’s trying to be good, most of the time. Robin is a good kid struggling with pressures and teenage problems, same with all of the readers. He’s not some untouchable god high upon the mountain top. He’s not the greatest anything in the world. He’s just a cool dude who would probably be your friend. That’s likeable material.
Everybody underestimates Robin, especially in the real world, and that makes it so much more fun to be a fan. People have been making jokes about Robin for decades. People just don’t like the character. They think Batman is better when he’s alone. People think Robin is dumb. All of this stuff just builds and builds, and I’m here all smarmy and confidant that Robin is better than all of these people think. I realize that’s not a good attitude to have, but it’s fun nonetheless. I’m one of those conspiracy theorists who clings to my chosen conspiracy because I get a dopamine hit from “knowing” the ultimate truth. Well my ultimate truth is that Robin is awesome, and I think that’s pretty safe.
2. Modern costumes are sweet
Tim Drake’s Robin costume is the greatest superhero costume redesign of all time. It redefined a character and made Robin super cool. Everybody complains about bright colors in the dark night of Gotham City, but shadows work just fine. He’s got that baseline red, with black, yellow and green highlights. It’s cool as hell. And most other modern Robin costumes are just as cool. Dick’s New 52 retcon costume. Damian’s various costumes. Duke Thomas’ short-lived We Are Robin outfit with the helmet. The Robin costumes on Titans. Chris O’Donnell’s Robin costume in Batman Forever. The various Robin costumes in cartoons. The new Robin costume from Batman ’89. Robin costumes are cool as hell. They’re all trying to make up for that original, dorky outfit with the short shorts and the pixie boots, and that’s a good motivation to have: to be extra cool because of their dorky past. Everybody can relate to that.
1. I am not the hero
This is probably the main reason for all of this Robin love: I’m never gonna be Batman. Obviously. But I mean, I’m never going to be the hero. I’m not the hero. I’m not the alpha leader or the popular kid or the life of the party. And neither is Robin. Growing up, I always felt myself in the shadow of other, cooler kids, and I was fine with it. I recognized that was simply not my life and didn’t need to be. And then through Robin, I had a superhero I could daydream about. My cooler, more popular friends could be Batman, and I’d be the sidekick. That was fine by me.
And this works on a macro level with readers. Comic book fans can never be Batman. Bruce Wayne is Batman. Batman is Batman. But anybody can be Robin. Lots of different people have been Robin. And many more can be Robin. Readers can be Robin. I did say he was pretty relatable.
Posted on August 18, 2021, in Comics, DC, Batman, Robin, Lists of Six! and tagged Nightwing, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Dick Grayson, Damian Wayne, Jason Todd, Robin. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.