[Warning: this article contains spoilers for several Rebirth titles, including Red Hood and the Outlaws, Nightwing, Detective Comics, Teen Titans, and Titans.]
DC’s Rebirth has been dominating sales and been well-received by fans and critics alike. The so-called “soft” reboot of the DC Universe marks a new era of success for the entertainment giant. Every character, team, and franchise has undergone major changes.
There is perhaps no other group that has experienced as many radical changes as the Robins: Dick Grayson as Nightwing, Jason Todd as Red Hood, Tim Drake as Red Robin, and Damian Wayne as the current Robin. Every single one of them has “died” and been resurrected in some form.
The timeline of the Bat-verse is still a little wonky and does not totally explain how Bruce went through so many Robins so quickly. But all of the boys have been crushing it in Rebirth that readers do not even care. There are almost too many epic moments between the four of them to count, but we gave it a shot. These are All The Robins’ Most Epic Rebirth Moments So Far.
15. Dick Grayson Returns as Nightwing
Dick Grayson is the first Robin. He has gone from the streets of Gotham to Titan’s Tower to the city of Blüdhaven, so he is no stranger to big life changes. But the last few years have been especially crazy for the acrobat turned crimefighter. First his identity was revealed to the world, and he seemingly died. Then he secretly recovered, but remained dead to the world. Then he used the opportunity to become a secret agent for Spyral while also working as an operative for Batman, and had his identity erased from the world’s memory.
In Rebirth, he is finally back as Nightwing and he is better than ever. Readers were clearly thrilled to see him return to his old role. His first Rebirth and follow-up issue were the third best in sales, right behind Batman and Justice League. The timing could not have been better for Nightwing’s return. The spike in sales may also be related to the hype surrounding the upcoming Nightwing movie.
14. Robin Reassembles the Teen Titans
One of the roles a Robin is expected to fill is the leader of the Teen Titans. Dick Grayson and Tim Drake both did so during their reigns, and it provided them a solid group of friends to rely on. Jason Todd never got the chance before he was killed. And Damian Wayne has been considered too young and terrible with people to be a leader. His attempts to simply join the team as member in the pre-New 52 timeline did not last long; no one wanted him there, he was too desperate to prove himself, and once Tim returned, he couldn’t stand it. But now, Damian finally has the chance to prove himself as a capable leader and a Robin equally as respected as his predecessors. He brings together some of the most beloved and well known members of the team – Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, and Kid Flash – to fight Ra’s al Ghul, his own grandfather.
13. Red Hood Crashes The Mayor’s Rally
When Jason Todd is first introduced in the Rebirth universe, it is unclear whether he is going to be more of a hero or a villain in this timeline. His character has gone back and forth and everywhere in between over the years; fans were hoping that he would still feature prominently in the Bat-family. Red Hood and the Outlaws begins with a flashback recounting how Jason first met Batman and became Robin. Jason notes that even back then, Batman was not sure if he was going to end up as a hero or something else.
Flash forward to the present, and we see Jason riding his motorcycle over a sea of GCPD. He says that years later Batman has finally gotten his answer; he is definitely something else. He wants to speak to the mayor for some unknown reason. But rather than make an appointment at his office, he opts to crash land into the mayor’s rally to demand a word with him – because that’s how he rolls.
12. Nightwing Infiltrates the Parliament of Owls
Nightwing’s first mission connected nicely with his New 52 backstory involving Gotham’s Court of Owls. It was revealed that Dick Grayson is a descendant of a court operative and that the organization believes he is destined to become one of their deadly assassins, called Talons. Dick had fought against them at the time, but now he has discovered that Gotham’s organization is just one piece of the puzzle. There is a larger group named the Parliament of Owls who is also determined to recruit him. They want a lot more than just making him an assassin, they want him to become the face of their organization. The parliament attempt to blackmail Dick into doing so by implanting a bomb into Robin’s brain. He quickly removes it, but he lets them think it is still there and goes back undercover to bring the parliament down. He also trains under a new mentor, Raptor, who pledges to make him better than Batman. The entire storyline is the perfect way to reintroduce Nightwing to the world.
11. Red Robin Defeats a Squad of Drones
Tim Drake’s characterization had been a little shaky since the New 52 changed his backstory, so fans were happy to find that Rebirth puts him back in Gotham with the rest of the Bat-family and working side-by-side with Batman. He is given a brand new suit that looks almost identical to his original Robin costume, except now there are two Rs for Red Robin. Stephanie Brown is also back as Spoiler, and they are back together in a stable relationship. Batman and Batwoman have gathered the two of them, along with Orphan and Clayface, to prepare themselves for new enemies only known as the Colonists. Tim’s status as the best detective in the Bat-family, sometimes even better than Batman himself, is back in Rebirth. When the Colonists send a fleet of drones to eliminate the League of Shadows, and kill several innocent civilians in the process, he hacks their database, redirects the drones to target him, and takes them down single handedly.
10. Red Robin’s Heroic Death
Tim defeats the Colonists’ first wave of military drones, but he is in bad shape. He has cuts and bruises, some broken ribs, and can barely stand. Despite how bruised and battered he is, he is alive. Alas, he looks up and sees a second wave of drones assembled in front of him. He realizes there is no way he will be able to take down another fleet and this is the end for him. He says his goodbyes and faces the music. Batman and Spoiler are rushing towards him, but they arrive too late. What makes his sacrifice even more heroic is that he was planning to retire from crime fighting after this mission was over. He had received a genius grant from Ivy University and was planning to study there soon. His life was finally coming together. Tim had been struggling to tell Bruce the news and never got a chance. Stephanie shows the acceptance letter to Bruce, which makes it even more painful for his mentor.
9. Red Hood Takes the Direct Approach
Jason is presented with a unique, and dangerous, opportunity to go undercover into the gang of mob boss Roman Sionis, better known as Black Mask. The crime lord is planning to take out his competition and consolidate all of the criminal networks in Gotham under his control. But Jason suspects he is planning something even more sinister behind the scene. He sets up in his own personal Bat-Cave, an old bomb shelter underneath a police plaza, to do some research on the man. Jason is the first to admit that he is not known for being the smartest Robin or the best detective of the Bat-family.
He eventually gets bored of staring at his computer and decides that he needs to talk to Black Mask face to face. In his own words, he settles on “the direct approach”: which for him means jumping in front of the man’s moving car and shooting through the front window. That’s one way to get information.
8. Robin vs. Superboy
In case you didn’t know, Superman has a son now. (If you have not been keeping up with Rebirth’s Superman – the New 52 version is dead and has been replaced with the version of Superman from the older timeline. It’s confusing. Here’s a more detailed explanation of Superman’s timeline). His son, Jonathan Kent, is 10 years old and the new Superboy. This means that Damian Wayne finally has someone around his own age to play with. DC brought back an old World’s Finest concept called Super-Sons, which featured the sons of Batman and Superman on an alternate Earth. Super-Sons now takes place in the main universe, starring Jon and Damian as the ultimate friendly rivals. Their first meeting did not disappoint, pitting an angry Super-dad against a protective Daddy-Bats. Together in their monthly comic, the World’s Smallest will take on bad guys, explore their destinies, and struggle to follow in their fathers’ footsteps.
7. Red Hood Fights an Amazon and Lives to Tell the Tale
The Amazons are fierce and formidable race of women who are born and raised to be warriors; surviving a battle with one is no easy feat. They are committed to victory, no matter what it takes. Especially if that Amazon happens to be Artemis of Bana-Mighdall – she is gifted with superhuman strength, agility, stamina, and durability and is a trained archer, swordsman, and combatant. Artemis has even briefly taken over the mantle of Wonder Woman in the past (though it’s unclear if that happened in DC’s current continuity). Jason encounters her blocking his path while he is working undercover infiltrating Black Mask’s criminal network. He buys some time by sedating her with a taser before Black Mask’s men arrive. But that does not keep her down for long, forcing Jason to fight her as well as maintain his cover simultaneously. Once they finally get a minute alone, they are able to confirm that they are on the same side.
6. Nightwing Teams Up with Superman
Nightwing has many friends on Earth and beyond, and is one of the most respected figures throughout. He and Superman have a special connection like no other. The name Nightwing, which symbolizes Dick Grayson’s new life beyond Batman’s shadow, came from the Man of Steel himself. It is always fun to see the two of them working together, as it shows how important Dick is to the DC Universe. In the ninth issue of his monthly, Dr. Destiny begins attacking his dreams. Superman is the only one who can help. Both of them are familiar with the villain. But in this Rebirth universe, this Superman is not the same one that Nightwing grew up knowing. And likewise, Superman knows an alternate version of Nightwing from his reality. Nevertheless, their connection to each other remains. Their interactions are natural and they work together well, establishing a foundation for the relationship in the new universe.
5. Red Hood Beats Batman
After Jason crashes the mayor’s rally, Batman soon arrives. Even the world’s greatest detective has no idea what Red Hood is up to. He sees him pointing a gun at the mayor, assumes the worst of his former sidekick, and tells him to stop whatever he is doing. Jason came prepared with a taser built directly into his armor and manages to get the upper hand on Batman. He wins the fight by cheating, technically; but being prepared and creative is also how Batman himself wins against metahumans much stronger than him. Jason did learn a thing or two from his old mentor. Batman sees Jason shoot the mayor before he blacks out.
However, it turns out that the mayor was infected with a techno-virus. Jason did not shoot him; he injected him with the antidote. And he sedated all the cops at the rally to keep them out of harm’s way. When Batman figures this out, he allows Jason to operate in Gotham as he pleases – as long as he does not take a life. Considering the complicated history between the two, this is a significant step in their relationship.
4. Nightwing Remembers Wally West
The original Wally West has faded in and out of existence ever since Flashpoint happened. He has been best friends with Dick Grayson for years, dating back to their days as Robin and Kid Flash. Their friendship and past as Titans is an important part of Nightwing’s character that fans have been missing. Rebirth has resurrected Wally once again, but unfortunately none of his friends has any memory of who he is or their past as a team. Wally is determined to bring his old friends back together, including Roy Harper, Donna Troy, and Garth. The first person he encounters is his best friend, Dick Grayson. Nightwing almost immediately remembers Wally’s name, but is not sure how. The power of friendship. The Titans Rebirth issue is not the most action packed story, as much of it is spent on the team regaining their memories of each other. But readers of the original Teen Titans will be happy to see their friendship and camaraderie between the characters.
3. Red Hood Takes Down Bizarro in the Best Possible Way
Jason and Artemis discover the weapon Black Mask has been seeking: Bizarro, a crude clone of Superman. Sionis has his gang connect Bizarro up to a program that teaches him everything he needs to know about the world and about the hero he was created from. Jason instantly relates Bizarro’s struggles to his own painful experience being resurrected by Talia al Ghul in the Lazarus Pit. He buys a Superman toy and brings it to the clone, attempting to connect with him. In a moment of confusion, Bizarro has a tantrum and throws Jason around in a manner reminiscent of Hulk smashing Loki in the first Avenger’s movie. Artemis prepares to take down Bizarro herself, but Jason takes a different approach. He uses the Superman doll to calm Bizarro down from his tantrum. He somehow manages to get him to express his feelings and the two have a therapy session about their crazy, messed up lives.
2. Red Robin Is Revealed Alive
Remember Tim Drake’s heroic and tragic death scene? Psych! He is actually alive. Of course, we figured such a revelation would come eventually, since that is how things work in comic books. Particularly with Robins, no one stays dead for long. Tim was bound to be magically resurrected or revealed to be secretly alive at some point. But we we not expecting to see this so soon. Soon after his death scene, Detective Comics #940 reveals that Tim never really died during the drone attack. Mister Oz had teleported him to a secret location and is keeping him prisoner. We have no idea where is he or why Mister Oz has taken an interest in the young detective, and Tim promises that this isn’t over. What’s worse is that Batman and Spoiler have no idea he’s still alive, and are mourning their loss. Everyone is eager for the characters to finally catch on. Plus, brooding-over-the-latest-dead-Robin Batman is one of his most annoying states.
1. Nightwing, Father-to-be?
Nightwing just dropped this bombshell on fans in the latest issue. Dick Grayson has returned to his old stomping grounds in Blüdhaven. And he has returned to his classic Dick behavior – charming every, single woman he meets and falling for the most complicated one. His latest romantic endeavor is Shawn Tsang, a criminal in her teenage years who now devotes her life to helping troubled kids find a new path. They first met when he was Robin, and she knows his secret identity behind Nightwing. He instantly fell for her and they seem like a good match. All is well until he hears the dreaded words “I’m late.” Look at that face. It says it all. Nightwing fans have some strong feelings on who he is meant to be with, generally it is between Barbara Gordon or Starfire, so this story is going to be a wild ride for both the characters and readers.
Did we miss any of your favorite Batboy moments? Let us know in the comments!