Robin (Dick Grayson) is one of the most fascinating comic book characters of all time, regardless of his numerous incarnations and flamboyant imitators. But the Boy Wonder almost always took a backseat to his partner and larger-than-life mentor, the Batman (Bruce Wayne).
But Grayson grew up into an older version of Robin during the Bronze Age of comics. Brash, cocky, and always ready to degrade his opponent with his iconic sense of humor, Dick became a formidable hero in his own right. And he finally stepped out of his mentor’s shadow in 1984.
Once Grayson took on the guise of Nightwing, a chain reaction was set in motion. It was a bold move allowing Dick the opportunity to become his own man, and hero, which led to a revolution for the character of Robin. And here are the 15 Most WTF Versions Of Robin.
15. The Red Hood (Jason Todd)
Jason Todd was dead, murdered by the Joker. But it’s hard to keep a good man down, especially in the DC Universe. Yes, the Clown Prince of Crime killed the second Robin during A Death in the Family (1988-1989), but a new more aggressive anti-hero version of the Boy Wonder was on the horizon – a hooded figure who wasn’t afraid to kill.
Superboy-Prime altered reality, while in the paradise dimension, and inadvertently brought Jason back to life. Todd woke in his coffin and collapsed shortly after escaping the tomb. Later, with the help of Talia al Ghul, and a dip in the Lazarus Pit, Jason’s health and memories were restored. But he sought retribution. And Jason just couldn’t fathom how the Batman could have let the Joker live after what he had done.
In Batman #638 (2005), nearly two decades after Jason’s death, a mysterious figure named the Red Hood captured the Joker and proceeded to beat him mercilessly with a crowbar. As the Clown Prince lost consciousness, marred in a pool of his own blood, the Red Hood removed his mask. Jason was back and ready to leave his mark on the DC Universe.
14. Nightwing (Dick Grayson)
Since his first appearance in Detective Comics #38 (1940), Dick Grayson loyally served as the Batman’s sidekick Robin for almost 45 years. Grayson grew up in 1984 and donned his classic Nightwing costume in Tales of the Teen Titans #44. But following the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985-1986), the DC characters were all in for a major facelift.
The executives at DC decided to modify the relationships and origins of many of their characters. In the Post-Crisis story “Did Robin Die Tonight?” (1987) everything changed. Robin (Grayson) was shot by the Joker during a rooftop battle with the Dynamic Duo. Batman felt that Grayson was too reckless, so he fired his partner. Bruce encouraged his adopted son to follow his own path, and Dick soon became Nightwing again in the Post-Crisis reality.
Thanks to his training, an exceptional skill set, and a keen mind, Nightwing emerged as one of DC’s most popular superheroes. This adult version of Robin remains one of the most endearing members of the Bat Family to this day. Nightwing’s abilities are almost derivative of the Dark Knight’s strengths, but Grayson’s optimistic outlook on life differentiates him from his mentor – the Batman.