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Robin: Month One
Come June, DC Comics will undergo a few changes, namely the end of the “New 52” imprint. Following the Convergence event, which will take heroes from across the time and multiverse, a number of characters will also be receiving their own comics. One of those heroes is Damian Wayne, better known as the “Robin, the Boy Wonder.”
Damian will be featured in his first solo series, as Robin: Son of Batman replaces the Batman and Robin ongoing series. Damian Wayne is the latest of Bruce Wayne’s wards to don the domino mask, following in the footsteps of some of the most well-known characters in the Batman mythos.
In celebration of Damian’s first full series, I’ll be highlighting all the main characters who have ever stood next to Batman and posed heroically. With that, we kick things off with the original Robin himself: Richard “Dick” Grayson.
The history of many DC Characters gets a little fuzzy to look back on due to the Flashpoint event that reset the timeline (even the explanation for the name “Robin” given here is based off the post-Flashpoint period,) however for the sake of this article, we’ll focus on the history that has shaped Dick Grayson for several generations of fans, known as the Post-Crisis/New Earth period.
Ask many a comic fan who their favorite (and for some, the best,) Robin is, you’ll likely get Dick Grayson as your answer. Not nearly as dark as his mentor, though he has had his moments, but through it all, Dick has managed to always managed to retain that light-hearted acrobatic kid he was before.
Dick Grayson’s history is arguably among the richest you’ll find in comics. He’s been there, done that, and has the t-shirt and scars (mental and physical) to prove it, and through it all has never let it turn him into the hardened character his mentor and father figure is, deciding to fight crime his own way, emerging as one of the most trusted and respected members of the hero community.
As the youngest of the acrobatic Flying Grayson family, his life would forever be changed when Anthony Zucco, a member of the mob, sabotaged a performance, killing his parents. Seeing this, Bruce Wayne took in the young boy and helped him forge his anger into something productive. After finally proving himself to Wayne, Dick Grayson would take the name Robin (basing it off the nickname “Little Robin” his mother gave him,) and form the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin.
Under the tutelage of Bruce, Dick would hone his already impressive acrobatic abilities and develop abilities mirroring that of his mentor, such as escapology, martial arts, and detective skills. It’s these abilities that put him at the forefront of the first team of Teen Titans, alongside other sidekicks his age. After a mission against Two-Face goes wrong, young Grayson leaves the Batcave and Gotham to find himself, eventually learning of the Nightwing legend from Superman in Metropolis.
Since his days as Batman’s sidekick, Dick has done a great deal and become one of the most trusted and respected men in the heroic community. He led the first incarnation of the Teen Titans, he’s battled the Justice League, he’s led the Justice League, and he’s even been Batman on more than one occasion.
After having his identity revealed by the Crime Syndicate, Dick uses his assumed-deceased status to work undercover for Bruce Wayne in the Grayson ongoing series, as Agent 37 of the criminal organization known as Spyral.
Outside of comics, Dick has made his mark with a younger audience as the team leader in the Teen Titans animated series and its follow-up Teen Titans Go, to the chagrin of many fans of the original, even appearing as Nightwing in both series. Dick would also appear as a main character on the critically acclaimed Young Justice series, both as Robin and Nightwing. He was known for his tendency to play with words in said series.
If you’d like to see more of Dick Grayson and his adventures first hand, pick up the Grayson series, out now, and stay tuned, because next month, we look at Dick’s successor and arguably Batman’s greatest failure: Jason Todd!