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Which Robin will we get in Arkham Asylum 2?

Yesterday the news broke that, according to IMDB.com, Robin had been cast and would appear in Batman Arkham Asylum 2. But many aren’t sure if this is a good or bad thing. Isn’t Robin just an annoying kid in nylons who says corny phrases while being held for ransom by the Joker? Won’t that make Arkham 2 suck? Well, thanks to the insanely deep and perplexing history of comics, that all depends on which Robin we’re talking about.


Above: The young ward’s most recent gaming appearance, in LEGO Batman 

Barring the emergence of some new, from-scratch Robin, or some alternate-universe incarnation, there are a total of five (maybe six) possible Robins to choose from. We’ll take you one by one through 60 years of comic-book history, and rate each by probability of appearing in AA2. We based our scale on good, old-fashioned guesswork and gut feelings, so it’s bound to be right.


Dick Grayson

First appearance: Detective Comics #38 (1940)

Likelihood of appearing: 31 percent

The archetypal sidekick, Dick Grayson was originally partnered with Batman to both lighten the mood of the Dark Knight’s adventures and to give the kids reading someone to identify with.  But despite his being involved in some of Batman’s silliest and most gay subtext-filled stories, the character endured as thousands of imitators came and went. As Robin, Dick also went on to lead the Teen Titans, a group of other sidekicks in business for themselves, and he slowly matured into his own man.

He’s the classic Robin, and the one with the most mainstream appeal, so Dick seems like the safe bet for Arkham 2 – but we don’t feel too sure. Firstly, a whole generation of fans know him as Nightwing, the superhero identity he adopted more than 25 years ago, when he cut himself off from Bats to be his own man. Even more recently, he donned the cape and cowl to become Batman after the apparent and short-lived death of Bruce Wayne, which only increased the distance between him and his childhood persona. Since the younger fans are the ones most likely to buy the game, and they don’t know him as their Robin, we think the devs will dig a little deeper.


Jason Todd

First appearance: Batman #357 (1983)

Likelihood of appearing: 7 percent

Once Dick moved out of stately Wayne Manor, Bruce wasn’t exactly looking for a new sidekick, but his writers forced one on him anyway. After catching a street punk trying to steal the Batmobile’s hubcaps, the Caped Crusader decided to reform this young man via vigilantism and adoption. And since the boy, Jason Todd, looked so similar to Dick Grayson, why not make him the new Robin? Honestly, the whole thing felt forced, and not all fans liked him, especially with his reckless and petulant attitude.

Fortunately, fans were given their chance to decide Todd’s fate, in a landmark storyline where readers could call a phone number and vote on whether he lived or died. Though it was by a slim margin, he was given the death penalty for his lameness (carried out by the Joker in Batman #428), which helped usher in a much darker and grittier era for Batman comics. But since no one ever stays dead in comic books, he eventually made his return a few years back as the twisted villain Red Hood, out to do what Bats couldn’t by killing bad guys in cold blood. So, couple his evil deeds with his unpopularity as the Boy Wonder, and we think it’s unlikely we’ll see him in the game, at least not as Robin.


Tim Drake

First appearance: Batman #436 (1989)

Likelihood of appearing: 46 percent

For a few years, Batman patrolled the night solo, as he had trouble dealing with Jason Todd’s murder. But eventually, a young man named Tim Drake somehow deduced Batman’s secret ID and proposed that Bats take him on as the new Robin. It took some convincing, but eventually Batman relented and decided to train the young man to fight crime. Though not the natural athlete that Dick Grayson was, he’s easily a better detective than his predecessors, and hopes to one day take the title of World’s Greatest Detective from Bruce.

He was Robin for basically the last two decades, and appeared in other media as Robin, such as the Batman animated series. Though he’s currently abandoned the title and taken the moniker Red Robin while he tries to find Bruce Wayne (as he correctly believes BW is still alive), it has been a pretty recent change that may or may not stick. And since last year’s Arkham, which ignored the “death” of Batman in its continuity, it seems just as likely they’ll ignore this recent turn of events in the sequel.


Stephanie Brown

First appearance: Detective Comics #647 (1992)

Likelihood of appearing: 0.5 percent

For a very brief time, while Tim Drake was on the outs with Bats, Tim’s then-girlfriend and fellow crime fighter Spoiler got called up to the big leagues. The first female Robin in regular continuity, Stephanie was an able companion, but often had trouble following directions. After not listening to her control-freak boss twice, she got fired and left in disgrace. Following an apparent death (she got better), she eventually returned and is currently Batgirl, after regaining Bruce’s trust.

As much as we like Stephanie… no. Just no. Sorry, Spoiler fans, but she’s really just an asterisk in the history of Robin. And lastly, since a young man was cast in the role, we think we’re pretty safe in assuming she will have zero screen time in AA2.


Carrie Kelley

First appearance: Dark Knight Returns #1 (1986)

Likelihood of appearing: 4.5 percent

For brevity’s sake, we’re going to ignore the multitude of Robins from alternate universes, but we would like to spotlight the top alternate Robin, Carrie Kelly from the landmark miniseries Dark Knight Returns. The daughter of stoned, absent parents, Carrie was inspired by the newly returned Batman who was out to clean up this future Gotham all over again. After saving Bruce's life, he lets her join him as she is given a baptism by fire against the Joker and Superman. She was a great help to the aged Bruce, especially in making conections with local gangs that wanted to follow Bats.

Later she became Catgirl in the sequel series Dark Knight Strikes Again, but unlike the first comic, this oddity is not required reading. Most fans will probably be dissapointed by it, as it’s more than a little aimless, showing Frank Miller wasn’t on his A game at the time. Still, Carrie was a really cool Robin, and while we heavily doubt she’ll show, she’s got a better shot than Steph.


Damian Wayne

First appearance: Batman #657 (2006)

Likelihood of appearing: 11 percent

The current Robin started out as just a twinkle in Batman’s eye. After Bruce was drugged and date-raped by Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter Talia, Damian was conceived and kept secret from his dad until the kid was 10. A whiny, self-important, arrogant brat, most fans didn’t like him upon his moving into Wayne Manor, and liked him even less when he flippantly killed people and attempted to off Tim Drake. Still, he stuck around, and over time he became part of the cast, though by no means was he a fan favorite.

Following the “death” of Bruce Wayne, a big upheaval in the status quo of the Batman family resulted in the lad becoming the youngest Robin yet. He finally seems to have found a place as the impetuous sidekick for original-Robin-turned-Batman Dick Grayson. They work well as a team, but his taking the mantle is such a recent occurrence, and his future in the position is in doubt once Bruce makes his return to the living this year. We think the devs will make a go with something other than the hot new thing that could be over before Arkham Asylum 2 even comes out .

Mar 10, 2010

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30 comments

  • Demmhu - June 2, 2010 2:55 p.m.

    First i want to say how great Henry Gilbert did on the Robin history, really good work. Now for my 2 cents, i believe the most likely choice will be Tim Drake due to the fact that the larger fan base is more familiar to him. I would however like to see Todd in AA2, and have his death bring a dark cloud to the game, i believe this would really make it 10/10
  • CB1010 - April 16, 2010 12:52 a.m.

    I just want to say I can't wait for the next game because the first one was awesome. Given that Barbara is already in the wheel chair, I think it's safe to say that it will be Drake as robin. Would like to see an appearance by Nightwing as well but don't think they should include Batgirl, Azrael, the Huntress, or the Spoiler yet but wouldn't mind them being in the future games, just not yet. All-in-all, with how good the first game went, I think it's safe to say that they will make the right decision for the next one
  • kaittybee - March 18, 2010 5:21 p.m.

    i really hope it's dick grayson. Im not old enough to remember him in the comic books, but my dad read them sometimes (but he was more into xmen and stuff, which is cool too) and he liked grayson as robin. I think he would be an ideal choice, but lets wait and see
  • jackthemenace - March 14, 2010 7:05 p.m.

    i think adding robin as a second character that a second player can control (like dom santiago or the arbiter or whatever) would be a really good idea :D also, i think nightwing is awesome, please don't make dick grayson robin :( i want nightwing to be in it though
  • sgloomy - March 12, 2010 4:16 p.m.

    I don't hate Robin and im actually all for Tim Drake to be in the next game, but only if they don't treat him as a whiny little bitch and based on the first game, i really think they'll make him a good character, kind of like what kojima did with Raiden in MGS4, where he wasn't a little bitch anymore. having said that, i think it would be cool if there was no Robin, but Dick Grayson showed up a couple of times to help out as Night Wing, that is to say if we are completely ignoring that Bruce wayne died for a very short period. but I really want catwoman to be in this game, as a semi-boss battle, she would be very interesting
  • loganb4295 - March 12, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    i think robin could be in AA2 . there could be 2 story modes, they're would be robin takin down crime on the north side of gotham, and batman could take the south. and near the end and be together takin down the final boss. then after the end of the game you could switch between batman and robin and roam the city beating up baddies and keeping gotham safe... but i would only like time drake though. hes the best robin. message me if you think thats a good idea.
  • ensabahnur - March 12, 2010 12:53 a.m.

    GREAT ARTICLE!!! Loved it Henry, we need more rants on TDAR though from you, especially about comics and old and new storylines.
  • NadaNuff - March 11, 2010 11:08 p.m.

    Considering the characters in the first game (Oracle, Hush and others) this is a fairly recent version of Batman. Tim Drake will almost certainly be Robin in AA2.
  • JackSkellingtonsSkin - March 11, 2010 9:47 p.m.

    I imagine it would be the most recent Robin.
  • Ravenbom - March 11, 2010 8:30 p.m.

    I think I'd rather see Cassandra Cain Batgirl than Robin, personally. We already know that the first Batgirl is Oracle in AA, and Cassandra Cain is much more interesting than any of the Robins. Though I do like the Tim Drake Robin.
  • zurc136 - March 11, 2010 7:59 p.m.

    this is according to imdb.com the same imdb.com that said penguin and mr. freeze were going to have roles in B:AA. The same imdb.com that had two actors listed for the riddler. The same imdb.com that had the wrong voice actor listed for killer croc. Please everyone (including gamesradar) calm down.
  • MAiNESET - March 11, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    if there will be a robin, it's going to be tim drake hands down. if grayson is in he'll be nightwing. i don't understand the robin hate. you can't kill 'em all.
  • JaptainAmerica - March 11, 2010 2:40 p.m.

    Henry mentioned that Tim Drake is the best detective of all the Robins so it makes sense for him to be in a game with a great Detective Mode. My guess is that if Dick appears at all, it will be as Nightwing. If they decide the game needs more boobs, Catwoman and Huntress are always available.
  • philipshaw - March 11, 2010 1:45 p.m.

    Don't want Robin in AA2 but will reserve judgment until I see what Rocksteady is doing with the game
  • crumbdunky - March 11, 2010 12:26 p.m.

    How d'you work that out jMcGrotty? I think, in the face of us knowing nothing(I thought I read that Robin would be STARRING in AA2 so could that mean either no Batman OR equal billing playing parts as both or the dreaded forced co-op, even offline with an NPC a la RE5?I do hope he's just playable for a few missions/flashbacks and stays out of the way afterwards myself)about what they have planned Hank got it about right here. I'm forced, like Edge, to be comically, predictably "controversial" and will , therefore, predict a Robin with breasts to follow Bayonetta's success and, likewise, an enormous arse and teeny head to go with! So, yeah, go deformed Steph! I imagine that's the exact science Edge uses when reviewing multiplatform games myself-say the least likely thing and stick to it regardless of everyone disagreeing so as to assume a completely OTT "I'm better than you. You can't even see what's obvious to me!" attitude about it in the hope of some controversy hits and more ads sold. FYI-I like Edge as they have people who can still manage the ancient art of writing in coherent sentences which was long since abandoned by most sites(and, natch, myself)and promptly buried and forgotten. Think the attitude they take is complete bollox, however, and coming from a site that awards whatever score an English/UK based dev asks for/wants/dreamed about last night, it's a bit rich. What this has to do with AA2 I have no idea-might have when I began but not now. Soz.
  • OldschoolAL - March 11, 2010 12:14 p.m.

    If Robin is going to be in this then it will be Tim Drake. For starters Stephanie Brown is dead and Damian is a pestulent child. Carrie kelly isn't in Batman until much later on in the Timeline. I'm guessing he will only make Cameos though unless they're planning on making it multi-player which i think is a mistake at this stage. For future online co-op that might be a good option. Anyone who likes Batman wouldn't be complaining about having Robin in it if they knew anything at all about him past the old Adam West Series!!
  • batman5273 - March 11, 2010 12:06 p.m.

    I would guess Tim Drake. Unless they make it Jason Todd and they kill him in the game.
  • jmcgrotty - March 11, 2010 8:22 a.m.

    You screwed up in your math on part of this article. The chances that Dick Grayson is the Robin in the next game is actually 100%
  • JustTheBoBreaker - March 11, 2010 3:20 a.m.

    I agree with GearsofRabies and pledge my support for the promotion of Hank Gilbert. I'd love to see Hank do an article about the possible super-hero games that Rocksteady could develop after Arkham Asylum 2.
  • JizzyB - March 11, 2010 1:56 a.m.

    Whatever Robin we get I plan on hating him.

Showing 1-20 of 30 comments

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