When I say “peanut butter and” what’s the next word you think of? Jelly is your one and only answer you fluffernutter nutcases. The same concept works when I say Batman and you say…Robin. The boy wonder (excluding Carrie Kelly) is the most iconic sidekick of all time without competition. He is the side car to Batman’s all black motorcycle. It was something given to us as a nod and wink to the lore of Robin back The Dark Knight Rises with Joseph Gordon Levitt being the character in question if only briefly, but what about a full fledged Robin that we’ve read in the comics? Can he work in Zack Snyder’s established DCEU?
That’s a great question that I think has a simple answer that most comic book fans may like for most parts, but not for some. I think a form of Robin can work in the DCEU we have established, but on the same token it would be a terrible idea to have a boy in tights fight alongside a grown ass man in a batsuit. With that being said, we saw a glimpse of a
former Robin’s suit in the scenes of Batman v Superman which at least gives an opening for quite a few options with Robin. The obvious choices with the Robin suit we’ve seen would be that of a Jason Todd Robin who famously gets killed by the Joker with a crowbar in the most violent way. Even if that isn’t shown, but rather implied in a later Batman standalone, we could see one of DC’s most popular antiheroes in The Red Hood.
The next idea for where a form of Robin could work is with the classic and first Robin of them all and that is Dick Grayson who later leaves his Robin mantle to become the beloved Nightwing. This could work for a lot of reasons, but I think the best reason he’d be a welcome addition to the films would be because he brings lighter tone – while I don’t think tone is the issue – and comedic elements to a brooding and serious character which is why he works so well in the first place. It would be a relationship that organically flows and compliments each other because of Batman’s trust of Dick Grayson. In fact, Grayson is probably one of three characters Batman holds dear to him and trusts with as much of his heart and head as Batsy possibly can. The other two, Alfred and Jim Gordon.
We can eliminate Damien Wayne aka “the latest Robin and the most annoying of them all” from this picture because that brings a whole different dynamic and story detail that changes the scope of the movies for the worse. Batman does not need his son running around with a sword being annoying and brooding like his father always talking about his honor like he’s Prince Zuko (who I love!). But that leaves one other Robin who I find to be the sleeper pick that would at least still have Robin in the title and that is Tim Drake’s Red Robin. Imagine a Robin with a more tech savvy persona and more loyal demeanor that shoots straight with everything he does and you get Tim Drake. Drake later became Red Robin as a way of stepping out the shadow of the “boy wonder” role, but still honoring the fact Batman took him under his wing to bring him into the Bat Family.
In the end, I don’t expect nor necessarily want a “boy wonder” in any future Batman films. THe campy nature of the character when he’s a boy is not only hard to get people to take seriously outside of the comics, but I don’t think the Batman we have in Ben Affleck would be the type to bring on a boy or girl to throw into harms way again after one of them likely died in this universe already. I think the best route is to take on their older forms and newer titles and let the history naturally explain itself later.