Created back in 1939, Batman was a dark lone avenger of the night, a brooding detective and crime fighter dueling with twisted criminals and evil geniuses. About a year later, Dick Grayson debuted as Robin. The surviving member of a family trapeze act in the circus, Grayson was taken in by Bruce Wayne and trained to focus his rage into as weapon as Robin, the Boy Wonder.
The character of Robin was seen as a through-line for kids reading the comic books at the time. The publisher felt that playboy Bruce Wayne was too adult for young readers and that a younger side-kick might cause them to closely associate with Robin and imagine fighting alongside their hero, Batman. Fans are understandably split on the opinion, but Robin is as much a part of the Batman mythos as the Joker and Two-Face. When Grayson grew older, he split from his mentor to lead the Teen Titans. Looking to develop his own identity, he took on the name Nightwing and a newly designed costume.
A family member and partner gone, Batman recruited a new Robin, the wild and rebellious Jason Todd. A self-destructive and stubborn young punk, Todd was very different from Grayson and his actions led to his death at the hands of the Joker. Reeling out of control, Batman attempted to go on without a Robin, but was watched in his mental decline by Tim Drake, an aspiring detective and acrobat. Drake presented himself to Batman as a necessary replacement for Todd’s Robin and much to his own chagrin, the dark knight took yet another protege. Drake is a far more disciplined and cool-headed crime-fighter in comparison to Jason Todd and has been very successful as both Robin and his later moniker, the Red Robin.
News of Robin’s inclusion in the hotly anticipated Batman: Arkham City comes via MTV Multiplayer:
We already know that Catwoman is a playable character in “Batman: Arkham City.” Now, it looks like The Boy Wonder himself is set to make an appearance in Rocksteady’s follow-up to their fantastic 2009 game, “Batman: Arkham Asylum.” While Catwoman is built right into the game, there’s a bit of a catch if you want to play as Robin right away: you’re going to have to pre-order the game from Best Buy. Holy retailer incentives, Batman.Retailer incentives – store-exclusive game features and characters – have become a bit of the norm these days. Of course, a lot of those exclusives are eventually put up for sale on your digital marketplace of choice, and Shack News has confirmed through Warner Bros. that Robin will eventually be available to everyone.
I should probably mention that this particular Robin is the Tim Drake version of the sidekick. For those of you who may be less familiar with Batman comic lore, Drake was the third boy to fill the red and green costume. The first Robin, Dick Grayson, grew up to become his own superhero, Nightwing. The second Robin, Jason Todd, was killed by the Joker after DC Comics held a telephone poll allowing readers to decide his fate (seriously, people hated Jason Todd). He eventually was resurrected – what do you want, it’s a comic book – and became the Red Hood. That leads us to Tim Drake, who remained as Robin for nearly 20 years before breaking out on his own as Red Robin in 2009.
Batman: Arkham City – trailer
The “Arkham City” Robin package – you’ll get a download code with your Best Buy pre-ordered game – also includes a Red Robin skin. While I haven’t seen the Red Robin skin in particular, if it sticks close to the comic it will look a bit closer to Batman’s suit (black cowel, cape, and a red suit underneath with the Red Robin logo on the chest). Robin is playable in two challenge modes, Black Mask Hideout and Freight Train Escape. Both levels are available to everyone, but only playable as Robin with the Best Buy pre-order.