ByBrian Finamore, writer at Creators.co
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Brian Finamore

Don't worry poor Dick Grayson's legacy won't be ruined

Dick Grayson Comments
Dick Grayson Comments

Yes, we all know by now that actress Jena Malone is rumored to be playing a female incarnation of Robin in [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870). The above images are responses to one of my Facebook posts regarding the matter...

This, in many ways, is the problem with a predominately male-centric comic book movie audience. Anytime there's a suggestion to change the race or gender of a superhero many fans FREAK OUT. They don't see the larger point of trying to bring something new to the white male dominated comic book movie world. Yes, there are female superheroes, indeed Wonder Woman will also be in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, along with everyone, apparently.

But let's remember, Robin was SUPPOSED to be Marlon Wayans, an African American, in Tim Burton's third Batman film which was eventually scrapped in favor of Joel Schumacher's more "family friendly" versions. Also, Billy Dee Williams was Harvey Dent in Burton's first Batman film. Wayans was originally considered for the role of Robin in the 1992 film Batman Returns, however it was felt that the film featured too many characters, so the character was omitted from that film. He was then formally signed for the role in the 1995 sequel Batman Forever to play opposite Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face, but the mid-production change in directors from Tim Burton to Joel Schumacher would result in both parts being recast and Wayans being paid out.

Marlon Wayans as Robin & Robin fan photo
Marlon Wayans as Robin & Robin fan photo

A HISTORY OF ALTERNATIVE ROBINS:

Robin is a fictional character, a superhero in publications from DC Comics. Robin has long been a fixture in the Batman comic books as Batman's sidekick. Since 1940, several different youths have appeared as Robin. In each incarnation, Robin's brightly colored visual appearance and youthful energy have served as a contrast to Batman's dark look and manner.

MAINSTREAM ROBINS:

Robin - Boy Wonder from Detective Comics via 1940
Robin - Boy Wonder from Detective Comics via 1940
  • Dick Grayson is the original Robin. Though he later assumes the name Nightwing in the comics, Grayson is the most commonly portrayed version in other media. Grayson was temporarily Batman, but with Bruce Wayne's return, he has gone back to being Nightwing.
  • Jason Todd becomes Robin after Grayson, though his super-heroic career is ended by his untimely death at the hands of The Joker. Todd is later resurrected and assumes the Joker's former identity: the Red Hood. He briefly tried to take over the mantle of Batman before Dick Grayson made him fall to his apparent death. He is now the Red Hood again.
  • Tim Drake assumes the Robin identity after Todd, but quits at the request of his father. After his replacement, Stephanie Brown is presumed dead, and Drake reclaims the mantle. Batman (Dick Grayson) passes the Robin mantle onto Damian Wayne after the events of Battle for the Cowl. Drake reluctantly becomes Red Robin.
  • Bruce Wayne (!) briefly assumed the role when de-aged during the Sins of Youth storyline.
  • Stephanie Brown, Drake's girlfriend who was a super-heroine known as the Spoiler, briefly takes on the Robin name in place of Drake, becoming the first female version of the superhero. She also serves as the third Batgirl before The New 52 reboot restored the title to Barbara Gordon.
  • Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul, assumed the Robin mantle after the events of Battle for the Cowl.

Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths, a number of Robins lived on different "Earths" in the original multiverse (which was destroyed during Crisis).

In a Batman story from the 1950s, Bruce Wayne assumed the identity of Robin. Richard Grayson of Earth-Two carried on his Robin mantle long into adulthood. Post-52, an entirely new finite multiverse was discovered and created, and as such, a number of Robins may exist now on other alternative Earths. In one frame of the final issue of 52, a new Earth-2 is depicted, along with a character that resembles the original, adult Earth-2 Robin. Whether it is that character or not remains to be seen, as this Earth-2 is not identical to the one that existed before Crisis on Infinite Earths. In another case, Talon is an analogue of Robin, from the new Earth-3 where his relationship with Owlman mirrors that of Batman and Robin in the mainstream universes and maintains a romantic relationship with Duela Dent. Batman #666 depicts a future in which Batman's biological son Damian Wayne becomes Batman, having previously served as Robin.

CARRIE KELLEY:

From Batman Wiki

Caroline Keene "Carrie" Kelley becomes the new Robin in The Dark Knight Returns when she saved Batman (see paragraph 4 for more info). Later in The Dark Knight Strikes Again, she adopts the identity of Catgirl. She was the first full-time female Robin in the history of the Batman franchise, though Julie Madison had passed off as Robin for a brief time in a Bob Kane story published in Detective Comics #49 in March, 1941.

Kelley is a 13-year-old schoolgirl and scout who Batman saves from a sadistic group of Mutant gang members on the night of his return from retirement. Idolizing the Dark Knight, she then spends her lunch money on a Robin outfit and sets out to attack petty con-men and to find Batman in the hope of becoming his partner. Kelley uses a slingshot and firecrackers as weapons. She also wears green-tinted sunglasses in lieu of a black harlequin mask. Unlike the previous Robins, Kelley is not an orphan, but she appears to have rather neglectful parents who are never actually seen — one of them mutters "Didn't we have a kid?" while their daughter is witnessing the fierce battle between Batman and the street gangs known as the Mutants. It is hinted through their dialogue that they were once activists and possibly hippies during the 1960s, but have since become apathetic stoners.

Two weeks ago Jena Malone took to Instagram to post a pic of her now red locks just like Carrie Kelley's red locks (!):

"Drastic times call for drastic measures,” she captioned the photo.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which stars Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel, and Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader, hits theaters on March 25th, 2016.

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