Batman’s Pet Boy In Arkham 2

By Alec Meer on June 21st, 2011 at 1:30 pm.

His nipples seem far too close together. Or maybe... mine are too far apart? Oh god, now I'm all self-concious

And here was I thinking that all the non-comics Batman spin-offs were doing their damndest to pretend that the dark knight detective wasn’t in the habit of dragging a boy along to his late-night soirees with angry street thugs. Robin has been resolutely absent from Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies and went without mention in the solid, tight Arkham Asylum. But the Boy Wonder has found his way into upcoming sequel Batman: Arkham City after all. How’re they going to reconcile the wee lad’s bright costume and cheery demeanour with something so grim? Let’s take a look…

Here he is, the tyke, via fansite Arkham City:

Looks a bit like he spends his evenings stealing hubcaps, to be honest. Of course, Arkham City’s monochrome marketing art means we can’t tell just how much red, green and yellow this Boy Wonder will bear, but so far he looks fairly in keeping with the game’s general style.

Whether or not we’ll get to play him is a very different matter. Thug-Robin is pre-order DLC, so far only confirmed for purchases from Best Buy in the US. However, the PC version will, uh, enjoy him – which makes a nice change from the usual console-only pre-order exclusive gubbins.

So what will Robin do? Well, he’ll have his own Challenge Maps as well as being playable in the ones aimed at Batwoman and Catman. Wait, I got something wrong there. Also, Robin will have distinct abilities from his more leathery peers. Well done, Robin. Clever boy.

Oh, comics readers will like to know that this is the Tim Drake Robin, rather than the original Boy Wonder Dick Grayson (who later became Nightwing, and then a new Batman when Grant Morrison wrote an incomprehensible story about Bruce Wayne getting lost in time). Wot, no stroppy Jason Todd?

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57 Comments »

  1. Ian says:

    Anybody who knows more than this about me speculate why they’ve particularly gone for Tim Drake? Is there a special reason related to where in Batman canon this is meant to be taking place (if anywhere) or are they likely just leaving themselves open to using Nightwing at some point?

    (Or none of the above, obviously.)

    • deabreu says:

      probably because they’re saving dick for the nightwing role, and this could be a tim drake conceptually melded with damian wayne.

      at least the thug boy is a better-suiting concept than happy-go-lucky circus-runaway kid, for the game’s tone

    • Gundato says:

      Tim Drake is, timeline wise, the most appropriate Robin (Barbara is established as Oracle. Dick had already started going Nightwing by then, right?). And is probably the most liked Robin at this point.

      Dick: I don’t think anyone would call him a bad Robin (and most of us still think of him AS Robin), but he has come into his own as Nightwing (and Bats. Come on, Morrison’s story wasn’t that hard to follow. Batman was dosed with weapons-grade heroin, went crazy, shot Darkseid, got lost in time, became a badass Pilgrim, and came back with the power of a space alien time clomper thing after him. Duh :p), so popping Dick as Robin will just make people whine that he isn’t Nightwing.

      Damien: It is still unknown if Damien and Bruce can really be a fun team, so he would be a bad choice. Kid is fun and hilarious as the foil to Dick (who smiles more than George Clooney), but may be too dark to hang with Bruce.

      Tim: While he is technically no longer Robin (Red Robin), he has been Robin long enough that just about everyone knows to ask if the animated Teen Titans/Young Justice Robin is Dick or Tim (in both cases, a combination :p), and he is one of the most beloved “new” characters in comics.

      Jason Todd and Stephanie Brown: Ha ha ha. Ha ha. Ha… Ha. No.

    • Bhazor says:

      Wasn’t it heavily implied that Robin died before Arkham Asylum?

    • tawa says:

      Not even the presence of Oracle tbh. Just the fact that AA had Bane in means in has to be Tim Drake (all post broken bat/Jean Paul). And yeh, I think having Damian as Robin would require too much explaination of the whole Talia/lost son thing (altho they could do it, start introducing the world to the future batman. I just don’t see it, even if it could explain his absence from the main story due to a fight with dad). Plus as Gundato says, Damian works better with the Dick Grayson Batman than the Bruce Wayne one (odd couple dynamics and all).

      Oh, and the Grant Morrison RIP run isn’t that complex, he ‘died’ by hanging off a helicopter as it flew into a building. Ignore the crap about time travel from the yearly DC failure to create a better cross series arc than Civil War.

    • Jake says:

      Yeah it does seem that the most likely reason for them using Tim is so that Dick can appear as Nightwing at some point, which is a good thing. And reinventing Tim a bit to be a bit more like Damien is no great upset, though it’s a shame they didn’t just use Damien. Damien and Dick were brilliant, it remains to be seen how he will get on with Bruce really but it does sound like that is the new team so it would have been consistent with the reboot.

      DC is all being rebooted and all the origins changed – including probably Tims – but aren’t all the dates really screwed up? I heard that Superman is the first superhero and has only been active for 5 years, so there have been 3 main Robins in under 5 years? Bruce would have fathered Damien 5-7 years before he was Batman. It’s all a bit odd, I’ll just stick to only reading Morrison’s stuff.

      Also, dammit, I was all excited that Batwoman and Catman might be in the game, I love those guys.

    • Gundato says:

      Jake: I’ll tell you the same thing I tell everyone who I talk to in comic book chat rooms:

      Marvel has had the sliding timeline for decades. Tony Stark loses and rebuilds his company every five weeks. Magneto goes from terrorist to antihero just as frequently.

      So yeah, don’t worry about not being able to understand exactly how the timeline works with all the past stories. We who read Marvel NEVER understand how the timeline works, but enjoy the books anyway :p

    • Jake says:

      Yeah true but Marvel don’t do big reboots like this, I like how Marvel just sort of shrug off any continuity problems. DC always makes such a big deal out of them and it just seems odd that they would wipe the slate clean and then write a new authoritative version of everything and it doesn’t make sense.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      I feel sorry for you guys who try to keep up with all the continuities (no sarcasm, honest) – considering DC just rebooted everything again.

      One of the reasons why I only like graphic novels.

    • Nallen says:

      I don’t know what the hell you guys are talking about. Can I still biff things in a solid and tight and solid way?

    • woodsey says:

      According to this: http://arkhamcity.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3050

      Its Tim Drake.

    • phuzz says:

      Given that the only Batman comics I’ve read were my dad’s old ones from the 60′s; I have no idea what you lot are on about.
      But hopefully there’s be plenty of thud bash kerthump like the last game :)

    • Eolirin says:

      @Jake, isn’t the whole point of a reboot to reset continuity? Those characters would not be coming back as if the previous storylines happened; there shouldn’t be 3 Robins in the new Batman at the start. If the characters exist in the new setting, they won’t exist as former Robins. And it’s not guaranteed that supporting characters even show up. This isn’t just an origins reset, it’s a complete setting reset. About the only thing you can take for granted is that the main heroes will be there.

      There are no timeline issues; this is a blank slate.

    • Jake says:

      Hmm I hadn’t thought of it like that, but there are images of Tim Drake as Red Robin out, and I can’t imagine they would totally scrap Dick Grayson – I’d assume he will still be around as Nightwing although I think his stint as Batman is being retconned. And Damien is confirmed as the current Robin isn’t he? All three are pretty much defined by being mentored by Batman who they say is only active for 5 years max. Unless I am totally wrong which I might well be.

      But yeah I agree it’s best not to get worked up about continuity in comics, I just don’t really get why DC always seems to make such a hash of things. I suspect that this time it is to make it compatible with future film licenses.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      There’s more than one Robin??

      How many batmen are there?

    • zeekthegeek says:

      Tim is the most prevalent modern Robin. Dick hasn’t been Robin since the 80s and has really come into his own as Nightwing. It’s also already established in this timeline that Oracle exists, so Nightwing existing is kind of a logical conclusion.

      Damien is a controversial Robin among fans, and Jason Todd is already mentioned as Dead in the first game (he probably got better later but that’s a whole other story)

    • tawa says:

      Daniel, there are three Batmen. Unless I’ve forgotten one.

    • Gundato says:

      The DCnU reboot is, to put it simply, like Marvel’s Spider-Man reboot (One More Day).

      Essentially, one moment in time (a “flashpoint” if you will :p) happened differently, and the effects spread out from there (butterfly wings!)

      To look at how it worked in Spider-Man: Some big stuff is different (Peter and MJ aren’t married, but they were in a committed relationship for a few years. Harry Osborn is alive, etc) but most of the story arcs we knew and loved still happened. But stuff that needed to be changed to tell better stories is also changed.

      Same thing with this. I doubt the average comic reader will really notice much different outside of “Younger Superman! Bruce is Batman again! Jason Todd has finished becoming an anti-hero! People still hate Wonder Woman!”, but there will be differences for future stories.

      At the very least: Do you honestly think the average writer is capable of plotting out the entire history of a universe based upon a few changed alterations and radically altering how they write the characters themselves? Nah. They’ll just keep writing the stories they were going to write, but they’ll change a few of the supporting characters or work in a few of the new nifty bits.
      Err, obviously aside from Kieron GIllen. That man could clearly go and change it so that Captain America’s shield had a drop of paint fall on it in 1942 and then plot how the entire Marvel U changed based upon that, resulting in entirely new characters and a full universe. Yeah… :p

  2. outoffeelinsobad says:

    Yeah wtf, Grant Morrison?

  3. bill says:

    Didn’t nightwing become batman when azrael became mecha-batman??

    • Moni says:

      Yes, but Batman got better (magic did it).

      Although, recently Batman went on a jaunt through time and Nightwing became Batman again, and gave up again when Batman proved that he has a god-like mastery of time.

    • Bhazor says:

      Not even being sent to the beginning of time by an elder god can stop Batman.

    • JackShandy says:

      Wait, that sentence was a real thing? I thought you were having a go at comics.

  4. Nick says:

    Wait.. you mean your nipples AREN’T that close together Alec? Check out the freak, guys.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      I think those are some sort of rivet. Otherwise he has six nipples and is secretly a canine female.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Well, the slashfic’ers were always trying to tell us that Robin was Batman’s bitch…

    • YourMessageHere says:

      OK, I’ll say it then:
      Robin is a bitch?
      There.

      Edit: oh sod it.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I’m slightly puzzled that no dark and gritty rendition of Batman has ever gone for a Robin in a costume that involves a low-cut back and thigh-high boots. I mean, that’d be an obvious trick if you’re aiming to be oh-so-mature-in-the-Frank-Miller-sense-of-the-word, right?

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Or do I just read too much slashfic?

  5. Ovno says:

    Don’t forget about the fusion dance where they became Batobin or was it Robatman?

  6. evilhayama says:

    Is this Robin or the jedi apprentice from Force Unleashed? Maybe that staff splits in the middle for his customary dual light sabres…

  7. PickyBugger says:

    I can’t help but feel you’ve been lifting stories off of Reddit for the past couple of days. This and the one about the Chinese TF2 rip-off seem oddly familiar for some reason.

  8. Jams O'Donnell says:

    It sort of looks like his mask is inset into his face. That is disturbing. :(

    • tawa says:

      More importantly, it looks like the least effective disguise in history.

    • Mana_Garmr says:

      It looks more like face-paint or something than a physical mask.

  9. LionsPhil says:

    He even seems to be sporting a “Type R” badge, for when he chavs up the Batmobile with an MDF spoiler and tries to do donuts in Sainsbury’s car park.

  10. Christian O. says:

    I just don’t know if I can trust your reviewing capabilities if you found Morrison’s Batman stories incomprehensible.

    Batman fights three cops dressed up as Batman. Then he fights an organisation consisting of rich people destroying things, people and ideals because they can. Then he fights Doctor Hurt, a guy who poses as his father, but is actually an older ancestor of Batman, who may or may not also be the Devil. Then he fights Darkseid, the incarnation of Evil. Then Darkseid hits him with the Omega Sanction, which sends him back in time without any knowledge of who he is, like reincarnation as punishment. Then he fights his way back to the present, fights a bunch of villians and then he creates a superteam of international Batmen. Morrison’s themes might be considered complex, but the story itself is incredibly straight forward.

    And I think Tim Drake is the Robin most people are familiar with, thanks to the Animated Series. The Robin of the old Batman films is pretty non-descript; he’s more Robin than he is Dick Grayson.

    • Buttless Boy says:

      How do any of the things in your summing up have any relation to each other? Because that’s why his shit’s confusing – there’s no resolution to anything, ever.

      Also, there’s a difference between complex themes and pop culture references.

    • Christian O. says:

      “How do any of the things in your summing up have any relation to each other? Because that’s why his shit’s confusing – there’s no resolution to anything, ever.”
      The Three Batmen are incarcerated, Doctor Hurt is beaten and entombed in a coffin after Batman tricks him, Darkseid is dead partly due to Batman shooting him, The Club of Heroes leads to Batman Inc. and so forth. And they’re related because Doctor Hurt has been in charge of everything and Darkseid sending Batman back into time might have created Doctor Hurt. I’d say, that’s a lot of resolution and cohesiveness.
      “Also, there’s a difference between complex themes and pop culture references.”
      I agree, and I think that if you should critize Morrison for something, it’s that his themes rarely extend past either the character itself or his theories on fictional realism and its impact on our reality. However, I think in dealing with the character in regards to: marxist theory; the anxiety of influence; remix culture; metacommentary; and ethics, morality and power through corporization; he brings up at least interesting themes that are also interesting in the context of the genre.

    • Torgen says:

      Batman SHOOTS him?

      Glad I don’t read comics any more.

    • Jake says:

      Ach you have to read the comics for the shooting to make sense. Morrison’s Batman stuff is just perfect.

  11. Nathan_G says:

    I know it’s just my eyes being lame, but now I’ve seen it I can’t unsee it. I can no longer picture the shoulders underneath that cape and so now he has really narrow shoulders and sausage arms.

    That ‘Type R’ badge sucks the big one, but apart from that I really like the design.

    • gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

      Well, that’s basically the logo now anyway, has been since 1994.

  12. The Pink Ninja says:

    Looks like Tim in name only. Visually he’s Damian, with a little Jason.

  13. Orba says:

    There will also be a Red Robin skin that you will be able to use in the DLC.

  14. Iskariot says:

    I like the cool macho looks of this Robbin.

    But I won’t be able to play him. I refuse to pre-order, and limited exclusive incentives like this only make me mad and more determined to never pre-order at all.
    I am getting more and more hesitant about buying games at first day of release anyway, because of the DLC antics of some firms (like Bioware), that make me feel I am not buying the full product.

  15. adonf says:

    At least he’s not been punching jelly donuts

  16. Thule says:

    Robin is a relic from a time when all superheroes needed to have sidekicks. I hope all this Robin junk in the game is skippable, because I want my Batman to work alone.

  17. pagad says:

    So clearly not DICK GRAYSON, AGE TWELVE then.

  18. Buttless Boy says:

    Wait, wasn’t Jason Todd first introduced while trying to steal the hubcaps off the Batmobile? Either Alec’s subtle reference went over my head or my comics trivia skills are failing in my old age.

  19. toastmodernist says:

    I get really happy whenever Grant Morrison’s name is mentioned. I just felt i had to share that.

  20. spindaden says:

    Thug-Robin

    Throbin

  21. PaulOHara says:

    I’m used to Dick Grayson as Robin, and this kinda makes me uneasy, since I haven’t read the source materials in quite a while. Hafta admit though that the “new” Robin looks kinda buff.

  22. zeekthegeek says:

    How can you not understand Grant Morrison’s Batman, man. He may be on all the drugs ever invented but I consider myself fairly dumb and understood all of it.

  23. BreadBitten says:

    Looks like a young Starkiller…

  24. Rath says:

    Robin DID get a mention in Arkham Asylum, during one of the Jokers’ messages in the Visitors Centre.

    2:03 in this;