Batman: Arkham is a Completely Reimagined Robin


Batman: Arkham games completely failed Robin, radically rethinking his character. One could imagine that “an acrobatic young man who dresses in bright red and beats criminals with a bo staff” would be enough, but the games simply couldn’t determine what they wanted to do with him. This is all the more strange when you consider who wrote most of the games.

Robin as a character has always been someone whom a certain part of Batman fans considered a nuisance, perhaps overly concerned about his “coolness” factor, despite consuming media in which the main role is played by a man who dresses like a bat. Thus, many creators working on Batman are trying to separate their interpretations of Robin from earlier projects or completely exclude him. But Wonder Boy can only be ignored for so long, as it is an integral part of the Batman myths. It’s a pity that Robin was made almost as dirty as the Arkham games Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley.

Paul Deeney, who wrote Batman: The Animated Series, arguably one of the best versions of Batman ever created, wrote the first two Batman: Arkham games. However, the problems with Robin in this universe start with him, not with Arkham Knight, where Dini was not the head writer. The games simply, it would seem, could not focus Robin’s idea, and as a result, the character turned out to be completely absent-minded.

The Batman: Arkham Games Couldn’t Decide Who Robin Was

Everything from Robin’s design to his character and even his personality speaks to a team of screenwriters who can’t decide which Robin they want to see under the mask. Arkham City immediately makes it clear that Dick Grayson is a Nightwing in the Batman: Arkham universe, and Tim Drake is Robin. However, even this is unclear due to the fact that Tim Drake is written as a character, and Tim and Barbara Gordon enter into a relationship in Arkham Knight.

Just as the Batman: Arkham games ignored the most important lesson of BTAS, turning villains into punching bags without thinking about hidden mental illness, so the games ignored the rich history surrounding Tim Drake, including his basic personality. Tim is the genius of the bat family, the one who discovered Bruce’s secret identity through purely detective skills and waltzed straight into the bat cave to apply for the position of Robin. However, none of this compelling character material is present in the Arkham character version.

Instead, Tim is portrayed as Dick Grayson with his acrobatic fighting style and relationship with Barbara, as well as Jason Todd thanks to his aggressive, fanatical nature and shaved head. This is not the case when exaggeration of personality already exists, as it happened when the Arkham games made the Penguin a big monster. Instead, Arkham Games simply couldn’t decide what character Tim should have, leaving Tim Drake to end up as the victim looking like the most boring character in the entire Batman: Arkham game.