Meet the Batkids: My Favorite Characters in Gotham
Meet the Batkids: My Favorite Characters in Gotham
However cool and tough Batman might be, he can’t take care of Gotham on his own – that’s where the Batkids come in. The kids who assume the roles of Robin, Batgirl, and beyond are my favorite characters in Gotham. They inhabit my favorite comics set in Gotham, as well as my favorite character arcs.
There have been so many Batkids over the years. I will be talking about the core seven in this article – Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and Damian Wayne. That doesn’t mean they’re the only ones, though! Characters like Carrie Kelly, Helena Wayne, and the Foxes, have all taken up Bat mantles to join the Batfamily and are just as worthy of attention and cheer as the rest of them.
Dick Grayson: Robin, Nightwing, Batman
The first Robin and the most prominent Batman other than Bruce Wayne is Dick Grayson. However, a lot of fans like him most as Nightwing. Once part of the Flying Graysons, he is an extremely agile and physical vigilante. Beloved by fans across the board, Dick is known for keeping everyone together with great positivity.
He has a particularly close relationship with Barbara Gordon, the first Batgirl. His older brother relationship with Damian Wayne, especially when he’s using the Batman mantle, is also very important for both characters. He even acts like an older brother to all of the Batkids.
Recommended Reading: Robin Year One, Nightwing Year One, Black Mirror
Barbara Gordon: Batgirl, Oracle
As the first Batgirl, Barbara Gordon was first introduced in the 1966 television series and then became so popular that she made her transition to the comics in 1967. In the current canon, she’s the niece/adopted daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon.
Barbara has been through her share of trials (Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke being the most famous), and always comes out of them fighting and determined to continue being a hero. Even after she’s paralyzed, she continues working in Gotham and aiding the Batfamily as Oracle, the resident techie for the team. Her determination is inspiring. Just ask my fellow author, Caitlin, who’s a big fan of Babs.
Recommended Reading: Batgirl Year One, Birds of Prey
Jason Todd: Robin, Red Hood, Hush, Red Robin
Jason has one of the darkest histories of the Batkids. I was initially wary of him but as I read more and more of him, I began to understand him and he’s now one of my all-time favorites.
As the second Robin, Jason often felt like he was living in the shadow of Dick. After he was killed by the Joker and resurrected by Talia al Ghul, he took up the mantle of Red Hood. Initially angry with Batman for not avenging his death, Jason is a character with a lot of pent-up frustration and sees the world as it is. However, this anger makes him such a great hero because he wants to make the world a better place. He just realizes sometimes it takes less than honorable acts to accomplish that.
Recommended Reading: Lost Days, Under the Red Hood
Tim Drake: Robin, Red Robin
Tim Drake is the true detective of the bunch. He also happens to my favorite Robin. He’s one of the only people to figure out the identities of Batman and Robin (Dick). After Jason died and Batman had no Robin, Tim took it upon himself to fix that. He became Robin and Bruce formally adopted him after the death of Tim’s parents.
He’s most well-known for being Red Robin, a mantle he picked up slightly grudgingly at first when Dick, as Batman, made Damian Robin. Tim is smart and stubborn, often presuming things he shouldn’t. Still, he’s determined to do the right thing and it’s admirable. He can often be found running with the Teen Titans, too.
Recommended Reading: Robin Volume 4, Red Robin, Teen Titans
Stephanie Brown: Spoiler, Robin, Batgirl
Next we have my all-time favorite Batgirl! Raised by a father who wound up being a criminal, Stephanie Brown was surrounded by the dark parts of Gotham from a young age. This is what inspires her to become a costumed hero.
She first starts off by assuming her own mantle: Spoiler. This is how she ends up meeting, and eventually dating, Tim Drake. While she doesn’t formally work with the Batfamily yet, she eventually becomes Robin, albeit briefly, before being killed in the storyline War Games. When she’s resurrected, she takes up the mantle of Batgirl from her best friend, Cassandra Cain.
Stephanie is constantly told no by everyone around her, but she does what she believes it right. It is her tenacity and will that make her my favorite Batgirl and Batkid. She’s able to still believe in hope despite all she’s seen and been through.
Recommended Reading: Spoiler, Robin Volume 2, Batgirl Volume 3
Cassandra Cain: Batgirl, Black Bat
Cassandra Cain is the second Batgirl, who was introduced as a Bat when Stephanie Brown was already Spoiler. Raised by the assassin David Cain, she is one of the most skilled fighters in the DC Universe. She only speaks with body language when we first meet her, but eventually learns spoken language.
She fights to atone for a murder that David Cain made her commit at eight years old. While she is often presented as a =darker character, she is very compassionate, loyal, and brave to those that she cares for. After giving the Batgirl cowl to Stephanie, she leaves for Hong Kong but stays in frequent touch with Tim. Tim even gives her a copy of her old costume and how she becomes Black Bat so, even if she’s not in Gotham, she can fight under the Bat symbol.
Recommended Reading: Batgirl Volume 2, Red Robin, Gates of Gotham
Damian Wayne: Robin
Damian, Bruce Wayne’s only biological child, is an angry, sarcastic kid caught between two worlds: that of Gotham and that of the al Ghul family, as his mother is Talia al Ghul. While he’s abrasive and doesn’t get along with a lot of the Batkids, he fights for goodness and to improve Gotham.
He became Robin under Dick’s Batman and this relationship defined a lot of Damian’s character. He is able to grow up under Dick, though he still remains somewhat of a pain to his siblings in the Batgamily. He’s a skilled and dangerous fighter, especially under Talia and Ra’s al Ghul.
Recommended Reading: Batman and Son, Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin, Streets of Gotham