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Damian Wayne Isn't The Robin We Deserve, But He's The Robin The DCU Needs

When James Gunn and Peter Safran announced their forthcoming DC film line-up, there was very good news to be had for fans of the Caped Crusader. For starters, the universe set forth by Matt Reeves and company for 2022's "The Batman" will continue as planned, just in a separate Elseworlds reality. Just as fortunately, the chance for Batman to once again pal around with his Justice League buddies is still on the table, as they will be moving forward with a new Batman venture — "The Brave and the Bold." 

Not much is known about the movie yet, but it will bring a new version of the Dark Knight to the big screen with the Boy Wonder in tow. The last time Batman and Robin joined forces on the big screen together was for 1997's "Batman & Robin," which had a pretty negative response. However, Robin is an integral component of the Batman mythos, so it's high time the character gets another chance to win audiences over. Only this time, Dick Grayson won't be the one in the red, yellow, and green outfit: instead, Bruce Wayne will be joined by his biological son, Damian Wayne.

Damian's a relatively new addition to Batman canon, having made his proper first appearance in 2006 in the comics (though he technically debuted in the 1980s, but we won't get into that).  The son of Wayne and Talia al Ghul, Damian is both heir to Wayne Enterprises and successor to the Demon's Head. He was trained by the League of Assassins, so by the time he winds up on Bruce's doorstep, he's already combat-trained and sharp as a blade. And while some fans may be disappointed that we're not getting Dick Grayson, there's a case to be made for why Damian is the best choice.

Damian Wayne can break Robin's cheesy image

Hollywood appears to have an allergic reaction to Robin's presence in live-action Batman movies. The Christopher Nolan trilogy was dark and gritty — and therefore, Robin doesn't show up until a brief mention in the final moments of "The Dark Knight Rises." Moving into the Zack Snyder era, we only see Robin's Jokerized suit in the Batcave, implying he died before the events of the film. His death serves to make the movie even grittier and helps explain why Batman is a murderous near-villain during most of the events of "Batman v. Superman." None of the most recent live-action Batman movies really have a tone that sets the stage for a colorful kid sidekick. 

The idea of Robin being "lighthearted," though, is turned on its head once Damian Wayne enters the picture.

Damian is more prone to decapitate a bad guy than shout, "Holy [insert anything]!" He was trained by assassins, and it's an integral part of his character that he has no qualms over murdering someone if it means keeping the city safe, often putting him at odds with his "no-kill" father. This makes for an interesting new dynamic between the crime-fighting duo and could help general audiences realize that this Robin must be taken seriously. 

Remember when Aquaman was the butt of all jokes, until Jason Momoa turned him into everybody's favorite loose cannon? Momoa's take showed how you can take a character that the general audience sees as "silly" and turn them into a fan-favorite. "The Brave and the Bold" will probably continue the trajectory of dark, gritty Batman movies, but Damian Wayne can fit into that mold like other Robins won't. 

Damian Wayne's presence makes sense story-wise

Another facet of the never-ending Robin debate is how Bruce Wayne seemingly adopts orphans, ad nauseam, to enlist as child soldiers in his war against crime. It's one of those things that can make sense in context, but to audiences who don't know extensive Batman lore, it comes off as a little weird. That all stops with Damian. 

First, he's Bruce Wayne's son, so he naturally fits into the larger picture of Batman's life. Additionally, he was trained by the League of Assassins since he was a baby, so he already has ample experience with fighting, making him ready to go from the jump. There's no need for a convoluted backstory of how he grew up in a circus as an acrobat, making him adept at fighting ... somehow. Damian Wayne is a killer, was trained as a killer since birth, and that's all the origin story needs.

On top of that, Damian brings inherent conflict into the story. Damian was raised by one of Batman's greatest adversaries and has no problem offing villains. Batman obviously wants to impart his own philosophy onto his son, but Damian may make Bruce question why he doesn't kill when doing so could potentially save a ton of lives. After all, Gotham would be a lot safer with the Joker six feet under rather than locked away in Arkham yet again, only to escape after a long weekend. The two challenge one another and force each other to confront their ideologies, fundamentally asking, "Why do they believe what they believe?"

Dick Grayson can still factor into Damian Wayne's story -- but as Nightwing

While Damian might be the Robin the DCU needs, many would argue Dick Grayson is the one it deserves. However, a "Brave and the Bold" movie doesn't necessarily have to exclude Dick from the proceedings. It's possible the film could pick up with a Batman who's been in the game for a while now and has trained a few Robins in the past. As such, the film could introduce viewers to Nightwing — and let's face it, Nightwing is the version of Dick Grayson that we all really want to see.

Nightwing represents a version of Batman who was able to heal after the passing of his parents. If Batman wants vengeance, Nightwing genuinely wants to help people. He's proof that Bruce has done some good and made a difference in the world. And for Damian, Nightwing functions as an example of what he can become — namely, someone softer and kinder. However, as someone who was raised in a ruthless underworld, Damian is naturally apprehensive to go down this path. Damian and Dick could play off one another well in "The Brave and the Bold," with Dick serving as an older brother, trying to help guide Damian down a better path. This would also satiate Nightwing fans' thirst for a standalone Nightwing movie by introducing him first in this movie before launching him off into his own.

Damian Wayne may not be the first Robin people think of, but he presents an opportunity to redefine the character for a new generation. Robin has been missing in action for far too long now, and when people see him again on the big screen, Damian will remind them why Batman works best as part of a team.