While Robin may be considered one of the most well-known sidekicks in media, not many people know that there have actually been multiple Boy and Girl Wonders, and at least some of them will show up on the big screen in the upcoming The Brave and The Bold.
In fact, both Robin and Batgirl are legacy mantles, passed down when the holder grows out of the role, or is forced out of it (as is often the case).
With the news that “other members of the extended Bat-Family” will be “feature[d]” in the DCU‘s The Brave and The Bold, comics Bat-fans can get excited to see some of their favorite heroes in live action.
Safran himself said that the Bat-Family has “been left out of the Batman stories in the theater for far too long.” Now that fans know they’re coming soon, it is time to learn more about who might be appearing.
Holy Found Family, Batman!
The Bat-Family is quite large, as Bruce Wayne seems to collect children like others do stamps or coins. But, lots of characters mean lots of options for stories in the new DCU.
1.) Dick Grayson (Nightwing)
The first Robin and the Batman sidekick most well-known outside of comics circles, Dick Grayson is the oldest sibling of the Bat-Family. He grew up a skilled acrobat in Haly’s Circus, performing a show with his family. In a tragic turn of events, Dick’s parents were killed mid-show when their trapeze lines were cut, and Dick watched in horror. Bruce, knowing the feeling of watching one’s parents die, took the 8-year-old in as his ward, eventually adopting him years later.
Out of all the Robins, Dick had the role the longest, both in-universe and out-of-canon. After 44 real-world years with the mantle (10 years in-universe), Dick took on the name of Nightwing.
Notable stories with Dick stretch across the DC universe, giving James Gunn and Peter Safran much to pull from for the character, including the formation and re-formation of the Teen Titans and a time when Dick took on the Batman mantle.
2.) Barbara Gordon (Oracle)
One may be wondering why Barbara Gordon — daughter of Commissioner James Gordon — is listed here as Oracle, not Batgirl, her far more well-known alias. Well, the answer to that can be found in Barbara’s personal comics history — a beautiful story of making the most out of an awful situation.
After fighting crime under the Batgirl name, Barbara was brutally attacked by the Joker, leaving her completely paralyzed from the waist down. Rather than retire from super-heroics, however, Barbara used her unparalleled intelligence from her wheelchair to become Oracle, an all-seeing eye on Gotham City.
As Oracle, Barbara acts as the primary informant to the rest of the Bat-Family, feeding the heroes out on patrol with the necessary intel before each fight. To see Barbara as Oracle in the DCU would not only give way to fantastic disabled representation in superhero media, but it would also ground the Bat-Family by explaining where they get all the information they have.
3.) Jason Todd (Red Hood)
The second Robin, lovingly dubbed the “cool” and “rebellious one” by his siblings in Heroes in Crisis by Tom King, is named Jason Todd. Jason as a character is in some way defined by his tragedy, similar to how Batman is.
Picked up off the street and adopted by Bruce after attempting (and almost succeeding) to steal the wheels off the Batmobile, Jason loved everything about being Robin. However, despite his youth and excitement, he would get aggressive and violent with his fighting. Eventually, the Joker beat Jason to a bloody stain with a crowbar, before blowing him up in a warehouse, leading to Jason’s death.
About 17 real-world years later, Jason was revived, found by the League of Assassins, and trained to become even stronger than he was before his death. Jason reappeared in Gotham angry going by the moniker, the Red Hood
4.) Cassandra Cain (Orphan)
Bruce’s only legal daughter, Cassandra Cain is one of the most skilled fighters in the DC universe. Cass is the biological daughter of Lady Shiva and David Cain, two infamous names in DC lore.
Cass is not a metahuman, but her ability to read people’s body language borderlines being a superpower. She can know what move you are going to use before you even know you plan to use it, and that is not an exaggeration.
After trying to run away as a teenager, Cass was found by Bruce and taken under his and Barbara Gordon’s wings. She ended up being the first person after Barbara to don the Batgirl mantle, fighting crime while regaining her autonomy, her own life, and language, eventually switching to her current superhero name, Orphan.
5.) Tim Drake (Red Robin)
Tim Drake, unlike the Robins before him, sought out Bruce Wayne himself, not initially to take on the Robin mantle, but to make sure Batman had a sidekick to help him. Tim was actually in the audience during the Graysons’ last performance at Haly’s Circus, with that day being one of Tim’s first clear memories.
After following Batman and both prior Robins around with a camera and a fanboy’s passion, Tim realized what happened to Jason Todd. He saw that in response, Batman was being rougher on criminals, posing a danger to himself and others. He figured that “Batman needs a Robin,” eventually weaseling himself into the sidekick position.
At only 17 years old, he is both a genius vigilante and the majority shareholder of Wayne Enterprises, a position he took on when Bruce was presumed to be dead. During that time, too, the Robin mantle was taken away from him, causing Tim to upgrade to Red Robin.
6.) Stephanie Brown (Spoiler)
No, this is not a spoiler alert, Spoiler is the superhero name of Stephanie Brown. Steph is the daughter of C-list villain Cluemaster who decided to go after her dad herself when she was still a pre-teen. Donning a homemade costume and the Spoiler name (since she spoils Cluemaster’s clues), Steph caught the attention of Bruce and Tim Drake, eventually developing a romance with the latter.
There was a point in time when Tim needed to take a break from being Robin, so Stephanie decided to take over for him. She only wore the red and yellow for a few months, but that doesn’t make her any less of a Robin than the boys. Steph eventually accidentally started a gang war, turning Gotham into a no man’s land, causing her to fake her death and spend years in Africa with Leslie Thompkins.
When she came back, Steph took on the Batgirl name for a fair bit too, being Batgirl alongside Dick Grayson’s Batman and Damian Wayne’s Robin.
7.) Duke Thomas (Signal)
Duke occupies a unique role in the Bat-Family’s crime-fighting lineup, being Gotham’s signature daytime protector, whereas the rest of his family operate nocturnally. Duke was never Robin in the sense of being Batman’s direct sidekick but was essentially a Robin in his own right.
The only metahuman of the Bat-Family, Duke has the ability to control and utilize light in many fun and interesting ways. Aside from the obvious, like controlling light beams and direct light waves, Duke can see slightly into the future by being able to detect where light is, has been, and will be.
While also possibly being immortal, Duke protects Gotham during the day, so that Batman and the others can go out at night. If that’s not dedication to a city and to super heroics, what else is?
8.) Damian Wayne (Robin)
The only member of the Bat-Family (besides Batman, of course) confirmed to be in The Brave and The Bold, Damian Wayne is the fifth and youngest Robin. The biological son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, Damian was kept a secret from Bruce for the first decade of his life.
Talia brought him to train under Bruce when he was around 10 years old, but only a short time passed before Bruce seemingly died in battle. Dick Grayson took on both the Batman mantle and Damian’s training, knighting the younger boy as his Robin.
Throughout his time with the Bat-Family, Damian has prioritized unlearning a lot of the toxic behaviors he learned throughout his childhood, realizing that justice is more effective than vengeance and that killing is not the answer. Damian can be standoffish at times and is about as stubborn as his father, but deep down he cares deeply about his family.
Of course, no list of the Bat-Family would be complete without honorable mentions, as the Wayne Family and Bat-Family both are constantly growing and expanding to include more heroes.
Additionally, Helena Wayne (Huntress) is the daughter of Bruce and Selina in an alternate universe, though she exists in the main DC universe at times as Helena Bertinelli too.
There are also the Row siblings, Harper Row (Bluebird) and Cullen Row, though the latter of the two does not have a superhero identity. Finally, there is Luke Fox (Batwing), the son of Batman’s ally Lucius Fox.
All in all, there are plenty of sidekicks, heroes, and Bat-Family members to get excited about in the DCU and beyond.
The Brave and the Bold, which is set to feature the Bat-Family prominently has no official release date but is on the way from James Gunn’s DCU slate.