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The Dynamic Duo is an unofficial name for the recurring partnership between the Batman and a Robin.

History

The Dynamic Duo is an unofficial name for the recurring partnership between the Batman and a Robin.

The original version of this pairing was established when the newly-orphaned Dick Grayson was taken in by Bruce Wayne as his ward. After revealing himself as the Batman, Wayne offered the young acrobat the position of crimefighting partner, allowing him to become his sidekick as Robin, The Boy Wonder.

Golden Age

Batman and Robin

Batman and Robin

Batman was a solitary crime-fighter for the most part of his first year of existence, until Dick Grayson was introduced in Detective Comics #38 (1940) by Batman creators Bob Kane, Bill Finger and their frequent collaborator, Jerry Robinson. Since his introduction, Robin became a permanent character of the Batman comics and his name was always included as part of the title: "Batman - with Robin, The Boy Wonder -".

Even though Robin was introduced in Detective #38, the term "Dynamic Duo" was not used until Batman #4, where the partnership was finally named. Robin's introduction into the Batman mythos caused a change in the direction of the Batman stories, as the Dark Knight himself would act as a father figure instead of the dark vigilante from the first year. Robin was consistently portrayed as a lighthearted punster and thanks to his presence as Batman's sidekick, the Dark Knight became a much lighter character, going on a number of adventures together. Their partnership remained a constant element in the Batman comics throughout the entire Golden Age of comics and into the next publication era.

The Dynamic Duo became such a popular crime-fighting team that a film serial called Batman and Robin was developed in 1949, based upon the primary idea of the pairing.

Silver Age

The Silver Duo

The Silver Duo

The Dynamic Duo remained unchanged for the best part of the early Silver Age of Comics. The only notable change was the inclusion of other characters and allies, who would become known as the Batman Family. This lack of development caused a decrease in popularity of the Batman comics. Eventually, the creative team responsible for the Batman comics was changed and with it, came a change in the stories' direction as well.

In 1964, Julius Schwartz became editor of the Batman comics and he made various changes, some of which affected the Dynamic Duo as well. For instance, Robin was grown so that he would attend high-school, but this activities didn't affect his duties as part of the crime-fighting team. Robin, the "Teen Wonder" remained a punster and this characterization was picked up by the producers of the Batman TV Show in 1966, which became an instant hit worlwide. Unfortunately, when the series was cancelled, the popularity of the comics waned and the characterization of Robin became loathed by the comic book audiences, who scorned the TV portrayal of the Dynamic Duo.

Bronze Age

The Teen Wonder

The Teen Wonder

As the Silver Age of Comics came to an end, the creative team behind Batman decided to revamp the character. For this purpose, Dick Grayson was grown once again and this time he would become old enough to attend college, something that put the he Dynamic Duo into a temporary hiatus. For almost the entire decade of the 1970s, Batman went solo again and Robin, the Teen Wonder continued his adventures far from his mentor. The Dynamic Duo would eventually come together for special adventures, which required the presence of both heroes.

The occasional adventures of the Dynamic Duo were prompted by the success of other TV portrayals of the team such as the Super Friends TV Series, but the conscious effort to keep them apart was stronger in the printed media. Robin's newfound freedom allowed the writers to use the character outside of the Batman comics in their own separate projects, reason why Robin acquired a major role as leader of the Teen Titans and the New Teen Titans. The portrayal of Dick Grayson/Robin on these books was praised by fans, who considered it was most appropriate and fitting than his role as Batman's sidekick. As a result, DC came under pressure to develop Robin further and change his appearance, something that was not possible at the time, due to licensing constraints.

Modern Age

During the early 1980s, Batman and Robin would come together from time to time, but the creative teams responsible for the character of Robin required a desperate development. While the creators of the Teen Titans book were ready to give Dick Grayson a new identity, fitting that of a leader, the creators of Batman books were not ready or willing to lose the sidekick figure of Robin and the Dynamic Duo remained the same a little longer, always with "Robin, the Teen Wonder".

Jason Todd

Jason Todd

When the change was inevitable, writer Gerry Conway came up with the idea of a second Robin, thus Jason Todd was introduced in 1983, while Dick Grayson went on to become Nightwing. Jason Todd shared an uncanny similar background and visual appearance with Grayson, even though their personalities were somewhat different. Jason was deemed as a "carbon copy" of Dick and he was not well received by fans, even though the Dynamic Duo was officially brought back with a new "Boy Wonder".

For almost six years, Jason Todd was developed by different creative teams, who brought different elements to the character and almost made him a likeable character to the Batman audience. Nonetheless, the new Dynamic Duo was sub-par when compared with the previous version, as Jason would always be in constant training, making several mistakes and causing troubles instead of solving them. The characterization of Jason as Robin was improved after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, when his origin and background were revamped, but just a few years later, he was killed in the notorious storyline called Batman: A Death in the Family. Jason's death caused major controversy on the mainstream and comic media, but the creative team behind the Batman books could no longer work around the idea of the Dynamic Duo in the current state. In fact, after Jason's demise, the term "Dynamic Duo" has been scarcely used to refer to Batman and Robin.

Tim Drake

Tim Drake

Tim Drake

After the death of Jason, Batman became a loner once again, but it wasn't long until a new sidekick was introduced. Marv Wolfman, George Pérez and Jim Aparo were the creative team responsible for introducing Tim Drake as a clever youngster who figured out Batman and Robin's secret identities and who tried to get the Dark Knight and his former sidekick to work together again. His plan failed as both Batman and Nightwing were far apart by then, but his efforts led him to become the new Robin. Introduced in the storyline called Batman: A Lonely Place of Dying, Tim became the third Robin, wearing a modern and improved version of the Robin outfit.

Tim's role as Robin proved much more successful than his predecesor's, which provided the Dynamic Duo a much needed improvement. Batman and Tim worked together seamlessly, thanks to Tim's natural detective abilities and Batman's trust on his new sidekick. The pair would go on and confrot some of Batman's most relevant threats and dangers in some of the most notable in the character's history, always coming out on top. When Tim lost his family during Identity Crisis, he was formally adopted by Bruce Wayne and their partnership was enhanced. Prior to the adoption of Tim, Batman and Robin were having issues and they put their partnership on hold. It was during this time that Tim's girlfriend, Stephanie Brown, became Robin for a little while until she was fired and Tim returned to the role.

Damian Wayne

Batman and Damian

Batman and Damian

The biological son of Bruce Wayne, Damian was introduced during the Batman and Son storyline in 2006 by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, based on a concept by Mike W. Barr. After the events of Batman R.I.P. and Batman: Last Rites, Bruce Wayne was apparently killed and his first sidekick, Dick Grayson adopted the mantle of the Bat, becoming the new Batman. As a result of this change, Dick chose Damian to become the new Robin, forcing Tim to get a new identity as Red Robin. Unlike Tim, Damian was not grounded and his greatest strength was his fighting skills, as he had been trained by his grandfather Ra's al Ghul, his mother Talia al Ghul and the League of Assassins. A headstrong kid, Damian thought much of himself and usually disregarded instructions from Dick. He didn't change after Bruce returned and resumed his activities as Batman, although he had more respect for Bruce than for Dick. This new "dynamic" proved interesting as Batman had the challege to make his son work as his partner, which was sometimes harder than fighting crime.

Other Versions

  • Carrie Kelley: The first official female Robin, Carrie was introduced in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns as a young readhead girl who becomes Robin, joining an elder Batman coming out of retirement. Carrie was an invaluable asset on Batman's rebirth, although her role as Robin was more of that of a second fiddle to the Dark Knight rather than his own person. Carrie would eventually grow old enough to become the new Batgirl in Dark Knight III: The Master Race.


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