Robins creators preview their fan-favorite comic about Batman's sidekicks
The road to DC FanDome begins here! In the days leading up to the second annual free virtual fan event — which returns Saturday, Oct. 16, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT — EW will be debuting exclusive new looks at DC Entertainment's forthcoming projects. Today, Robins creators Tim Seeley and Baldemar Rivas give us the lowdown on their new comic.
Batman comic readers can't get enough of Robin. The Dark Knight's colorful sidekick has been mostly excised from recent big-screen adaptations — absent from the upcoming Robert Pattinson film, referred to only as a pun in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and a fallen comrade in Zack Snyder's movies — but when DC Comics created a round robin tournament earlier this year where fans could vote on which 16 comic pitches they'd like to see turned into a new series, Robins won handily. (That's right: Robins won the round robin.)
The six-issue series from writer Tim Seeley and artist Baldemar Rivas will feature all five characters who have served as Batman's crime-fighting partner: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne, and Stephanie Brown.
"The concept of Robin for so many people is the way that you get into superhero comics," Seeley tells EW. "It's a kid who gets to hang out with Batman. That's who you want to be when you're a kid, right? I mean, that was me when I was a kid. And each generation kind of gets a Robin. If you're my age, you got Dick Grayson — because you got to see him go through Teen Titans, become Nightwing, and then grow up with you. The generation after me got Tim Drake, and then there's Damian who is for kids in the last 10-15 years. And then you've got Red Hood now as the cool badass Robin for the ladies and for people who are attracted to that kind of guy."
Seeley continues, "But I think if you put them all together, you're saying they all have the same value and weight and they're all important, and who could resist that?"'
Yet each Robin has also performed the role in their own way. They have different backgrounds, fighting styles, and personalities (not to mention ages), so the fact that Robins is about five of them can still avoid overlap or repetition.
"They all carry their weight differently, which is really cool because their personality definitely reflects how they fight," Rivas says. "Tim gave me some great issues to study up on, on how they fight and their signature moves, which was very interesting. Damian's just a little firecracker, man. I've really been enjoying drawing Stephanie as well. She's going to be shining later on throughout this series."
When it comes to fighting styles specifically, Seeley adds, "Jason learned to fight on the streets, so he's like a bare-knuckle brawler. Damian has got all this training, so he's got this elegance to him. Dick is like a jazz musician: It's freeform, and he moves like a circus acrobat. And Stephanie, she's just kind of ticked off because her dad was a crappy supervillain. It's so much fun to play that as many different ways as you can."
Robins #1, a digital-first comic, goes on sale Nov. 14. Below, check out exclusive "workout" variants for the first four issues featuring covers by Babs Tarr (Dick), Nick Robles (Jason), Marcus To (Tim), and Jen Bartel (Stephanie).
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