This week marks the 80th anniversary of Robin, the Boy/Girl/Teen Wonder. Partner to Batman and the world’s first superhero sidekick, Robin has had many variations to his classic red, green, and yellow color scheme over the years. Some have been pretty cool revamps! Others were for the birds. Of course, the common denominator with the Robin identity is being dark haired boy, and the fact remains that two of the more notable Robins—Carrie Kelley and Stephanie Brown—were not that. So keep in mind that this list isn’t rating the heroes, but just their particular suits, including the ones shared by everyone, boys and girls alike. With that said, let's leave the nest and take a gander at these superhero suits! From the far reaches of the Golden Age to the Modern Day, we’re ranking (almost) every major Robin costume from least impressive to absolute best.
Original Earth-Two Costume
First Appearance: Justice League of America #55
Origins: In DC’s Earth-2 universe, an adult Dick Grayson replaced a retired Batman as Gotham’s prime defender.
Hot or Not: BIG NOT! Looks like Dick’s wearing an inflated Batman suit with his canary-yellow cape poking out of what’s supposed to be a dark costume. What was he thinking?
Second Earth-Two Costume
First Appearance: Justice League of America #92
Origins: A notable costume maker designed this for the Earth-Two Robin, who lent it to his Earth-One counterpart after his suit was battle-damaged.
Hot or Not: Not. While an improvement over the previous Earth-Two suit, the all red top and yellow bottom don’t necessarily make for a striking design.
New 52 Red Robin
First Appearance: Teen Titans #1 (2011)
Origins: After breaking away from Batman on a mission to form the Teen Titans, Tim Drake fashioned himself a new costume.
Hot or Not: Big Not! The multiple belts around the body recall a more outdated era of comics, and the large bird wings take the “Robin” theme too far.
Batman v. Superman Robin
First Appearance: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Origins: The costume that either Dick Grayson or Jason Todd wore while at Batman’s side in an unspecified past.
Hot or Not: Not. Looks pretty burnt to a crisp, and Batman never bothered to wash off that Joker graffiti, so it’s not really fit to wear.
Dick Grayson New 52
First Appearance: Nightwing #0
Origins: In order to save Batman from Lady Shiva, teenage Dick Grayson fashioned himself a costume from the Batcave and ran into the field as Robin.
Hot or Not: Not. This costume has gotten a lot of play in recent years, but it’s too dark and busy to sufficiently replace the original design. A mix of Tim Drake’s suit with an odd “R” design, there’s not much that’s unique on its own to stand out.
Batman and Robin
First Appearance: Batman and Robin (1997)
Origins: The second suit Chris O’Donnell’s Dick Grayson wore after joining Batman’s war on crime.
Hot or Not: Not. It’s actually a pretty cool suit on it’s own, and presages Nightwing’s New 52 suit with the red insignia. But that’s the issue, isn’t it? It’s not a proper Robin costume, it’s more of a Nightwing costume with a cape. Plus, there’s the memorable nipples.
First Appearance: Batman Forever (1995)
Origins: Based on the suits from the Flying Graysons, Dick designed this costume then had Alfred make it for him.
Hot or Not: Hot! This suit isn’t too bad, as it’s clearly based on Tim Drake’s then-current design in the 90s. The only alteration being the scalloped edges on the wrists and the fully armored forearms over short-sleeves. The red in the suit looks closer to fuchsia, and of course there are the nipples, but this suit has more pros than cons going for it.
First Appearance: Titans Season One Episode One
Origins: Developed from a secret agency under the employ of Bruce Wayne designed to create Superhero costumes.
Hot or Not: Hot. It’s virtually the same design of the New 52 costume, and for accuracy alone it passes muster. While there may be too much black for the concept of a Robin suit, all the important colors are present to properly represent the Boy Wonder.
The New Batman Adventures
First Appearance: “Sins of the Father”
Origins: Presumably Dick Grayson’s initial Robin costume when he was younger, it saw prominence when adopted by the DCAU’s version of Tim Drake during his Robin career.
Hot or Not: Hot, almost literally. A much warmer costume for a design patterned after a bird of the Springtime, this version of Tim’s suit eschews the green, replacing it with straight black and making the leggings red.
First Appearance: Kingdom Come #2
Origins: Originally worn by an adult Dick Grayson during the Elseworlds: Kingdom Come storyline, the suit found its way to Jason Todd and later Tim Drake when the latter suffered a head injury from an explosion, and later adopted the mantle when Bruce Wayne was presumed dead and Damian Wayne replaced him as Robin.
Hot or Not: Hot, but it’s close. Technically this isn’t a “Robin” suit, yet it’s been worn by Dick, Jason and Tim so it counts. The body of the suit is a cool mix of red and black, with a black cape which infers an evolution in character from the yellow to the yellow and black. The cowl does recall Dr. Midnight, and Stephanie Brown has said as much, but it’s easier on the eyes than the new 52 version.
One Year Later
First Appearance: Robin #148
Origins: After being away from Gotham for a year after Infinite Crisis, Tim returned with a new suit and a renewed determination to be the best partner to Batman that he could be.
Hot or Not: Not. This one’s tricky because it recalls Tim’s suit from the animated series, only with full-length forearms and a scalloped cape and gauntlets. It’s different, but more like Batman and less like Robin.
Jason Todd New 52
First Appearance: Red Hood and the Outlaws #3
Origins: With the New 52 rebooting continuity, Jason Todd’s Robin suit was updated to be different from Dick Grayson’s.
Hot or Not: Hot! This is a neat design for a Robin, adding little embellishes that infer Jason’s future as the adult Red Hood. Red accents to the costumes are adorned throughout, as is a red mask while keeping plenty of green with the yellow cape.
First Appearance: Batman and Robin #1 (2009)
Origins: After Dick Grayson adopted the role of Batman in the wake of Bruce Wayne’s presumed death, he took in Bruce’s son Damian as his partner, keeping an eye on the volatile son of Batman and Talia.
Hot or Not: Hot. As the current Robin costume it’s one of the least juvenile-looking suits out there with the army boots and full-length sleeves. The gray clashes with the primary and secondary colors, but the addition of the hood is a cool feature.
First Appearance: Detective Comics #38
Origins: Upon completing his training from Bruce Wayne, acrobat and orphan Dick Grayson took up this costume and the superhero handle of Robin!
Hot or Not: It’s the classic Robin costume! You don’t disrespect the classics! The red-breasted tunic, yellow cape and green boots and gloves find themselves in nearly every incarnation, used by both Jason Todd and Carrie Kelley. The perfect light to Batman’s dark, the suit works thematically to both the concept of Robin as a lighter character, and to Dick Grayson’s sunny personality. That said, the pixie boots get their fair share of mockery while the green shorts have forever been a sticking point of derision, second only to Chris O’Donnell’s rubber nipples. It’s not thoroughly timeless, but at the end of the day it’s still the classic Robin suit from which all others came.
Tim Drake’s Original Costume
First Appearance: Batman #457
Origins: Not wanting Tim to carry the burden of his predecessors by wearing the traditional Robin costume, Batman designed a new one with Kevlar armor and ninja-toed boots for stealth.
Hot or Not: HOT! This, in this humble writer’s opinion, is the best Robin costume. It has many elements of the original, but improves upon some of the dated qualities. With the green leggings complemented by the black and yellow cape and black ninja-boots, Tim’s suit is both minimalist and expansive in detail. It’s the suit the producers went with in incorporating Robin in Batman: the Animated Series, as well as Teen Titans and The Batman cartoon. With its red, yellow and green color palette, everyone recognizes the suit as Robin, but without the snickering and giggles brought on by the Dick Grayson original. Hands down, this is the best Robin suit of them all.