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Nightwing VS Red Hood

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Written by Michael Wynands How did these robins do after leaving the nest? Let’s find out! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be going blow for blow with Red Hood and Nightwing, two ex-wards of Bruce Wayne and past Boy Wonders to see which has done better for themselves after striking out on their own. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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How did these robins do after leaving the nest? Let’s find out! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be going blow for blow with Red Hood and Nightwing, two ex-wards of Bruce Wayne and past Boy Wonders to see which has done better for themselves after striking out on their own.

Round 1: Ingenuity


When you put yourself at odds with both the villains and vigilantes in Gotham city, you need to be two steps ahead at all times. And when he made his big comeback under the moniker of the Red Hood, Jason Todd proved that he could plan, scheme and plot with the best of them. Armed with a diverse skill set and alternative, pessimistic views on the realities of crime in Gotham, he used his outside-the-box thinking and keen strategic mind to “save the city” by becoming its new crime lord. By consistently outwitting all parties involved, he managed to do this while simultaneously getting revenge against the heroes and villains who had previously wronged him.

Dick Grayson, the original Robin, is an inherently creative individual. You can see it in his fighting style - he continues to be defined by his trapeze artist past. As Batman’s first ward and sidekick, Dick Grayson arguably got the best training Batman had to offer. As such he is a skilled detective, just like his mentor. After striking out on his own as Nightwing, Dick has proven himself more than capable of solving crimes independently and, in keeping with his acrobatic past, thinking on his feet to stick an unlikely landing in even the trickiest of situations.

Though Dick is indeed creative in his own right, his generally positive outlook and good-nature hold him back from exploring his craftier side. After his fall into darkness, Jason Todd returned a bonafide criminal mastermind. Getting a leg up on Batman himself? That takes next-level ingenuity. For that reason, we’ve got to give this round to Red Hood.

WINNER: Red Hood 1/ Nightwing 0

Round 2: Intellect


A creative mind and an intelligent mind are not always one and the same. In Jason Todd’s case, however, he was undeniably blessed with both. Though it might not have shown during his tenure as the Boy Wonder (when he was defined first and foremost as a hot-head), since striking out on his own, Jason has made it amply clear that he is in possession of a genius level intellect much like his Bat Family members. A weak mind couldn’t possibly handle the sort of scientific and linguistic training Jason received from Batman, let alone the many complex concepts he’s been able to master in the training he later undertook on his own.

Like we said, anyone who joins Batman’s inner circle must be blessed with genius level intellect. Considering what the Dark Knight expects from his pupils, anyone with an IQ that was simply “above average” would surely fail to make the grade established by Bruce Wayne’s nearly inhumanly high standards. Like Jason Todd, Dick Grayson is a multi-linguist, a scientific and technologically skilled individual who, in the real world, would be considered a super genius. With his uncanny ability for detective work, he has even proved a competent replacement as Batman - and that’s a mantle that requires serious intelligence.

This one is a really tight race. Perhaps we’ve simply had more opportunities to see Grayson work, but across their respective careers, it feels as if he’s flexed his cognitive muscles in more obvious and bigger ways than Jason. Add to that his emotional and social intelligence, which make him such a great leader. It’s almost too close to call, but Nightwing takes the round by a hair.

WINNER: Red Hood 1/ Nightwing 1

Round 3: Adaptations


There are few DC animated films that can hold a candle to the excellent 2010 movie “Batman: Under the Red Hood” which wonderfully adapted the tale of Jason’s return to Gotham and his reckoning with the man who killed him, the Joker, and the father who failed him, Batman. Voiced brilliantly Jensen Ackles, this take on the Red Hood was every bit as sarcastic, brooding, vindictive, badass and conflicted as you could have asked for. The film was mature and dealt with Batman’s guilt over the loss of Jason Todd head on. To say that it did Red Hood justice would be a serious understatement.

As the first and most recognizable Robin, Dick Grayson has gotten the sort of screen time that makes other DC comic book characters jealous. Even if we ignore the Robin appearances and limit ourselves to his Nightwing appearance, he boasts an impressive filmography. In both the New Batman Adventures and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Dick graduated to Nightwing and continued as a recurring or regular character. He appears in the aforementioned “Under the Red Hood” film, as well as many others, including Batman: Bad Blood, and Batman vs. Robin, and even a central role in Batman and Harley Quinn.

Arguably, Jason Todd’s movie “Under the Red Hood” is better than any of Nightwing’s single roles in film or television. However, due to the sheer number of quality animated adaptations he’s received, Nightwing takes this round too, and with it… the lead.

WINNER: Red Hood 1/ Nightwing 2

Round 4: Origin


First introduced as a blond-haired Dick Grayson knock-off, Todd was retconned as a homeless orphan caught stealing the tires off the Batmobile in crime alley. After becoming an angry, rebellious Robin, he was brutally murdered in 1988 by the Joker - with a little help from reader vote-in. Flash forward to 2005, and an early Joker alias has returned… the Red Hood. Over the course of a thrilling story arc, we learn that Jason has been resurrected and that, after training himself in the arts Batman would never approve of, he has returned to fix Gotham the way his mentor never could, and to force Batman to do what he has so long refused to do - kill the Joker. Chill-inducing, right?

After only a handful of heavy-hitting superheroes like Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman himself, Dick Grayson has arguably one of the best-known origin stories in comic book history. Not bad for a sidekick! As a part of the Flying Graysons, a trapeze artist family, Dick had a relatively happy and fulfilling life until the day that his parents were killed under the order of mobster Tony Zucco. Drawn to the boy’s similar sense of loss, Bruce Wayne takes him as his ward and sidekick. Unfortunately, being the adopted son of Batman isn’t easy, and over the years, a strained relationship would result in Dick Grayson striking out on his own as Nightwing.

It goes without saying but… Dick Grayson has a WAY better Robin origin story than Jason Todd. But in terms of their respective transition stories from Robin to Nightwing and Red Hood? Todd’s makes for a much more thrilling read. Red Hood ties it up!

WINNER: Red Hood 2/ Nightwing 2

Round 5: Skills


Like we said, after finding his way back to the world of the living, Jason Todd took it upon himself to go on his very own Bruce Wayne style world training quest, but with a twist - he specifically aimed to develop the sort of brutal criminal skillsets of which Batman would never approve. So, in addition to the traditional Robin skillset, which includes hand to hand combat, scientific and technological knowledge, detective skills, a mastery of melee weapons, etc, he’s also an incredible marksman with firearms, a skilled explosives expert, and is talented in the arts of assassination and poisoning. In summary, he’s someone you DON’T want to mess with.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… there are perks to being the first Robin to be taken under Batman’s wing. Call it luck of the draw, or credit it to a more dedicated training courtesy of Bruce, but Dick Grayson is widely considered to be the most gifted of all the Robins. On more than one occasion, it’s been stated that he was certainly the most naturally gifted. His sharp mind helped him to quickly learn the various tools of the trade, and he proved incredibly adept at learning all forms of combat. What really sets him apart from his peers, however, is his background in acrobatics, in which he surpasses even Batman in ability.

Honestly, both of these ex-Robins are to be commended for the skills they’ve acquired over the years. Each has diverse strengths which make them stand out, but at the end of the day, Dick’s base level superior “Robin skills,” plus his acrobatic abilities, give him a slight edge over Jason’s more weapon-dependent fighting style. And with that… Nightwing takes the win!

WINNER: Red Hood 2/ Nightwing 3

It would seem that in this battle between the first and second Robin, the original ward remains the most successful! Dick Grayson, AKA Nightwing, is your winner!
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