And now, wrapping up the sorting of Batman, I present my attempt at sorting four Robins and a Batman.


Dick Grayson / NightwingDick Grayson / Nightwing

I hit him harder than I should. Not sure why. It worries me that it feels so right. (Nightwing)

Dick Grayson, the first of the Robins, was a young acrobat, part of the Flying Graysons, a family trapeze act. When they stopped to perform in Gotham, Tony Zucco tried to try to get a bit of protection money out of the circus. And when the circus said no, Dick’s mother and father fall to their death, in a tragic “accident.” Bruce adopts Dick and eventually the two become the well-known Dynamic Duo.

While Dick has a strong desire for revenge against the guy who killed his parents, it doesn’t really extend beyond that, unlike with Bruce. From there on out, he’s pretty attached to the concept of justice, and to kicking ass. (Also, snark.) He eventually tires of living under Bruce’s thumb and breaks out on his own as Nightwing. He’s loyal, but only so far. But when it comes to bravery, daring, and chivalry, that’s what this Robin is all about.

VERDICT: Gryffindor


Jason ToddJason Todd

I don’t wanna learn to be no crook. I just boost what it takes to survive. (Batman)

I know I originally sorted Red Hood and honestly there isn’t a hell of a lot of difference between Jason Todd and Red Hood, but damnit, he deserves to be in the list of heroes.

Originally a thief, Bruce and Jason first met when Jason was trying to strip the Batmobile. I’m not joking, that’s the cover of Jason Todd’s first issue. He wasn’t well-received, unfortunately, probably because after Dick Grayson riding the line between being a smartass and a good guy, having Jason driving straight towards “asshole” territory might have been a bit much.

This was a kid who was willing to do what was needed to fight crime. He was a criminal himself, sure, but only out of necessity. He even calls out Batman for not going far enough, for not doing what needs doing. At one point, Jason faces a villain on his own, and Batman arrives on the scene only to see said villain plummet twenty-two stories to his death. Jason claims he slipped, but wonders aloud if it would have been so bad if he really did kill the guy. Jason has a goal, and pesky little morals aren’t going to get in his way.

VERDICT: Slytherin


Tim DrakeTim Drake

We’re all blessed with a conscious mind, capable of anything.

After the death of Jason Todd, Batman went it alone. That was, until Tim Drake showed up. Literally. Using clues, deduction, and his sharp mind, he figured out that Bruce Wayne and Batman were one in the same, that Dick Grayson was the first Robin, and that Batman was kind of heading off the rails after Jason Todd’s death. He thought since Batman always had a Robin, that Batman would now need a Robin. And who wouldn’t want a Robin who also wanted to be the greatest detective in the world?

Tim has a noble streak a mile wide, I give him that. He dives headfirst into being Robin, simply because he believes Batman needs the help. However, this is outweighed by his primary drive, which is to become the greatest detective ever. And not in the ambitious sense. He simply wants to solve all the puzzles, to be the cleverest there ever was.

VERDICT: Ravenclaw


Damien WayneDamien Wayne

Don’t patronize me or I’ll break your face. (Batman vol 1 657)

Yep. Bruce has a son.

Damian was born from a test tube and raised by Talia and the League of Assassins. They train him to become their future leader. As a result Damien turns out to be one grade-A ass-kicking punk, and spoiled rotten. He’s not exactly excited about taking over, though, especially when he discovers the identity of his father: Batman. Damian realizes he doesn’t want to lead the League of Assassins. What he wants most is Bruce’s approval, more than anything else. So he concocts a plan to get it. He decides he has to become the next Robin. By killing the previous Robins.

Do I really need to say it?

VERDICT: Slytherin


BatmanBatman

You and I… with what we do… what’s at stake… we can’t fail. Others don’t understand, but even if it’s impossible, we still have to succeed. (Batgirl vol 1 3)

Let me tell you, I thought long and hard on this one.

And what I came to realize is this: there are two Batmans. Simple fact, there really are. There’s the Original Batman, from the classic comics, the television show, the brave hero who was going out to right wrongs. Then there’s what I’ll call the Miller Batman, the guy who sprung out of The Dark Knight Returns, the Batman made wholly out of grim determination and a pool of quiet rage.

I struggled to sort these two in the same house, I really did. For weeks I discussed this with people, poured over source material, agonized over how these two Batmen can be one. But when it comes down to it… they’re not.

So, here’s my best shot at sorting Batman.

Let’s start with what he’s not. He’s not a Hufflepuff. While he certainly values hard work and patience and appreciates loyalty, he’s not exactly about fair play (a millionaire with a hojillion gadgets at his fingertips?). While he shares some traits in common with Hufflepuff, they’re not at the core of Batman’s personality.

He’s also not a Ravenclaw. Listen, he’s the World’s Greatest Detective. I get that. He’s smart as all hell. I get that. But Ravenclaws seek knowledge for the pure sake of it. These guys are your academics. They want to know all the things. Why? To know them. Why does Batman seek knowledge? Why, in Tower of Babel, does he learn the crippling weakness of every other superhero in the universe? Just in case they turn evil.

That ain’t Ravenclaw. I think we know what it really is.

Slytherin. Nobody wants to think of their beloved hero this way (except me) but let’s be honest with ourselves: there’s that edge there. The thirst for revenge, the ultimate goal of kicking evil’s ass, all of it, even the hard-to-reach parts. The part of him that says “Deep down, Clark’s essentially a good person. And deep down, I’m not.”

And note I’m calling him Batman. Let’s talk about Bruce, shall we? Bruce who puts on the face of a millionaire playboy to hide the reality, to disconnect himself from Batman’s ideals to where nobody would think to connect the two. In some instances, both Bruce and Batman are the real thing, two sides to the same man. In this case, Bruce is hiding his real nature, putting on a mask for the world to see, because it is a means to his desired end. And in some instances, Bruce Wayne is the mask, and Batman is the reality. Creating a whole second persona, just to hide who you are. Does it get any more cunning?

Terry: Why were you so sure those voices weren’t coming from you?
Bruce: … The voice kept calling me Bruce. In my mind, that’s not what I call myself.
(Batman Beyond)

But like I said, this is Frank Miller’s Batman. This is the Batman of Loeb, of Nolan. But there’s another Batman that pre-dates this Batman, and to ignore him would do the character a disservice.

The Batman of Yore (and of now, too) is the chivalrous hero we all know. The daring do-gooder who uses both fists and sharp wits to fix all the evils of this world. The brilliant detective who uses all of his skill and power for good, whose burning sense of justice and nobility drives him to persevere.

VERDICT: Original = Gryffindor & Miller = Slytherin


Morgan Dempsey (geardrops.net) is a writer and software engineer, currently living in Silicon Valley, California, USA. She blogs at Inkpunks (inkpunks.com) and reads slush for Scape (scapezine.com). Her fiction is currently available at Redstone SF Issue 14, and will be featured in Broken Time Blues (August 1, 2011). She tweets obsessively as @geardrops.