Robin vs Deathstroke is a rivalry that has had fans talking for decades. While there have been many Robins, we’ll be focusing on the fifth and most recent, Batman’s son Damian Wayne. Though Damien is hated by most fans, he’s actually a very interesting character and has clashed with Deathstroke in the comics, though the result was inconclusive. They also had an awesome battle in the animated movie “DCU: Son of Batman,” though Damian’s win here was extremely questionable. More on that later. In any case, let’s take a look at the powers, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses of Robin and Deathstroke, and see who would win in a fair fight with no plot armor.
Robin (Damian Wayne) Biography
Damien Wayne is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. He was conceived after Talia drugged Batman and had her way with him in a rather dark turn of events. Damien would be grown and genetically perfected in an artificial womb, and subsequently trained from birth by the League of Assassins to be the ultimate warrior.
Eventually, Talia drops Damian off with Bruce to disrupt his operations as Batman. This plan was somewhat successful as Damian was an obnoxious boy full of pride and selfishness. He was also extremely violent, going so far as to launch a sneak attack on the current Robin at the time, Tim Drake. Damien even killed the first villain he fought, something Batman did not approve of. Even though his son was a murderer, Batman did not turn him over to the cops and instead tried to lead him down the right path.
Damien would first take on the mantle of Robin during the Battle for the Cowl story arc which revolves around the feud between Jason Todd and Dick Grayson after the apparent death of Batman. Ultimately Grayson would win and become the new Batman, while Damien would become the new Robin. However, Damien had absolutely no respect for Dick and would crave the identity of Batman for himself. Despite this, Dick manages to teach Damien empathy to a degree and helps the boy stop being a total sociopath.
To help Damien learn the value of friendship, Dick took him to join the Teen Titans. Unfortunately, his time with the team would end poorly thanks to his hot-headedness, arrogance, and cold-blooded nature. Even so, Damien would develop as a character by learning patience and coming to realize that Dick Grayson is his one true friend.
Slade Wilson joined the US Army at the age of 17 and was put on the covert unit Team 7 due to his impressive skills as a soldier. After retiring from the military following the disbanding of Team 7, Slade would take on the identity Deathstroke and work as a mercenary. One of his earliest exploits would be his part in the War of Jokes and Riddles in which villains fought for the privilege of killing Batman. Here he would fight his rival Deadshot for the first time over five days that led to the deaths of 62 civilians that got caught in the crossfire before Batman put a stop to the carnage.
Deathstroke first encountered Damien Wayne when he was sent to assassinate Maya Ducarad. During the clash, Robin led Deathstroke into a tomb filled with traps, yet this wasn’t enough to stop the world-famous assassin. Ultimately Damien ended up paying off Deathstroke to get him to back off and end his assassination attempt.
Slade would come into conflict with Batman on many occasions as well, such as when Batman got upset when he found documentation stating that Deathstroke was Damien’s real father. Despite Slade claiming the documents were fake, Batman would interfere in many of his contracts, and eventually, the two would have a massive brawl in the Batcave until it was revealed that Talia had falsified the documents in another failed attempt to recruit Deathstroke to the League of Assassins.
Recently Deathstroke was killed by Teen Titan’s member Red Arrow when she shot him in the head with her bow. At his funeral, however, a character named Raptor would supercharge Slade’s healing factor to bring him back to life. Slade would then give up the Deathstroke persona and go into hiding to live in peace as a doctor. Will he ever take up the Deathstroke identity again? Probably.
Robin: Powers & Abilities
Genetically perfected and trailed from birth to be the greatest assassin in human history, Damien Wayne is extremely skilled and proud of it. Here’s a list of what he can do:
- Martial arts master
- Skilled investigator
- Master assassin
- Voice mimicry
- Peak human physical conditioning
- Stealth and infiltration
- Skilled swordsman
- Skilled with throwing weapons
- Genius level intellect
- Business management skills
Despite being only 14 years old, Damien’s intense training has made him a top-tier fighter and assassin. With his martial arts mastery, he can hold his own in combat against skilled foes, or even multiple foes if the situation calls for it. His skills with swords and throwing projectiles just make him even deadlier.
Damien also has a very sharp mind and has been able to put his genius-level intellect to good use in learning Batman’s detective skills. This has allowed him to solve mysteries on his own and even find discrepancies in the financial accounts of Wayne Enterprise executives to intimidate them.
Deathstroke: Powers & Abilities
Deathstroke the Terminator is considered the world’s greatest assassin and for good reason. Not only does he possess top-tier martial arts ability and assassination skills, but he also has several superpowers that make him even more of a threat. Here’s a quick list of his power and abilities:
- Superhuman physical attributes
- Healing factor
- Enhanced senses
- Enhanced brain activity
- Decelerated aging
- Toxin immunity
- Master assassin
- Genius level intellect
- Leadership skills and tactical analysis
- Skilled investigator
- Skilled hunter
- Stealth and infiltration
- Weapons master
- Ikon suit
- Godkiller sword
- Aviation and driving skills
- Decades of combat experience
As you can see, Deathstroke’s physical attributes have surpassed human levels. This, combined with his martial arts and weapon skills make him a deadly threat in any situation. Speaking of weapons, it should be noted that Deathstroke is proficient with just about any weapon imaginable from swords, to throwing knives, to guns, and will use whatever is needed to get the job done. He also has various gadgets and gear he can use such as an EMP device, his special Godkiller sword, and his powerful Ikon suit which can deflect bullets.
On top of his martial abilities, Deathstroke is also a tactical genius able to read the flow of combat, track assassination targets around the world, and infiltrate just about any location. While Deathstroke does engage in open combat more often than not, he is very adept at ganking enemies before they even have the opportunity to fight back if he wants.
Deathstroke’s most notable superpower is his healing factor. While not quite at the same level as someone like Deadpool, whose creation was ironically inspired by Deathstroke, he can make a full recovery from practically any injury in a few minutes or hours depending on the severity. Deathstroke was even able to come back to life after taking an arrow to the brain with a little outside help from Raptor as previously mentioned.
One of Robin’s biggest weaknesses is the fact that in a world of super-powered characters, he’s just a normal human. Sure, he may be top-tier in martial arts and assassination, but against opponents with actual superpowers, he will be pushed to his limits to get the win or forced to rely on teammates for help.
Robin’s biggest weakness by far however is his massive ego. Damien’s arrogance has led him to get into situations in which he thinks he’s in control but really isn’t, like the time he let himself get captured by Professor Pyg on purpose only to be overwhelmed by the fiend’s Dollotrons. Damien’s arrogance also causes him to massively underestimate opponents while overestimating his own abilities leading him to engage in battles that are a complete mismatch.
Other personality flaws such as Robin’s cold-blooded nature and his selfishness have made it very difficult for him to work with others. This is what led to him quitting the Teen Titans not long after joining, and even makes his relationship with allies such as Batman, Batgirl, and Nightwing difficult at times. Even Alfred was shocked when the boy ran an ambulance off a bridge while driving the Batmobile. Damian may not be a total sociopath anymore, but he still has many sociopathic traits that drag him down.
While Deathstroke has superhuman physical attributes, they are low-tier. He can snap swords in half with his bare hands, fling people across the room with one arm, and perform normally impossible feats of acrobatics, but you won’t see him dodging bullets or lifting tanks. This can leave him at a disadvantage against opponents that outclass him physically.
Another weakness of Deathstroke is the fact that he had his right eye shot out by his ex-wife Adaline. This presents a significant blind spot that opponents could exploit if they were savvy enough to do so. Also, his eye didn’t regenerate because Deathstroke can’t restore missing body parts or organs, yet another weakness of his.
Deathstroke’s final weakness is his family. Slade has an odd personality in that he doesn’t actually see himself as a villain, but rather as an adventurer and a good man. He cares a lot for his children and they can greatly influence his decision-making. In one instance he was forced to swear loyalty to the Lague of Assassins to save his daughter Rose. He also went to great lengths, including time travel, to try and bring his dead son Grant back to life. In another instance, Deathstroke was led into an ambush when Rose and Jerich were kidnapped during the Gods of War storyline.
Deathstroke vs Robin: Who Would Win in a Fight?
This seems like a pretty simple outcome given that Deathstroke the Terminator has all of Robin’s abilities with several superpowers and decades more battle experience on top of it all. The only real chance Robin has here would be to do something underhanded such as taking Deathstroke’s children hostage to lead him into a trap. While Damien is definitely cold-blooded enough to actually do this, he’s also so arrogant that he likely wouldn’t be satisfied with this kind of victory, so we’re tossing this scenario out.
What about the time when Robin defeated Deathstroke in the animated movie “DCU: Son of Batman,” does this shed any light on how this battle would go? Honestly, not really. While we hate to bring up things like “plot armour” during these thought experiments, Damien had a whole lot of it in that movie. In fact, he performed superhuman feats well beyond his level such as continuing to fight after having both arms impaled by knives, and deflecting bullets with a sword. So yeah, we’re throwing this out too.
Okay, so Robin vs Deathstroke, let’s look at this analytically. With his superhuman strength, Deathstroke can do serious harm to Robin with just a few blows, and given his superhuman speed and agility, he should have no trouble landing them. Also, his Ikon suit and healing factor severely limit Damian’s ability to injure him. Hand-to-hand combat is basically a no-go for Damien, forcing him to use his sword.
This brings us to the fact that Deathstroke dual-wields swords, while Damien uses only one, another potential advantage for Deathstroke. Deathstroke also uses guns and Damien has no head protection, another big disadvantage for the boy. Things are looking pretty grim for Damien, aren’t they? Is there any possible way he could turn the tide of battle and come out on top?
No, not really. In a fair fight, Deathstroke just outclasses Robin in every way imaginable. If Damian took on Deathstroke, the boy would likely find it a very humbling experience, and might even learn something from his opponent. That is if Deathstroke allows him to survive the encounter…
Or Damien could just pay the mercenary off with his dad’s money again. That works too.