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Which Robin?

Published on July 9th, 2016 | Updated on July 9th, 2016 | By FanFest

We all know the dynamic duo, Batman and Robin, but which Robin are we talking about?  As many of us know that there are five main Robins.  We have Richard “Dick” Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Damian Wayne.  Each Robin has played a significant roll in Bruce’s life and is one of the most well known sidekicks since 1940.

Image: DC Comics
Image: DC Comics

The first Robin to appear was Dick Grayson who was 8 years-old.  His parents John and Mary ran a death defying circus act, that Dick was a part of.  A gangster named Boss Zucco extored money from the Grayson’s.  When they didn’t deliver, Zucco sabotaged their trapeze equipment murdering the young Dick’s parents.  Dick vowed to get revenge.  Sounds like someone else we know. That someone else, Bruce, took Dick under his custody and investigated the crime together.  They were able to collect the evidence they needed to bring Zucco to justice.

Dick was known as “The Boy Wonder” from 1940 through 1969.  He was the happy go lucky out of the Robins.  He was the light to Batman’s shadow.  As he got older, he became the success of  ‘The New Teen Titans.’  He left Batman’s shadow to assume the identity of Nightwing.  However, he did aid Batman throughout the later storyline with second Robin, Jason Todd.

  • Appearances:
    • Robin
      • Detective Comics # 38 (April 1940)
    • Nightwing
      • Tales of the Teen Titans #44 (July 1984)

 

Image: DC Comics
Image: DC Comics

In 1983 there was a new appearance of a Robin, Jason Todd.  Todd was also the son of circus acrobats who were murdered by the criminal, Killer Croc.  He was also adopted by Bruce Wayne.  A big difference between him and Grayson was their hair color.  Dick had black hair, while Jason had Red.  He wore his circus costume while fighting justice with the Dark Knight.  Dick presented him with a Robin suit of his very own once he proved himself.  At this point, he colored his hair black.

In ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths‘ (1985) DC was redone.  Grayson’s origin remained the same, but Todd’s character was completely revised.  He was a black haired street orphan who encountered Batman, when he attempted to steal tires from the Batmobile.  Batman made sure he was put in a school for troubled youths.  Later, when Grayson became Nightwing, Todd had become Robin.  This was not something just given to him though, he had to prove himself worthy enough.  He was able to do this by helping batman catch a gang of robbers.

In 1988 readers were given a poll to kill off Todd, since people did not get attached to him. The votes were in, readers wanted to see Jason killed.  In ‘A Death in the Family’ the Joker murdered Todd, with a crowbar and left him in a warehouse with a rigged bomb.  Todd had later returned as the new Red Hood. He was brought back to life due to reality being altered.

  • Appearances:
    • Jason Todd
      • Batman #357 (March 1983)
    • Robin
      • Batman #366 (December 1983)
    • Red Hood
      • Batman #635 (February 2005)
    • Nightwing
      • Nightwing (Vol 2) #188 (May 2006)
    • Red Robin
      • Countdown to Final Crisis #14 (January 2008)
    • Batman
      • Batman: Battle for the Cowl#1 (May 2009)
    • Wingman
      • Batman Incorporated (Vol2) #1 (July 2012)

 

Image: DC Comics
Image: DC Comics

Following Jason Todd, Tim Drake had stepped in.  As a young boy, Drake had followed the adventures of Batman and Robin.  He witnessed the murder of the ‘Flying Graysons.’  This allowed Drake to have some sort of connection with Dick.  Compared to Dick, Tim was no match with his fighting skills, however he had much better detective skills.  To readers, Tim was a happy medium between Grayson and Todd.  He was not overly well behaved like Grayson but not nearly as rude as Todd.

Drake was the first Robin to have his own comic book series.  He was the co-founder of the Young Justice.  After the Young Justice disbanded, he reformed Teen Titans.

Following the events of ‘Infinite Crisis’ and ‘The New 52’, Tim had altered the colors of the Robin suit to red and black.  This was to pay tribute to Superboy who had died fighting Earth-Prime Superboy.

With the DC relaunch, history was altered and Drake never rook up Robin after Jason Todd’s death.  He felt as if it was too inappropriate.  Instead, he served as Batman’s sidekick under the name of Red Robin.

  • Appearances:
    • Tim Drake
      • Batman #436 (August 1989)
    • Robin
      • Batman #422 (December 1989)
    • Red Robin
      • Red Robin #1 (August 2009)
    • Batman
      • The New 52: Futures End #47 (March 2015)

 

Image: DC Comics
Image: DC Comics

Stephanie Brown was the next to put on the cape to become Robin.  Stephanie is Tim Drake’s girlfriend, who was known as the Spoiler before she became Robin.  Once Tim has resigned, Stephanie had volunteered for the position of Robin.  Batman fired the Girl Wonder for not obeying orders.  To try and prove her worth, Stephanie stole Bruce’s incomplete plans to control Gotham crime and execute it.  In doing so, she set off Gang wars.  She was then captured and tortured by Black Mask.  Brown managed to escape but died due to injuries.  Drake keeps a memorial to Brown in a hideout under the Titans Tower.

Brown appeared alive and stalking Tim after he traveled around the globe.  Dr. Leslie Thompkins faked Stephanie’s death in an effort to protect her.  Brown operated on and off as the Spoiler until she replaced Barbara Gordon as Batgirl.  in Flashpoint she was reconnected as Robin

  • Appearances:
    • Stephanie Brown
      • Detective Comics #647 (August 1992)
    • Spoiler
      • Detective Comics #648 (September 1992)
    • Robin
      • Robin #126 (July 2004)
    • Batgirl
      • Batgirl #1 (August 2009)

 

Image: DC Comics
Image: DC Comics

The son of Bruce and Talia al Ghul was the next to become Robin.  Talia had left Damian in the care of Bruce.  He was violent and lacking in discipline and morality.  This was mainly because he was trained by the League of Assassins.  Damian and his father had a troublesome relationship because he was taught to kill at such an early age, while Batman vowed to never take a life.  The son of the Bat was originally conceived to become a host for his maternal grandfathers soul, to be a pawn against the Dark Knight. Bruce saved him from his fate which caused Ra’s to inhabit his own son’s body.

In ‘Final Crisis‘ Talia left Damian in Dick and Alfred’s care.  ‘Battle for the Cowl‘ Damian is driving the Batmobile and is attacked by Poison Ivy and Killer Croc.  He was rescued by Nightwing who tried to escape, but was shot by Black Mask’s men.  Todd ends up shooting the thugs, and shoots Damian in the chest.  The final issue, Alfred made Damian into Robin.  His first task was to rescue Tim, while Grayson took on Batman.

  • Appearances:
    • Baby
      • Batman: Son of the Demon (1987)
    • Damian Wayne
      • Batman #655 (September 2006)
    • Robin
      • Batman and Robin #1 (August 2009)

In addition to these Robins, there have been a few others.  They have not had nearly the same impact on readers as the ones above had.  Some of which include, Bruce Wayne, Elseworlds Robin, Carrie Kelley, Talon, and Helena Wayne.  Now that we have met all of the Robins, who do you think was the best fit for Bruce? They all affected him differently and were all to give readers a source of hope. He will always be known as the light in Batman’s shadow.

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