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Robin's debut

This is a brief overview of the character. For various versions of the character see Robin (Disambiguation)

Robin is the callsign given to Batman's kid sidekicks. The team of Batman and Robin is commonly referred to as the Dynamic Duo or the Caped Crusaders. Conceived as a vehicle to attract young readership, Robin garnered overwhelmingly positive critical reception, doubling the sales of the Batman related comic books.[1] Dick Grayson appeared as the first Robin in 1940; after his becoming of Nightwing, several different youths have appeared as Robin.

The early adventures of Robin included Star Spangled Comics #65-130 (1947-1952), his first solo feature. The first Robin limited series was published in 1991, featuring Tim Drake's training to become the third Robin. Following two successful sequels, the monthly Robin ongoing series began in 1993 and was published until 2009. With Damian Wayne as the new Robin, a new series, entitled Red Robin, takes the place of the previous Robin series; it will follow Tim Drake in his new superhero role as he searches for Bruce Wayne.

History

About a year after Batman's debut, Batman creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger, along with inker/later ghost artist Jerry Robinson, introduced Robin the Boy Wonder in Detective Comics #38 (1940).

The name "Robin the Boy Wonder" and the medieval look of the original costume were inspired by the Errol Flynn movie The Adventures of Robin Hood.[2] Later re-tellings of Robin's origin have instead often said the name comes from the robin bird, not Robin Hood.

Although Robin is best known as Batman's sidekick, three Robins have also been members of the superhero group the Teen Titans with the original Robin, Dick Grayson, being a founding member and the group's leader.

The following fictional characters have donned the Robin costume at various times in the main DC Universe continuity:

Robin I (Dick Grayson)

See: Dick Grayson

Robin II (Jason Todd)

See: Jason Todd

Robin III (Tim Drake)

See: Tim Drake

Robin IV (Stephanie Brown)

See: Stephanie Brown

Robin V (Damian Wayne)

See: Damian Wayne

Alternate Continuities

Bruce Wayne

A Batman story from the 1950s featured the young Bruce Wayne assuming the identity of Robin, complete with the original costume, in order to learn the basics of detective work from a famous detective named Harvey Harris. This story was later revised in the 1980s to edit out any reference to Bruce Wayne having ever called himself "Robin" or worn any costume before he finally donned his Batman costume as an adult. John Byrne later worked this aspect into his non-canonical story Superman & Batman: Generations.

Post-Crisis, there was one instance in continuity when Bruce Wayne adopted the Robin persona. In Batboy & Robin, a tie-in special to the DC Comics storyline Sins of Youth, Bruce and Tim Drake, the third Robin, had their ages magically switched. In an effort to keep up the illusion of Batman, Bruce had Tim adopt the Batman identity while he is forced to be Robin.

Lance Bruner

He was adopted by Bruce after his father died in an accident. He will pick up Robin's mask to help Batman defeat Grantland Stark, a thief who stole millions of dollars in oil, but will die sacrificing himself for Batman.

Earth-Two Dick Grayson

On Earth-Two, home of the Golden Age version of DC's superheroes, Grayson continued to be Robin even as adult, having no successors, and even after Batman's death. His allies included the All-Star Squadron along with Batwoman and Flamebird. He eventually became a member of the Justice Society of America.

During his later years, he adopted a more Batman-like look for a time, and by the 1960s had become a lawyer and the ambassador to South Africa. Although in semi-retirement, he was called back to active duty when he rejoined the Justice Society during the period when Power Girl and Star-Spangled Kid also assisted them.

He died during the 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths, in which the DC Multiverse was reduced to one universe, and this version of Grayson, as well as the Earth-Two Batman, were deemed never to have existed.

Earth-31

Similar to Earth-Prime, Dick Grayson served as Robin after his parents were murdered. The relationship between him and Batman was poor, to the point of even abusive in places. Grayson was fired by Batman and replaced with Jason Todd. During The Dark Knight Strikes Again, it is revealed that he had been driven insane and become the second Joker.

Much like the Prime-Earth, Jason Todd served as his replacement and was killed in action during an encounter with the Joker. His death haunts Batman and was one of the factors for leaving his crusade.

During Batman's return ten years later in The Dark Knight Returns, teenager Carrie Kelley becomes Robin after being saved by the Dark Knight. Initially patrolling the streets independently, she officially joins his crusade after saving him from the Mutant Leader. Together, they dismantle the Mutant street gang, face the Joker one final time, and maintain order in Gotham after a nuclear strike. Three years later, Carrie continues to operate alongside him, taking up the mantles of Catgirl, Batgirl and Batwoman.

52

In the final issue of 52, a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities. Among the parallel realities shown is one designated "Earth-2". As a result of Mister Mind "eating" aspects of this reality, it takes on visual aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-2, including Robin among other Justice Society of America characters. The names of the characters and the team are not mentioned in the panel in which they appear, but the Robin is visually similar to the Dick Grayson Robin of the pre-Crisis Earth-2 Because Grayson, Todd, and Drake are all black-haired Caucasians, it is not possible to assign an alter ego based on the single image.

Based on comments by Grant Morrison, this alternate universe is not the pre-Crisis Earth-2. However, in the Justice Society of America Annual #1, published in the summer of 2008, Silver Scarab explains that the events of the Crisis are remembered by the people of this Earth-2, and from their perspective, Earth-2 seemed to be the only Earth to have survived the Crisis, raising theories as to whether or not Earth-2 was really destroyed, or was perhaps replaced by a new Earth-2. Certainly Robin, the Huntress, and their fellow Justice Society members are all alive and appear to be exactly the same as those pre-Crisis.

Indeed, in Justice Society of America #20, (December 2008), Starman explains that during the re-expansion of the DC Multiverse, Earth-2 was reborn "... along with everyone on it", including Robin.

Other Versions

  • In Frank Miller's Dark Knight Universe, the Robin identity was taken up by teenaged girl Carrie Kelley, who serves as the third incarnation. She serves as a supporting character in The Dark Knight Returns, The Dark Knight Strikes Again and Dark Knight III: The Master Race. Carries also uses the aliases Catgirl, Batgirl and Batwoman.
  • An entirely different version of Robin was created for the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises in the form of a Gotham City policeman who goes by the name of John Blake, who becomes a trusted ally to Batman after deducing his identity. Much like Bruce Wayne, he lost both his parents when he was just a child. Blake's legal name is ultimately revealed to be Robin, and it is implied that he will become a masked vigilante after receiving the coordinates to the Batcave from Wayne at the end of the film.
  • Like The Dark Knight trilogy, a reimagined version of Robin appears in Sam Hamm and Joe Quinones' Batman '89 comic series. The character is named Drake Winston and his appearance is based on Marlon Wayans, who was cast to portray the character in Batman Returns and Batman Forever before being replaced by Chris O'Donnell. Winston's costume shares a number of similarities to Tim Drake and Damian Wayne's costume.

Robin monthlies

The first Robin miniseries was printed in 1992 following Tim Drake's debut as Robin. The series centered around Tim's continued training and set up villains linked to the character. It was followed up by another series Robin II: Joker's Wild which pitted Tim against his predecessor's murderer the Joker. With Batman out of town, it was up to Tim and Alfred to end the Joker's latest crime spree. A final miniseries, Robin III: Cry of Huntress wrapped up the trilogy, teaming Tim with the Huntress. In 1994, the success of the three miniseries led to the ongoing Robin series was published to 2009. The title will be replaced by a Batman and Robin series following the 'Battle For the Cowl' mini-series, with Drake moving to his own series titled Red Robin. During Infinite Frontier, an ongoing Robin series began publishing again starring Damian Wayne.

See

References

  1. Batman: The Complete History
  2. The Comics Journal #271

External links

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