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For the character from the Joel Schumacher Batman films, see: Robin (Schumacherverse)

Robin was a vigilante operating in Gotham City. A resident of Burnside, Drake Winston fought to protect the impoverish in the city and combat crime in the neighborhood. Robin would have several encounters with the Batman, eventually joining his crusade to help defeat Two-Face.

Biography

Early Life

A teenager living in Burnside, Drake Winston was a member of a once prominent family who ran automobile company. However, due to a buyout by Wayne Motors, he was left homeless. It is currently unknown what happened to his family.[1] Taking work as a mechanic working for the Royal Autobody, Drake was allowed to live in a spare room above the garage floor by Jerome Otis. In his spare time, Drake was working on a network to obtain car components for the shop[2] and kept birds.[3] He also seemed to bear a grudge against police and people outside Burnside.

At some point before his encounter with Batman, Drake decided to fight crime in Gotham as a vigilante. Donning a makeshift costume consisting of his work boiler suit, a black poncho and a yellow ski mask, he began patrolling Burnside. According to Catwoman, Drake had taken therapy with the same psychiatrist as her, claiming to be Batman's sidekick.[3]

Batman '89

Meeting Batman

Robin's first encounter with Batman.

Drake first encountered Batman after he chased a thief to his home. Believing the Dark Knight intended to attack or arrest the kid, he drew his attention by pretending to be in peril on the fire escape. When Batman investigated, Drake attacked and knocked him from the building. Robin then fled through the building, offering the kid change for he owned Otis to ensure he could pay for the supplies he stole.[4]

Drake at Royal Autobody

The following morning, Drake finished repairs on Harvey Dent's car. He also informed him of his lack of change, claiming he'd spent it on lunch. When Dent arrived at the shop, he asked for Drake's help to search for a special model. However, he refused due to his association with the police.

Conflict with the Batmen

Drake did not take part in the protests at Burnside Park, instead walking by and dismissing Dent's address to the community. Noticing a group of Batman copycats, he enquired what they were doing in the district before leaving them. However, when the group began to break into a nearby electronics store, Drake changed into his costume and subdued the group. As bystanders appeared on the scene, he recommended that they locked them into a dumpster and took his leave. Some of the nearby children began to refer to him as "Robin" due to the thugs claims he was "robbin' [the store]" and his interruptions. Unknown to him, the group had a straggler who followed him to the Royal Autobody.

Fire at the Royal Autobody

Drake later watched the meeting at the Royal Autobody between Bruce Wayne and the Burnside council. Unlike the others, he was disinterested in Wayne's offers to the community. He also became suspicious after the millionaire mentioned Nyesha Burroughs.[1] Claiming to be taking a nap, Drake went to the rooftops, where he witnessed the Batman copycats break into the Autobody shop to get back at him. From his vantage point, he saw them run into an alleyway and noticed a disguised Bruce chase after them. After they were subdued, he suspected Bruce was responsible and realized he was Batman.[2][3]

Learning Dent had gone inside the burning shop to rescue him, Drake returned to the scene to rescue the District Attorney. Discovering Wayne inside, he helped him drag the DA to safety moments before the Autobody exploded. As Dent was taken away, Drake asked Bruce on how serious his condition was. Drake remained behind on the scene to give Lt. Bullock and the GCPD a statement. Though he'd originally planned to give him up, he covered for Bruce's apparent actions, coming to the conclusion he had good intentions behind the crusade.[1][3]

Burnside Riots

Though homeless due to the autobody's destruction, Drake refused help and shelter from the other residents, staying the night in one of the shop's vans. The following morning, Otis and Culp approached him with donated clothes and possessions from the other residents. During it, he let them know that the Batmen had targeted the business because of him. Drake also called Wayne Manor to talk to Bruce, hoping to get further information about his activities. He later overheard from other citizens that the Batmen had been released on bail.[3]

Drake also monitored the protests at Burnside in response to this, planning to respond to escalation if Batman didn't. When the police began surrounding and antagonizing the crowds, he took to action. After dropping a bag of spray-paint on the commanding officer, Drake deployed cans to the protesters to help fend off the officers. This led to further riots and eventually withdrawal of the police. Protesters also took notice of Drake, who declared his protection of the neighborhood from its rooftops.

Confronting Batman

The following day, Drake was invited to Wayne Manor to meet with Bruce. After tending to his birds with Otis, he was picked up by Alfred and driven to the house. After being shown around the hall and several of Bruce's ancestors, he met with Wayne in the library.

Asking him to come forward and testify against the arsonists, Drake revealed he knew of Bruce's vigilante activities and his suspicions that he'd subdued the group after they set light to the Royal's shop floor. When Wayne denied his accusations and told him that Catwoman was responsible, Drake laughed off his accusations, believing her to be an urban legend. Wanting to provoke a fight, he drew a capsule of water, claiming it to be acid. This resulted in a fight between them, ultimately ending with Drake being grounded. Finally proven correct, Drake revealed he was the vigilante he'd encountered.

Invited to stay for dinner, Drake revealed how he'd discovered the duality and why he'd not turned him over to the GCPD. During the discussion, he told Bruce how his activities were only short-term and how he also inspired people the arsonists to commit crimes in his name. Eventually asking to see his car, Drake was taken into the Batcave. During it, he offered to join his crusade as his helper rather than his enemy,[1] which Bruce accepted.

Battle at Gotham Police Headquarters

Robin rescues Batman

Over the next couple of weeks, Drake began training by Bruce to help in his activities, including gadget and vehicle operation. During it, his Robin costume was upgraded with several components from his previous Batsuit. On the night of "Two-Face's" attack on Gotham Police Headquarters, Robin drove the Batmobile and followed his instructions to evade a chasing police officer. When they learned of an attack on the building via Alfred's reports and the Batsignal ignition, they agreed to help and summoned the Batcycle to a nearby location.

While Batman confronted Dent and his goons, Drake navigated the rooftops and subdued the snipers. After locating one, he subdued the man and interrogated him on his activities, knocking him out when he learned he'd been aiming randomly. After subduing another two, Robin left them bound up for the police and used the Batcycle's grappling hook to help Batman escape the GCPD. The duo then fled on the cycle and returned to the Batcave.

Tracking Two-Face

After the attack, Drake learned of Dent's leadership of the attack and Gordon's capture. Whilst they waited for a signal from a Knockout Dart lost in the scuffle, he helped perform maintenance on the Batmobile. When they got a location on it, they deduced it was Dent due to the location he was heading: Gotham Park. Whilst Batman tailed Dent, Drake visited the area, picking up on several cops and Two-Face's thugs in the area to back up either Sgt. Gordon or Two-Face in the confrontation. Watching the ensuing confrontation, he waited for Burce instructions before Catwoman arrived and helped Dent escape. Drake was surprised by her appearance due to his regard for her as an urban legend.[5]

Personality

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Equipment

Appearances

Behind the Scenes

Films

Robin was originally planned to be included at various points in production for the Tim Burton Batman films. However, the character was continually scrapped from the series despite interest to include him from Warner Bros. It is speculated that Burton may have been responsible for Robin's constant removal due to his vocal dislike for the character.

  • In Tom Mankiewicz's script, Dick Grayson featured in the final act of the film. After losing his parents in an act organized by the Joker, he would fostered by Bruce Wayne with help from Silver St. Cloud. Discovering Batman's identity, Dick would have helped him in the climax capture both the Joker and Rupert Thorne.
  • In pre-production for Batman, Robin was planned to be featured. Child actor Ricky Addison Reed was cast as Dick Grayson.[6] In Sam Hamm's original drafts, the Joker killed the Flying Graysons during a chase scene and Dick was capture trying to avenge them. After rescuing him, Batman brings him to Wayne Manor with the intention to leave him in the care of Alfred. However, Dick later rescues Batman from Joker's Goons after he is injured during the Batwing's crash and, at the film's conclusion, joins his crusade as Robin. Dick was eventually cut from the film at Burton's insistence. Hamm has admitted it was not easy to fit the character into the story and style they had laid out for the original film.
  • Robin appeared in various script drafts of Batman Returns, once again at WB's insistence. In Hamm's original draft, Dick Grayson featured as a homeless prepubescent vigilante. He would gradually ally himself with Batman and help stop Penguin and Catwoman from uncovering the Raven Society's treasures.[7] In subsequent drafts by Daniel Waters, the character was changed to an unnamed teenage garage mechanic who fixed the Batmobile after the Penguin wrecked it. Marlon Wayans was cast, and signed for a sequel. However, when Wesley Strick replaced Waters as screenwriter, many elements of the script, including Robin, were scaled back for budget at the last minute.

Though constantly cut out of Burton's films, a version of Grayson's Robin (played by Chris O'Donnell) would be featured in both Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. For a time, this character was considered part of the "Burtonverse". However, after the announcement of Batman '89, Michael Keaton's return as Batman in The Flash and their disregard for both Schumacher films, their iteration has been considered a different version of Robin.

Comic

Robin concept art for Quinones' original Batman '89 pitch

Robin featured in Joe Quinones' original pitch for Batman '89. Like Waters' drafts for Returns, he would have featured as a teenaged mechanic and ally of Batman. It is currently unknown whether he was planned to be a direct adaptation of Grayson or another version of the character.

In the series itself, Robin takes multiple elements from the planned appearances in Returns. These include his independent activities as a vigilante, his job as a mechanic, and design based on Marlon Wayans. Drake's Robin costume also shares a number of similarities with both Neal Adams' redesign for Tim Drake and Damian Wayne's original costume. Some elements are also taken from the original Batman '89 pitch.

In the original drafts and sketches, Robin was given the alias "Richard Drake", an amalgamation of both Dick Grayson and Tim Drake.[8][9] Eventually, Hamm settled on the name "Drake Winston".[10][11]

Gallery

Teasers
Concept Art

References

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