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.
Drake Winston was a young mechanic working for the Royal Autobody. Apparently homeless, the owner Jerome Otis allowed him to sleep in a room above the garage floor. In his spare time, Drake was working on a network to obtain car components for the shop. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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 possibly realized he was Batman.
Returning to the scene, Drake accompanied Bruce in rescuing Dent, who'd entered the burning building in an attempt to rescue him. He helped Wayne drag the DA to safety moments before the shop exploded. As Dent was taken away, Drake asked Bruce on how serious his condition was, leading him to learn that Dent was likely serious affected by inhaling the acid that had disfigured him. Drake remained behind on the scene to give Lt. Bullock and the GCPD a statement. Though he'd seen the incident, he covered for Bruce's apparent vigilantism.
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. He later overheard from other citizens that the Batmen had been released on bail.
- Bo Staff
Behind the Scenes
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. Like his comic counterpart, he would have lost his parents in an act organized by the Joker and 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. 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. 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.
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.
- Concept Art
- Batman '89 #2
- Batman '89 #3
- Batman '89 #1
- The Dark Knight Revised - Comics Scene #14
- Neal Adams: Renaissance Man Part IV, by Rik Offenberger, via WayBack Machine - ComicsBulletin.com
- DC Nation on Twitter: "And here's a special look inside @Joe_Quinones' Batman '89 sketchbook... https://t.co/VdSHUuhM9t" / Twitter
- Joe Quinones on Twitter: "Today’s the day! Issue 1 of #Batman89 is out now! Love this quote from @SamuelHamm. Here’s some looks at “Robin and Batman”" | Twitter
- Joe Quinones on Twitter: "First look at my cover to issue 4 of Batman ‘89, featuring Drake Winston aka ROBIN #batman89" | Twitter
- Joe Quinones on Twitter: "That was an early draft name for him before Sam settled on Winston" | Twitter