Published by: Shlok Singh / Date: 28 June 2016
The Legend of all the Robins
We all love Batman. He’s the greatest detective, a watchful protector, a silent guardian and a Dark Knight. We all think he’s the best hero in DC universe. But even the best needs help on-field or off-field. Batman has had Alfred 24/7. The batman has also been helped by Catwoman, Arrow, Flash, and Green Lantern. The team of Superman and Batman is known as ‘The Dynamic Duo’. The Batman has always had Commissioner Gordon on his side and his daughter who is actually Oracle.
But the one character who has supported him all the way, even when he joined the Justice League is Robin. Robin is also known as the ‘Boy Wonder’. The Robin has been the most famous sidekicks in all of the comic world. There is a lot to discuss about the Robin. There have been multiple Robins who have assisted Batman. There is a lot of difference in the story line of Robins since the comic book of ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’. There were at least 5 Robins. The 6th Robin was a girl named Carrie Kelly. This character wasn’t created in the continuation of the Batman and DC timeline. Still, all the Robins can be discussed about chronologically.
Dick Grayson was the first Robin. Dick Grayson made his first appearance in Detective Comics #38. Dick Grayson with his parents John and Mary Grayson, used to work in a circus where they were popular with the name ‘Flying Graysons’. One day Dick overhears a conversation between the circus manager and a gangster. When the manager didn’t agree to give the gangster any money, the gangster weakened the trapeze wires. When Dick’s parents were doing their trapeze jump, the wires loosened thereby letting the parents jump high but falling on the ground. Dick was terrified with this incident and was later taken into caring of Bruce Wayne. Dick somehow meets Batman and the two team up to find the murderer named Tony Zuko. After working with the Batman, Dick realized the Batman was none other than Bruce Wayne himself. His character was created by Bill Finger and Jerry Robertson. Batman then decides to train Dick and make him fight crime along with him. He was both physically and mentally prepared by Batman. His physical training was easy as he was a circus performer. Dick was the first Robin in the DC universe. Eventually, after his crime fighting timeline for 5 years, the Robin was asked to join the team of Young Justice that had Red Arrow, Kid Flash, and Aqua Lad and was later joined by Superboy. Some people call that team Teen Titans but it was actually ‘Young Justice’. Teen Titans was led by the third Robin. Dick Grayson then left the team and Batman, dropping the mask and became my favorite character ‘Nightwing’.
The second Robin was Jason Todd. Jason first appeared in Batman #366. The poor boy lived all alone is his dead mother’s apartment and the father left him when he was a little boy. He used to wander the streets of Gotham. Jason was street smart. One night Jason was stealing tires from a huge car. Turns out, Todd was caught by Batman and the car was the Batmobile. Batman saw Jason as a lonely boy who does not know what to do. He realized that the void space in his heart which occurred when Dick left him can be filled by Jason. Batman loved Jason and gave him the same 6 months of physical and mental training he gave to Dick. Dick then wore the cowl of Robin and became the second Robin, the second ‘Boy Wonder’ and started fighting crime beside Batman.
But, the second Robin was from streets with no parents. Dick had parents who taught him to be nice, who taught him to live according to principles. Todd was a street kid. The new Robin was dangerous and wild. He even lacked the acrobatic skills like those of Dick. The new boy wonder was so reckless and filled with anger that he started using a gun. Batman didn’t like him and ordered him to leave the job of being Robin.
The second Robin, as we all know, became ‘Red Hood’. The comics have explained it in a very different ways. The first, after being banished by Batman for disobedience, Jason finds out that Kathy Todd wasn’t his real mom. He investigated and found that his mom was Sheila Haywood. She left her son to a safe place for she was being blackmailed by the Joker. Joker found the two of them and beat Jason with an iron rod till he turned blue. He tied both the mom and son and wired the warehouse to explode. Batman tried to reach there as fast as he could but found Jason dead. It was actually the fans who wanted Jason dead. So they voted for his death.
Jason’s body was found by League of Shadows and was delivered to Ra’s al Ghul where he drowned the dead body in the Lazarus pit and a wilder and deadly Jason emerges from the pit. Ra’s Al Ghul gave him a path to live on where he can kill for justice and named him, ‘The Red Hood’.
Third Robin & Fourth Robin
Tim Drake was the third Robin. He came in Batman #442. Tim Drake was a fan of the Graysons. One day, while watching the news, he saw Robin performing a quadruple summersault. Tim connected the dots and understood that Dick is the Robin. Since then he kept following Batman and Robin’s adventures. After the sad death of Jason, Batman again had the void feeling in his heart which he had once when Dick left him. Batman had a violent behavior. He became reckless and wild with his job. Tim understood this and went to ask for help from Dick, the first Robin. Tim asked him to wear his old cowl again and become Robin but Dick made it clear that if he works with Batman, he works as ‘Nightwing.’. Tim didn’t like that and was convinced that Batman needs a Robin to keep him sane. Tim then dressed as Robin helped Batman in a case. Angry Batman didn’t enjoy this. He told that he don’t need any partner but he realized later that the boy was courageous and had potential. Tim started to train under Bruce. He was given the same training as was given to Dick and Jason, both mental and physical. His training was done in a much more upgraded manner so that he may not face what was faced by Jason. The Robin costume was also changed and upgraded and Tim became the new ‘Boy Wonder’. Tim’s father found out that he was Robin and told him to leave the job.
Tim then hands over the Robin cowl to his girlfriend Stephanie Brown, thereby making her the fourth Robin. She kept disobeying orders and so was fired by the Batman. Personally speaking, I hated this Robin. Some comics tell that she, later, became the Batgirl.
Tim again wears that cowl and once again protects Gotham as the ‘Boy Wonder’ against his father’s wishes. He reluctantly allowed to continue his dangerous job. In, the comic, ‘R.I.P. Batman’ the Knight is shown to be missing and dead, Tim leaves his job as Robin and becomes ‘Red Robin’. He then joined forces with Teen Titans which had Starfire, Raven, Cyborg and Beast Boy.
Damian Wayne is the fifth Robin and the son of Bruce and Talia al Ghul. Damian was trained by the league of assassins and his grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul. Talia, at a romantic night, had her way with Bruce and after a few months realized that she’s pregnant with Bruce’s baby and runs away. Damian, at the end of the day, was an assassin’s son. He wasn’t in his mother’s womb, instead, he was kept in an artificial womb to keep him perfect and immune to all diseases. He was trained ruthlessly to succeed his grandfather. The league of Shadows was attacked by Deathstroke and he killed Ra’s. Terrified Talia escaped and reached Gotham. She then revealed to Bruce that he has a son and that he needs to take good care of him. In the comics, when the Batman dies, Dick becomes the new Batman, leaving his identity as the Nightwing and works along with Damian.
Damian Wayne was killed in the Batman Incorporated #8 that released last year. He was killed by his clone, the Heretic. Talia creates Damian’s clone to be a perfect assassin but no one knew that it’ll kill Damian.
Carrie Kelly isn’t from DC universe. She is from the Dark Knight Returns comics. She’s a thirteen-year-old school girl who was saved by Batman from some street thugs. She idolizes Batman and kept saving her lunch money until one day, she spends the whole sum to purchase a Robin costume. With some primary weapons like a stone thrower, Carrie saved Batman from a ruthless mob of gangsters known as ‘The Mutants’. Batman, on seeing this, deemed her worthy to wear the cowl of Robin and trained her.
I know it’s a long story but read the title again. We’ve discussed about the most popular sidekick. Personally speaking, the best Robin is Damian as he’s trained by League of Assassins since he was a little boy. But I like Nightwing more than anything else.
· Batman: Under the Red Hood
Jason Todd, the second Robin as Red Hood.
· The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 and Part 2
Carrie Kelly, the Robin outside DC universe
Son of Batman
Damian Wayne, the 5th Robin
· Batman vs Robin
Damian Wayne, the 5th Robin
· Batman: Bad Blood
· Justice League vs Teen Titans
Damian Wayne, the 5th Robin
· Young Justice
· Teen Titan