Robin is arguably the most famous sidekick in comics history. We all know that Batman is a loner. A bit too much that his creators, Bob Kane and Bill Finger, created Robin to be someone he can “talk to.”
Multiple characters have worn the mantle of Robin throughout history — from someone like a reflection of Bruce Wayne to Bruce Wayne’s son. But who are these characters, and why did they choose (or not) to be the caped crusader’s sidekick? Let’s find out.
All Robins in the Batman Comics, Chronologically
Detective Comics #38 – Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson (1940)
Dick Grayson first appeared in DC’s Detective Comics #38. He is the youngest in the family of acrobats called the “Flying Graysons.” Bruce Wayne took him under his wing after he witnessed the murder of Dick’s parents.
Dick started as Bruce’s legal aide but soon moved to be his sidekick, Robin. Dick outgrew the mantle of Robin and decided to focus more on his own group, the Teen Titans. He even changed his identity to Nightwing to establish his independence. This move may have soured the relationship between the two but the iconic duo reconciled, and Dick even became the caped crusader after the events of Zero Hour.
Batman #401 – Gerry Conway and Don Newton (1986)
Jason Todd wore the mantle of Robin at the tender age of 12. Unlike his predecessor, Jason is reckless, impulsive, and violent. In one of their cases, Jason’s violence led to an unnecessary death which caused Batman to relieve Todd of his Robin duties.
Jason didn’t accomplish much as Rob and, rather, he is more known due to his death than his adventures. His death became integral to Batman’s personality and showed how far the Joker could go after blowing Todd up in a warehouse, as seen in 1988’s A Death in the Family.
Of course, Jason Todd would eventually be resurrected from the Lazarus Pit as the infamous antihero, Red Hood.
Batman #436 – Marv Wolfman and Pat Broderick (1989)
Tim Drake is the ultimate Batman and Robin fanboy. His story is way different than his predecessors. He’s not an orphan, nobody in his family was killed, and Batman had never saved him before he became Robin.
Tim just wanted to do what was right. When he saw Batman’s downfall after Jason’s death, he believed that Batman needed a Robin to save him from the guilt. Tim figured out Batman and Nightwing’s identities, which he leveraged to help save Batman. He talked to Nightwing to convince him to return as Robin, but Dick wanted to be with him as Nightwing. Dick tried to help Batman, but Two-face caught both.
Tim took it upon himself to help his idols and soon officially became the Robin.
Detective Comics #647 – Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle (1992)
Stephanie’s story is a bit complicated. She started as another “hero” of Gotham called Spoiler. She found out that her father was a criminal named Cluemaster. She then leaves clues to the police and Batman about her father’s plans and helps in capturing the villain.
After a few more adventures with the then-Robin (Tim), the two grew close and began dating. With his father learning his identity, Tim decided to retire as Robin. With the position left open and a mind filled with jealousy, Stephanie decided to sneak into the Batcave and demanded Batman to train her as the new Robin.
Her time as Robin is shaky compared to her predecessors, and Batman loses confidence in her. She tried to turn things around by proving her worth to Batman but instead started a gang war that led him to strip her of the Robin title.
Batman #655 – Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert (2006)
Damian’s first appearance was in Batman: Son of the Demon in 1987. There it was revealed that Damian is the biological son of Bruce Wayne and the assassin, Talia al Ghul. Bruce didn’t know Damian’s existence until she sent her to Bruce to foil his plans. Things didn’t start well for the two, but after quite some time, he managed to embrace his father’s ideals with the help of his adoptive brothers (Batman Family).
Damian became the fifth Robin soon after the events in Batman R.I.P. He first worked as Robin to Dick’s Batman when the latter replaced his dad as the masked crusader due to Bruce’s “death.” He then continued to be the Robin to Bruce’s Batman upon his return to the role.
Batman Vol. 2 #21 – Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (2013)
Whether Duke Thomas is a Robin or not is really up to the fans themselves. He is technically not a Robin, but he worked, acted, and embodied Robin. He was even a member of the Robins (We are Robins) and an official part of the Batman family.
The only thing that prevented him from taking the mantle of Robin was the Robin Laws, which made it illegal for anyone to be a Robin. Due to these circumstances, we felt the need to include Duke on this list, even as an Honorable Mention.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller (1986)
Carrie is technically the third Robin, but her story is only canon to the graphic novel Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. After Jason Todd’s death, Bruce was eaten by guilt because he failed to save him, leaving Gotham without the masked crusader.
Carrie saw what was happening to Gotham and decided to take matters into her own hands. Batman did not officially recruit her to be Robin, but she managed to save him during his fight against the Mutant Leader. That leads to her joining her crusade, and together they defeat the Mutant Leader, fight Joker, and save Gotham from an impending Nuclear strike. She continued to be at his side as Batgirl, Catgirl, and Batwoman.
- This article was updated on December 12th, 2022