Considering how many sidekicks named Robin that Batman had, you would have thought that there would have been multiple Batman characters who died or retired as well. While Bruce Wayne will always be remembered as Batman, the same cannot be said for his crime-fighting partner Robin. This is because, throughout the history of the caped crusader, Robin had either retired or died, giving a reason for the character to be replaced. So without further ado, here are all Robins in order.
This is the original Robin that we all know and love. The original orphan that Batman adopted and took in as his protégé, Grayson’s background in acrobatics already gave him an advantage in crime fighting. When considering all Robins in order, it’s hard not to think of the one we loved the most. Grayson went on to become Nightwing after joining The Teen Titans and wanting to be his own identity. There is a lot that could be said about Dick Grayson, such as his iconic relationship with Starfire, but also that he is a womanizer in a skin-tight outfit that makes him an appealing character to readers.
After Dick Grayson left to do his own thing, Batman found some punk kid trying to steal the tires off the Batmobile. This apparently appealed to The Dark Knight, since he took Jason Todd in as his new sidekick. But when considering all Robins in order, you may not realize how much people hated this character at the time. He came off as whiny and annoying, something that fans would not appreciate. Eventually, DC had to drop him. They accomplished this by having him beaten by a crowbar, then killed in an explosion by The Joker. Amazingly, Jason Todd later had his life restored and returned to comics as the anti-hero called Red Hood.
You may not immediately think of Time Drake when the name Robin comes up. Due to the growing popularity of Batman from the Tim Burton movies, he appeared in the early 90s with his own comic series, simply titled “Robin”. (You know, those completely worthless comics that sat in bargain bins for decades?) Probably his most memorable story arc was his involvement in the infamous Knightfall saga, when Drake had to increase his crime-fighting responsibilities after Batman was critically injured. What’s interesting about Drake is that he always got along well with Dick Grayson, even teaming up together. He was also especially adept with computers and problem-solving, which helped make him a perfect fit for his role.
Not only was Time Drake Robin, but so was his girlfriend Stephanie Brown for a short period of time. In a single issue, she went from demanding to Batman to become Robin, to actually being trained by The Dark Knight himself and becoming his sidekick. It was so rapid that it was no surprise that it didn’t last long. In the same year, Stephanie Brown not only retired from her association with Batman, but was killed entirely. For this reason, many people are completely unaware that there was a female sidekick at all. (Unless you consider The Dark Knight Returns.)
Many people wonder why Stephanie Brown was fired by Batman from being Robin. In the comic series “Robins”, issue 2, an explanation is given. While Batman was being attacked by an enemy called Scarab, she gleefully disobeyed his orders to stay back. Moreover, her actions created a sharp contrast between her and the other Robins, and revealed that she may have had ulterior motives to taking the role in the first place.
When thinking about all the Robins in order, Damian may be the most interesting. Based on the story Son of the Demon, (which, ironically, was never meant to be canon) Bruce Wayne impregnates Talia Al Ghul and conceives Damian. Talia’s father had intended this since the two of them first met. Damian was trained by The League of Assassins, a group associated with his mother. Since he was trained to be a ruthless killer, Batman was tasked with the uphill battle of retraining him to align with his own morals. Despite his initial concerns, Bruce does grow to appreciate and be proud of the way his son turned out.
Carrie Kelley doesn’t really count, since she made a limited appearance and doesn’t fit into true DC Universe continuity. That being said, she does play a large role inside the acclaimed Batman comic, The Dark Knight Returns. In this story, after being saved with the help of Batman, Carrie develops a deep admiration for the decrepit hero and takes it upon herself to create her very own Robin outfit. In contrast to the traditional Robins, Carrie foregoes sporting a mask, and as an alternative uses futuristic shades to hide her secret identity. Together with her resourcefulness, Carrie proves to be a capable Robin, employing a slingshot as her weapon of desire at the same time as holding her own ground in battle. It’s also worth noting that she adopts the persona of Catgirl within the next series, “Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again”.
It should be pointed out that Carrie Kelley is a girl, which deviates from the usual theme of Robin being the “boy wonder”. In Dark Knight Returns, Selena Kyle recognizes the danger of taking on The Joker with a female sidekick, as she was just abused herself. We also know from stories like The Killing Joke (which was published after Dark Knight Returns, but the point remains) that Joker is not the kindest person toward women.
Yeah, so that’s all the Robins. Unless more develop later, but don’t expect me to update this article. I have more important things to do. Like work my day job, or play Pokémon Go.
The Challenges of Being Robin
The job of being Batman’s sidekick, Robin, may look very interesting and full of glamour, but it comes with its own set of problems and difficulties. While Robin has the chance to fight alongside The Dark Knight and use all the cool gadgets he has in his pocket, there are other aspects of being an assistant that most people do not even know or consider.
It is hard to be Robin because you have to live up to the expectations that Batman sets for himself. Being The Dark Knight’s sidekick, Robin should be good at fighting, smart, and quick-minded. He needs a strong sense of right and wrong and has to be able to make tough decisions in difficult situations. This burden can weigh heavily on anyone, but especially on a young person who is still finding their way in life.
An added trial for Robin is in his quest to define himself and not merely be under Batman’s control. Although it may seem like an honor to be working with the most brilliant detective in the world, Robin also has to prove himself a useful and autonomous part of the group. This might become hard when everybody refers to him as Batman’s little helper instead of his own character.
One of the downsides of being a sidekick is putting yourself in danger most of the time. Whether it is going after dangerous villains or risking their own life to save innocent people, Robin is always on the front line. It may be extremely demanding for one’s psyche and organism, while the constant pumping of adrenaline can also be both enjoyable and tiring at the same time.
Being Robin means having a perpetual duty and being on call, ready to come to Batman’s aid whenever needed. This is physically challenging because Robin has to remain fit at all times to keep up with Batman’s intense exercise regimen and missions. It also implies giving up personal life and friends, as it requires Robin’s availability on every occasion when the Bat-Signal requires a response.