Throughout the years, there have been a few people that have taken the mantle of Robin.Bold indicates current identity.For Stephanie Brown (Robin IV), see the Batgirl page.
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Robin I / Nightwing / Batman III (Richard "Dick" Grayson)
"If you want Robin to stay dead, that's okay with me. But you've trained me too well — made me what I am. You can't keep me from pursuing my own destiny."
Click here to see Dick as Robin:
Easily the most famous of the Robins, Dick Grayson was the poster boy for Sidekick page in the Golden Age and Silver Age. With a similar backstory to that of his mentor, Batman (parents murdered by a racketeer who, unlike the mugger in some versions of Batman's origin, was brought to justice or died depending on which story you read), Robin was always there to provide lighthearted commentary and ask questions that the readers themselves are wondering.Eventually, however, he grew out of his role as a sidekick, and began to argue with the Dark Knight over crime-fighting. This lead to him establishing himself as a solo hero, Nightwing, and became the leader of the Teen Titans, and after Bruce needed further time to recover after kicking Jean-Paul Valley (see below) to the curb, even took over the Batman role himself for some time. He then received a comic book series of his own, detailing his adventures in Gotham's sister city, Bludhaven (even more of a Crapsack World than Gotham). Blüdhaven has since been destroyed (twice!) and after a sojourn back in his Titans' base of New York, Nightwing has now officially moved back to Gotham, being back on good terms with his former mentor. In the wake of Batman RIP and Final Crisis, Dick has since stepped up to the role as Gotham City's official protector, and has once again officially become Batman, this time with an open mandate. When Bruce came back, he even retained his role as Gotham City's Batman for one year of Comic Book Time.As of the New 52, Dick is back to being Nightwing.
The Ace: Bruce has said, even to Dick's face, that not only has Dick come into his own using his teachings and excelling at them, but that he exceeds him in talents like leadership, and keeping contacts. Dick is often seen as probably one of, if not the, best connected character to major heroes like in the JLA and JSA and lesser known heroes like the Outsiders or Birds of Prey. He's been called "the linch-pin of the DCU".
To drive the "linchpin" comment home: remember, this was one of the major reasons DC Comics Editor-in-Chief Dan Didio wanted to kill off Dick—because his death would send the biggest shockwave throughout the DCU. The other editors/writers convinced him to keep Dick alive, but the idea of how close he came, especially in light of what Dick's been doing lately, makes one shudder to think what would've happened if the decision had been pushed through. You really want to shatter the DCU? You don't target Superman or Batman or Wonder Woman—you target Dick Grayson.
Further lampshaded in one issue of Teen Titans, where various Titans band together to take on a more dangerous Dr. Light. In Superboy's inner monologue, he marvels at how when Nightwing shows up, no one questions his leadership and everyone automatically follows his lead.
And used in an issue of The Brave and the Bold, when he is able to convince every single superhero in the world to jump into a pocket dimension without questioning if it was necessary or if at least one of them should stay behind.
Beware the Nice Ones: Dick has had a few dark moments under extreme provocation/stress - he beat the Joker to death with his bare hands at the end of the Last Laugh storyline (although Batman managed to revive Mistah J.
Big Brother Mentor: to his fellow Robins, Tim and Damian. He used to be like this with Jason before he died.
The Joker lampshades this calling Dick 'The Big Brother You Never Had' to Damian.
When he meets Jason for the first time, he helps him salvage a botched drug bust, gives him his old Robin uniform, and his number, so Jason could have someone to talk to.
He is very accommodating towards Cass' lack of verbal fluency and (perhaps due to his own highly physical background) can hold conversations without Cass needing to talk.
Chick Magnet: There is no female in-universe who has met Dick and not commented on either his good looks or his charm except maybe Batwoman.
Circus Brat: He still returns to the circus whenever they pass by Gotham and Bludhaven. He even ended up using his sizable trust fund to buy them out to save them from financial ruin.
Cool Car: While operating as Nightwing, Dick painstakingly built a high-performance vehicle that could "camouflage" itself with a variety of exterior shells. He promptly blew it up less than a year later.
Combat Pragmatist: Especially as Nightwing, following in his mentor's footsteps, although Dick is always portrayed as somewhat more flamboyant than Batman, owing to being a better natural athlete.
Legacy Character: Nightwing is the name of one of two superheroes from Kryptonian legend (the other being Flamebird), borrowed from a story that Superman told him. He was the first Robin and is now the new Batman.
The Load: As Robin he usually subverts this, but not always. Let's just say there's a reason the Boy Wonder is sometimes called the Boy Hostage.
Love Martyr: Is one of the very few people that genuinely supports and believes in Damian.
It pays off when Damian actually grows to respect and care for Dick, which begins to shape him in a much more heroic person then he was when introduced.
Meaningful Name: Applied via retcon in Night of the Owls. His surname "Grayson" refers to the Court of Owls, who fancied themselves the equalizing "gray" between the "white" aristocracy and "black" lower classes.
Morality Pet: All of the Robins are this, but Dick in particular is very special to Bruce. Being the "firstborn son" and all, he has helped Batman from being a far worse man, just by being there.
In a fascinating example, Dick is this to 10-year-old Damian Wayne.
Missed the Call: In the New 52, Dick missed a villainous call in his backstory. The Court of Owls wanted to make Dick into a Talon, but Bruce adopting him on the eve of his parents' deaths put him out of their reach.
Plucky Comic Relief: In the 40's, 50's, and 60's. Even today, far wittier than his mentor is ever portrayed as.
Even as Batman, Dick is still cracking wise, even at gunpoint.
Power of Friendship: His greatest weapon. Sure, natural acrobatics and Batman-trained skills in combat and sleuthing are nothing to sneeze at, but no other hero in the DC Universe boasts the sheer number of allies he has. The guy has had his villains team up with him against bigger or badder foes. Why? Because he asked nicely.
Really Gets Around: Much like Bruce, Dick has his fair share both human and superhuman. Starfire and Barbara being the well known examples. Subverted with Raven, who at the time accidentally made him think he was in love with her.
Working with the Ex: There are some UST with Barbara Gordon in the Batfamily, and Starfire in Teen Titans.
Robin II / Red Hood II / Red Robin I (Jason Todd)
"I don't wanna learn to be no crook. I just boost what it takes to survive."
After the first Robin left, executives realized that he was a crucial element to the Caped Crusader's popularity. Hence, they introduced Jason Todd, a near-clone of the first Robin (except with strawberry-blond hair). At least, that's what the Pre Crisis version was like, but who remembers him? (except for the timehe defeated Mongul)When the name Jason Todd is said, the post-crisis version comes to mind. A reckless, angry street youth whose first encounter with Batman came from him trying to steal the Batmobile's tires to sell. This Robin proved to be extremely unpopular with readers, so editor Denny O'Neil set up a 1-900 telephone poll as a publicity stunt, asking readers if they wanted Jason Todd to be killed off (the final tallies were 5,343 for his death, 5,271 against it). Interestingly, O'Neil insists he had no idea they would vote for his death, but writer Jim Starlin was fairly certain of it, having himself tried to get DC to kill Jason off in an AIDS story line.Jason attempted to find out who his mother really was, and was shocked to find that she's still alive and in the Middle East. He follows her there and reunites with her, but runs afoul of the Joker, who kills both of them, bumping him straight over the Moral Event Horizon (as if the thousands of other murders don't count). Jason's death has had a lasting impact on the Bat-mythos to this day, reminding the Dark Knight of the dangers of having a sidekick in the Darker and Edgier world of modern comics.Due to Superboy-Prime punching time, he returned to life and resurfaced as the Red Hood, who came into conflict with hero and villain alike. Acting as a thoroughly murderous vigilante, Jason recruited his own sidekick, Scarlet, and wound up in Arkham after the murder of a huge number of criminals. Having earned the enmity of Bruce, Dick, Tim, and Damian, there seemed to be no going back for Jason, who, having escaped from prison near the end of Batman & Robin was poised to remain a major player in the Gotham Underworld.The New 52 reboot, like the Post-Crisis reboot, made so many changes to him that he's pretty much a new character just sharing some basic background and the name with the original DCU version.Shared tropes between versions
Back from the Dead: As a side-effect of Superboy-Prime punching the source wall Pre-N52, resurrected via Lazurus Pit in the N52
Black Sheep: Ends up in this role after his resurrection
Costume Copycat: There has always been someone using the costume before Jason. Dick Grayson as Robin I, the Joker as Red Hood I, and Kingdom Come Grayson as the first Red Robin.note Though, technically, Jason was the first New Earth Red Robin.Red Hood and the Outlaws even reveals that his current costume is actually one of Grayson's.
Darker and Edgier: Jason stands out from the rest of the Bat-Family thanks to his willingness to take criminals' lives.
After the Crisis, his origin was revised to make him different from Dick Grayson. Specifically, a criminal.
Death Is Cheap: Averted for a long time, but eventually played painfully straight.
Depending on the Artist: Is his "hood" smooth and rounded, or is it flatter and shaped more like a human face, with cheekbones and lips?
Depending on the Writer: A full-blown psychopath who uses Batman's failure to save him to justify his actions, or a man who really wants to help the world, and will use any means to do so?
Even his first post-Crisis appearances were victim to this trope. While the Jason Todd in Detective Comics was the normal, happy, well-adjusted Robin, the Jason Todd in Batman was the darker, edgier, angrier Robin.
Determinator: Probably what makes him so dangerous. Jason no matter what seems to never stop fighting no matter what. In the moments of his death, despite being brutally beaten, he still tried to save his mother. Upon awakening in his own coffin, he dug his way out with his bare hands.
As Red Hood he claimed that his super power was being too stupid to give up.
Back in his days of Robin, he told a mentally broken Batman that if there's anything he's learned it's to never give up.
When seriously injured by an angry mob, he crawled out of his hospital bed to help Batman.
Even Evil Has Standards: Jason makes it very clear that he only kills people who he absolutely thinks deserve it. The animated movie also shows him threatening to murder any drug dealers who try to sell to children.
Fire-Forged Friends: When Jason originally became Robin II, he didn't have a very good relationship with Dick. This is changed when the two end up in a situation where they save Alfred's life.
Expy: His initial origin was essentially a rehash of Dick Grayson's; he also grew up in the circus until his parents were murdered. Fans weren't amused, so he was given a rebooted origin after Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Evil Orphan: Bruce brought Jason into his home and his world. Jason paid him back, following his resurrection, by becoming one of the worst vigilantes Bruce has ever had to deal with.
Evil Redhead: He was retconned into being a redhead. Batman apparently made him dye his hair black to hide the fact that the role of Robin had gone to someone else.
Eviler than Thou: With Black Mask, The Joker, and Eduardo Flamingo, all of whom he has clashed with.
Fallen Hero: His portrayal in Under the Red Hood, Battle for the Cowl, and Batman & Robin, where he is mourned as a hero gone bad.
Groin Attack: Gave these to both Dick and Tim in a Teen Titans storyline. Tim returns the favor at the end of the issue.
Guns Akimbo: Dual wields twin red pistols as the Red Hood.
It's All About Me: Refuses to see that there are factors beyond "betraying him" at work when Bruce refuses to kill The Joker. When the Society uses Chemo to obliterate Bludhaven and Bruce wants to make sure Dick is okay, Jason stops him because they haven't completed their fight yet, and he won't let Grayson ruin this moment for him.
Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: During his appearances in Battle for the Cowl and Batman & Robin, when any attempts at reaching out to him end in betrayal and attempted murder.
Legacy Character: Jason dabbles in this a lot. He's the second Robin, he took the mantle of Red Hood (originally used by the Joker), but the Red Robin title (first appearing in Kingdom Come) was given to him by an alternate Batman (which a villain took using the now discarded costume; now Tim is Red Robin). He also stole Nightwing's identity for a while, and he's been playing Batman in Battle for the Cowl.
As of the new Batman and Robin series, it's revealed that Bruce asked Jason to dye his naturally red hair black to look like Dick's, and Jason admitted that Bruce expected him to be just like Dick. This is the kind of thing that will have adverse effects on the mental health of a normal child, never mind a troubled one. This is now considered having dubious continuity, with some comics outright ignoring it.
Never Live It Down: Both in-universe and the readers always label him as "the angry Robin". As Robin, Jason was more impulsive than angrynote For example, breaking into a drug lab which had no drugs in it to implicate the owners., the anger only showing up a handful of times, usually involving Two-Face, who killed Jason's father. Even the idea that he would go as far as murder was brought up in a few specific instances.
Never My Fault: Refuses to accept any responsibility for the innocent people caught in his killing sprees or the fact that those sprees are what prompted the cartels to send cannibal enforcer Eduardo Flamingo to town.
Red-Headed Stepchild: Thanks to recent retcons. Before Crisis on Infinite Earths, he was naturally reddish-blond and dyed his hair black, and afterwards his hair was just naturally black. After Final Crisis, Grant Morrison retconned his hair into a deep red, which he dyed black again (to fit better with the red/black color motifs of the author's stories).
The Resenter: Towards Dick, Tim, Damian, and anybody else who has ever worn the Robin costume, before and after him.
Retcon: Jason's origin (and hair color) changed substantially Post-Crisis. And then there's the matter of his resurrection...
When he first debuted, Jason was a nice kid that wanted to help people and did have a few problems thanks to living on the streets. However, later issues would try to paint over this by writing him as a punk with a 'mean streak' and was only 'fueled by rage', which directly led to his death. In fact, his death is frequently attributed to his headstrong nature and his disobedience of Batman's orders, when actually it was his mother betraying him that led to his capture by the Joker.
The Rival: Tries to set himself and Scarlet up as rivals to Batman (now Dick Grayson) and Robin, with the aim of making them obsolete.
After his resurrection, he often says he will be a better Batman than Bruce Wayne ever was.
While he does like using guns, he normally will ditch them when fighting Bruce, Dick, or Tim, just to prove he can be better than them. So far that has failed many times, with the exception of his fights with Tim, which he normally wins.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After being resurrected for real, one of his first acts is to take vengeance on the Joker (who killed him) and Batman (who he's mad at for not killing Joker).
Shadow Archetype: To all the members of the Batman family, demonstrating what they would be like if they truly gave into the darkness around them. Bruce's obsessiveness, Dick's need to be his own man, Tim's desire for approval, and Damian's anger issues all find a dark reflection in him.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: This is Jason's biggest flaw, the need to be approved of by a parental figure. First as Robin, then when searching for his mother, his resurrection, to becoming Red Robin on Earth-51, to Battle For The Cowl where because he couldn't deal with Batman's death, Jason decided to take his place as "Batman's successor".
Happened a lot with Batman when he was Robin. Many of Batman's "compliments" would be "Wow, you did that almost as well as the first Robin!"
Parental Substitute: How he came to see Ducra after training under her. He sees Bruce more like a brother than a father, oddly enough.
Tsundere: Started as Type A towards Kory and Roy and mellowed out to Type B as the series progressed.
Warrior Monk: What his time with the All-Caste turned him into.
Robin III / Red Robin III (Timothy "Tim" Drake)
"I thought I'd left that world behind me. That maybe I could do more good working from the shadows. Apparently I was wrong. I'm going to need help."
Click here to see Tim as Robin:
Despite the setback of Jason's unpopularity and the killing-off that came along with it, Denny O'Neil was not convinced to give up on the character of Robin. Thus, Tim Drake was born, and this time, the writers were careful to make him much less similar to Dick.At age nine, Tim was able to deduce both Batman and Robin I's identities, but kept it to himself, until years later, when Dick went solo and Jason died. Realizing how deeply Jason's death had affected his idol, Batman, Tim tried to convince Dick to reprise his role as Batman's partner. Although he agreed, Dick would only do so as Nightwing, despite Tim's insistence that Batman needed a Robin.It took multiple trials, but finally, Tim was able to gain both Bruce and Dick's respect, along with the permission to become Robin. He proved to be much more popular than Jason ever was, and like Dick, got multiple spin-off series. Following the Bat-Family shakeup following R.I.P. & Battle For The Cowl, he has taken the role of Red Robin. With the return of Bruce & the founding of Batman Incorporated, Tim has become a more tech-savvy hero, using the first Anarky in a sort of "Oracle" tech role.
Badass Bookworm: In a very Batman-like vein, he devotes his free time to developing electronic gadgets for crime-fighting purposes, when he's not actively trying to clone his dead friends back to life. He's been established as being way less agile than Dick Grayson, and Batgirl can wipe the floor with him (a single time when he managed to beat her is largely considered Fanon Discontinuity, for too many reasons), but he's still pretty awesome and can beat Killer Croc while having the flu.
Black Sheep: New 52 version only. Tim's had very little interaction with the rest of the family, with the surprising exception of Jason Todd, the same "brother" who'd previously been depicted beating Tim up and stabbing him in the chest with a boomerang.
Not too surprising, when you consider that Tim and Jason were both rebooted by the same writer, Scott Lobdell.
The Chessmaster: How he defeated Ra's Al Ghul. It was such a victory that Tim himself earned the title, "Detective." That was something Ra's reserved only for The Goddamn Batman! Goes to show you how much the boy matured once Bruce Wayne... left.
Crazy-Prepared: Batman's rubbed off on him, obviously. During his time spent with the League of Assassins, Tim exploited his access to their database to pinpoint secret League locations in Gotham. That enabled him to orchestrate a Big Damn Heroes moment with his allies, to suppress the attempted assassinations on everyone that mattered to Bruce Wayne.
Combat Pragmatist: Not above using any advantage he can get in a fight. One story had him posioning his opponent with a substance that would only take effect during the fight, before said opponent even sent him her challenge.
Dating Catwoman: Despite being a Chick Magnet as opposed to Casanova Nightwing, Tim Drake has UST with: Spoiler, one that started when she hit him in the face with a brick, Darla "Warlock's Daughter," one of his classmates who was brought back from the dead to kill Robin, Evil!Cassandra Cain when she was Brainwashed and Crazy, and, appropriately, both of the gangleaders named Lynx, the latter of whom will tackle him out of a window, start kissing him in mid-air, and trust in him to actually stop their fall with a grappling hook while she's massaging his tonsils with her tongue. Sometimes, there's an advantage to being the Dogged Nice Guy.
Determinator: "I'll never give up, Dad. Not while there's a breath in our bodies — neither one of us will ever give up."
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Tim's place in the New 52 Teen Titans is an expy of the Robin from the cartoon, and he's even lost most of his original traits to the other Robins while being molded further into a Dick Grayson clone, complete with gymnast background.
Domino Mask: Keeping in with the fine tradition. He ditched it for a time when he was kicked out of the Robin mantle and wore a round-headed cowl-mask, but his New 52 Red Robin costume has it again.
It was a case of the writer not researching Cassandra's character. Another reason why the entire story has become Canon Discontinuity.
Guile Hero: Seems to be the only son that has really inherited this part of Batman's repertoire. Specifically noted that his ease in taking the adopted Wayne name was for all the advantages it gives him.
Future Me Scares Me: Did not have a good experience with his possible future as a gun-toting Batman in Titans Tomorrow.
Better portrayed when he was with Young Justice. That team was like herding superpowered cats. Impulse alone would try the patience of a saint.
Even when Wonder Girl took over leadership, everyone still treated Tim like he was the one in charge.
Irony: When he was a member of Young Justice, the editors of the Bat-family comics only allowed him in after denying his entry into the tried and true Teen Titans because they were trying to keep the Bat-family separate from the rest of DC. For a while, Young Justice was the only non-Bat-family book he would ever appear in. Cue the DCnU, post-Flashpoint, and Tim's only book is Teen Titans, and you'd be hard-pressed to find an appearance of him in Bat-family comics past a brief cameo in Scott Snyder's first issue of Batman. So whereas before you'd only ever see him in Batman comics, now you can't find him at all.
To put this into perspective, the cover and solicit for the Batman: The Dark Knight tie-in issue to the May 2012 Night of the Owls crossover featured him prominently. He is in all of ONE panel. And he doesn't even have dialogue!
He showed up in a flashback in Jason Todd's new series, Red Hood and the Outlaws, as well.
This has mostly stopped, with Tim having made semi-regular appearances in Batman, Batman and Robin, Batman Eternal, and Batman Incorporated, in addition to his maintaining a spot on the Titans.
Legacy Character: The third Robin, obviously. Following Battle for the Cowl, Tim has taken up the role of Red Robin like Jason before him, now that the General is in jail.
My Greatest Failure: Just after the Black Glove fiasco, an old enemy, The General (who is an intelligent adolescent supervillain), returned to Gotham, terrorizing it under the Red Robin moniker. In an attempt to get him to surrender peacefully, Tim got the General's family (mother, father, and two siblings) to come. While his parents were trying to calm him down, one of the bombs that the General had hidden detonated, killing both of his siblings. Tim blames himself as he brought the family into the situation in the first place.
Parental Abandonment: Left alone for most of his childhood, then mother died and father died and stepmother disappeared soon after he took the job.
Phrase Catcher: One of the catchphrases of Young Justice was "We can tell you were trained by the world's greatest detective" said by any character when Tim points out something obvious.
The Smart Guy: When he was part of Young Justice and the Teen Titans. Kid Flash even commented that being around Tim makes him feel stupid after he had memorized every book in a library. He can also be considered this among the Robins, as he earned his spot on the Bat-Family almost entirely through his excellent detective skills.
Teen Genius: Regarded as the smartest of Batman's proteges, and Batman had stated that Tim could potentially be smarter than himself.
Trauma Conga Line: He has had many of his closest friends and family killed over recent years (though most of them do get better). They include: Stephanie Brown (not really dead), Conner Kent (gets better), Bart Allen (gets better), Bruce himself (not really dead), and his parents (stay dead). He has started to slide toward the cynical end because of this massive series of deaths.
It's been Retconned that Dick wore the revised version of the costume (or something very similar to it) for winter missions.
However, his second Robin costume had underwear on the outside much like Batman and Superman.
Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: At first, his career as Robin was a part-time endeavor. Following the deaths of his parents at the hands of Flash rogue Captain Boomerang, he was adopted by Bruce and became Robin full time until Dick kicked him out of the position.
Working with the Ex: His long-term relationship with Stephanie Brown ended pretty badly right before she took up the mantle of the fourth Batgirl and him becoming Red Robin. Now, whenever they run into each other (or sometimes, forced to work together), old feelings are surfaced.
Lampshaded when Tim acknowledges the Robin/Batgirl sexual tension when he sees Stephanie in her Batgirl costume. It doesn't help that the original Robin/Batgirl (Dick and Barbara) are also currently in the same situation as Tim/Stephanie.
"I'm sure you didn't leave your hole tonight thinking you'd get your ass kicked by a ten-year-old!"
Damian is the 10-year old biological son of Bruce Wayne/Batman and Talia al-Ghul. He was raised by the League of Assassins (and has been implied to be the subject of genetic experimentation); as such, he's a ferocious warrior and quite skilled at martial arts in spite of how young he is. Talia only revealed his existence to Batman when her father Ra's tried to take over Damian's body. Talia, Batman and the rest of the Batfamily joined forces to rescue the boy; since then, Damian has apparently been staying at Wayne Manor. Damian is a violent, often bratty child, but he's genuinely proud to be Batman's son and wishes to play his part in his war against crime. His relationship with the Robins and particularly Tim is heavily conflicted, and he has more than a few entitlement issues. After his father's death, he becomes the new Robin when Dick becomes Batman full-time. A flash-forward episode revealed that in a possible future, Damian follows in his father's footsteps as the Batman. That future was apparently negated when Damian was killed by an accelerated-aged clone of himself.
Badass Boast: Damian, while he was all tied up and at the Joker's mercy, defiantly tells him, "I have nothing to say that would help you manipulate me, clown."
Badass Longcoat: In the future, Damian is shown to become Batman in 666 and 700, but he is not wearing the traditional cape. Instead, he is wearing a long coat.
Badass Normal: Damian is kickass without any supernatural powers or abilities.
Badass and Child Duo: With his father Bruce as Batman and himself as Robin. Together, he and his father fight crime together amongst all of the chaos.
Black Sheep: Damian is the one that doesn't seem to fit in with his family. He seems to be the one that is commonly treated as different by everyone else. This is most likely due to Damian's background and upbringing, as well as the fact that Damian is Bruce's biological son in comparison to Bruce's other sons being adopted.
Character Development: Damian has gone from being a violent, arrogant and bratty youth, to a much more humble, mellow, compassionate and heroic individual. Most of this change in Damian's personality had to do with both Dick and Bruce's influence on him.
Child Soldier: First with Dick as Batman and himself as Robin. Later on with Bruce as Batman and himself as Robin.
Clark Kenting: Badly attempted in Streets Of Gotham where he doesn't even try to hide his skills or real name; it doesn't end well.
Corrupt the Cutie: Damian's upbringing. He was trained and brought up to be an assassin and made to believe that killing is normal. He was raised by two crazy, sociopathic figures, one being his mother Talia and the other being his villainess grandfather Ra's. Damian could be seen as an innocent child who became psychologically messed up because of his violent upbringing. However, Dick and Bruce have tried to help Damian change and enlighten or teach him about morals, values, the concept of empathy and compassion and the concept of what is right and wrong.
Creepy Child: Damian, who first appears around age eight and attempts to murder the current Robin so he can take his place. A result of being raised by crazy ninjas, and also possibly the combination of Al Ghul and Wayne genes. Living with his father Bruce has helped somewhat, but it's actually Dick Grayson who's really helped him into a solid Heel-Face Turn.
Talia accepted this and started to work on a replacement, eerily telling Damian "He'll be ten years younger than you when he's born" So, taking the above into account, when Damian hits 18, there's going to be trouble (or sooner, since there might be a Plot-Relevant Age-Up for the clone).
Dark and Troubled Past: Damian has a very sketchy and dark past which definitely contributes to his violent and dark tendencies. He was raised by assassins and was trained to kill. He also comes from a primarily dysfunctional family with a brainwashed, unstable mother (Talia) and a sinister, crazy and sociopathic grandfather (Ra's). Damian isn't a troubled youth/child for no reason.
Defector from Decadence: The reason he became a Robin was to get away from his mother's teachings and become more like his father.
The Determinator: While some fans found Damian's overtly brutal death in Batman Incorporated #8 a little disturbing, even for modern Batbooks, it's also an example of his badassery. The kid is riddled with arrows and bullets, has his back broken, and yet still fights, screaming "Cowards!" at his attackers, and spits blood in Heretic's face in a final act of defiance. Also probably doubles as Made of Iron.
Enfant Terrible: Damian is adorable, cute looking child but he has sociopathic, violent tendencies. Most of it has to do with the fact that he was raised to be an assassin and a killer.
Even Evil Has Standards: While not evil per se, he's established as an extremely pragmatic child... and vomits upon seeing the corpses of all the children Zsasz has murdered.
Fire-Forged Friends: By the time of Batman and Robin Must Die! Damian fully embraces Dick as his partner, because their adventures together have let them bond.
Friendship Moment: He has a roundabout one with Dick after returning from the Titans. He tells Dick not to apologize for sending him to the Titans and that it doesn't matter if he makes friends, because he has one in Gotham, and that is more than enough for him.
Future Badass: Batman#666 has a possible future where he DOES become Batman, though not in a way he wanted. He's a brutal fighter who has booby-trapped the entire city to compensate for his skills not quite measuring up to Bruce or Dick's, and takes the Thou Shalt Not Kill rule to near breaking point (and sometimes outright breaks it). However, he also owns a very cute cat he's affectionately named Alfred and drives a Batmobile the size of a Go-Kart. Make of it what you will...
Girls Have Cooties: He turns the brattiness up to 11 every time he has to deal with Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) or Supergirl (and when it's both of them at once...). They're both trim blondes with blue eyes. Awww, little Damian's got a type!
Goggles Do Nothing: Despite all the tactical flaws in having one, Damian adds a hood to his costume.
Gone Horribly Right: His backstory eerily mirrors Cassandra Cain's - the diverging point lay in the fact that while the League treated Cassandra as a weapon, they treated Damian as a prince. As a result, while she is disgusted with killing, Damian is rather ambivalent towards the act if it will further an end.
Gonk: With the best will in the world, he's rarely portrayed as a handsome child. Unusually so, given hisparents.
Gates of Gotham being an exception.
Though recent artists seem to be diverging from that, especially Marcus To.
Grade School CEO: Like his father and older brothers, he's a co-owner of Wayne Enterprises.
Heroic Sacrifice: Damian is killed attempting to stop the monstrous clone of himself from killing a girl he rescued. In front of his own mother, who refused to call it off.
Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Went through years of mental and physical training to become the "Warrior King of a New Dark Age" and received things like a Jetliner, a Hydrofoil, and an island for Christmas. You want a loyal Tykebomb? Spoil it rotten.
Now played straight, because all Damian wanted was his mother to love him, and found being Robin and with the Bat-Family to be far more fulfilling then being the heir to the Al Ghul legacy. Plus, bigger islands, cooler toys.
Hope Spot: "Batman vs. Robin" sets him up for several of these in a very, very cruel fashion. To illustrate: wow, Damian, your father might still be alive, but wait, does that mean you'll lose your place as Robin? That's all right, the man you've come to respect believes in you and is excited to have you helping him solve an old school mystery complete with secret passages and ancient clues! Isn't that wonderfu-SPINE HACK!!!!
I Just Want to Be Special: Damian always wanted to be considered special to his father, Bruce. More than anything, he has always wanted to be accepted by him and follow in his footsteps.
Damian drops most jerkass tendencies when Dick either impresses him or is in trouble. The greatest example of this is when he tries to save Dick during 'Batman and Robin Must Die!' arc.
And in canon, he was visibly disgusted and threw up when he saw hundreds of dead bodies of children.
Also from canon, we found out he has been visiting Hush (who had surgery to make him look like Bruce Wayne), who was imprisoned in the Wayne Tower, and playing chess with him. Hush suspects that he does this because Damian is grieving for his father and it's a way for him to spend some time with his father.
Karma Houdini: Hey, remember the Spook? The D-list villain who Damian decapitated? Neither does anyone else, apparently.
Except for Tim, who reminds him when fighting him in the New52.
Kid Hero: Damian fits this trope as Robin, especially now that he has become a much more heroic and much kinder person.
Kid Sidekick: First to Dick as Batman; later on to Bruce as Batman. Both times as Robin.
Lack of Empathy: In the beginning. Although this really changed as time when on. As time progressed, it was shown and displayed that Damian is indeed capable of guilt, remorse, sympathy and empathy.
Lamarck Was Right: Justified. He's been trained from early childhood to kick ass; Talia leaves Damian with Bruce to just enhance it.
Leader Wannabe: At Dick's urging, he briefly joined the Teen Titans, and as the resident Robin, declared himself leader (Tim Drake/Red Robin, the real leader, was absent at the time). However, everyone else thought of him as annoying, and he left once Tim came back.
Licked by the Dog: Alfred and Dick actually believe that Damian can grow up to do his father's legacy justice. So far, they seem to be right, as he finds being Robin and doing good to be best thing he's done with his life, eventually breaking away from his mother completely.
Like Father, Like Son: In the future, it is shown or suggested that Damian will follow in his father Bruce's footsteps as the future Batman.
Likes Older Women: According to Damian. He has professed interest in both Katana and Supergirl. It may be because he sees himself as an adult.
Lonely Rich Kid: Before breaking away from his mother, he was never allowed to socialize with kids his own age. This leads to him having:
Luke, You Are My Father: More like "Batman, I'm your son." This is what Damian's first meeting with Bruce consisted of.
Master-Apprentice Chain: In Batman #700, it shows not only the chain of Bruce > Dick > Damian, but Damian will later teach Terry McGinnis from Batman Beyond; the chain keeps going all the way to Batman One Million.
Meaningful Name: Damian means "one who tames, subdues", while he is "tamed" by the Batfamily. The name is often said to mean "demon" or "son of the devil", and his mother's surname, Al Ghul, means "of the demon".
No Social Skills: Damian has issues with communicating with others and getting along with people. However, he does seem to be changing his ways recently.
Not Good with People: Damian has a cow, a Great Dane (Titus), and a kitten in the future. He is also a vegetarian and refuses to eat meat. When it comes to people, he's a little less forgiving and a lot more violent. Apparently for Damian, killing or torturing people is okay, but killing or eating animals is a big no-no.
Odd Friendship: In the adventure they shared together in the Supergirl Series Damian was actually downright pleasant in his own way towards Jaime Reyes, Blue Beetle. It could arguably also be something of a Pet the Dog. Or he just might enjoy the company of the low key and genuine Nice Guy type, as Jaime and Dick are
Parental Abandonment: He only knew about his father for much of his life, rather than know him personally, and his mom wasn't very proactive in his rearing. His mother has abandoned him now as well, because he chooses to side with Dick, Alfred and his father's ideals over Talia.
Pet the Dog: Is genuinely horrified at the hundreds of dead children he and Dick find on Christmas Day, and has a soft spot for cats. The latter must run in the family.
We also found out that he's been visiting Hush (who had surgery to make him look exactly like Bruce Wayne) in his prison at the Wayne Tower and playing chess with him. But Hush himself suspects it's Damian's form of grieving for his father's death and a way for him to spend more time with his "father".
His giving Colin/Abuse the Cycle Of Abuse, as a roundabout way of thanking him for his assistance.
He bonds with the Great Dane his father gave him, naming it Titus and they have had several scenes together.
In Batman #666, he owns a cat that he named Alfred.
Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The youngest of the Robins, but still extremely (if not more than the other Robins) competent.
Princely Young Man: Damian often acts very snobbish, entitled and stuck up. Why wouldn't he? He's strong, he's intelligent, he's capable, he's rich AND most of all, he's Bruce Wayne/Batman's biological son.
Rasputinian Death: The kid gets put through the wringer before finally dying. Gets the Bane styled "Back snap", gets shot with a shower of arrows, thrown though a wall, before finally getting fatally stabbed.
Redemption Demotion: He's still as agile and intelligent as he was when he first appeared, it's just the fact that he can't kill tends to render most of the stratagems he was taught moot; cue many beatdowns.
Reckless Sidekick: His superiority complex from his League of Assassins training and being Batman's son has made him a very reckless child, but he's developing out of it.
Royal Brat: Alright, technically he's not royalty, but his maternal grandfather is Ra's Al Ghul and his father is Batman.
Shadow Archetype: His composition makes him one to the Bat Clan (Bruce's age when his quest for vengeance began wit h many of the skills he would come to acquire but none of the maturity, Dick's being formally trained before being Robin with the loving parents replaced with sinister assassins, Jason's violent tendencies, Tim's intelligence minus the patience and rationale to utilize it properly, and, as mentioned above, Cassandra's general origin of being raised by the League of Assassins, minus all the stuff thatmade Cass want toavoid that originin the first place).
Sibling Yin-Yang: With Tim. Damian is the polar opposite of Tim in terms of upbringing, beliefs and values. Damian was brought up in a violent, chaotic environment. Tim was brought up in a loving, caring environment. The differences in the way Tim and Damian were brought up helped to shape Tim and Damian's personalities, beliefs, ideologies and outlooks.
Small Name, Big Ego: Subverted, he really is as deadly as he says... he's just not allowed to kill.
Took a Level in Kindness: Damian learned the concept of love and compassion as time progressed. Most of this occurred under the guidance, mentoring and tutelage of Dick (his adoptive brother) and later on, Bruce (his father). Both Dick and Bruce have managed to help shape Damian into a much more compassionate person capable of love, empathy, sympathy and affection.
Troubled, but Cute: Damian is so adorable, yet is so incredibly troubled at the same time. He comes from an upbringing of pure, utter dysfunction and he was raised to be a sociopathic, violent person.
Troubled Child: Comes from a violent upbringing, was raised to be an assassin and kill innocents, has strong parental issues with his mother Talia, was exposed to and raised by a sociopathic, crazy villain of a grandfather (Ra's Al Ghul), has Parental Abandonment issues with both of his parents (Bruce and Talia), didn't have a father figure in his life for 10 years, had to suffer his parents, Bruce/Talia being at odds with each other and fighting over who gets possession of him therefore, resulting in only more chaos and dysfunction for Damian, doesn't exactly fit in with the rest of the Bat Family and appeared to be the automatic unfavorite amongst the Wayne/Bat-Family. Yeah, one can understand or see why Damian is so troubled.
Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Damian is a ten-year-old who is firmly convinced that he's the natural successor to his father's legacy and Dick Grayson is an idiot. In addition to being a particularly grim (and potentially deadly) Robin, he is frighteningly efficient at running Wayne Enterprises due to his extreme intelligence and his strong business acumen.
With Damian, several characters acknowledged it was a bad thing. Bruce originally didn't let him out in the field, and he only became Robin under Dick. Dick got him to act a little more normal though Dick's extreme own personal combo of experience, patience, and just being a good person. Stephanie, after learning Damian had never really played in his life, forced him onto a moon-bounce with her (though she admitted she was pretty sure he wasn't joking about stabbing her several times during her run) and usually ignored him when he got bratty. Damian acted a little more like a kid around Colin Wilkes (probably to put Colin, who was the same age, more at ease), but it was a major change form his original characterization.
Tim and many other people still found him very unnerving even by the time of the reboot, though.
One of the major themes in Batman and Robin from the New 52 reboot is the difficulty Bruce is having in keeping Damian under control.
Tsundere: Damian refuses to admit it to Dick's face, but he respects him very greatly, even standing up to his mother, Talia, when she bad mouths him. They have a more brotherly relationship then he'd care to admit, despite his snarky comments to Dick. He also seems to be this way for Stephanie, the current Batgirl and with Alfred.
By "Batman and Robin Must Die!", Damian openly shows concern and tries his hardest to save Dick from Dr. Hurt. He even outright apologies to Dick for failing to save him. Maybe he's outgrowing it.
Tyke Bomb: Damian was trained from an early age to be a warrior. The difference between him and Cassandra is that she was treated as a weapon. Damian was treated as a prince, spoiled rotten and able to do whatever he wants.
Wise Beyond Their Years: Slowly, beginning in 'Batman and Robin, under the constant tutelage of Dick Grayson and after being imparted a couple of lessons in teamwork from Tim Drake, sheds Damian's brash cockiness evolving into an overtly serious, competent but gloomy hero. A little clone of his daddy. Stephanie Brown, the third Batgirl (not counting Helena Bertinelli) comes actually to pity his utter inability to act his age anymore, being a 10 yrs old kid unable to play or interact with other toddlers, but deadly competent in crimefighting and investigation, with snarker-tendencies.
You Can't Go Home Again: By choice, as he found being a part of the Bat-family to be a more fulfilling life than being the prince of the League of Assassins.
Younger Than He Looks: In order for the New 52 timeline to make any sense at all with him, it is very much implied that Damian is not actually ten years old, but merely has the physical body of a ten year old, and was rapidly aged along with his test-tube birth.