Comicbook / Robin Series

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Tim Drake as Robin (left) and Red Robin (right)

In 1993, after the success of three separate miniseries chronicling Tim Drake's tribulations as the third Robin, (succeeding Dick Grayson and Jason Todd), Tim was given his own monthly ongoing series that began in 1993 and ran for more than 15 years, until it ended in early 2009. The series is notable for depicting Tim's personal life with his family and friends, and him balancing a delicate act between his superhero and civilian identities. The first 100 issues of the Robin series were written by Chuck Dixon, which was acclaimed at the time for a high-profile Teen Pregnancy arc involving Tim's girlfriend, Stephanie Brown (Spoiler). In 1998, Wizard magazine ranked the series as the best ongoing comic book of the year.

As the series went on, Chuck Dixon left the book and different writers came on-board. The first was Jon Lewis, whose short tenure on the Robin series built a stable relationship between Tim and Stephanie and had fondness for writing slightly sci-fi plots, which was jarring in a Batbook that focused more on street-level crime. Next was Bill Willingham, who forcibly retired Tim from being Robin after his dad found out his secret, and killed off Stephanie in the War Games crossover. Adam Beechen took over the series with Robin: One Year Later and had Tim leaving Gotham for a while and temporarily staying in Bludhaven with Cassandra Cain. Dixon then briefly took over the series between issues 170 - 174 to resurrect Stephanie Brown, but was promptly fired and replaced with Fabian Nicieza, who wrote the last arc in the series before it was cancelled in the wake of "Batman R.I.P."

After a brief hiatus, the Robin series was succeeded by Red Robin, written by Chris Yost and depicting Tim Drake's search around the world to find evidence that Bruce Wayne was still alive after cutting himself off from the rest of the Bat Family. He was approached by Ra's al Ghul's assassins, who were also interested in finding out what happened to Batman. After the resolution of this story, as of issue #13, Fabian Nicieza took over as writer. The series lasted for 2 years, being truncated by the DCU reboot in 2011.

As of current, Tim Drake's only solo comic has been Batman Beyond where an alternate-future version of him is a Fish out of Temporal Water in a post-apocalyptic Bad Future world. He also starred in the New 52 Teen Titans, and in Detective Comics (Rebirth).


Tropes associated with the Robin series:

     Robin series (1993-2009) 

  • Aborted Arc: It was heavily implied at one point that Alfred was falling for Tim's stepmother, Dana. Then Blüdhaven blew up and Dana was never seen again.
  • Abuse Mistake: When Timís friend Ives is working as the mascot at a Suck E. Cheese's, he comes to school so bruised that Tim and their friend Callie suspect he is being abused.
  • Academy of Adventure: Brentwood Academy. Lampshaded by Tim himself when he comments on the weirdness of the school.
  • After School Special: The early 90s were chock-full of these issues. Near-date rapes, school shootings, teen pregnancy, bullying, drug-abuse...
  • Age-Appropriate Angst: The Robin series does very well at handling Tim's teenage love troubles and his own methods of coping with his mother's death, the crippling of his father, and subsequent death of said father in a way an average 15-year-old boy would do in those situations (the Robin thing not withstanding).
  • Attempted Rape: Both Ariana and Stephanie had a near-rape experience before, and both confessed it to Tim. It's no wonder that Tim has the 'Lets Wait Awhile' mentality in the first place...
  • Batman Gambit: Inherited from the man himself, Tim does this once to Lady Shiva in the last arc of the Robin series. He drugs her food before their fight and wins easily against her.
  • Battle Couple: with Stephanie/Spoiler.
  • Betty and Veronica: Tim had a brief love triangle in the early in the series. He was dating civilian Ariana Dzerchenko (Betty) but was attracted to vigilante Stephanie Brown (Veronica) at the same time. Ironic, because Ariana has Veronica's physical appearance and bitchiness, and Stephanie has Betty's physical appearance and tomboyishness. Ultimately, Stephanie wins the triangle, with her becoming his most high-profile (and longest) relationship in the series.
    • Even after Stephanie and Tim's breakup, her fake 'death', Tim dating a new girl called Zoanne and later Stephanie's subsequent return to Gotham ó Stephanie was still the Veronica, this time to Zoanne's Betty. And again, Stephanie wins the triangle (technically), with Tim breaking up with Zoanne on the phone, and then calling up Stephanie to try and patch things up with her.
    • In Red Robin, Tam is now the new Betty to Stephanie's Veronica. And Lynx is the Third-Option Love Interest.
    • Any of Tim's civilian girlfriends will end up being the 'Betty' by default due to his working partnership/love-hate-on-off relationship with Stephanie (who is always the Veronica).
  • Big Bad: In the original Robin miniseries and its sequel, King Snake. Then for a brief time Johnny Warlock. From the end of the first ongoing into Red Robin, Anarky II.
    • War Games and the brief gang conflict instigated by Jason Todd and then Anarky.
  • Big Brother Worship: Tim Drake adores Dick Grayson.
  • Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Initially Deconstructed by Lonnie Machin, Anarky I, who was a Well-Intentioned Extremist on his bad days,and generally a Hero Antagonist when not. Then parodied by Anarchy II, who was actually a fascist seeking to cause enough chaos to justify a military takeover. However, after a Spanner in the Works decision by a policeman leads to him killing his own brother and sister, he arguably plays it straight.
  • Chew-Out Fake-Out: After losing nearly all of his biological family Tim sets up an actor to pretend to be his fake uncle so that he doesn't have to go into the foster care system. Batman, being Batman, naturally finds out, and Robin assumes he's about to be reamed out for going behind Bruce's back... but all Bruce can say is that he's so proud of Tim for taking the initiative, and gives him some tips on how to make the deception foolproof.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: He wore glasses for a while during his short tenure at Brentwood Academy, as sort of a precaution.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: The series chronicles his progression from a naive 14-year-old boy to a jaded, cynical 17-year-old brooder.
  • Cool Car: Tim's Redbird.
  • Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday: in which Batman manipulated Tim on his 16th birthday into believing the existence of a Bad Future, in order to 'train' him to become a better Robin.
  • Easter Egg: Tim always has band posters up in his room which tend to change with the artist.
    • Wonder what class Timís Advanced Egyptian Algebra textbook is for.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Ariana caught Tim staring at Stephanie during Karl Ranck's funeral, and proceeded to bleach her hair because she was jealous and thought that Tim preferred blonde girls. (He doesn't, but Ariana was insecure and paranoid at the time) Ironically, blonde Ariana became really popular with the boys at school and that pissed off Tim.
  • Eye Scream: Recurring villain Lynx has one of her eyes ripped out by King Snake as punishment for failing to kill Robin.
  • Fanservice: Mostly averted (surprising for a teenage book), but there are a few exceptions: Ariana coming out of her room in skimpy lingerie, and Tim's various shower scenes.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Happened with an evil Cassandra Cain in Robin:OYL.
  • Genius Bruiser: Tim himself ends up as a nightmare for any poor mook he comes across, but is still outclassed by the heavy hitters like Ra's Al Ghul and Lady Shiva, and must rely on Brains to score a victory against them.
  • Goofy Suit: When Timís friend Ives is working as the mascot at a Suck E. Cheese's he wears a "Rat" costume.
  • Hero Harasses Helpers: A large part of Timís job when working with Batman seems to be smoothing things over when Bats does this.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Hilariously depicted between Tim and Lady Shiva in the Robin miniseries when he goes to Hong Kong. Lady Shiva wakes him up at night for their martial arts training, telling him that she'll bring him to a "whole new world". Tim's response? "Um... I don't think I'm ready for this". Lady Shiva then nonchalantly replied that they can do that later, after the training.
  • I Have This Friend...: Subverted in Robin #58:
    Robin: Could I ask you for some non-professional advice?
    Oracle: Talk to Doctor Babs, Robin.
    Robin: I have this friendÖ
    Oracle: Hold on. This friend isn't you, is it?
    Robin: My friend is pregnant.
    Oracle: Oh.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: To quote Fabian Nicieza:
    "What I love about Tim is that he shares some of the strongest traits of various Bat-family members. The intellect and detective skills of Bruce, the ability to lead others and be a friend to others like Dick has and even the ability to make cold, harsh decisions like Jason does."
  • Kid Sidekick: to Batman.
    • And Spoiler is the kid sidekick to the kid sidekick.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks
  • Lamaze Class: Disguised himself as Alvin Draper and accompanied Steph to birthing classes when she was pregnant.
  • Not a Date: Back when Tim, was still dating Arianna, he would occasionally team-up with future girlfriend Stephanie Brown to fight criminals on the street. He keeps on insisting that "it's not a date," but that does not stop Stephanie from shamelessly flirting with him. It also doesn't help that he was giving out mixed messages anyways.
  • Off to Boarding School: One of the arcs in Chuck Dixon's run. Tim gets sent to Brentwood Academy by his dad who is worried about him being a rebellious and secretive teenager.
  • Parents Walk In at the Worst Time: In Robin #40, Ariana wanted to have sex with Tim, but he told her that they weren't ready and ended up just hanging out together on the couch. Her uncle walked in on them and saw her still in lingerie, got the wrong idea and chased him out of the house.
  • Pick on Someone Your Own Size: There was a period in The Ď90s, mostly but not entirely in comics by Chuck Dixon, where Two-Face decided he hated Robin more than Batman. While this mostly meant Nightwing, he wasn't averse to taking shots at Tim Drake.
  • Put on a Bus: Ariana Dzerchenko, Tim's First Love. Although she starred in the first 50 issues of the series, she was quickly dropped in favour of the more popular Stephanie. After her breakup with Tim, she only appeared once and was never mentioned again. Heck, barely no one remembers Ariana nowadays.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Tim has called out Batman several times — first when Batman revealed Tim's identity to Stephanie without his permission, and the second time when Batman pulled an elaborate, dysfunctional plan to test his dedication as a Robin on his 16th birthday.
  • Retcon: Stephanie's death in War Games — it turns out that she was just hiding in Africa.
  • Reunion Kiss: After finding out that his girlfriend wasn't actually dead Robin sweeps her into his arms and gives her a surprise kiss. Right in front of Batman, no less.
  • Revealing Skill: In Timís backstory, this is how he learned the secret identities of Batman and Robin (Dick Grayson): by watching news coverage of the Dynamic Duo's escapades, during which Robin performed a complicated gymnastics move (a quadruple somersault) ó which it had been established could be performed only by a small handful of people, including the orphaned circus artist Dick Grayson.
  • Rogues Gallery: Tim was the first Robin to acquire his own before graduating to another identity.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Tim Drake/Robin (goal-oriented, serious introvert) with Stephanie Brown/Spoiler (plucky, street-smart people person).
  • Second Love: Following his adopted father's footsteps, Tim's first love was Ariana Dzerchenko and his second love was Stephanie Brown. In fact, Tim is Stephanie's second love ó her first boyfriend, Dean, got her pregnant and abandoned her after he found out.
  • Secret Identity Identity: He sometimes addresses himself in the third-person in his thought dialogues, either as 'Robin' or 'Tim Drake'.
  • Secret Keeper: Thanks to his spot as the resident Smart Guy, he knew who both Huntress and Spoiler were well before they knew who he was. This annoyed them both, naturally.
  • Secret Relationship: Tim and Steph started dating as costumed crimefighters (because he was not allowed to reveal his true identity to her, Batman-related issues and all) and spent a long time only knowing each other as Robin and Spoiler. Tim would also go out of his way to avoid bumping into Steph at school, and lied to his parents when they asked him if he was seeing anyone.
  • Ship Tease: Arguably played between Cassandra Cain (Batgirl II) and Tim shortly after War Games. Also, with Wonder Girl after the death of Superboy (Tim's best friend and Wonder Girl's boyfriend).
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Stephanie Brown (Spoiler/Batgirl IV) was in a relationship with a sleazy douchebag who knocked her up and left her to fend for herself. Her next boyfriend was nice guy Tim Drake who took care of her during her pregnancy, brought her to birthing classes, and even crossed hundred of miles in one night just to see her at the hospital during her labour.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: When Cass came to Bludhaven to help out Tim, Batgirl and Robin had this dynamic.
  • Sudden Name Change: Stephanie Brown's mother was named "Agnes" when she originally appeared in Detective Comics, but her name was later changed to "Crystal." According to Scott Beatty (who was the first to rename her), he had asked DC editors about the name of the mother but no one could remember, leading to an accidental name change that stuck.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: Ives got a job at one, he was too embarrassed to tell his friends about it at first since he was a mascot wearing a rat costume.
  • Telescoping Staff: One was given to Tim by Lady Shiva.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: The reason Tim is now an orphan and permanently dedicated to crime-fighting.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: The reason why his relationships with Ariana and Zoanne went sour.
  • There Are No Therapists: In addition to the benefits the various members of the Batfamily could reap from a visit to a good therapist (Dick has actually gone to one) Timís first girlfriend could undoubtedly use some therapy after seeing her father murdered, being kidnapped and forced to help manufacture drugs, and having a classmate try to rape her. Of course it is understandably difficult to trust anyone in that profession working in Gotham.
  • Trauma Conga Line: starting from War Games on Tim experienced his girlfriend's death, his father's death, his stepmother's possible death, his best friend's death, his other best friend's death, and all capped off by the apparent death of adoptive father and mentor Bruce Wayne. All these tragedies caused Tim to go down the angsty, jerkass route right up until he takes up the Red Robin mantle.
  • Training from Hell: His training arc with Lady Shiva in Paris and Hong Kong.
  • Villain Episode: Issue #85 focuses entirely on The Joker, who gives a warped-but-mostly-accurate rundown of his history with all three Robins so far.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: A major component of the series before Tim grows out of it.

     Red Robin series (2009-2011) 

  • Aborted Arc: Almost all major plot threads remained unresolved thanks to the DC reboot.
  • Alliterative Title: Red Robin.
  • The Alternet : Final Crisis makes brief mention of a supervillain-created Unternet, which exists alongside the normal Internet. The heroes use it to communicate after Darkseid takes control of all Earth's media and uses it to broadcast Anti-Life. It also made an appearance in Red Robin where Tim gained a new costume while inside it.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Tim pulls this off during Anarky II's rampage, and receives one from Cassandra Cain and Dick Grayson at different times.
  • Bishōnen: Marcus To draws a really pretty Tim Drake with fabulous hair.
  • Cool Bike: Is also a Badass Biker.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: A group of spider themed villains attack Red Robin. One nearly kills him. When they attack him en masse, he kicks their butts.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Russian industrialist and hobbyist super-villain Mikalek from Red Robin.
  • Darker and Edgier: Averted. The series seems to start off as this, but Tim makes away with his brooding while combating Ra's attack on the Bat-family. It still is more straight-faced in nature compared to the original Robin run though.
  • Dating Catwoman: Lynx III. Batman even wanted to give Tim advice on how he had handled Catwoman over the years.
  • Gambit Roulette: In issue #12, Dick saves Tim in the nick of time from falling out a skyscraper. Later in the Batcave, Dick questions him whether he had planned it all along, and Tim replies with a: "You're my brother, Dick. You'll always be there for me."
  • Guile Hero: the only Robin to have inherited this particular repertoire from Batman.
  • Hollywood Atheist: His dad was Jewish and mom was Catholic, but after their deaths Tim became jaded with religion.
  • Love Triangle: At one point, Tim was juggling multiple love interests at the same time. He was casually dating Tam Fox out of costume while flirting with Lynx in costume, and all the time still having UST with Steph (they would have probably gotten back together if Steph hadn't refused the kiss). FabNic had plans to build the triangle/polygon/harem a bit more, but was cut short by the DC reboot.
  • Milholland Relationship Moment: After Timís best friend Conner dies, Tim and Connerís girlfriend Cassie begin a relationship that could be interpreted largely as Sex for Solace (except without the sex, because, you know, Tim Drake). They break up, but after Conner comes back to life both are worried what he'll think of them. He doesn't care; it's not like they knew he was coming back, after all.
  • Multiarmed And Dangerous: Goliath of the Council of Spiders.
  • Murder, Inc.: The Council of Spiders.
  • Renamed the Same: Robin to Red Robin. He didnít really give up the name by choice anyway so this let him hang on to it regardless of Dickís decision.
  • Rescue Romance: Tim Drake and Tam Fox are both made prisoners of the League of Assassins. When they escape in the chaos caused by Tim defeating the Council of Spiders and hurting the League, Tam gives Tim a big ol' smooch and continues to have tension with him in the series.
  • Running Gag: This series lampshades just how many attractive females have attacked Tim only to form alliances with him running from the good to the tense to the ugly.
  • Secret Chaser: Vicki Vale — she figured out 3/4 of the Batfamily identities, with the exception of Steph, Cass and Damian.
  • Secret Test: Turns out that Ra's combined this with Xanatos Gambit in the first arc. Tim is pitted against the Council of Spiders and then the League of Assassins itself. If he fails, he's dead and Ra's has one less Bat-Clan member to worry about. If he succeeds he proves himself worthy to Ra's Al Ghul's sister. Goes a long way to explain Ra's apparent use of the Villain Ball in the arc.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Damian Wayne, fifth Robin and Bruce Wayne's biological son.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Tim started as an idealist as Robin, and slowly went down the cynical route after Identity Crisis.
    • Ironic, since his on-again, off-again girlfriend Stephanie Brown went the opposite direction, starting out cynical before becoming an optimist.
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: One of Ra's Al Ghul's sisters. As Tim puts it, he's about to be attacked by her in a "after school special" kind of way.
  • The Chessmaster: Tim Drake. And how.
  • The Cowl: He is after all, the closest to Bruce in terms of personality.
  • Time Abyss: Turns out that whoever runs the Assassination tournament Tim interferes with is an immortal with a laser equipped "ancient Babylonian" hideout in the sewers of Paris, and is old enough to have met Vandal Savage. It's a shame he had to destroy the place.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Tim, Stephanie Brown, and the General all show how much they've grown in Red Robin.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Tam Fox breaks up with Tim at the end of the series when she find out that he's been lying to her about Lucius Fox being dead.
  • Will They or Won't They?: The premise of the entire Red Robin/Batgirl crossover arc.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Stephanie calls him out in Red Robin #10, in which he admits that she's right and promises to be better in the future.
    • Comes from Tam Fox when he fakes her father's death-without telling her.

Alternative Title(s): Red Robin

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