Robin is a DC Comics character created as Batman's sidekick in 1940 and best known as the Trope Maker and Trope Codifier of the Kid Sidekick archetype. There have been many, many different Robins throughout the character's publication, but most of them have common elements. With only a few exceptions, they are usually orphaned teenage males with some sort of acrobatic or martial arts prowess and wear a brightly-colored costume (typically red, green and yellow).
Robin was originally conceived as a vehicle to draw younger readers — and it worked, doubling Batman's sales figures from his first appearance onwards. Afterward, Robin became a staple of the Batman franchise's humor, as well as being a Foil against his mentor and providing the Dark Knight a character to whom he could exposit his many heroic feats. Unfortunately, this also had the side-effect of making Robin into a Distressed Dude who barely contained a tenth of the skills or competence of his partner.
As time went along, the implications regarding a rich adult who lived alone with a traumatized teenage orphan boy (Alfred the Butler would not become part of the Batman home until sometime later) garnered negative media attention. Comic books were blamed for everything from juvenile delinquency to homosexuality to communism, and the "indecent" relationship between Batman and Robin is often cited as one of the major reasons for the creation of The Comics Code that spelled the end of The Interregnum and the dawn of The Silver Age of Comic Books. Robin's reputation as a character suffered its greatest blow in this period, and the repercussions are still felt to this day (such as in parodies like the Ambiguously Gay Duo). Outside of comics, new media involving the two has tended to split them apart. Batman has remained consistently popular and has been subject to many darker reimaginings, but Robin has found more success away from his/her mentor's shadow.
Despite their usual role as a supporting character, the Robins are well-known for several events which helped modern comics to their current form—all of which will be noted below, in the description of the Robin they pertain to. It's also notable that the individual Robins often become popular in their own right. All five Robin characters are currently in print, with two headlining their own books, two co-starring alongside other sidekicks, and the newly-reintroduced Stephanie Brown making the rounds of guest appearances. All are featured in the weekly series Batman and Robin Eternal, although Stephanie has never been Robin in this version of events.
Robin in Media:
The most famous Robin is the original, Dick Grayson, who held the identity from 1940 to 1984. Grayson, however, gave up the name to forge a new career as the hero Nightwing. Since then, the mantle has been passed several times, although other media usually use Dick Grayson in the role.
Dick Grayson had his own solo feature in Star-Spangled Comics from 1947 to 1952, and an additional feature billed as "Robin, the Teen Wonder" throughout most of the 1970s, usually as a backup in Batman or Detective Comics. The latter stories typically featured Grayson as a college student at Hudson University. He has also been a staple member of the Teen Titans since the group's inception in 1965, typically acting as team leader and The Smart Guy. It was in this series that the character really grew into his own, especially when the book was retooled as The New Teen Titans with the inclusion of four new teen heroes who were not conceived as sidekicks to adult heroes (although Beast Boy was a Transplant from another series). It was in the pages of The New Teen Titans that Nightwing was originally born.
It's worth noting that Dick Grayson was Robin from 1940 to 1983— 43 years, by far the longest tenure. Jason was Robin from 1983 to 1988 (5 years, with a reboot in the middle), Tim from 1989 to 2009 (20 years), Stephanie for one story arc (around 3 months), and Damian from 2009 to 2013 and from 2015 onwards (five years). The Golden Age Robin of Earth-2, who stuck to that identity long after he passed into adulthood and middle age, died alongside his partner the Huntress at the end of the Crisis on Infinite Earths event which rebooted the DC universe.
Dick Grayson's Media Appearances
A Lonely Place of Dying | Knightfall | Batman Contagion | Batman Cataclysm | Batman: No Man's Land | Bruce Wayne: Fugitive | Batman: Hush | Batman: War Games | Face The Face | Batman: The Black Mirror | Joker's Last Laugh | Identity Crisis | Final Crisis | Blackest Night: Batman | Convergence
- Batman: Under the Red Hood: As Nightwing and explicitly stated to have been the first Robin.
- The LEGO Batman Movie: Dick with aspects of his appearance based on Carrie.
- Justice League: The New Frontier: A quick cameo as Robin in this adaptation of Darwyn Cooke's DC: The New Frontier.
- DC Animated Movie Universe: Son of Batman | Batman vs. Robin | Batman: Bad Blood | Justice League vs. Teen Titans (guest)| Teen Titans: The Judas Contract | Batman: Hush | Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.
- Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
- The Adventures of Batman and Robin
- Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu: as Nightwing
- Batman: Arkham City (Playable character in Challenge Mode as Nightwing)| Batman: Arkham Knight| Batman: Arkham Origins (As Robin in the multiplayer mode)
- Injustice: Gods Among Us (As Nightwing)
- Young Justice: Legacy
- LEGO Batman: as Nightwing, unlockable
- The Adventures Of Batman
- Teen Titans (He's never referred as Dick but it's implied to be him)
- Teen Titans Go!
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold (First appears as a young adult Robin and later becomes Nightwing)
- The Batman
- Young Justice (2010) (An original series inspired by the Young Justice comicbook series with Dick as Robin in season one and Nightwing in season two)
- Robot Chicken
More information can be found on the Nightwing and Nightwing (Rebirth) pages.
#2) Jason Peter ToddAfter Dick Grayson, a new character named Jason Todd was introduced as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute (right down to origins as an orphaned circus acrobat). He acted nigh-indistinguishable in such stories as "For the Man Who Has Everything", where he's instrumental in saving the day and Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman's lives. In the Alternate Continuity series Batman: The Dark Knight Returns where an aged Batman comes out of retirement, he's long since died. When Batman decides to keep Carrie Kelley (see below) as Robin, Alfred objects because of what happened to Jason. Batman says that Jason was a "good soldier", but the war continues.
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Jason was Retconned to be a former teen delinquent to distinguish him from Dick Grayson. This version was unpopular with those who had grown up with Dick Grayson (including his writers— when editorial wanted suggestions for a character that could be killed in an AIDS storyline, Jim Starlin put his name in), so he was Killed Off for Real by the Joker in the infamous A Death in the Family storyline in 1988. This death was significant in a number of ways: first, whether he would live or die was put to a readership vote (via a hotline number: 5,271 votes for him to live, 5,343 votes for him to die). Second, just like The Night Gwen Stacy Died, this was a tragic event which codified The Bronze Age of Comic Books. Third, this would top the Clown Prince of Crime's list of most heinous acts (following the shooting of Batgirl by only a couple of months) and cement his status as one of the most despicable villains in comics' history. (And as a bonus, some people thought his death was... a bit TOO mean.)
For a time, the most famous thing about Jason Todd was that he (like his Captain America counterpart Bucky Barnes), had remained dead. For years, Batman kept a poignant memorial with his empty costume in the Batcave (directly lifted from The Dark Knight Returns). Since then, however, he has come Back from the Dead and has re-adopted several identities which were once used by other characters: the Red Hood (originally used by the Joker), Red Robin and Nightwing (both originally used by Dick Grayson). Since his return, Jason Todd has become even more of an Anti-Hero than ever and is even sometimes cast as a villain for both Batman and Nightwing, standing in opposition to their Thou Shalt Not Kill ideology.
He's gained a new fanbase since his resurrection, both for being the one who will do what Batman won't and for being a general bad boy.
In the New 52 reboot, he was restablished as a snarky and pragmatic Anti-Hero and an aloof ally of the Bat-Family and would often team up with Roy Harper a.k.a Red Arrow.
Jason's also notable for his part in what is considered a monumental achievement of DC animation: Batman: Under the Red Hood. Written by Judd Winick, who originally pitched and wrote Jason's resurrection in the comics, he took the movie as an opportunity to revise and vastly improve on the original story, tightening up the plot and, most notably, changing the method of Jason's resurrection from a gimmicky tie-in to an event crossover to the Lazarus Pit, a well-established element of the Batman mythos. Even those who want their hotline money back would rather consider it canon.
Jason Todd's Media Appearances
For the Man Who Has Everything | A Death in the Family | A Lonely Place of Dying (flashbacks) | Batman: Hush | Red Hood: The Lost Days | Countdown to Final Crisis | | Convergence
- Young Justice (2010) (season 2, he's established as the second Robin who was killed in the line of duty before the events of the season)
The third Robin was Tim Drake, who broke the mold of the previous two in several ways; he was not an orphan (his father was still alive when he took the mantle); he was not as light-hearted or whimsical as either of his predecessors; being Robin was only a part-time thing and he only saw it as a temporary necessity, planning to go back to his normal life after he put in his service. He was also the first Robin to maintain a long-lasting solo series (lasting from 1993 to 2009) and, after Dick Grayson, is the second-most famous person to hold the role. Tim was also a founding member of Young Justice, along with Superboy and Impulse, where he played a similar role that Dick Grayson had played within the Titans.
Tim's status quo was changed forever in 2004, after the death of his father, whereupon Batman adopted Tim as he had done with his predecessors. The tragedy continued with the seeming death of his girlfriend Stephanie Brown (on this very list as Robin IV), the death of his best friends Conner Kent and Bart Allen, the institutionalization (and THEN death) of his stepmother, and ultimately the death of Batman himself. Following this Trauma Conga Line, Tim was forcibly retired as Robin and became the third Red Robin.
Following the New 52 reboot, Tim still leads the Titans and was still Jason's successor as Batman's ward, but he never actually used the Robin name, having used the Red Robin name for his entire career. On top of that, his parents are still alive and he's no longer actually called "Tim Drake" either, as Batman gave him this name after his parents were placed into Witness Protection following Tim stealing a large sum of money from the Penguin.
In the DC Rebirth relaunch, Tim Drake's original backstory was restored including his time as Robin before becoming Red Robin and began dating Stephanie Brown a.k.a Spoiler until he apparently was killed in the line of duty. However, he returns and becomes a more active member of the Bat-Family. He then starred in Young Justice (2019), where he was using the Robin moniker again, before changing his superhero identity to Drake, inspired by an Evil Counterpart from Earth-3, in issue 10 of the series. After it ended, he would return to using Robin and Red Robin, with the specific name employed alternating randomly. In 2021, Tim was revealed as a closeted bisexual who is still trying to figure out his actual feelings.
- Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu: as Robin
- Batman: Arkham City | Batman: Arkham Knight | Batman: Arkham VR
- Injustice: Gods Among Us
- Young Justice: Legacy
- Young Justice: Shadow-Mission: A Young Justice (2010) version of Armed With Wings Culmination with Tim Drake's Robin as the player character.
- LEGO Batman (I, II, & III)
- Teen Titans Go!
- Young Justice (2010): Robin in Season 2, Red Robin in Season 3.
More information can be found on the Robin (1993) and Red Robin pages.
In 2003, Tim Drake retired as Robin to pursue an ordinary life. Batman picked Tim's supporting character and Love Interest Stephanie Brown, the daughter of the minor villain Cluemaster who had adopted the heroic identity of Spoiler, to become the new Robin. Stephanie's tenure as Robin was rife with controversy. She only appeared as Robin in seven issues over three different ongoings, and it was insinuated that her promotion was a failed Batman Gambit (by the Trope Namer himself no less) to anger Tim Drake into returning as Robin.\\\
Stephanie was fired from the role for disobeying Batman's orders (a move that saved his life) and then was unceremoniously killed off in 2004 during a Bat Family Crossover. It was later revealed through Word of God that Stephanie was only given the role of Robin to make her death more shocking. This has since been cited as a textbook case of Stuffed into the Fridge, especially considering her Forgotten Fallen Friend status among the Bat-family afterwards (unlike Jason Todd, she did not even receive a Batcave memorial). Her death also housed the even more controversial implication that Batman both failed to get her the medical attention needed to save her lifenote and did not give her the same training and information he gave other Robins.
As part of an Author's Saving Throw, in 2009 Stephanie was retconned to have faked her death and gone into hiding. She then returned to Gotham and took the role of Batgirl. Following the Flashpoint storyline in 2011 and DC's relaunch, Stephanie's time as Batgirl was wrapped up with Batman: Leviathan Strikes and a two issue Convergence tie-in.
Following the New 52, Stephanie's status was unclear, with numerous writers requesting and being denied even mentioning her. Eventually, Scott Snyder was allowed to use her in one of his Batman issues, which served as a preview of his Batman Eternal series, in which Steph plays a key role in the story. Still the daughter of Cluemaster, she accidentally stumbles in on a supervillain meeting, led by her father, which leads to him trying to kill her. She eventually takes the mantle of Spoiler, joins the Bat-family and starts a relationship with Tim. She next appeared as a main character in the initial arcs of Detective Comics (Rebirth). Her previous status as Batgirl and Robin is revealed to her during the finale of said series, and a later cameo in Heroes in Crisis implies that she has embraced this past and considers herself a Robin note . Following DC's Infinite Frontier relaunch, Stephanie is set up to once again be Batgirl - this time, as part of a team alongside Cassandra Caine and Barbara Gordon. She also briefly takes on the role of Robin to Damian Wayne's Batman in a tie-in to the Alternate Continuity DCeased.
Steph is unique among the Robins in several ways, being the one with the shortest term, the only (canonical) female, the only one to begin as a co-star in another book series, the only blonde, and the only Robin to never be adopted into the Wayne family. All of these traits, along with her later Fun Personified characterisation and the perceived editorial slights against her, have made Stephanie something of a "cult" Robin. On the other hand, some — even if they enjoy her character — consider her run as Robin too short and too obviously a publicity stunt to really count her for the role. Overall, Steph can count herself as one of the more controversial Robins, both in-universe and out.
Bruce Wayne: Fugitive | Joker's Last Laugh | Batman: War Games | Convergence
- Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: Cameo as Tim's wife and the mother of their children.
- Young Justice (2010): As an unnamed cameo during Season 2 and as Spoiler during Season 3
The 1987 story Batman: Son of the Demon concluded with the birth of a boy to Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul (daughter of Batman foe Ra's Al Ghul). The canonicity of the tale was questionable. In 2006, the existence of the son was confirmed. He was named Damian and had grown up to late childhood. Whether he is a result of mutual intercourse, a Child by Rape, or a Designer Baby created from Batman's genes depends on the continuity. Damian was raised by his mother in the League of Assassins, and was put through an initiation pilgrimage known as the "Year of Blood" that involved 365 days of desecration, robbery, and slaughter. After Bruce Wayne "died" and Tim Drake permanently retired as Robin in 2009, Dick Grayson and Damian served as the new Batman and Robin respectively, maintaining the partnership even after Bruce's return to life and the Batman role.
In the New 52, Damian went on to serve as Robin beside his father, which followed the duo's adventures as they learned what it was to be father and son, as well as partners. Damian was killed in early 2013 while doing battle with The Heretic, an accelerated growth clone of himself. However, in due time, Damian was resurrected and returned to his role as Robin (gaining superpowers for a brief time). . He then went off to atone for the Year of Blood independently in his own series Robin: Son of Batman.
As part of DC Rebirth, after Tim Drake's "death", Damian started his own team of Teen Titans. While he insisted that he was fit for the role like Dick and Tim before him, he found it difficult to lead the team. He often butted heads with teammates and had to learn to become an actual friend to the team, rather than just their field leader. Not too long after, Damian would meet Jonathan Samuel Kent, the son of Superman and Lois Lane. Despite their intense differences, the two formed a superhero team — the Super Sons. Damian would come to consider Jon his best friend, even fighting with his fellow Titans in order to protect Jon.
Damian eventually began showing his darker side as he imprisoned villains without trial and without his teammates' knowledge. Around this time, Dick would be shot in the head and become amnesiac, forgetting his time as a superhero and thus his bond with Damian. Damian would also witness the death of Alfred Pennyworth in Bane's attempts to break his father. Finally, after his actions with the Teen Titans came to light and his father demanded he return home, Damian quit his team and his partnership role with Batman. He returned to his mother, learning of the League of Lazarus Tournament, and began his own investigation into it, separate from the legacies he'd been a part of for so long.
Caroline Keene Kelley
The Robin that appears in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Technically, the first female Robin (arguably second if Roberta The Girl Wonder is counted), although she is not considered canonical. She later becomes "Catgirl" in The Dark Knight Strikes Again. She is also featured in Ame-Comi Girls as the Robin of that Alternate Universe.
She also exists in the New 52, but not as Robin. However, she did appear at a Halloween party dressed in her Robin outfit.
Duke ThomasDuring Scott Snyder's Flashback arc Batman: Zero Year, Bruce encountered an intelligent youngster by the name of Duke Thomas. In the present, Duke returned in the Batman: Endgame, and was the lead of the We Are Robin series. In DC Rebirth, Batman tells Duke that he has no intention of training Duke to become a Robin but something new. Duke is later dubbed "the Signal" and wears a bright yellow costume.
Richard M. Grayson (Robin of Earth-Two and/or Earth-2)
The Dick Grayson from the the Golden Age Earth-Two and Pre-Crisis Earth-2 who died during the crisis at the age of 57. Distinguished from the mainstream Dick Grayson in that he never stopped being Robin, even after becoming an adult with his own superhero career, and the fact that his middle initial is "M" rather than "J". Years after his death Convergence came along and retconed it by pulling him and Huntress into the event, and had him accept the Batman mantle after prompting from Helena Wayne.
Helena Wayne (Robin of Earth 2)
Mary Wills (Roberta The Girl Wonder of Earth 2)
Robins very first Distaff Counterpart from the Golden Age, having debuted even earlier than Bette Kane/Bat-Girl. While her crimefighting career didnt last long, Robin and Roberta always made a good team whenever they worked together, especially with Marys talents for acting and disguise. If she is taken into account, then this would arguably make her the very first female Robin. Since shes from the Golden Age, she lived on Earth 2. Unfortunately, she has fallen into obscurity and she hasnt made any appearances since the 1950s, in either the Post-Crisis or New 52 continuities.
- Robin (1993) was the the first Robin ongoing, starring Tim Drake. It focused on Tim's adventures away from Batman, including him managing his life as Robin as well as being a regular high schooler. The series ended when Dick made Damian his Robin, forcing Tim to adopt the moniker of Red Robin, with a series being launched under that name as well.
- Batman and Robin (2009) was the first original comic to bear the name despite the dynamic duo's enduring place in pop culture. It starred Dick Grayson taking on the mantle of Batman, with Damian Wayne as his Robin.
- Red Robin (2009), starring Tim Drake.
- Batman and Robin (2011), launched as part of the New 52. This series focused on Bruce Wayne as Batman with Damian as Robin, exploring Bruce and Damian's relationship as Bruce learned to be a father to a son more interested in being Batman's son than Bruce Wayne's.
- Robin: Son of Batman, launched as part of the DC You initiative. The series stars Damian Wayne, returnd from the dead and intent on atoning for the "Year of Blood", a violent pilgrimage he went on when being raised by his mother.
- We Are Robin was similarly launched as part of DC YOU, but did not focus on a Robin proper. Instead, it featured a group of teenage vigilantes who formed a movement that used the Robin iconography.
- Robin (2021), which began as part of the DC Infinite Frontier relaunch. After being disillusioned with his father and splitting himself from his family and allies, Damian Wayne investigates a tournament run by the resurgent League of Lazarus.
- Robin, the Boy Wonder- The first appearance of Robin I (Dick Grayson) and his first adventure with Batman, serving justice against the mob boss who murdered his flying trapeze parents.
- A Death in the Family - Batman and Robin II (Jason Todd) go to the Middle East, to track down Jason's birth mother and stop Joker from stealing relief aid from the Red Cross for cash. In the process, Joker kills Jason Todd and his mom and ultimately finds immunity waiting for him in Iran, who offer to make him their ambassador in exchange for him poisoning the entire UN with Joker gas. Famous for the fact that Jason's fate was decided by a "1-900" call-in phone poll.
- A Lonely Place of Dying - When Batman grows increasingly violent in the wake of Jason Todd's death, a young teen named Tim Drake deduces Batman and Nightwing's identities and seeks out Dick to get him to be Robin again. When Dick refuses, it's up to Tim to take up the dominoed mask and save the two from Two-Face, setting up the stage for Tim to become the third Robin.
- Knightfall /Knightquest/Knightsend - Introduces Bane, who after forcing Batman to run a gauntlet of his worst enemies, breaks Batman's back. In response Bruce promotes his latest sidekick Comic Book/Azrael to Batman status. Due to Azrael having not shaken the effects of being brainwashed into an assassin Robin III (Tim Drake) is forced to try and hold Gotham together while clashing with the new Batman after being kicked out of the Batcave in Bruce's absence.
- Contagion & Legacy Two arcs which pretty much go together back-to-back. In the former, Gotham has to deal with an outbreak of Ebola-A, which Robin III (Tim Drake) contracts, and chronicles Batman's attempts to help contain and cure the virus. After which, in the latter, Ra's Al Ghul makes his return to the Batman books as he unleashes a massive plague upon Gotham City, as a test run to unleashing the virus upon humanity. Batman is forced to call in all of his allies (Catwoman, Azrael, Nightwing, and Robin III) to help stop Ra's Al Ghul.
- Cataclysm and Batman: No Man's Land - An earthquake hits Gotham and rather than rebuild the U.S. Government orders the city sealed off. As Batman and his allies struggle to keep the peace, it becomes apparent that Lex Luthor is behind the government turning its back on Gotham City. With no government in the city, Luthor plans to destroy all records of land ownership to claim the city as his own, but fails when Batman stops him (though he is unable to prove to the world what Lex did). Mainly known for introducing the third Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) and reintroducing Black Mask into the Batman books.
- Bruce Wayne: Murderer?/Fugitive - Following the events of No Man's Land, Lex Luthor became President and Bruce Wayne, in retaliation, severed all business ties with the U.S. Government in protest. In revenge, Lex orders Bruce Wayne's girlfriend murdered and Bruce framed for the deed. Tim and Dick clash over how to proceed with the investigation into the murder after Bruce goes on the run.
- Batman: Hush and Under the Hood - "Hush" was a warmly received and massively hyped story written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Jim Lee. The story deals with an alliance with new Bat-foe Hush and the Riddler after the latter figures out Batman's identity. While Hush had Batman run the gauntlet with much of his Rogues Gallery, a figure appearing to be a resurrected Jason Todd appears to confuse Batman. In the end, Hush's identity is revealed to be Bruce Wayne's childhood friend, Thomas Elliot, who has decided to harbor a deep hatred over Bruce's "gifted childhood" (AKA the dead parents). The buzz over the appearance of the supposed Jason Todd lead to "Under The Hood" where Judd Winick detailed the rise of a new Red Hood, which was originally held by the man who would become the Joker. Upon the discovery that the Red Hood was indeed Jason returned from the dead, angry that Batman replaced him and didn't kill his "killer", Batman has to stop his adopted son and former ward's Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Hush also saw Harvey Dent's face repaired and cured of his Two-Face persona until Infinite Crisis.
- Batman: War Games and War Crimes - Spoiler decided to prove to Batman she was worthy of being the newest Robin by taking one of his plans and engaging in a massive Batman Gambit against all of Gotham's gangs that goes horribly wrong. The result? Black Mask becoming the top crime boss in Gotham and Stephanie Brown (Robin IV) dying because Batman waited too long to get her medical treatment. The story was almost immediately followed up with War Crimes, which tried to retcon the story by saying it was longtime Batman ally Leslie Thompkins who withheld medical treatment from Stephanie, and then Infinite Crisis warped reality within months of the publication of War Crimes. War Crimes was erased from canon and replaced with a scenario where Thompkins, with Batman's permission, faked Stephanie's death to protect her from further reprisals from Black Mask.
- Face The Face: Set during the One Year Later Time Skip after Infinite Crisis, Batman and the Robin (Tim Drake) return to action just in time to deal with someone killing off several of Batman's rogues gallery, with evidence pointing to Harvey Dent, who Batman left in charge of protecting Gotham while he was away after being cured. Notable for making the Great White Shark (introduced in Arkham Asylum: Living Hell) Gotham's top crime boss and the aforementioned returns of Commissioner Gordon, Detective Bullock, and Harvey Dent's Two-Face persona (including rescarring). Batman also adopts Tim Drake, who takes up a costume similar to his The New Batman Adventures incarnation.
- Grant Morrison's Batman: A group of Story Arcs all written during Grant Morrison's run on Batman. All titles are connected by a large overarching storyline, and Morrison himself says that he intends for this group of titles to be part of a series.
- Batman and Son: Batman discovers that his one-time sexual encounter with Talia Al Ghul left her pregnant. And now, several years later, she's dropping off her son on Batman's doorsteps so that he can teach the kid how to be a great man, as she prepares to take over the world with her army of Manbat Ninjas. Introduces Damian Wayne to the Batman universe.
- The Black Glove: Batman's weekend vacation with a cadre of international superheroes he inspired takes a turn for the worst when the mysterious "Black Glove" destroys their transportation off an island so that they can be killed off one by one.
- The Three Ghosts of Batman: Bruce faces off against three psychotic Batman impersonators (a marksman, a steroid-fueled behemoth, and a raving Satanic killer) with ties to a cadre of corrupt police officers and a mysterious military experiment that Bruce himself took part in years ago. A prelude to Batman: R.I.P that introduces Dr. Simon Hurt, the leader of the Black Glove organization. Notable for giving us a glimpse of a possible future where Damian has become the new Batman.
- Batman R.I.P. - The Black Glove makes its assault against Batman, and attempts to destroy his personality with long dormant mental triggers which were placed in Batman's mind years ago. Upon the activation of a mental safeguard in the case of such a scenario, the personality of "the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh" keeps Batman functioning until his mind repairs the damage and stops the Black Glove from killing him and invading Gotham City. Upon confronting the leader in an escaping helicopter, Batman becomes "cursed" to die the next time he wears the cape and cowl. After escaping the helicopter crash, Batman is summoned by Superman to investigate the death of a God...
- Battle For The Cowl (not written by Morrison, but fits into the overarching story) - Bruce Wayne is dead, and a great void has been created in Gotham City. A war on two fronts has started that the Bat-Family must deal with: the recently escaped Rogues Gallery from Arkham, along with the various gangs and factions trying to claim Gotham as their own; and the appearance of a mysterious masked "Batman", who holds no qualms for murder (eventually revealed to be Jason Todd). After attempting to kill both Tim Drake and Damian Wayne, Jason fights Nightwing, and is defeated. Dick takes over the mantle of the Bat, and Damian becomes the new Robin as Dick is worried Tim's claims that Bruce is alive are proof of Sanity Slippage from his Trauma Conga Line.
- Batman: Reborn - Umbrella title for the various Batbooks dealing with Dick Grayson as the new Batman and Damian as the new Robin. Threats facing them are Jason Todd and a new Black Mask, along with new villains such as Professor Pyg and his army of circus freak show villains and the assassin known as "The Flamingo".
- The Return of Bruce Wayne: Tim wasn't so crazy after all. Until it happens, we're treated to Bruce Wayne's displaced adventures in time, where he suits up in period-specific Bat-costumes and fights pirates and cavemen and stuff, due to continually being shunted around the timestream. Oh, and Superman says his return will bring about the end of the world...
- Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: The culmination of the Batman: Reborn storyline. Vicki Vale seeks to reveal the identities of the Bat-Family to the world, but Ra's ah Ghul refuses to let her do so and seeks to kill her. The Bat-Family, the GCPD and the returned Bruce Wayne must protect her and convince her that what she's doing is wrong.
- Batman: The Black Mirror: While Bruce is busy with Batman, Inc, Dick stays on as Gotham's Batman. He, Oracle, Jim Gordon, and Tim Drake continue the good fight against evil auctioneers, nefarious car salesmen, pirates, and baby formula truck drivers.
- Night of the Owls: Batman as of the New 52. Bruce is Batman again, though Damian is still Robin, and Dick still operates as Nightwing. A shadowy organization known as The Court of Owls, basically Gotham City's Illuminati, are trying to take back Gotham City, using pseudo-immortal assassins as their footsoldiers.
- Death of the Family: After a year-long absence, The Joker returns to Gotham with a torn-off face and gunning for Batman's allies.
- Batman Eternal: A Milestone Celebration of the 75th anniversary of Batman's first appearance, as a weekly series that incorporates many elements of his supporting cast and rogues gallery back into the New 52.
- Robin War: A storyline that pits Damian Wayne against a group of teens who proclaims themselves Robin, dragging in the previous Robin title-bearers and the brand new Batman in the process.
- Robin's (Dick Grayson) first animated apparition is in The Adventures Of Batman and, afterwards, in Superfriends. This version wore the standard Robin costume, much like the film serial versions of the 1940s.
- In the original Batman: The Animated Series, a college-aged Dick Grayson was Robin, and generally true to his roots. However, when the show was revived and revamped as The New Batman Adventures, they decided to shake up the status quo, graduating Dick to Nightwing and introducing a young Tim Drake as Robin. They skipped Jason Todd due to the character having some baggage that isn't exactly family friendly, but given that Jason Todd had an excellent origin story, the decision was made to combine the two into one. In this universe, Dick Grayson never quite reconciled with Bruce after their initial falling out. They could get along and work together, but were permanently estranged at some point. Meanwhile, Tim Drake had his career as Robin cut short after being brutalized by and accidentally killing The Joker. He grows up into a successful engineer with a wife (who, according to DVD extras, is meant to be an older Stephanie Brown) and kids, as seen in Batman Beyond. Robin does not appear in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited due to an embargo on the Batman TAS supporting cast. Dick is voiced by Joey Simmrin in his youth and Loren Lester in his teenage years onwards, while Tim is voiced by Matthew Valencia.
- Teen Titans. The Robin appearing here is a mix of the first and third Robins. Leader of the Titans team, this is the first version of Robin that act independent from Batman (who is never mentioned in the show with just some hidden reference). It's intentionally left ambiguous which Robin he is as has never been directly referred to by full name. The style of this version's costume is still closely modeled on Tim Drake's first costume. Most people assume that he's Dick Grayson, since most of the clues point to itthe biggest of which being an Alternate Universe counterpart with the name Nosyarg Kcid (Dick Grayson spelled backwards). He is voiced by Scott Menville.
- Teen Titans Go! has a parody version of the character like the rest of the cast.
- Robin appears in The Batman, introduced in Season 4. Based on the Dick Grayson version, in this instead of being a teenager to adult, he is 12. He borrows elements from the Tim Drake version, such as costume design and computer aptitude. His origin in "A Matter of Family" follows Grayson's from the comic books with the exception of his being Batman's second sidekick (Batgirl in introduced in Season 3), but his first official sidekick.
- Young Justice (2010) set on Earth-16. In this universe, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake are all known to be or have been Robin, while Stephanie Brown became Spoiler and an infant Damian Wayne appeared in season three. The show has been praised for returning the relationship between Dick and Batman to its roots— in other words, they get along. Dick becoming Nightwing here is not because he and Bruce can't see eye to eye, but simply because he's grown up. Jason Todd was revealed to have died in between seasons one and two and is implied to have been resurrected in season three, while Tim was a supporting character in seasons two and three. Another notable thing the show did was give all three Robins unique costumes that are easy to tell apart. This is the first TV series to acknowledge the existence of all five canonical Robins. Dick is voiced by Jesse Mc Cartney, Tim is voiced by Cameron Bowen, Stephanie is voiced by Mae Whitman, and Jason by Josh Keaton.
- Dick Grayson / Robin is one of the main characters of the '60s series Batman, played by Burt Ward. He is noted for his recurring interjections in the form of "Holy [insert word], Batman!". The series avoided referencing Robin's origins as Bruce Wayne's fellow "crime orphan", as whose legal guardian the courts appoint Bruce.
- Both Dick and Jason are featured on Titans (2018), with the former being the main protagonist. In this continuity, Dick and Bruce are already estranged, though he still dons his Robin suit. Jason, on the other hand, is at the beginning of his career as Robin. Dick is played by Brenton Thwaites as an adult and Tomaso Sanelli as a child, while Jason is played by Curran Walters.
- Robin (Dick Grayson) appears in the Batman Forever and Batman & Robin films directed by Joel Schumacher, played by Chris O'Donnell. This version of Robin merged together his younger, more carefree days with his older incarnation (before he became Nightwing). His origin is actually a composite of two comic-book Robins; in the comics, Two-Face killed Jason Todd's parents, and that element (along with Jason's desire for revenge) were imported into O'Donnell's Dick Grayson character.
- Appears in The Dark Knight Rises as "John Blake", played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This is the Robin of The Dark Knight Trilogy, though rather than becoming Batman's sidekick, he's implied to have become the new Batman after Bruce Wayne's supposed Heroic Sacrifice. In fact, Robin is the character's legal first name.
- Batman: Under the Red Hood is considered a monumental achievement of DC animation. Written by Judd Winick, who originally pitched and wrote Jason's resurrection in the comics, he took the movie as an opportunity to revise and vastly improve on the original story, tightening up the plot and, most notably, changing the method of Jason's resurrection from a gimmicky tie-in to an event crossover to the Lazarus Pit, a well-established element of the Batman mythos. In the film, Jason was voiced by Alexander and Vincent Martella in his child and teenage years respectively, and Jensen Ackles as an adult. Dick also appeared as Nightwing, voiced by Neil Patrick Harris.
- While the movie does not much resemble the comic Son of Batman and its sequels do feature Damian and Dick. Damien and Dick are respectively voiced by Stuart Allen and Sean Maher.
Tropes associated with Robin in general
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Although they are not exactly "super".
- Badass Normal: Like their mentor, none of the Robins have superpowers. Damian is the first to break this mold.
- Catchphrase: "Holy (fill in the blank)!" Now used mostly as Self-Deprecation and Mythology Gags. Mostly just Dick's. Jason tried it once, and Batman just asked him to never do it again.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: All Robins are different from their predecessors.
- Dick is a friendly Cheerful Child with natural athleticism and leadership skills since he is created in mind to contrast Batman's I Work Alone and brooding personality.
- Jason is brash, headstrong and prefers to rely on his street smarts and strength to fight. He's also Darker and Edgier compared to Dick, which he kept even after resurrecting as Red Hood.
- Tim is the Audience Surrogate that while not as physically talented as Dick and Jason, surpasses them with his wits and intelligence to earn his place as Robin.
- Aside from Stephanie's gender, she is an upbeat rookie compared to Tim's brooding Experienced Protagonist later on.
- While Damian is genetically enhanced to be a perfect Child Soldier, is Not Good with People and has no qualms for killing. He also believes that his status the blood son makes him superior to the former three's adopted status.
- Continuity Snarl: One of the policies of DC's New 52 timeline is that the timeline goes back no further than five years. However, Batman (and Green Lantern) were so successful at the time of the reboot that DC left its continuity—mostly—as-is - meaning that in the span of five years, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake all managed to become Robin and then graduate to their "adult" identities as Nightwing, Red Hood, and Red Robin. This later prompted DC to explain that Batman's history goes back ten years instead of five. The new continuity cut out Stephanie altogether and radically altered Tim in an attempt to fit the new timeline.
- Death Is Cheap: Dick, Jason, Tim, Steph, and Damian have all been killed at one point but all got better or had their deaths revealed to have been faked eventually. Lampshaded in Batman (Tom King) #16Jason: First, Damian You're Dead. Again.Damian: No. First, Jason you're dead. Again.Dick: I like that in all of it, at least I'm not dead. Again.Duke: Wait, all of you have been dead? Am I going to be dead?
- The conversation happens at meeting Batman holds after Tim was "killed" in Detective Comics (Rebirth) and is thought dead by them.
- Distaff Counterpart: The Batgirls could arguably count as this to the Robins, to a degree. In fact, the original Bat-girl (spelled with a -), Bette Kane, was specifically created to be the sidekick of the original Batwoman, who was in turn created as a Distaff Counterpart to Batman. So, without Robin, there would be no Batgirl.
- Even earlier than that, in the 1950s, Robin got a one-time female counterpart: Mary Wills, AKA Roberta The Girl Wonder. Her costume looked a lot like Robins, but with red hair and a swapped color palette. While her crime fighting career didnt last long, Robin and Roberta made a pretty good team whenever they worked together, especially with Robertas excellent acting and disguising skills.
- Distressed Dude / Badass in Distress: Can't forget your roots now, can we?
- Distressed Damsel: For Stephanie and Carrie.
- Foil: To Batman, in various ways. Dick's upbeat attitude made him a far more beloved and respected crimefighter than his mentor; Jason was a criminal before becoming Robin, and took the darkest aspects of Batman's goals while ignoring its benevolent spirit; Tim took a more pragmatic and functional approach to crimefighting, detaching it from his personal life instead of Becoming the Mask; Finally, Damian was raised to fight crime ruthlessly and without any tragedy to guide his conscience.
- The Robins also represent specific aspects of Batman. Dick is the acrobat and leader, Jason is the fighter, Tim is the detective, and Damian is the ninja. Each Robin is also hinted to surpass Batman in the future.
- With respect to their upbringing, Dick adjusted to life without his parents far better than Bruce; Jason never knew his parents and finding out his mother was alive led to his death; Tim's father was alive when he decided to become Robin; and Damian was raised in privilege like Bruce, but trained to be an assassin and killer.
- Tim acted as the foil to Dick during Dick's first run as Batman, being the new kid who nonetheless is serious and well trained but not really a natural fighter rather being more cerebral to Dick's experience and frequent lightheartedness and natural physical talent. In this case, they're both good fighters, planners and detectives, their strengths are just in different areas.
- Stephanie was designed as a foil to Tim in Robin (1993) where she was the deuteragonist to Tim's protagonist. She was impulsive and hot-headed, setting out as a hero with a single quickly reached goal but never planning on retiring to civilian life where he was more calculating, cautious and rule-abiding and set out with a long term goal but considered his role as Robin a temporary thing he'd retire from.
- Also of note, Damian was a foil to Dick Grayson's run as Batman, being the serious sidekick to his light-hearted superhero.
- As of Rebirth, Damian is also the foil to Jon Kent's Superboy. Both are the sons of the two greatest superheroes, but, much like their fathers, are polar opposites. One is a brooding, misanthropic, suspicious pain in the backside with too much training and not enough friends, and the other is a cheerful, optimistic, polite little ray of sunshine still getting used to his powers.
- Happily Adopted: Dick and Tim, at the very least. Jason is very Tsundereish about it, and Damian is blood-related to Bruce. Stephanie was never adopted.
- Heroes Fight Barehanded: Notable exceptions include Tim Drake and Dick Grayson, both former Robins who now fight crime as Red Robin and Nightwing respectively. Tim uses a Bo staff and Dick a pair of Escrima sticks, presumably because their focus on agility over strength compared to other bare fist DC fighters means the weapons give them the 'kick' they need. Damian favors katanas, though given their decidedly lethal nature they can be a hindrance rather than a multiplier for him in uniform.
- Kid-Appeal Character: What Robin started as, and continues to be.
- Kid Hero: One of the earliest superhero examples, although Spider-Man would become the Trope Codifier for comics.
- Kid Sidekick: The Trope Maker and Trope Codifier and is retained in almost every incarnation of Batman, no matter how Darker and Edgier, simply because of tradition.
- Legacy Character: Taken Up to Eleven in that all of the Robins (save Damian) later graduated into another Legacy Character.
- Dick Grayson became the second Nightwing,note and upon Bruce's "death" became the third Batman.note Dick was also belatedly revealed to not even have been the first Robin, as Bruce Wayne himself assumed the role for a brief time in his own youth.
- Jason Todd became the Red Hood II,note Red Robin II,note and even became Nightwing V for a while.note
- Tim Drake eventually became Red Robin III.
- And Stephanie Brown became Batgirl IV.note
- Even Damian Wayne was revealed to have become the sixth Batman in a Bad Future.
- According to Marv Wolfman, around the time Jason Todd was introduced, one of the Batman writers wanted to de-age Dick Grayson and return him to being Batman's sidekick. As writer on The New Teen Titans, DC's hottest property at the time, Wolfman wielded a lot of power, and, not wanting to have Dick's Character Development undone, suggested that instead, Dick Grayson could move on to a new identity and a new Robin could be introduced as a publicity stunt (since that sort of thing had never really happened before).
- Morality Chain: All of them is this, as they keep Batman from going over the edge and turning into an Anti-Hero. It's to the point it reaches Living Emotional Crutch levels Depending on the Writer, as it's shown he almost crosses the line whenever one of them dies. note
- Rainbow Motif: The colors tied to each of them combined with Batman's indigo creates a subdued rainbow motif. Jason is Red, Carrie is Orange, Damian is Yellownote , Tim was Greennote , Stephanie is Violetnote and Dick is Blue. Things got muddled by bringing Timmy Todd's uniform from the DCAU in for Tim and tying him to red and Batman's costumes less and less frequently including blue so the motif has been lost over the years.
- Red Is Heroic: Red is the most dominant color of the Robin costumes, except in Tim's first costume where green was dominant but even then his tunic remained red.
- Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: Depending on the Writer again, but Robin is more lighthearted compared to the dark and grim Batman no matter the incarnation. Reversed when Damian is Robin and Dick took up the Cowl.
- Sibling Rivalry: Pick any two. Chances are that they fought each other at least once, even if they are on good terms. But Tim and Damian have this relationship down to a tee.
- Stephanie is the exception. Never having been adopted by Bruce, she has no relationship with Jason or Dick and a primarily romantic one with Tim. She did have this trope with Damian while he was Robin and she was Batgirl, but it was erased (along with her history) by Flashpoint.
- Sibling Yin-Yang:
- There's Dick Grayson and Jason Todd for starters. Dick is a hero, acrobatic, one of the most cheerful people in the DCU, and independent from Batman. Whereas Jason is a villain, relies more on weaponry and brute strength, is dark and wrathful, and is almost pitifully obsessed with being seen as Batman's son and true heir, if not replacing the Dark Knight himself. Both also have very different relationships with Batman: Dick is the favorite (and always has been, even when he didn't know it) and there is mutual respect between the two, while Jason is The Un-Favourite at the best of times and he and Bruce have a very rocky relationship.
- Tim Drake and Nightwing (Dick Grayson). Nightwing can be logical, but he's more emotional and his creation of 'Nightwing' directly extended from him rebelling against Batman. While Tim is more logical, doesn't have Dick's natural athleticism and depends on his brains to get out of a sticky situation. Tim and Dick act like actual brothers though, unlike Damian.
- Tim Drake (adopted) and Damian Wayne (biological). Tim is logical, cool-headed, and always follows Batman's example by never killing, while Damian is rash, violent, and thinks nothing of killing his enemies, until some Character Development, where he'll still resort to it if he has to. They slug it out every time they meet.
- Sidekick Graduations Stick:
- Dick Grayson became Nightwing, and has never returned to being Robin; unlike many characters with successors, he's never referred to as the "real" Robin, just the first. (Although his counterpart in the original Earth-2 never gave up the Robin identity.)
- And then he became Batman a more permanent basis with Bruce Wayne's 'inconveniencing' in the event Final Crisis. Fans guessed this would be reverted as soon as Bruce got back, but it actually stuck around for a little while with both men operating as Batman - in fact, Bruce started franchising and appointing even more Batmen worldwide. Dick's promotion was eventually reversed by the New 52 relaunch, where he went back to being Nightwing.
- The second Robin, Jason Todd, graduated once he came back from the dead. Except instead of becoming his own hero he became a villain. Or a really dark Anti-Hero or something; it's complicated. He's tried to hijack the Batman and Nightwing names a couple of times, but for the most part, he's taken over the pre-existing name the Red Hood. Also, in an Alternate Universe where he didn't die, he becomes the second Batman.
- Tim Drake, the third Robin, altered his identity into Red Robin. And yes, this counts as full graduation, as Damian Wayne has taken over being original-style Robin.
- Dick Grayson became Nightwing, and has never returned to being Robin; unlike many characters with successors, he's never referred to as the "real" Robin, just the first. (Although his counterpart in the original Earth-2 never gave up the Robin identity.)
- Taking Up the Mantle: All male Robins took up the mantle of Batman one way or another, whether it's the main continuity or Elseworlds. Hell, Battle for the Cowl was about them trying to become the new Batman.
- After Batman's "death" during Final Crisis, Dick Grayson is forced to become Batman because Bruce Wayne never appointed a successor, and Gotham City was descending into chaos without Batman's presence to strike genuine terror into the hearts of criminals.
- Jason became the next Batman in an alternate world shown in Countdown to Final Crisis note after it's revealed that Batman died in his place. Also, gun-toting Batman in Battle for the Cowl.
- Damian became a gun-toting Batman in a Bad Future in Batman #666, where it's shown that he booby-trapped the whole of Gotham to compensate for his skills. And also apparently sold his soul to the Devil.
- In Detective Comics (Rebirth), Tim is revealed to have become a gun-toting Knight Templar Batman in another Bad Future (or possibly the same one), being the last Robin to take up the mantle: Dick retired and left Gotham, Jason was crippled, and Damian Jumped Off The Slippery Slope and killed millions before Tim "did what was necessary".
Tropes associated with the various Robin series
This five issue mini-series marks the first time any iteration of Robin has headlined in his own title, and was very successful spawning two more mini-series focused on Tim and an eventual ongoing title.
Tim sets out for Paris to train under the Rahul Lama, the last master of an ancient holistic Tibetan martial art that incorporates healing with self defense. While there he runs into a defected DEA on a personal mission of revenge and gets distracted from his training by a plot by the disgraced British nobleman and ganglord Edmund Dorrance, who goes by King Snake and is looking to unleash a biological weapon on Hong Kong. Lady Shiva throws herself into the mix when Tim joins forces with the former DEA agent, Clyde Rawlins, and inserts herself into Tim's time in France as Tim's new trainer once Tim is forced to help Clyde escape King Snake's Ghost Dragons.
- Black Dude Dies First: African American Clyde Rawlins is the first and only member of the main cast of the story to die.
- Death Seeker: Clyde Rawlins is being intentionally reckless and doesn't feel he has anything left to live for though he'd like to take out King Snake on his way out. Clyde does find death at Snake's hands but fails to do any real damage to his opponent.
- Destination Defenestration: Tim kicks King Snake out the window during their final fight.
- Eiffel Tower Effect: As seen on the cover of issue one the Eiffel tower is used as shorthand to let the reader know the story is set in Paris.
- Evil Brit: Dorrance hates that he lives past the golden age of British colonialism. It's not so much that he's seem particularly proud to be British, he's just incredibly racist and misogynistic, thinks himself above everyone else and hates that foreign (and his own) governments take issue with his trying to subjugate, torture and kill people.
- Evil Mentor: Lady Shiva interrupts Tim's training and ends up his new mentor.
- Executive Suite Fight: Ends with two fights in King Snake's executive suite fifty floors above the streets of Hong Kong. In the first Snake pummels Clyde Rawlins to death, and when Tim arrives and sees his ally dead he's able to use a bit of misdirection and kick Snake out the window, where he then leaves him clinging to the ledge with Lady Shiva standing over him who is implied to have made him fall to his death, though of course he shows up again later.
- Gay Paree: Tim travels to Paris to train with the Rahul Lama, and gets to take in some of the sights before being pulled into trying to prevent an international incident.
- I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Darkly hilariously depicted between Tim and Lady Shiva. 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.
- Old Master: Tim's trains under the Rahul Lama, a very old Tibetan refugee living in Paris who was the last living master of an ancient fighting style and whom Tim noticed never seemed to run out of stamina.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: King Snake is a sexist, racist, fascist ganglord.
- Pacifist Dojo: The Raul Lama's school teaches that violence should only be used when necessary and be balanced with the healing arts and meditation which are also an aspect of the holistic discipline he teaches. The school itself does not have a Thou Shalt Not Kill aspect but Tim Drake, its most well known student, certainly does even if he's flexible about whether or not his allies stick to that rule.
- Reminiscing About Your Victims: Dorrance starts describing in loving detail the way he killed Clyde Rawlins' wife and children while beating him to death, and the last words Rawlins hears in life are Dorrance saying the only thing he regrets about the whole affair is that his blindness means he won't be able to actually watch Rawlins himself die.
- Simple Staff: After Shiva hijacks Tim's training and asks him to chose a weapon he picks a staff out of the selection of bladed and piercing weapons weapons she offers him due to its potential non-lethal applications. He's also implied to have a little previous martial arts training with a staff.
- Sports Dad: Jack Drake wants Tim to play football. Tim hates football, to the point that he doesn't even like watching it. At one point Tim got out of his dad asking him why he was getting in late by saying he stayed late because of football tryouts, though he never said he tried out and if his dad knew the first thing about his son he might have though he was taking photos or something. Instead when Jack learns the football coach doesn't remember Tim trying out Jack tears apart Tim's room, destroying Tim's possessions and trying to hack into his computer until he wrecks the back wall of Tim's closet, discovers it was a false wall hiding the Robin suit and summarily goes to Wayne manor to threaten Bruce with a gun.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: King Snake has his Ghost Dragons in France to transport a biological plague spreading weapon developed but never deployed by the Nazis to Hong Kong. Interesting choice given that Imperial Japan was committing horrific experiments with biological weapons and the best ways to spread disease through a civilian population during the Second Sino-Japanese War/WWII and their experiments occurred much closer to Dorrance's power base.
- Suffer the Slings: When the Rahul Lama instructs Tim to chose a weapon to study Tim selects the sling, and later uses one to great effect when coming in to a fight with the Ghost Dragons.
- Training from Hell: Deconstructed. Tim got more out of training under the Rahul Lama than under Shiva's brutal tutelage, most of what she taught him was just how to try to think out of the box during a fight to try and avoid getting pulverized.
The second of the Tim Drake focused mini-series preceding his ongoing title.
Tim is the sole protector home in Gotham when the Joker breaks out again during a winter storm. As Joker hasn't seen nor heard of Robin since he killed the last one Tim is rather anxious about facing him, but quickly realizes Joker's latest plot is more in his own wheelhouse since Joker has been researching hackers.
- Amoral Attorney: The Joker's lawyer is presented as more naive than amoral, but the Arkham director feels like his requests are all incredibly dangerous and are all potential escape attempts on the Joker's part and the director is right.
- Asleep in Class: Tim falls asleep in history class and his irritated teach wakes him with a question about the lecture. Ives manages to mime the answer to him behind the teacher's back.
- Bad Boss: Joker of course. He gives his henchmen some leeway, for Joker anyway, but is happy to attack them for intterupting him or stepping out of line too many times even if that line is somewhat arbitrary.
- Book Safe: Joker's "grandmother" brings along a hollowed out Bible designed to eject Joker gas and containing a breathing mask for his boss.
- Brainwashed: Joker drugs Dr. Pellinger into a stupor that makes him easy to control, thereby getting himself his own hacker.
- Cardboard Prison: Arkham security once more proves to be a joke, with the Joker being freed by his visiting "mother", a man is a shoddy disguise, who poisons the facility with Joker Gas. It's especially amusing since the director was trying so hard to finally avert this:The Joker is the most dangerous inmate we have in here. The list of directors who have lost this office because of his escapes is legion.
- Character Tiers: Discussed In-Universe briefly by Ives, Hudson and Hudman before the conversation gets derailed by Tim bailing on their plans to play Wizards and Warriors that evening.
- Color-Coded Secret Identity:
- Tim wears an open red button-up shirt one day, and a red sweater the next at school reflecting the red upper torso portion of his Robin suit.
- Tim is seen wrapped in a plush green robe once he's out of costume and warming up in the manor, to reflect the green pants, undershirt, mask and gloves of his costume.
- Convenient Coma: Tim visits his father and talks to him, but notes he's never been able to be candid with his father before Jack ended up in a coma and he doesn't expect he'll ever be able to again if his father wakes up. He also notes his father is a lot easier to visit since he's in the city in a hospital room instead of flitting all over the planet and avoiding Gotham, and his son, like the plague. Despite these things Tim really does hope Jack recovers.
- Cut the Juice: When Tim realizes Pellinger is trying to hack into the Batcomputer while Tim was trying to hack Joker's system Tim cuts the power without hesitation, even if he isn't happy about it.
- Depraved Dentist: Issue 2 takes full advantage of the imagery, with the cover depicting Joker as a crazed grinning dentist with Dr. Pellinger strapped into the chair, the theme has a basis in the story itself but the dental tools are cover only.
- Electric Joybuzzer: Joker takes down Mr. Freeze, who had tried to take over Joker's henchmen while Joker was locked up, with a handheld buzzer to the palm.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: The guards let through the Joker's "mother" after being tasked with making sure she's not smuggling anything but do little more than run "her" through a metal detector and don't check the Bible she's got nor notice that she's a man in Incredibly Conspicuous Drag.
- Incredibly Conspicuous Drag: One of the Joker's henchmen in fairly poor disguise as his grandmother is able to get into Arkham to visit "her grandson".
- The Friends Who Never Hang: Discussed since Hudson feels like Tim never hangs out with them and is pissed that he's left their gathering early. Ives defends Tim strongly, and Hudman acts as mediator for the group but he also sides with Tim.
- Jerk Jock: Karl, who thinks Tim should hang out with a "better" crowd and makes fun of Ives.
- The Nicknamer: Ives usually just uses last names but he also likes to use "Hudster", seemingly because of it's vague meaning and the possibility that he could be talking about either Hudman or Hudson, or both. Good luck getting him to clarify especially since the two in question seem to always know who he's talking to or about and don't ask him to stop. He also calls Tim "Master Tim" on occasion, referring to Tim's much more affluent background than that of the other kids at Gotham Heights.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Joker's current physiologist feels this way about the criminal, which infuriates the director who knows better.
- OOC Is Serious Business: The Joker stops smiling and telling jokes when he first sees Tim. He's furious that there's a Robin running about when he went to all the trouble to beat the last one half to death and then blow him up for good measure, even though it wasn't something he planned in advance and was just "lucky" happenstance.You... I killed you... I KILLED YOU! I KILLED YOU! You're dead! DEAD! DEAD! Well, just have to kill him again, that's all. Kill the little birdie. Yes, yes.
- Oh, Crap!: Robin assures Commissioner Gordon he can handle whatever situation there is, without Batman. Then Gordon reveals that the Joker is on the loose. Oooooooohhhh... yikes.
- Outside Ride: Tim leaps atop the truck Joker's just used to kidnap computer whiz Osgood Pellinger, he only stays on for a couple of blocks since Joker has his henchmen start shooting at him and then has a freakout and knocks Tim to the curb and speeds away when he sees it's Robin.
- Produce Pelting: Fans at the Gotham Giants football game start throwing their drinks and food at the Jumbotron when Joker has Pellinger hack in so he can disrupt the game while delivering his demands to the city via the thing.
- Replacement Goldfish: Defied with prejudice. Also serves as a Call-Back to some encouragement Bruce gave Tim at the start of Robin Volume I.Gordon: If Batman were here...
Robin: He's not here. You know, he didn't pick my name out of a HAT for this job!
- Speak of the Devil: Bruce has been out of town for the whole storyline and just as Alfred reassures Tim that he dealt with everything well and B will be proud of him Bruce slips in through the door as though summoned by his name, startling them both.
- Surrounded by Idiots: The director at Arkham is only too aware that most people working there and the lawyers he has to put up with are all hazards to keeping his prisoners in the asylum. It probably doesn't help that competent people are not lining up to work at Arkham given its track record.
- Soccer-Hating Americans: Alfred gives the inverse, Gridiron Hating Brits, some lip service when Tim walks into the kitchen and notices Alfred is watching American Football while he works. In a moment of sarcasm blindness Tim goes to change the channel since Tim's personally not fond of football but Alfred stops him since he does actually like watching the game.
- Toilet Humour: Joker ends up falling into a sewage treatment tank when Tim defeats him, but Tim's too tired to do more than think his predecessors probably would have been able to come up with a quip. Later at Arkham Riddler takes up the slack and makes a joke about how much Joker stinks that pisses Joker off and gets a laugh out of Two-Face to end the series with.
- Token Rich Student: Tim's family is much better off than his friends and classmates and had previously only attended boarding schools at his father's insistence. Ives points out how odd it is for him to be attending a public school in Gotham after seeing what Tim has for lunch, though he's grinning the whole time because he knows Tim is only getting to go to public school because he's under the care of Bruce Wayne at the moment."What the heck are you doing at Gotham Heights High, Master Tim? Your butler sends you to school with a bag lunch that ain't exactly a PB and J sandwich. The clothes you have on cost more than my whole closet. So why aren't you packed away to one of those fancy boarding schools like the rest of the rich brats."
While at Ives' birthday dinner Tim meets a girl his age named Ariana Dzerchenko whose father is threatened by the Hammer, a gang that's made up of criminals from the old Soviet Bloc. After his father forbids Tim from leaving the house and Bruce tells him to take a break as Robin to allay suspicions that have arisen due to bruising Tim instead disobeys them both because he has a hunch the Hammer are going to give the Dzerchenkos more trouble. Not only is Tim proven right but Mr. Dzerchenko is murdered and Ariana kidnapped by the Hammer later that very night despite Tim's attempts to save them.
While following the kidnappers Tim meets Huntress and the two agree to team up to prevent the Hammer's current plot. They both choose not to involve Batman who is unaware of the scope of what's been brewing across Little Odessa and Old Town and would disapprove of their actions since Batman doesn't care for Huntress' brutal methods and lack of compassion and Tim is only involved because he's disobeying Bruce's orders since Bruce brushed off Tim's concerns.
- Abuse Mistake: School councilor Earlene Hollingsworth thinks Bruce is abusing Tim due to the bruises Tim has been showing up to school with. It's interesting that the timing doesn't make her suspect Jack since Jack just got stuck at home to the point of having to actually buy a house in Gotham and stuck in a wheelchair when he used to avoid Gotham (and his son) like the plague but she seems to like Jack.
- Always Identical Twins: Two of Sebastian Ives' many cousins are a pair of identical twin girls. Since they're both jovial with similar personalities and their parents give them matching outfits and keep their hair cut the same way they're exceptionally difficult to tell apart.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Ives is mortified that his parents force him to wear a party hat and pose for pictures at his birthday party, which they also insisted be at a restaurant in Little Odessa. Tim thinks most of Ives grumpiness is a front though and Ives is mostly good natured about the whole things outside of his frequent complaints about how loud his family is.
- Asleep in Class: Tim falls asleep during study hour in the library and gets a lecture from the librarian for misusing his time there.
- Bad Liar: While Tim would eventually train himself out of it he's still a terrible liar at this point which works against him when trying to convince Ms. Hollingsworth that Bruce has never and would never hurt him and tries to pin his injuries on a vague upperclassman. His natural strength was always keeping secrets and keeping quiet, he ends up suspiciously looking to the side and gnawing on his lip when he tells her his fib.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: KGBeast's wrist mounted weapon has a retractable blade and a gun in it.
- Blood from the Mouth: After his one man fight against the Ghost Dragons starts going downhill once Lynx kicks him in the face Tim has blood dribbling from his mouth.
- Call-Back: KGBeast recognizes Robin and has an existing beef with him even though Tim's never met him. Tim realizes immediately that the Robin KGBeast is so eager to kill is actually Jason Todd, and considering Tim is outclassed and disobeying Batman's orders and very likely to get himself killed at the time he finds it extra unsettling.
- Damsel in Distress: Ariana Dzerchenko gets kidnapped and Tim works with Huntress to save her.
- Dysfunctional Family: Ives complains about his large and embarrassingly loud family as if they're a mess but Tim thinks they're nice and also thinks Ives is mostly exaggerating for storytelling purposes.
- Friendly Local Chinatown: Tim manages to follow KGBeast to Gate Street when trying to prevent the Russians from kidnapping Ariana. As the local gang is run by one of Tim's first recurring villains they're of course happy to greet him and try to put him six feet under.
- Forgotten Birthday: When Ives rather forcibly invites Tim along for his family birthday dinner Tim asks whose birthday it's for, starting Tim's long tradition of not keeping track of anyone's birthday including his own. Ives implies this is not the first time Tim has done this to him so apparently Tim has always sucked at birthdays.
- Leotard of Power: Poor Huntress is in her leotard with a plunging cleavage cutout phase, which really sticks out since it's snowy and windy for a large chunk of the tale.
- The Mafiya: The main villains of the piece. Mr. Dzerchenko was mixed up with them before moving to the US and their attempts to get him to come back as a forger are what set the plot in motion.
- Outside Ride: Tim leaps on top of the Hammers' car and splatters the windshield with paint to force them to stop when they're abducting Ariana.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Ariana is claimed to have been murdered, which makes Tim go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge since he feels he should have prevented her from being kidnapped in the first place. During said rampage he discovers and saves the still living and captive Ariana.
- Sai Guy: Lynx's right hand man is armed with a pair of sai, which he ends up dropping when Tim breaks his nose.
- Secret-Keeper: Tim ends up a secret keeper for Huntress's secret id after he effortlessly figures out she's Helena Bertinelli to her consternation.
- Selective Gravity: Whatever on earth is happening with Huntress's cape the top three feet or so of it are not subject to the laws of gravity, instead rising dramatically from her shoulders to sort of hover behind her head.
- Shame If Something Happened: The Hammer sends a group to threaten Ariana to force her dad to comply, but things go sideways and they end up murdering Mr. Dzerchenko instead.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Huntress assumes Tim is trying to save his girlfriend despite his protests. Tim's not lying, he only met Ariana because he wanted to try and help after seeing her father get shaken down by The Hammer, which happened earlier on in the same night she ended up abducted. He barely knows her name.
- Super Window Jump: Batman and Robin swing through a window to take down the White Wolves, a Neo-Nazi biker gang, on page three.
- Tempting Fate: Tim thinks to himself that things can't get any worse and is immediately set upon by the Ghost Dragons. He realizes that he shouldn't have even let the thought cross his mind as soon as Lynx makes her presence known since he already knows things can always get worse.
- Terms of Endangerment: Lynx calls Tim "Bird Boy".
- Thought Caption: Tim narrates the piece through teal green tinted thought captions.
- Trick Arrow: Huntress has listening devices modified into trick arrows so she can shoot them to attach to buildings where meetings she wants to listen in on are taking place.
- Vehicular Assault: After Robin forces him to ditch the car he arrived in KGBeast hijacks a passing city bus and tries to drive over Tim with it. While Tim doges the criminals do get away with their hostage.
- Villain by Default: Just to make it clear in a very short timespan that the White Wolves are jerks the narration states they're Neo-Nazis within the few pages the gang exists on before they get killed to the last man by a rival faction.
- Wrecked Weapon: KGBeast breaks Tim's staff in half with a wrist mounted blade pretty early on in the story.