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Robin (Batman)

Robin is the name of a series of DC Comics superheroes who are sidekicks to Batman. He first appeared in 1940 in Detective Comics. The name "Robin the Boy Wonder" and the medieval look of the original costume was taken both from the semi-legendary hero of the poor, Robin Hood, as well as the red-breasted American Robin, which continued the "flying animal" motif of Batman.

The character's introduction was part of the trend to soften the Batman character and give him a companion that can fulfill the usual role of a sidekick in the stories as well as something specifically designed to appeal to young readers. The character's visual appearance and youthful spunk also served as a contrast to the Batman's dark look and manner. It was with the partnering of Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder that the Batman character's popularity began to grow rapidly.

Table of contents
1 Dick Grayson
2 Bruce Wayne
3 Jason Todd
4 Tim Drake
5 Carrie Kelly

Dick Grayson

The first Robin was a young circus acrobat called Dick Grayson who was the youngest of a family act called The Flying Graysons. His parents were murdered by the gangster Boss Zucco who sabotaged their trapeze equipment to cause a fatal fall. Batman approached the boy after the murder and told him the truth of the matter. Dick learned that the criminal, who had been extorting money from the circus, had killed his parents as a warning against defiance. Dick pleaded with Batman to bring the murderer to justice and he agreed, while making the boy swear to always fight crime faithfully. Batman, as Bruce Wayne, managed to get approval to have Dick put under his custody as a legal ward and rigorously trained the boy in physical, fighting and investigation skills to be his assistant. Together, they investigated Zucco and collected the evidence they needed to bring Zucco to justice.

That was first of a long career adventures in which the pair, often called the Dynamic Duo, would battle crime in Gotham City and beyond. In addition, Robin was leader of his own superhero team, The Teen Titans. Eventually, Dick would break away from Batman and abandon the identity in favor of his own creation as Nightwing. Nightwing now takes up full-time vigilante duties in Gotham's neighboring city of Bludhaven.

Bruce Wayne

A Batman story from the 1950s had the young Bruce Wayne assume the identity of Robin, complete with the original costume, in order to learn the basics of detective work from a famous detective named Harvey Harris. This story was later revised in the 1980s to edit out any reference to Bruce Wayne having ever called himself "Robin" or worn any costume before he finally donned his Batman costume as an adult.

Jason Todd

The second Robin was Jason Todd, another young orphaned acrobat in DC Comics before the 1980s revision and a street orphan after. He proved to be much more impulsive, defiant and brutal than Dick was and was killed off in a notorious story where readers were encourage to participate in a pay-per-call phone-in poll to see if the character would survive. The vote narrowly favoured killing him and the character died at the hands of The Joker.

Tim Drake

The third (and current) Robin is Timothy Drake, a young boy who had followed the adventures of Batman and Robin ever since witnessing the murder of the Flying Graysons. He surmised their secret identities and noted that after Jason was killed, Batman was becoming more prone to overly violent and clumsy methods because of his inner grief and rage. Eventually, he revealed himself to Dick Grayson and Batman's butler Alfred, who in turned helped persuade Batman to take on Tim as his sidekick to help him regain some self control.

Tim has proven to be a more cereberal sidekick while still being quite physically adept. He wears a modified armoured costume designed to provide more protection including tight trousers to finally protect the previously bare legs. He is also the leader of the newly reformed Teen Titans.

Carrie Kelly

In addition, the famous comic book mini-series, The Dark Knight Returns, includes Carrie Kelly as the only female Robin in Batman's history.