The Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin has had multiple incarnations throughout the decades, with the original boy wonder introduced into the Detective Comics in 1940 (where Batman was brought to readers the year previously). To celebrate the release of Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, a fabulous flashback to the 1960s, we’re taking a look at the 5 faces of Robin that fought alongside our caped crusader.
One year after the world was introduced to the Dark Knight, the writer and illustrator of Detective Comics brought the boy-ish hero Robin into the DC Universe to bring the story arc to a younger audience. This incarnation of Robin was named Dick Grayson, who became the ward of Bruce Wayne, secretly the vigilante Batman, following the brutal murder of his parents by a mafia boss. Throughout this saga the duo was exceptionally close, but once Robin formed the Teen Titans and took the identity of ‘Nightwing’ he drifted from his mentor. The original Caped Crusaders have appeared together in various films including Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, with the Batman animated series of the 90s following this Robin’s transition into ‘Nightwing’.
The second Robin arrived with a revamped aesthetic as Jason Todd, who was initially popular but eventually became less and less well received. Jason entered the DC Universe as an orphan trying to steal the tires from the Batmobile and exited with a fan-decided murder at the hands of the Joker (disguised as the Red Hood). His death sent Batman’s storyline down a dark path with Wayne’s grief making him increasingly psychotic, ultimately leading into the recruitment of the third Robin, Tim Drake. After a change in reality, Jason Todd was resurrected and, enraged at the fact Batman had not avenged him, became the second Red Hood.
At 9 years old Timothy Drake pieced together the identity of Bruce Wayne as Batman, showing his intellect to be far greater than that of other children his age, and this began his fascination with Batman and Robin. After observing Dick Grayson leaving to become ‘Nightwing’, and how Jason Todd’s death caused deterioration in Batman’s persona, Tim Drake decided that Batman needed a Robin to maintain his sanity. By 13, Drake donned Robin’s costume and managed to save both Batman and Nightwing, consolidating his place as Batman’s newest protégé.
Born to the Gotham criminal Cluemaster, Stephanie Brown has had multiple personas from ‘Spoiler’ where she aimed to put her father back into prison all the way through to becoming the 5th Batgirl! Stephanie first came into the Batcave as Tim Drake’s girlfriend, but following Tim hanging up his cape and their relationship crumbling she insisted that Batman train her as his next Robin, which he accepted.
Damian Wayne was the secret child of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul (the daughter of Batman’s enemy Ra’s al Ghul) and was raised by the League of Assassins until the age of 10. Damian is an egotistical and violent boy who was genetically perfected and grown in an artificial womb, and was intended to be a formidable killing machine. After former-Robin Dick Grayson takes on the identity of Batman, Damian become the fifth and most recent individual to take up the identity of Robin.
Own Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders on Blu-rayTM and DVD November 7th.