Introduced in 1940, Robin has since become one of the most recognized DC characters ever made. Created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson, his character provided some levity to the gritty world of Batman and served as a Watson to Batman's Sherlock. Our heroes were a perfect pair, complementing each other in what the other may have lacked.
It wasn't long before Robin became of the most beloved characters in the DC comics' repertoire, and to this day, Robin is still one of the most popular characters in the DC comics universe. The superhero, unlike a lot of other comic book characters, has continued to evolve over time; not only becoming stronger and more skilled, but also maturing in a manner that is uncharacteristic for comic book characters. Moreover, characters like Nightwing, Red Hood, and Red Robin could never have been created had it not been for Robin.
While we all know the broad strokes of various iterations of Robin and remember him as the fearless leader of the Teen Titans, there is a lot that even the keenest of fans would not know.
Here are 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Robin.
20 Robin was trained by the League of Assassins
All of the respective Robins have led pretty interesting lives prior to joining The Caped Crusader in his mission to save Gotham. Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul was trained by the League of Assassins.
Wayne's training, while making him highly skilled in various forms of combat, also made him unstable. His ease in finishing off opponents often put him at odds with Bruce, although it is not to say his League training didn't make him very useful to Batman.
In fact, of all the Robins who worked alongside Batman, Damian Wayne and his amazing training may very well be the most formidable one. This distinguishes him from other Robins who were simply learning the ropes when they initially put on the costume.
19 He Almost Defeated Green Lantern
All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder may not be the most famous Frank Miller comic series out there, but it's among his most creative. The comic retells the origin story of Dick Grayson and how he became Batman's sidekick Robin. It also depicts Batman as a conniving, jealous man who wants to take Green Lantern's ring for himself, leading him to convince Robin to help him set a trap.
Our two heroes decide to paint a room yellow, as it disables the powers of Green Lantern's ring. After bringing him inside, Robin steals the ring, rendering Green Lantern helpless, after which he proceeds to beat him to the point that Lantern starts bleeding profusely due to a crushed trachea. Ultimately, Hal Jordan survived but Robin's descent into madness caused by Batman's jealousy was a low point for the Dynamic Duo.
18 All Robins Are Different In Some Aspect
The costumes Robins have worn over time haven't varied much. Neither have the characters' builds and hairstyles, although each of them has brought something new to the table. Batman's sidekicks have also varied as greatly in personality as they have in their skills.
While Dick Grayson's acrobatic and leadership skills are his greatest weapons, he's also quite quick on his feet. Tim Drake is an excellent detective, in addition, his snooping and fighting skills are something to behold. Jason Todd is a beast on the field, with his sharp aim and brute force putting others to shame. The League of Assassins trained Damian Wayne as an excellent fighter despite his young age of ten years old - skilled at martial arts and sword fighting, he is certainly one of a kind.
17 Female Characters Have Played Robin too
Robin is a superhero identity that has been used by many male superheroes. In fact, the first four Robins in the New 52 DC continuity have been men, but outside of that, there have been two female Robins as well. The more famous one is, of course, Carrie Kelly from Frank Miller's well-known comic The Dark Knight Returns in which she dons the Robin costume to help an older Batman rise out of the shadows. She made another appearance in Miller's follow up comic The Dark Knight Strikes Back, but as Catgirl.
Apart from Carrie Kelly, Stephanie Brown also briefly took up the mantle of Robin after Tim Drake decided to quit. That said, her tenure as Robin was cut short by her passing away two issues later. Similarly, in the Earth-2 of the New 52, Helena Wayne is Robin.
16 Jason Todd Was Brought In To Be The New Dick Grayson
Dick Grayson's introduction in the Batman comics as Robin was a huge success - fans loved the Boy Wonder from the first issue he was featured in. After all, the sole purpose of the hero's creation was to improve viewership and attract younger readers. With Robin's introduction, DC's Batman comic sales doubled, but after Grayson left Batman to lead the Teen Titans, sales quickly started declining again.
Therefore, folks over at DC decided to bring in a new Robin. Jason Todd was introduced in 1983 and was pretty much identical to Dick Grayson - both had such similar back stories that comic book fans grew irritated. This was among the other factors that led to fans disliking him in the Batman Universe.
15 He Had Some Powerful Love Interests
Batman's various sidekicks have had their own love interests. Dick Grayson has been linked many times to the daughter of the Gotham Commissioner, the Batgirl Barbara Gordon. Grayson is known for being a hit with the ladies thanks to his charm, wit, and athletic physique, but he's no stranger to falling in love.
Apart from Barbara Gordon, the superhero has also been romantically linked to Starfire, who, like him, became a member of the Teen Titans. Grayson has also dated Zatanna in Young Justice. The Tim Drake version of Robin also had a relationship with Wonder Girl. He then dated Stephanie Brown, before she replaced him as Robin when he made the decision to leave the role temporarily.
14 He Was Disliked By Fans
Considering that there have been multiple Robins in the Batman universe, it makes sense that fans would often compare them to their older counterparts. Jason Todd's introduction as the newest Robin, left many fans perplexed as it meant it was time for Dick Grayson to be replaced. There were several other of Todd's traits, such as his violent tendencies and brash attitude, which led to the fans vehemently hating the character and wanting him gone.
This inspired DC to come up with a storyline involving Joker that would help decide Todd's fate. The comic book company asked fans to vote for or against Jason Todd's destiny at the hands of The Joker. Of course, the character later came back as the Red Hood, but his fate has remained one of the biggest events in the Batman universe.
13 Batman Used To Discipline Robin
Considering that Batman is an adoptive dad to Dick Grayson, it makes sense that he would love him like a son. After the Boy Wonder was introduced in the comics, he was shown to be not only Batman's protégé, but also his foster child, which makes it seem kind of strange how harsh Bruce Wayne has been toward him at times. The Caped Crusader has made sure that Robin, despite his young age, was unstoppable on the battlefield, and *while that was certainly a great thing, it did mean that Dick didn't have a normal upbringing.
Losing his family also meant that, for Grayson, Bruce Wayne was the closest thing to a dad; it was Bruce's job to protect him. It does makes it quite disturbing to see Bruce get physical with Robin on multiple occasions.
12 Many Famous Celebrities Were Set To Play Robin
Given how gloomy the current state of DC films is, it's almost impossible to remember a time when films about its superheroes were being optioned left and right. Batman, being such a iconic superhero, was constantly being considered for film adaptations. The role of Robin naturally came up in those conversations, and it's really remarkable to see who different directors wanted as the Boy Wonder.
Ivan Reitman, the director of Ghostbusters, who was once attached to a Batman film, wanted Eddie Murphy to play Robin. Tim Burton actually cast Marlon Wayans as Robin in Batman Returns, but Wayans ended up getting paid out instead of working on the film as the director felt there were too many characters in the movie.
11 He Became Joker's Sidekick
Each respective Robin has had to deal with a lot from some of DC's most fearsome villains, while fighting alongside Batman. They've also had multiple encounters with Batman's biggest nemesis, the Joker. One of the biggest twists in the Batman mythology was when the Joker actually killed Jason Todd. Another very interesting event took place in the popular animated series Batman Beyond, in which the Joker kidnapped the Tim Drake version of Robin.
When Batman finally found Drake, he was almost unrecognizable as he had become Joker's sidekick, Joker Jr. This was due to the abuse he faced at the hands of Joker and Harley Quinn. While Drake was damaged from this experience, when push came to shove, it was the Joker he decided to eliminate instead of Batman.
10 Bruce Wayne Was Once Robin
It may come as a surprise to fans that Batman donned Robin's suit on certain occasions. This was first revealed in Detective Comics #226, where Bruce told the young Dick Grayson of his own days in the red and gold costume. It was revealed that the costume was made by a young Bruce Wayne to attract the attention and to follow around his idol Harvey Harris (a detective). Harris appreciated Wayne's costume and named him Robin, which led Bruce to name Dick Grayson Robin.
Bruce also stated that he had been wearing the Robin costume before his parents got murdered, which really doesn't add up. Other than those moments, Bruce and Robin also switched costumes once to confuse an enemy. Another time, when a witch cursed the Justice League by making them younger, Dick wore the Batsuit while Bruce was forced to wear Robin's costume.
9 Robin's Weird Relationship With Batman
Batman and Robin have a seemingly normal father/son relationship for the most part, or as normal as can be when both of them fight crime. This makes it intriguing when certain scenes in the comics seem to suggest that their relationship is slightly different.
For example, older comics show Robin and Batman getting up from the same bed together, which is quite strange. The comics have also shown the two in rather suggestive positions at times, which could be either harmless or risqué, depending on your point of view. The relationship between Robin and Batman has continued to raise eyebrows since the Boy Wonder was introduced. And while the writers have made clear that the relationship between them is strictly platonic, fans have continued to read into it.
8 Only One Robin Wields A Sword
Despite each Robin being very different in terms of personality and skill, they all had one similarity: they didn't use any specific weapons. All, except for Damian Wayne, that is. The League of Assassin trainee is unique as he is the only Robin to already be trained before he put his costume on, which means that the hero is also used to a certain type of martial arts. This differs from the martial arts the other Robins are familiar with.
As a result, Damian carries a sword; a weapon that is the standard for all League of Assassins members. His suit also has a hood attached, which distinguishes his costume from the other sidekicks of the Caped Crusader.
7 Robin Has Disposed Of The Joker Once
We've all heard about the time the Clown Prince of Gotham incapacitated Batman's sidekick, Jason Todd's Robin at that time, although we may not all be aware that the opposite has also happened. In the comic Joker's Last Laugh, the supervillain manages to trick Dick Grayson into getting rid of him.
The reason for this was that the Joker realized he was going to succumb to his cancer and wanted to go out with a bang. The Joker led Dick into believing that he had hurt Tim Drake, which made Grayson see red and thus, the old Robin beat Joker to pulp, effectively ending his life. Considering Batman and his companions have a strict mercy rule, this was a big deal for Grayson, which left him quite damaged.
6 Robin's Leadership
Robin may be the Batman's sidekick, but each version is easily distinguishable from the others. From Grayson to Damian Wayne, all respective versions of the character have proven their worth many times. It is for this very reason that Robin's been chosen to lead other, often more well-known heroes.
Fans of the Teen Titans comics and animated series would have little doubt about the character's proficiency as a leader. Young Justice also saw the character rise to the ranks of leader in the show's sophomore season after Aqualad left the team.
Despite being Batman's number two, Robin is easily one of the best characters in the entire DC comics world, which makes it shocking that fans often underestimate him. Thankfully, the folks over at DC recognize his worth and give him the importance he deserves.
5 Robin Isn't Cool Enough For A Movie
While Batman is dark, brooding, and mysterious, Robin is a happier, more approachable, and run-of-the-mill character. Those very characteristics make the character unappealing for the masses. Batman is considered far cooler than Robin and many fans even believe that the sidekick is simply an annoying distraction, rather than a useful addition to Batman's story. Perhaps reasons such as these make it less likely we'll see Robin in film adaptations more often.
The character was badly received in both Batman: The Movie and Batman & Robin, and since there haven't been any Robins on the big screen. A huge factor contributing to the character's absence from movies is him being considered "uncool". It's the reason we won't get to see him in any film of his own, save for an upcoming Nightwing film which will most likely skip his teenage superhero days.
4 Robin Has Often Had To Be Batman
Being Batman's number two isn't an easy job. Robin not only has to deal with the worst of the worst in Gotham on a daily basis, he also had to deal with Batman's inconsistently pleasant company on a daily basis. In a way, this trains the sidekicks to replace Batman when the need arises. Batman's first protégé, Dick Grayson, has often had to don the cowl when Bruce Wayne was presumed dead or missing. Out of all the Robins, he's thought to be the natural successor to Wayne's superhero identity.
In issue #666 Batman in Bethlehem, Damian Wayne was shown as the future Batman in a dystopian world. Unlike the Batman we know, Damian Wayne's Batman had no qualms about ending people's lives and used both his fighting and supernatural abilities to do so.
3 The Identity of The Robin From Teen Titans
Those of us who watched the animated series Teen Titans were constantly trying to figure out which Robin was the protagonist of the show. Despite the series running for five seasons on Cartoon Network, it was never clearly revealed who Robin was in the show. However the show did hint several times that the Robin was in fact, the first Robin: Dick Grayson.
In an episode, the series showed a villain going by the pseudonym of Nosyarg Kcid, which is basically Dick Grayson backwards. The biggest reason why Grayson is the Robin in question is due to the series depicting a future version of the Boy Wonder as none other than Nightwing, who we all know is Dick Grayson's alter-ego.
2 Robins Have Often Fought Each Other
Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damian all have done a lot for Gotham and working alongside Batman, they've learnt just how much the people value Batman, while criminals fear him. That is why all four of them know what an honor it would be to become Batman. In times when a Batman-shaped void needs to be filled, it is naturally assumed that one of his protégés or former sidekicks will replace him.
In DC's comic book miniseries Battle for the Cowl¸ Dick Grayson and Jason Todd butt heads when Todd becomes Batman unfairly. He even manages to wound Damian Wayne, shooting him and leaving him severely injured. Ultimately, Grayson defeats Jason Todd and becomes the new Batman.
1 Robin Has Passed Away Too Many Times
It's crazy that Batman keeps allowing new Boy Wonders into his life given how many of them end up departing. Jason Todd's assault is ranked as one of the most game-changing events in the Batman mythos, but Stephanie Browns and Damian Wayne's disappearances have also been quite devastating.
It doesn't quite add up as to why the anti-social billionaire would allow any more sidekicks, considering the turn-over rate is just so high. Batman has essentially lost four Robins under five years, which is a frightening statistic. What's more troubling is the implication that Bruce Wayne dresses his sidekicks in clothing that will attract more attention and make it more difficult for them to be stealthy. He's essentially endangering their lives.
What surprising things do you know about Teen Titans' Robin? Comment below.