March marks the superhero sidekick Robin's eightieth anniversary. Since Detective Comics #38 in 1940 – the most famous sidekick in the history of comics has leaped across the rooftops of Gotham City alongside the Caped Crusader, The Batman. And like anything in comics, there have been countless individuals who have worn the Robin mask. Each individual brings a new twist to the character that either leads to a positive or deadly end for them. This listicle is here to showcase the main five Robins that have been established in the main continuity. When the term Main Continuity is thrown in, it means that we are only going to be focusing on the main timeline of events for the Batman comics. We will not be discussing the different realities that other robins have existed in, as that can be very confusing to non-comic book fans.
1. Dick Grayson
Batman Forever (1995)Giphy
Dick Grayson is the first and most famous Robin. He first appeared in Detective Comics #38 all the way back in 1940 and is the son of the Flying Graysons. A family of circus trapeze and acrobat artists that would travel around preforming shows. Their show stopped in Gotham where they became the targets of a mob ring. Long story short, the mobster sabotaged the ropes and Dick's parents fell to their death. Bruce Wayne/Batman was in the audience and saw himself in the boy and took him in, eventually revealing himself to the Batman. Dick would soon suit up as his ally, Robin and the two went on many adventures over the years. Dick Grayson's Robin is one of the most recognizable Robins in not only Robin lore, but in Batman lore, nevertheless. He appeared in tons of Batman adaptations over the years like Movies, tv shows, and of course comics. In the 1980s, Dick would leave the Robin persona behind and soon became a crimefighter of his own, Nightwing.
2. Jason Todd
Jason Todd is the second Robin who appeared in Batman #357. His original counterpart was written to be a complete copy of Dick but that was later retconned, and his new origin showed him to be a homeless street kid on the streets of Gotham. Jason would have a rough upbringing with his broken household and do side gigs. On day, Batman found Jason trying to take the tires off the Batmobile to sell them. Batman took him in and decided to help Jason channel his rage as Robin. Jason was vastly different from Dick as Robin. He was brutal with opponents and sometimes struggled to show restraint. Batman would constantly get frustrated with the boy. Eventually, Jason grew so unpopular that a contest was held with DC Comics readers to vote whether Jason would live or die by the hands of the Joker. Readers called in and Jason was ultimately beaten with a crowbar by the clown prince and blown up. Jason would remain dead for years until being resurrected in the mid 2000s soon becoming the anti-hero The Red Hood.
3. Tim Drake
Arkham City (2011)
Tim Drake appeared shortly after Jason's death in Batman #436. He was written to be a huge fan of Batman and Robin throughout the years, even being present at Dick's parents death as a young boy. Being a huge fan of Batman, he would notice Batman's brutal nature he adopted after Jason's death. Tim would spend months investigating who Batman truly was, soon discovering both his and Dick's secret identities. He would plead with Dick in order to try and get him to suit up as Robin once again, but Dick was not fond of that idea. When he finally met face to face with The Batman, he explained that "Batman needs a Robin". Bruce would make Tim the third Robin and extensively trained him in order to prevent another Robin's death. Tim regarded as one of the most capable Robins in the history of the mythos. With his intense training both physically and mentally, he has used his intellect and ingenuity to save the day more times to count. Tim was eventually written to drop the Robin name and became Red Robin.
4. Stephanie Brown
Young Justice (2010-)
Stephanie Brown is an odd ball. She first appeared in Detective Comics #647 (1992) and for years was known as Spoiler, a vigilante determined to take down her villain father, Cluemaster. She is the off and on love interest of Tim Drake and the two would fight crime together from time to time during Tim's years as Robin. Her time as Robin came in the early 2000s when Tim was unable to fulfill the role for a short time and she became the first female Robin (In main continuity as Carrie Kelley appeared in the 80s.). Stephanie was skillful as Spoiler but was not the sidekick Batman was looking for as Robin. After not following his orders on several occasions she was fired as Robin – only lasting 70 days in universe. Stephanie was killed off shortly after and came back to life near the end of the 2000s. She would suit up as the third Batgirl for a short while before the universe reboot known as The New 52.
5. Damian Wayne
Batman vs. Robin (2015)
Damian Wayne officially appeared in the Son of Batman story Arc in the mid 2000s as the illegitimate son of Batman. After a one-night stand with the assassin Talia al Ghul, Bruce would discover that Talia manipulated the night in order to have a son of the Batman. Damian was essentially a test tube baby and would be trained in the ways of an assassin. Eventually, Damian would be placed in the care of Bruce who struggled to train him properly and holdback his bloodlust. Damian is the current Robin and is known for his snappy personality. He is critical of almost everyone and thinks himself better than most. However, in the last couple of years Damian would become humbler – even questioning if he is the one to truly replace The Batman.
So, there you go, there's a short guide to the Robins. It's crazy that Robin has been able to stand the test of time for so long while other superhero sidekicks have been kicked to the side or rewritten. As Tim Drake said it best, Batman needs a Robin.