Since 1940, multiple heroes have taken on the mantle of Robin and served by Batman’s side. Now someone is targeting all the former Robins, causing each Boy (and Girl) Wonder to look back at their tenure. Robins is a new series starring Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne as they ponder what it truly means to be Robin. Inspired by this new series (which was greenlit by all of you in our “DC Round Robin” tournament earlier this year), we decided to follow their example and rundown some fun and obscure Robin facts. Did you know Dick Grayson once ran a summer camp? What was Damian’s original name? Who was Robin the longest? Impress your friends with this trivia as we fill you in on everything you’ve never known about Robin!
- Robins #1 features all five main continuity Robins getting together to discuss their time as Batman’s assistant. It might surprise you to learn that bringing all of them together is a relatively recent trend. The first time all five Robins ever got together was Batman and Robin Eternal #26 in 2016.
- Dick Grayson first appeared in 1940’s Detective Comics #38 and became Robin the same issue. Jason Todd first appeared in Batman #357 and officially became Robin in Batman #368. Tim Drake first appeared in Batman #436 and officially became Robin in Batman #457. Stephanie Brown first appeared in Detective Comics #647 and became Robin in Robin #126. Damian Wayne first appeared in Batman: Son of the Demon #1 and officially became Robin (after much campaigning) in 2009’s Batman and Robin #1.
- Now let’s talk time served! Dick ended his time as Robin in 1984’s New Teen Titans #39, bringing his tenure to forty-four years. Jason Todd’s death in Batman #428 ended his Robin career after four years. Tim is an unusual case, because he left the Robin mantle behind after nineteen years (Red Robin #1), but began using the name again in 2019’s Young Justice #1. (Currently, Tim will sometimes use the name Robin when Damian is out of town.) As for Damian himself, the current Boy Wonder has held the mantle for eleven years as of this writing. Stephanie’s time as Robin ended in Robin #128 after three months, making her stint the shortest. She still counts as a Robin, though!
- According to Detective Comics #226, the first Robin was actually Bruce Wayne! Years before he became Batman, a youthful Bruce Wayne trained under a detective named Harvey Harris and used the alias Robin to hide his identity. He even wore the traditional Robin costume before Dick was ever born.
- There are few different explanations for where the name Robin came from. The Boy Wonder’s first appearance in 1940’s Detective Comics #38 heavily implies that he was named after the fabled Robin Hood. During a flashback in World’s Finest Comics #65, Dick suggests the name during his training because he thinks a bat should be accompanied by another winged creature. As mentioned in our last point, a flashback in Detective Comics #226 reveals that an investigator named Harvey Harris gave the name to a young Bruce Wayne because he was “brilliant as a robin redbreast.” Meanwhile, another flashback in 1995’s Robin Annual #4 reveals that Dick’s mother use to call him Robin because he was born on the first day of spring.
- Batman #436 presented the idea that Robin’s costume was designed as an homage to the Flying Grayson’s circus uniforms. Subsequent retellings and media adaptations have run with this idea.
- How old was Dick Grayson when he became Robin? It depends on which comic you’re reading. 1942’s Batman #10 implies that he was seven, the letters page in Batman Family #11 says he was twelve, Dick states that he was eight in 1984’s New Teen Titans #39, 1987’s Secret Origins #13 gives the age as ten, and 2012’s Nightwing #0 says he was fifteen.
- As for the rest, Jason Todd was twelve (Detective Comics #529), Tim Drake was thirteen (Batman #441), Stephanie Brown was sixteen (Detective Comics #810) and Damian Wayne was ten (2010’s Batgirl #6).
- The first female to ever wear a Robin costume was Bruce Wayne’s ex-fiancée Julie Madison in 1949’s Detective Comics #49. The wardrobe choice was part of a plan to trick Clayface.
- You never forget your first foe. When Dick Grayson first suited up as Robin in 1940’s Detective Comics #38, he battled Boss Zucco and his gang. If we’re talking specifically super-villains, then the first one Robin faced was the Joker in 1940’s Batman #1.
- Jason Todd’s first foe was Killer Croc in Detective Comics #526, but that was before he became Robin. Crazy Quilt was the first super-villain Jason battled as Robin (Batman #368), but technically it’s Two-Face if we’re talking about Jason’s post-Crisis counterpart (Batman #410).
- Two-Face was also Tim Drake’s first super-villain before he officially became Robin (Batman #442), and King Snake was his first foe after inheriting the mantle (1991’s Robin #5).
- As Spoiler, Stephanie Brown first faced her father Cluemaster in Detective Comics #649, and the first super-villain she fought as Robin was Tiger Moth (Robin #127).
- Before becoming Robin, the first villain Damian ever battled was the Spook (Batman #657). To be fair, it was less of a battle and more of an execution (Damian was still working on his violent instincts). The first villain Damian faced as Robin was Mister Toad (2009’s Batman and Robin #1).
- Stephanie Brown is the only Robin who has never joined the Teen Titans. However, Spoiler was invited in Robin/Argent: Double Shot #1, but Robin turned it down on her behalf. Shortly thereafter, she did briefly consider auditioning for the group during a membership drive in 1997’s Teen Titans #17.
- During Jason Todd’s original origin from Detective Comics #526, it was Dick Grayson who initially offered to adopt the boy after the death of his parents. Bruce Wayne stepped in and the rest is history, but it’s interesting to imagine how different Jason’s life would’ve been had he gone with Dick instead.
- Damian Wayne has been trained to be a perfect vocal mimic. Batman #657 reveals that he can do an impression of Tim Drake’s voice that’s accurate enough to fool the Batcomputer.
- Did you know that Robin has more Golden Age appearances than Batman? Dick Grayson was given his own solo feature in Star Spangled Comics, which ran from issue #65 through #130. Since Robin was also appearing alongside Batman in Batman, Detective Comics and World’s Finest Comics, his solo feature led to him outpacing his mentor in terms of Golden Age appearances.
- There have been debates among fandom over Stephanie Brown’s status as an official Robin. Stephanie had some doubts herself, but the Dark Knight settled the issue in Batman #633, telling her that she had been an official Robin. If anyone can make that call, it’s Batman.
- After Jason Todd was murdered by the Joker, Dick Grayson began seeing a therapist to work through is emotions in The New Titans #57. Dick opened up about his secret identity, his feelings of guilt over failing Jason, and his complicated relationship with Batman. Thankfully the therapist wasn’t a super-villain and kept his secret.
- In Young Justice #52, the team agreed to be filmed for a reality television series. Batman has rules against Robin appearing in the spotlight, so Tim Drake solved this problem by creating a new superhero persona as the flamboyantly obnoxious Mister Sarcastic.
- From Robin #57 through Robin #65, Stephanie Brown was the focus of a teenage pregnancy storyline. Initially, Stephanie wanted to keep her baby, but she ultimately gave it up for adoption after fearing she wouldn’t be able to protect it. Stephanie refused to learn her child’s gender after giving birth, but by Batman #633, she learned that it was a girl.
- When Jason Todd became Batman’s partner, he initially considered using a name other than Robin as a sign of respect for Dick Grayson. In Batman #368, his suggested codenames were Flying Ace, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Eagle, Domino and Kid Dynamite. Luckily, Dick Grayson gave him his blessing to inherit the Robin mantle because it’s clear that names and branding are not Jason’s strong suit.
- For obvious reasons, Stephanie Brown is the only Robin to also operate as Batgirl…so far.
- When Jason Todd became the new Robin, Harvey Bullock began to notice that the Boy Wonder was shorter and visibly younger. In Detective Comics #556, Bullock presented his suspicions to Commissioner Gordon, who replied that he noticed the switch months ago, but hadn’t said anything because “Batman for his own reasons has chosen not to mention it, so neither have I.”
- In 2017’s Nightwing #16, it was revealed that Damian obsessively looks at what people are saying about Robin on social media, and frequently gets mad when fans call Nightwing “the best Robin."
- Somewhere in Gotham City, there is a building with a giant replica of Robin’s head on the roof. This weird piece of architecture was seen in Star Spangled Comics #83 and is the official headquarters for the Robin Fan Club.
- Speaking of Robin fan clubs, a group known as We Are Robin was formed during a period where Batman was missing. The youth movement was inspired by Robin’s example and viewed themselves as an army for Batman’s war on crime. Duke Thomas, who now fights alongside Batman as the vigilante Signal, was one of the group’s more notable members.
- Frank Miller’s classic The Dark Knight Returns introduced Carrie Kelley, a young girl who assumed the Robin mantle after being inspired by Batman’s return. Although Carrie originated in an alternate future story, her impact was so strong that she has been paid homage to many times, including in an episode of The New Batman Adventures. A main continuity version of Carrie was introduced in Batman and Robin #19 as Damian’s tutor. We haven’t seen much of her since, though.
- And now to warm your heart, here is a breakdown of each of the Robin’s first kisses. Dick Grayson had his first kiss with an ice skater named Vera Lovely in 1957’s Batman #107. Jason Todd’s first kiss was with his classmate Rena in Detective Comics #565. Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown were each other’s first on-panel kisses in 1994’s Robin #5. As of this writing, Damian still hasn’t had his first kiss, but he came pretty close with his teammate Djinn in 2019’s Teen Titans #27.
- Since we’re warming hearts, let’s talk about pets. Some of you might be familiar with Dick’s dog Haley (aka Bitewing) who was introduced in 2021’s Nightwing #78, but let’s look at some of the other Boy Wonder pets. In Red Hood: Outlaw #30, Jason took in a stray canine who he named Dog. He admitted that he wasn’t very creative with names (which we already know). In 2011’s Batman and Robin #2, Bruce gifted Damian a dog, who he named Titus. If you want to get really obscure, way back in Detective Comics #157, Dick owned a racehorse named Rocket.
- Dick Grayson once confessed his secret identity to his entire class. In 1954’s Batman #81, Dick’s high school teacher asked why he was late and he told everyone it was because he was Robin. He then shed his clothes, revealing his Robin costume underneath, and performed some acrobatics to prove himself. This turned out to be a convoluted plot to trick a villain and Dick was able to convince his class that it was all a hoax by the end.
- In Detective Comics #668, Tim Drake obtained his driver license, even though he was years from his sixteenth birthday. Due to his father’s disability, Tim was able to get a provisional license.
- The current Robin went through a few different names before Grant Morrison introduced him as Damian. During Talia’s pregnancy in Batman: Son of the Demon #1, she suggested naming the child Thomas if it was a boy and Martha if it was a girl. Years before Damian’s formal debut in Batman #655, the idea of Bruce and Talia’s lost child was explored in the Kingdom Come universe, where the child was named Ibn al Xu’ffasch.
- During his time as Robin, Jason Todd joined the Teen Titans for a mission while Dick Grayson was temporarily off the team. Wonder Girl quickly became overwhelmed acting as team leader and told young Jason that he could be the Titans leader since he was Robin (1986’s The New Teen Titans #20). Jason panicked, since he was just a kid. Luckily, Donna came to her senses.
- Finally, did you know that Robin once ran his own summer camp? In Star Spangled Comics #82, Dick Grayson founded Camp Robin. The Boy Wonder thought it would be a good idea to give underprivileged children some recreation. Robin served as a camp counselor, sleeping in his cabin in a domino mask and pajamas.
Did you learn anything new, or do you have some cool pieces of Robin trivia of your own? Head on over to the DC Community and let us know, and don’t forget to check out Robins for more memorable moments featuring everyone’s favorite superhero mantle!
Robins #1 by Tim Seeley, Baldemar Rivas and Romulo Fajardo Jr. is now available in print, as a digital comic book and on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE.
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.