Alternative versions of Robin
|Alternate versions of Robin|
|First appearance||Detective Comics #38 (April 1940)|
|Created by||Bob Kane
|See also||Robin in other media|
Robin is a fictional character, a superhero in publications from DC Comics. Robin has long been a fixture in the Batman comic books as Batman's sidekick. Since 1940, several different youths have appeared as Robin. In each incarnation, Robin's brightly colored visual appearance and youthful energy have served as a contrast to Batman's dark look and manner.
- 1 In mainstream comics continuity
- 2 Alternative versions
- 2.1 Batman: Digital Justice
- 2.2 Dick Grayson (Earth Two)
- 2.3 Talon (Earth-3)
- 2.4 Bruce Wayne Junior
- 2.5 Deathwing
- 2.6 Red Robin
- 2.7 Earth-6: Stan Lee's Robin
- 2.8 DC One Million
- 2.9 Earth-31: Robin Redblade
- 2.10 Dick Grayson (Earth-43)
- 2.11 Dick Grayson (Earth-50)
- 2.12 The Dark Knight Universe Robins
- 2.13 Trinity
- 2.14 Elseworlds
- 2.15 Tiny Titans
- 2.16 Batman: Year 100
- 2.17 Pre-Crisis Hypertime
- 2.18 Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew
- 2.19 Batman Beyond
- 3 References
In mainstream comics continuity
- Dick Grayson is the original Robin. Though he later assumes the name Nightwing in the comics, Grayson is the most commonly portrayed version in other media. Grayson was temporarily Batman, but with Bruce Wayne's return, he has gone back to being Nightwing.
- Jason Todd becomes Robin after Grayson, though his superheroic career is ended by his untimely death at the hands of The Joker. Todd is later resurrected and assumes the Joker's former identity, the Red Hood. He briefly tried to take over the mantle of Batman, before Dick Grayson made him fall to his apparent death; he is now the Red Hood again. Jason Todd is the Arkham Knight in Batman Arkham Knight.
- Tim Drake assumes the Robin identity after Todd, but quits at the request of his father. After his replacement Stephanie Brown is presumed dead, Drake reclaims the mantle. Batman (Dick Grayson) passes the Robin mantle on to Damian Wayne after the events of Battle for the Cowl. Drake, reluctantly, becomes Red Robin.
- Bruce Wayne briefly assumed the role when de-aged during the Sins of Youth storyline.
- Stephanie Brown, Tim Drake's girlfriend who was a superheroine known as the Spoiler, briefly takes on the Robin name in place of Drake, becoming the first female version of the superhero. She also serves as the third Batgirl before The New 52 reboot restored the title to Barbara Gordon.
- Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul, assumed the Robin mantle after the events of Battle for the Cowl.
Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths, a number of Robins lived on different "Earths" in the original multiverse (which was destroyed during Crisis).
In a Batman story from the 1950s, Bruce Wayne assumes the identity of Robin. Richard Grayson of Earth-Two carried on his Robin mantle long into adulthood. Post-52, an entirely new finite multiverse was discovered and created, and as such, a number of Robins may exist now on other alternative Earths. In one frame of the final issue of 52, a new Earth-2 is depicted, along with a character that resembles the original, adult Earth-2 Robin. Whether it is that character or not remains to be seen, as this Earth-2 is not identical to the one that existed before Crisis on Infinite Earths. In another case, Talon is an analogue of Robin, from the new Earth-3 where his relationship with Owlman mirrors that of Batman and Robin in the mainstream universes and maintained a romantic relationship with Duela Dent. Batman #666 depicts a future in which Batman's biological son Damian Wayne becomes Batman, having previously served as Robin.
Batman: Digital Justice
In the digitally rendered tale Batman: Digital Justice, James Gordon the grandson of his namesake, Commissioner Gordon, takes on the mantle of the Batman. A character named Robert Chang, who is somewhat reminiscent of the post-Crisis Jason Todd, takes on the mantle of Robin.
Dick Grayson (Earth Two)
The Robin of Earth-Two is a parallel version of the fictional DC Comics superhero, who was introduced after DC Comics created Earth-Two, a parallel world that was retroactively established as the home of characters which had been published in the Golden Age of comic books. This allowed creators to publish comic books featuring Robin while being able to disregard Golden Age stories, solving an incongruity, as Robin had been published as a single ongoing incarnation since inception.
Robin's origin and history begins the same as the classic version except the timeframe occurs when the Detective Comics #38 was originally printed: 1940.
- Richard Grayson's parents are killed by Anthony Zucco.
- After a period of training, a young Dick Grayson becomes Robin. His first printed story is "Robin, the Boy Wonder."
- Robin participates in the war-time only All Star Squadron. His distant cousin is Charles Grayson, the scientific assistant of Robotman.
This version of Dick Grayson ceased to exist after the multi arc DC Universe spanning event Crisis on Infinite Earths. He was killed by the Anti-Monitor's Shadow Demons while trying to save civilians, along with Earth-1's Kole and the daughter of Earth-Two's Batman, the Huntress (Helena Wayne).
When the Multiverse was recreated in the DC Universe event, Infinite Crisis, a new Earth-Two was born, with a Dick Grayson that resembles the original Earth-Two Grayson. It was established that this new Earth-Two was not the same one as before the Crisis on the Infinite Earths, although Grayson's attitude and his status as a crime-fighter with the Justice Society certainly reflected what had gone before.
After the events of Flashpoint, Helena Wayne, daughter of Earth-2's Batman and Catwoman served as Robin and became the only partner that Batman had ever had. In this continuity, Bruce Wayne had never adopted Dick Grayson as his ward, so he never became Robin on Earth-2. However, he does appear later, married to Earth-2's Barbara Gordon, who never became Batgirl on Earth-2.
The second Talon is shown in Teen Titans #38 (2006), the former sidekick of Owlman II, created by Geoff Johns and Tony S. Daniel. He is a former member of the Crime Society and a member of the Teen Titans during the one year gap after Infinite Crisis. According to an interview with Tony Daniel at Newsarama, Talon is supposed to look like his mentor Owlman. He briefly battled Black Adam with his fellow Titans during World War III. It was revealed in The Search for Ray Palmer: Crime Society that there have been several Talons. The first one is shown dressed parallel to that of Grayson's classic Robin costume, including brown pixie boots. On post-Crisis Earth-3, the Teen Titans' Talon and Duela Dent, the daughter of the Jokester, had been dating. When Duela revealed their relationship to her parents, her father denounced her and the two fled. It is unknown how the two managed to flee to New Earth, or what has happened to Talon beyond that.
Bruce Wayne Junior
In "The Second Batman and Robin Team" (Batman #131, April 1960), Bruce Wayne's butler writes a story about the possible future of Batman and Robin. In it, Bruce Wayne marries Kathy Kane, the Batwoman and they have a son named Bruce Jr. When Wayne retires as Batman, Dick Grayson takes over the role of the Caped Crusader. Bruce Jr., having secretly trained on his own, volunteers to become the new Robin, despite some objections from his mother. As Robin II, he fights alongside Batman II. Several subsequent "imaginary stories" featuring Bruce Jr. followed; the last in this series was "Bat-Girl--Batwoman II" in Batman #163 (May 1964). Bruce Wayne Jr next appeared in World's Finest Comics #215 (January 1973) as one of the Super-Sons.
Grant Morrison used the Bruce Wayne Jr. character in JLA #9 (September 1997), in the story "Elseworlds." After the supervillain Key traps the Justice Leaguers in dream worlds, Batman dreams of a future in which he is married to Selina Kyle/Catwoman. They have a son named Bruce Junior, who was raised from birth to be a superhero and serves as Robin II alongside a Tim Drake Batman.
John Byrne created his own Bruce Jr. in the epilogue of the Batman/Captain America crossover from 1996; this Robin is a red-head and resembles a male Carrie Kelley. Captain America wakes up in modern times after having been frozen in ice towards the end of World War II. He reunites with Batman, a friend who had helped him when Joker and Red Skull joined forces. The Captain is amazed to learn that in the time he slept, Bruce Wayne has retired from being Batman, has passed the mantle to Dick Grayson and that his son Bruce Junior is the new Robin.
Byrne revisited Bruce Jr. in his Superman & Batman: Generations series. There, Bruce Junior is son of Bruce Senior and his wife, who is never identified but is implied to be Julie Madison. "BJ" greatly desires to be a hero and trains as a boy in the hopes of following in his father's footsteps. However, his mother refuses to let "BJ" become Robin until he turns eighteen, and Dick Grayson, then Batman, says that she has final say. On Halloween night of 1964, when BJ is fifteen, he and Superman's daughter Kara (Supergirl) sneak out to have an adventure and, with the help of Wonder Woman's daughter Wonder Girl and The Flash's nephew Kid Flash join forces to defeat some of Flash's Rogue's Gallery, deciding to form their own team called the Justice League. BJ and Kara become romantically involved as adults, but BJ puts the relationship on hold when Joker kills Dick, forcing him to become the third Batman. BJ and Kara eventually marry, but their wedding is halted by Kara's bother Joel Kent. Joel, who had been manipulated his whole life by Lex Luthor, hated his family and attacked the wedding, killing Kara by punching through her chest. Joel dies shortly thereafter, and BJ agrees to raise his powerless son in order to prevent another such tragedy from happening (he also marries Joel's widow, Mei-Lai, sometime in the intervening years). The child, named Clark Wayne, becomes BJ's Robin and is offered the mantle of Batman when he becomes an adult. However, Clark turns it down, having deduced that he wasn't BJ's biological son, and believing that only a real Wayne should be Batman; he instead adopts the heroic identity of Knightwing. In the 1990s, BJ goes on a quest to locate his missing father, whom he eventually discovers as having taken over Ra's al Ghul's criminal empire and turned it into a force for good. Bruce asks BJ to assume control of the organization so that he can become Batman once again. A story in Generations II has Bruce's dying wife imply that BJ isn't his biological son, but this is not explored until Generations III, where BJ uses a Lazarus Pit and becomes Robin once more, ultimately learning that he truly is Bruce's son and everything was a plan by his mother to make up for never allowing father and son to work together as heroes. In Generations III, BJ's life is greatly extended by the use of the Lazarus Pit so he can help the human resistance battle the forces of Darkseid, but when he is mortally wounded he decides to pass on, feeling that he's kept Kara waiting far too long; the sight of their spirits departing together is enough to make even Bruce Senior shed a tear.
For more information on a similar concept, see Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne's son by Talia al Ghul. In the wake of his father's apparent death, his father's first Robin, Dick Grayson, has taken over as Batman with Damien serving as the new Robin. Interestingly, the version of Damian depicted in Batman: The Brave and the Bold has more in common with Bruce Jr. than with his own portrayal in.
Introduced as an alternative Dick Grayson from a timeline when his Titan teammate, Donna Troy, had a son who was driven mad, took on the mantle of Lord Chaos and conquered his world. This version of Dick stayed in his identity of Nightwing and helped train squadrons of superpowered teenagers that became known as the Team Titans. He was involved with the much younger Titan, Mirage, during this time. This alternative-future Nightwing came back in time and briefly joins the Team Titans when their mission takes them to their past, our present. This version of Nightwing, attacked and corrupted by a dark version of Raven shortly after his arrival, changes his name to Deathwing, and serves as her assistant. He becomes so twistedly evil, he at one point tracks down his one time lover, Mirage, and rapes her. She becomes pregnant and has a child named Julienne
During the Zero Hour event that retroactively erased this timeline, Mirage, Terra and Deathwing survive. It is later established that they are from the current time-line, and were shunted through time and given false memories by the Time Trapper, who wished to use them as sleeper agents against the time travel villain, Extant.
It wasn't revealed until one of the later runs of the Teen Titans that this was not Dick Grayson, in fact his true identity was never uncovered. After this storyline, this version of Nightwing has not been seen since. Whether this version existed at all, after the events of Infinite Crisis or would later to be revealed to be an alternative Dick, Jason, or Tim, is unknown.
In Kingdom Come (a post-Infinite Crisis Earth-22), a middle-aged Dick Grayson reclaims the Robin mantle and becomes Red Robin, not at the side of his former mentor Batman, but rather with Superman's League. His uniform is closer to Batman's in design, rather than any previous Robin uniform. Age has not slowed him down, as he possesses all of his stealth and fighting skills. In this story he has a daughter with Starfire; Mar'i Grayson (Nightstar). Starfire has apparently died by the time of the story, according to the Elliot S! Maggin novelization, and Nightstar calls Bruce Wayne "Grandpa", despite no blood relation. At the end of the comic and the novel, Bruce and Dick had reconciled.
Red Robin reappeared in promotional material for the DC Countdown event; Eventually, it was revealed that this Red Robin was not Dick Grayson, but rather Jason Todd who appeared under the cape and cowl. The Red Robin costume was stated to be more symbolism, than an actual costume choice, as Jason has been both the Red Hood and Robin, being shown as Red Robin.
However, in Countdown to Final Crisis #17, Jason dons a Red Robin suit from a display case in the "Bat Bunker" (Earth-51's equivalent to the Bat Cave) as he and Earth-51 Batman join the fight raging on the Earth above the bunker. Jason keeps his new suit and identity for the rest of his tenure as a "Challenger of the Unknown", only to discard it on his return to New Earth and revert to his "Red Hood" street clothing.
During the Scattered Pieces tie-in to Batman R.I.P., a new Red Robin makes his appearance, at first only as a glimmering image following Robin (Tim Drake) and suspected to have stolen a briefcase of money from the Penguin. Tim initially suspects Jason Todd of reprising his Red Robin persona. However, Jason claims innocence, supposing that someone may have stolen his suit when he discarded it earlier. The new Red Robin breaks up a scuffle between Tim and Jason, and later is revealed to be Ulysses Armstrong. Armstrong later changes costumes when he reveals himself to be the new Anarky, and after being severely burned in an explosion, an embattled Tim Drake dons the less-revealing Red Robin costume to hide his wounds. He later returns to his standard uniform.
In 2009, a new on-going series was introduced titled Red Robin. The new Red Robin was revealed to be Tim Drake.
In 2014-5's Multiversity series, a Red Robin also appears as part of Superman's darker incarnation of the Justice League on Earth-22, still based on the alternate future continuity of Kingdom Come.
Earth-6: Stan Lee's Robin
DC created a version of Robin for Stan Lee's Just Imagine... line of comics, in which DC Comics characters were re-imagined by Marvel Comics luminary Stan Lee. Robin is an orphan who has been forced by Reverend Darkk, the series' main villain, into becoming a thief and a murderer. He meets Batman when Darkk assigns Robin to kill him. Batman survives the attack and in return shows Robin what kind of a man Darkk really is. Robin joins the good side for a time, but in the crisis issue it is revealed that Robin has in fact been working with Darkk the whole time; in the end he is transformed into a Hawkman, before being reborn through Yggdrasil as the Atom. In the current New 52 DC Multiverse, these events took place on Earth-6.
DC One Million
In the 853rd Century, the current Batman is aided by the robot called Robin the Toy Wonder. This Batman's parents were guards on the prison planet of Pluto and died in a prison riot that turned into a mass slaughter of the guards. Robin is programmed with the personality of this Batman as a boy and acts as a foil/source of perspective so that he will not become consumed by darkness in his quest for justice. This Robin believes this was the same reason Bruce Wayne brought Dick Grayson into his life.
Earth-31: Robin Redblade
On this alternate Earth, accelerated climate change has resulted in rapid sea level rise, transforming Earth-31 into a devastated waterworld. On the craft Flying Fox, Robin Redblade is one of the crew, and the vessel is piloted by Captain Leatherwing (Batman of Earth-31). Earth-31 also seems to have its own Teen Titans, and Robin Redblade is a member.
Dick Grayson (Earth-43)
In this universe, the setting of Batman & Dracula: Red Rain and its sequels, the Flying Graysons are killed by the vampire Batman, as shown in DC Infinite Halloween Special. Dick grows up to become an obsessive vampire hunter, but is turned by Batman in The Search for Ray Palmer: Red Rain, and becomes his partner. Robin has remained a vampire and is now a member of the "Blood League", a vampire Justice League, alongside Earth-43's Vampire Batman.
Dick Grayson (Earth-50)
In the Wildstorm Universe, Dick Grayson is a Planetary agent in Gotham City, partnered with a man named Jasper who resembles the Joker. He appears in Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth, prior to the Planetary team's shift into universes with a Batman. However, given the events of Flashpoint, this alternate Earth was merged with Earth-0 and Earth-23 and therefore this character no longer exists in main DC continuity.
The Dark Knight Universe Robins
These stories are set in Frank Miller's Dark Knight Universe, which is not considered in continuity with the monthly titles. Miller has stated that the Dark Knight Universe consists of Batman: Year One, All Star Batman and Robin, the Spawn/Batman crossover, The Dark Knight Returns, The Dark Knight Strikes Again and the cancelled Holy Terror, Batman! In this version, Batman looks upon his sidekicks as employees rather than proteges (although he refers to Robin as a protégé in All Star Batman and Robin #9), whom he threatens to "fire" from their "jobs", which he even does to Dick Grayson.
In Frank Miller's Dark Knight Universe, Grayson's origin differs in various ways to the official DC Comics Universe. As seen in the All Star Batman and Robin title, he is a twelve-year-old boy who performs in the circus with his two parents, as the Flying Graysons. Bruce Wayne had come to the show many times to watch him perform his stunts. One night, while Wayne watches the show with reporter Vicki Vale, the Graysons perform an amazing feat. The audience begin to cheer and clap when suddenly a man arrives and shoots Grayson's parents in the head.
Batman takes out the gunman while some corrupt Gotham City Police officers take Dick Grayson into custody. They take him instead to a place outside Gotham City, into a deserted stretch of forest where they torture and/or execute people, but Batman comes to the rescue. Batman takes Dick into the Batmobile and asks him to join him in his crusade against crime in Gotham City. Dick agrees to join the crusade. Upon arrival in the Batcave, Batman intends for Dick to survive in the cave without any help. However Alfred Pennyworth takes pity on Dick and gives him food and a decent place to sleep. Batman is displeased, as he wants Dick to go through the same things he did, whether Dick likes it or not.
Later, Batman brings in the killer of Dick's parents, a man called Jocko-boy Vanzetti. Batman tells him that even though Vanzetti killed his parents, someone else hired him to do so. Batman gives Grayson, who at the time had an axe, the choice of whether to kill Jocko-boy or not. Grayson cuts the tape over Vanzetti's mouth and asks him who hired him to kill his parents. The answer, much to Batman's disgust, is the Joker. Batman orders Grayson to make himself a costume. He does so using Robin Hood as an inspiration. He becomes an archer and wears a cape with a hood thus calling himself Hood. Batman, upon seeing this, pulls his hood down, telling him that anyone could do simply that. Batman tells him to lose the hood and calls him Robin. With his new alter-ego confirmed, he accompanies Batman to confront Green Lantern, as Batman and Green Lantern talk in one of Batman's safe houses which Robin had painted yellow in order to keep Hal Jordan from using his power ring. After a lengthy discussion in which Jordan loses his composure and strikes Batman, Jordan accuses Batman of kidnapping Grayson and dressing him up as his sidekick. Batman tells Jordan that Robin is not Grayson, but in fact a boy he met six years ago on a trip to Istanbul. He eventually retracts the lie and merely assures Jordan that Grayson is not Robin. Robin then reveals he took Jordan's power ring and after a short fight, Robin accidentally hits Jordan in the throat, cutting his air supply. Batman then hits Grayson to make him 'stay down', unmasks and performs a tracheotomy to save Jordan's life. After this, Batman reflects on the event, saying that he did not do a very good job of teaching Robin and then takes Robin to his parent's grave to grieve, claiming that is where it started. Dick cries and punches the headstone, after which Batman consoles his grieving and mournful young ward.
Sometime later, Batman fires Grayson for proving unsatisfactory, which strengthens the rift between the two, and they eventually part ways. In The Dark Knight Returns, Grayson is absent but mentioned several times. First, Commissioner Gordon asks Bruce if he has spoken with him recently, and Bruce coldly confirms it. Later, when Batman's new Robin, Carrie Kelley, rescues Batman and asks about his tank-like vehicle, Batman responds that "Dick called it the Batmobile", and later when Batman suffers a diabetic stroke, he desperately calls out Grayson's name. He is also shown talking to Grayson in his mind, such as when he calls the Mutant leader a "brand of evil we had never dreamed of." This seems to imply a sense of fatherly love otherwise not shown, or that Batman simply missed Grayson's company.
In The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Grayson re-appears as a genetically altered supervillain. Sometime after his dismissal, he apparently joined forces with senior villains such as Luthor, and underwent extensive gene manipulation to gain a healing factor and shapeshifting powers, but at the cost of his sanity. At the behest of the government, Grayson begins a maniacal crusade to hunt down and kill as many superheroes as possible, but in order to conceal his identity and partly due to a twisted revenge scheme on Batman, Grayson takes on the appearance of the Joker, who killed himself in The Dark Knight Returns.
After maiming and killing a number of heroes, such as Guardian, the Creeper and the Martian Manhunter, he seeks out Carrie Kelley, Batman's new partner, a.k.a. Catgirl, intending to kill her in order to exact his final revenge on Batman. Grayson confronts Carrie and Green Arrow in the sewers and engages them in battle. Carrie strikes him with thermite, acid and all sorts of chemicals that cause Grayson to explode, apparently killing him, but Saturn Girl later has a vision of a second encounter between Carrie and Grayson and reveals to Carrie that Grayson (though his identity is not yet revealed at this point) is still alive. Grayson eventually ambushes Carrie in the Batcave and proceeds to beat her brutally, lacerating her lips and breaking her bones one by one. Batman arrives and recognises Grayson, prompting him to revert to his original form and costume. As Elongated Man takes Carrie to safety, Batman and Grayson contemptuously go over their bleak history together, with Grayson even admitting that despite his harsh treatment, he loved Batman like a father. The two eventually fight, but Grayson remains unharmed by everything Batman throws at him: when Batman beheads him with a Thanagarian axe, Grayson effortlessly catches his head and places it back on his neck. Eventually, Batman hurls himself and Grayson into a pit of lava beneath the Batcave; Grayson falls into the lava and is totally disintegrated, thereby leaving nothing left of Grayson for him to grow back, while Batman is rescued by Superman. As Grayson's remains disappear, Batman acknowledges his ward's demise with a sad "So long, Boy Wonder".
Caroline Keene "Carrie" Kelley becomes the Robin in The Dark Knight Returns when she saved Batman (see paragraph 4 for more info). Later in The Dark Knight Strikes Again, she adopts the identity Catgirl. She was the first full-time female version of Robin in the history of the Batman franchise (though Julie Madison had passed off as Robin for a brief time in a Bob Kane story published in Detective Comics #49 in March 1941).
Carrie Kelley is a 13-year-old schoolgirl and scout whom Batman saves from a sadistic group of Mutant gang members on the night of his return from retirement. Idolizing the Dark Knight, she then spends her lunch money on a Robin outfit, sets out to attack petty con-men and to find Batman in the hope of becoming his partner. Kelley uses a slingshot and firecrackers as weapons. She also wears green-tinted sunglasses in lieu of a black harlequin mask. Unlike the most versions of Robin, Kelley is not an orphan, but she appears to have rather neglectful parents who are never actually seen – one of them mutters "Didn't we have a kid?" while their daughter is witnessing the fierce battle between Batman and the street gangs known as the Mutants. It is hinted through their dialogue that they were once activists and possibly hippies during the 1960s, but have since become apathetic stoners.
In the series, the government's banning of superhero activities and Jason Todd's death had led to the Dark Knight's retirement, but Batman accepts her as Robin when she saves his life just as he is on the verge of being killed by the Mutant Leader by jumping on him from behind and tearing at his eyes. She half drags him back to the Batmobile and makes a sling for his arm out of part of her cape and a piece of pipe. He often threatens to fire her but she shows considerable ability and improvisation which impresses him enough to give her a stay of dismissal even when she disobeys his orders. The police, now led by newly appointed Commissioner Ellen Yindel, takes a very poor attitude to Batman and his methods and issues a warrant for his arrest. When she sees Batman with Kelley leaping in mid-air and barely catching a passing hang-glider, Yindel adds child endangerment to the growing list of charges against Batman.
As Robin, Carrie plays a crucial part in tracking down and confronting the Joker who (at a fairground) has poisoned several children and planted a bomb on a roller coaster. While Batman goes after his age-old nemesis, Carrie manages to dispose of the bomb but gets into a tangle with Fat Abner, Joker's accomplice. As they grapple together, Abner is decapitated by an over-hanging section of the track, driving Carrie momentarily into shock and tears, but recovering enough to rescue a seriously injured Batman from capture by the police and help heal his wounds with Alfred Pennyworth. Unnerved by Batman's activities, the United States government sends Superman to bring the Dark Knight down. As the big battle is about to start, Carrie delays Superman's arrival using the tank-like Batmobile and a slingshot, to which the Man of Steel simply replies "Isn't tonight a school night?". Using a variety of powerful weapons, including self-made Kryptonite, Batman manages to defeat Superman but "dies" in the process. It later emerges that he had faked his own death and Carrie unearthed Batman from his grave soon after he revived. They then go underground to the Batcave where, with Green Arrow, they set about training various teenage street gangs into an army that is to deal with "worse than thieves and murderers".
Three years later, Kelley has begun calling herself "Catgirl". She still remains Batman's able second-in-command. She wears a skin-tight cat costume with a leopard pattern, and is now trained extensively in combat. Her equipment includes motorised rollerskates and an arm cannon that fired batarangs. Catgirl's main duty is to oversee an army of Batboys to help save the world from a police-state dictatorship, led by Lex Luthor and Brainiac. She leads them into battle, liberating imprisoned heroes such as the Atom and Flash. But she also causes serious injury to a Batboy who exceeded her orders by maiming and killing a couple of police officers. She beats him up and tells the others to treat him but not bother with anesthetic. Once alone, however, she breaks down in tears but is offered a comforting hand by Batman. She has been referred to as "The daughter [Batman] never had" but also as "jailbait".
Carrie eventually comes into conflict with a supernatural man resembling Joker and attempts to kill the man with arrows, thermite, acid and C4. However, the man still returns to make an attempt on her life in the Batcave, turning out to be a now-homicidal Dick Grayson having resented her because he had been shoddily treated and dumped by Batman. Her lips are badly lacerated and several of her bones are broken in the fight. Thinking that she is about to die, she tells Batman that she loves him, with Batman later reflecting that he feels the same (Frank Miller clarified in an interview in the book Batman through the Ages that Batman saw Carrie as a daughter, meaning Carrie most likely saw Batman as a father figure). Batman, however, arrives and stalls Grayson long enough for Ralph Dibny to get Carrie to safety. It was noted that Carrie was developing feelings for Atom.
- In The Batman & Robin Adventures #6, a tabloid spreads the rumor that Batman is seeking a new partner to serve as Robin, resulting in several imitators donning the Robin costume and taking to the streets in attempts to impress Batman. Among them is a redheaded female who uses a small bomb to interrupt a meeting between Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon and Detective Bullock, and announces her name as Carrie. Carrie tails Batman for the rest of the issue, continually causing problems with the kidnapper of another Robin pretender who expects a solitary meeting with Batman.
- Carrie Kelley appears in the Ame-Comi Girls books as the Robin of that universe. In this continuity, she is the cousin of Barbara Gordon to whom she acts as a sidekick. When Batgirl is kidnapped by Duela Dent, Carrie enlists the aid of Steel and the Flash in order to help rescue Batgirl.
- Carrie Kelley makes her first appearance in the main, canonical, DC Universe in The New 52's Batman and Robin Issue 19 (titled Batman and Red Robin). She is a college student and Damian Wayne's acting instructor. As a homage to The Dark Knight Returns, she wears a Robin costume as a Halloween costume on her first appearance.
In other media
- Carrie Kelley makes her animated debut in The New Batman Adventures episode "Legends of the Dark Knight", voiced by Anndi McAfee. She is a young girl in the present time that describes what she (as Robin) envisions Batman as being like.
- The Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Knights of Tomorrow" features a futuristic version of Batman (Damian Wayne) seen ready to bring down a group of Mutants with his own son (voiced by Sebastian Bader) that slightly resembles the Carrie Kelly version of Robin.
- The Carrie Kelly version of Robin appears in the two-part animated adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, voiced by Ariel Winter. Minor differences of this version from the original graphic novel's is that she does not carry firecrackers.
- The Carrie Kelly version of Robin appears in the Teen Titans Go! episode "The Best Robin", voiced by Scott Menville. She is part of a team of Robins that eventually becomes consumed by competition to determine which Robin is the best one.
Alfred is a familiar character in the Batman books as Bruce Wayne's elderly butler. However, in Batman: Dark Allegiances, set in the World War II era, Batman, Catwoman, and Alfred were recruited to fight behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany in the winter of 1940. Alfred is given the codename Robin.
In Superman & Batman: Generations, Dick Grayson is Robin until he goes to college. The role is then taken up by Batman's son, Bruce Wayne Junior, against his mother's wishes. However, he gives up the role when Dick is murdered, in order to become Batman. Several years later, Clark Wayne, the biological son of Joel Kent and adopted son of Bruce Wayne Jr., takes on the role of Robin, before becoming Knightwing.
Set in the 1960s, Thrillkiller was written and drawn by Howard Chaykin and Dan Brereton and published in 1997-98. It has Bruce Wayne as a detective in the Gotham Police after his family was ruined by the Great Depression. Wayne Manor has been taken over by the rebellious, and a little demented, Barbara Gordon, daughter of police Commissioner James Gordon. Her live-in boyfriend is Richart Graustark, who goes under the name of "Dick Grayson", presumably to cover his German origins (World War II being still fresh in people's minds at the time). Barbara and Graustark fight crime as Batgirl and Robin, though, in true 1960s anti-establishment style, their main targets are corrupt cops, in particular those led by the Two-Face-like Detective Duell and the Joker-like but very feminine Bianca Steeplechase. In this version, Grayson's family are still circus acrobats, but their deaths are caused as a result of his activities as Robin rather than the traditional other way round. He is overcome by grief and rage over their murder and his subsequent recklessness leads to his own death. He is replaced as Barbara's partner by Detective Bruce Wayne, who takes the identity of Batman, but the memory of him drives even Barbara to the point of insanity and she adopts the Robin guise as part of seeking revenge. Within the New 52 DC Multiverse, Earth-37's 1960s seem comparable to those of Thrillkiller, although while it has a Batgirl, Robin and female Joker, it now seems to lack a Batman.
The main character in JLA: The Riddle of the Beast, young Robin Drake brings together all the heroes of The World to battle the Beast (Etrigan).
In the French Revolution set Batman: Reign of Terror, Bruce Wayne's sister learns his secret identity, and designs a Robin outfit to aid him.
Batman: Dark Knight Dynasty features three generations of Waynes, past, present and future. In the future section, Brenna Wayne is aided by an ape with augmented intelligence in a Robin costume, who goes by the name 'Rodney'.
In the American Civil War set The Blue, The Gray and the Bat, Captain Bruce Wayne is aided by a Native American named Redbird. Redbird's family were killed by white men, and, until he got his revenge, he wore war paint in a design similar to a domino mask.
In the futuristic Robin 3000, Earth is controlled by despotic aliens. Batman (Bruce Wayne XX) is killed trying to stop them, but his mission is continued by his nephew, Tom (Thomas) Wayne. This was originally created by P. Craig Russell in 1986 as Tom Swift 3000, but later rewritten in 1992 as a Robin story when the original plans fell through.
In the Robin 1996 Elseworlds annual, an unnamed young warrior in 16th century Japan is raised by the Bat-Samurai, and nicknamed Tengu, after the bird-spirits, by a female Cat-Ninja. Tengu loses his mentor in battle. Tengu was later revealed to be the rightful heir to the imperial throne, and the usurper (believing he knew this and plotted against him) attempted to kill him. He killed the usurper in self-defense but, since he had already sworn loyalty, was constrained to suicide as a result of this dishonor.
In the Robin 1998 Legends of The Dead Earth annual, humanity is trying to reach other worlds in generation ships. On one of these, a group called the Proctors have seized control and everyone else are slaves who are executed on their 30th birthdays to conserve the ship's resources. Tris Plover, a 29-year-old slave, rebels against the Proctors. She meets another rebel, called the Batman, who gives her the Robin identity. At the cost of their lives, they succeed in defeating the Proctors and Robin sets the ship on a course for the planet New Gotham. "Bird Dark" is the name of Batman's partner in the somewhat garbled fables told on another colony world, as featured in the "Legends of the Dead Earth" Batman Annual #20. (1996) While the name is based on Nightwing, the costume is in Robin's colors.
In JLA: The Nail, Dick (as Robin), along with Barbara (as Batgirl) is tortured then murdered by The Joker with his Kryptonian gauntlets, driving Batman temporarily insane after he witnesses their ordeals and death. The grief-stricken hero then kills Joker for revenge. Later, in the sequel JLA: Another Nail, Dick returns as a spirit after the Joker returns from Hell. He helps Batman defeats the Clown Prince of Crime once and for all, and gives Batman the strength to move on.
Tiny Titans is a kiddie-based series follows the exploits of the Teen Titans (and other DCU character), as grade school kids attending school for Super-hero sidekicks. Dick Grayson's Robin is a primary character in the series, and often tries to act like the leader, although the rest of the Tiny Titans rarely listen to him. He temporarily began wearing a kiddie version of his first Nightwing costume, but later went back to being Robin. Later issues eventually introduced Jason Todd and Tim Drake into the series as toddlers who Barbara Gordon babysits. Both Jason and Dick wear the original Robin costumes, while Tim wears the 2006 "One Year Later" Robin costume. Talon also appears as a frequent enemy of Robin, but in the conclusion of issue 46 he gets his hair cut like Robin by Batman's butler.
Batman: Year 100
An alternative version of Robin appears in Paul Pope's Batman: Year 100 limited series. This Robin is a dark-skinned teenager who acts as Batman's partner as well as the mechanic for "the Batmobile", a high-tech motorcycle. Little is revealed about this Robin's backstory other than that he was apparently adopted by Batman at a young age, and that Robin is his real name rather than an alias. Unlike other iterations of the character, the Robin in "Year 100" does not wear a costume.
Hypertime is a fictional concept presented in the 1999 DC comic book series Hypertime, to explain any continuity discrepancies in DC Universe stories and a variations of the Multiverse that existed before Crisis on Infinite Earths. During the "Hypertension" story arc, Superboy Kon-El travels through multiple realities battling Black Zero an evil alternate version of himself that's been abducting other clone Superboys. One of the alternate Superboys has become Batman's latest Robin.
Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew
The 1980s series Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew presented the parallel Earth of "Earth-C-Minus," a world populated by funny animal superheroes that paralleled the mainstream DC Universe. Earth-C-Minus was the home of Boyd, the Robin Wonder, a robin sidekick to the Batmouse, and presumably an analog of the mainstream DC Universe's Dick Grayson (including wearing a variant of Dick Grayson's Robin costume).
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