Red Robin (comics)

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Red Robin
Dick Grayson as Red Robin in Kingdom Come.
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Kingdom Come #2 (June 1996)
Created by Mark Waid (writer)
Alex Ross (art)
Characters Dick Grayson
Jason Todd
Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong
Tim Drake
See also Robin (comics)
Dick Grayson
Tim Drake
Red Robin
Incentive variant cover of Red Robin 1 (Jun 2009). Featuring the Tim Drake version of the character. Art by J. G. Jones.
Series publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date August 2009 – 2011
Number of issues 26
Main character(s) Tim Drake
Dick Grayson
Creative team
Writer(s) Chris Yost
Penciller(s) Ramon Bachs
Marcus To

Red Robin is a name that has been used by several fictional characters in the DC Comics Universe.

On the alternate world of Kingdom Come, a middle-aged Dick Grayson reclaims the Robin mantle and becomes Red Robin. His uniform is closer to Batman's in design than any previous Robin uniform. Red Robin then 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.[1][2] During the Scattered Pieces tie-in to Batman R.I.P., Ulysses Armstrong briefly appears as Red Robin. In 2009, a new ongoing series was introduced titled Red Robin. The new Red Robin is revealed to be Tim Drake (under the alias of Tim Wayne).

Publication history[edit]

Dick Grayson[edit]

Main article: Dick Grayson

In Kingdom Come, 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). At the end of the comic and the novel, Bruce and Dick had reconciled.

Jason Todd[edit]

Main article: Jason Todd

In Countdown to Final Crisis #17, Jason dons the outfit in the "Bat Bunker" (Earth-51's equivalent to the Batcave) 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.

At the start of Countdown, Jason Todd resumes the persona of the Red Hood and rescues a woman from Duela Dent (Two-Face's daughter).[3] After a Monitor shoots and kills Duela, he attempts to kill Jason, but is stopped by a second Monitor. This second Monitor apologizes to Jason before they both disappear, leaving Jason alone with Duela's body. Later, at Duela's funeral, Jason hides until all of the Teen Titans have left except Donna Troy. Jason tells her what happened the night of Duela's death, and about the dueling Monitors. He knows that both he and Donna Troy have come back from the dead, and wonders which of them is next on the Monitor's hit list. The two are then attacked by the Forerunner, but before she can kill them, the apologetic Monitor stops her, and recruits Jason and Donna for a mission to the Palmerverse (a section of the Nanoverse discovered by Ray Palmer), in an attempt to find Palmer. During the trip, Jason takes it upon himself to name the Monitor "Bob". Jason seems to have a romantic interest in Donna, and is shown to be visibly disgruntled when her old boyfriend, Kyle Rayner, joins their group as they take their tour to the 52 Earths which comprise the Multiverse.

A teaser image released to promote Countdown showed a figure resembling Red Robin among assembled heroes in poses symbolic of their roles in the series. After a series of contradictory statements about this figure, executive editor Dan DiDio firmly stated in the July 2007 DC Nation column that the figure is Jason Todd; Todd, a major player in Countdown, has gone under the aliases 'Red Hood' and 'Robin'.[4] The Red Robin costume, originally designed by Alex Ross for the 1996 Kingdom Come limited series and worn by Dick Grayson, is seen in Countdown to Final Crisis #16 in the Earth-51 Batman's base of operations. In issue #14, Jason dons the Red Robin suit and goes into battle alongside Earth-51's Batman. During a battle with a group of Monarch's soldiers, Earth-51 Batman is killed by the Ultraman of Earth-3, deeply affecting Jason. In his grief, Jason murders an alternate version of the Joker who mocks his loss, vacating alongside Donna, Ray, and Kyle to the planet Apokolips before Earth-51's destruction. After the group is sent back to Earth, Jason leaves the group and returns to his crimefighting ways. When the Morticoccus virus is released from Karate Kid's body, Jason is forcibly brought back to the group by Kyle, much to his dismay. When the Challengers return to the true Earth, Jason disposes of his Red Robin costume and abandons the rest of the group, though they go on to declare to the monitors that they are now the monitors of the Monitors.

Ulysses Armstrong[edit]

Main article: General (DC Comics)

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. He has come into possession of the Red Robin costume worn by Jason Todd, and uses it as part of a campaign of psychological warfare against Tim Drake. More formidable than ever, he's revealed to be holding Lonnie Machin, a former vigilante, hostage and to have commandeered the latter's identity as "Anarky". Where Machin's approach as Anarky had been to cause social change, Armstrong's approach bordered more on psychotic and meaningless acts of chaos and destruction. 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).

Tim Drake[edit]

Main article: Tim Drake

After Dick Grayson takes up the mantle of Batman, he gives the title of Robin to Damian Wayne, claiming that Robin is a student of Batman and that he sees Tim as an equal. Tim begrudgingly accepts.[5] Tim goes on to tell Spoiler that he will be leaving Gotham for an unspecified period of time.[6] He is now the new Red Robin - an identity that is already tarnished and independent of the bat family - traveling the world searching for Bruce Wayne.[5] While doing his search, Tim meanwhile is being monitored by Ra's al Ghul, who appears not only interested in Tim himself, but also Tim's quest for Batman.

Tim's Red Robin costume consists of a long-sleeved red shirt or tunic, along with black boots, tights, gloves, and a black cape and cowl. It also includes a black-and-gold utility belt with other utility storage devices (similar in appearance) crossing over the chest in an "X" shape, meeting at a circular Red Robin insignia. Aside from the trademark bo staff, grapnel guns, and a customized red motorcycle for transportation, Tim also uses throwing discs (similar to batarangs, but circular and adorned with the Red Robin insignia), the latter also used by the previous wearers of the Red Robin costume. Alfred Pennyworth has slightly altered the costume while mending it after the uniform sustained significant damages after Tim's confrontation with Ra's al Ghul. The new features includes bulkier utility belt and black scallops gloves similar to Batman's. The shirttails have been removed.[7] Tim's new cape also happens to be a "paracape," like Dick and Damian's, which gives Tim a gliding capability when it's semi-rigid. Red Robin eventually rejoined the Teen Titans and took over as the team's leader after Wonder Girl stepped down.[8]

Other versions[edit]

An alternate Red Robin appears in Teen Titans Go! #48. This version of Red Robin is the leader of the Teen Tyrants, a group of young supervillains from an alternate reality where all of the world's heroes are evil.

Ongoing series[edit]

With writers Chris Yost on the first three arcs and Fabian Nicieza on the rest and primary pencils by Marcus To, Red Robin features former Robin Tim Drake under the identity of Red Robin.[9] The debut of the series follows the events of Batman R.I.P., Final Crisis, and Battle for the Cowl in which the original Batman, Bruce Wayne, apparently died at the hands of DC Comics villain Darkseid. Of all the characters in the so-called "Batman Family", Drake (now technically a Wayne) is the only one that believes Bruce Wayne is still alive and leaves Gotham City to begin a global search for evidence supporting his theory and hope.[10]

Slated characters[edit]

DC Comics Batman line editor Mike Marts revealed characters slated to appear in Red Robin by showing his "wall" of character thumbnails underneath the various Batman titles. Characters slated to appear in Red Robin other than Tim Wayne include Gotham City reporter Vicki Vale and one of Bruce Wayne's longtime enemies Ra's al Ghul.[11] Tam Fox, the daughter of Lucius Fox, also plays a large role.Lonnie Machin a.k.a. Moneyspider, plays an important role as Red Robin's guide.

Story arcs[edit]

"The Grail"[edit]

In Madrid, Tim Drake infiltrates a group of villains showing the confidence and competence he demonstrated in his prior series. On the inside, Tim seems a bit doubtful. With Bruce’s apparent death, he’s questioning the rules that govern his prior mission. However, he is determined to find Bruce Wayne, who Tim is convinced is alive. He is not the only person interested in finding Bruce though. Ra`s al Ghul (a prominent enemy of the original Batman`s and leader of the League of Assassins) contacts Tim, and through a series of events the two begin working together, though it is later revealed that Tim has ulterior motives under the unsteady co-operation.

"Council of Spiders"[edit]

After a string of attacks on members of the League of Assassins, Tim is forced by Ra's al Ghul to take a hiatus from his search for Bruce Wayne in order to lead the Leagues' attack on a rival organization of assassins: the Council of Spiders. After setting up a few decoy assassinations for the League of Assassins (since it is established in the previous arc that the Council of Spiders enjoys attacking when the League is on the job), Tim finally manages to capture a member of the Council with the help of Prudence (a League member introduced in "The Grail")and some ninjas from the League. However, he then discovers from the captured assassin that the Council is targeting the cradle (or the base of operations for the League), and quickly returns after realizing that he has left Tam there.

Meanwhile, two assassins from the Council have already broken into the Cradle, and Tam unwittingly catches their attention. She attempts to run, but the assassins quickly catch up to her, already proving their prowess by defeating all of the League's available ninja. It is right when Tam is about to be killed that Tim decides to drop in, narrowly saving Tam's life. They escape and run to another room, where they have a surprise encounter with Ra's Al Ghul himself, however, the rest of the Council have made it to the cradle, and Ra's is quickly killed from behind by the walking instant death, Vitoria (the presumed leader of the Council), who has the ability to kill anybody she has skin contact with.

There is a testy confrontation between the Council and Tim, where Tim realizes that the Ra's that was just killed was actually a body double. Vitoria also discovers this a few moments later, and an unequal battle between Tim and the Council occurs. It is in this battle that reveals that Tim has grown as a hero, adopting and improving on all of the techniques and abilities of his mentors (the finesse and effortless movement of the original Robin Dick Grayson, and the calculative planning of the original Batman among others). However, it is clear that it is impossible for Tim to actually win the fight, and he is well aware of it. As he begins to tire, the White Ghost and Prudence come along, and begin fighting off the Council as Tim grabs Tam in order to make a quick getaway.

They run to the main computer of the League, and Tim manages to overload all of their servers, causing multiple explosions and loss of information within League bases all over the world, including the cradle.

The structure begins to crash and fall around them. Tim grapples a rock through a hole leading to the surface, grabs Tam, and leaves the Cradle. Tam experiences a moment of adrenaline, and kisses Tim in the excitement. However, she quickly lets go when Ra's contacts Tim through an earpiece that he had retained, telling Tim that he had better prepare for his (Ra's) revenge.

Tim and Tam leave for Gotham.

Miraculously, the Council of Spiders survives the cave-in, and ominously decide to change their targets from League assassins to superheroes.

"Collision"[edit]

Tim returns to Gotham with Tam, where he receives a call from Ra's Al Ghul after a brief meeting with his best friend Conner Kent (also known as Superboy) while on patrol. Ra's Al Ghul informs Tim that he is targeting all of the people the original Batman (Bruce Wayne) had a close connection with, though he does not specify who. Tim then returns to the Batcave, where he finds that the current Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin (Damian Wayne) are no longer residing, but rather the current Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) and Oracle (Barbara Gordon) are. The two team up and manage to save Leslie, a doctor and one of the people on Ra's Al Ghul's list.

While the two are on a rooftop, presumably trying to figure out what to do next, Prudence arrives and reveals that she had been ordered to kill Stephanie, though she doesn't do so. It is then implied that she has switched sides and has decided to help Tim out. After this, the deadliest assassins in the League arrive, sent by Ra's Al Ghul to kill all of them. However, Tim, Stephanie, and Prudence manage to get away with one of the assassins attached to their ride (in order to interrogate).

After the interrogation, the captured assassin reveals the list of targets to Tim, which includes Dick Grayson, Damian Wayne, Stephanie Brown, Vicki Vale, Commissioner Gordon, Barbara Gordon, and Selina Kyle (Catwoman), among other people.

There is then a brief encounter with the current Batman and Robin, where Tim tells Dick the bare bones of the story and promises to explain everything when he gets back. Tim goes after Ra's Al Ghul, and Ra's taunts Tim, asking him if getting to him was really worth sacrificing the lives of Bruce's closest affiliates. It is implied here that all of the attacks were to be performed simultaneously, and Tim would have no chance of saving all of the victims by himself. Tim then holds up a walkie-talkie to Ra's (the League's choice of communication, it seems), where it is revealed that Tim has called in for the help of his friends and acquaintances (including Superboy, Kid Flash, Huntress, and Man-Bat). Tim states that he is not Batman, and that he has friends.

There is a scuffle where Tim is obviously the lesser fighter, and Ra's throws him out of the window. Luckily, Dick manages to swing by in the nick of time and save him.

Tim eventually wakes up (after presumably fainting), and finds himself surrounded by Dick, Damian, Alfred, and Stephanie. He's grateful, though most of them are a little bit ticked off at him, and are going to demand answers from him once he's healed a bit more. Tim is then given the Gotham Gazette, where a paparazzi photo of him is beside a picture of Tam's, with the title "Wayne-Gagement?" written across the top.

In other media[edit]

The police of the future seen in The Batman cartoon series episode "Artifacts" believe that Bruce Wayne is Red Robin while Thomas Wayne is Batman and Martha Wayne is Batgirl.

The Red Robin costume is a DLC for Robin (Tim Drake) in Batman: Arkham City.

Red Robin appears in the handheld versions of Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes.

The Red Robin costume is one of four costumes available for Robin (Tim Drake) in the Young Justice: Legacy video game.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dan Didio Comes Clean On The Countdown Teaser Image - Newsarama". Forum.newsarama.com. 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  2. ^ "DC Nation" Justice Society of America v3, 7 ((July 2007)), DC Comics
  3. ^ Countdown #51
  4. ^ "DC Nation" Justice Society of America v3, 7 ((July 2007))
  5. ^ a b Red Robin #1
  6. ^ Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive?
  7. ^ Red Robin #14 (July 2010)
  8. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #93
  9. ^ Schmergel, Daniel (2009-06-10). "''Red Robin'' #1 Review @ IGN Comics". Comics.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  10. ^ "''Red Robin'' #1 Solicitation Information @ DC Comics". Dccomics.com. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  11. ^ Phillips, Dan (2009-05-29). ""Inside the Relaunch of Batman" @ IGN Comics". Comics.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 

External links[edit]