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Robin (Batman)

Robin is the name of a series of DC Comics superheroes who are sidekicks to Batman. It first appeared in 1940 in Detective Comics.

The character's introduction was part of the trend to soften the Batman character and give him a companion that can fulfill the usual role of a sidekick in the stories as well as something specifically designed to appeal to young readers.

Before the Batman character was revised in the 1980s, Batman's personal history actually had him as the first one to assume the identity as a boy in order to learn the basics of detective work from a great private eye.

The first Robin was a young circus acrobat called Dick Grayson who was the youngest of a family act called the Flying Graysons. His parents were murdered by gangster Boss Succo who sabotaged their trapese equipment to produce a fatal fall. Batman approached the boy after the murder and told him the truth of the matter. Dick learned that criminal was extorting money from the circus and killed his parents as a warning against defiance. Dick pleaded with Batman to bring the murderer to justice and he agreed, while making the boy swear to always fight crime faithfully. Batman, as Bruce Wayne, managed to get approval to have Dick put under his custody as a legal ward and rigorously trained the boy in physical, fighting and investigation skils to be his assistant. Together, they investigated Succo and collected the evidence they needed to bring Succo to justice.

That was first of a long career adventures in which the pair, often called the Dynamic Duo, would battle crime in Gotham City and beyond. In addition, Robin was leader of his own superhero team, The Teen Titans[?]. Eventually, Dick would break away from Batman and abandon the identity in favour of his own creation as Nightwing[?].

The second Robin was Jason Todd, another young orphaned acrobat in DC Comics before the 1980s revision and a street orphan after. He proved to be much more impulsive, defiant and brutal than Dick was and was killed off in a notorious story where readers were encourage to participate in a phone-in poll to see if the character would survive. The vote narrowly favoured killing him and the character died at the hands of The Joker.

The third Robin is Timothy Drake, a young boy who followed the adventures of Batman and Robin ever since seeing the murder of the Flying Graysons. He surmised their secret identities and noted that after Jason was killed, Batman was becoming more prone to overly violent and clumsy methods because of his inner grief and rage. Eventually, he revealed himself to Dick Grayson and Batman's butler Alfred who in turned helped persuade Batman to take on Tim as his sidekick to help him regain some self control.

Tim has proven to be a more cereberal sidekick while still being quite adept physically adept. He wears a modified armoured costume designed to provide more protection including tight trousers to finally protect the previously bare legs. He is also the leader of his own superhero team, Young Justice.

In addition, the famous comic book mini-series, The Dark Knight Returns, includes Carrie Kelly as Robin, the only female one in Batman's history.

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