Here we are again. This week we are going to delve into the career of Tim Drake, Robin #3. As a very young child, Tim’s parents Jack and Janet took him to see the Haly Circus where he witnessed the greatest act he ever saw, The Flying Graysons. But delight soon turned to horror for this was the night John and Mary Grayson fell to their deaths. Tim then saw a dark shape emerge from the shadows and approach Dick Grayson. At first he thought it was a monster that was there to hurt Dick. Then he realized it was there to protect him. It was the Dark Knight, Batman! Flash forward years later to a 9 year old Tim Drake watching news footage of Batman and Robin. He recognizes an acrobatic move Robin makes as the same move Dick Grayson made years ago at the circus. Over the next few years, Tim deduces the identities of Batman and Robin (and then Nightwing). After hearing stories of Batman becoming more brutal and cold following the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin (see last weeks blog), Tim decides that Batman needs a Robin, if for no other reason than to make him slow down and be careful for someone else’s sake if not his own. At first Tim goes to Dick Grayson and tries to convince him to give up his Nightwing identity and become Robin again.
After Dick refuses to take up the Robin role again, Tim decides to do it himself. At first Batman declares he never wants to put another child in danger again, but after Tim helps Batman and Nightwing defeat Two-Face, Batman agrees to start training Tim.
After months of intense training and a decisive win against the Scarecrow, Batman lets Tim become the new Robin with an updated costume.
Tim was the first Robin to get his own, self-titled ongoing series. Tim’s Robin series ran for 183 issues (1993-2009). When not working with Batman, Tim had solo adventures in his own book and worked with other teen heroes, first in Young Justice then a revamped Teen Titans. Tim also had a “big brother” figure in Nightwing.
Unlike the Robins before him, Tim’s parents were still alive when he started to train for his role as Robin. A few months into his training, despite Batman’s attempts to save both his parents, Tim’s mother is killed by the Obeah Man. Years later, Jack Drake would discover his son’s dual identity and forbid him to be Robin. But after a gang war threatens to tear all of Gotham apart and the city needs all its protectors, Jack sees the good his son does and allows him to become Robin again. After the events of the Identity Crisis miniseries, in which Jack Drake is murdered by Flash rogue Captain Boomerang, Tim relocates to the nearby city of Bludhaven. When he moves back to Gotham months later, he is formally adopted by Bruce Wayne. Tim Drake (now sometimes known as Tim Wayne after the adoption) is the only person to believe Bruce Wayne is still alive after the events of Batman R.I.P. With Bruce Wayne thought dead, Dick Grayson takes on the Batman role and asks Bruce’s biological son, Damian, to be his Robin. Feeling betrayed and searching the world for clues to Bruce Wayne’s whereabouts, Tim Drake assumes an identity that was quickly taken up and discarded by former Robin Jason Todd, Red Robin!
Tim’s Red Robin series continued even after Bruce Wayne’s return, becoming part of the newly formed Batman Incorporated. The Red Robin series lasted 26 issues (2009-2011) until DC Comics rebooted their comic book line in 2011 with the New 52. In the new continuity, Tim had already parted ways with Batman and was forming his own team, a new version of the Teen Titans that set out to protect other super powered teens.
Eventually, Tim would return to Gotham and work with Batman and his other allies on a semi-regular basis. The best examples are the Death of the Family storyline featuring the return of a now faceless Joker, and the current weekly Batman Eternal series. That’s it for this week. With the Gotham TV show premiering in a few days, next week I’ll start to delve in more to the stories of Gotham’s cops and criminals, most likely starting with Jim Gordon. And with Gotham starting to air, you should listen to Southgate Media Group’s Before the Bat: the Gotham Podcast (not just because I’m a cohost, but it’s very entertaining and informative). You can contact me with any thoughts at the following:
Until next week, be good. Remember apply yourself and maybe someday you’ll be successful and get to put Red in front of your name.