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Continuity-Related Comic Book Character
Robin
1 Dick (Adventure Comics 464)
Information
Real name: Richard ‘Dick’ Grayson
Species: Human
Homeworld: Earth
Universe: Earth-2A
Relatives: John Grayson (father)
Mary Grayson (mother)
Bruce Wayne (legal guardian)
Helena Wayne (adopted sister)
Occupation: Lawyer
Ambassador
Base: Gotham City
Batcave
Affiliations: Justice Society of America
All-Star Squadron
Super Squad
Mystery-Men
Abilities: Acrobat

Justice Society Team Member

6 Robin (Batman 32)

Robin, in his first suit. From cover of: Batman, #32 (December, 1945).

7 Robin (JLA 55) (2)

First alternate suit in honor of retiring Batman. From Justice League of America, #55 (Aug. 1967).

8 Robin (JLA 92)

First alternate suit in honor of retiring Batman, with emblem variation. From Justice League of America, #92 (Sept. 1971).

Robin (JLA 92)

Alternate suit. From Justice League of America, #92 (Sept. 1971).

5 Robin (Adventures Comics 462)

Alternate suit. From Adventure Comics, #462 (April, 1979).

4 Grayson(Wonder Woman 285)

Alternate suit. From Wonder Woman, #285 (Nov. 1981).

The youngest in a family of Gotham City acrobats known as the "Flying Graysons", Dick watches a mafia boss kill his parents in order to extort money from the circus that employed them. Batman (Bruce Wayne) takes him in as a legal ward and the crime-fighting partner Robin. Dick grew up to become a lawyer and the ambassador to South Africa, continued to fight crime as Robin, and became a member of the Justice Society of America.


Background Information

In the parallel universe of Earth-Two (Earth-2A in the SuperFriends Universe), Richard Grayson was born in the late 1920's. He was the son of circus performers John and Mary Grayson.[1] The three formed the trapeze act, the Flying Graysons, as part of the Haly Circus. In 1938, the circus was under pressure from a local racketeer, "Boss" Zucco,[2] to pay "protection" money. When the circus owners refused, Zucco arranged for the murder of the senior Graysons, leaving Dick an orphan. Millionare playboy Bruce Wayne was in attendance that evening. As young Grayson raged in grief against Zucco and criminals in general it reminded Wayne of his own tragic youth after the murder of his own parents. When Grayson decided to contact the police, Batman intercepted him and took him into his home. He convinced the lad that contacting the police would simply alert Zucco to his knowledge and he would have been quickly dispensed with. Instead, took in the orphaned boy and revealed his secret identity. Young Grayson became Wayne's legal ward who then trained the boy in a variety of detective and martial skills, finally giving him the costumed identity of ‘Robin, the Boy Wonder’. Together they apprehended Zucco and his gang.[3]

Grayson would go on to become the millionaire's constant companion. Wayne saw that Dick got the best in formal education as well as private tutelage in detective work, criminology, and martial arts. Robin became a skilled ‘mystery-man’ in his own right, joining Batman in pursuit of dangerous criminals like the Joker[4] Cat(woman),[5] the Penguin,[6] Two-Face,[7] the Scarecrow[8] and the Riddler.[9] The duo first teamed-up with Superman in December of 1941, when they all appeared at a USO benefit.[10] After the bombing of Pearl Harbor both Batman and Robin became active in a loosely-organized group of ‘mystery-men’ called the All-Star Squadron during World War II.[11] Both attended the first full meeting of the Squadron in February of 1942.

Later in the War years, as he approached adulthood, Robin began to work more independently, working his own cases and defeating several professional criminals such as No-Face,[12] the Clock[13] and the Fence.[14]

Unlike many of the other mystery-men of the 1940s, after the War, Robin remained active into the 1950s due to his relationship with Batman and the Gotham City Police Department. During this time, Grayson went on to earn a law degree and eventually started his own firm. He later became a partner in the law firm of Crantson and Grayson, which became Crantson, Grayson, and later Wayne when Helena Wayne, future daughter of Bruce Wayne, joined the firm.

Dick was in attendance on a landmark occasion, when Bruce married Selina Kyle (the reformed Catwoman) in 1955.[15] Months later, Dick attended an anniversary party for Clark Kent and Lois Lane Kent as Batman, while Bruce Wayne filled in for Superman, allowing both heroes to appear without jeopardizing Superman's dual identity.[16]

When Batman entered semi-retirement in the 1960s, Robin became one of Gotham City's leading crime-fighters and changed his costume to one that combined elements of his and his mentor's (a gray bodysuit, a yellow utility belt, and a high-collared yellow cape). He used his own Bat-Jet, emblazoned with "R" emblems and bat-wings. Robin officially joined the Justice Society and participated in one of their regular team-ups with the Justice League on Earth-One.[17]

During the Carter Administration, Grayson was granted a diplomatic appointment the United Nations (initially to South Africa).[18]

While in South Africa, Doctor Fate and the Flash visited Robin in Cape Town, to enlist his help in obtaining discreet medical care for Hourman, who had been badly injured in a battle with the Injustice Society. Their visit made Dick suspicious because several JSA members were behaving erratically. He sent a telegram to Bruce Wayne explaining the situation and asking for advice. By this time, Bruce Wayne had become the Police Commissioner of Gotham City (He also had begun acting strangely).[19] When Grayson returned to the U.S. with the recovering Hourman, he met with Bruce to devise a plan to apprehend the rest of the strangely acting Justice Society.[20] Wayne enlisted Robin and other inactive members of the to help apprehend their former teammates. Superman and Doctor Fate ultimately discovered that Bruce was under the thrall of the Psycho-Pirate. Afterwards Bruce gave an emotional apology for his actions.[21]

As a mentor and friend to Bruce's daughter, Helena Wayne, Dick had deduced that young Helana had been fighting crime as the Huntress. Dick promised Helena not to tell Bruce.[22] Following the death of Batman from Earth-Two,[23] Robin considered taking up the role of his mentor, but he and Helena decided to let Batman's legend end with him. Robin did briefly wear the Batman costume to stop the aging Joker, who escaped from Arkham after Batman's death to determine if the Dark Knight was truly dead.[24]

When Dick’s appointment as Ambassador ended in 1981, he returned to Gotham to resume his partnership in Crantson, Grayson, and Wayne. Young Helena, had become a Junior partner while he was away.[25] And subsequently, his hero persona had decreased so he could focus more on his legal career, allowing Batman's daughter, the Huntress, to take his place.

Over the years, Robin and the Huntress chose to attend reunions with the JLA in order to catch up with Earth-One's Batman.[26]


Cranston, Grayson and Wayne

”Cranson, Grayson and Wayne” was a consumer research firm in Gotham City formed by Arthur Cranston, Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne; hence the name. After Wayne's retirement and Grayson's dismissal of the project, Cranston appointed Wayne's own daughter, Helena as one of the new partners and leaders of the organization. The decision was based on Helena's capabilities and qualifications, but other members of the organization claimed that Cranston's decision was more tied with his connections to Bruce Wayne and Helena's own attractiveness.

Cranston, Grayson & Wayne 1 (Wonder Woman 282)

From Left to Right: Mr. Cranston, Frances, Charlie and Tyler.
Image From: Wonder Woman, #284 (October, 1981).

Cranston, Grayson & Wayne 2 (Wonder Woman 284)

From Left to Right: Mr. Grayson, Mr. Cranston, Tyler, Frances and Ms. Wayne.
Image From: Wonder Woman, #284 (October, 1981).


Divergence with the Earth-One Robin

Throughout his documented history, this version of Dick Grayson has shown an unwavering allegiance towards Batman, even going so far as to replace his mentor's vacated membership in the Justice Society of America.[27] Adopting a costume similar to his mentor including using several retrofitted vehicles and devices derived from Batman's original versions rather than using unique equipment utilized by the Earth-One Grayson. Standing by his mentor during Wayne's influence under the Psycho-Pirate and later, his own cancer, illustrates his complete faith in his one-time guardian.

Robin developed resentment towards the Earth-One Batman during their first meeting after the original's death, turned to grudging respect and finally acceptance.[28] Previously, Robin showed a type of mentorship towards his younger counterpart, providing him a costume with elements he himself would eventually adopt.[29]


Powers and Abilities

Abilities


Equipment


Transportation


Weapons


Justice Society Team Members

Members of the Justice Society of America

Superman (Kal-L)Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) • Power Girl (Kara Zor-L) • Hawkman (Carter Hall) • Flash (Jay Garrick)
Green Lantern (Alan Scott) • Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) • Wildcat (Theodore 'Ted' Grant) • Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton)
Robin (Richard Grayson) • Hourman (Rex Tyler) • Batman (Bruce Wayne) • Huntress (Helena Wayne)
Starman (Astronomer Ted Knight) • Johnny Thunder and his ThunderboltAtom (Al Pratt)
Doctor Mid-Nite (Dr. Charles McNider) • Spectre (Jim Corrigan) • Sandman (Wesley Dodds)



Appearances

SuperFriends Comic Book:


Notes

  • The character's first incarnation, Dick Grayson, was created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, and Jerry Robinson.
  • Jerry Robinson came up with the character's name, claiming that name "Robin the Boy Wonder" and the medieval look of the original costume were inspired by The Adventures of Robin Hood. He states that he "came up with Robin Hood because The Adventures of Robin Hood were boyhood favorites of mine. I had been given a Robin Hood book illustrated by N. C. Wyeth ... and that's what I quickly sketched out when I suggested the name Robin Hood, which they seemed to like, and then showed them the costume. And if you look at it, it's Wyeth's costume, from my memory, because I didn't have the book to look at."[32]
  • Bill Finger, wrote: "Robin was an outgrowth of a conversation I had with Bob. As I said, Batman was a combination of Douglas Fairbanks and Sherlock Holmes. Holmes had his Watson. The thing that bothered me was that Batman didn't have anyone to talk to, and it got a little tiresome always having him thinking. I found that as I went along Batman needed a Watson to talk to. That's how Robin came to be. Bob called me over and said he was going to put a boy in the strip to identify with Batman. I thought it was a great idea."
  • Robin was widely imitated across the industry; after Batman exploded in popularity, kid sidekicks became the norm. The character's fictional antecedents were "Dick Tracy"'s adopted son, Junior, who first appeared in Chester Gould's seminal detective strip on 8 September 1932, and Terry Lee, the titular hero of Milt Caniff's great adventure strip Terry and the Pirates, which debuted on 22 October 1934.
  • Robin’s debut:


References

  1. According to a tombstone that appeared in Last Days of the Justice Society Special (1986), Dick born In 1928 to John and Mary Grayson. In an episode of the ‘Adventures of Superman’ radio series (that aired 25 Sept. 1946), Dick's mother's name as ‘Yvonne’ and indicated that she was of French extraction, but neither point was ever reflected in the comic books.
  2. Boss Zucco is loosely based on actor Edward G. Robinson, who starred in many Warner Bros. gangster films of the 1930s and '40s. Particularily the Little Caesar (1931 film) character.
  3. As revealed in Detective Comics, #38 (April 1940). Many years after Zucco's apprehension in this story, it is revealed in Infinity, Inc. #6 (Sept. 1984), that he dies in a prison hospital from a life sentence instead of being sent to the electric chair as originally implied in Detective Comics, #38. It is also intersting to note, that Batman allowed Robin to kill at least three of Zucco's henchmen by throwing or kicking them off an unfinished skyscraper during the story's climactic battle. This aspect of the story was later omitted from subsequent accounts.
  4. As revealed in Batman, #1 (Spring 1940).
  5. As revealed in Batman, #1 (Spring 1940).
  6. As revealed in Batman, #14 (Dec. 1942 – Jan.1943).
  7. As revealed in Detective Comics, #66 (August 1942).
  8. As revealed in World's Finest, #3 (Sept. 1941).
  9. As revealed in Detective Comics, #140 (October 1948).
  10. As revealed in Justice League of America #193/2 (August 1981).
  11. As revealed in All-Star Squadron,#3 and #4 (Nov. – Dec. 1981).
  12. As revealed in Star-Spangled Comics, #66 (March, 1947).
  13. As revealed in Star-Spangled Comics, #70 (July, 1947).
  14. As revealed in Star-Spangled Comics, #76 (January, 1948).
  15. As revealed in DC Super-Stars, #17 (Dec. 1977) and Superman Family, #211/2 (October 1981).
  16. As revealed in Superman Family, #216 (March, 1982).
  17. As revealed in Justice League of America, #55-56 (Aug. – Sept. 1967). While the line between "Golden Age" and "Silver Age" Batman stories is imprecise because the character was published continuously, it is clear that the story in (the above mentioned) JLA, #55 marks the first official Silver Age appearance of Robin and the Golden Age Robin. See more about this topic in: Methodology: What's Golden Age?
  18. As first seen in All-Star Comics, #58 and 59 (Jan.-April 1976).
  19. As revealed in All-Star Comics, #66 (May-June 1977).
  20. As revealed in All-Star Comics, #68 (Sept. – Oct. 1977).
  21. As revealed in All-Star Comics, #69 (Nov. – Dec.1977).
  22. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #461/3 (Jan. – Feb. 1979).
  23. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #462 (March-April 1979).
  24. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #281-283 (July – Sept. 1981).
  25. His activity as an active partner in the firm had decreased because of his diplomatic duties abroad. As revealed in Batman Family, #18-20 (June – Nov. 1978).
  26. As revealed in Justice League of America, #195 (October 1981).
  27. The Justice Society of America - the First Super-hero Team". BBC.
  28. As revealed in the Brave and the Bold, #182 (January, 1982).
  29. As revealed in Justice League of America, #91-92 (Aug. - Sept. 1971).
  30. As revealed in Batman, #34 (April-May 1946)
  31. As revealed in Detective Comics, #90 (August 1944).
  32. As noted in The Comics Journal, #271 (October 2005). Frank Miller provides a seemingly conflicting account in “All Star Batman and Robin”, stating that the name comes from the American robin bird, not from Robin Hood (Bridwell, E. Nelson [w], Andru, Ross [p], Esposito, Mike [i]. "The Origin of Robin" Batman, 213 [July–August 1969], DC Comics). Sometimes both sources are credited, as in Len Wein's “The Untold Legend of the Batman”.
  33. Go to DC Database for more on Detective Comics, Vol. 1 #38 published in April 1940.
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