Timmy’s Tale: 80 Years of Robin
With a lot of people celebrating the 80th anniversary of Batman, many forget about his main sidekick through out the ages. The Boy Wonder known as Robin! For a crime fighter who is usually meant to be a "loner", Batman has had a sidekick almost as long as he's been around fighting crime! The release of Detective Comics #38 introduced the world to Dick Grayson, aka Robin, the Boy Wonder, who in the comics would later grow up and take on the mantle of Nightwing.
I could go into a long history of the character of Robin, or how by my count, in the main DC Comics continuity there have been 5 (Dick, Jason, Tim, Stephanie, Damian... & I might be missing one or twenty, because of... well, comics). I could even go into the backstory of all the characters or list the live action stars. But I won't, you can research that on your own time. But I will just say, Burt Ward is by far the true boy wonder (Speed Reader, World's Youngest Professional Skater at age 3, runs a rescue shelter) ... don't believe me, check out his IMDB page that I linked with his name. That dude is a prodigy!
But I want to talk about why I always loved the character Robin. First off, anybody could be him. Yes he had hardships with his folks at the circus, but much like Batman, he's not super powered, he just did the best with what he got. You could say his money is his super power, but we all know that with as many million/billionaires out there in the real world, not a single one is wearing tights fighting bad guys! Looking at you Bloomberg! Personally for me, being the little brother in my family, I felt a lot like Robin to my brother Chris who was Batman. Yes I know the character dynamic in the comics is father & son, but I was a kid growing up in the 80's, watching a show from the 70's... give me a break. My brother was the one calling the shots. Deciding what wacky hi-jinks we got into & out of, and I was usually there to make a wise crack and give support. But I always had my brother's back, just like Robin did with Batman (we won't go into the whole Bruce sleeping with Barbara behind Dicks back story arc... plus I think they retconed that in the early 2000's.
My friend once asked me, who my favorite Robin is. Easy, it's the 3rd one, Tim Drake. He was Bruce's neighbor, figured out he was Batman, and broke into the cave... ALL BY HIMSELF. Convincing Bruce that Batman needed a Robin, after the death of Robin 2.0, Jason Todd, Bruce agreed and trained Tim to become the new Robin. The picture above is actually that comic that introduced Tim Drake as Robin (Batman #442 1989). Why is he my favorite, duh... the name Tim is awesome!
So in an nutshell, if any younger brother's out there, feel left out, not good enough, or always in someone else's shadow... don't worry! Great things can come from being a sidekick!