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DC Comics was left uncertain about readers' decision to kill Jason Todd, wondering if they felt Batman should be a lone vigilante, disliked Todd specifically, or just wanted to see if DC would actually kill the character. (See also: Batman: A Death in the Family). In addition, the 1989 Batman film did not feature Robin. Regardless, Batman editor Denny O'Neil introduced a new Robin.
Fictional character biography
Tim Drake, who is to become the new Robin, first appears in a flashback in Batman #436 (August 1989). Drake first appears as a 13-year-old boy who has followed the adventures of Batman and Robin ever since witnessing the murder of the Flying Graysons when he was a child. This connects Drake to Dick Grayson, the first Robin, establishing a link that DC hoped would help readers accept this new RobinTemplate:Fact. At the age of nine, Drake surmises their secret identities with his instinctive detective skills, after watching Batman and Robin battle against the Penguin on a security tape shown on TV. While the Penguin was attempting to catch Batman unaware, Robin pounced on the Penguin after executing a quadruple somersault, which Tim had witnessed Dick execute during the final performance of the Flying Graysons. Knowing that only Dick Grayson could execute such a feat, Tim makes the connection and follows Batman and Robin's careers closely.Batman #441 (November 1989)
Years later, after Batman grows progressively more violent and reckless following Jason's death, Tim seeks out Dick Grayson to try to convince him to reprise his role as Robin. Reluctant to take a step back, Dick agrees to assist Batman again, but only as Nightwing. Tim, who is unsatisfied with Dick's decision, continues to argue that Batman needs a Robin. Finally, he coaxes Alfred Pennyworth to help him, and taking the Robin costume from the Batcave pursues the original Dynamic Duo where he proves to be an invaluable asset in the capture of Two-Face.
Both Dick and Alfred can see that Tim is well suited not only as Robin but also as a force to keep Batman grounded emotionally. Although Batman is very reluctant to have another partner, he grudgingly agrees that the boy has potential and then begins an extended training period in which Tim endures months of physical, mental and psychological tests.
Before Tim can take on the role of Robin, a villain calling himself the Obeah Man captures his parents, Jack and Janet Drake. While waiting for news of their rescue, he takes his mind off his worries by focusing on tracking down the hacker/thief Moneyspider, who he reveals to be Anarky, thus solving his first solo case. Meanwhile, Batman rushes to rescue Tim's parents, but fails to save them before the Obeah Man poisons both Jack and Janet. Janet dies, and Jack is left in a coma for several months. Batman becomes even more reluctant to entrust Tim with the Robin mantle following this loss because afraid that the boy is too blinded by rage and a desire for vengeance. Tim proves himself however, when the Scarecrow kidnaps Batman and Vicki Vale. Yet, rather than save them dressed as Robin, Tim instead goes forth wearing normal street gear and a ski mask, stating that he did not want to damage the Robin legacy should he have failed. After that, Batman finally allows Tim Drake to become the newest Boy Wonder, wearing a revised uniform.Batman #457 (December 1990)
In addition to being a primary character in the main Batman comic books, Tim is also the first Robin to star in his own series (both mini and later monthly).
The Robin mini-series (five issues published from January 1991 through May 1991, written by Chuck Dixon with Tom Lyle as penciller), takes place immediately after Batman gives Tim the mantle. Wishing to make certain that his newest Robin does not repeat the mistakes of the previous Boy Wonder, Batman sends Tim to Paris to learn fighting skills from a master martial artist: Rahul Lama. There, he learns the healing arts from the aging master, while learning combat from the Lama's other student. While there, Tim is drawn into a battle against King Snake's criminal organization, the Ghost Dragons. Tim joins forces with a former DEA agent, Clyde Rawlins, and the world-class assassin, Lady Shiva. Shiva sees potential in Drake, and takes him under her wing, training him in martial arts and a weapon of his choice. Tim chooses the non-lethal bo staff, to Shiva's disappointment. He concludes his training when he defeats Shiva in a sparring match with the bo, and as a gift she presents him with a collapsible bo staff which fits under his cape.
Meanwhile, King Snake acquires a virulent plague. The three attempt to stop them from releasing it, but the Ghost Dragons escape with a few of the canisters. After tracking them to Hong Kong, they eventually defeat King Snake, though Rawlins dies in the attempt as Shiva watches. Shiva orders Robin to kill King Snake while he hangs from a building, to signify his 'graduation' and thus become her 'weapon'. Robin refuses to kill, and leaves. Shiva throws King Snake off the ledge of the building, seemingly to his death.
Not just a sidekick
When Robin returns to Gotham City, he begins his official career as Batman's new partner. Over the next several months, he earns the respect of those around him through his ability.
DC gave Drake yet another mini-series, entitled Robin II: Joker's Wild (published from October 1991 through December 1991), in which Tim is forced to face Jason Todd's murderer, the Joker, without Batman's help. A third mini-series entitled Robin III: Cry of Huntress (published from December 1992 through March 1993) pitted Tim and the Huntress against Robin's old nemesis, the King Snake. This story delves deeper into the difficulties that Robin suffers as both a normal teenager and as a vigilante; particularly in the relationship with his father, who had come out of his coma only months prior. Both Robin II and Robin III featured the same creative team that worked on the first mini-series.
The popularity of the Robin mini-series led to the launch of a monthly series in November 1993, which has created a mythos independent of that of the main Batman story. The writers have given Robin an assortment of archenemies, such as the bumbling but cruel Cluemaster and the psychotic child criminal, the General. Chuck Dixon and Tom Grummett launched the series as writer and artist, respectively.
In Issue #10, Robin met the original Dick Grayson Robin as he was at Drake's age during the Zero Hour crisis. The issue noted that while Grayson possessed superior fighting skills, Drake was a better tactician and detective.
Meanwhile, Tim's father, Jack, emerges from his coma paralyzed from the waist down. This new handicap and the loss of his wife leaves Jack with the desire to reconnect with his son. Tim's duties as the Boy Wonder and his close relationship with Bruce Wayne cause a greater rift between Jack and Tim, though they attempt to reconcile.
In time, Jack regains the use of his legs with the aid of physical therapist Dana Winters. Although Dana is considerably younger than Jack, the two immediately feel a mutual attraction and begin dating. Dana curbs Jack's anger at his son for being so distant, and helps Tim to feel more connected with his father. As time passes, Jack proposes to Dana, and they get married. They wed following an incident in which Dana is possessed by a powerful witch and fights Robin, Spoiler, Wildcat, and Black Canary.
Tim is also given a romantic interest, a Russian girl named Ariana Dzerchenko, who is introduced in the third Robin limited series. Their relationship is often rocky, as Ariana is very insecure about Tim's feelings towards her, and often feels the need to make overly grand gestures to get Tim to prove his feelings for her. One such gesture being when Ariana propositioned Tim for sex, wearing nothing more than a skimpy teddy. Tim, ever the gentleman, rebuffs the offer, feeling that the neither are ready for such a big step. Unfortunately, Ariana's uncle catches the teens in the compromising position and demands that they no longer date. They eventually get back together, but almost immediately break up again. Tim then falls in love with Stephanie Brown, the Cluemaster's daughter, who rejected her father's lifestyle and adopted the superhero identity of Spoiler. Stephanie initially does not know Robin's true identity, as Batman forbids Tim to reveal it to her. Their romance is tested early on, when Stephanie confesses to being pregnant from a previous relationship. Tim helps deliver the baby girl, after which Stephanie gives her up for adoption.
Young Justice and the Teen Titans
Much like Dick Grayson, Tim Drake has allied himself with the other superheroes in his age demographic. He mostly works with only the Gotham City heroes, but on occasion joins forces with heroes such as Superman, the Flash, Superboy (who became Tim's best friend) and Impulse. During one adventure where a pre-teen boy was given god-like powers, Robin, Superboy and Impulse joined forces to defeat him. The boys work so well together that they create their own team of heroes called Young Justice. Robin acts as the leader of the team until he temporarily quits following the Imperiex War. During that mission, the group is tortured on Apokolips. Afterward, Robin discovers that over half the team, including Superboy, Wonder Girl, Impulse and Cissie King-Jones (formerly Arrowette), no longer trust him. The Justice League had discovered that Batman kept contingency plans on them, and the younger heroes begin to wonder if Robin might also have plans to defeat or even kill them. Secret, who has deep feelings for Robin, along with new members Empress and Lil' Lobo however remained trusting of Robin and side with him. Still, feeling hurt as well as strained by assorted other problems in his personal life, Robin quits the team temporarily.
When Tim returns, the team agrees to elect their leader this time around, and Tim loses to Wonder Girl. The team still looks at Tim as its tactical expert, aiding Wonder Girl in leadership, similar to Batman's own position in the JLA. Unwilling to quit Young Justice a second time, Tim takes on the identity of "Mister Sarcastic" at a point where Young Justice agree to be become reality TV stars. Soon after Secret is turned evil by Darksied and it is Tim who manages to save the world by reminding Greta of her humanity.
Young Justice disbands following the death of Donna Troy. Cyborg, Starfire and Beast Boy bring Robin, Superboy, Wonder Girl and Impulse (later known as Kid Flash) together to form the new Teen Titans. While Cyborg takes the lead, Robin is often seen as the leader of the younger members, even going against the direct orders of the elder Titans.
In the "Titans Tomorrow" storyline, Tim encounters his future self in the identity of Batman after his mentor dies in a crisis. This future happens despite his repeated statement that he did not want to be the next Batman, and is rather content being Robin. In this timeline, Tim is now the leader of the future Titans with himself as Batman. After Bruce Wayne's death, Tim has the Titans take control of the entire West Coast. He orders any rebellions to be put down by Dark Raven absorbing the people's free will and hope. He even hunts down most of Batman's Rogue's gallery and kills them with the handgun that was used to kill Thomas and Martha Wayne. As he explains to his younger self, 'It took me years to do it'. He even begins a relationship with Bettie Kane, who becomes his partner, Batwoman. He later kills her during an argument; wracked with guilt, he makes a deal with Ra's al Ghul to restore her using the Lazarus Pit. Once revived, however, she joins the Titans East (led by an older version of Cyborg) and opposes him and his team. His latest victim before the younger Teen Titans show up is Duela Dent, the daughter of Harvey Dent [Two-Face], whom he apparently murders out of revenge for the death of assorted people including Cassandra Cain and Alfred Pennyworth.
Just before The War Games story arc, Tim's father, Jack Drake, discovers Tim's secret identity. Jack is enraged and threatens to expose the secret identities of all those involved with Batman. Tim offers Jack a deal, in which he would give up his role as Robin to respect his father's wishes; in exchange, Jack would keep their secret identities safe.
After this, Stephanie Brown takes over the role of Robin for a short period, until Batman fires her for disobeying orders. Soon afterward, a massive gang war (which Stephanie Brown starts unintentionally) consumes Gotham City, and finds its way into Tim's school. After assisting the Bat-Team to the best of his abilities, with no equipment or costume, Tim protects his classmates, but not without casualties. Tim then realizes that he cannot disregard his responsibilities and takes up the Robin mantle again, against his father's wishes. When Jack finds out that Tim is again Robin, he grudgingly realizes how truly important his son is to Gotham, despite the immense danger.
Identity Crisis and Blüdhaven
In Identity Crisis, Tim, along with the rest of the superhero community, tries to keep all of their loved ones safe after some tragic attacks upon the family members of the Justice League.
One night, while Batman and Robin are investigating these crimes, they receive an incoming transmission from Oracle saying that Tim's father needs to speak to him immediately. It turns out that there is an intruder in the Drake home and a mysterious note with a gun is left for Jack suggesting that he protect himself. Jack tells Tim that he is proud of him, and that he is not responsible if something bad happens. The intruder turns out to be the hired killer Captain Boomerang. Jack fires as Captain Boomerang unleashes a razor boomerang and the two kill each other before Batman and Robin can make it back to the scene. Like Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, Tim Drake has now lost both of his parents to crime.
After Identity Crisis, Bruce Wayne offers to adopt Tim, who is not initially fond of the idea. Tim falsifies records to create an uncle who would become his 'legal guardian'. He then moves in with his 'Uncle Eddie' in Blüdhaven (Nightwing's previous stomping grounds), while his stepmother receives treatment at a psychiatric hospital. Although Tim covers his tracks well, Batman is still able to figure out the truth. Rather than being angry, Batman is impressed with Tim's subterfuge, as figuring it out had taken serious detective work. He even offers to teach Tim to cover his tracks completely.
During his time in Blüdhaven, Tim is attacked by a teenage Japanese assassin who calls herself Rising Sun Archer, who claims that she needs to kill Robin to restore honor to her family name. After their battle, Tim finds out where she lives and breaks into her apartment with the intention of ambushing her. While searching through the apartment, Tim finds that someone has tied up Rising Sun Archer, covered her mouth with a piece of duct tape, and taped a note addressed to Robin to her shirt. Although she refuses to rat out her employer, the note reveals that the Penguin has taken out a contract on Robin and Batgirl. After releasing the assassin, (and convincing her that the only way to honor her ancestors is to give up her life as a gun-for-hire), Robin and Batgirl defeat the Penguin and his goons.
Soon afterward, a military super-hero legend called The Veteran (similar to Marvel Comics' Captain America) attempts to recruit Robin after telling him that he tied up and gagged Rising Sun Archer and left Robin the note. Tim, now concerned with his own mission rather than Batman's, takes the Veteran's offer under consideration and goes on a mission with his team to get a feel for the job. Tim eventually turns down the offer, however.
Robin vs. Robin
Some time after the events of Identity Crisis, Jason Todd returns, seemingly from the dead, as the new Red Hood. Angered that someone has replaced him as Robin, Jason breaks into Titans Tower wearing a version of his own Robin costume (only previously seen in the back-pages of volume one-era Teen Titans). Quickly immobilizing the other Titans, Jason confronts Tim to see if the new Boy Wonder is really as good as everyone claims. The two Robins fight, until at last Jason strikes Tim down in the Hall of Fallen Titans. Although Drake is defeated, Jason demands to know if he still believes himself to be as good as people say, to which Tim replies with a defiant 'Yes' before Todd renders him unconscious.
Jason spares Tim's life, simply tearing off the 'R' shaped emblem from his chest. In the epilogue of the story, Jason has developed a grudging respect for Tim, wondering if he would have been a better Robin and a better person, had he lived to have a life like Tim's and real friends like the Titans.
Infinite Crisis and 52
Template:Main As of the events surrounding the Infinite Crisis storyline, Robin, along with the Veteran's forces, must defend the city of Blüdhaven against an army of OMACs who captured dozens of metahumans for immediate extermination. After a virus deactivated the cyborgs (see also: The OMAC Project), Tim, the Shadowpact and the Veteran's team accomplished the capture of the metahumans. With Blüdhaven safe, Wonder Girl arrives on the scene asking Robin for help. Along with the Teen Titans, the Doom Patrol and the Justice Society of America, he battles against Superboy-Prime, who had gone on a violent assault of their world's Superboy. The fight overwhelms Conner's body to the point where it begins eating away at itself for energy.
After Robin's departure from Blüdhaven, the city is destroyed by the Society. Although he worries about his stepmother, his "uncle", and Nightwing, Tim continues to Titans Tower. He then leads a successful assault into one of Lex Luthor's genetic research bases to find a cure for Superboy. With Blüdhaven still in chaos, Superman leaves Robin in command of all the superhero rescue efforts. However, when the government puts the city on complete lock down, the Titans are kicked out.
Following the discovery of Superboy's death in the North Pole, Robin joins the rest of the world's heroes in a final battle against the Society in Metropolis. Although the heroes win the battle, many on both sides are injured and killed. After the Infinite Crisis, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake retrace Bruce Wayne's original journey around the world in his quest to become Batman (see also: 52).
At a ceremony honoring Superboy one year after his death, Robin attends in a new costume primarily red and black. When asked why he explains that they were Conner's colors.
One Year Later
Template:Main After spending nearly a year away from home after the events of the Infinite Crisis, Tim is the first to return to Gotham following his trip with Batman and Nightwing. He receives a message from an unknown source telling him that if he does not return to the states, Batgirl will be killed. Tim returns to Gotham City, now wearing a new costume, using colors of Superboy's last costume as a sign of mourning and respect of the late Teen of Steel, Superboy, (although in reality the costume is a modified version of the one he wore in The New Batman Adventures).[ 52 #51 (April 2007)] He moves into the Wayne Estate, living in the Carriage House, which has been converted into a loft and Robin's new "nest".
The quick accusation as the murderer of Batgirl mars Tim's return to Gotham City. Tim is exonerated when the body is revealed as that of the villain Lynx in a Batgirl costume. Someone had planted her body as a lure so an unknown assailant could attack Robin.
Robin eludes the Gotham City Police Department when they arrive on the scene. He infiltrates the police station to look for evidence and steals the mask of the fake Batgirl costume. Lady Shiva arrives at Wayne Manor while Tim is running tests on the mask. She informs Tim of the death of Nyssa al Ghul, daughter of Ra's al Ghul and head of the League of Assassins, and her suspicions that someone outside the League was trying to usurp it. Robin returns to his investigation before finding a note in Batgirl's cowl, written in Navajo code, informing him that, to save Cassandra, he had to give them her father, David Cain. Robin breaks into Blackgate Prison and captures Cain, only to learn that Cassandra herself has taken over the League.
Cassandra asks Robin to kill David and join her. She claims she has accepted her fate as a killer and has killed David's other daughter. Robin refuses, and Cassandra shoots her father. Believing David to be dead, Robin tries to bring Cassandra in. While he holds his own against her and her League, an explosion forces them all to flee. When Tim returns to David's body, he finds Cassandra's league of assassins all dead with broken necks and Cain's body missing.
After returning to Gotham City, Tim finds that his mini-cam survived the explosion and that it captured the entire battle, giving Tim a way to clear his name. As he laments the fact that the footage will brand Cassandra a murderer, Killa 'Nilla approaches Robin with a boomerang given to him by Owen Mercer and explains that the new Captain Boomerang is looking for him. While Robin assumes that Boomerang is out to finish what his father began, Owen reveals that he wishes to make amends and even helps Tim locate a bomb set by the Joker. Although they are far from friends, they have developed a sort of respect and civility.
During a recent case, Bruce begins thinking about Tim's place in the world following the deaths of both his parents and the events of the Crisis. Finally, Bruce approaches Tim again with the idea of adoption. This time, Tim readily accepts, even going so far as to hug Bruce with tears in his eyes. Along with the adoption, plans are made to move Tim into the Manor using the room once owned by Dick and Jason.
Unfortunately, shortly after his adoption, Tim has his position as Bruce's new son called into question by the arrival of Damian, the son of Batman and Talia al Ghul. Damian is a cruel, aggressive and spoiled brat who despises Tim, and wishes to kill him and replace him as Batman's sidekick and as his 'true' son. The boys do battle in the Cave, at which point Damian defeats Tim by sucker punching him off the T-Rex in the trophy room. Damian then steals the tunic and mask of Jason Todd's old Robin costume in an attempt to claim the identity as his own. Tim and Damien confront each other again during Batman: The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul, and are even forced to join forces (although reluctantly) as Ra's al Ghul attempts to steal one of their bodies in order to resurrect himself.
In Detective Comics #826 Tim is captured and tied up by the Joker. Tim escapes on his own, which Batman acknowledges and commends. In #829, Wayne Tower is attacked by a mysterious terrorist named "Vox". Bruce is trapped in the building with other people, unable to reach his Bat-gear, and thus Tim must face Vox alone. Vox sprays Tim with a liquid explosive, but before Vox can detonate it, Tim uses a blow torch to get the explosives off his body. Vox is later confronted by Batman, but when Batman can not convince him of his wrongdoings, Vox commits suicide.
The "new" Teen Titans
Meanwhile in 52 #51, following the one year anniversary of Superboy's death, Robin joins the rest of the Superhero community for a memorial service in which to honor Conner Kent as well as all those who died during World War III, where Black Adam murdered millions of men, women and children in the Country of Bialya Strands, along which he murdered several Teen Titans including Terra and Young Frankenstein, before at last being defeated. There Tim has apparently started rebuilding the Titans, though only he and Ravager, the daughter of Deathstroke are on the roster. He attempts to convince Wonder Girl to return but she refuses, feeling abandoned by Robin following Superboy's death. At the memorial service, he also reveals to Jimmy Olsen that he changed his uniform to red and black, in order to honor Superboy's colors.
Unable to let his best friend goInfinite Crisis Counseling Tim sets up a secret facility beneath Titans Tower for the express purpose of recreating Superboy via replicating his DNA, although all his attempts have so far failed. He also keeps Conner's costume, similar to how Batman grieved the death of Jason Todd. Wonder Girl returns to the team full time, and goes in search of Robin to inform him of her decision. During the search, she discovers his secret lab. Tim confesses how much he misses Conner, and the two share a passionate, unexpected kiss. Wonder Girl has attempted to speak to Tim about the incident several times, but Robin continues to avoid her.
Later, Deathstroke's Titans East makes an all out assault on the Teen Titans, picking off each member except for Rose and Jericho. Tim has been personally targeted by Deathstroke, who with Batgirl is holding him captive in an unknown underground location. In a mocking sort of gesture, Slade has surrounded Tim with trophy cases containing Superboy's costume, along with that of Stephanie Brown and clothing from his parents, Jack and Janet Drake, and his stepmother, Dana Drake.
Deathstroke orders Cassandra Cain to inject Tim with the same formula that once granted him control over Rose and current control over Cassandra. Tim manages to escape and inject Cassandra with an antidote he developed in case Slade ever managed to re-inject Rose. With Batgirl now free of Slade's influence, she joins Robin and the Titans against Slade's Titans East. Along with Duela Dent and past Titans, Nightwing, Donna Troy, Beast Boy and Flash (Bart Allen), the Titans defeat the Titans East, although Slade and Inertia manage to escape. Batgirl, who attempted to murder Slade in revenge, is stopped by Nightwing, and disappears soon after as well.
Tim receives news of Bart Allen's death (having been killed by the Flash Rogues) while at the tower and later attends his funeral where he delivers a eulogy for Bart. Tim also shows a video that Bart made in the case of his death, in which he tells his friends that no matter what, he is proud of his time as a part of the Flash Legacy and as a member of the Teen Titans. The Titans later holds another more private ceremony for Bart at Titans Tower.
As of lately, in Robin Tim Drake has been having an ongoing battle against his new archrival Dodge and romantic feelings for a girl named Zoanne. However in Teen Titans Tim and Cassie Sandsmark (Wonder Girl) recently confessed their feelings for each other after the Amazons Attack series came to a close.
Soon after Bart's wake, the Titans found themselves once again confronted with the Titans of Tomorrow who oddly enough still have Conner Kent and Bart Allen as members. Despite the fact the Tim and the others did their best to avoid their distrubing future, the Titans of the Tomorrow survived, and returned back in time supposedly to stop an invasion of Starros, and to ensure their future comes to pass. Tim unfortunately discovers that he is responsible for Bart and Conner's continued although cruel existence, as he will somehow become successful in cloning his friends. Meanwhile, Batman-Tim does his best to force Tim to doubt himself and his relationships with his teammates. With the help of Wonder Girl, Robin is able to fight back against his future self and supposedly alter the future of the Titans.
Powers and abilities
Tim Drake possesses the normal human strength of a teenager who regularly engages in intensive physical exercise. The Batman has trained him in many disciplines, such as martial arts, forensic, criminology, acrobatics, stealth, disguise, and escapology.
His naturally high intellect allows him to excel in computer science and more importantly as a skilled detective. His ability to deduce the secret identities of superheroes on his own has been used to underscore his skill. Among the identities used in this way are the Batman, both of his predecessors as Robin, the Huntress, and Captain Marvel. Furthermore, Tim apparently has a firm grasp of assorted scientific techniques including biology, engineering and genetics, which he has been shown to use in his attempts at re-cloning Superboy. Tim, much like Dick Grayson, is also a brilliant and experienced strategist with impressive leadership skills, having served as leader to the Teen Titans, Young Justice, and even being placed in charge of the rescue efforts of Blüdhaven by Superman, following the attack made by Deathstroke and his fellow villains.
Drake's original costume was slightly different from that of his predecessors as supplied by Batman to give him a measure of increased protection. It includes an armored tunic, a cape that is black on the outside though still yellow on the inside, and green leggings. Other details include an armored gorget, jika-tabi style boots, an emergency "R" shuriken on his chest in addition to the traditional batarangs, and a collapsible bo staff as primary weapon. There is also a general change of the theme of the equipment from "Bat" to "Robin".
Following the Infinite Crisis' aftermath, Tim updated his costume to match the Superboy's black and red color scheme as homage to his late friend. These updates include long sleeves, the elimination of the green from the suit, the addition of scallops to his gloves and cape, and inclusion of a utility belt with pockets. The scallops on the cape give an illusion of feathers rather than bat-wings, as seen on the cape of the Batman. The stylized "R" on Robin's chest has been replaced with a more traditional one, though its appearance varies from artist to artist. Robin retains his "R" shurikens, but he now carries them in his belt as opposed to his tunic. This new costume closely resembles the Robin suit worn by the Robin character in The New Batman Adventures (see below).
During his early career, Drake is different from the previous Robins in that his father, Jack Drake, is alive and at first unaware of Tim's life as Robin. His mother, Janet Drake, is murdered before he becomes Robin, and his father is in a coma for some time. Tim also has a stepmother, Dana Winters, who is first introduced as Jack's physical therapist and later falls in love and marries him. Dana often maintains peace between Jack and Tim. Eventually Tim's father learns of his work as Robin, and is later murdered because of the connection. Tim appears to not have any other family. For a brief time his uncle Eddie Drake acts as his guardian, but turns out to be an actor whom Tim hired to maintain his independence.
Initially, Tim's closest friend at Gotham Heights is a young man named Ives. They remain friends until Tim's father sends him to the Brentwood Academy for Boys. They renew the friendship after Tim's father can no longer afford to send him to Brentwood, but they lose contact when Tim begins to attend a high school in Gotham. At Tim's new school, he becomes friends with Bernard. One Year Later, at another new school, Tim becomes friends with a boy named Jared, who has a habit of trying to one-up Tim financially.
After becoming Robin, Tim's closest friend is Conner Kent (Superboy), prior to Conner's death in Infinite Crisis, followed closely by Bart Allen (Impulse/Kid Flash), prior to his death at the hands of the Rogues, and Cassandra (Cassie) Sandsmark (Wonder Girl), another Young Justice and Teen Titans teammate. Tim is also particularly close with Dick Grayson, with whom he shares a brotherly relationship even before they have the same adoptive father in Bruce Wayne. Tim's favorite superhero is the Blue Beetle, whom he befriends through Barbara Gordon. He also has a friendship with Connor Hawke, the second Green Arrow.
Tim's love interests tend toward the dangerous. They include Ariana Dzerchenko, daughter of a deli owner targeted and murdered by the Russian mob; gang leader Lynx; Darla Aquista, daughter of a mafia boss; fellow vigilante Spoiler, daughter of the Cluemaster, with whom he has his longest relationship; and even Marvel Universe's Jubilee. Other characters are attracted to Tim, including Young Justice teammates Secret and Arrowette, who steals a kiss from Robin before quitting the team. In an issue of Stars and STRIPE, Tim expresses an interest in Courtney Whitmore, although this has not been picked up on recently.
Comic book stories published between 2004 and 2005 establish that over a period of several months Tim’s personal life is sent into turmoil. One of his love interests, Darla Aquista, is killed in a gang war and later resurrected by the demonic Johnny Warlock as an evil witch. His girlfriend, Stephanie Brown, is tortured and murdered. His father dies in a fight with the first Captain Boomerang. His stepmother has a nervous breakdown and needs to be placed in a psychiatric ward and later disappears following the attack on Blüdhaven (she has not been shown or mentioned following the OYL jump). His favorite superhero and friend Ted Kord is murdered, and his best friend, Superboy, dies saving the world.
In the "One Year Later" stories, Tim's former love interest Lynx is found dead again (Lynx was previously killed during War Games while fighting Batgirl, but this was apparently retconned following OYL); he is suspected in her murder, but later learns that former Batgirl Cassandra Cain is responsible. Not wanting to lose another person in his life, Tim offers Cassandra help and is distraught when he realizes that clearing his name will brand Cassandra as a murderer. Recently, however, Tim has discovered that Cassandra was under the control of Slade's mind-altering serum, and Tim has since supposedly cured her. While under the influence of Slade's drug, Cassandra behaved more fixated on Robin, wanting him to be with her and even attempting to use the same serum on him in order to sway him.
In Teen Titans, Tim has had assorted romantic issues amongst his female teammates. During the early run of the OYL jump, is propositioned by fellow Titan Rose Wilson for sex late one night in his room. Tim not only rejects her, but handcuffs her. Meanwhile, Tim and Cassie (Wonder Girl), while mourning Superboy, share an unexpected yet passionate kiss. Tim later says that it was a mistake, and Cassie agrees. Following the 'Amazon Attacks' series, however, Tim and Cassie confess their growing feelings for one another and share another kiss.
In Robin, Tim finds another new potential love interest in fellow classmate Zoanne. After agreeing to tutor Tim, Zoanne realizes that he is not an aloof snob and becomes attracted to Tim. She later kisses Tim after he is kidnapped and later 'rescued' by Robin. Afterwards, Tim asks her out, making Zoanne his first 'normal' date in a very long time. Although their date is interrupted by Batman, they have found a deep kinship with one another and plan a second date. Unfortunately, Tim's life as Robin has already started to cause trouble, and Zoanne is growing concerned that his brooding and at times distant behavior means that he might not be as interested as previously thought. These concerns lead her to break off their romantic relationship, believing that after everything that Tim has gone through, he is not ready for a relationship right now. Unfortunately, since their break-up, there has been severe awkwardness between the two of them.
Tim has recently suffered another major loss, in the form of ex-Young Justice and Teen Titans teammate Bart Allen, murdered by the Flash Rogues. He also recently suffered yet another tragedy after another one of his friends within the superhero community, Connor Hawke, has been rendered in persistent vegetative state after being shot by an unidentified shooter.
In 1993, a few years after his debut as Robin, DC launched a monthly solo series featuring Tim Drake's adventures as Robin, with Batman appearing as a supporting character. As of 2007, the series is still ongoing. He has also starred in some miniseries and one-shots. This material as been collected as follows:
|Pre-series graphic novels|
|"Robin"||Robin vol. 1, #1-5|
|"A Hero Reborn"||Batman #455-457, Robin vol. 1, #1-5 Buy it|
|"Robin II: The Joker's Wild!"||Robin II: The Joker's Wild! #1-4|
|"Tragedy and Triumph"||Detective Comics #618-621, Robin II #1-4|
|"Robin III: Cry of the Huntress"||Robin III: Cry of the Huntress #1-6|
|Showcase '93||Showcase '93 #5-6, 11-12|
|Regular series graphic novels|
|"Flying Solo"||Robin vol. 2, #1-6, Showcase '94 #5-6|
|"Unmasked!"||Robin vol. 2, #121-125|
|"Robin/Batgirl: Fresh Blood"||Robin vol. 2, #132-133, Batgirl #58-59|
|"To Kill a Bird"||Robin vol. 2, #134-139|
|"Days of Fire and Madness"||Robin vol. 2, #140-145|
|"Wanted"||Robin vol. 2, #148-153|
|"Teenage Wasteland"||Robin vol. 2, #154-162|
|Other graphic novels|
|Robin 80-Page Giant #1||special issue|
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In other media
The New Batman Adventures
Tim Drake as Robin first appears in the premiere episode of The New Batman Adventures, "Holiday Knights". The following episode, "Sins of the Father", explains how Tim became the second Robin, after Dick Grayson left to become Nightwing. Tim appeared as Robin throughout the series. He was voiced by Mathew Valencia. Get the DVD set
The Batman Adventures: The Lost Years mini-series further details how Tim became the second Robin in The New Batman Adventures.
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
Tim Drake, 40 years older, appears in the animated movie, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. The film also reveals, through a flashback, how Tim's career as Robin ended. The older Tim was voiced by Dean Stockwell, while Mathew Valencia returned to voice Tim in the flashback. Andrea Romano voiced the laughing Tim in the flashback. Get the Return of the Joker on DVD.
Tim briefly appears along side Cassandra CainTemplate:Fact (her only cartoon cameo) as part of the alternate Batman's resistance against Vandal Savage in the Justice League episode "The Savage Time" (Part 1). He also attends Superman's funeral in "Hereafter," along with Alfred. As Robin, Tim helped the Justice League against Felix Faust in Justice League Adventures #33.