The background is that someone asked me, “Who are all those Robin’s?” and can you recommend some titles. I wrote the following and thought it is a good cheat for a blog entry.
Bruce Wayne is dead (sorta). He died in Batman R.I.P and Final Crisis (both available in trade) about a year ago. He will be coming back in a mini-series starting next month.
There have been four Robins.
Dick Grayson – he grew up and became Nightwing and led the Teen Titans/Titans. He has recently taken over the Batman mantle and is fighting crime in Gotham and is a member of the JLA.
Jason Todd – He was killed by the Joker. Batman kept his costume on display in the batcave to show respect and to caution against endangering minors. Todd came back to life as a complicated side effect of Infinite Crisis. He is a bit mad and is now the villain the Red Hood.
Tim Drake – Proved himself capable by discovering Batman’s identity when he was young. Currently calling himself Red Robin and trying to find a way to bring Bruce Wayne back – he doesn’t believe he is really dead.
Damian Wayne – Son of Bruce and Talia ah’Ghul (Talia is the daughter of Ras al’Ghul). He was born and raised without Batman’s knowledge. Talia recently brought Damian to Bruce. Damion is acting as the current Robin to Grayson’s Batman.
In an interesting turn – Damian as Robin is the hard-bitten focused one and Grayson as Batman is the optimistic carefree type.
In order: Todd comes back in Infinite Crisis, Bruce finds out about Damian in Batman comics, Batman dies in R.I.P and Final Crisis, new status quo with new Batman, Robin and Red Robin following the Battle for the Cowl.
The Dark Knight Returns and Dark Knight Strikes Again is a different continuity. The Robin there – Carrie Kelly has never been a Robin in the main timeline.
Other major players in Batman – Batwoman, Oracle, Huntress, Batgirl, Azrael, Commissioner Gordon.
Other than Tommy Elliot and Red Hood most of the Batman villains are mostly the same. Riddler is now a private detective and Penguin runs a legitimate nightclub. Then plan to kill Batman was done by a group called the Black Glove and headed by a Dr. Hurt.
OK – I’m not a huge Batman reader, so some of this is sight unseen. I’ll star the stuff I’ve read and like.
The titles are mostly of the collected storylines.
- *Batman and Robin (flagship title)
- *Batwoman (in Detective Comics)
- Red Robin
- All-star Batman and Robin (different continuity)
(There should be at least one collection out for each of these titles)
- *The Dark Knight Returns
- *Batman: Year One
- *Arkham Asylum
- *The Killing Joke
(Almost all of current Batman builds from these.)
- *The Long Halloween
- Son of the Demon
- Heart of Hush
- The Black Glove
- *Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader
- *Broken City
In the last 10 years:
- Officer Down
- No Man’s Land (4 volumes)
- Dark Knight Strikes Again (Sequel to the Dark Knight Returns)
- *Catwoman:The Dark End of the Street and Crooked Little Town
- *Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score
- *Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty
- Birds of Prey: Of Like Minds
Any comic store should carry these trades. I didn’t go for anything too rare. I’d recommend Wizard’s. Alternatively, I hear Happy Harbour is also good.