Tim Drake was the third character to take on the name Robin, though he’s probably best remembered as the one who wore pants in the 90s. Drake’s run as a member of the Dynamic Duo featured a few different characters as Batman, and he is thought of by many fans as the best Robin.
And while Tim Drake has achieved quite a few landmark victories over his crime-fighting career, like anyone associated with Batman he’s also had his fair share of tragedies that have equally shaped Tim into the leader currently known as Drake. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at a few of his greatest victories and saddest moments from Tim Drake’s career as Robin.
10 VICTORY: DISCOVERED THE SECRET
While the first Robin (Dick Grayson) was a gifted acrobat, the second (Jason Todd) was a tough as nails street punk, and Tim had something that made him unique as well – he was a skilled amateur detective.
So skilled that he was able to deduce the identity of the first Robin by recognizing Grayson’s acrobatic style, and he even could tell that Jason Todd had taken over. When Todd died and Batman began growing darker, Drake revealed he had deduced Bruce Wayne’s greatest secret and that Batman needed a Robin.
9 TRAGEDY: LOST HIS PARENTS
Jack and Janet Drake were wealthy entrepreneurs who were kidnapped by a Haitian voodoo crime lord known as the Obeah Man. Janet was killed by the criminal and Jack was left paralyzed, which traumatized Tim.
Unfortunately, after Jack was finally able to recover from his paralysis, he was killed by Captain Boomerang (who was also killed by Jack) during the Identity Crisis storyline, making Tim an orphan like his mentor and partner, Batman.
8 VICTORY: EARNED THE NAME ROBIN
While Batman agreed that Tim was the right person for the role of Robin, he was hesitant to put Tim out in the field early after he lost Jason Todd, so Tim spent months in training with Alfred, Nightwing, and Batman himself.
Bruce even sent Tim around the world to learn with other masters like Lady Shiva where he helped stop the release of the bubonic plague by King Snake. Tim returned from his travels with new confidence and mastery of his abilities, and he was proud to take his side next to Batman.
7 TRAGEDY: JEAN-PAUL VALLEY
Tim Drake was soon asked to begin training another new ally named Jean-Paul Valley/Azrael, who had been mentally programmed by an ancient order to become an assassin before joining with Batman. Robin had some reservations about Azrael’s behavior in the field, but he kept those to himself.
Azrael was asked to fill in for Batman after Bruce Wayne’s back was broke in Knightfall, with Tim expected to continue helping him as the Dynamic Duo. However, Valley was quickly consumed by his programming, and Drake was nearly killed by the new Batman, forcing him to leave the cave until Bruce was able to take back the mantle of the bat.
6 VICTORY: BEAT JOKER ON HIS OWN
Batman still expected Robin to work from the sidelines in most cases, especially when dealing with the deadlier villains. However, during a time when Batman was away from Gotham City, Joker broke out of prison and Tim was forced to go into action.
While Joker managed to beat him and escape in the first couple of encounters, Tim was able to use his detective skills to track down Joker and take him out, causing Joker to rededicate himself to eradicating all of Batman’s little birds.
5 TRAGEDY: DEATH OF SPOILER
Tim had gotten very close with another vigilante named Stephanie Brown/Spoiler during his time as Robin, and when Tim quit as Robin, Batman asked Stephanie to become the new Robin in an attempt to lure Tim back to the role.
Unfortunately, after Batman fired Stephanie, she attempted to win back Batman’s trust by launching one of his battle plans without his knowledge that resulted in her death at the hands of Black Mask. Stephanie eventually reappeared alive, but it was a devastating blow to Tim that irreparably damaged his and Bruce’s relationship.
4 VICTORY: DEFEATED OBEAH MAN
When Tim’s parents were kidnapped by the Obeah Man, it was Batman alone who went to Haiti and attempted to save them, though in his rage at the death of Janet Drake, Batman viciously beat Obeah Man, putting him in a prison hospital for years.
When Obeah Man recovered he bribed his way out of prison and returned to Haiti, which led Tim to finally face off with the man who killed his mother and paralyzed his father. The battle was a bit anti-climactic, but Tim was able to bring his mother’s killer to legal justice.
3 TRAGEDY: DEATH OF CONNER
Much like Dick Grayson before him, Tim made a few lasting connections with other young heroes that would go on to form Young Justice and later join Teen Titans together. One of Tim’s best friends was Conner Kent/Superboy, who heroically sacrificed his life during the Infinite Crisis.
Conner’s death greatly impacted Tim, who wasn’t able to be at his friend’s side during the climactic battle that cost him his life, and he later modified his Robin costume with Superboy’s colors to honor his fallen friend.
2 VICTORY: MOVED PAST ROBIN
Like most of Batman’s proteges, there comes a time when they have to leave the nest and become their own hero, like Nightwing and Red Hood did before him. Tim’s departure from the role of Robin was forced by the arrival of Damian Wayne, but he quickly found his own place as Red Robin.
Tim would stay in the role for a few years, and while his timeline as Robin was murky thanks to the New 52 reboot he kept the name. Eventually, Tim would controversially find a new identity in the pages of Young Justice and change his costume to become the hero known as Drake.
1 TRAGEDY: BECAME SAVIOR
Tim Drake received an alarming look into his future when the Teen Titans encountered dark versions of themselves from the future that had taken over their mentor’s roles. Tim had become a dark, murderous Batman who managed to return from the future on a few occasions with the goal of saving the future.
This led the misguided future Tim to become the villain known as Savior when he attempted to kill young Jon Kent/Superboy in order to save the future, though he was defeated and became lost in the timeline he swore to protect at all costs.
Tim Drake has accomplished many amazing feats during his career as Robin, but he's also suffered through his fair share of tragedies as well.