Robin of Earth-Two is an alternate version of the fictional superhero Robin, who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was introduced after DC Comics created Earth-Two, a parallel world that was retroactively established as the home of characters which had been published in the Golden Age of comic books. This allowed creators to publish comic books taking place in current continuity while being able to disregard Golden Age stories featuring Robin, solving an incongruity, as Robin had been published as a single ongoing incarnation since inception. Unlike his main counterpart, Robin is only the alter ego of Dick Grayson, who uses the title into adulthood, rather than taking on later codenames such as Nightwing or Batman. In addition, the name "Robin" is not taken on by later characters.
The character history of the Earth-Two Robin accordingly adopts all of the earliest stories featuring the character from the 1940s and 1950s, while the adventures of the mainstream Robin (who lived on "Earth-One") begin later in time and with certain elements of his origin retold. Both were depicted as separate, though parallel, individuals living in their respective universes, with the "older" Earth-Two character eventually reaching his retirement and death. After the events of DC's continuity-altering Flashpoint, Earth 2's Dick Grayson never adopted the role of Robin, which was instead originated by Helena Wayne, daughter of Earth-2's Batman and Catwoman, who later took the name Huntress. Dick instead married Barbara Gordon and lived an ordinary life until Darkseid's second invasion forced him to learn survival skills from Ted Grant.
Art by Ken Steacy.
|First appearance||Justice League of America #55 (1967) (historical)|
Detective Comics #38 (1940) (retcon)
|Created by||Gardner Fox|
(based upon the original character by Bob Kane and Bill Finger)
|Full name||Richard "Dick" Grayson|
|Team affiliations||Batman Family|
Justice Society of America
|Abilities||Genius-level intelligence, master detective, peak human physical condition, martial arts master, escapologist, expert ventriloquist, access to high tech equipment.|
At the dawn of the Silver Age of comics, DC Comics decided to reimagine several of their greatest superheroes. The Flash and Green Lantern were reimagined as Barry Allen and Hal Jordan. Superman and Batman were different and remained untouched. It was later revealed that the current heroes live on a parallel world to the Golden Age heroes. When Barry Allen met Jay Garrick, it meant there were two Flashes, two Green Lanterns, two Supermen, and two Batmen. Since Batman and Superman were the same, the divergence between the characters was their age.
Robin's origin and history begins the same as the classic version except the timeframe occurs when Detective Comics #38 was originally printed in 1940. Most of the events surrounding his formative years are the same, only earlier. After his parents are murdered in what appears to be a freak circus accident, Grayson confides in Batman. The hero advises him not to go to the police concerning what he overheard Anthony Zucco's men planning. Batman feels a kinship to the boy, a period of training ensues, and the young Dick Grayson becomes Robin. His first printed story is "Robin the Boy Wonder." Robin participates in the war-time only All-Star Squadron. His distant cousin is Charles Grayson, the scientific assistant of Robotman.
Eventually, Robin assumes Batman's position as Gotham City's premier crime fighter. Unlike his Earth-One counterpart, who distances himself from his mentor's shadow when he adopts his Nightwing persona, this version adopts a costume which mimics several elements of Batman's own uniform (including an insignia with an encircled "R" surrounded by two bat wings). While his younger doppelganger attends and then leaves college prematurely, Grayson pursues further education to attain his law degree. Eventually, he becomes a practicing attorney in the law firm that eventually becomes Cranston, Grayson and Wayne.
Robin was initiated into the Justice Society of America, assuming the membership vacated by Batman's retirement. During his tenure, he developed friendships with several members, most notably Johnny Thunder, while developing some animosity towards Hawkman who expressed reluctance towards his membership. Years later, Robin, along with his heroic colleagues, perished at the hands of the Justice League due to the involvement of Earth-Prime resident turned supervillain Cary Bates, however he was soon restored to life. After this experience he reverted to a variation of his traditional uniform's style and colors.
During his post-Gotham City career, Grayson left Gotham to become the United States Ambassador to South Africa during the mid-1970s while continuing his crime fighting career for a brief period in that country. His inclusion in the new Justice Society series, according to writer Gerry Conway, "was a nod to the present". After his involvement with the Justice Society of America when the villains Brainwave and Per Degaton attempt to destroy the world at several key points including China, South Africa and Seattle in the United States, he returns to Gotham City. He joined Batman for one final adventure side-by-side, assisting the Justice Society, Justice League, and Shazam's Squadron of Justice in defeating several criminals including the Joker, during King Kull's plan to destroy humanity on all three Earths.
Shortly thereafter, then-Police Commissioner Bruce Wayne, while under the influence of the Psycho-Pirate, manipulates Robin and other formerly retired members of the Justice Society to attack the then-active members. He next became active assisting the Justice Society and Bruce's daughter Huntress (Helena Wayne) in dealing with Bill Jensen, a white-collar criminal apprehended by Wayne having attained mystical abilities. Robin and Huntress watched as Jensen threatened Gotham's twin trade towers and finally consumed himself along with Batman, eventually tracking down Frederick Vaux who provided Jensen with his abilities for unspecified reasons.
Grayson left Gotham after this incident, returning years later when the Joker came out of retirement to attack several prominent Gothamites including Police Commissioner O'Hara. Assuming the garb and identity of Batman, his presence mesmerized the Joker long enough to be apprehended by the Huntress. He proceeded to track the criminal mastermind behind Gotham's organized crime. At this point, he developed unexpressed feelings towards the Huntress, but left Gotham once more before pursuing them further.
Grayson was later forced to prosecute a case against the Justice Society involving a diary written by Wayne, insinuating that the premier superhero team was a bunch of World War II Nazi collaborators. Grayson discovered that hidden within the passages was evidence pointing to Per Degaton's scheme, which was subsequently thwarted. He discovered from Helena that her father was influenced by his terminal cancer during his writing of the journal.
In the limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, the multiverse as we know it is destroyed. Among the lost worlds is Earth-Two. Following this crisis Earth Two "never existed" and retroactively removed Earth-Two Robin from history, blending elements of his past with Earth-One, effectively creating a new modern continuity. Robin, along with the Huntress died while protecting innocents at the hands of shadow demons from the Anti-Matter Universe.
However, a version of this Robin and Huntress existed on some plane of existence as both were referred to by the original Star-Spangled Kid while the latter was working on a case with the Justice Society involving the time-traveling villain Extant.
Throughout his documented history, this version of Dick Grayson showed an unwavering allegiance towards Batman, even going so far as to take his mentor's vacated membership in the Justice Society of America. He adopted a costume similar to his mentor and used several retrofitted vehicles and devices derived from Batman's original versions rather than using the sort of unique equipment utilized by the Earth-One Grayson. He illustrated his complete faith in Batman by standing by his mentor when Commissioner Wayne was under the influence of the Psycho-Pirate and agreeing to prosecute the Justice Society when Wayne's alleged diary surfaced.
Robin developed resentment towards the Earth-One Batman during their first meeting after the original's death, which turned to grudging respect and finally acceptance. Previously, Robin showed a type of mentorship towards his younger counterpart, providing him a costume with elements he himself would eventually adopt.
In the final issue of 52, a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities. Among the parallel realities shown is one designated "Earth-2." As a result of Mister Mind "eating" aspects of this reality, it takes on visual aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-Two, including Robin among other Justice Society of America characters.
Based on comments by Grant Morrison, this alternate universe is not the pre-Crisis Earth-2. However, in the Justice Society of America Annual #1, published in the summer of 2008, Silver Scarab explains that the events of the Crisis are remembered by the people of this Earth-2, and from their perspective, Earth-2 seemed to be the only Earth to have survived the Crisis, raising theories as to whether or not Earth-2 was really destroyed, or was perhaps replaced by a new Earth-2. Certainly Robin, the Huntress, and their fellow Justice Society members are all alive.
However, it was confirmed in Justice Society Annual 1 (2008) that Post Crisis Earth-2 was completely separate from the Pre-Crisis Earth-Two. Here, Alan Scott was dead, Wonder Woman was retired and Queen of the Amazons, Jay Garrick was a young man (unconfirmed if the same man or his son) and most directly to this Grayson, Bruce Wayne was killed by the Joker. This was stated by both post-Crisis Earth-2 Helena and a dying aged Joker who knew the secret identities of the Earth-2 Batman, Robin and Huntress. In this same Annual, it was revealed that post-Crisis Earth-2 Dick Grayson was in love with Helena Wayne, and vice versa. They had not told one another of their feelings. This is a complete reversal from the original Pre Crisis Earth-Two versions who considered themselves to be brother and sister.
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Earth-2 (adjusted from Earth-Two) is re-established into a wholly different alternate universe. In this continuity, Dick Grayson never became the partner of Earth-2's Batman. This Batman's only Robin was Helena, his daughter of with Catwoman, and was trained by her parents as her father's partner. Following Batman's death at the end of an invasion from Apokolips, Earth-2's Supergirl and Robin were swept across alternate universes by an interdimensional vortex to DC's Prime Earth and have adopted new identities as the Power Girl and Huntress respectively.
Grayson was featured in Batman: The Brave and the Bold in the episode "The Color of Revenge". This version of Robin is depicted as the protector of Blüdhaven - the city he fights crime in the comics as Nightwing - but he is dressed in the yellow bodysuit, not the grey Batman based suit as shown in Justice League of America (Vol 1) #55, of the adult Robin of Pre Crisis Earth-Two. The rift between him and Batman has already taken place, and he is seen to still be angry at Batman for still treating him as a sidekick rather than a superhero in his own right. It is only after cooperating with Batman to defeat Crazy Quilt does Robin earn Batman's respect. After Crazy Quilt was defeated, Robin joined Batman when Killer Moth hijacks the Gotham Bank Money Train, but he rides in the side cart of Batman's motorcycle (something he stated he never wanted to do again). Robin was voiced by Crawford Wilson.
Grayson returns as Robin, still wearing the adult yellow bodysuit, in the episode "Sidekicks Assemble!" where Grayson is shown alongside main reality original Teen Titans member Speedy (Roy Harper) and Aqualad (Garth) all now young men proving their right to be considered as adult heroes against Ras Al Ghul, and no longer sidekicks to their mentors. At the end of the episode, Grayson changes to his Nightwing identity and hero name. Though in this reality, it is still Batman who gives Grayson the name and not Grayson selecting it himself, as in the printed page version and other animated versions such as Teen Titans animated series.
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