Tim continued to follow the adventures of the Dynamic Duo, as well as Grayson becoming Nightwing and Jason Todd succeeding him as Robin. After Jason's death, Timothy became convinced that a replacement was needed.
As Batman became more reckless and dangerous, following Jason's death, Tim decided to help. When Nightwing left the Titans for a short time in order to find himself, Tim followed him and convinced him that Batman needed help. Dick took Tim to the Batcave and left, as Nightwing, to help Batman deal with Two-Face. Alfred insinuated that Tim was brought to the Batcave to help Batman as the new Robin. Tim and Alfred, worried about the safety of Batman and Nightwing, went out to help them.
Tim donned the costume of Robin and with the help of Alfred Pennyworth, was able to rescue them. Batman accepted Tim as the new Robin on a trial basis. He was trained over several months, first by Alfred, then Batman, and finally Nightwing.
The Obeah Man captured Tim's parents during a trip to the Caribbean. Janet died and Jack was left with paralysis despite Batman's help. He required the care of a nurse/physical therapist, Dana Winters.
After assisting in the defeat of Scarecrow, Batman finally deemed Tim worthy of becoming the new Robin. Tim was given a new costume, one that set him apart from the previous Robins, which coined him Red Robin.
Tim had his doubts about becoming the new Robin, but Bruce told him that he had every confidence in Tim being his new partner. Bruce also confided in Tim that he was looking for someone with smarts, not just guts, and Tim had that and more. All that was necessary was that Tim go through some intensive training before taking to the streets in Gotham. This would involve a tour overseas, helping Tim understand who he was in addition to learning how to be a great fighter. His first stop would be Paris, where he would learn from Rahul Lama, a Chinese martial arts master. In Paris, Tim crossed paths with some thugs working for King Snake, who was himself being shadowed by Lady Shiva. Shiva actually joined with Robin and a man named Clyde Rawlins (who wanted revenge against Snake for the death of his family) to help take down King Snake's heroin trafficking in the area; not that Shiva was opposed to it for any moral reason, she simply wished to learn for herself if King Snake was truly as dangerous as rumors made him out to be – a good challenge for her talents. Together, they discovered that King Snake was interested in more than just drugs: he was going into the chemical weapons industry, manufacturing his own bubonic plague. They followed the trail to Hong Kong. While there, Shiva trained with Robin some more, and here he first acquired his collapsible fighting staff. King Snake's plan was to unleash his plague into Hong Kong so as to leave it a rotting cesspool before the Chinese reclaimed it from the British. The team split up when they breached his lair. Clyde found him first and was quickly killed by Snake. Robin managed to defeat him, but refused to kill him when Shiva ordered him to. He returned to Gotham, ready to take his place alongside the Batman.
Tim distinguished himself from Jason Todd by being far more reserved in temperament and from Dick Grayson by being more cerebral a detective and less a great acrobat. Whereas Dick had been brought up from a very early age to be acrobatic, Tim had to work hard for it. He proved himself more than capable of holding his own alongside the Batman. However, Batman did have strict orders with Tim – whenever Tim came across a known killer (Joker, Two-Face), he was supposed to withdraw and summon help. Tim also started dating a classmate, a young girl named Ariana Dzerchenko, who was the niece of Russian immigrants.
Tim was in Gotham City when Bane broke open Arkham Asylum, unleashing nearly every inmate into the city, and was the first to suggest to Batman that Bane was responsible. He set out with the Batman at first, and initially they had some good progress, busting up the Mad Hatter's tea party and bringing in a half dozen or so thugs along with him. They got separated when Robin decided to pursue Bird, one of Bane's lackeys, while Batman went after Zsasz Robin was briefly captured by Bane and Killer Croc, but managed to escape. He then did some detective work regarding Firefly, but a physically and emotionally drained Batman ordered him to stay in the Batcave while he took on Firefly by himself. Tim saw some action when Riddler held a live TV show hostage (although he had a fake bomb) and helped apprehend Riddler.
Tim was with Alfred and Jean-Paul Valley when Bane broke the Batman's back and threw him from a rooftop in downtown Gotham. They acquired an ambulance and took Bruce back to the Batcave (despite Tim's intial protestations that he should go to a hospital). He contacted Jim Gordon to get some medicine that Bruce needed. After that, there was nothing he could do but wait and pray alongside Alfred.
Thankfully, Bruce did not die, though when he awoke, he was psychologically scarred, as his defeat at the hands of Bane on top of months of exhaustion, was a major blow. Tim could barely stand to see his mentor so shattered, but he stayed the course, helping Alfred recruit Dr. Shondra Kinsolving to be his personal physician and smashing up the Porsche to explain how Bruce Wayne could have sustained such injuries. Once Bruce was feeling in better spirits, Tim went to talk to him about the escalating violence and gang war in Gotham – someone would have to step in for Bruce until he could recover. Bruce turned down Tim's suggestion to get Nightwing, reasoning that Dick was his own man now with his own responsibilities, which left the task to Azrael, Jean-Paul Valley. Tim gave him the costume and taught him a few of Batman's tricks.
Bruce's condition was particularly heartbreaking for Tim, given that his own father was still paralyzed (although Jack had been making remarkable progress; while still wheelchair-bound, he had much more feeling and could move his arms much better). Robin went on patrol with the new Batman (sometimes referred to by fans as "Az-Bats") and was dismayed when Jean-Paul kept getting more and more aggressive, pushing the edge when it came to defeating criminals. Robin kept trying to remind Jean-Paul that there was more to being Batman than just the costume, but Jean-Paul had quickly lost himself in his role. Meanwhile, Bruce surmised that since Bane had guessed his secret identity, Bane may also have guessed Tim's, and went to Drake Manor — too late, for Jack Drake was kidnapped just before Bruce arrived.
Tim continued to try and steer Jean-Paul in the right direction, but he became much more erratic and lashed out at Robin's interference. Tim discovered his father was missing when he headed home after Jean-Paul made it clear that he would not take directions from Tim. Bruce and Alfred had left Gotham to go search for Jack Drake and Shondra Kinsolving, who had also been taken. Tim kept up the pretense that his father had planned his trip.
Tim felt shut out of the team and the Cave by the time Nightwing dropped by. Tim filled him in on the situation, saying that he blamed himself partly for Jean-Paul's behavior, as it had been Tim who had designed Jean-Paul's original costume, which was very similar to a villain Bruce had recently defeated. That, combined with "the System," a kind of brainwashing Azrael had undergone, might have been the cause of his recklessness. Nightwing told Tim not to blame himself. He also admitted he was surprised Bruce hadn't asked Tim to fill in while he was injured. Robin showed up when Bane and Jean-Paul had their second sparring and managed to save the passengers of an elevated train while Az-Bats took down Bane. Much to Tim's relief, Jean-Paul did not kill Bane.
The conclusion of Knightfall was the beginning of Robin's solo series. Although he would still frequently be a guest in the regular Batman titles (and likewise Batman would guest in his), he now had his own adventures in his own title. Many storylines and arcs would crossover between the two titles, such as Knightquest, Knightsend,Prodigal, Contagion, and No Man's Land.
Despite the fact that Azrael did not kill Bane, he was still acting reckless, even out of control in some instances. The System kept playing havoc with Azrael's psyche, and finally he snapped and attacked Robin in the Batcave. Tim might have died if Jean-Paul hadn't overcome the System. Robin decided it was time to leave because the team was dead without Bruce. So he took his custom-made vehicle, the Redbird, and left. Tim met up with Ariana Dzerchenko, his girlfriend, for their first date in weeks, doing his best to put Jean-Paul, Bruce, and even his Dad's disappearance aside for a few hours. There was some excitement at the party they attended when some masked thugs, theSpeedboyz, tried to carjack another student's vehicle and Tim had to intervene. Later that night, Robin decided to try and track them down, only to be confronted by a local county cop, "Shotgun" Smith, who thought that Tim was one of the carjackers. Robin managed to evade arrest and got to work tracking down the Speedboyz. He managed to bust up their gang and leave a phone call for Shotgun, letting him know who to thank.
Going back home, Tim had to blow off Ari, who was beginning to think that he was seeing someone else. Tim decided to make it up to her by taking her to the movies, but his mind kept wandering because he had just learned the Cluemaster and some other thugs had escaped from prison. One was the Electrocutioner, the other wasCzonk, who decided to create a new identity for himself, the Baffler. The others didn't like the name, so he changed it to Headbanger. Robin got to work investigating, stumbling into Spoiler soon enough. That didn't surprise him, as he knew Stephenie was the Cluemaster's daughter and figured she'd turn up eventually. Going to the last place the gang was seen, Robin discovered a clue that the Baffler had left for the police. He followed the clue to the gang's heist: an armored car robbery. He and Cluemaster got sealed inside the car and the other two (not knowing the car is occupied) put the car in a pit and begin to cover it with cement. Robin could only wait until the others came back, which ended up being earlier than they planned, beacause the cops were onto them. With some help from Spoiler, Robin was saved and Cluemaster and his buddies were sent back to jail by Smith.
Robin bumped into Huntress and helped her out of a jam. She was getting herself involved in a gang war withMandy Paul and Robin decided to help. Tim reaffirmed that while he had discovered her real identity, he had never told Batman. They came to Mandy's lair only to find a man calling himself Deathangel, trying to "send all sinners to God" with a pair of pistols. After a firefight where Deathangel fled the scene, Robin and Huntress split up, with Robin following Mandy to a church. Huntress found Robin and Deathangel at the church, after correctly guessing that he was really Danny DePaolo, Mandy's brother, a priest at that very church. He was suffering from a delusion caused by his sister's wickedness. Everything led to a final confrontation with Mandy and her goons. Deathangel could not pull the trigger, but his sister could, and she gunned down her brother. Robin kept Huntress from killing him.
Bruce kept his word. He and Alfred found Jack Drake and they returned to Gotham City. Bruce even had his broken back mystically healed during the trip. Once back, Bruce confessed to Tim that he was thinking of permanent retirement. That all changed when he learned that Azrael had let Abattoir die. Bruce was a little angry at Robin for not doing more to stop Azrael, but Tim replied there wasn't much else he could do, considering that Jean-Paul had sealed off the cave and nearly killed both of them in their fight. Breaking into the Batcave, Bruce and Tim found Jean-Paul, who was beyond reason. He did not even refer to himself by name anymore, but simply was the Batman. Bruce decided he would have to retake the mantle by force, but he would need a crash course to return to his physical peak, and that meant going to Lady Shiva. Tim was just happy to have Bruce and his father back safely.
Robin joined with Nightwing to help Bruce, once he had "graduated" from Shiva's training. In the end, Bruce had to confront Jean-Paul himself. Batman told Robin the job was still his, and the dynamic duo was back in action. Jack decided to buy his son a car, or more precisely, a van (one that was wheelchair accessible). Tim had another fight with Ari when he fell asleep while she was trying to talk to him.
Soon after Bruce's return, Zero Hour came into swing, a crisis in time itself. The effects dropped a young Dick Grayson (in his first or second year as Robin) into the present and he and Tim worked together before Zero Hour began to erase everything. Afterward, Bruce decided he needed some time off, and this time he handed the mantle over to the right person, Dick Grayson.
Robin and the new Batman got along great, working against the likes of Two-Face. In his home life, Tim kept trying to make it up to Ari while his dad kept insisting on some bonding time because of his absence. Jack also hired Dana Winters to be his personal physical therapist. On a date with Ari, some teens picked a fight, and Tim had to take some hits, not wanting to reveal his martial arts training (which would lead to his secret identity being revealed). He vented his frustration later that night when he went out with Dick. On another night, when he ran into the teens alone, he got his revenge, but it was spoiled when he visited Ari and found out her uncle had been attacked at his shop by gangsters.
Dick's tenure as Batman quickly came to an end when Bruce decided to return to the job. That event also brought some long needed healing between Bruce and Dick, who were very much like father and son. Bruce redesigned his costume, making it darker than ever.
Robin then had a run in with the KGBeast, but unlike their last encounter, he did not have backup. KGBeast was perfectly willing to kill Tim and destroy most of Gotham City. KGBeast had already put down Harvey Bullock, who only survived due to Robin's knowledge of CPR. The battle against the KGBeast was tough. Robin was tempted to use Bullock's sidearm, but refused. He managed to defeat him just as Batman showed up. Bullock was comatose for a while, but recovered.
Robberies were up recently, and Batman discovered that someone was sending very lame clues to the police department from inside Blackgate Prison. Figuring it was the Cluemaster and the villain would talk to Robin, Batman took Tim to the prison. Cluemaster told them that he was being blackmailed to plan some crimes by some thugs on the outside and that they had kidnapped Stephanie to ensure his cooperation. Batman tracked down their lair and Robin came along. Robin saved her life and rescued her, and after changing into her costume, she insisted on coming along. Batman was not amused, but Stephanie told him that Cluemaster had conned them and was in on the whole thing. While Batman went for another chat with Cluemaster, Robin and Spoiler stayed put until he pointed them in the right direction, where they rounded up the rest of the gang. Spoiler acted like the whole thing was a date, despite Tim's protestations that it was serious business (and that he had a girlfriend already). Afterward, Stephanie paid a visit to her dad in jail.
In an attempt to expand his criminal empire, King Snake came to Gotham. After a brief encounter with King Snake's enforcers alongside Huntress, Robin was told to back off by Batman. Robin next saved the life of Mayor Krol from a disgruntled city employee, but the credit went to another man, someone who had recently been fired for trying to blow the whistle on safety violations around the city.
Following a couple bizarre heists, such as a missing lion, Robin stumbled across Ulysses Armstrong, recently released from juvenile hall. Ulysses had recruited a vagrant who was under the impression he was Julius Caesar (having been influenced by an equally vagrant Maxie Zeus) and together they plotted a crime spree. With some help from Shotgun Smith, Robin foiled the plot. Returning home, he discovered Ari was in his bedroom. She told him she had run away because her uncle was planning on moving away from the city because of the attack on his shop.
Tim might have been in some trouble with his father and maid for Ari spending the night if Jack's physical trainer hadn't come out of Jack's bedroom that morning. Dana had worked wonders on Jack in more ways than one, and he was up and walking about with a cane. Robin got to take his mind of things by helping Batman investigate a string of local robberies perpetrated by a gang of amateur ninjas, one of whom died when he fell off a rooftop. The deceased turned out to be a classmate of Tim's and he learned that the kid had gone to a Ninja Camp. Robin followed another classmate and easily defeated some of the ninjas, though they managed to escape. Tim decided to go undercover and enrolled at the camp using his alias, Alvin Draper. He impressed the camp leaders enough that they let him in on their outfit, provided he could pass one last test. Robin passed with flying colors and arranged for the ninjas to be arrested. Tim got home and learned that Ari's uncle had sold his store and they would be moving at the end of the week.
But things weren't so bad, thanks to a little help from Bruce Wayne. Bruce arranged for Lucius Fox and Wayne Enterprises to buy the store at a very generous price, enough for the family to open another store in a better neighborhood and remain in the city. Ari would even be going to the same school as Tim. Robin felt great. That night on patrol, he heard that Killer Moth had broken out. Figuring Moth for a third tier super lightweight, Robin went after him on his own. Moth had just sold his soul to Neron during Underworld Unleashed and been transformed into Charaxes. The monstrous being shredded its way through some cops and evaded a shootout with Sheriff Smith while capturing Robin, hoping to devour him. Robin was saved by an unknown party before Batman could turn up, and Charaxes was gone.
Robin met the new Green Arrow about that time. Green Arrow and Spoiler joined Robin to take down some gunrunners who were selling guns around Tim's high school. One of Tim's classmates, Karl Ranck, had been given a gun by his dad to protect himself, prompting Tim to tell his father. Jack had a talk with Karl's dad, who took the gun away. Karl then took one of his dad's guns and was killed in a shootout at the school. Tim was so angry that the beatdown he gave the gunrunners might have been much worse had Stephanie and Connor not been there. Tim spotted Stephanie at Karl's funeral and tried to avoid her, prompting Ari to misread the situation. Luckily, Tim managed to straighten that out easily enough. Robin and Spoiler then went after the guy who shot Karl, who was part of a larger street gang. They had to be saved by Batman, who was not happy that Robin decided to go at the gang without more backup than Spoiler. He also reminded Tim that Karl had made the choice to pick up the gun and become a target.
When the Contagion virus struck Gotham City, Robin was scrambling with everyone else to find a cure, which put him up against Catwoman. Tim was also a victim of the virus, but thankfully Azrael and his allies managed to find a cure and Tim was healed (see the Contagion entry for more information).
Returning home after being cured, Tim found Ari had dyed her hair blonde in an attempt to better keep his attention. Tim told her he loved it, but really hated it. On a rainy night, he ran across Maxie Zeus, the last of the Arkham escapees still free. Maxie was quite deranged at this point, and he and his hired goon (whom he called Heracles) captured Robin and dragged him along on their heist, which was Maxie's version of the Trojan Horse (only involving an armored car). Robin tricked Zeus into letting him call Oracle, but he managed to free himself and defeat Zeus and his gang without any help (although Oracle sending the police did help). Tim was delighted to find that Ari had changed her hair back to black, although he did not know the real reason why.
At a car show, Tim spotted Ted Grant a.k.a. Wildcat, and was thrilled to be looking at the legend. When Bruce was in training, he anonymously hired Wildcat to teach him to box. Tim also saw that several members of theSpeedboyz were back and up to their old tricks. Working with Wildcat, Robin stopped the thieves from stealing a new Waynetech prototype car. Heading to the Batcave, Robin learned some bad news — former Mayor Armand Krol, a victim of the Apocalypse virus who was thought to have been cured, had a relapse and died. Tim had to go with Nightwing overseas to chase Ra's al Ghul and ensure that the plague will not come back full force.
Robin met Impulse for the first time when their respective classes went on the same skiing field trip in Colorado. Alfred went with Robin, for they had extra business, a plot involving a group called White Heat and Mystral. Tim met Bart early in the trip, and once he saw Bart in uniform, he was able to instantly guess who his identity, much to Bart's surprise. This would mark the beginning of a long and close friendship.
Tim hated that he kept having to mislead Ari – trouble seemed to come up everywhere, even at a student outing to "Macbeth on the Beach" where Tim had to avoid Helena Bertinelli so she wouldn't recognize him. Tim cared for Ari very much, even if Spoiler kept making passes at him. During the Final Night, the Robin and Spoiler were trapped in a snowdrift along with a thug who tried to kill them with a chainsaw. Spoiler could not understand why Robin tried to save the thug trapped in the snow. While they were digging him out, they found a woman and her child also trapped in the snow and rescued them.
"General" Ulysses Armstrong got out on parole and Robin decided to visit him at home, and remind him that he should stay in line. He knew that Armstrong would not do so, and sure enough, the kid soon joined up with the Toyman (Winslow Schott) to try and steal the toy collection of a local eccentric, Phillip Crouch. Robin tracked them to Crouch's manor, where a fight broke out with some hi-tech, deadly toys. Toyman betrayed Armstrong, and Robin had to rescue him and stop them both. Both were arrested.
As a young child, Bruce Wayne enjoyed watching Roy Raymond, a TV criminologist. His son, Roy Raymond Jr., had a TV show that aired dramatizations of crimes on which he called himself Manstalker. Tim thought the show was a joke, but it couldn't take his mind off things. Ari had been a little distant lately, and his friend Ives was keeping secrets too. On patrol, Robin found Slyfox and his crew trying to rob an insurance company, and of course, Manstalker and his TV crew arrived on scene during a special episode. Robin had to destroy the tape in the camera before heading after the hoods, whom he apprehended.
While Spoiler was out getting into some trouble with Lynx and her goons, Tim was spending time at Ari's. He got the shock of a lifetime while they were alone at her house and she walked out of her room in her underwear, wanting to sleep with him. Tim finally learned what was bothering her – when she had dyed her hair, she had hung out with another guy and the guy tried to rape her. It was an unsuccessful attempt, but it left her feeling very scared and vulnerable. Tim told her that he loved her and said it would be best if they waited to have sex. While Tim and Ari were sharing a tender moment, Ari's uncle and aunt walked in and was cross with them. Ari's uncle was not in the mood to listen to an explanation. Tim had to flee before Ari's uncle strangled him. He decided to go on patrol, where he ran into Spoiler and she explained about Lynx's Ghost Dragons. Robin agreed to work with her, but the Dragons proved too much for them to handle on their own. Robin knew he should tell Stephanie to give up being Spoiler, but he just couldn't do so.
Soon Tim learned that the only secret Ives was keeping was that he had a job dressing as a giant mouse at a kid's restaurant. Ari, however, was transferred to an all girl's school. Tim kept thinking about Spoiler, and when he went to meet her, he found out she had been kidnapped by Czonk, who was back to calling himself the Baffler. Despite being one of the dumbest goons in Gotham, Baffler managed to tie up Robin and Spoiler and planned on leaving them to die in an old project building that was being demolished. He managed to knock himself out, and they ended up having to save him as well as themselves. Afterward, Robin told Stephanie she might have to stop being Spoiler. When he got home (early the next day), he found his dad back from his recent lecture tour and Jack had spoken to Ari's uncle. Tim was grounded, but even when forbidden to leave his room, he managed to solve a crime by watching the news.
During the Genesis crisis, Robin was unable to save a hood who had to tried to kill him from drowning. Feeling depressed, Robin headed for the frontlines. Armstrong was back, this time as adviser to Ali Ben Khadir, a claimant to the throne of the Karoccan Emirate. His rival was being backed by Qurac. With Nightwing's help and a Waynetech jet, Robin went over to the war-torn country (the conflict was escalating with the appearance of more mercenaries on either side, such as Deadline). Nightwing managed to stop two armies from clashing outside the capital while Robin penetrated Armstrong's lair. He found that Armstrong and his employer had experienced a falling out, so the boy was arrested and Robin withdrew. Robin had Nightwing drop him off in France, saying that lately he'd been feeling lost and decided he needed to step back for a while. He thought Paris was the right place to start, since his training had never really ended there.
Knowing that Rahul Lama was dead, Tim decided to train in the course of the Iron Master, although he remained in his identity as Robin. He stopped a former student from stealing from the master and also met a girl named Dava Sborscs. The girl was there to learn a single move to add to her arsenal of lethal moves. She wanted to be able to fight in the war that was destroying her native country of Transbelvia. After she left, Lady Shiva arrived looking for her. Robin had to withdraw, leaving the Iron Master to fight her alone, and Shiva killed him. King Snake was also involved again, this time selling weapons to Transbelvia. Robin went after Dava to warn her about Shiva. Back in Gotham, Jack Drake, Ari, and Spoiler were all wondering what had happened to Tim. Robin found Dava, a rebel fighting against the oppressive regime using a special chemical called Aramilla that allows her to move at super speed. Together they easily took down some military thugs, but then Shiva turned up. Not willing to step aside and let her murder Dava, Robin attacked, using the Aramilla to his advantage. Not even Shiva could stand up to Robin moving at super speed. Losing control, Robin beat her to death, just as King Snake sauntered in. While Dava fought King Snake and his minions, Robin performed CPR and managed to revive Shiva. Shiva had absorbed some of the Aramilla, and at super speed, she took down all of King Snake's men and went after King Snake herself. Robin left them to fight each other and brought an injured Dava to safety. But the war continued, and Robin decided it was finally time to return home.
On the flight home, Gotham City was struck by the Cataclysm, a massive earthquake that leveled most of the city.
Robin joined with Batman and the rest of the "family," overwhelmed at the near total destruction of the entire city. There was little that Robin could do in such chaos, and Batman asked him to stay out of most of the city. Luckily, the Drake home, in one of the outer neighboring communities, suffered only minor damages and they were able to effect repairs. During the Aftershock, Ari and Stephanie were both staying in a shelter with their families. Stephanie asked Robin to retrieve her costume, worried someone would steal it and learn her secret. Cluemaster was waiting there, but Robin took him down and turned him in to the National Guard.
After spending more time with Stephanie, Robin decides he really does care for her, and that he has to break things off with Ari rather than keep her hanging on. Fortunately, Ari feels exactly the same way about a breakup, although she says it is because they are too young to pursue a relationship. Ari is not seen again. (see the Talk page for more on this development)
At this same time, Robin also became one of the charter members of Young Justice. See that entry for more information about his details with that team.
Tim and Spoiler got along wonderfully. She didn't pry about his real identity, and he could share being Robin with her. After their first real date, Stephanie told him that she was pregnant. Robin was not responsible for her condition, but he stood by her. Disguised as Alvin Draper, he went to lamaze classes and told her that she had to give up being Spoiler until after the baby was born. Later, Robin had to save his friends Ives and Hudson fromSteeljacket. At school, a friend of Tim's was found dead in the woods and two bullies were suspected of killing him. While Tim initially believed they were innocent, he soon found evidence of their guilt, which led to their arrest.
With all of Gotham in ruins, Jack Drake decided the family should relocate from Gotham Heights for a while. He decided to move to Keystone City. When they arrived, Robin teamed with the Flash to take on the Riddler andCaptain Boomerang. They also got some help from Superman to stop a bomb threat. While they were in Keystone, Stephanie went into labor (earlier than expected) and needed a C-section. Flash got Robin back to Gotham in time for him to come to the hospital. The baby was born and Stephanie gave the child up for adoption. Jack was furious with his son for running home to Gotham, but admitted that he had hated Keystone and also wanted to come back. Robin even managed to help Shotgun Smith take down three monstrous thugs who held hostage an emergency room.
Now that he was back, it was time for Robin to help with No Man's Land.
Recalled to Gotham City by Batman, Robin and Nightwing had to crawl through an extensive system of tunnels and underground chambers, as the bridges were all down and patrols kept them from crossing the river. They had a tussle with Tommy Mangles and Gearhead, but Nightwing easily defeated them and got into the city. Robin was depressed by the despair and desperation he witnessed in people fighting to survive. Batman put Robin to work immediately, ordering him to track down a cache of food from an old shelter. Robin found it and discovered the Ratcatcher there. Robin had to flee from the Ratcatcher and his legions of rats, though a combination of rat bites and exposure to sewage gave him a fever. He managed to stave it off with some antibiotics, and was found by a group of children known as the Wolflings, including a kid Robin knew from his school who was calling himselfAragoth. The Wolflings decided to find the stores, and Robin was too sick to follow them at first. The kids found it, but so did the Ratcatcher and Mister Freeze. Robin managed to defeat both Freeze and Ratcatcher, arranging for them to be arrested. Batman was impressed with Robin's actions. Robin did not have much time to recover, as he knew Batman and the others were fighting for their lives. Robin was captured by Killer Croc, who was planning an all-out battle with Penguin and his police allies. Alfred helped free Robin and he rallied with Bullock and Penguin to defeat Croc. He then had to make the hard decision to call his father and tell him that he was in Gotham and that there was no way out. Jack made a lot of noise, and Washington took notice. Federal agents were ordered to stage a rescue. Tim was told to come to Grant Park to be extracted. The rescue site turned into a fire fight, but Tim was successfully lifted out with some help from the new Batgirl.
Jack decided to enlist his son in Brentwood Academy, a private high school not too far from home. Because of Tim's many absences, Jack also insisted that he board at the school. His first roommate was Ali Ben Khadir, the religious leader of a small country called Dhabar; Ali also had a bodyguard, Zugir. Bruce assigned Alfred to be Tim's personal valet for the rest of the semester. Tim decided life at the school wasn't so bad. He still got to see Spoiler and even created a new hi-tech skateboard. There were some people who had been transformed into Man-Bat-like creatures that warranted investigating. With help from Nightwing, he learned that the bats were Kirk and Francine Langstrom and their child. He had to ask Jason Bard for help. Bard had been entrusted with an antidote by Man-Bat years ago. The serum worked on the parents, but not the child.
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 worked with the Gotham Cityheroes, but on occasion joined forces with other heroes such as Superman, the Flash, Superboy (who became Tim's best friend) and Impulse. During one adventure where a preteen boy was given god-like powers, Robin, Superboy and Impulse joined forces to defeat him. The boys worked so well together that they created their own team of heroes called Young Justice. Robin acted as the leader of the team until he temporarily quit following the Imperiex War. During that mission, the group was tortured on Apokolips. Afterward, Robin discovered that over half the team, including Superboy, Wonder Girl, Impulseand 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 began 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. Still, feeling hurt as well as strained by assorted other problems in his personal life, Robin quit the team temporarily.
When Tim returned, the team agreed to elect their leader, and Tim lost to Wonder Girl. The team still looked 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 took on the identity of "Mister Sarcastic" at a point where Young Justice agreed to become reality TV stars. Soon after, Secret was turned evil by Darkseid, and it was Tim who managed to save the world by reminding Greta of her humanity.
Young Justice disbanded 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 encountered his future self in the identity of Batman after his mentor dies in a crisis. This future happens despite his repeated statement that he does 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 put down by Dark Raven absorbing the people's free will and hope. He even hunts down most of Batman's Rogues 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 Bette Kane, who becomes his partner, Batwoman. He later kills her during an argument. Wracked with guilt, he made a deal with Ra's al Ghul to restore her using the Lazarus Pit. Once revived, she joined the Titans East (led by an older version of Cyborg) and opposed Batman and his team. His latest victim before the younger Teen Titans show up was Duela Dent, the Joker's daughter, whom he 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, discovered Tim's secret identity. Jack was enraged and threatened to expose the secret identities of all those involved with Batman. Tim offered 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 took over the role of Robin for a short period, until Batman fired her for disobeying orders. Soon after, a massive gang war (which Stephanie Brown started unintentionally) consumed Gotham City, and found its way into Tim's school. After assisting the Bat-family to the best of his abilities, with no equipment or costume, Tim protected his classmates, but not without casualties. Tim then realized that he could not disregard his responsibilities and took up the mantle of Robin once again, against his father's wishes. When Jack found out that Tim is again Robin, he grudgingly realized how truly important his son is to Gotham, despite the immense danger.
Black Mask then captured and tortures Stephanie. She later apparently died from both her injuries and the wilful negligence of Batman's confidante, Leslie Thompkins, at the end of the story arc.
In Identity Crisis, Tim, along with the rest of the superhero community, tried to keep all of his loved ones safe after some tragic attacks upon the family members of the Justice League.
One night, while Batman and Robin were investigating these crimes, they received an incoming transmission from Oracle that Tim's father needed to speak to him immediately. It turned out that there was an intruder in the Drake home and a mysterious note with a gun was 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 is revealed to be the hired killer Captain Boomerang. Jack fired as Captain Boomerang unleashed a razor boomerang and the two killed one another before Batman and Robin could make it back to the scene. Like Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson before him, Tim Drake had now lost both of his parents to crime.
After Identity Crisis, Bruce Wayne offered to adopt Tim, who was not initially fond of the idea. Tim falsified records to create an uncle who would become his legal guardian. He then moved in with his 'Uncle Eddie' in Blüdhaven (Nightwing's previous stomping grounds), while his stepmother received treatment at a psychiatric hospital. Although Tim covered his tracks well, Batman was still able to figure out the truth. Rather than being angry, Batman is impressed with Tim's subterfuge. He even offers to teach Tim to cover his tracks completely.
Soon afterward, a military superhero legend called The Veteran (similar to Marvel Comics' Captain America) attempted to recruit Robin. Tim, now concerned with his own mission rather than Batman's, took the Veteran's offer under consideration and went on a mission with his team to get a feel for the job. Tim eventually turned down the offer. Some time after this, Jason Todd, long thought dead, returned as the new Red Hood. Angered that someone has replaced him as Robin, Jason broke 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 confronted Tim to see if the new Boy Wonder was really as good as everyone claimed. The two Robins fought, until at last Jason struck Tim down in the Hall of Fallen Titans. Although Tim was defeated, Jason demanded to know if he still believed himself to be as good as people say, to which Tim replied with a defiant 'Yes' before Todd rendered him unconscious. Jason spared Tim's life, simply tearing off the 'R' shaped emblem from his chest. In the epilogue of the story, Jason has developed a grudging sort of respect for Tim, wondering if he would have been a better Robin and a better person, had he had friends like the Titans.
As in the events surrounding the Infinite Crisis storyline, Robin, along with the Veteran's forces, had to defend the city of Blüdhaven against an army of OMACs who had 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 captured the metahumans. With Blüdhaven safe, Wonder Girl arrived on the scene asking Robin for help. Along with the Teen Titans, the Doom Patrol and the Justice Society of America, he battled against Superboy-Prime, who had violently assaulted their world's Superboy. The fight overwhelmed Conner's body to the point where it began eating away at itself for energy.
Robin's departure from Blüdhaven, the city was destroyed by the Society. Although he worried about his stepmother, his "uncle" and Nightwing, Tim continued to Titans Tower. He then led a successful assault on one of Lex Luthor's genetic research bases to find a cure for Superboy. With Blüdhaven still in chaos, Superman left Robin in command of all the superhero rescue efforts. But when the government put the city on complete lock down, the Titans were kicked out.
Following the discovery of Superboy's death at the North Pole, Robin joined the rest of the world's heroes in a final battle against the Society in Metropolis. Although the heroes won the battle, many on both sides were injured and killed. After the Infinite Crisis ended, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake went on a trip to 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 attended in a new costume made up primarily red and black. When asked why by Jimmy Olsen), he explained that they were the colors of Conner's costume.
After spending nearly a year away from home after the events of the Infinite Crisis, Tim was the first to return to Gotham following his trip with Batman and Nightwing. He received a message from an unknown source telling him that if he did not return to the states, Batgirl would be killed. Tim returned to Gotham City, now wearing a new costume, using colors of Superboy's last costume as a sign of mourning and respect for the late Teen of Steel. He moved into the Wayne Estate, living in the Carriage House, which has been converted into a loft and Robin's new "nest".
Robin then had to deal with a vigilante/thief known as Violet, who reminded him of Spoiler. He met up with a female wearing the Spoiler costume around this time, who appeared to know his secret identity. Tim was eventually overjoyed to realize that this Spoiler was in fact Stephanie Brown, who had not really died at all, but had been hiding out in Africa with Dr. Thompkins. Tim, along with his now part-time sidekick Spoiler was busying himself convincing Gotham City's underworld that Batman was still active, even temporarily becoming the new Batman in Wayne's absence, as most noted against Cobblepot (the Penguin) (as shown in Robin (vol. 4) #176). Unlike Dick Graysonwho was actually Batman for some time, Tim only wore the Batman costume for a very short time.
Gotham City had deteriorated and Robin and Nightwing were trying their hardest to set it right. They and Batgirl had developed the Network, made up of their staunchest allies, to help. Robin and Squire tracked and were about to take down some robbers, but before they could, someone else did. Robin and Squire don't see the person, but he left a note reading "I AM BATMAN." Before anything can be said, Nightwing called Robin for back up with a gang, and they took the gang down. In the Batcave, Nightwing was looking at all of Batman's different suits when Tim walked in, saying that one of them needed to become the new Batman. Nightwing shruged this off, so Tim told Dick about a man running around in a custom-made Batsuit fighting crime (possibly Jason Todd) and said this person was no beginner because he knew what he was doing.
Tim used his brilliant detective skills to work out where the phony Batman's hideout was, but decided not to confront the fake Batman as Robin, but as Batman. He donned the Silver Age Batman suit and set out to find "I-AM-BATMAN."
Tim eventually found Jason's Batcave, but he was not alone. Catwoman has followed Tim, thinking he was the one killing people as the phony Batman. At the same time, Dick discovered that Tim had taken the Batsuit.
Jason snuck up on Catwoman and knocked her out. Tim and Jason began to fight and Jason used his knowledge of his cave to lure Tim into a pit, where Jason repeatedly slashed him with a Batarang. In the midst of the fight, Jason asked Tim to be his Robin, but Tim refused and picked up a crowbar and began to beat Jason with it. But Jason managed to stab Tim in the gut with the Batarang and left him to die.
More on this incident from Tony Daniel, writer of this arc:
"I originally had Tim yelling to Jason that he was going to kill him while he was bludgeoning him with that crowbar. That was taken out at the last minute so Tim would look to have kept at least some composure. But a guy wearing his father’s clothes, impersonating him and marring everything he stood for would do it. He loved Bruce like his real father."
Tim, wearing the Batman costume, was rescued from Jason's explosive destruction of his temporary Batcave by Damian and Squire, who were sent by Dick to retrieve Tim. Tim abandoned the Batman costume, leaving it behind.
After Dick Grayson took up the mantle of Batman, Tim begrudgingly resigned from the role of Robin, with Damian Wayne assuming the title to work alongside Dick. Damian mocked Tim on how he was no longer a part of the Dynamic Duo and sarcastically offered him the position of Batgirl. Tim went on to tell Stephanie that he would be leaving Gotham for an unspecified period of time. Robin and Spoiler had been working together for a while now since Stephanie's return. Stephanie was hired by Batman to make Tim into a better Robin. Spoiler even hired Scarab to attempt to assassinate him, to toughen him up. However, the plan went out of control, and Spoiler ended up working with the General against Robin. Robin was injured in a battle with Scarab, receiving a head injury that forced him to wear the Red Robin costume to cover it up. Tim defeated the General, who was now the new Anarky. Tim then discovered Stephanie's actions and got so mad that it showed that he had become a dark knight himself (mirroring what Jason had become).
At this point, Tim took up the Red Robin identity, and began traveling the world in search of Bruce Wayne. During this search, Tim was monitored by Ra's al Ghul, who appeared not only interested in Tim himself, but also Tim's quest for Batman. Their quest led them to an ancient cave wall in modern-day Iraq, a familiar bat insignia drawn on it. However, they also found themselves targeted by the Council of Spiders. Tim was saved by Ra's his League of Assassins in exchange for his help in tracking down and ending the Council of Spiders.
Red Robin was forced to temporarily abandon his quest to find the original Dark Knight Detective after Dick Grayson informed him that the graves of his parents, along with those of the Flying Graysons', had been desecrated. It was later revealed that they had been reanimated as Black Lanterns. After he was reunited with Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin (Damian Wayne), and successfully saved Commissioner Gordon and Oracle at Gotham Central, Batman and Red Robin then found themselves having a horrific encounter with the reanimated remains of their parents. Batman and Red Robin sent Damian with the Gordons to their underground base while they battled the Black Lanterns. Dick eventually ordered Damian through their comm-links to send one of his Wingers with Mr. Freeze's gun. Grayson used the weapon to cryogenically suspend himself and Tim, forcing the Black Lanterns to retreat as they are unable to read any sign of life of them. Deadman later revived the former Boy Wonders.
Tim used the opportunity to destroy Ra's worldwide computer network, many of his bases around the world and defeat the Council of Spiders. He later reunited with Conner Kent in Paris, when trying to look for a Mother Box in order to get to New Genesis. After looking for one of Lex Luthor's labs in the Catacombs of Paris, Tim broke down and told Conner of the hardships he'd faced. Conner emotionally supported him, believing that Bruce is alive as well.
Tim returned to Gotham with proof that the original Batman is not only still alive but also lost in time. Ra's al Ghul began his attack to destroy everything the Wayne Family had built in response to Tim crippling his League of Assassins organization during the hero's quest. Red Robin returned to the Batcave to seek the current Batman's aid, only to find Stephanie Brown as Batgirl. After a brief confrontation, Stephanie and Tim reluctantly worked together to protect Ra's possible targets, while trying to ignore the feelings they still had for each other. They saved Leslie Thompkins from the League, following which Tim attempted to rekindle their romance, but Batgirl turned him down. They were then interrupted by Prudence, another member of Ra's soldiers, whose assignment was to target the new Batgirl. Stephanie, however, bested the assassin in combat. Prudence subsequently reveals her true allegiance to Tim, which apparently had overcame her supposed loyalty to The Demon's Head. After narrowly escaping Tim's safehouse (which the League of Assassins had booby-trapped before the three arrived), they were cornered by members of the Men of Death, who they fought, and were nearly killed by, but they managed to escape from them. It was eventually revealed that Tim had been named as Bruce's heir in accordance of his will, thwarting Ra's plans at attempting to use Hush (who surgically altered his appearance to resemble Bruce Wayne) to gain control of the Wayne family resources (the plan was created by Bruce Wayne before his disappearance, reasoning that he would not be around forever). As a result, in addition to being Red Robin, Tim Drake is now the current CEO and controlling shareholder of Wayne Enterprises, ruining Ra's endgame.
Because of Red Robin's sound tactical defeat of him, an enraged Ra's congratulates him and calls him "Detective" (which the villain only used for Bruce Wayne/Batman), before kicking him off of a high rise. Tim, proud of having saved the Wayne heritage, faced his death, only to be saved by Batman at the last second. He woke up recovered in the Batcave, welcomed by Dick Grayson and Alfred, who are relieved to see him again. Standing along his recovery bed were Damian Wayne and Stephanie Brown, both of whom had reasons to be angry at him - the former had already set about legal motions to make Tim relinquish his hold over Wayne Enterprises, while the latter was evidently jealous of Tam Fox, who lied that she and Tim were engaged to stave off Vicki Vale's questions. Robin then gave Tim the newspaper announcing Tim and Tam's "engagement", which causes Tim to say, "...How long was I out for?"
In another storyline from the issues of Batman and Robin, at some point after they defeated The League of Assassins, Tim informed Dick and Alfred of his findings, and they discover contradictions within the Wayne family records, suggesting that Bruce may have sent SOS's and passed them through his own family tree.
After dealing with Ra's al Ghul's attempt to destroy the Bat-family, Tim Drake began a new quest of his own to take down several of the Bat-family's currently active foes, starting with the new Lynx. He also enlisted the help of Lonnie Machin (formerly Anarky) to be his "Oracle," had a confrontation with Damian Wayne, and captured Ulysses Armstrong, who had stolen the Anarky persona. When Bruce Wayne returned after being lost in time, he sought out Tim and helped him defeat the Council of Spiders in a battle at Amsterdam, with a little help fromPrudence, Tim's ally, formerly of the League of Assassins. Later, after Bruce had established Batman Incorporated, Tim, as Red Robin, traveled to Hong Kong, where he contacted Cassandra Cain, the former Batgirl. Cassandra was still affiliated with the Bat-family, but had no interest in returning to Gotham City. Nevertheless, he gave her a duplicate of her old costume, which she accepted. After he returned to Gotham City, Red Robin sprang Lynx from prison, the latter having claimed to be an undercover Hong Kong Police Officer, who kissing him in return. Batman was mildly annoyed by this, but gently offered to give Tim advice on his dealings with Selina Kyle, as Tim considered Lynx to be on the road to becoming his own personal Catwoman. Tim then revealed that a Neon Knights center had been established in Gotham City, and that they would be preventing young people from turning to crime while the Bat-Family fought crime.
Tim's next mission was to investigate the supervillain communications network, the Unternet, and discern how to either control it, or destroy it. He traveled to Russia, with Tam Fox in order to find out whether or not industrialist Viktor Mikalek had anything to do do with it. He was met with an icy reception from Red Star, who told him to be careful when dealing with Mikalek, as his actions had contributed greatly to the Russian economy. Tim and Tam arrived at Mikalek's headquarters, and were discussing a proposal to set up a Neon Knights center in Moscow, when a vigilante calling herself Promise broke into the meeting room and started to attack Mikalek. Red Star appeared to resolve the situation, but Promise managed to escape. Later, as Red Robin, Tim looked for Promise with the help of Lonnie Machin, who has been rendered catatonic following torture by [The General], and was now only able to communicate by a special computer, thus allowing him to hack anything. Tim tracked Promise to her hideout, and after a brief conversation, Red Star attacked them, thinking that Red Robin was in league with "the terrorist." Meanwhile, Tam and Lonnie had hacked into the Unternet, and Red Robin had given Promise a comlink. After a fierce chase, Red Robin found himself aboard Red Star's ship, where he discovered dozens of missiles. At this moment, one of the Calculator's (who had set up the Unternet) defenses was activated, which resulted in Red Robin, Tam, Promise, and Lonnie being knocked unconsious and their consciousness being absorbed into the Unternet. There they discovered a very surreal world where all of the persons inside manifested as they saw themselves, with the Riddler representing Tim Drake's mind figuring things out. After a series of scuffles with manifestations of the likes of the Joker and Deathstroke, they encountered Promises's manifestation, who revealed to them the meaning and purpose of the Unternet, and that Viktor Mikalek wished to regulate it, and make the world's supervillains pay him to use it. Tim, Tam, and Promise were able to escape, leaving Lonnie behind as a spy and to police the Unternet.
Shortly thereafter, Tim discovered that the Calculator had constructed hundreds of androids that looked like him, and had sent one such android to kill Tam Fox (the attempt failed) in an attack instigated by Catman. Tim realized that he would need some help tracking down the real Calculator. Thus, he contacted the Teen Titans, who met with him. The Titans were very happy to see him, with the exception of Damian Wayne, who had joined the Titans as Robin. The group set out in the Teen Titan's jet, and found that the Calculator's base of operations seemed to be in Istanbul. They used Damian to draw out one of the Calculator's androids, and followed it to one of the city's most popular nightclubs. After the Calculator android explodes, Kid Flash barely got Robin out of the way. Red Robin then realized in shock that there are several Calculator androids scattered throughout the crowd. Acting quickly, the group destroyed the Calculator robots and entered the location where Calculator's signal was originating; a nightclub. Digging underneath the building, the team stumbled across what appeared to be Calculator himself, who revealed to them that he had tortured and killed Kid Eternity. He then deployed a set of other more powerful robots against the Titans. Red Robin worked with Robin to destroy a few of these robots, and helped him to realize that this Calculator was also an android, the latter destroying it a few minutes later. In the aftermath of this occasion, Red Robin rejoined the Teen Titans, but Robin resigned, telling the former that the team "already had a Robin."  Tim eventually discovered that the source of the Unternet was the Madmen, who had been turned by Darkseid into living servers for it. Red Robin lured them to Gotham City where he was forced to fight with them. He finally managed to render them catatonic, and thus disabling the Unternet, by contriving for them to hooked up to the Gotham City power plant.