We started off Holy 75 Years! with a total boyfest. So we’re definitely due for some Girl Wonders as we continue this week’s celebration of Robin’s 75th Anniversary.
#1 Stephanie Brown
(First appearance as Robin: Robin #126 – 2004)
Stephanie was unique – unlike her predecessors in the Robin mantle, she was already a vigilante before donning the R. Also, not an orphan. Her father was a third-rate villain in Gotham called The Cluemaster, and so she fashioned herself a costume in order to spoil his dastardly evil plans. As the Spoiler, Stephanie caught the eye of The Dynamic Duo with her attempts to stop her father.
When Tim Drake, the third Robin, had to hang up his cape after his father discovered his secret as Robin, Stephanie took on the role.
Sadly, Stephanie’s Robin days lasted only a few months – she was dismissed by Batman for, ya know, doing her damn job and trying to save him when he was over his head, even if it meant disobeying orders. (Me? Still salty about it? Noooo.) Tim would return to take up the R again.
While Stephanie is generally considered as the first female Robin in the main continuity (pre-New 52 at least), she wasn’t the first female Robin ever. That honour would go to…
#2 Carrie Kelley
(First appearance as Robin: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – 1986)
In the non-canonical storyline that’s considered an Alternate Universe (AU), Carrie was the Robin after Jason Todd’s death, predating even Tim Drake. A girl scout who was once saved by Batman, she bought herself a Robin costume and, armed with a slingshot, set off to find The Dark Knight again. After saving his life from an enemy, she officially became his sidekick.
Carrie is the only girl to have been adapted into other mediums while donning the R, namely three animated adaptations,
and the Ame-Comi figurine line in DC Collectibles, which also spawned a comic series of the same name in 2013:
#3 Tris Plover
(First appearance as Robin: Robin Annual #5 – 1996)
In Legends of a Dead Earth, an Elseworlds story set in the future, humans have left the Earth on colony ships after its death to search for new worlds to inhabit. Tris is the 29-year-old Robin of Batman, a freedom fighter whom she idolised prior to becoming his sidekick. Both rebel against the oppressive proctors in charge of the colony ship they live in.
#4 Barbara Gordon
(First appearance as Robin: Thrillkiller ‘62 – 1998)
Set on Earth-37 in the 1960s, Barbara was a vigilante known as Batgirl, fighting crime with her boyfriend, Dick Grayson, who was Robin. When Dick was killed, Barbara was driven to the edge of her sanity and adopts the Robin guise to seek revenge. Bruce Wayne, a detective, takes on the identity of Batman as her partner.
#5 Rochelle Wayne
(First appearance as Robin: Batman: Reign of Terror – 1998)
Another Elseworlds story in which Bruce Wayne is a member of the French aristocracy during its years of the Revolution. As Batman, he protects the innocent during the turbulent years. Rochelle is his sister who discovers his secret after using her skills of deduction. She fashions herself a Robin costume to save Bruce from the guillotine after he is captured.
Rochelle isn’t the only Girl Wonder biologically related to the Bat. There’s also…
#6 Helena Wayne
(First appearance as Robin: Earth-2 #1 – 2012)
Helena, daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle A.K.A. Catwoman, long existed on Earth-2 since the 70s. Back then, Dick Grayson was Bruce’s Robin. It was only in the New 52 onwards where this was retconned – Helena was Robin instead, trained since young to fight crime.
It’s rare to have a Robin featured with both parents – alive – in a happy, stable relationship. But to absolutely no one’s surprise, Helena would end up an orphan after Selina’s awful fridging death, and Bruce’s sacrifice in saving Earth-2 from Darkseid along with the other Wonders (Earth-2’s version of the Justice League).
Coming soon, yet another of Bruce’s kids, and the Robins of tomorrow!