Robin's Best Skill Is One Batman Could Never Teach Him

While Batman is the best mentor a young crimefighter could ask for, it would be a lie to say he taught the Robins everything they know. He couldn't have built any further on Dick Grayson's acrobatic prowess and it'd be difficult for Bruce to top Damian's training with the League of Assassins. Jason Todd also has a superior street sense to anyone in the Bat-family and crosses the line where Batman cannot. As for Tim Drake, his greatest asset is a skill he developed all on his own.

Since his earliest appearances, Tim Drake's investigative mind has stood out to fans, but something even more crucial is his selflessness. In Batman #457 by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, Tim realizes that Batman has walked straight into Scarecrow's trap. Despite being warned by Bruce that if he doesn't stay put, he'll have no chance of becoming Robin, Tim goes against his orders. Pushing aside his personal desires, pushing aside the trauma he relives through Scarecrow's fear toxin, Tim fights. Not once does Tim fight for himself but always for Bruce, for his family, and for Gotham.

Related: Batman Admits He Failed As A Father To The Robins

In Robin #156 by Adam Beechen, Freddie E. Williams II and Guy Major, Tim's carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He's balancing high school life along with patrolling the streets at night, not to mention the constant guilt he feels when he doesn't quite do enough to save someone. In this issue, Robin's still recovering from a mission where he rescued several teenagers from kidnappers, unfortunately not moving fast enough to save Dodge—a boy with a teleporting belt trying to play hero—leaving him in a comatose state. He heads up to a rooftop to get some air when he notices a young man standing on the edge of another building, preparing to jump. Pushing aside his personal struggles once more, Robin takes the time to ask this man about what he's facing.

Tim's not there to swoop in and catch the guy mid-air. He just wants to talk. Both of their experiences are vastly different, but they share the same feelings of depression and inadequacy. Robin sits and listens before telling this man, "Your problems are worse than anyone else's... because they're yours." Tim explains that even superheroes have bad days and there's no single way to overcome it. It's just about knowing that things will get better, even if not immediately. The best anyone can do is admit things are tough and ask for help. As the sun begins to rise, the man decides he's going to give life a second chance, agreeing to join Robin for breakfast.

Empathy is one ability that Batman could never teach Robin. It's a skill developed through life experiences—both bad and good. Despite effectively losing his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend during his superhero journey, Tim makes the effort to fight for others every day. His selflessness and resilience are core parts of his character, without which he could never have become Robin.

More: Robin Ends the Bat-Family's Most Vicious Feud in the Perfect Way



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