So, how come Robin doesn't have a utility belt?

This has started to bug me lately. Batman has a utility belt. Hell, in several panels of DKnR, he’s even pictured with a second, miniature utility belt strapped around his thigh, a utility garter, if you will.

Robin, on the other hand, just has that plain black belt with the silly little buckle. No place to keep tools, grappling hooks, robinarangs… all the stuff that a non-superpowered crimefighter would need to be effective at his/her job.

Near as I can figure, one of Robin’s major tasks is to rescue Batman when he gets into trouble. Hell, in DKnR, Carrie Kelly rescues him on three separate occasions. It seems to me that having a utility belt with all the attendant useful devices would make this a much easier job. I mean yeah, Robin manages without one, but still, wouldn’t having a utility belt make his/her life a lot easier?

What’s the deal? Is it some kind of ego thing? Is Batman like, “I’m the Dark Knight/Caped Crusader/World’s Greatest Detective, and you’re just the teenage sidekick, so I get to have a utility belt and you don’t?”

Or is it some kind of crimefighter test, like, a Jedi’s skills are complete when he/she builds his/her own lightsaber, Robin’s skills will be complete when he/she figures out how to miniaturize his/her own tools, build his/her own gadgets and make his/her own utility belt?

You know teenagers. He probably thinks utility belts are dorky. Sooooo 1960’s.

Robin does have a utility belt. I remember years ago seeing a diagram of it in a comic book.

From this cite, which is admittedly dealing with a non-canon source but still:

Robin’s costume originally had a utility belt, but Dick kept losing it.

Bruce: “Where is you utility belt?”

Dick: “I dunno.”

Bruce: “What do you mean you don’t know?”

Dick: “I dunno.”

Bruce: “Well, it didn’t just get up and walk away by itself, now, did it?”

Dick: “incoherent mumble”

Bruce: "What did you say young man?"

Dick: “Nuttin”

Bruce: “Where do you remember having it last?”

Dick: I dunno."


It isn’t beause Batman would, with his hands full with something else, ask Robin to dig in his utility belt to find something? :eek:

Utility belt? Are you kidding? Robin doesn’t even have pants.

I’m guessing the alarm clock is on Batman’s side of the bed.

No, but she does wear a red tunic/dress with green tights. The shorts and slippers version of the character has been gone for quite some time nom. Tim Drake has always worn tights and combat boots. I believe Jason Todd made a point of insisting on some kind of leg covering.

In any case, Dick Grayson had long worn a cartridge type utility belt. Like Batman’s at the time, it was a yellow metalic belt to which a series of cartridges could be attatched. These contained whatever the writers decided Batman and Robin needed for that particular story. Small items, such as bugs or other electronic devices, and compressed gasses such as tear gas or oxygen, could fit in the capsules. Larger objects, such as batarangs or in one case a large shield, were “compressed” or miniturized in such a way that exposing them to air caused them to expand to full size.

In Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Batmans costume underwent two major changes. The first was the bat symbol was changed from a smaller black symbol in a yellow oval to a bat silhouette with the yellow, and greatly increased in size. The second was that Batman’s utility belt was portrayed as a relatively normal belt with a series of pouches attached.

Batman retained his yellow oval and cartridge belt (this is usually described as the Neal Adams costume, after the artist who made it famous) for a while, but a debate among bat fans raged as to whether the mainstream Batman should stay as he was or be more like the Batman in TDKR.

Sales of TDKR and fan pressure convinced DC to remake Batman into the grim, humorless, obsessed, borderline psychopath he is today. Along with the personality change came a costume change. The Batman from TDKR replaced the Neal Adams Batman in the core universe. Along with his new personality came the new costume, which included the pouch belt. The reasoning for this was that it was more realistic, but really that was a justification. The real reason was because it was more like TDKR.

Robin’s retained his catridge belt through all of this, which makes no sense if the real reason for changing Batman’s belt was for realism.

Stephanie (the current Robin) has a metallic catridge belt that is just like Tim’s was, while the current Batgirl carries a pouch type belt.

(1) Did he ever have a girlfriend? Or was he interested in other things?
(2) His original outfit: must have been kinda chill in the winter months…did the “Legion of Decency” ever complain about Robin’s slighly risque costume?
(3)doe he (Robin) sleep in the Batcave?

Dick didin’t have a girlfriend while he was still Batman’s partner. After leaving, their were hints in Teen Titans that he was attracted to Wonder Girl, but nothing ever came of it. Roughly at the same time as his change to Nightwing, he began dating Starfire. They were nearly married, but a supervillain attack interrupted it and it never happened. Since then he’s dated Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) and regretted it ever since. Lately there’s been some hints that he and his landlord, a Chinese Irishwoman, might hit it off.

Jason Todd was only Robin for about 5 minutes. I don’t think he had a girlfriend.

Tim Drake had a girlfriend at his high school. She figured out his identity, and became a costumed crime fighter herself, Spoiler. When Tim retired, Stephanie asked Batman if she could become the new Robin, and he agreed very quickly.

Dick’s costume was a slight variation of the costume he and his parents wore in their circus act as The Flying Graysons; it’s essentially designed to be a gymnasics outfit. This fit with the original version of Robin, who was primarily an acrobat to complement Batman’s boxing skills. Later on, it just became the Robin outfit out of inertia.

Dr. Frederick Wertham, in his book Seduction of the Innocent, used Robin’s outfit as one of many elements that to Wertham indicated that Batman and Robin was a thinly disguised homosexual fantasy. Robin, in his view, was an idealized sexual partner for Batman, who represented homosexual men, who of course were prone to preying on little boys :rolleyes:. The reasoning is convoluted and laughable, but it had a profound impact on comics in the 50’s.

Dick had his own room at Wayne Manor until he left for college, as did Jason later on. Tim lives with his father, and Stephanie with her family. Batgirl has her own Batcave, and she sometimes stays there, though she’s more likely to sleep in the room she has with Oracle (Barbara Gordon).

Small correction, Stephanie took up the Spoiler identity long before she found out her Robin really was (and dated him as Robin before she found out her identity). Her dad’s was/is a small-time costumed villian, and “the Spoiler” would foil his crimes.

Tim’s also had at least one other long term girlfried (Ari), and several other brief dalliances and infatuations.

My one line condensation of Tim/Stephanie’s relationship does make it sound as if they dated in high school and she became Spoiler after discovering he was Robin. I suppose that’s what happens when I post at 2 or 3 in the morning.

Your more detailed description is more clear than mine. When I simplified things for my post, I screwed up the timing. Thanks for the correction.

Minor correction: Dick was still Robin, and Batman’s partner when he began dating Starfire.

Also, I think he and Barbara Gordon dated before that. Or was that ret-conned in after she got popular in Birds of Prey?

In any case, Robin’s belt definitely holds useful Bat-items, though they’re not as “on display” as the stuff attached to the Bat-belt.

According to Nightwing Secret Files and Origins, Dick’s first crush was on Barbara, but she didn’t know that at the time. They did date during the early part of Birds of Prey.

You’re probably right about his dating Kory while he was still Robin; I’m a little fuzzy on the timing there. As for whether he was Batman’s partner when he was dating Kory, I suppose that depends upon how you define that term. I think of the partnership as having ended when Dick left for college, then later left for New York to become leader of the New Teen Titans. He did return occasionally to Gotham to offer Batman backup, but they’ve never been full-time partners since, and they didn’t fully reconcile until Batman started training Tim.

Dick and Barbara have been dating for the past few years, through Nightwing and Gotham Knights. I don’t follow birds of prey, but I assume it’s mentioned there too. She only recently broke up with him, and he’s “involved” with Tarantula now.

Not that I’m aware of with the comic version, but the TV version supposedly drew some complaints. According to Burt Ward’s autobiography, Boy Wonder: My Life In Tights, the Catholic League of Decency complained first about Robin’s bare legs (covered by flesh-colored tights) and then his enormous bulge. Ward goes on for pages about his enormous bulge and how nothing could tame it. He claims he was at some point given drugs to rein in his enormous bulge which worked but which he stopped taking for fear that the effect on his enormous bulge would be permanent. So he ended up just making sure that his cape covered his enormous bulge in shots where his enormous bulge would otherwise be visible.

Ward claimed that Adam West did not have an *enormous bulge issue and that West’s nickname was “ballerina crotch.”