When looking at the great sidekicks of comic books, more often than not these youngsters turn up a few years into a particular hero's run. But with the character of Robin, he was introduced in Batman's second ever appearance - which makes this sidekick more synonymous with his more senior mentor figure than any sidekick in the history of comics.
Where Green Arrow has had Speedy, Wonder Woman has had Donna Troy, Aquaman has had Aqualad, and Superman has often had Superboy, none of those sidekicks have ever gotten close to being as important in the pages of DC Comics as Robin.
Robin may have started life as Dick Grayson, but this is a mantle that has been passed on from young hero to young hero across the decades. In mainstream continuity, Dick, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Damian Wayne have all donned the iconic Robin outfit, and then there's also the fan favourite Carrie Kelley incarnation of the character as a standout from non-canon offerings.
The thing is, many casual comic book fans have often mocked the Robin persona, with the camp 'n' cheese of Burt Ward or Chris O'Donnell seemingly being a go-to reference point for those of that mindset. In reality though, Robin is an absolutely vital piece of the larger Batman puzzle.
So then, let's break down why the Caped Crusader forever needs a Robin at his side...
8. An 'In' For Younger Readers
On a fundamental level, having a young sidekick alongside Batman works as an 'in' for younger readers new to the world of comic books.
Rather than the grumpy, grizzled Bat, having a Robin present under the Caped Crusader's wing often brings an element of youthful fun and energy to proceedings. Historically, younger readers have been seen to gravitate towards characters with whom they can relate to in at least a small way.
Can all youngsters relate to being a crimefighting kid, swinging through the Gotham skyline, battling Two-Face, being best pals with the legendary Batman? No, of course they can't. But so many children wish that they were in Robin's shoes. And by that small fact, the character - whichever incarnation of the Boy Wonder or Girl Wonder we're talking about - is so important to the Batman mythos.
When looking to introduce youngsters to the world of comics, a character such as Robin can be absolutely vital in drawing in their initial interest, then retaining that interest as Robin becomes the 'in' that gets them to then explore the various other characters, titles, and publishers who are out there.