- "A truce, Bruce. As long as you have this card, a truce, but all you have to do is tear it in half and I'm happy to discuss with you in any way you like, why you sent a boy wonder to do a man's job."
- ―Joker to Batman[src]
Richard John "Dick" Grayson was a vigilante known as Robin and the former protégé of Batman. However, in 2000, while on a mission on behalf of his mentor, he was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by the Joker and Harley Quinn, who set him ablaze and defaced his suit, now kept in the Batcave.
Robin was avenged by Batman when the latter broke the Joker's teeth, permanently damaging his smile, and later captured Harley Quinn for his murder.
Adopted by Bruce Wayne
However, one day, both of his parents were killed mid-act in fall before a packed crowd, and the devastated Dick would be promptly adopted by Bruce Wayne. Grayson was later trained by Wayne to become the vigilante "Robin" and fight crime by his side as Batman.
Death in the family
- "By the way... who do you think screamed the loudest? The girl... or the boy?"
- ―Joker to Batman[src]
However, in 2000, Robin was eventually murdered by the Joker and Harley Quinn after Batman sent him on a mission. The psychopathic duo graffitied on the Robin suit the sentence "HAHAHA JOKE'S ON YOU BATMAN" for the devastated Dark Knight to find. In retaliation, Batman broke the Joker's teeth, causing him to use a metal grill and tattoo "damaged" on his forehead to remind Batman of when he lost control, as well as get a tattoo on his right bicep depicting a dead robin pierced with an arrow.
- "Batman wasn't always like that. Don't get me wrong... he was always tough. But over the years, he got harder. I mean, you figure he's seen some things."
A devastated Batman kept Robin's old damaged suit in a glass case in the Batcave to serve as a reminder and fuel for his vigilante activities. Robin's death was also one of the major reasons for Bruce becoming more enraged, hardened and vengeful, and therefore inducing him to take a more hardcore approach in stopping crime.
At some point, the orphan Jason Todd was known to have taken on the mantle of Robin, being known as the "second Robin", doing so in reaction to the murder of his adoptive parents at the hands of Killer Croc.
Right before leaving for Lex Luthor's fundraiser (where he planned to acquire data on kryptonite), Bruce paused to look at Robin's suit, reminding himself of why he continues to do what he does, and how taking down Superman would avoid more potential losses.
When Bruce revealed to Alfred his intention to utilize the Kryptonite mineral to kill Superman, Alfred argued that Superman was not their enemy. In turn, Bruce posed a rhetorical question to Alfred about the number of good men left in Gotham after 20 years of fighting crime within its streets.
Following the death of Superman, Robin's mentor began to unite the Justice League. He was referenced when Commissioner James Gordon said it was "good to see [Batman] playing well with others again."
The orphan Freddy Freeman was a known fan of heroes especially Batman. After his friend Billy Batson gained superpowers, Freddy drew a playful set of sketches depicting Batman putting on his tights inside his house. The drawing included a framed photo of Batman standing with a young costumed sidekick, possibly a reference to the deceased Robin.
- "He knows exactly what it's like to lose someone he loves. You know, like, a father. Like a mother."
"Be very careful with the next thing you say."
"Like an adopted son. Isn't that right, Batman?"
- ―Joker and Batman[src]
In a possible future, the alien warlord known as Darkseid invaded Earth and created a post-apocalyptic wasteland that devastated most of the planet. Batman was thus driven into an alliance of necessity with Joker. At some point, Joker taunted Batman about the people he had lost, including his parents and his adopted son, questioning how many times Batman could bear to see someone die in his arms. After offering a truce to avoid mentioning Robin, Joker casually wondered out loud why Batman had sent Robin to do a man's job.
In response, Batman revealed that Joker's ex-girlfriend and partner in crime Harley Quinn had died in his arms after the invasion. In her dying breath, she made Batman promise to make Joker suffer when killing him. Joker appeared to be visibly disturbed for a few moments before calling Batman's claim a bluff.
- Robin suit: Robin wore a suit that was most likely armored to protect from the criminals he fought. This suit was later damaged and vandalized by the Joker in the hopes of demoralizing Batman, but was kept as a reminder to never give up on fighting crime.
- Robin's glaive: Robin used a staff that was most likely used to defend himself from the criminal he fought. It, along with the Robin suit, was kept as a memorial by Batman.
Behind the scenes
- It was confirmed the Joker killed Robin in an interview with Zack Snyder.
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice costume designer Douglas J. Stewart posted a look at the dead Robin’s costume to his Instagram, and it confirmed a significant part regarding Robin’s death at the hands of Jared Leto’s Joker saying the following "A bit of detail on Robin’s gauntlet. He was brutally murdered and then set ablaze by the Joker. The story had to be told in the salvaged costume on display inside the Batcave. Aging and specialty distressing needs to tell these unscripted tales that support the main framework of the film. Here we had to create a Robin Suit in a matter of days. Using what we had and then figure out how to modify it all as well as building the support interior. It was a lot of fun."
- Snyder revealed that the deceased Robin in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was intended to be Dick Grayson and not Jason Todd as in most incarnations.
- In Suicide Squad it is revealed that Harley Quinn was also involved in Robin's murder.
- This is despite the fact that it doesn't fit film director David Ayer's original timeline for the film, based on the fact that the Joker got his mouth grill because Batman destroyed his teeth following Grayson's murder, yet when Harley meets the Joker for the first time, he already has the grill.
- This also doesn't fit Zack Snyder's timeline, who placed Robin's death at about the time Harley was 15 - at least five years before she could have met Joker in Suicide Squad. David Ayer has always made it clear it was his intention to follow Zack's timeline, whether the events had previously been on screen or not.
- In December of 2020, Snyder revealed in an interview that he'd spoken with Jim Lee and Scott Snyder about a comic tie-in to Zack Snyder's Justice League in which we see the Joker kill Robin and Batman enact vengeance on him for it.
- In March of 2021, Zack Snyder revealed that the suit was being added to the Warner Bros. Museum.
- Screenshots from Vero wherein Zack Snyder confirms (once among several times) that the slain Robin is Richard Grayson.
- Zack Snyder Had Planned On Introducing Carrie Kelley's Robin In DC Movie Universe
- Suicide Squad Director Confirms Joker Killed Dick Grayson
- Dates come from this gravestone prop.
- Wallace, Daniel (February 16, 2016). Time Out Shortlist Gotham and Metropolis (Gotham City). United States: Time Out Group. p. 8.
- Terrio, Chris, Beall, Will (writers) & Snyder, Zack (writer and director) (March 18, 2021). Zack Snyder's Justice League.
- Ayer, David (writer and director) (August 5, 2016). Suicide Squad.
- Wolfman, Marv (August 5, 2016). Suicide Squad: The Official Movie Novelization. Great Britain: Titan Books.
- Goyer, David S., Terrio, Chris (writers) & Snyder, Zack (director) (March 25, 2016). Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- Suicide Squad Director on Joker's 'Damaged' Tattoo & Robin Backstory - Screenrant
- Suicide Squad deleted scenes
- Amanda Waller's top secret file - Killer Croc's page
- Gayden, Henry, Lemke, Darren (writer) & Sandberg, David F. (director) (April 5, 2019). Shazam!.
- Lussier, Germain (March 31 ,2016). Zack Snyder Explains When Robin Died in the DC Extended Universe. Gizmodo.
- 'The Snyder Claus' w/ Zack Snyder - AFSP | Film Junkee & Ping Pong Flix Deck the Hall of Justice - YouTube