Comic book character, owned by DC Comics.
There have actually been several Red Robins. The first appeared in 1996 as an older version of Dick Grayson, the first Robin, in the alternate-universe story "Kingdom Come" by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. In 2007, Jason Todd, the second Robin, briefly took on the name and costume during the "Countdown" weekly series. But the one we'll focus on here is Tim Drake, the third Robin.
Tim Drake was created by Marv Wolfman and Pat Broderick. He made his first appearance as Tim Drake in Batman #436 in August 1989, as Robin in Batman #442 in December 1989, and as Red Robin in Robin #181 in February 2009.
All the Robins have filled different roles with Batman. Dick Grayson was the mostly dutiful son, Jason Todd was the rebel, Damian Wayne was the spoiled (but highly competent) scion learning how to be a hero from his father. Tim, however, was less a son, less a protege, and more of an equal partner with Batman.
As a child, Tim had attended Haly's Circus when it toured in Gotham City and watched the circus's star trapeze artists, the Flying Graysons. Years later, Tim saw the original Robin in action and deduced that he was actually Dick Grayson because he recognized some of his acrobatics from his long-ago circus performance. From there, he deduced the identity of Batman as Bruce Wayne. He chose to keep those secrets safe, but he also began training himself in acrobatics, martial arts, and detection.
After Jason Todd was killed by the Joker, Batman began to grow more reckless and violent in reaction to his failure to keep Jason and his family safe. Tim decided that Batman needed a Robin to keep him on an even keel, introduced himself to Dick Grayson and Alfred Pennyworth, and received their blessings to become Batman's new partner. After an extensive period of training to make sure he could defend himself, Bruce finally accepted Tim as the new Robin, gifting him with a new costume designed to provide more protection and armor. It was the first Robin costume to include full leg covering, instead of the laughable bare-legged costume used by Grayson and Todd.
Tim was an excellent martial artist, with a preference for the use of the bo staff, but he was definitely not the best in the Bat-Family, as he got stomped by Jason and Damian on multiple occasions and was almost certainly not as good as Bruce or Dick. But he was also the brainiest of all the Robins. He speaks several different languages (Spanish, German, Russian, and Cantonese), and has scientific skills in biology, genetics, engineering, and particularly computer science.
He really excelled at detective work, however. In addition to Batman and the original Robin, he also figured out the secret identities of Superman and the Flash, and once foiled one of Ra's al Ghul's schemes so completely, that the villain addressed Tim as "Detective," an honor previously reserved for Bruce Wayne himself.
From the beginning, Bruce considered Tim to be a younger but equal crimefighting partner, but this was emphasized further in the years ahead. Tim continued to fight crime as a solo hero after Bruce's back was broken by Bane and while Azrael took over as the violent replacement Batman. He also led Young Justice and the Teen Titans. After his father's death, Bruce officially adopted Tim.
After Bruce Wayne's "death" at the end of the "Final Crisis" series, Dick Grayson took over as Batman and appointed Damian Wayne as his Robin. Tim reluctantly accepted the decision, but left Gotham and adopted a new identity as Red Robin, wearing an altered costume with a black cowl, so he could travel the world looking for Bruce.
Soon after this, however, DC Comics went on the lengthy cocaine binge known as the New 52.
Back in 2011, DC decided they needed to be edgy and hardcore and not for dumb babies and more like Image Comics in the '90s, so they revamped their entire line of comics. They wanted younger heroes, so they decided that superheroes had only been around for about 10 years -- no Golden Age heroes in World War II, no Silver Age weirdness in the '60s, no Justice Society, no Doom Patrol, no Teen Titans, not even a Justice League 'til very recently, just 10 years of superheroes. Most characters got their entire backstories rewritten, but Batman was DC's most popular character and had dozens of classic stories they didn't want to throw into the trash bin, so the company declared that all of the previous Batman stories were still canon. (They did the same for Green Lantern because one of the company bigwigs had been Green Lantern's writer for years, and he didn't want his stories thrown in the bin either.)
So the problem for the Robins now was that Batman had been around for, DC said, a little over a decade, and in that time, he'd churned through four different Robins (not counting the one they completely erased from existence because UGH, girls), and the idea that he'd taken on and discarded that many Robins in such a short period was a bit much.
In the New 52, most of Tim's origin story was jettisoned. He was now just a skilled athlete and computer whiz who almost discovered Batman's secret identity, got rejected as a Robin, and ended up using his computer skills to hack into the Penguin's bank account, donate a few million dollars to his family, and force Batman to come to his rescue when the Penguin's thugs attacked his family. His parents were put into the Witness Protection Program to keep them safe from the Penguin, and Tim was taken on as Bruce Wayne's ward, taking on the Red Robin name in the process.
He soon enough has a falling out with Batman and leaves to fight crime solo. He also organizes the New 52's first and only incarnation of the Teen Titans.
By 2016, the New 52 was considered by nearly everyone to be an unsalvagable mess, so DC revamped itself yet again as "DC Rebirth." Tim's original origin was restored, and he operated as part of a Bat-centric team led by Batman and Batwoman. He was kidnapped by a mysterious villain called Mr. Oz, who was eventually revealed to be (this is a spoiler, but I don't care, because it is dumb) Jor-El, the father of Superman, who was rescued from Krypton by (this is also a spoiler, but I don't care, because it is also dumb) Doctor Manhattan from "Watchmen."
Anyway, Tim escaped from "Mr. Oz," because of course he would, and continues his adventures today, just hopefully with less silly DC shenanigans and more awesome crimefighting asswhuppery.
For reQuest 2018
("I'd be interested in seeing what Jet-Poop has to write about Red Robin (the comic book character).")