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I mean, Batman's Batsuit has his underwear on the outside, but why didn't he give Robin some pants for his costume?

67

Robin isn't just wearing underwear, he is wearing a leotard. Dick was part of a circus and his mum and dad were the trapeze act which he was also training in. After his mum and dad are killed in their act because of local mobster Tony Zucco taking revenge on the circus owner, Batman finds Dick. Dick convinces him to let him help and becomes Robin the Boy Wonder. His outfit consists of his leotard because of his circus background. As such he is essentially wearing clothes he is comfortable in for the role he will perform. This all happens in the first few pages of Detective Comics #38.

Comic page showing Dick becoming Robin
Click image to enlarge.

Of course it's worth noting that over the years there have been different Robins and different costumes. Most of the newer ones include trousers/tights in them.

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    “I'm the Batman!” Pretty sure there should be a “goddamn” in there. – Paul D. Waite Oct 2 '19 at 13:19
  • I recall an issue of Teen Titans from back in the 80s, where Dick/Robin rides to the scene on his motorcycle, in costume, and muses about his decision to have bare legs back when he first donned the Robin outfit. No idea which issue. – Earl Jenkins Oct 2 '19 at 21:05
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    Maybe because boys used to wear short pants. – RonJohn Oct 3 '19 at 2:43
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    Holy crap, that's basically 3 or 4 movies in a single page, by today's standards. – ChatterOne Oct 4 '19 at 6:20
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    @ChatterOne Yeah, comics used to be really fast-moving. It's also the first thing that I noticed when starting to read some older comics. It's a style of story-telling that's almost jarring when you are used to modern media. – xLeitix Oct 4 '19 at 10:35
3

The page shown above covers the origins of Robin, but not the costume or name, and the costume raised eyebrows from day one, so it was explained in a later issue. But Robin's costume, as well as his nom-de-guerre, come from a fictional (I think) organization called the Sea Robins. It was supposedly a marine-oriented boys group, like an ocean-going Boy Scouts, that Dick had belonged to. He liked the uniform so much that he designed his costume based on it.

So, it's not underwear; it's a Speedo-type swimsuit. And, as mentioned there are also tights involved.

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    Do you have any evidence at all for this that you could edit in? – TheLethalCarrot Oct 3 '19 at 20:42
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    Googling for "Sea Robins" brings only information about a certain fish. – Yasskier Oct 4 '19 at 2:09
  • Thanks to Yasskier for proving once again that Google is not the source of all knowledge. I once owned a book on the early days of comics that included reproductions of the origin stories of all the "Golden Age" superheroes. It was a nicely produced book, probably from the 70s, but not very interesting. Most of it was well-known and well-documented. Robin's story was the exception and I was as incredulous as some of you are, which is why it has stuck in my memory all these years. – DaveInAZ Oct 11 '19 at 14:42
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    @DaveInAZ: If you ever find the title of that book, it would be nice for us to include it. – FuzzyBoots Jul 23 at 14:09
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According to the creators, it was based on Robin Hood

The name "Robin the Boy Wonder" and the medieval look of the original costume were inspired by The Adventures of Robin Hood. {Jerry} Robinson noted he "came up with Robin Hood because The Adventures of Robin Hood were boyhood favorites of mine. I had been given a Robin Hood book illustrated by N. C. Wyeth ... and that's what I quickly sketched out when I suggested the name Robin Hood, which they seemed to like, and then showed them the costume. And if you look at it, it's Wyeth's costume, from my memory, because I didn't have the book to look at."

Source: The Comics Journal #271

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    I edited in some info from the link. @DavidW - not all original sources are linkable. – KorvinStarmast Nov 20 '19 at 19:28
1

Dick Grayson was an acrobat and entertainer. Thus his costume permitted the maximum flow of his body movements. He is wearing a leotard. It was Dick who molded his suit to that aesthetic.

New 52 depictions changed the origins and eliminated the tights all together. However the instance of its origins is still Dick's assemblage. He made it himself. enter image description here

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