A Lonely Place of Dying (1989)
Tim Drake was just a child when his parents took him to see Haly's Circus in Gotham City. Before the show, he had an opportunity to meet the famous Flying Graysons, the circus trapeze act, and get his photo taken with their son, Dick Grayson. Dick told Tim he'd dedicate his performance that night to him as he watched from the crowd.
Unfortunately, the occasion was anything but joyous. Tim watched as John and Mary Grayson plummeted to their deaths after their trapeze wire was sabotaged by mobster Tony Zucco. The Batman swooped into action right before Tim's eyes, and, not long after, Gotham witnessed the debut of Robin, Batman's colorful new sidekick.
These events instilled an obsession in Tim. Not just with Batman, but with Robin. He became an amateur photographer, snapping pictures of the Dynamic Duo at every chance, cataloguing and chronicling their adventures at every opportunity. His observations eventually made him aware of a changing of the guards in the Batman Family, when the first Robin became Nightwing and a younger boy replaced him as Batman’s sidekick…and then things took a dramatic turn.
After the second Robin, Jason Todd, was killed by The Joker, the Boy Wonder vanished from Batman’s side, and the Dark Knight was consumed with self-destructive violence. Tim realized something had happened to the second Robin and that Batman was blaming himself. It was then Tim came to understand the original Robin was the current Nightwing, and likely the only person who could save Batman from himself. But Tim was unable to convince Dick to take up his original mantle.
Teaming Up, Going Solo (1991-2009)
Almost immediately after Tim's first unofficial outing in the Robin costume, a tragedy befell his parents, which left his mother dead and his father in a coma. Bruce stepped in to help pay for the care of Jack Drake when he regained consciousness, but despite the efforts of surgeons and doctors, Jack was left paralyzed and in need of a home nurse.
Later, Tim accompanied Bruce in a fight with the Scarecrow, which inspired Bruce to start training him in earnest. Bruce sent him to learn from some of the best and most-skilled fighters in the world while he worked to keep up his grades—and stay alive.
By the time the Dark Knight was taken out of commission by the Super-Villain Bane in 1993-1994’s Knightfall event, Tim had begun serving as Robin full time. When Bruce was left with a broken spine and his replacement, Jean-Paul Valley (a.k.a. Azrael), took on the mantle of Batman and took charge of fighting crime in Gotham, Tim remained loyal to both Bruce and Batman.
Following Valley’s removal from the role and Dick Grayson's assumption of the Batman mantle, Tim began working once again at Batman's side while Bruce recovered. He also struck out on solo adventures (in 1993’s ROBIN series).
As Tim established himself as a DC Super Hero, he connected with other young heroes who were similarly just starting out. He joined his first official team, Young Justice, cofounding it with fellow teen Super Heroes Superboy and Impulse. The team went on to extend membership to a full roster of young heroes who would grow up to become the next Teen Titans.
Tragically, Tim's father was killed during 2004-2005’s Identity Crisis event. Bruce officially adopted Tim as his son several years later (in 2006’s “Face the Face” story arc).
Red Robin (2009-2011)
Following the appearance of Bruce Wayne’s biological son Damian and the assumed "death" of Bruce Wayne (in 2008-2009’s Final Crisis event), Tim found himself unceremoniously ousted from the role of Robin as Damian took over.
Left without a partner and without an official Super Hero identity to call his own, Tim reinvented himself. He took on the name “Red Robin” and began working solo in Gotham City while searching for the truth behind Batman's "death" and subsequent disappearance. Initially, Tim was alone in his belief that Bruce hadn't been killed, and he found himself ostracized from the rest of the Batman Family as he worked the case.
Eventually, however, Tim's hypothesis was proven correct. Alongside Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne, he was able to return Bruce to his family.
New 52 (2011-2016)
Following the events of 2011’s Flashpoint event, Tim's backstory and status were changed. No longer a boy who deduced the identity of Batman and Robin, Tim was an affluent young hacker who sought out the Batman and "auditioned" for the role of his next partner. But his scheme did not go as planned. In order to get the Batman's attention, Tim hacked and stole a sum of money from the Penguin, which made him an enemy of the most powerful crime lords in Gotham. As a result, Tim's family was put in a witness protection program and Tim was taken into Bruce's care, where he spent only a brief time serving as Robin before striking out on his own as Red Robin.
Tim later organized the post-Flashpoint Teen Titans when he handled a threat targeting young Super Heroes.
Following 2016’s continuity-altering DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1, Tim returned to Gotham to work with Kate Kane, Stephanie Brown (with whom he had a romantic relationship), Cassandra Cain and Clayface as Bruce organized a boot camp for up-and-coming heroes (DETECTIVE COMICS: REBIRTH, 2016).
Tim designed the team's new headquarters, called the Belfry, and unofficially dubbed them the "Gotham Knights." But after a few short days of working together, Tim was "killed" in an explosion, the result of drone attack launched by the Super-Villain organization known as the Colony.
In truth, however, Tim was rescued moments before the explosion by the mysterious Mr. Oz, a being imprisoned in an extra-dimensional cell. Sometime later, Tim was able to break free with the help of his older doppelgänger from an alternate timeline, who had also been imprisoned.
The older Tim had taken on the Batman mantle after a series of tragedies had befallen his timeline. In the process, he’d become a murderous megalomaniac bent on destroying the need for a Batman altogether (2017’s “A Lonely Place of Living”). Following the defeat of this alternate Batman, Tim rejoined the Gotham Knights team.