Robin the Boy Wonder was first introduced in Detective Comics #38 in 1940. He is considered the prototype of the 'young sidekick' in comic books, assisting Batman in his adventures for several years. In the late 1960's, Robin stopped partnering with his mentor and began appearing in his own backup stories. He was a founding member of the Teen Titans, a super-team of younger heroes; the character later changed his name to Nightwing in the comics, possibly to disassociate himself from his 'always-a-sidekick' status.
The character gained immensely in popularity thanks to the 1966 Batman TV show, which prominently featured a handsome young Burt Ward as the Boy Wonder.