DC Animated Universe

"Old Wounds" is the eighteenth episode of The New Batman Adventures. Originally airing on October 3, 1998. It reveals the story of how and why Dick Grayson left the role of Robin after the end of Batman: The Animated Series and how Barbara discovered their secret identities and became part of the team.


Nightwing and Robin

Nightwing is taken aback by Robin's comment.

As Robin fights against pickpockets and thieves, one gains the upper hand and traps him in an overturned garbage bin. When the goon runs into the street a shadowy figure flies off a building and tackles him. Around the corner where Robin is extracting himself from the garbage bin, Nightwing emerges with the man who tried to run, with Robin remarking that he could have gotten him. As Nightwing shrugs off this proclamation and walks away, Robin remarks that he is just like Batman. Stunned, Nightwing stops and remarks that he's nothing of the sort. Robin points out the similarities between Batman and Nightwing to which the young adult irritably told him to "drop it". Robin then asks him why he left the role of Robin and Nightwing merely responds that "things change" and he should ask Batman. Robin tells him that he did, and Batman just said the same thing. Nightwing then takes Robin to a dock and recounts his last days as Robin, just after he finished college at Gotham State University.

Bruce Wayne misses Dick Grayson's graduation because he is working in his capacity as Batman and when Dick is celebrating his graduation with Barbara Gordon, he is paged by Batman who wants him to meet him at a specified location from a tip he has received. As Dick returns to dance with Barbara, he relays some worthless excuse for why he must leave. Batman is watching a warehouse and Robin arrives. They prepare to investigate and foil the latest scheme by the Joker. When the Joker easily makes his escape from the Dynamic Duo, Batman, trapped, orders Robin to go after them. Following a henchman named Connor who is left behind, Robin encounters the man returning home to his family. Connor does not want anything to go down in front of his family, but before Robin can act, Batman crashes through a side window and pins Connor against a wall. While Batman mercilessly interrogates Connor, Robin pleads with him not to make a scene in front of Connor's family. When Batman does not respond kindly, Robin takes off and later shows up at Barbara's apartment (as Dick Grayson) complaining about the situation and he can't do this anymore he wants to get away from Batman and was unsure how to proceed. Eventually, he leaves as abruptly as he arrived with little explanation.

Joker's radar disruptor

Joker displays the radar disruptor for his newest plan.

Sometime later, Barbara is asking Bruce what has come between him and Dick. Understanding how she cares a great deal for him, he asks her to follow him, opening the secret clock entrance to the Batcave. As she descends the staircase behind him, bats flutter from below and she realizes what Bruce is showing her about Dick and himself. Bruce also informs her of his knowledge about her secret as Batgirl. Alfred emerges from behind a corner and even tries to say that he is Batman. Bruce tells him that it's alright and Alfred tells him that there is something on the news channel that he might want to watch. Turning the volume up, the Joker is delivering a ransom note for his latest scheme, involving a radar jamming device. Bruce asks Alfred to contact Dick, but Alfred tells him that he has been trying and cannot reach him. Bruce says that he will need backup and Barbara tells him that he already has it. After Batman and Batgirl leave to take on the Joker, Dick comes down to the Batcave asking where Barbara is after seeing her car in the driveway. Alfred tells him that she and Bruce have run an errand. Dick asks what kind of errand as he notices that the Batmobile is not parked in the cave.

When Robin arrives at the scene of the Joker's plan, Batgirl is thrown off a tower. Robin rescues her and the two fly to another building top. Telling her that they need to talk, she interrupts him because there is work to do. As Batman fights against the Joker and his henchmen, Batgirl re-emerges with Robin and tackles the Joker. He then begins to fire upon the three, and Batgirl directs his attention toward the radar jamming device which is destroyed by the Joker's gunfire.

Robin quits

Robin leaves his role as Batman's sidekick. To become Nightwing

Batman then grabs Batgirl and the two hang from the building edge as the machine explodes and knocks everyone close to the ground, including the Joker. After the police arrive and the scene is picked apart, Robin is furious at Batgirl for not telling him her secret. She responds that he wasn't honest either and that Batman already knew her secret. Redirecting his anger at Batman for putting Batgirl in danger, Robin asks why he did not tell him that Barbara was Batgirl. When Batman tells him that it was not his place to tell Robin, Robin says that they have grown apart and quit. When Batman tries to stop Robin from leaving, Robin turns around and punches him in the face. Stripping his mask and cape off, he leaves Batman and Batgirl and never was Robin again.

As Nightwing finishes the story, he and Robin return to the scene of the earlier fight and find a wallet that had been stolen by the goons. After opening the wallet to see who it belongs to, Nightwing is shocked to learn that it's Connor, who now works as a night watchman at Wayne Enterprises. Returning the wallet, Connor relates the earlier encounter with Batman and how it changed his life. Bruce Wayne had given him a job and regularly checked on him, often inquiring about the well-being of his family. Nightwing responds that Bruce Wayne is a good man and he and Robin leave. The Bat-signal comes on in the night sky and Robin says that duty calls, asking if Nightwing will join him. As Robin prepares to fly off, Nightwing remarks that it is about time and flies off with him to join Batman.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]


  • This episode's flashback was later adapted into the limited series The Batman Adventures: The Lost Years. Written by series writer Hilary J. Bader, with artwork by Bo Hampton, Terry Beatty, Lee Loughridge, and Rick Taylor, it bridged the gap between Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, explaining how Batman discovered Batgirl's identity, Dick's journey around the world, and Tim's life before becoming Robin (including his witnessing the final fight between Batman and company against the Joker).
  • The growing tension in and changing nature of Dick and Bruce's relationship was previously established and depicted in the Batman: The Animated Series episodes "Robin's Reckoning" and "Night of the Ninja".
  • Joker being the last villain that Dick fights against as Robin is in a way a full-circle moment as Dick made his first appearance as Robin in the Joker's debut episode "Christmas With the Joker". Joker being the last major villain Dick fought against as Robin is also echoed in his successor Tim Drake, with Joker being the last villain he encountered as Robin before his tragic retirement from the role as depicted in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
  • Although Dick never says it out loud, the climax of this episode clearly implies that he has forgiven Batman.
  • This version appears to be a more Pre-Crisis version of Dick retiring from Robin on his own accord rather than the post-Crisis version having him fired by Batman.
  • Alfred telling Barbara that he is Batman is echoed on the Static Shock episode "Hard as Nails" where he tells Static the same thing and replies to Static's disbelief "Just once, I'd like someone to believe that".
  • This is the only The New Batman Adventures episode that features Dick in his Robin outfit and is only one of two episodes to feature the entire team (Batman, Batgirl, Robin, and Nightwing) in their current costumes, though Batman and Batgirl are only seen in the flashback. The other episode to show all four heroes in costume is "Over the Edge". However, neither episode shows all four together in costume at the same time.
  • Joker makes a reference to the 1995 film Apollo 13 when he says, "Houston, we have a problem."
  • This is the last appearance of Joker's henchmen Rocco and Henshaw.
  • It's revealed that Barbara keeping her Batgirl identity a secret from Dick led to their breakup.


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman/Bruce Wayne
Tara Charendoff Batgirl/Barbara Gordon
Loren Lester Nightwing/Robin/Dick Grayson
Mathew Valencia Robin/Tim Drake
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred Pennyworth
Mark Hamill The Joker
Townsend Coleman Rocco
Neil Ross Henshaw
Ian Buchanan Connor
Pamela Hayden Geena

Uncredited appearances[]

  • Andrew Goodwin
  • Ellen Barton
  • Jeff Adams
  • Joseph Gibson
  • Lucius Fox
  • Sharon Fox
  • Stephen Davis
  • William Deever


Robin: You sound just like Batman.
Nightwing: I'm nothing like him.

Barbara: (notices Bruce Wayne is not at Dick's graduation) He'll be crushed Bruce missed this. Where could he be?
Alfred: Perhaps he had car trouble.

Dick: (being summoned as Robin) This isn't a good time.
Batman: I'm not making a schedule.

Batman: You're late.
Robin: Excuse me for having a life.

Joker: Nice entrance. Either you've never heard of a door or you just like pulling glass out of your shorts.

Joker: If you stick your nose in, it might get cut off.

Robin: Batman, not like this. Not in front of his family.
Batman: The sooner he talks the sooner we leave!
Robin: (Seeing child starting to cry) I'm outta here now!

Barbara: He was so upset he couldn't even talk about it. It wasn't the first time I've seen him like that. What is it between you two? What's going on?
Bruce: You really care for him, don't you?
(Barbara nods)
Bruce: Follow me.

Alfred: Master Bruce, I...(sees Barbara in Batcave). Ms. Gordon, I, uh, see you've discovered our little secret. Yes, I admit it, I am Batman.
Bruce: It's all right, Alfred.
Alfred: Very good, sir.
Barbara: Why would you trust me with this?
Bruce: For Dick's sake. Besides, I'm not the only one with a secret, am I...Batgirl?

Bruce: Alfred, contact Robin.
Alfred: I've already tried, sir. I'm afraid he's not answering.
Bruce: Keep trying. The Joker will have his goons well-placed. I'm gonna need back-up.
Barbara: You've already got it.

Dick: Alfred, I saw Barbara's car parked out front. Where is she?
Alfred: She and Master Bruce are running an errand.
Dick: (noticing that the Batmobile is gone) What kind of errand?

Joker: (Seeing Batgirl) Something new has been added: a big improvement over the Boy Blunder.

Batgirl: Thanks.
Robin: We need to talk.
Batgirl: Not now. He needs us.

Joker: What!? You should be sidewalk stroganoff!
Robin: I changed the menu.

Batman: I thought we had the same goals.
Robin: Things change. I changed. The game's over, Batman. I quit.

Joker: (dazed) Houston, we have a problem. (falls unconscious backwards)

Robin: I guess Batman had a change of heart. Who'd have thought he had one?