Dr. Robert Crane and his assistant Chuck Grayson worked for years on perfecting a mechanical body that could sustain a human brain after the human body was unable to continue supporting the brain. Criminals found out about Crane's experiment thinking that it could provide a form of immortality and that people would be willing to pay high prices for the highly articulate mobile "iron lung" they tried to steal it and then tried to force Crane to tell them how to operate the robot. Crane refused and attempted to escape. The gangsters shot Crane in order to stop him from turning them in. Seeing their plans ruined the crooks fled leaving Crane to die.
The robot was so heavy that they could not take it with them and without the knowledge to make it work they could not sell it. Seeing that Crane was about to expire completely, Grayson transplanted Crane's brain into the robot body successfully. Robotman let the world believe that Crane was dead and adopted the human alias of Paul Dennis. 
As Robotman Crane continued to operate as independent being, even joining the All-Star Squadron during WWII. However, he was never accepted as an actual person. In fact, lawyer Sam Slattery attempted to have Robotman be declared property of Crain's heirs, but during the trial Robotman revealed his original human identity of Dr. Crane. He also saved the people in the court from the ceiling collapsing. Because of his heroic actions Robotman was legally declared a "living being" but still not as Dr. Crane. Crane accepted the fact that his body had long since died and with it his original identity and accepted the condition of being only "Robotman".
Following the war, Robotman continued to fight crime well into the 1950s, often with a talking robot dog named Robbie at his side.
When Crane's long time partner and friend Chuck Grayson died, Grayson had his body frozen to donate it to Crane in order to return to human life. Robotman had been trapped and buried by a criminal named Lashky. Going into an emergency suspended animation mode, preserving his human brain, he remain trapped for several decades until just before the current age of heroes when he was freed and captured the criminal, now an old man. When Robotman was finally able to free himself from his decades long imprisonment, he chose to live a few years as full human rather than potentially forever inside his mental shell. Robotman's brain was then transplanted into Chuck Grayson's body, possibly by Niles Caulder, and Dr. Crane started his new life as a human being.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Robert Crane is a human brain inside a robotic body, as such possesses all of the various superhuman attributes;
- Superhuman Strength: Robert Crane's robot body is superhumanly strong and possesses beyond the human limit.
- Superhuman Speed: Robert Crane's robot body can run and move at speeds that are beyond the physical limits of the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Durability: Robert Crane's robot body body is composed of metal. This armor plated material makes him durable to most attacks.
- Superhuman Stamina: Robert Crane's robot body can exert himself well beyond the human limit as long as he has sufficent power.
- Superhuman Agility: Robert Crane's robot body agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
- Audio Sensitivity: Robert Crane's robot body can adjust the sensitivity of his audio receptors to a point where he can detect the faintest of sounds.
- Visual Scanners: Robert Crane's robot body is capable of scanning life forms, energy sources and other objects detecting the substances that they are composed of.
- Vocal Imitation: Robert Crane's robot body is capable of replicating and mimicking the voices of other people enabling him to impersonate them and even create his own.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- Robert Crane was legally declared as dead after being murdered and missing for several years as Grayson removed Crane's brain illegally.
- Robotman was specifically declared a legal citizen of the United States in the late 1940s for his heroic acts but not accepted as Robert Crane.
- Because Chuck Grayson was the cousin of Richard Grayson, the Robin on Earth-Two, Crane became Robin's cousin once his brain was transplanted into Chuck's body.
- 160 Appearances of Robert Crane (New Earth)
- 16 Images featuring Robert Crane (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Robert Crane (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Robert Crane (New Earth)
- Robert Crane (New Earth) at Wikipedia.org
- DCU Guide entry on Robotman
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #19
Discover and Discuss
- Search this site for:
- Search the Forums for: