Rest easy, Gothamites, Batman has a new Robin. The Caped Crusader, who saw his sidekick blown to bits by the Joker two years ago, has found somebody to fill the Boy Wonder's shoes - although the footwear and the rest of his outfit are new.

Tim Drake, who turned up at stately Wayne Manor one year ago, is now Robin No. 3. Drake joins Bruce Wayne's alter-ego this month in Batman comic No. 457, where he manages to rescue Batman and Vicki Vale from the clutches of the psychotic Scarecrow.The third Robin, you say? Yes. The original, of course, was Dick Grayson, (who is about to makes his premiere appearance next month in the newspaper comic strip version of "Batman," published in the Deseret News) and who now works as a solo superhero called Nightwing. His successor, Jason Todd, was murdered in Batman No. 428, an episode called "A Death in the Family."

Like his predecessors, Drake is an orphan taken in by millionaire Wayne. "I think it's part of the job description," said DC Comics spokeswoman Martha Thomases.

Drake - who used his powers of deduction to figure out that Bruce and Batman were one and the same - has been hanging around the Batcave for the past year handling the more mundane aspects of crime fighting.

But the folks at DC Comics decided the time was right for a replacement Robin, and Drake - holy sidekick, Batman! - has stepped in.

"Over the last year, he has proven himself mentally, morally, spiritually and physically capable of taking over," Batman editor Dennis O'Neil said Thursday. "Today is his rite of passage."

Drake stakes his claim to Robin status by overcoming the Scarecrow, who has terrorized Gotham City by mailing out drug-laced Chrn a Batcave affair attended by the ever-trustworthy butler, Albert. The new Robin gets a new outfit as well, one designed (in the comics) by Batman and approved (in real life) by "Batman" movie director Tim Burton.

Did anybody say sequel?

Due to the demise of his last partner, Batman has come up with new Robin-wear that is heavy on safety. Gone is Robin's old yellow cape; in its place is a black model fashioned from bullet-resistant Kevlar. The same material is used for the shirt, which has an armored collar.

The utility belt is still there, albeit a color-coordinated version that looks like it was designed by Perry Ellis rather than Bruce Wayne. A new "R" logo appears on his outfit; his shoes are no longer green boots, but fire-resistant and bullet-proof black numbers.

The net result: Robin looks sharp, and Batman should sleep easier.