Ever since Chuck Dixon started writing, Tim Drake has got a genuine sculptor creating his path in the DC Universe. Several writers gave direction to him over the years, but, it is James Tynion IV who has seen through the Rebirth era, recreating this young hero. His come back to the DC Universe in Detective Comics “A Lonely Place of Living” narrative consolidates this as the ideal time to see Red Robin getting his own continuous series.
No matter what you say about your choice of Robin (we all have our own favorites), but, right from the time of his introduction, Tim Drake has turned out to be the Ultimate Robin. Dick Grayson has acrobatics, Jason Todd has the violent streak, and Damian Wayne is the perfect killer. Right from the outset, Tim was the smart Robin. What good can Batman anyway do without his intellect?
Tim is an excellent detective, a computer wizard and the guy who single-handedly discovered Batman’s identity. Among the various Robins, he is the one who chose to be the sidekick without having suffered any personal loss. With the passage of time, he has become the most suitable candidate to take over as the next Batman. The problem is that he has never fancied being Batman, but, he only wishes to protect the Dark Knight from his own darkness.
He spent close to 20 years as the Golden Child of Gotham, before making an entrance and taking over Tim’s legacy. Although all members of the Bat-family progressed after the demise of Bruce Wayne, Tim Drake took a different direction to become Red Robin, whereas, the dynamic duo of Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne took the center stage. Whatever the reasons were, but, Tim Drake settled on the periphery of the DC Universe.
Throughout the entire New 52, he was almost irrelevant, pushed to the Teen Titans and nearly forgotten in the Batman Universe. The fact that there were plenty of Robins made Tim almost outdated. Therefore, his probable “death” during the opening round of Rebirth was much needed. He had to be rebooted.
Tim Drake’s New Beginning, Cut Short
After Tynion joined Detective Comics, he right away got down to work on reviving Tim. He once again put him in the spotlight as a geek, and he established the thought that he was a technical wizard, who was going to do much more for the world than just being a vigilante on the streets. Tim established and led the Gotham Knights team and created The Belfy, which was their high-tech headquarters in central Gotham City. The boy who had once nearly succeeded in cloning a Kryptonian was now seen as a visionary in DC Universe.
At a time when Tim was shining brightly on the horizon, DC hinted at wiping him off with his staged death. While it was evident that it wasn’t real, the act saw him go out for a full year. But, that period in the absence of Tim, wasn’t a bad thing at all, as it established him bang on a much grander level when he re-entered in “A Lonely Place of Living.”
His kidnapping was directly linked to the “Oz Effect” narrative in Action Comics, and also the Rebirth story about Dr. Manhattan and Doomsday Clock. It also enabled Tim to carve his own place, outside the Batman’s shadow. Readers got to see how vital it was for Gotham Knights to have Tim as their leader. We also discovered the responses of his support team to his absence, and it allowed some growth of the team.
Setting the Stage for Red Robin
Since he is back to the DC Universe, Tynion has set up a well-known support cast for Tim. Central to it is his long-time girlfriend Stephanie Brown aka Spoiler, who might have washed her hands off the crimefighting business, more so when it comes to Batman’s lectures. The couple had earlier also thought about retirement, however, with the renewed interest that Red Robin has in fighting criminals, there is bound to be a rift. They share a long and multi-layered relationship, and it might just be the foundation for a new series.
Bringing back leading Tim Drake enemies such as Anarky, and Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong, aka The General, has provided some initial plots to develop. It is evident that Tim’s face off with the Batman of the Future is just a start. He is not yet willing to be the Batman; however, if that’s the only option left then he will figure out something.
It should be noted that the future Batman suggested an alternate life for Tim Drake, a life where all his friends are alive. During his time, Tim grew up with Conner Kent, Cassie Sandsmark, and Bart Allen. All of them are no longer existent in Rebirth’s storyline. Therefore, a reference to them has to mean more than just a line.
Tim Drake’s relationship is also bound to face conflicts; there are several missing friends that he has to find and also battle with the future regarding his Batman heritage. This is the most compelling scenario for a continuous Red Robin series to cement Tim Drake’s real legacy!