Tim Drake is the Robin who isn’t truly absolutely sure how to be Robin anymore — but in this week’s Batman: Urban Legends, he’s figured at minimum one particular matter out. A good boy questioned him out on a date, and Tim claimed indeed.
That can make him the initially new LGBTQ member of Batman’s speedy household in 15 yrs, due to the fact Batwoman herself.
Batman: City Legends is one particular of DC’s new anthology series. In each individual issue, multiple resourceful groups share an episode of various ongoing tales starring characters less than the Gotham Town umbrella. Around quite a few troubles, Author Meghan Fitzmartin (DC Superhero Girls, Potential State: Robin Eternal) and artist Belén Ortega (Sensational Speculate Girl, Captain Marvel) have crafted “Sum of Our Components,” a story in which Tim Drake tries to defeat a mysterious new villain who captured his old close friend Bernard.
In “Sum of Our Components,” Tim wrestles with uncertainty in a way that has grow to be main to his character around the past ten years. He feels as though he doesn’t know what he would like, until finally Bernard — not recognizing that Robin and Tim are the exact man or woman — wistfully refers to their interrupted dinner as a “date,” and Tim has “a lightbulb second.”
At the finish of this episode of the tale, Bernard asks Tim out on a true date, and Tim happily accepts.
“When Dave [Wielgosz] (my editor for Batman: City Legends) reached out about undertaking yet another Tim tale, I was thrilled,” Fitzmartin advised Polygon by using electronic mail. “We talked about where Tim Drake has been vs the place he was at the time and came to the conclusion that it required to be a tale about id and discovery. What was future for Boy Question?”
She claims she put in times contemplating it above ahead of emailing back again to say “Look, I never know if this is a thing that can materialize, but this is the story, for the reason that it is the only tale it can be.”
Even soon after she got the go-forward, Fitzmartin claims it took some time to take in the concept that she was going to make a coming out tale for a Robin — and a very recognized variation of Robin at that. “I fully sat on the floor of my apartment for a solid two minutes in contentment as it sunk in. Ultimately, this would not have transpired without having champions at DC, like Dave and James Tynion IV, and I hope it is as meaningful for other individuals as it has been for me.”
Kate Kane is the most well known canonically queer member of the sprawling Bat-family members. She debuted as Batwoman in 2006 in the company’s 12 months-prolonged weekly-Television type collection 52, and quickly garnered shock headlines — even while she in the long run experienced a reasonably minor purpose. Gotham Town has slowly and gradually develop into a considerably queerer location due to the fact her introduction, but primarily with villains and secondary figures. The subtext of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy was finally permitted to be text in the early 2010s. Before she (nearly) married Batman, Catwoman briefly experienced a girlfriend. Midnighter became a recurring supporting character in Nightwing stories. Law enforcement detectives Renee Montoya and Maggie Sawyer and the youthful vigilante Bluebird/Harper Row flitted in and out of continuity.
At the exact time, Tim Drake was having difficulties to uncover a new editorial area of interest in Batman tales. From his creation in 1989 until eventually the late ’00s, Tim’s put was straightforward to explain. Dick Grayson was the primary Robin. Jason Todd was the Robin who died. And Tim was the youngest Robin, Batman’s husband or wife. Additional impartial than Dick and far more empathetic than Jason, Tim simply was Robin for two decades of audience, as well as the tremendous audience of Batman: The Animated Series.
That altered with the introduction of Damian Wayne in 2006, developed by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, who was right away put in in Tim’s area as Robin. No longer “the youngest Robin” or even Batman’s major associate, DC has seemed to battle to come across Tim’s new area of interest. 2009 saw him adopt the identification of Pink Robin — you know, like the burger chain? — 2011’s New 52 reboot tried using a drastic revamp of his origin tale, but 2016’s Rebirth relaunch restored the first a person. Most recently, in the internet pages of Youthful Justice, Tim explained he was gonna commence going by the codename “Drake” as an alternative of Purple Robin … but it looks that Infinite Frontier’s improvements have integrated forgetting that that ever occurred and just contacting him Robin once again.
Immediately after 15 decades of flux, Tim’s clearest area of interest is that he’s the Robin who does not pretty know where by he matches in the Bat-relatives, a character who is constantly put in the situation of interrogating his have identity, but who has hardly ever identified a lasting resolution. That by itself could be adequate to make him a position of identification for queer enthusiasts. But Tim has a long historical past of staying read through as not-fully-straight thanks to a fandom passion for pairing him up with fellow Teenager Titan (and very easily queered character) Connor Kent, the Superboy of the 1990s.
“The finest point about doing the job with an founded IP,” Fitzmartin advised Polygon, “is that there are so numerous tale decisions for characters that have currently been produced for you (generally by persons substantially smarter than you). [“Sum of Our Parts”] took place since this is who Tim is. I really like this character very a lot, and as I went back to reread as significantly as I could to do Robin justice, it turned distinct this is the tale Tim necessary to explain to.”
And for those people itching to update many enthusiast-wikis and lists, Fitzmartin says that Tim has not place a label on himself still — nor does this tale delegitimize his many years-long off-again-on-all over again relationship with fellow teen superhero Stephanie Brown/Spoiler.
“I needed to pay back tribute to the fact that sexuality is a journey,” Fitzmartin instructed Polygon. “To be crystal clear, his feelings for Stephanie have been/are 100% genuine, as are his inner thoughts for Bernard. On the other hand, Tim is still figuring himself out. I really don’t believe he has the language for it all… however.”