Tim Drake is the Robin who isn’t seriously confident how to be Robin anymore — but in this week’s Batman: City Legends, he’s figured at the very least one matter out. A wonderful boy asked him out on a date, and Tim said indeed.
That helps make him the initially new LGBTQ member of Batman’s fast spouse and children in 15 years, since Batwoman herself.
Batman: City Legends is a single of DC’s new anthology series. In every issue, many imaginative groups share an episode of numerous ongoing tales starring figures below the Gotham City umbrella. Above several issues, Author Meghan Fitzmartin (DC Superhero Girls, Long run State: Robin Eternal) and artist Belén Ortega (Sensational Question Female, Captain Marvel) have crafted “Sum of Our Components,” a tale in which Tim Drake tries to defeat a mysterious new villain who captured his aged close friend Bernard.
In “Sum of Our Elements,” Tim wrestles with uncertainty in a way that has develop into core to his character above the very last decade. He feels as though he does not know what he wishes, until Bernard — not knowing that Robin and Tim are the very same human being — wistfully refers to their interrupted evening meal as a “date,” and Tim has “a lightbulb moment.”
At the finish of this episode of the tale, Bernard asks Tim out on a actual date, and Tim happily accepts.
“When Dave [Wielgosz] (my editor for Batman: Urban Legends) reached out about doing a further Tim tale, I was thrilled,” Fitzmartin instructed Polygon by means of electronic mail. “We talked about the place Tim Drake has been vs in which he was at the time and came to the conclusion that it wanted to be a story about identification and discovery. What was upcoming for Boy Ponder?”
She suggests she invested times pondering it more than in advance of emailing back to say “Look, I do not know if this is some thing that can transpire, but this is the story, due to the fact it’s the only tale it can be.”
Even after she got the go-in advance, Fitzmartin states it took some time to take in the strategy that she was heading to develop a coming out story for a Robin — and a pretty recognized model of Robin at that. “I thoroughly sat on the flooring of my apartment for a sound two minutes in joy as it sunk in. In the end, this would not have happened without the need of champions at DC, like Dave and James Tynion IV, and I hope it is as meaningful for other folks as it has been for me.”
Kate Kane is the most outstanding canonically queer member of the sprawling Bat-spouse and children. She debuted as Batwoman in 2006 in the company’s year-very long weekly-Television set model collection 52, and promptly garnered shock headlines — even even though she ultimately had a pretty small purpose. Gotham Town has slowly but surely turn out to be a considerably queerer area because her introduction, but generally with villains and secondary people. The subtext of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy was lastly allowed to be text in the early 2010s. Just before she (just about) married Batman, Catwoman briefly had a girlfriend. Midnighter became a recurring supporting character in Nightwing stories. Police detectives Renee Montoya and Maggie Sawyer and the young vigilante Bluebird/Harper Row flitted in and out of continuity.
At the exact same time, Tim Drake was having difficulties to locate a new editorial niche in Batman stories. From his development in 1989 right until the late ’00s, Tim’s place was uncomplicated to make clear. Dick Grayson was the first Robin. Jason Todd was the Robin who died. And Tim was the youngest Robin, Batman’s lover. Much more unbiased than Dick and far more empathetic than Jason, Tim basically was Robin for two decades of visitors, as very well as the huge audience of Batman: The Animated Series.
That transformed with the introduction of Damian Wayne in 2006, developed by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, who was quickly put in in Tim’s place as Robin. No more time “the youngest Robin” or even Batman’s key associate, DC has seemed to wrestle to discover Tim’s new specialized niche. 2009 noticed him adopt the identity of Purple Robin — you know, like the burger chain? — 2011’s New 52 reboot tried a drastic revamp of his origin story, but 2016’s Rebirth relaunch restored the first one. Most a short while ago, in the web pages of Youthful Justice, Tim reported he was gonna start out likely by the codename “Drake” in its place of Pink Robin … but it looks that Infinite Frontier’s changes have incorporated forgetting that that ever occurred and just contacting him Robin once more.
Immediately after 15 years of flux, Tim’s clearest market is that he’s the Robin who does not rather know wherever he matches in the Bat-relatives, a character who is persistently put in the place of interrogating his individual identity, but who has in no way discovered a long lasting resolution. That by yourself could be ample to make him a stage of identification for queer supporters. But Tim has a lengthy record of getting study as not-absolutely-straight many thanks to a fandom passion for pairing him up with fellow Teenager Titan (and conveniently queered character) Connor Kent, the Superboy of the 1990s.
“The biggest detail about functioning with an founded IP,” Fitzmartin advised Polygon, “is that there are so many story decisions for people that have now been designed for you (generally by persons a lot smarter than you). [“Sum of Our Parts”] happened mainly because this is who Tim is. I adore this character extremely considerably, and as I went again to reread as a great deal as I could to do Robin justice, it grew to become clear this is the tale Tim wanted to tell.”
And for these itching to update several fan-wikis and lists, Fitzmartin says that Tim hasn’t set a label on himself yet — nor does this tale delegitimize his a long time-prolonged off-again-on-all over again partnership with fellow teenager superhero Stephanie Brown/Spoiler.
“I required to pay out tribute to the reality that sexuality is a journey,” Fitzmartin told Polygon. “To be distinct, his feelings for Stephanie have been/are 100% genuine, as are his emotions for Bernard. Having said that, Tim is however figuring himself out. I really don’t assume he has the language for it all… nonetheless.”