Coming out is the best thing that’s happened to Robin in a decade

In 2021, Robin realized he had a break down on a boy. It was a angelic report, delivered without a drop of flourish from DC Comics — a report that gave me, a curious reviewer and enormous fan of Robin, the singularly euphoric experience of seeing thwart subtext actually and unexpectedly become textbook. But before I could enjoy it, my on-line discourse-poisoned brain handed me an pressing assignment, and I figuratively sat down at a school desk to do my “ Representation Calculus ” homework .
Marginalized fans know all about Representation Calculus : Is this “ commodity ” representation, or the kind of thin pigeonhole the majority has learned to tolerate ? How much hazard is this capitalistic business actually assuming here, or is it playing things safe and looking for praise ? Is this a character anyone has heard of, or will hear of ever again ? What is the value of this gesture ?
One could construct a proof to show that Tim Drake coming out as fagot rather sucks actually. The hard headline “ Robin just had a curious awakening ” obscures the hard fact of “ The second-most obscure of the five characters who have at one meter been Robin just had a queer awakening. ”
But there ’ s another direction to make the subject for Tim ’ randomness oddity as a internet positivist. No, not because of what Tim Drake can do for gay representation in media, but because of what thwart theatrical performance can do… for Tim Drake.

Who is Tim Drake and why have I not heard of him?

Tim Drake/Robin leaps dramatically from the back of a police car under a hail of bullets, on the cover of Robin #1 (1993).

actually, it ’ s entirely possible that you have. Tim ( with some backstory cribbed from Jason Todd ) was the Robin of The New Batman Adventures, the gently revamped good continuation of Batman : The Animated Series. He got that charge because he was kind of a big cope in the comics, for kind of a long time — it ’ s just that that retentive time was a long time ago .
Tim was the first base Robin to have his own ongoing solo claim, which ran for about 200 issues over 16 years ( ending in 2009 ). That ’ s an unheard-of act for a character in the modern era — or at least one who has never appeared in live-action film .
From 1989 to 2009, Tim was Robin, and the only Robin. Dick Grayson, the first Robin, had been aged up into a different superhero, Nightwing, leader of the vastly popular New Teen Titans series. The second Robin, Jason Todd, had met a frightful fortune due to unpopularity with readers. Tim was the sugared point between them : unlike enough in character and origin from Nightwing to meet a modern earned run average of fans, but with adequate qualities in park to perform Robin ’ s full of life function as Batman ’ s aroused foil. ( Stephanie Brown did take a brief stint in the suit in 2004 that is honored in her modern embodiment, but at the clock time was simply an editorial feint. )
But everything changed when Grant Morrison attacked took the reins of DC ’ s core Gotham series, Batman, and the direction of the Batman mythos. By 2009, the writer had been cultivating the origin story of Damian Wayne — the grandchild of Ra ’ s alabama Ghul and the son Batman never knew he had — for three years, through respective miniseries and crossovers. Following Bruce ’ s apparent mangle in 2009 ’ s Final Crisis event ( he ’ five hundred actually become lost in time ; don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate concern about it ), Nightwing took up his costume as the Batman of Morrison and Frank Quitely ’ randomness Batman and Robin, with Damian as Robin .

Fly away home

It was the third time the role of Robin had been given to a new quality for keeps, but the first time it had happened while there was an existing Robin. Jason Todd ’ s creation was prompted by Nightwing ’ randomness increasing popularity as leader of the Teen Titans quite than Batman ’ s spouse. Tim was created to fill the outer space left by Jason ’ s mangle. To belabor a metaphor, Nightwing and Jason Todd had fledged, but Tim had been forced out of the nest. And in the years since, Tim has flitted from one nest to another, never quite finding one that works .
immediately after Damian took his costume, Tim adopted a new expression and started calling himself Red Robin, a name with some history in DC lore but that is also… well, besides the trademarked name of a chain restaurant. The New 52 boot gave him a completely revamped origin report that lasted merely six years before James “ Tim Drake megafan ” Tynion IV ’ s Detective Comics rolled it back to his old one — in a serial where Tim ’ s inner fight was all about how being Red Robin fit into his personal identity. In 2019, in the pages of Young Justice, Tim changed up his costume well and announced that his new superhero name was just “ Drake, ” a move that thankfully never made it out of the pages of Young Justice .

Tim Drake’s new costume with his new codename, “Drake” is revealed in Young Justice #10, DC Comics (2019).

Tim is always included when the Robins team up, and when he ’ s a writer ’ s favored or associated with a team — he has become a character who gets invited to parties but never throws his own. With every reappearance, creators have tried to address the elephant in the board : Tim has never developed a hard editorial identity other than Robin, Batman ’ s partner .
Dick Grayson is the Robin Who Came First and became Nightwing. Jason Todd is the Robin Who Died, and he came back as the Red Hood. Stephanie Brown is the Robin Who Is a Girl. Damian is the Robin Who Is Batman ’ s Son. Tim… Tim was only always barely Robin. Except he isn ’ thymine. Because Damian is Robin, and has been since 2009.

In a supreme irony, the accumulative and accidental effect of a ten of experimenting with who Tim Drake could be has given him a distinguishing recess : Tim is the Robin Who Doesn ’ thyroxine Know Who He Is .

And that’s queer-coding, baby!

Tearful, Tim Drake/Red Robin explains to Superboy/Conner Kent that in a year where his girlfriend, dad, and best friend died, the one person he tried to bring back from the dead was Superboy, in Adventure Comics #3 (2009).

now, to be clean, years before Damian happened along, queer fans had looked at Tim Drake — the nerdy, empathic kid who became Robin because he romanticized the Batman and Robin partnership and seemed more emotionally invested in his friendship with Superboy than any of his on-again-off-again girlfriends — and said “ He ’ south one of ours. ” Tim ’ s decade-long crisis of identity is actually just ink over pencil lines .
And he ’ sulfur not alone in this kind of column coming-out story, joining the ranks of characters like Iceman, Wonder Woman, Kitty Pryde, and Mystique. The list of superheroes unintentionally or intentionally coded as fagot who have never canonically been brought out of the water closet because of homophobia is retentive and depressing. “ Refreshing ” is excessively mild a word to describe a creator looking at a queer-coded fictional character who needed something to distinguish him from his straight cohorts, and actually getting to make him queer .
But wait, I can hear the comments already : indeed nowadays Tim is equitable The Robin Who Is Gay ? Come on Susana, queer people are more than merely their oddity ! That ’ s bad representation !
It ’ s a salient argumentation, and I ’ ve given it a lot of opinion, leading to one conclusion : I don ’ thymine care. For one matter, Tim Drake international relations and security network ’ t a person, he ’ s a series of creative decisions dating back to 1989. For another, Kate Kane is jewish and an Army veteran and has a rather different motivation than Bruce Wayne. That hasn ’ thyroxine stopped anyone from reducing her depressed to “ lesbian Batman ” and it never will. ( besides, “ Lesbian Batman ” is objectively amazing. )
A thwart realization fits Tim narratively, solves his core column lack, and opens up new options for storytelling. Chip Zdarsky told me as much when I reached out to him about his approaching run on Batman, for which he picked Tim — not Damian, Dick, or Jason — as the Dark Knight ’ second featured partner .

Batman spreads his cape on the wraparound cover of Batman #125 (2022). A jagged line of bullet holes marks the wall to his right. Across his chest is superimposed a small image of Robin/Tim Drake leaping with cape unfurled.

Among other things, the writer said via e-mail, “ Bruce besides is worried about Tim and the lie of the bat-family, all struggling to find that balance between fighting crime and their personal lives. Tim being curious and more comfortable with who he is shows that there ’ s a stronger path to happiness for him in life. ”

And, if I may be strictly cynical for a moment, Tim ’ sulfur homosexuality besides gives future DC Comics column an imperative mood reason to keep him in the limelight. If the thwart Robin never appears in comics ? not a great look ! From the strictly mercantile point of view of a person who just wants to read more Tim Drake stories, it ’ sulfur fantastic that this once central, now little-known character can be boosted aboard DC ’ s other curious superheroes with his inclusion in DC ’ second 2022 Pride anthology, his Pride one-shot special that collected his coming out report with new corporeal, and in Tim Drake : Robin, his beginning alone ongoing series since 2011, to be written by Meghan Fitzmartin and drawn by Belén Ortega, the creative team who walked him out of the closet in the first place .

‘The second-most obscure Robin just had a queer awakening’

Tim Drake/Robin stands awkwardly near his smiling date, his old friend Bernard, as narration boxes recall how seeing him again — before their date was ruined by “chaos monsters” — brought “so many feelings to the surface” in DC Pride 2022.

What they don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate tell you in Representation Calculus 101 is that Representation Calculus sucks actually ! There ’ second no such thing as perfect representation. We have a son for expecting a single character or godhead to shoulder all the weight of normalizing the underrepresented : It ’ sulfur tokenism. In the utopian future we ’ re all endeavor for, it will actually be great when person introduces a Black Spider-Man, a lesbian Batwoman, a female Thor, GNC penis of the Flash syndicate, or a trans ally of Supergirl and there are no press releases written about it, no articles, no breathless headlines — because it ’ ll be arsenic normal as “ Dog Bites Man. ”
Tim Drake ’ s story speaks to what advocates for diverseness can forget and homophobes would preferably ignore : There are legitimate reasons to give a long-standing straightaway quality a coming-out narrative beyond “ more diverseness is more. ” Or to put it in painfully obvious terms : transfer and diversity are storytelling tools, and refusing to use them is nothing but a self-imposed disadvantage .

reference :
Category : Marvel vs DC

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