Timothy Drake and the Robins
Personally, I like the robins. They give a different, fresh perspective to the batman franchise. I thought I liked Dick Grayson the most (because Dick Grayson is always Dick Grayson), (I did enjoy Damian and Jason as red hood, though I heard people hated Jason as robin) but after reading Red Robin, it’s fo sho Tim Drake. I guess what makes Tim different is that he’s the robin that has the most screen-time post crisis. DC has experimented the most with its comics post-crisis (sadly, probably a sign of failing sales), including long story arcs, crossovers, jason’s death, etc, etc. People like Bruce, Dick, and most others heroes/villains were already well established by then, so DC really couldn’t do much to change them (though most did become darker over time), except Jason (but let’s face it, pre-crisis Jason was boring even if he was a non-offensive copy of Dick)…. But anyways. Not Tim. Tim was given a chance to develop and grow (as does Damian, however it’s still much too early to judge anything Damian related – so if I don’t mention Damian it’ll be for that reason) and he does.
As far as robins go, Dick is the circus boy, Jason is the street orphan, Damian is the spoiled brat, and Tim is the ordinary kid. Both his parents are alive, they care for him (lest his father does after his mon dies, though his step-mom cares for him too), etc. In terms of skills, Dick is the acrobat, Jason is the street-wise, Damian is the fighter, and Tim is the detective.
At first, Tim has no intention of staying as robin. He thinks of it as something temporary (waiting for what kind of replacement, I have no idea) and plays the good robin (in comparaison to Jason). I think what held Tim back the most was his parents and the pain of lying to them. Unlike Bruce or Dick he has a regular life he has to commit to – not as a cover, but as a true, ordinary life he’s expected to have…
Aside from that little hint in teen titans, there are a few key events deaths that change tim’s outlook.
Stephanie’s death is a Quasi-one. Although it convinced him to take up the identity of robin again, I think Tim would have done it eventually anyways. Most important is the death of his father. The death of John Blake takes away any obligation Tim has for his regular life (no more daddy saying what to do or worrying over him) and essentially makes him like Bruce or Dick or Jason. Whatever held Tim back was now gone. Next would be the death of Bruce. That removes Tim completely away from the influence of his mentor and allows him to develop on his own. Even when Bruce returns, the difference is still there, Tim is still no longer robin, and he’s still very much on his own.
At the end of red robin, Tim is the ex-robin the most like Bruce. What separates batman from most other superheroes is his detective skills, which are tim’s strongest point. Seriously. Even ra’s al-ghul calls him detective.
(serious shit going on right there).
Then theres the mysterious creator of the assassin’s tournament, who makes another hint at tim’s future. Tim is rather manipulative like Bruce, dark, with more of a personal struggle between right and wrong than do the other characters (like, what ends justify the means?).
And like Bruce, Tim uses people. Though let me put it out there, Bruce sucks at anything that has to do with human relationships. Even when you don’t include women. Bruce manipulates people only because those people are oh so very eager to please him (I mean just about everyone – the robins, batgirls, huntress, etc etc. They’re all looking for his approval). Tim’s a little better. He’s much more closer with his friends (that’s one of they key differences between Tim and Bruce – he isn’t afraid of getting close to people) and isn’t afraid of letting them help him.
But Tim manipulates people friends and even enemies – by calculating all of their possible actions and reactions – and then adjusting them so that they work in his favor. Combine this with his intellect (who was it that said Tim was only 17?) and you get a very scary result.
(Tim always gets along with Dick though. Everyone does. How could you not like Dick’s personality?)
And of course, the breakup with tam. It’s very very unusual for a breakup. Usually in the batman franchise they involve a distance created by the “nighttime job,” or a difference in alliance with the good/bad side, or a reintroduction of an old love interest, or a drifting away caused by distance, or even a death. All of them pretty much involve the issue of being a masked hero. But nope. Not Tim. Tam breaks up with him because though she thinks the idea of red robin is cool, she thinks Tim as a person is an ass.
That isn’t to say though that Tim doesn’t have his happy/positive/good times. It’s just the note that it ended on. Either way, I’m pissed that Tim doesn’t have his own title in the new 52. Teen Titans just doesn’t cut it. Plus it goes to hell with all his character development and mellows him out and puts it there from the start. Oh well. Restarts.
Hm. That’s all I can think of right now. I’m sure I had more to say but I forgot. Guess that’s the end of my non-proofread rant on Tim.
P.S. apologies for so many pics. Couldn’t resist myself