we will. This Finally finished.
After 80 long years, the barrage of ridicule, slander and insinuation is finally over. For decades, homophobes looking to get cheap jokes and eccentric lovers have been pained to see themselves in the comics they love sharing an unlikely common goal – getting Robin, Batman’s trusted friend, out of the closet.
And this week, in the capital’s Illustrated Anthology pages Batman: Urban Legends #6, Robin comes out. He rescues his friend from the hand of a villain and experiences a flash of insight, the “lamp moment” – and then, in his civic identity, accepts his friend’s offer of a date.
Some points of the system:
1. This is not the original Robin, the free-moving stuntman introduced by Dick Grayson in 1940, who grew up as his Nightwing superhero.
2. Not the second Robin, Jason Todd, who is best known for dying a bit (it’s improved, it’s a comics) and has adopted his own violent, anti-heroic identity for The Red Hood.
3. Nor is he the fourth Robin, Damian Wayne, the son of Batman who was raised by an international cadre of environmental killers/terrorists. (See above, in connection with: comics.)
4. No, this is the third Robin, Tim Drake, Robin who resembles his mentor in thought and behaviour.
Tim was created by Marv Wolfman and Pat Broderick in 1989 in the wake of Jason Todd’s death. He discovers Batman’s identity and urges Dick Grayson to reprise his old role and costume, imploring him that “Batman needs Robin.” When Grayson declined, Tim took on the role himself. (There was always an element, in that story, about Tim as kind of a teenager Dick Cheney leading the Bush VP search committee, but let that go.)
You’ll see some coverage declaring Tim has come across as bisexual, but that’s not technically true. Yes, he dated fellow spoiled champ (Stephanie Brown) on and off. But his journey is just beginning, and Tim is still discovering himself – he hasn’t applied any definitive labels to himself yet, and neither have his makers.
This only makes sense, given who Tim Drake is.
A slew of different creators have written Robin for Tim Drake over the years, but one clear and consistent line has emerged: It’s analytical, self-critical and prone to overthinking. In recent years, after being replaced by Robin from li’l Damien Wayne, he’s questioned his place in the Pat family, going so far as to rename himself the totally awful and confusing name “Red Robin,” despite neither showing a penchant for fast food burgers. Nor does the bobbing bob pop, and then still, “Drake”.
That’s it, just “Drake”.
Like “Sher”. or “Madonna”. Or “Beyoncé”.
… yes we are truly We should have seen this coming.
I’m only half joking. Think about it: Tim legally discovered Batman and Robin’s secret identities by closely monitoring their exploits in news coverage. He recognized their signature movements, and analyzed their body language. Meaning: He watched these two men with the kind of agonizing attention that gay readers know all too well.
It also makes sense that his exit process is one of pause and introspection. Writer Megan Fitzmartin captures the central yawning inner disconnect between what we are told we should be and what we really are:
Have you had a flashlight moment? Like something out of the ether mocking you and harassing you. You know, you’re supposed to be on the same page as your mind but not everything makes sense. People constantly ask me what I want… but I just couldn’t understand it. Whatever it was, it always felt like it was out of reach. So far. Until now.
Whatever the specific message or characters of a queer primal, LGBTQIA + Tim will eventually resonate, joining a growing cast of superheroes and superheroes such as Northstar, Batwoman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Iceman, Apollo, Midnighter, and Golden Age Green Lantern. However, none of them share the level of public recognition with anything approaching that of Robin, Wonder Boy.
Robin was the first superhero friendly, and he entered the global public consciousness through comics, films, television, games, toys, and sheets. It is a vital part of Batman’s personality. His role, over the years, has been to provide light and humor to calm the darkness of the Caped Crusader. theses It was written, And Entire chapters of books (well received!) devoted to, The strange subtext in the Batman/Robin relationship. in a batman forever (1995) and batman and robin (1997), the late director Joel Schumacher did everything in his power to turn this grotesque script into a leathery island script.
But today… well. Incredibly enough, for those of us who have waited for years, Robin just came and said it himself, in the pages Batman: Urban Legends #6.
“…always felt so far fetched. Until now. Until now.”