Robin Writer Discusses Tim Drake’s New Big Adventure

by Steven Lee Sharpe
0 comment

By now you’ve hopefully had a chance to read Tim Drake: Robin #1. If you haven’t, it’s really worth a look. It’s rare that a new series can start with a long-running character in such a new phase in his life and Meghan Fitzmartin, the writer of the series, has been talking to about what an exciting time it is for Tim Drake, answering questions about continuity and teasing information about the future of the series.

Even in the long history of superheroes, Tim Drake’s been on a unique, somewhat pioneering journey – that of coming to terms with his bisexuality. This started in Batman: Urban Legends, where Tim showed how bravery comes in many forms; in facing up to his feelings for his friend Bernard and in his coming-out conversation with Batman.

Bernard’s Background

The story was written by Fitzmartin, as was the continuation in the DC Pride: Tim Drake Special, so she’s well-placed to talk about Tim’s character arc, including picking Bernard Dowd as his boyfriend. This choice came from wanting to have a character with links to Tim’s past.

Referring to Bernard’s appearance in the 1990s Robin run, written by Bill Willingham, she says:

I wanted it to be somebody from his background. I didn’t want it to be an original character. I remember those comics. I remember reading them when I was a kid and how impactful that was to me. I love those runs. I love being able to see Bernard and Tim in those times and spaces, and so to sort of give a new tint to what was going on there is really interesting—being able to look at the canon and go, “So this is what was happening, but we didn’t have this information, or this shading.”

For the new series, Fitzmartin felt it was time to move on from the sexual identity issues that had been wrestled with in Batman: Urban Legends. She confirms in the interview that Tim’s parents are dead in this continuity, which is why Batman’s acceptance of Tim’s coming out was so important. So, with that done, the question now is what’s next for the relationship? The answer, I feel, shows Fitzmartin’s assured handle on Tim Drake’s character – he’s hyper-protective of it.

Tim Drake: Robin: Over-Thinker

She refers to his track record in dating, adding to that the fact that he is newly out, which leads him to fear the impact of confessing to his Robin persona. Again, in a nicely judged twist of character, Bernard is a model of assured acceptance. There won’t be the Lois Lane-type prying. Ironically, this may or may not be a good thing or not for over-thinker Tim.

She says:

Bernard is a very understanding person who is like, “This is fine, whatever, I trust you, I love you, whatever this is, I’m fine with it.” I think Tim is more like, “WHAT?! What does that mean? Does he hate me?” And Bernard is like, “At no point did I say any of those words.” … Tim is still trying to settle into the fact that this is safe and this is good.

In the new series, Tim lives on a moored boat at the marina. The boat seems to be a perfect metaphor for the semi-permanence of where he finds himself in his life. It’s great to discover that Fitzmartin is drawing on her own experience of living on a boat. It’s also rather thrilling when she points out that, although we’ve seen docks before in Gotham, this is the first time we’ve explored the marina.

The Future

So, what of the future? There’s no mention of the panel in the first issue that teases a new costume. She also reports that Tim and Damian Wayne will travel separately on their own paths for the time being. Of the future villain of the story, she only points out that Tim is a detective, similar to Sherlock Holmes,  and she will aim to develop his very own version of Moriarty.

When it’s noted that she’s also writing Dark Crisis: Young Justice, she isn’t drawn on whether they will make an appearance in Tim Drake: Robin saying, rather intriguingly, that it depends on how the team looks by the end of the series.

As for the reference to Tim Drake and Connor Kent briefly holding hands in the DC Pride: Tim Drake Special, she answers with all the skills of a politician:

That’s definitely something that I’ve heard about and am aware of and it will be more of a discussion point in later issues of certain comic brands that are happening right now.

These really are pioneering times.

You can see the full interview with Meghan Fitzmartin at Tim Drake: Robin #1 is on sale now.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

You may also like