So, unless you live under a rock, the comic community had some big news this week. In Batman: Urban Legend #6 by DC Comics, writer Meghan Fitzmartin ended her current installment with Tim Drake accepting a date from his male friend Bernard. Many throughout the comic community have responded with comments on both sides of the spectrum. Some have trolled the heck out of this reveal while others have revered the “closet opening”. Now, truth be told, many have inadvertently been promoting the idea of a Robin (in general) being gay for years from slurs to ignorant jokes and even innuendos. It’s been a mainstay from the community. Right or wrong, the premise of Robin’s sexuality has been in readers’ minds for decades. So, what’s the big deal? Why are so many people angry about this? Heck, why are so many people excited about this? And, why does this seem to be so polarizing? Let’s dive in and check it out.
LET’S GET THINGS STRAIGHT
Tim Drake is the third Robin. Therefore, to those trolls out there only reading the titles of so many articles, Robin is not gay nor has he “come out of the closet” after 80 years. It’s Tim Drake, the third Robin, who’s only been around since 1989. Plus, we technically aren’t made aware if he is gay, bisexual, or any sexual connotation at this point per Meghan Fitzmartin. All that we know is that Tim Drake is accepting a date with a friend named Bernard. Therefore, all signs are pointing towards Tim Drake taking a deeper exploration of his sexuality. Hence, an exact classification may be premature. However, when Batman: Urban Legend #10 hits stores, I have a feeling things will become a bit more clear.
That being said, to those fans suggesting that the “signs” have been around since his Teen Titans days with Connor Kent, I too have to ask that we pump the breaks. Being 2021 as well as the development of social media and frankly our culture, there has been a heavier push towards the promotion of the LGBTQIA+ community in pop culture. So much so in fact, that it’s rather difficult now for two men or two women to walk, talk, or hang out together without someone thinking they’re homosexual.
Look no further than the Falcon and Winter Soldier on Disney Plus as proof of our current social media landscape pushing the idea of two men working close together… and being gay. Well, folks, Tim and Connor were like brothers. Fans can certainly push whatever sexual classification on the two they’d like. However, two men (and two women for that matter) can be close friends, best friends, or even as close as siblings and not have a physical attraction towards each other.
Furthermore, Tim Drake has had multiple romantic relationships with multiple women. Tim’s first love was Ariana Dzerchenko. In a Marvel vs DC Crossover event, Tim had what appeared to be a relationship with Jubilee. Or how about Greta Hayes, Darla Acquista, Zoanne Wilkins, Lynx II, or even Barbara Gordon in the Arkham Knights Universe? And to those that say, “who are those people?”
Ok… how about some more notable names like Tamara Fox, Lucius Fox’s daughter? Or Cassie Sandsmark also known as Wonder Girl? And, we certainly can’t forget about the on-again-off-again relationship with Stephanie Brown whose been Spoiler and even Batgirl. And as relationships go, that one was certainly pretty serious. Drake was willing to hang up his cleats for her.
SO, IS TIM DRAKE BI/ GAY?
According to Meghan Fitzmartin who’s writing the character currently, Yes! Case closed. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what you or I think. The writer is saying it and therefore it’s the truth. So, people angry or upset need to simply let it go. Tim Drake is a fictional comic book character! In the larger picture, does Tim Drake’s romantic relationships really affect the character or his history? No! He’s still the same Drake that he was. He’s still the same character everyone loved last month as he is this month. Whether writers or fans want to argue that there has always been this “tension” scratching the surface with Tim and Connor or anyone else for that matter is irrelevant. As of Batman: Urban Legend #6, it appears as though Tim Drake is exploring his sexuality. And afterward, he’s either going to be gay or bisexual. End of discussion. So once again, everyone angry or upset needs to stop and ultimately move on.
CHANGE IS DIFFICULT
Writers change things about characters all the time. Sure, it may not be their sexuality BUT sometimes it’s ideas or actions even more pertinent to the character that drastically change the dynamic, personality, or even foundation of the hero. Look no further than Heroes in Crisis where Tom King made Wally West a murderer.
Or how about that time Monarch was leaked as being Captain Atom so the writers quickly switched it to Hawk? Does anyone remember when Wonder Woman lost per powers, wore a pants suit, and learned karate? How about Justice League DETROIT!?!? Or does anyone remember the time people tried to make Nightcrawler the Pope? Maybe people have forgotten the Xorn/ Magneto controversy? And, we can’t ignore the time Commissioner Gordon, as well as Azrael were both also Batman.
LOVE THE DRAKE OR HATE THE DRAKE
Truthfully, fans get so incredibly attached to these characters and look to them as an escape. It’s hard to accept normal change in our lives let alone within our fictional safe space. However, the past practice of all the above-mentioned dictates that this will eventually just become something from the past. It will eventually blend into the ether. Now, I’m not suggesting it will be changed back like some of the above. I’m merely suggesting that humanity has a short memory. Anyone living in the US seems to forget that 2021 kicked off with an insurrection at our very own Capitol. Need I say more? Like Alan Scott and Bobby Drake before him, the change will happen and it will be accepted. So, to all the haters out there, you just need to stop
SHOULD THE CHANGE HAVE HAPPENED?
Now, here’s the $144,000 question. I understand the premise and the idea. However, I feel like the character choice was wrong. Ultimately, I feel DC Comics wanted a reasonably splashy name but nothing too big. Otherwise, they could have made Space Cabbie or even someone like the Human Target gay. So, DC was obviously looking to grab some headlines and turn heads with the choice they made. Nevertheless, I feel like the better Avenue would be to take a brand new character or a character without a romantic history on paper and introduce his/her sexuality that way.
For example, John Ridley’s Batman run is getting some serious attention. Readers, it’s fantastic and I highly recommend everyone reading this article to give it a look. However, Jace Fox as Batman fits what I’m saying perfectly and hits the high-profile markers for DC Comics. What if he was not only Batman but also bisexual or gay? Sure, anyone invested in the character would know that his current backstory had Jace involved in a tragic accident after his girlfriend at the time turned down his “romantic advancements”. Therefore, that puts a minor wrinkle into my analogy. Nevertheless, the example was purely that… and example of a newer character currently doing well at DC and high-profile.
Tim Drake has a long-standing history of dating women. Not one relationship like Jace Fox at age 17, but 30 plus years of relationships. And, a pretty serious one with Stephanie Brown rather recently. Could he have been hiding his real feelings towards men like Connor Kent? I suppose. However, it just doesn’t seem logical or realistic. Anyone can “come out” whenever and however they want. So according to Meghan Fitzmartin, that’s exactly what Tim Drake is doing right now. Sorry (not sorry) to all those angry about it. However, I can understand the argument that his sexual exploration seems rather timely, forced and pushed by DC Comics. I’d much rather have seen something more organic.
Therefore, if the argument from the angry mob is more about a pushed agenda than the character itself, well then that’s a different conversation entirely. And if that’s the case, then open, courteous, and kind dialogue needs to be shared. Hopefully, this article helped shed some light on both sides. And, please feel free to share, talk, and discuss politely. Deep down, I still feel good conversation can exist in the world today and this could be the perfect opportunity for just that. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God bless!
Now, if you’re interested in catching up on TIM DRAKE, click HERE to get past issues and trades from Amazon or any of the links above! And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for checking out the article as well as your continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.