Tim Drake, the Best Robin AS Robin, Is the Newest LGBTQ Mainstream Comic Book Character
Really, we know all the Robins are a little bit queer. Take that, Mineta.
Tim Drake, the third official Robin, has become the newest LGBTQ character in the world of mainstream comics.
In Batman: Urban Legends #6, Tim Drake thinks,
Ever had a lightbulb moment? Like something out of the ether taunting and teasing you. Like you know you’re supposed to be on the same page as your brain but not everything made sense. People keep asking me what I want … But I couldn’t grasp it. Whatever it was, it always felt just out of reach. Until now. Until right now.
Then, he goes to the door of a boy, Bernard, and is asked out on a date. He accepts.
Gay agenda unlocked.
Meghan Fitzmartin wrote the story for DC Comics and spoke to Polygon about getting to write about Tim Drake and bringing us this moment.
“We talked about where Tim Drake has been vs where he was at the time and came to the conclusion that it needed to be a story about identity and discovery. What was next for Boy Wonder?” Fizmartin said. After thinking it over, she emailed her editor back: “Look, I don’t know if this is something that can happen, but this is the story, because it’s the only story it can be.”
She got the green light and was very overwhelmed that she would be doing this for a Robin—and a very popular Robin, to boot: “I fully sat on the floor of my apartment for a solid two minutes in happiness as it sunk in. Ultimately, this wouldn’t have happened without champions at DC, like Dave and James Tynion IV, and I hope it is as meaningful for others as it has been for me..”
“The greatest thing about working with an established IP,” Fitzmartin told Polygon, “is that there are so many story decisions for characters that have already been made for you (often by people much smarter than you). [“Sum of Our Parts”] happened because this is who Tim is. I love this character very much, and as I went back to reread as much as I could to do Robin justice, it became clear this is the story Tim needed to tell.”
There is no label on Tim Drake’s sexuality, and Fizmartin said that “his feelings for Stephanie have been/are 100% real, as are his feelings for Bernard. However, Tim is still figuring himself out. I don’t think he has the language for it all… yet.” Well, the bi/poly alliance has our paws on him for now. When Tim figures it out, we will love him regardless.
It would be remiss for us to talk about one of the Robins coming out of the closet without talking about how the idea of Batman and Robin being gay has scared the sh*t out of people over the years.
As NPR put it:
After 80 long years, the fusillade of sneers, slurs and innuendos are finally done with. For decades, homophobes looking to land cheap jokes and queer fans aching to see themselves in the comics they love have shared an unlikely common goal — to shove Robin, Batman’s trusty sidekick, out of the closet.
Seduction of the Innocent was a book that came out in 1954 by German-born American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham. It warned that comic books were dangerous to children and among the many sins he saw.
“The Batman type of story may stimulate children to homosexual fantasies, of the nature of which they may be unconscious,” he wrote. “Only someone ignorant of the fundamentals of psychiatry and of the psychopathology of sex can fail to realize a subtle atmosphere of homoeroticism which pervades the adventures of the mature ‘Batman’ and his young friend Robin.”
That sounds like a you issue, Wertham. Yet, this prompted the creation of Batgirl. Burt Ward, Robin from the ’60s Batman TV series, said that he could see that homoerotic subtext, and the late great Joel Schumacher openly leaned into that with his 1995 film Batman Forever.
Queerness has always been a part of the Batfamily, and it is great to see it evolve into something beyond a joke, or homophobic riffing—just a normal, organic piece of modern comic writing.
(via Polygon, image: DC Comics)
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