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DC Is Exploring Robin's Sexuality In A New Batman Comic

While Dick Grayson was the first person to fight crime alongside Batman as Robin, four other individuals have inherited that sidekick mantle in the main DC Comics continuity over the decades (even more when you factor in other universes/timelines). This includes Tim Drake, who debuted in in 1989’s Batman #436 and became the third Robin the following issue. Tim continues to be an important member of the Bat-Family, and this week marked a huge turning point in the character’s development. After over three decades of existence, it’s been revealed that Tim is bisexual.

This big moment came in Batman: Urban Legends #6, the latest issue of an anthology series packed with various stories about important characters in Gotham City. Among these has been “Sum of Our Parts,” A Tim Drake-centric story written by Meghan Fitzmartin and illustrated by Belén Ortega. The story saw Tim fighting a mysterious new villain who’d kidnapped Bernard, a childhood friend of his. Needless to say that Tim successfully accomplished this mission when all was said and done, but “Sum of Our Parts” also saw him struggling with his complicated feelings about Bernard, whom he hadn’t seen in years. There’s also a moment in the story where Tim, who’s suited up as Robin, and Bernard, who doesn’t know Tim and Robin are one and the same, asks Robin to tell Tim that he helped him realize his “true self,” and that he wishes they could have finished their “date,” i.e their earlier dinner.

This leads to a proverbial lightbulb clicking on in Tim Drake’s head, and by the end of “Sum of Our Parts” in Batman: Urban Legends #6, he accepts Bernard’s invitation to a second date. Although fans had speculated for years that Tim wasn’t entirely straight, particularly when it came to his friendship with Connor Kent, a.k.a. Superboy, now it’s officially canon that Tim is bisexual. He’s the first new LGBTQ member of the immediate Bat-Family to be unveiled since Kate Kane, a.k.a. Batwoman, who was introduced in the 52 maxi-series 15 years ago. Other Batman-affiliated characters who are part of the LGBTQ community include Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Renee Montoya and Harper Row.

As for how this development for Tim Drake came about, Meghan Fitzmartin informed Polygon that she and her editor, Dave Wielgosz, realized “Sum of Our Parts” needed to be about “identity and discovery,” and from there it evolved into a coming-out story. Fitzmartin wanted to pay tribute to “the fact that sexuality is a journey,” and clarified that Tim’s feelings for both Bernard and Stephanie Brown (a fellow Robin who’s also gone by Spoiler and Batgirl) are “100% real.” The writer also stated:

The greatest thing about working with an established IP 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.

Tim Drake’s story with Bernard will continue in Batman: Urban Legends #10, and he’ll also be leading the newly-announced Robins book with Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne, with the first issue hitting DC Universe Infinite on October 26, followed by its print release on November 16. Tim’s bisexuality being explored comes right before The Batman actor Jay Lycurgo debuts as Tim in Titans Season 3, which will also introduce Savannah Welch as Barbara Gordon and Vincent Kartheiser’s Scarecrow, as well as see Curran Walters’ Jason Todd becoming The Red Hood.

You’ll be able to catch the first three episodes of Titans Season 3 starting tomorrow, August 12, with a new episode to follow each Thursday. Meanwhile in the cinematic realm, Matt Reeves’ The Batman will be released on March 4, 2022, Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck are reprising their respective versions of the Dark Knight The Flash in November 2022, a Batgirl movie in development for HBO Max and Nightwing is still on the table.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.