Tim Drake is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Marv Wolfman and Pat Broderick and first appeared in Batman #436(1939) and was the third character to take up the mantle of Robin. Following the events in Batman: Battle for the Cowl, he has taken up the identity of Red Robin. With the continuity changes after the DC Comics relaunch, it had been suggested in the Teen Titans series that Tim Drake never took up the Robin mantle officially, but rather was Batman's sidekick under the name Red Robin; however, this is contradicted by various issues, as well as stories by Scott Snyder (Batman series) and Peter J. Tomasi (Batman & Robin series), all of which make references to Tim Drake's time as Robin.
Created by Marv Wolfman and Pat Broderick and first appeared in Batman #436(1939). Tim Drake was named after Tim Burton, director of the then-upcoming 1989 film, and introduced in 1989's Batman: Year Three and his origin detailed in Batman: A Lonely Place of Dying, in which he first introduced himself to Dick Grayson and impressed the former Robin with his skills. This led to Grayson and later Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's butler, to support Tim's request to be Batman's new partner. Not wanting to make the same mistake as he did with Jason Todd, Batman had Tim endure an intensive period of training that was never given to his predecessors. Eventually Tim proves his capability and becomes Robin. Batman editor Dennis O'Neil hoped that Grayson's approval of Drake would ease reader acceptance of him. Evidently, this approach was successful with the character being so accepted by readers that, after three successful miniseries, the character had his own 183-issue series from 1993 through 2009. Mike Mullins on Newsarama has stated:
Throughout [the entire Robin series], the character of Robin has been captured consistently, showing him to step up to greater and greater challenges. Robin is a character who shows initiative and is driven to do what he views as right. He knows he is living up to a legacy left by Dick Grayson and strives to not disappoint Bruce Wayne, Batman. Tim is a more natural detective than previous Robins and is talented with computers, which allows him to stand in his own unique spotlight. Unlike his predecessors, Tim is not the most proficient combatant and has had to really work on his fighting technique, taking up the bo staff to give him an edge that Batman doesn’t need. Tim almost always seeks to analyze a problem and to outthink his opponent but has shown the ability to win a fight when necessary.
As Robin, the character has also been featured prominently in the Young Justice and 2003 Teen Titans series. As of June 2009, he took on the new identity of Red Robin, starring in yet another series by the same name.
Tim Drake is the son of Jack Drake and Janet Drake, coming from the same social class as Bruce Wayne. When he was a young child, he visited the circus for the first time with his parents. The Drakes asked the Flying Graysons for a photo together, resulting in a momentary bond between Tim and Dick Grayson as they met for the first time.
After reaching the age of nine, Drake deduces the identities of Batman and Robin as Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson after witnessing a gymnastic move by Robin that Grayson displayed while performing with the Flying Graysons. Inspired by the heroes, Tim trains himself in martial arts, acrobatic, and detective works. Noting that Batman has grown reckless and violent following the second Robin (Jason Todd) being murdered by the Joker, Drake decided to intervene and Batman eventually enlisted him as the third Robin after his mother's death and his father's paralysis.
Before joining Batman as the third Robin, Tim Drake was given a modern redesign of the Robin costume and sent to train abroad with numerous masters. When Bruce Wayne retires after Knightfall, Robin goes solo to defend Gotham. Robin would eventually go on to co-star with other teenaged superheroes in Young Justice and Teen Titans. He also made guest appearances in other DC comic books such as Nightwing and Azrael.
Following the deaths of his father in Identity Crisis (2004), his best friend Superboy (Kon-El) in Infinite Crisis (2005–2006), and the presumed death of his girlfriend Stephanie Brown in Batman: War Games (2004–2005), Drake was relocated to Blüdhaven, the city where Nightwing fights crime, for a period of time in order to escape the "ghosts" of Gotham City and to stay close to his stepmother Dana Winters who was admitted into a Blüdhaven clinic after going into psychological shock over Jack Drake's murder at the hands of Captain Boomerang. Drake was then given another redesign of the Robin costume in the colors of Superboy's costume and was formally adopted by Bruce as his son.
After Batman's apparent death in Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis, Bruce's biological son Damian Wayne takes up the Robin identity while Tim, believing that his mentor is still alive, assumes the identity of Red Robin and leaves Gotham City to go on a worldwide search for Wayne.
Red Robin (2009–2011)
Red Robin, which was launched in late 2009, depicted Tim Drake's search to find evidence that Bruce Wayne was still alive after cutting himself off from the rest of the Bat Family. He was approached by Ra's al Ghul's assassins who were also interested in finding out what happened to Batman. At the same time, Tamara "Tam" Fox, Lucius Fox's daughter, has been sent to find Tim Drake-Wayne to bring him back to Gotham. Tim goes to Iraq and manages to discover definitive proof that Bruce was alive and lost in time, but was ambushed by an assassin from the Council of Spiders. He manages to drive himself and Pru to Tam's hotel room, and they are promptly abducted by the League of Assassins. Although initially reluctant, he entered into an alliance with Ra's before nearly bleeding to death due to their encounter with the Council of Spiders. He was put in charge of the League of Assassins by Ra's and used the time to simultaneously plan how to stop the Council of Spiders and destroy the League of Assassins. After failing to foil all but one of the Council's assassination attempts, Tim realizes that the Council will be attacking the League's base, and realizes that he left Tam in danger at the base. Rushing back to base, he simultaneously manages to delay the Council of Spiders, blow up the League's base, and escape with Tam.
After crippling Ra's' League of Assassins, Drake returns to Gotham City to overthrow Ra's plans to use Hush (surgically altered to resemble Bruce Wayne) to gain control of the Wayne family resources by becoming the CEO and controlling shareholder of Wayne Enterprises in accordance to Bruce's will. Ra's plans to destroy all that Batman held dear, and begins directing his assassins to target all of the Batman's associates. Realizing that these attacks are a smokescreen and that the real target is coercing Hush to sign away Wayne Enterprises, Red Robin decides to confront Ra's head on. He calls upon all of his friends to protect the various targets. He distracts Ra's from stopping Lucius Fox from making Drake the controlling shareholder of Wayne Enterprises. Realizing that Red Robin has bested him, Ra's commends him, calls him 'detective' and launches Tim out of the window. Tim is happy that he was able to achieve victory without any compromises, and is saved from falling by Dick Grayson (as Batman). Drake has since moved back to Gotham City and reestablished ties with his family and friends. After Bruce Wayne's return, Tim begins to aid his plans for expanding their mission globally with Batman, Inc. Tim is eventually appointed as the head of the newest incarnation of the Outsiders that now serve as Batman Inc.'s black-ops wing. Red Robin eventually rejoins the Teen Titans and takes over leadership from Wonder Girl. He remains as the team's leader during their climactic battle against Superboy-Prime and the new Legion of Doom.
Following an adventure with Blackbat where he faces Ra's al Ghul's sister, Tim stalks and attempts to kill a revived Captain Boomerang during the Brightest Day. Though Tim ultimately stops himself from killing Boomerang, he is chastised by Batman for his actions.
The New 52 (2011–2016)
As part of the New 52, Tim Drake (now a pseudonym) is seen in Teen Titans #1 (September 2011) as Red Robin, now sporting a new costume designed by Brett Booth. According to writer Scott Lobdell, many elements of Drake's history will remain canon. At the start of the series, Tim has been in a state of semi-retirement after his falling out with Batman, and uses his computer skills to fight crime over the internet in a manner similar to Oracle. He is also shown monitoring various teenaged superheroes, such as Static, Miss Martian, Solstice and Kid Flash. After being attacked by agents from the shadowy organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E., Tim dons a new Red Robin suit and returns to the world of crime fighting. As Red Robin, Tim teams up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and the hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash to stand a chance against his many enemies. This Teen Titans roster seems to have no ties to the previous Titans.
Teen Titans #0 revealed Tim Drake's new origin, showing a large departure from his original origin, removing his connections to Dick Grayson's origin story. In the New 52, Tim is a talented athlete and computer genius who comes close to discovering the Batman's identity but never totally figures it out. When Tim finds the Batman and gets rejected for the role of sidekick, he decides to bring the Batman to him, by hacking the Penguin's bank account and donating millions of dollars. The Penguin's goons come after Tim and his family, but the Batman saves them. Tim's parents go into witness protection, but they believe Tim deserves better and ask Bruce to take care of him for them. Bruce adopts Tim, the Witness Protection Program renames him "Tim Drake," and he takes on the identity of "Red Robin", rather than the identity of "Robin", out of respect to Jason Todd, but this contradicts several established issues where he is mentioned as having been Robin.
In recent issues he is shown to be a founding member of the Teen Titans as well as their leader. He shows feelings for Wonder Girl.
Tim was unwilling to meet with rest of the Bat-Family at the Batcave after he was infected with the Joker's new compound "HA". He was present when Damian was killed by The Heretic and admitted to Bruce that even though he had a dysfunctional relationship with Damian that he did grieve for him. He was also at the final battle between Batman and The Heretic when Talia killed her son's clone and blew up Wayne Tower.
Tim was also part of the Bat-Family's assembled team which went to Apokolips to retrieve Damian's body. As their mission focused on retrieving Robin, Tim, Jason, and Barbara wore costumes which resembled Damian's colors and each wore a Robin symbol. Following the completion of their mission and the revival of Damian he handed him the Robin symbol on his suit to welcome Damian back to life and to the role of Robin.
In the pre-Convergence timeline of Futures End, Refuges from Earth-2 are given a signal from Brother Eye, which allow them into the Earth-0 Universe, but start a war when Darkseid follows them, leading to the deaths of the teen titans, except for Drake. Tim abandons his Red Robin mantle and becomes a bartender until an attack by Braniac, where changes to the timeline are made. Brainiac is captured, and Terry McGinnis dies at the hands of Brother Eye's Batman-Joker hybrid. Tim dons the Batman Beyond suit and goes back in time and prevents Brother Eye from sending the signal to Earth-2, creating a new future where there is less destruction, and the events of Convergence and everything afterwords take place. Tim is launched into the new future, 35 years later, where he becomes the new Batman and destroys a weakened Brother Eye.
DC Rebirth (2016–present)
In Rebirth, Tim Drake, still going with the Red Robin alias, is now a part of Batman and Batwoman's team in Detective Comics with Orphan, Spoiler, and Clayface. He gains a new and third overall Red Robin suit which is very similar to his first Robin suit except with two "R"s on his logo to show that he is no longer Robin and now Red Robin. Tim, Orphan, Spoiler, and Clayface are being trained as a group by Batman and Batwoman, who are preparing them for the upcoming enemies known as the Colonists.
Tim Drake has been trained by Batman and other instructors across the world, including Lady Shiva. He has knowledge in several martial arts such as ninjutsu, karate, judo, jujutsu, aikido, Wing Chun, Shaolin Kung Fu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Jeet Kune Do. His favorite combat defense is bojutsu (taught in ninjutsu), and he has beaten Lady Shiva in sparring and is classed the best staff fighter who ever lived. Tim was able to fend off several notorious assassins from the Council of Spiders at once while protecting Tam Fox and also in the end game of his plan to destroy several League of Assassins bases; earning commendation from Ra's al Ghul himself who was watching the fight from afar. His combat style is a reflection of everything he learned from the masters, Bruce, and his own incredible intelligence deducing weak points in opponents and targeting them with a variety of combat tactics. He is also inoculated against several toxins the Bat-family has encountered, including Joker Venom, Fear Toxin, and some of Poison Ivy's pheromones.
Intellectual, deductive, and leadership skills
At the age of about nine years old, Tim Drake was able to deduce Robin's secret identity as Dick Grayson when Robin performed a quadruple somersault, in which Grayson was only one of the three people who could perform such a flip. This deduction also allowed Drake to deduce that Grayson's guardian Bruce Wayne was Batman. Drake's intellect has allowed him to deduce a majority of other heroes' identities including Flash and Superman. In addition, after foiling Ra's al Ghul's master plan to assassinate everyone Bruce Wayne cared about and ruining the Wayne Family fortune, Ra's has addressed Tim as "Detective", a title the villain once only reserved for Bruce Wayne. His intellect has enabled him to excel in computer science and a grasp of assorted scientific techniques, including biology, engineering, and genetics, which he has been shown to use in his attempts at re-cloning Superboy. Tim also speaks several languages beyond his native English, including Cantonese, Russian, Spanish and German.
Drake, like Dick Grayson, has served as leader to the Teen Titans, as well as Young Justice, and was even placed in charge of the rescue efforts of Blüdhaven by Superman, following the attack made by Deathstroke and his fellow villains.
Tim Drake's original costume was different from that of his predecessors to give him a measure of increased protection, which included an armored tunic, a cape colored black on the outside and yellow on the inside, and green leggings. Other details include an armored gorget, jika-tabi style boots, an emergency "R" shuriken on his chest in addition to the traditional batarangs, and a collapsible bo staff as the character's primary weapon. Following Infinite Crisis, his costume was modified to favor a black and red color scheme and included long sleeves.
The Red Robin costume consists of a long-sleeved red tunic, along with black boots, tights, gloves, cape and cowl. It also includes a black-and-gold utility belt that carries Drake's weaponry such as his bo staff and throwing discs. After Drake's confrontation with Ra's al Ghul in Red Robin #12, the costume was slightly altered with spiked gauntlets, a cropped tunic, and a new utility belt.
After the 2011 relaunch, the full cowl is replaced with a mask that covers his eyes, similar to his two Robin costume designs. The rest of the costume has also been altered considerably, as it is now a single piece black and red costume, adorned with assorted belts on his waist and legs. His chest harness meanwhile is attached to a set of rocket powered wings, designed by Virgil Hawkins a.k.a. Static, that allow Red Robin the ability of flight. He continues to use his bo-staff, and assorted other gadgets.
In the 2016 Rebirth line, Tim's latest Red Robin costume serves as a homage to his first Robin costume. It is primarily red and green with a red top and green pants. He also sports green gauntlets and boots. The top's sleeves end under shoulders creating a t-shirt appearance. Tim also has new cape that's black on the outside and yellow on the inside similar to the Robin cape. He also has a yellow utility belt. The logo on the corner of his chest armor has two R's on top of each other and the overall design is similar to the Robin logo. The mask is similar to his New 52 domino mask except green. Tim still continues to use his bo-staff.
Tim has a number of allies including Batman, Nightwing, Red Hood, Batgirl, Batwoman, Spoiler, Orphan, Superboy, Miss Martian, Aqualad and many more.
Over the years Tim has made a number of enemies including Talon,Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Two-Face, Black Mask and many more.