Battle for the Cowl: The Contenders – Tim Drake

Tim Drake, the current RobinMoreso than anybody else, Tim Drake deserves to be Batman.

Tim Drake first showed up in Batman #436, in 1989. While watching Batman and Robin battle against the Penguin, he realizes that the moves are those that only Dick Grayson could accomplish, since he had seen the same move when watching the Flying Graysons. At nine years old, he figured out the secret identities of Batman and Robin.  Years later Batman has grown angry and violent due to the death of that Robin.  Tim Drake finds Dick Grayson and asks him to be Robin again.  Dick Grayson decides to help Batman, but as Nightwing.  Still, Tim feels that Batman NEEDS a Robin, and actually convinces Alfred Pennyworth to give him the Robin costume, and he helps Batman and Nightwing capture Two-Face.  Batman agrees to let Tim on as his partner, and puts him through physical, mental and psychological tests.

More after the jump.

Young JusticeWhile Tim is training, the villain Obeah Man captures his parents, Jack and Janet Drake. Batman rushes to rescue Tim’s parents, but Obeah Man poisons them before he can.  Tim’s mom dies, and his dad is in a coma for months.

From here on, Tim Drake had multiple mini-series, showing his abilities and worthiness as Robin, especially in his ability to actually take down the Joker while Batman is out of town.  Then, with Superboy and Impulse, he formed Young Justice, a sort of younger Teen Titans.  After the Justice League discovered that Batman kept contingency plans on them, Young Justice decided they couldn’t trust Robin either, and he left the team for a while.

After he came back, the team still decided to have Wonder Girl as their leader (oooh…burn!).  After Donna Troy of the Titans died, Young Justice disbanded, but came back under the tutelage of Cyborg, Starfire, and Beast Boy as the new Teen Titans.

Tim actually comes across a future version of himself (in the “Titans Tomorrow” storyline), who assumed the identity of Batman after the original Batman died in a “crisis,” a gun-toting Batman, killing rogues with he same handgun that was used  to kill Thomas and Martha Wayne.

Tim DrakeTim actually gave up being Robin for a bit, and his girlfriend Stephanie Brown took up the role.  While Robin, Stephanie got kidnapped, tortured, and eventually murdered by Black Mask.  Not long after, Tim’s dad was murdered by Captain Boomerang and he moved to Bludhaven just months before it gets destroyed during Infinite Crisis.

If only his tragedy ended there!  His best friend Connor (Superboy) died during Infinite Crisis.  He comes back to Gotham just in time to find out his old friend Cassandra (Batgirl) went crazy and is now a murderous villain.  Batman adopts Tim as his real son, but right after his adoption, Damian, the son of Batman and Talia al Ghul, shows up. Damian is, to put it lightly, a pain in the @$$, and actually tries to kill Tim to replace him as Robin and Batman’s true son.  Not long after, another of Tim’s best friends, Bart Allen, the new Flash, is killed.  Recently, Tim found out that Stephanie Brown, his dead girlfriend, isnt’ really dead.  She just faked her death to start a new life away from Gotham.

Eventually, Robin left the Teen Titans to focus his attention on Gotham (especially after a failed Tim Drake as Batmanromance with Wonder Girl).  After the Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis storylines, Batman’s missing (everyone thinks he’s dead), the Batcave is in ruins, Tim’s had his face burned up (it healed), and he’s more like Batman than ever.  He’s even gone so far as to configure a program that will help him “organize” the chaos that happens when gangs go to war in Gotham.  This is one smart kid.  Most recently, he had the bat signal removed from the top of police headquarters, and replaced with a Robin symbol.

Early indications say that Tim believes that Gotham “needs” a Batman, and it’s pretty obvious that the Batman holding the bo in the Battle for the Cowl preview art is Tim, as that used to be his weapon of choice.  Plus, the future Batman said that Tim takes over after Batman dies in a crisis.

Still…is Tim too young?  It’s kind of dependent on who’s drawing him, but almost every writer nowadays has been giving him a late teen’s appearance, which makes sense given that he’s in high school.  Are we ready for a teenage Batman?

Tim’s lost his parents, his adopted father, his two best friends, and his girlfriend (even though she came back) – he’s no stranger to the kind of tragedy that makes a man dress up like a bat and fight crime.  He’s got the smarts, he’s got the training…what say you?  Should Tim be the next Batman?

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