Bruce Wayne is dead. At least for the time being. He’s buried somewhere in the distant past as a result of the fallout from Final Crisis. Dick Grayson is now the Batman and Damien, Bruce’s son by Talia Al Ghul, is the new Robin. So where does that leave Tim Drake – the third Robin and latest partner to Bruce “Batman” Wayne?
Actually, I mean Tim Wayne, because Bruce adopted Tim instead of just making him his ward. Of course, that was after Tim’s father was murdered at the hands of a super-villain. Tim’s faced a lot of losses besides his father in his short life. Stephanie Brown, the Spoiler, was a love interest and partner. And the new Superboy was killed in action.
Losing Batman and losing his identity as Robin has evidently come near to breaking him. Red Robin has a scene between Dick and Tim which emphasizes that Dick sees Tim as an equal, not a junior partner, which is why Dick chooses Damian as his Robin. Damian is probably one short step away being from a homicidal force against crime – or possibly against anyone that stands against him. At one point, Damian tried to kill Tim,, so there’s no love lost between the two.
Shorn of everything he’s held dear, Tim has adopted a new identity, one that was already stained by Jason Todd, the second Robin, who turned out not to be a nice guy. The costume was initially created by Alex Ross for the futuristic Robin: as far as superhero wear goes, it really is the bomb. I absolutely loved the initial two-page splash of Red Robin in action in the book. It was simply dynamite.
Chris Yost is handling the scripting chores, and I love the handle he has on Tim’s character as well as the mix of story, emotion, and emerging conflicts. His dialogue rings true, and it’s fast-paced, dragging the eye along the beautiful panels constructed by Ramon Bachs. Bachs is in full command of the action sequences as well. After I finished reading the book, I immediately went back through it just to see the art in action.
The plot so far is loose. Tim is tracking Batman around the world, trying to find the answers he desperately seeks. He wants to believe Batman is still alive – somewhere. What he wants to know most is how he can bring him back to the world. The action stays fast and furious, and I loved the intensity of the book as well as the scenic cuts allowed by the script and followed through by the artist.
I don’t know where Tim’s quest is going to take him, but I’m enjoying being along for the road trip. The book ends on a cliffhanger, of course, and it’s a doozy. I really didn’t expect Tim/Red Robin to be on a collision course with Ra’s Al Ghul, but he is. Gonna be a long wait till next month.