The Fan Fiction Fanzine

Going Round Robin By Hunter Lambright

By • Mar 11th, 2010 • Category: Features, Lead Story
Lead Story

He’s calm, collected, and meticulous in his plans, but his cool exterior hides a heart of gold. He’s learned from the best how to hide his emotions, but doing that as a teenager may be more or less out of the picture. You might have guessed we were talking about Batman at first, but I’m talking more along the lines of Tim Drake, the current Robin.

Robin is a character that wears several masks besides the domino mask over his eyes. Under Geoff Johns’ pen, he has gone from hiding one secret to another, all of which he believed were for the best of his teammates. When he lost his father in the Identity Crisis, Robin lost a piece of his childhood, and when he lost his two best friends in the world, Superboy and Kid Flash on the heels of the loss of Stephanie Brown, he nearly lost it altogether. In fact, it could be said that loss is what defines this version of Robin. He fights so hard for his loved ones because he knows that he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t do everything in his power to prevent harm coming to them.

It’s hard to talk about Tim Drake in fan-fiction, because the Tim Drake I know best is the one that has been forced through change after change in this modern, “edgy” era of comics. But take a look at some of his accomplishments. This is the boy with the cunning and dedication to deduce Batman’s secret identity. His main weapon is his sharp mind. Everything else, he has earned. Tim never had Dick Grayson’s acrobatic prowess. He has painstakingly chiseled every physical skill he has into his lifestyle and mindset, and practices daily to maintain his form.

The thing about Tim is that he would do absolutely anything for the people he loves the most. He even gave up fighting crime when he father asked him to. This didn’t last, and never does in this four-colored world, but it showed Tim at his core, especially in the “War Games” storyline. When his school was overtaken by armed gunmen, he didn’t hesitate. He took action. He did everything he could to protect his friends. He was ready to kill himself to prevent the sadistic future version of the Titans from coming about. He knows how to do what it takes, no matter how high the stakes.

As Robin, Tim has been the victim of circumstance so many times. In every cataclysmic event that has occurred over the years to the DC Universe, he has taken a personal hit. He lost Stephanie in “War Games,” his father in the Identity Crisis, Superboy in Infinite Crisis, and who knows what the future holds for him with his adoptive father adopting an “R.I.P.” after his name? That’s the thing, though. Robin, over the years, has become a single character that any reader can look at and see him wearing the scars that have plagued the DC Universe. He represents everything that is wrong with it, and everything it has lost. His battle and, essentially, his loss to the Clock King are almost metaphors of DC and its current battle with Marvel for market share. But, let’s be honest, that doesn’t have much to do with the appeal of Tim Drake as a character.

You see, there’s another core concept behind Robin. Go back to how he earned the mantle. He injected himself into the world of super-heroics, and he succeeded. He has worked for everything that he has. He has faced setback after setback, and hasn’t hung up the tights for good yet. He has been “replaced” by Batman’s “real” son, but he has fought to try to maintain the position he has worked for. In short, he’s like every single one of us. We inject ourselves into this fictional world the way he injected himself into the world of heroes. He has worked for everything, just as we work our butts off every day to make ends meet and still try to find the time to write things in a harried manner that’s supposed to be fun. He resonates even stronger with teenagers, who struggle to hide their emotions from their friends and parents as their lives tumble into turmoil. Likewise, Tim wears that mask every night, in his attempt to hide the insecurities that exist.

But, like the Teen Titans have proven time and again, no matter how often Tim thinks he can handle things on his own, he always has his support group to fall back on, no matter how many times the faces change. He is human beneath the mask, which is what makes Tim able to resonate so well with teenagers across the nation and beyond.

There is the appeal in a character like Tim Drake. Here is a teenager that is learning how to take control of his life, and it’s an inspiration to the rest of us teenagers struggling just as much to figure out how to do just that. Any writer who can get a handle on that, in both comics and fan-fiction, is worthy of applause.

is a 32 year old happily married man who loves comics and the characters associated with them so much he writers Fan Fiction based on them. Currently He is the Editor in Chief of Altered Visions, Marvel Reborn, and Ultimate DC.
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