Teen Titans: Scott Lobdell, Tyler Kirkham, Batt, Norm Rapmund, Jon Sibal, Andrew Dalhouse, Dezi Sienty, Brett Booth
Tim Drake is no longer a Robin! Fan outrage! Riots in the streets! Wait, actually, this kind of makes sense. Well, it makes sense with the Tim Drake that Lobdell is writing, presenting us. And, surprisingly, he’s not changing much. Sure, this Tim is a little different than we’re used to, but you can look at him, hear his words in your mind, and recognize the little scamp just fine.
The one big difference we see right away is that Tim is an athlete as much as he is a book nerd and computer geek. He’s competing at a gymnastics event for school, and blows everyone’s mind. His teammates are sure he’s going to catch the eyes of Olympic scouts. Olympics! Imagine a world where there’s no Tim Drake Robin, and instead we hear, “Tim Drake wins the gold!” Interesting.
The other, HUGE difference we also see is that Tim’s father and mother are there to support him! Yeah! Tim has not yet felt the tragic sting of loss like had before. This is definitely a huge departure from the preboot Tim Drake, and seems to negate that iconic imagery where Batman’s holding Tim at the scene of Jack Drake’s murder with the caption, “Orphans.” “Well,” you might say, “just because he starts out with his parents doesn’t mean they’re still alive.” True, but the parents are then placed into Witness Protection because of Tim’s methods of discovering Batman’s identity. So we don’t know their fate as of now.
Speaking of which, yes, Tim still tried to deduce Batman’s identity and, according to Batman, was the closest anyone’s ever come. But Tim never actually figures it out. Batman tries to throw Tim off his trail, while Tim says Batman needs him. So Tim uses his hacking skills to siphon millions of dollars out of Penguin’s bank account, which brings the hammer down hard on his home. Batman saves him, but then there’s that whole Witness Protection thing.
So this is kind of interesting. Tim Drake is sort of legally dead. Well, actually the book makes it sound like “Drake” is his assumed last name, after moving in with Bruce. But Tim’s previous identity goes nowhere. I kind of like that. Tim has a very independent voice in this Zero Issue, which plays very well into the regular Teen Titans series.
Kirkham’s art in this issue is very good, I’d say. It reminds me of Booth’s work in certain ways, but it is also very reminiscent of a more 90’s style. Get used to it, folks, this is the guy replacing Brett Booth on the title once Brett leaves after #16 in January. I can’t wait to see more.
Teen Titans #0, the verdict: I admit to being apprehensive at hearing about Tim Drake getting an origin overhaul, because I thought his origins were very good. He was the first Robin with parents (or a dad, at least), and a semi-normal life. He was brilliant, and very tenacious. Surprisingly not much of that has changed, if you think about it. Sure, there are a couple of aspects that are tweaked, but it’s largely the same character. Did the one big thing about Tim - discovering the identity of Batman and the original Robin - get taken away? Yes. Does that make him any less of a good character? No.
(Photo Source: DC Comics)