In the latest comic book in the Batman universe, the superhero sidekick character "Robin" seemingly reveals himself to be romantically interested in a male friend, an indication that he might be bisexual.
In Batman: Urban Legends # 6, published by DC Comics on Tuesday, Tim Drake, whose alter ego is Robin, was asked out on a date by his friend Bernard. Batman’s sidekick accepted the offer, thereby making him the latest well-established fictional character to become associated with the LGBT community.
A description on the DC Comics website explains that the newest edition of the series features Drake "in the den of the Chaos Monsters with the other kidnapped teenagers of Gotham City."
"In order to free himself and the other teens, Tim will have to embrace help from his friend Bernard and hear something about himself he never knew," the description explains. "A brand new chapter of Tim Drake’s life starts here.”
In the comic strip, obtained by TMZ, Drake found himself grappling with an internal struggle, where something has been “taunting” and “teasing” him. He contended that he must be experiencing a “lightbulb moment,” where “you know you’re supposed to be on the same page with your brain but not everything made sense.”
The comic book character noted that “people keep asking me what I want,” lamenting that “I couldn’t grasp it. Whatever it was, it always felt just out of reach.” In the present, he shared a sense of relief in his inner monologue by indicating that he felt that what he wanted was out of reach “until now.”
Shortly after the “lightbulb moment,” Drake went to visit Bernard.
“I’m really glad you got home okay. I was relieved and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about that night and I — I don’t know what it meant to me. Not yet,” he said.
After Drake told Bernard that he would “like to figure it out,” his friend responded, “I was hoping you would.”
Bernard then asked Drake, “Do you want to go out on a date with me?”
Tim answered in the affirmative: “Yeah, Yeah, I think I want that.”
The storyline ended in a cliffhanger to be resolved in Batman: Urban Legends # 10, scheduled for publication in December.
Drake hinted at an attraction to Bernard earlier in the issue when the two were scheduled to meet at a restaurant. As he waited for Bernard to arrive, Drake thought to himself, “Why am I so nervous? It’s fine, Tim. You haven’t seen him in a while, but he’s still the same guy.”
After Bernard arrived, Drake lost his train of thought when he saw his old friend for the first time in a while.
In addition to exchanging formalities, the two shared a hug.
Before Bernard asked Drake out on a date, he shared his feelings about his old friend with Robin, apparently not realizing that Drake and Robin are the same person. Bernard pushed the superhero to “tell Tim Drake … he helped me realize my true self, who I am” and “tell him I wished we could have finished our date.”
The new development comes after Drake dated women in the past.
Writer Meghan Fitzmartin told Polygon that Robin's reveal was part of a “Sum of Our Parts” storyline. Fitzmartin explained that the storyline "happened because this is who Tim is."
"I love this character very much, and as I went back to reread as much as I could to do Robin justice, it became clear this is the story Tim needed to tell,” Fitzmartin told Polygon, adding that it "needed to be a story about identity and discovery."
She added that Drake hasn’t put a label on himself quite yet and the new storyline does not hurt the credibility of Robin's decades-long relationship with teen superhero Stephanie Brown, also known as "The Spoiler."
“I wanted to pay tribute to the fact that sexuality is a journey,” Fitzmartin was quoted as saying. “To be clear, his feelings for Stephanie have been/are 100% real, as are his feelings for Bernard. However, Tim is still figuring himself out. I don’t think he has the language for it all ... yet.”
Batman: Urban Legends # 6 is not the first time DC Comics has attempted to rebrand one of its characters to appease the secular culture. In Batman # 53, released in 2018, Bruce Wayne, Batman’s alter ego, abandons his Christian faith and becomes an atheist.
In recent years, as the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD has pushed for 20% of all television characters to be LGBT by 2025. Several television programs based on well-known characters first created decades ago have introduced LGBT storylines.
In 2018, the CW television network announced the greenlighting a TV series based on the character “Batwoman” that portrayed the title superheroine as a lesbian.
Just last month, the “Muppet Babies,” which depicts the early childhood years of the legendary "Muppets" created by the late Jim Henson, the character Gonzo cross-dresses and attends a social event as “Gonzorella.”
Similarly, a 2019 episode of the PBS animated series “Arthur” features the title character’s teacher, Mr. Ratburn, entering into a same-sex marriage.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: email@example.com