Tim Drake

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Name: Timothy Jackson "Tim" Drake (Robin III, Red Robin II, Drake)
Occupation: Superhero
Relationships: Janet and Jack Drake (parents); Dana Winters-Drake (stepmother); Batman/Bruce Wayne (mentor, partner, adoptive father); Batfamily; Stephanie Brown (friend and major love interest); Young Justice; Teen Titans
Fandom: DC Comics, Batman; Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond; Young Justice (TV series); Arkhamverse
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Timothy Jackson "Tim" Drake is one of the characters who takes the mantle of Batman's partner Robin and appears in different versions of Batman canon.


Robin (1989-2009)

Tim Drake debuted in Batman: Year Three and Batman: A Lonely Place of Dying (1989). As a young child, Tim attended the last performance of the Flying Graysons at Haly's Circus, and later recognized the superhero Robin perform an acrobatic maneuver unique to Tim's idol, Dick Grayson—from there, Tim realized the civilian identities of Batman and Robin, and closely followed their exploits through news media. Tim noticed that Batman suddenly turned more violent and reckless after the Joker murdered his second Robin and adopted son, Jason Todd; thirteen-year-old Tim became convinced that Batman was in need of a Robin. Tim introduced himself to Dick Grayson and attempted to persuade him to return to the Robin mantle, but Dick insisted he was capable of supporting his father figure and mentor as Nightwing; thus Tim volunteered himself as the new Robin. Though Batman was initially resistant to taking on a new Robin, Tim continued the proud Robin tradition of refusing to obey Batman and persisted, ultimately winning over the Batfamily. Batman put Tim through a rigorous training regimen, sent him to various teachers around the world for a solid year, and upgraded the Robin uniform and equipment before allowing Tim to work beside him.

Robin III fulfilled the everyman archetype, an average teen boy who got to have adventures with Batman, though with the added power fantasy of belonging to a millionaire family in the same socioeconomic status as Bruce Wayne. Over the years, Robin worked not only as Batman's partner on the streets of Gotham City, but also worked with other teenage heroes. Though he started off as the leader of the team known as Young Justice, eventually he followed in the Dick Grayson's footsteps in helping found a new generation of Teen Titans.

The first Robin miniseries was printed in 1992 following Tim Drake's debut as Robin. The series centered around Tim's continued training and set up villains linked to the character. It was followed up by another series Robin II: The Joker's Wild!, which pitted Tim against his predecessor's murderer the Joker. With Batman out of town, it was up to Tim and Alfred to end the Joker's latest crime spree. A final miniseries, Robin III: Cry of the Huntress wrapped up the trilogy, teaming Tim with the Huntress. In 1993, the success of the three miniseries led to the ongoing Robin series, which ran 183 issues until 2009.[1]

Despite his comfortable upbringing and smooth superhero career, not all was sunshine and rainbows for Robin III. His mother, Janet Drake, was murdered and his father suffered serious injuries in one of Tim's early adventures (July 1990). Then the character later suffered much fridge-induced angst toward the end of his stint as Robin. During the events of War Games (2004) his then-girlfriend Stephanie Brown apparently died of wounds sustained from torture. Almost immediately after that, during the events of Identity Crisis (2004), Tim's father, Jack Drake, was murdered, leading to Tim's stepmother, Dana Winters-Drake, being institutionalized and written out of the story. In the following Infinite Crisis (2005-2006) storyline, Tim's best friend Kon-El (Conner Kent/Superboy) killed. Not long after, Bart Allen (Impulse/Kid Flash II) died in the line of duty (2007). Then his new adoptive father, Batman, apparently died during the Final Crisis (2008) event. Luckily, with the exception of his civilian parents, all these lost friends and loved ones were restored to life within a few short years of publication, in keeping with the Comic Book Death Rule.

Red Robin (2009-2011)

After an event known as Final Crisis (2008) seemingly led to the death of Batman at the hands of Darkseid, Tim was seemingly the only person who believed that Bruce Wayne might still be alive. After Dick Grayson took the mantle of Batman and allowed Damian Wayne to take on the role of Robin at Alfred Pennyworth's prompting, Tim left Gotham City. He donned Jason Todd's discarded Red Robin costume and began his search for Bruce, following a trail of clues around the world, and getting some unexpected assistance from Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Assassins along the way.

New 52 (2011)

In the New 52 universe Tim's backstory was radically changed. Now "Tim" is a talented athlete and computer genius, whose family goes into witness protection after the trouble with the Penguin. "Tim Drake" is the name he receives from witness protection. His family entrusts his care to Bruce Wayne, and Tim adopts the Red Robin identity, leaving the Robin identity in retirement out of respect for his fallen predecessor.

DC Rebirth (2016)

Infinite Frontier (2021)

Tim returned to the Robin mantle, which he now shares with other characters operating under the same code name, notably Damian Wayne. In August 2021, Tim began dating his first male love interest in Urban Legends.

DC Animated Universe

The DCAU incarnation of "Tim Drake" shares his comic counterpart's name, bo staff, and his association with 90s computer tech, but is otherwise considered to be an adaptation of the source material's second Robin, Jason Todd, possessing a similar background and storyline overall.[2]


Robin appears in the Arkham City (2011) as Batman's trusted sidekick and a similarly aged peer to Nightwing and Oracle. Like the DCAU, Tim Drake initially appears to be the second Robin and Dick Grayson's successor, but Arkham Knight (2015) ultimately reveals that he is the third to take up the Robin mantle. Tim is a high school chemistry teacher, and he marries Barbara Gordon in the secret ending of Arkham Knight.

Young Justice (2010 animated series)

Fanon and meta

As with the rest of the Batfamily fandom, Tim Drake fanon is often conflated with canon due to the extremely high prevalence of second-degree fandom and kittyfic.

Tim's Red Robin phase has been somewhat controversial, with some Robin fans feeling that Red Robin was a major departure for the established character, penned by a non-DC writer, and the New 52 reboot was met with even more controversy.[3][4]

  • coffee-addicted insomniac[5]
  • delicate and sickly (missing spleen)
  • unmatched super-genius detective
  • teenage CEO[6]
  • depressed, underappreciated sadboy[7]
  • childhood neighbor to the Wayne household[8][9]

Tim Drake is the one with scores of women shamelessly flinging themselves at him like unaltered cats. Jason Todd died without ever having a girlfriend, and he didn't start dating until 19-20.

Fans get it flipped.[10]

Fanon Tim Drake: Tim is the Ultimate Nerdy Virgin. He doesn’t know how to function around girls, is addicted to coffee, and has to Google “sex” to know what it is. He is the Smart Robin, the Detective Robin, and the Computer Robin, which means that no one else but him is allowed to be smart, a detective, or good at computers. Tim is a huge pushover and pretty socially naive. Tim’s “purity” is glorified in a way that makes him almost child-like as an adult and this gets paired with effeminate and submissive qualities that essentially make him a damsel in distress. Because he’s the “nerd” Robin, his fighting skills are often dumbed down, making him the cliche nerd who will get beat up and have his lunch money stolen. Sometimes Tim is portrayed as emotionally scarred from abusive parenting, leading him to believe that he can never be loved (and thus falling into questionable relationships).[11]

Fanon Tim Drake is a nerd therefore he isn’t good in social situations and is a virgin. There’s really no reason to think this, it just stems from the fact that Tim is shown as being really smart and occasionally liking “nerdy” things, and then people add the others as stereotypes. Nothing suggests Tim is a virgin, nothing suggests he isn’t. He reacts calmly to sexual situations (when Rose Wilson was naked in his bed, when Cass got too touchy-feely), and was stern but not stereotypically blushy or virginal about not wanting to jump into sex with his girlfriend of the time, Ariana.

Also Tim is arguably the most socially competent member of the batfamily, next to Bruce. Tim is a true socialite, he goes to parties and events and mingles, and is well liked by the people of Gotham.[12]

I would say the “documenting Batman and Robin’s every move” bit has been exaggerated by fandom, he was mostly just a fan, not a stalker. He was at boarding school not chasing them around (at least in early iterations). It’s not a bad thing, Tim was supposed to be relatable when he was introduced - your average kid that you, the reader, can project on and fantasize about working side by side with super heroes.[13]

But he was not a little kid running around Gotham alone with a camera following Batman and Robin practically his whole life the way a lot of people depict him doing.

Later retellings of his origin continue showing him in front of a TV figuring things out, and mention him reading newspapers. None of his origin story retellings involve actually going out and physically following them. He followed them through the news.[14]

i hate the fanon that tims a good student …. like no…. he dropped out, yall … he slept in class … hes smart as anything but hes a horrible student unless he has to be[15]

Red Robin Fanon Tim is also busy work work working at Wayne Enterprises. Canon Tim is the CEO in name only and I literally don’t think we saw him working in the office even once. The only WE work he does is very part-time for his passion charity project, the Neon Knights.[16]

Bonus: neither is Tim addicted to coffee, nor did he grow up next door to the Wayne Manor. He and Jack moved there after Tim became Robin. You don’t believe me? Check Batman #481![17]

Concerning the fandom, I think I lot of people solely base Tim’s character on the Red Robin series, which is not a perfect run for this character. It’s a darker run for Tim, and parts of it were flat out weird, such as his condescending attitude toward Bruce and Dick (??? what). Ra’s al Ghul loves calling Tim a detective, and that’s a big part of where Tim’s reputation comes from.[18]

I’m not sure where exactly the need comes from for woobification or why it’s Tim that attracts that kind of thing. I’ve literally seen posts where certain fans play the victim olympics and claim that Tim has suffered more trauma than any other batkid and be 100% serious about it. I don’t understand the need to validate trauma by dismissing the trauma of other characters so I’m perpetually boggled, especially considering the trauma that’s being dismissed includes rape, torture and murder.

The feminization…yeah I have no idea where that’s drawn from with Tim in canon except idk that ONE RUN he was drawn by Marcus To who draws him pretty? Which has literally no impact on his characterization at all and…honestly, while I’d like to give people the benefit of the doubt about it, to me it screams fetishization.

The thing with it is that it seems to always crop up for Tim exclusively in gay ships, a result of the oversexualization of gay males, and fandom’s general obsession with top/bottom heteronormative dynamics in their same-sex relationships. It’s a pornographic fantasy almost exclusively dreamed up by straight women. No correlation with canon whatsoever[19]

Further reading

Childhood abuse

In fanon, Jack and Janet Drake are extremely abusive and neglectful, even worse than Stephanie Brown's parents are in canon. They range from completely ignoring Tim for his entire life, to outright beating him and spewing emotional abuse whenever they're in his presence.[20]

Tim keeps himself unaware, but Lj Jack and Janet are BOTH epic asshats. (I don’t know how tumblr fanon Janet ended up being the better parent than Jack, but LJ fandom assumes that since Tim is royally emotionally effed up, and Jack seemed well-meaning but oblivious, that must mean Janet was a complete royal b*tch.)[21]

Jack being neglectful and sometimes inadequate a parent + the impact it had on Tim is all part of Tim’s history as a character. But so is Tim & Jack mending their relationship and Jack trying to right his wrongs as a parent. Canon portrayed the matters of neglect & rocky father-son relationship with a nuance that should be appreciated and overall sold such a more interesting story than just “Jack was actual Evil and should die”.

Tim got his sense of duty from his father. He still feels like a Drake foremost and when thinking of his dad Jack will always pop up before Bruce. Jack was ready to go against the Batman for his son.

We can all empathize with feelings of abandonment and I get the appeal of putting those at the front of Tim’s character but that’s… really not all that there is to say about his relationship with Jack.

Unpopular opinion but Bruce and Jack were both equally shitty parents to Tim. It’s just that Jack was a blustering, if well-meaning, idiot and Bruce’s emotional constipation and inability to take responsibility for himself always outweighs his real and considerable love for his kids. Of the two though, Jack came closest to a becoming a better man and father before he died.

And fanon consistently casting Janet Drake as cold and heartless bitch who should never have been a mother has so little canon basis that it looks like misogyny, and above all, is boring as hell.[22]

See also

Hurt/comfort and whump

After losing his spleen in Red Robin, fanon Tim has a weak immune system that leaves him vulnerable to even mild illness.

He's an insomniac with sickly pale skin. Everybody ignores his trauma and fails to recognize his sacrifices for the Batfamily. This is the popular basis of hurt/comfort and grovelfic.

Impact of Multiple Deaths in a Short Period of Time

While, over time, some of the people Tim lost came back to life (ie. Stephanie, Conner, Bart, and Bruce), perhaps their returns could not fully negate the impact their deaths made on him. The return of some of the people in his life also does not negate the scars left by losing both his mother and father to murder.

A popular subject for fan fiction writers explores the emotional damage all these losses inflicted upon Tim. In canon, signs of superhero-typical depression were hinted at some points, notably in Red Robin, but never extensively pursued.


Tim is popularly racebent into being of East Asian descent, the headcanon stemming from a persistent rumor that a comic artist intentionally incorporated East Asian attributes into Tim's design during one of the Robin runs, and the half-Japanese actor Ryan Potter has been a popular live-action fancast. Asian!Tim fanon has been criticized for feminization, infantilization, and fetishization; racial stereotypes of weak, nerdy, submissive tech-support Asian men; and stealing the spotlight from Cassandra Cain and Damian Wayne as Bat family characters who canonically have Asian heritage.[23][24][25]


The Stray AU involves Selina Kyle (Catwoman) adopting one of the poor parentless Batkids as her thieving apprentice, known as Catlad or Stray.[26][27]Rich kid Tim is perhaps the most popular subject of this specific AU, for some reason. As Selina's de facto ward, Stray is free to romance the Batfamily men without incest. Stray is often flirty and sexually flamboyant compared to his canon counterpart.


Gen relationships


Because of his connections both with the Batfamily, Young Justice, and the Teen Titans, the potential pairings for Tim are numerous. Over the years, Tim has had several canon het romances with a number of different girls, both in and out of costume. In the 2021 Urban Legends series, Tim began dating his first male love interest, his civilian school friend Bernard Dowd. When the pairing of choice is between current/former Robins (his adoptive brothers, usually excepting Stephanie Brown), it is often referred to as "Robincest", a subtype of "Batcest".

Both Batfamily and YJ also go in for various threesomes and moresomes, either all slash or mixing slash and canon het (Tim/Kon/Bart, Tim/Kon/Cassie, Tim/Dick/Jason/Steph, etc).

Fan works


Fan art


Archives & Fannish Links

LiveJournal Communities




  1. ^ Robin (character) at Wikipedia
  2. ^ Batman: The Animated Series – Volume 2, Robin Rising Featurette. Commentary by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm.
  3. ^ sorry to bother but do you think the new 52 continuity comics and red robin present a good characterization of tim? Nov 27, 2017 Tumblr
  4. ^ So I just read Red Robin. How is this Tim is identical or differ from 80s and 90s Tim?, Nov 16, 2017 Tumblr
  5. ^ https://sohotthateveryonedied.tumblr.com/post/668510329626624000/is-tim-not-sleepingfalling-asleep-random-places is tim not sleeping/falling asleep random places fanon or canon? Sohotthateveryonedied, 21 Nov 2021, Tumblr
  6. ^ I always wondered if Tim actually has a huge role in Wayne Enterprises or is that just fanon? July 13, 2017 Tumblr post
  7. ^ https://sohotthateveryonedied.tumblr.com/post/159078601638/hi-so-ive-seen-a-lot-of-posts-lately-where-youHi, so I've seen a lot of posts lately where you headcanon Tim Drake as someone with depression and probably more mental illnesses? Sohotthateveryonedied, 1 Apr 2017, Tumblr
  8. ^ So a lot of people think that Tim grew up next door to Wayne Manor but that’s not actually what happened and appears to be a fanon invention Sept 14, 2017 Tumblr post
  9. ^ Have you ever done a canon vs fanon post for the batfam? March 28, 2019 Tumblr post
  10. ^ Comment on Someone told me a ship (or at least team up) they’d want to see. I thought it was stupid until I thought about it….thoughts? posted to r/DCcomics, March 7, 2022
  11. ^ What are in your opinion the biggest difference between the comic and the fanon versions of the other Batfamily members?
  12. ^ How do fandom tropes compare to actual canon characterization for the robins Anonymous
  13. ^ https://scooby-doo-is-best-robin.tumblr.com/post/665425171926122496/i-would-say-the-documenting-batman-and-robins (dead link)
  14. ^ Did Tim actually stalk Batman and Robin? October 30, 2021
  15. ^ i hate the fanon that tims a good student
  16. ^ i've recently seen people complaining about the whole 'tim liking coffee' stereotype, but i can't really understand why it annoys people Oct 8, 2021 Tumblr
  17. ^ Have you ever done a canon vs fanon post for the batfam? March 28, 2019
  18. ^ Explain to me why people feel Tim is the "Detective" of the Robins?
  19. ^ honestly, one of the things that really bothers me about tim's common fanon characterization is how much he's woobified? June 24, 2017 Tumblr
  20. ^ I know we know next to nothing about her but every post I see about Janet being a bad mom, October 20, 2021
  21. ^ meta on LiveJournal-era fanon Tim Drake by angel-gidget (25 Jul 2017)
  22. ^ Unpopular opinion but Bruce and Jack were both equally shitty parents to Tim, October 31, 2021 Tumblr post
  23. ^ i just really hate the asian tim headcanon because there’s subtones of asian fetishisation, October 18, 2021 Tumblr post
  24. ^ Confirmation of Tim Drake’s whiteness, from actual poc as well as the guy himself august 11, 2017
  25. ^ To be fair to other anon, none of the N52 onwards panels say N52 Tim is white either, August 11, 2017 Tumblr post
  26. ^ I've always wondered the Stray/Catlad AUs came from, Archived version, Tumblr post by bitimdrake. Posted October 18, 2021.
  27. ^ History of Catlad in DC fandom, Archived version by forestlingincorporated. Posted 27 October 2021.