Gfest is a HUGE fan of Tim Drake. If you are as well, then prepare yourself for a geekgasm. Eric Dietel at the DC Comics Fan Blog has written a beautiful recap of Tim's career, with some bold predictions for his future. It begins here, and its well worth the read for both Tim Drake fans and fans of the DC Comics Universe overall:
Tim Drake is a remarkable character. If he continues to grow and develop like he has since his introduction he will eventually become the most influential character in all of DC Comics. I am fully aware of the magnitude of that statement and I will try to support it.
Tim Drake didn't show up in a typical superhero fashion. He suffered no early tragedy, he didn't possess any powers. He was simply a smart kid who loved Batman and Robin. In a lot of ways he's like many comic book readers out there. However he wasn't without special attributes, Tim Drake was then and is still today one of the smartest characters of all. As a young boy he did what no one else could do - uncover the identities of Batman and Robin, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson respectively. He also purported the theory that Batman NEEDS a Robin to balance the darkness with light. A theory that goes a long way towards making the concept of Robin a lot less stupid than it might have originally been viewed.
Tim proved himself time and time again in the early years as Robin, truly succeeding Dick Grayson in the way Jason Todd ever could - by being someone we could all relate to growing up in the DC Universe.
Like Dick, Tim Drake became part of a young superhero team, first Young Justice, then the Teen Titans. In both he displayed leadership qualities, but also forged great friendships that would further define his character. After the loss of his friend Superboy, Tim changed his costume into an extremely badass Red and Black number, finally showing the world a cool Robin costume.
Superboy wasn't the only loss Tim endured, he also lost both of his parents, another friend in Bart Allen (Kid Flash), and went through several bad relationships. Like all great heroes, Tim's life came into contact with darkness. Perhaps more so than most other heroes. Batman lost both his parents, but in a lot of ways Tim's entire life was ripped apart, parents, friends, and eventually even Batman disappeared.
Batman's "Death" is where Tim Drake's character officially jumps forward into potentially iconic territory. Tim was the ONLY hero to believe that Bruce Wayne had not truly died. Everyone thought Tim was crazy, and for awhile it was hard for readers not to think he was crazy too. So much death had happened in his life all at the same time, the lost of his mentor (and adoptive father), and losing his role in the universe as Robin. It is easy to believe he might have snapped. Donning the identity of Red Robin, cracking skulls, working alone, refusing to believe Bruce Wayne was gone with seemingly no evidence.
But Tim proved us all wrong. He was right all along, he carried a torch when the entire DC Universe turned away. He dealt with horrible grief and loss and came out on the other end smiling and saving the day. Batman never did that. No hero has ever really gone through a personal odyssey like Tim.
Tim began as a worthy successor to Dick Grayson, and has now proven himself to be a worthy successor to Bruce Wayne. He's smarter than Bruce according to the man himself, and he's demonstrated more remarkable personal fortitude than Bruce ever did. It's easy for a man to become a "Dark Knight", but to remain a source of light after experiencing so much pain is even more impressive.
Tim is on his way to greatness. He's a genius, he's a great fighter, a great leader, and a great friend. He could have become a brooding loner but instead embraced a life of friendship and optimism. He could have turned to the dark side but remained dedicated to the forces of good. What do you get when someone has the skills of Bruce Wayne, but the soul of Dick Grayson? A beacon of hope for the world, a White Knight. A lynchpin of the DCU that can fill the role.
Where does it all go from here? Assuming Tim isn't killed off (horrible idea) he still has a lot of growing to do. His rogues gallery is still laughable, and he's only recently come into his own as a solo powerhouse. If he is to become the best he'll have to continue to be the best for a long time. Pick up street cred, face his weaknesses, prove himself as a unique character in a world where it's easy to become different shades of the main Bat.