I have to admit, I thought this book was going to be awful. But, I’m a Tim Drake fan. So, when I realized it was Tim behind the mask, I figured I’d check it out anyway. I’ll say right up front that I was pleasantly suprised. But it took a little while for the book to win me over.
The issue starts with Tim Drake traveling Europe looking for some clue that Bruce is still alive. Right off the bat, I’ve got two problems. One, Tim is, by his own admission, crossing some lines he wouldn’t ordinarily cross. And two, I can think of no good reason why Tim would wear the Red Robin costume.
Yost actually does a pretty good job of explaining what has pushed Tim Drake to this point. The guy has been through a lot. He’s lost his biological and adoptive parents. His best friends have died. And someone else has taken up the role of Robin. To make matters worse, he is the only one who believes that Bruce may still be alive. In fact, he’s desperate to believe it.
Given everything Tim has been through in the last few years, I was willing to believe that he would go to these lengths to hold on to the last remnants of the life he knew. It’s a compelling premise and I look forward to seeing where the story goes. I hope to see Tim redeemed when Bruce inevitably returns.
The question of the Red Robin identity is a stickier one. Yost suggests that Tim picked this identity because it was already tarnished by Jason Todd. Since he knew he was going to cross a few lines, he didn’t want to bring an shame to the identities of Batman or Robin. But bringing shame to Red Robin is okay.
It’s about as good of an explanation as you’re going to get. But it still doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. To the best of my knowlegde, Jason Todd wore the Red Robin costume in a trip through the multiverse. He ditched the costume as soon as he got back to the proper earth. I’m not aware of anyone wearing it since. So, Red Robin doesn’t really have any kind of history – much less a tarnished one. If anything, it makes more sense for Tim just to create a new identity under which to investigate Bruce’s disappearance.
But, DC wanted to use the Red Robin identity. So, you just have to accept this explanation or let it ruin the book for you. I chose to let this one slide.
The art by Ramon Bachs wasn’t particularily to my liking. Having said that, I think it could grow on me over time.
I am looking forward to seeing where Tim’s quest takes him. I hope Yost can keep this search fresh for as long as Bruce is off stage. It seems like a daunting task, but this issue gets things off to a pretty good start.