Over 80 years after it was first presented to readers, and after decades of homoerotic subtext with fellow Batman, comic book sidekick Robin has become canonically LGBTQ +.
In a cliffhanger ending in DC’s latest issue of Batman: Urban Legends, current iteration of the Boy Wonder, Tim Drake, is shown accepting a date invite from his friend Bernard, who just got off him. save from a villain while he disguises himself as Robin.
“Have you ever had a blistering moment?” Drake reflected in a single panel. “As if something in the ether is taunting you, teasing you.” As you know, you are supposed to be on the same page as your brain, but it just doesn’t make sense. People keep asking me what I want. But I couldn’t grasp it. It didn’t matter what it was. It was always just out of reach. Until now. Until now.
The author of the issue, Meghan Fitzmartin, told Gameserver that she was not ready to put a label on the sexuality of Drake, who was also pictured dating the superheroine Spoiler, aka the character. Stephanie Brown. “I wanted to pay tribute to the fact that sexuality is a journey,” said Fitzmartin. “To be clear, his feelings for Stephanie were / are 100% real, just like his feelings for Bernard. However, Tim is still figuring out each other. I don’t think he has the language for everything… yet.
She said she was thrilled to have the green light from DC. “I sat completely on the floor of my apartment for a good two blissful minutes as he sank down… I hope this will mean as much to others as it does to me.” “
NPR reviewer Glen Weldon argued that this was not a surprise, but a pleasant development. “Treatises have been written and entire chapters of books (very well received!) Devoted to the queer subtext of the Batman / Robin relationship. In Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997), the late filmmaker Joel Schumacher did everything he could to turn this weird subtext into leather and leather text, ”Weldon wrote. “But today… well. Amazingly enough, for those of us who have been waiting for years, Robin just came out and said it himself, in the pages of Batman: Urban Legends # 6.
Drake is just the latest in a series of superheroes written as LGBTQ +, including Batwoman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, married couple Midnighter and Apollo, and, most recently at Marvel, Captain America.