Eric Drumm's picture
By Eric Drumm

As the Robin flies ...

ROBIN, like NIGHTWING and BIRDS OF PREY are ending next month.  And no, I’m not happy about it.
I don’t know how many of you know me on a personal level.  Probably none of you, but that’s ok.  If you were to ever meet me at a con or a bar or someplace, when talking favorite books the first thing out of my mouth would be ROBIN.  I really can’t explain it.  Robin has been my favorite character for as long as I’ve been reading comics.  In all my almost 25 years on this Earth, Robin has the one character who has never let me down.  Hell, I have a Robin tattoo for crying out loud.  In case you’re wondering, it’s an actual robin wearing a Robin costume.  
When I was about 7 years old, my best friend Eric Leblang had this really thick comic in his room.  At the time, I was into X-Men based solely on the fact I thought that the covers looked cool at the shop.  I didn’t read them or anything, just looked at the pictures and marveled (pun definitely intended) as how fuckin’ awesome they were.  But when Leblang handed me this super huge comic, everything changed for me.  This comic was the HERO REBORN trade paperback.   And I was amazed.
This may be the first comic I actually read.  I had no idea what was going on.  Where’s Dick Grayson, I thought.  Who is this Tim kid?  And who the hell is Jason Todd?  But as I read it through, I learned.  Tim Drake was a scared kid who was afraid of the shoes he had to fill.  He didn’t want to let anyone down, especially not himself.  I really took to this kid.  We was scared and all alone, on an adventure without Batman (which at the time blew my mind) and had to be smart to survive.  After I finished the trade, I knew that Robin was going to be my favorite superhero from then on. 
Over the next 17 years and 182 issues, that still hasn’t changed.  I’ve been with Tim through his many trials in becoming a grown up, and he was right there with me through mine.  Like a childhood friend, Tim Drake and I went through it all together.  I couldn’t have asked for a better friend, and he’s never let me down.
And now its all over.
DC claims that the cancellation of ROBIN is strictly for editorial reasons.  I know for a fact that it sold fairly well throughout its life, and I’ve never met a fan who had something bad to say about the character, aside from the never funny “Yo, Robin is mad gay.”  “Batman RIP” and FINAL CRISIS are going to affect Robin, but we don’t know how yet.  What’s going to happen to Tim Drake?  Theories are bouncing around, but the ones that stand out are that he will become Red Robin or more unlikely, Batman.  Am I psyched about that?  No, I’m not.
In the last few years, Robin has really started to become his own man, and that was because of the losses he has suffered.  The kid lost his girlfriend, his favorite superhero, his father and his best friend in only a few weeks of comic book time.  And you know what?  He kept going.  He used it to make him stronger.  Other heroes piss and moan when they lose someone (I’m looking at you, Nightwing), but Timmy held it together.  And now all that potential is wasted.
This could all be a ruse to relaunch the series, maybe with new numbering.  Or maybe this is really it for Robin and the character is done away with completely.  He is out of the Titans and is mysteriously missing from some of the BATTLE FOR THE COWL teaser art.  This worries me greatly, but unfortunately I’m not Dan DiDio so I can’t do shit about it.  The one thing I can do continue to love this character.  Regardless of what editorial thinks, the only thing that can save a character is fan interest and sales.  Want to save Robin?  Go out there and buy all the trades.  And speak up on every message board you can.  
The bottom line is that I’m bummed.  “Batman RIP” ended up being a pile of shit for the most part, and I’m little weary about BATTLE FOR THE COWL.  If Chuck Dixon was writing it instead of Tony Daniel, I would be psyched.  But Dixon was booted off of ROBIN, of course, which I will not talk about publicly for fear of adding fuel to a fire I’m pretty sure is out by now.  I’m sad because ROBIN along with CAPTAIN AMERICA and some other books I really look forward to every month.  And now it’s gone.  All gone.
It’s not everyday I meet another Robin fan.  So if you have happen to be one, give us a shout.  And have a drink for poor Tim Drake.  May the kid land on his feet.