The final chapter of the Gotham War event gave all of the Dark Knight’s squires a chance to shine. In the final analysis, it was Tim Drake who proved himself to be the best Robin of all time. He did this by showcasing his cleverness and a head for strategy that rivaled Batman himself.
Written by Tini Howard and Chip Zdarsky, with art by Mike Hawthorne and Nikola Čižmešija, the final chapter of Gotham War lived up to its title. An army of Batman’s greatest enemies took to the streets of Gotham City, armed with Batman’s own weapons. This was only a distraction, however, arranged by the villain Vandal Savage as he enacted the final stage of his plan.
Tim Drake, the third Robin, was the first hero to arrive on the scene. He was also the first to fall, captured by the army of villains, and kept as bait to lure the other heroes out of hiding. Once he was rescued, Tim made up for lost time and immediately turned the tables on Batman’s enemies. While his allies had focused on minimizing the damage the villains could cause, Tim attacked them directly.
The villains had new tricks, with Professor Pyg taking Bane’s Venom and Scarecrow mixing his fear gas with Joker toxin. Despite this, Tim Drake adapted on the fly, entrusting his teammates in the Bat family with how they could counter each new threat. Within minutes, the villains were all subdued, and Batman’s weapons and trophies recovered.
Gotham War Showcases All Batman’s Partners
Despite Tim Drake leading the fight in the finale, the Gotham War event gave all of Batman’s partners a chance to shine. When Batman went rogue, only his son and most recent Robin, Damian Wayne, remained loyal to him. Later, it was Nightwing, the first Robin, who was revealed to have been entrusted with the power to shut Batman out of his network if he went over the line.
However, it was Jason Todd, the Red Hood and second Robin, who played the most prominent role, having his own miniseries as part of the Gotham War event. While most of Batman’s allies agreed to ignore Catwoman’s efforts, Red Hood actively helped her, giving her new gang combat training. Batman could not abide this, and responded by brainwashing his former partner.
Jason Todd was left unable to fight, paralyzed with fear whenever his adrenaline levels spiked. Batman claimed to have done this to give Jason a chance at a normal life. Unfortunately, he failed to predict just how strong Jason’s willpower was.
Despite Batman’s conditioning, Jason still threw himself into a burning building to save a trapped child. In the finale, he piloted the Batwing to take down the meteor Vandal Savage was trying to crash into Gotham. What is more, he stood with his mentor and comforted him when it looked like Catwoman had died.
Why Tim Drake is the Best Robin
Every hero who bore the Robin mantle brought something special to the role. For Dick Grayson, it was his natural athleticism and friendly manner. With Jason Todd, it was street smarts and independence. For Damian Wayne, it was a heroic heart that overcame his assassins’ training.
Tim Drake is notable as the first Robin in the mainstream DC Universe who chose to be a hero. Whereas Batman’s other Robins assumed the role because of their aptitude, Tim had to work for it. First, by convincing Batman that he needed a Robin following Jason Todd’s death, then by training his body and mind to be up to the task. Ironically, this makes Tim the most like Bruce Wayne, who faced a similar journey to becoming Batman.
What Tim lacks in natural aptitude and background, he more than makes up for by studying. His actions in Gotham War proved his worthiness as Robin since it was his gift for strategy and encyclopedic knowledge of how the weapons of Batman and his enemies worked that won the day. Despite this, and his modestly calling himself “the second-best Robin,” he’s clearly the most capable of replacing Batman.
Batman / Catwoman: The Gotham War – Scorched Earth #1 is now available at comic shops everywhere.