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In 1993, after the success of Tim Drake's 3-part miniseries chronicling his tribulations as the third Robin, (succeding Dick Grayson and Jason Todd), Tim was given his own monthly ongoing series that began in 1993 and ran for more than 15 years, until it ended in early 2009. The series is notable for depicting Tim's personal life with his family and friends, and him balancing a delicate act between his superhero and civilian identity. The first 100 issues of the Robin series was written by Chuck Dixon, which was acclaimed at the time for a high-profile Teen Pregnancy arc involving Tim's girlfriend, Stephanie Brown (Spoiler). In 1998, Wizard magazine ranked the series as the best ongoing comic book of the year.
As the series went on, Chuck Dixon left the book and different writers came on-board. The first was Jon Lewis, whose short tenure on the Robin series built a stable relationship between Tim and Spoiler and had fondness for writing slightly sci-fi plots, which was jarring in a Batbook that focused more on street-level crime. Next was Bill Willingham, who forcibly retired Tim from being Robin after his dad found out his secret, and killed off Spoiler in the War Games crossover. Adam Beechen took over the series with Robin: One Year Later and had Tim leaving Gotham for a while and temporarily staying in Bludhaven with Cassandra Cain. Dixon then briefly took over the series between issues 170 - 174, but was promptly fired and replaced with Fabian Nicieza, who wrote the last arc in the series before its cancellation (to make way for the Red Robin series).
Red Robin, which was launched in late 2009 and written by Chris Yost and Fabian Nicieza, depicted Tim Drake's search around the world to find evidence that Bruce Wayne was still alive after cutting himself off from the rest of the Bat Family. He was approached by Ra's al Ghul's assassins, who were also interested in finding out what happened to Batman. The series lasted for 2 years, until the DCU reboot in 2011.
As of current, Tim Drake no longer has a solo comic and is exclusively appearing in the post-reboot version of Teen Titans.
Tropes associated with Tim Drake in general
- Ascended Fanboy: He was a longtime fan of the original Batman and Robin.
- Badass Normal: As with all members of the Batfamily.
- Chick Magnet: He has been attracting a lot of girls even at a young age, namely Lynx I, Spoiler, Dava and Darla Aquista.
- Jubilee from the Marvel/DC crossover.
- In the Red Robin series, Lynx III.
- Depending on the Artist: Tim has been drawn differently by multitude of artists in his 20+ year history, but there are a few constants in his appearance: spiky, gelled-up hair; average height and a slim body type.
- Grade School CEO: For a time after Bruce's death, Tim Drake (as one of his legally adopted sons) had significant control over Wayne Enterprises as one of its owners. He is apparently still a co-owner along with his father and brothers, despite being a teen.
- Hollywood Nerd: Despite having interests in Dungeons and Dragons, Blade Runner and computers, he's a generally attractive and well-adjusted teenage boy. In fact, later on in the series he has seemingly dropped all of his geeky hobbies.
- He's more of a Geek than a nerd, though.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Tim never wanted to be a crime-fighter permanently. He just wanted to be Robin for a while until he could retire and go on with his life.
- Jumped At the Call: He became Robin because he figured out who Batman was and recognized Bruce's Sanity Slippage without a teen sidekick to keep him honest.
- Legacy Character: Both series were bursting to the seems with these guys. You had: Robin III himself with both his predecessors and his successors, two Batgirls, two female ninjas named Lynx, two Anarkys (one the original, the other a repurposed General), the Red Robin identity (Jason Todd's Countdown suit worn first by the General, then Tim himself), and both Azraels.
- Parental Abandonment: He was neglected by his jet-setting parents, and was often left alone at home with his housekeeper.
- Sidekick Graduations Stick: His transition from Robin to Red Robin.
- Secret-Chaser: he knew Batman and Robin's civilian identity since he was nine, and finally seeked them out when he noticed that Batman was getting more unstable after the death of Jason Todd.
- Vicki Vale in the Red Robin series -- she figured out 3/4 of the Batfamily identities, with the exception of Steph, Cass and Damian.
- The Smart Guy: Most Robins play this role on teams, but Tim is the Smart Guy amongst Smart Guys. It's usually acknowledged that he's the most intelligent of all of the Robins, and even Batman himself has said that Tim will one day make a better detective than him.
- Missing Mom
- Wise Beyond Their Years
Tropes in the 1993 - 2009 Robin series
- I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Hilariously depicted between Tim and Lady Shiva in the Robin miniseries when he goes to Hong Kong. Lady Shiva wakes him up at night for their martial arts training, telling him that she'll bring him to a "whole new world". Tim's response? "Um... I don't think I'm ready for this". Lady Shiva then nonchalantly replied that they can do that later, after the training.
- Battle Couple: with Spoiler.
- Batman Gambit: Inherited from the man himself, Tim does this once to Lady Shiva in the last arc of the Robin series. He drugs her food before their fight and wins easily against her.
- Betty and Veronica: Tim had a brief love triangle with Ariana (Betty) and Stephanie (Veronica) early in the series.
- Big Bad: In the original Robin miniseries and its sequel, King Snake. Then for a brief time Johnny Warlock. From the end of the first ongoing into Red Robin, Anarky II.
- War Games and the brief gang conflict instigated by Jason Todd and then Anarky.
- Clark Kent Outfit: he wore glasses for a while during his short tenure at Brentwood Academy, as sort of a precaution.
- Genius Bruiser: Tim himself ends up as a nightmare for any poor mook he comes across, but is still outclassed by the heavy hitters like Ra's Al Ghul and Lady Shiva, and must rely on Brains to score a victory against them.
- Kid Sidekick: to Batman.
- And Spoiler is the kid sidekick to the kid sidekick.
- Keeping Secrets Sucks
- Lamaze Class: Disguised himself as Alvin Draper and accompanied Steph to birthing classes when she was pregnant.
- Off to Boarding School: One of the arcs in Chuck Dixon's run. Tim gets sent to Brentwood Academy by his dad who is worried about him being a rebellious and secretive teenager.
- Parents Walk in At the Worst Time: In Robin #40, Ariana wanted to have sex with Tim, but he told her that they weren't ready and ended up just hanging out together on the couch. Her uncle walked in on them and saw her still in lingerie, got the wrong idea and chased him out of the house.
- Attempted Rape As Backstory: Both Ariana and Stephanie had a near-rape experience in their childhood, and both confessed it to Tim. It's no wonder that Tim has the 'Let's Wait a While' mentality in the first place...
- Retcon: Stephanie's death in War Games -- it turns out that she was just hiding in Africa.
- Ship Tease: Arguably played between Cassandra Cain (Batgirl II) and Tim shortly after War Games. Also, with Wonder Girl after the death of Superboy (Tim's best friend and Wonder Girl's boyfriend).
- Secret Identity Identity: He sometimes addresses himself in the third-person in his thought dialogues, either as 'Robin' or 'Tim Drake'.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: The reason Tim is now an orphan and permanently dedicated to crime-fighting.
- The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: The reason why his relationship with Ariana went sour.
- Trauma Conga Line: starting from War Games on Tim experienced his girlfriend's death, his father's death, his stepmother's possible death, his best friend's death, his other best friend's death, and all capped off by the apparent death of adoptive father and mentor Bruce Wayne.
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: A major component of the series before Tim grows out of it.
Tropes in the 2009 - 2011 Red Robin series
- Asian Gal with White Guy: with Lynx III.
- Big Damn Heroes: Tim pulls this off during Anarky II's rampage, and recieves one from Cassandra Cain and Dick Grayson at different times.
- Conservation of Ninjitsu: A group of spider themed villains attack Red Robin. One nearly kills him. When they attack him en masse, he kicks their butts.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Russian industrialist and hobbist super-villain Mikalek from Red Robin.
- Gambit Roulette: In issue #12, Dick saves Tim in the nick of time from falling out a skyscraper. Later in the Batcave, Dick questions him whether he had planned it all along, and Tim replies with a: "You're my brother, Dick. You'll always be there for me."
- Guile Hero: the only Robin to have inherited this particular repertoire from Batman.
- Stalker with a Test Tube: One of Ra's Al Ghul's sisters. As Tim puts it, he's about to be attacked by her in a "after school special" kind of way.
- The Chessmaster: Tim Drake. And how.
- Took a Level In Badass: Tim, Stephanie Brown, and the General all show how much they've grown in Red Robin.
- Was It All a Lie?: Tam Fox breaks up with Tim at the end of the series when she find out that he's been lying to her about Lucius Fox being dead.
- Will They or Won't They?: The premise of the entire Red Robin/Batgirl crossover arc.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Stephanie calls him out in Red Robin #10, in which he admits that she's right and promises to be better in the future.