Man, I gotta say I stand behind all of this except for the Fabian part. I have always hated the way FabNic writes Tim. Always. He becomes this super pretentious, self-involved, super heteronormative, douche bag when Fabian writes him. By and large, that isn’t Tim Drake based on all of his other writers. Does Tim get pretentious? Fuck yes. Is he self-involved? Sometimes, of course he is; he is both human and a teenager through most of this. The thing is though, these are only aspects of his personality, character flaws that sometimes come out in some situations. You know. Like a well developed character who is meant to be like a real person. And he’s mostly been aware of them, and he used to acknowledge it when he fucked up because he was dwelling in those parts of himself. Not always, but mostly.
Except, when FabNic writes him, those flaws are all he’s reduced to. I feel like a quick summary of his internal monologue would read something like, ‘I’m Tim Drake-Wayne. I am a god among men. I love the ladies and the ladies love me. I am impossibly perfect. Nobody else has an opinion that matters, because I am clearly both superior and running this goddamn show.’ It’s like he becomes this weird Alpha Male, some caricature of what a “a real superhero” looks like. Manly man doing manly things.
It makes me miss the super nerdy, self-aware Tim Drake that freaked out when he realized how expensive being a super hero was and how much he probably didn’t have that kind of money anymore. What about the Tim Drake who built himself a rocket skateboard when his car got taken away, who listened to Enya and let his best friend make fun of him for it? Where is the Tim Drake who actually feels guilty for lying to people he cares about and has what borders on an obsessive fear of failure? Tim Drake used to cry over everything, and it was awesome. He used to feel things that weren’t related to how awesome he is or perceives himself to be. What was great about Tim was that when he messed up he knew it and acknowledged it. He was incredibly relatable.
When Chris Yost wrote Red Robin we had a Tim Drake who was faced with the very real sense of being both bereaved and completely, utterly lost in the world, not knowing who he was anymore and where the hell he was going. With Fabian Nicizea we have a Tim Drake who thinks he is without sin and above judgement (literally, I think actually including a phrase that says, roughly, ‘I am totally without a single flaw’ during the arc where Gotham was being judged by Azrael et al.).Granted, the early arc of RR had Tim Drake dealing with abandonment issues and the loss Bruce Wayne. I will grant that FabNic did not have this level of angst to deal with and that might make the latter 2/3 of RR less compelling from an emotional standpoint. But Tim wrestling with very real identity issues, even in the context of being a superhero, made him endearing and identifiable. Even without that kind of personal drama though, Tim can be a very real person in his very unreal role as a superhero.
However, the fact remains that FabNic is consistent in his depiction of Tim, from way back when he was Robin under Bruce’s Batman until now when he is essentially independent. And I feel like the longer he writes Tim, the less he looks like my favorite character.
so well said
REBLOGGING FOR THE COMMENT.
Red Robin was sooooo good until FabNic wrote that arc. Ergh, such a dissapointment.
Fabian Nicieza is also responsible for
- Jason wanting to start a gang war amongst underprivileged children, undoubtedly leading to numerous deaths and injuries, and suddenly being chummy with Tim
- Tim saying “do you normally eat that much?” on his date with Tam (which might have been okay if it were played off like Tim being awkward on a date with a super hot babe, but n o p e was treated as a totally normal thing to say to a woman while she’s eating)
- Titling the end of Red Robin #24 where Tim is being sexually assaulted and threatened with rape and murder as “What a Way to Go!”
I was not the biggest fan of early Red Robin either (I had not read the stuff leading up to it tho, so probably that’s why it felt a bit flat) but it was pretty okay. But yes, as the title progressed to Fab Nic’s part I started feeling the increasing urge to punch Tim in the face every second page.