DC Comics has pushed Batman’s sidekick Robin out the closet, over 80 years after the mantle was established in the April 1940 issue of Detective Comics #38.
At the break of the week, in a DC anthology comic titled Batman: Urban Legends #6, the popular character reveals an extremely personal identifier — rarely stated in the hypermasculine nature of popular comic books. The Boy Wonder, the oldest comic book sidekick in history, discovers that he is gay.
But … if you are a comic book fan … the question arises … Well, which Robin is same-gender-loving?
It is not Dick Grayson, the original character who later becomes Nightwing and leads the Teen Titans.
It is also not Jason Todd, the young man that replaced Grayson (kinda died but didn’t) and then became Red Hood.
It also wasn’t Stephanie Brown (who seemed to have died but had her death faked by Dr. Leslie Thompkins) nor Damian Wayne, Batman’s son (and the grandson of Batman’s nemesis Ra’s al Ghul).
Hotheaded and prone to murderous violence, his mother tried to get him killed, and eventually, he was killed by his own evil old clone Heretic. This Robin also returned from the dead, after his dad resurrected him with Darkseid’s Chaos Shard.
The Robin that is now aware of his status within the LGBTQIA+ in the third mantle-holder, Tim Drake (despite being Stephanie Brown’s old boyfriend). What … comic books are complicated … keep up!
The title’s writer Meghan Fitzmartin shows the moment that Drake’s sexuality became clear to him.
In narrative form, after rescuing his male friend from a villain in Urban Legends #6, he says, “Ever had a lightbulb moment? Like something out of the ether taunting and teasing you.
Like you know you’re supposed to be on the same page as your brain but not everything made sense. People keep asking me what I want … But I couldn’t grasp it. Whatever it was, it always felt just out of reach. Until now. Until right now.”
For years, people have speculated that one of the Robins was gay — constantly questioning the relationship between the older Batman and the young sidekick. This is an age-old and dangerous stereotype linked to the Roman institution of Pederasty and horribly painting healthy-minded gay men as pedophiles and perverts.
According to the Batman and Robin Cannon, Bruce Wayne is a heterosexual bachelor and a guardian of the young men that he works with, training him in the ways of The Bat. His heavy-handed nature and lack of intimacy with people across the board is the reason why almost all of the Robins left his employment.
Also, despite some reports, Drake is gay and not bisexual. Because the character did not know he was gay when he was in his off-and-on relationship with Stephanie Brown. It is not unusual for people, who live in heteronormative societies, to not understand that the dynamics of their innate sexuality and where they fall on the spectrum. Many date as expected, until they discover, like Drake, an “awakening.”
Just because Batman is lonely and doesn’t know what he wants (at least in the comics), doesn’t mean Drake’s Robin has to be. Check out his journey.
Hopefully, the character can find love and make a powerful statement of affirmation for young people reading the books.