The story of Tim Drake’s return took a big turn as it was revealed that a version of Tim-Batman from similar the Titans of Tomorrow future is still around. Though recent changes to the DC Universe thanks to the events the events of Rebirth have completely shifted what the Titans of Tomorrow Batman’s future is like. Those changes have made what happens next in Tim’s return and the ramifications for the upcoming “Fall of the Batmen” event an even bigger mystery. Now with both versions of Tim Drake back in the present DC Universe timeline how will the Batman Family react to what they learn? Let’s find out with Detective Comics #967
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Alvaro Martinez
Inker: Raul Fernandez
Colorist: Tomeu Morey and Jean Francois Beaulieu
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In the Batcave Bruce Wayne continues to look over the footage from when Tim Drake made his last stand. Alfred walks in and questions if Bruce is okay mentally. Bruce says he must find the answers of what really happened to Tim as everything is pointing to him being alive.
As Bruce is breaking down how he can’t stop his investigation Red Robin’s signal goes off somewhere in Gotham City.
Bruce, as Batman, rushes out and finds Tim’s Red Robin costume in a trash can. He then rushes off to the hospital.
At the Gotham City hospital some doctors are working to get Tim to wake up after he passed out. Bruce walks into the hospital room and demands the doctors to leave, bringing up how he owns the hospital.
Once alone Bruce hugs Tim. Tim tells Bruce that they need to prepare for what is coming.
The next morning Kate Kane is having breakfast with Bette Kane. Bette brings up how she could come back from her training to return to being Flamebird and be part of Kate’s team. Kate turns Bette down and tells Bette that she should focus on being at the top of her military class. Kate then leaves when she gets a call from Batman.
At the Belfry the Batwoman arrive and sees that everyone happy to have Red Robin back. With the team assembled Red Robin goes over how a version of himself from the future is running around Gotham City as Batman. He reveals that this future Batman mission is to kill Batwoman for something she did to shift the direction of his world.
Before continuing Red Robin asks about Spoiler’s whereabouts.
Elsewhere, Spoiler gets to her warehouse and listens to a report about how Superman recently saved the day. In the shadows Tim-Batman appears behind Spoiler and apologizes for not listening to her. When Spoiler turns around Tim-Batman is already gone.
Back at the Belfry the team has secured Batwoman in one of the cells for her safety. Batwoman isn’t happy but Red Robin says he saw Tim-Batman hold his own against Doomsday and has countless equipment he has developed over several decades.
Red Robin then mentions how he wanted the team to be called the Gotham Knights, even creating a roundtable for them. Batwing says he would like to make what Red Robin thought the team would be a reality if they survive.
A little later Red Robin meets Batman and mentions that he surprised that his future self hasn’t shown up yet. Batman says that if he had a chance to change the past like Tim-Batman he would not rush things. Red Robin then reveals that Tim-Batman mentioned person named Connor but does not recognize the name, though his heart does seem to.
Batman then asks Red Robin where he would go if he could change things. Red Robin then realizes where Tim-Batman is.
At Wayne Manor Tim-Batman shows up in the greenhouse to give Alfred a hug. Tim-Batman asks Alfred if there was something that would keep him from becoming Batman if he should do it.
Before Alfred can answer Nightwing, Robin and Red Hood show up to stop Tim-Batman. Tim-Batman tells the trio that he trained tirelessly in simulations that were programed with them in their prime and that they were defeated as soon as they confronted him.
In the Batcave Alfred runs in to tell Batman and Red Robin that Tim-Batman is at Wayne Manor. Not long after Nightwing, Robin and Red Hood are thrown into the Batcave by Tim-Batman.
Red Robin tries to reason with Tim-Batman but his older self up for it. Tim-Batman then reveals that during his time he finished the work Bruce by this time has yet to complete.
Batman is shocked when Tim-Batman reveals that not only has he finished Brother Eye but can activate it through his own Batsuit. End of issue.
The Good: Detective Comics #967 continues to carry the momentum created by the first two issues of this story arc. James Tynion ups the ante by revealing more about the Tim-Batman and bringing the entire Batman Family into what is going on. In doing so the stakes are raised while highlighting who Tim Drake is and who he could be.
As “A Lonely Place Of Living” has continued the big thing Tynion has spotlight is that very fact of where Tim really is going as a person and superhero. Though not one-for-one, much of Tim’s evolution as Robin and Red Robin is not all that different from when Dick Grayson gave up the cape and cowl the first time. In that time Dick grew older he realized he did not want to be Batman anymore, even though he originally wanted to, and wanted to be something that wasn’t in Bruce’s shadows. Through that time Dick realized that while he didn’t have to be Batman or Robin he was a superhero at his core which is where his Nightwing identity, that he’s made iconic, comes from.
That is the exact spot Tim has been in since Rebirth started. “A Lonely Place Of Living” is highlighting how the more Tim pushes away from who he is the more he is pulled in the direction he does not want to go. Having the future Tim Drake as this darker, almost evil, Batman is a good showcase of this fact for Tim. And if anything is to be taken away from this is that Tim must stop trying to write everyone’s destiny and give up on trying to control their direction.
It’s this obsession of trying to control what others do that has made this version of Tim as Batman an even more fascinating character. Because in reality this future version of Tim born out of the character constantly fighting against the idea he can be one of the best superheroes. That is something he has projected on everyone else, especially characters like Bruce and Dick. In not realizing that until he became Batman his own obsession has consumed this future version of the character that even in realizing his own mistakes he can’t go against anything anymore.
And Tynion does a great job showcasing how Tim-Batman has used his obsessive personality to be ready for anything, including going against Nightwing, Robin and Red Hood. While we don’t see the fight the fact that we saw him throw the three into the Batcave without even being scratch speaks a lot about his level of skill. That brief showcase made the final surprise he had in completing Brother Eye a fantastic hook ending for this issue.
Brother Eye was always an intriguing concept that seemed to get out of hand after it’s full introduction during Infinite Crisis. Now with the Brother Eye concept having time to rest Tynion is able to bring it in as something that could possibly be more threatening. And with all the big events currently going on it’ll be very interesting to see where Tynion goes with the Batman Family possibly using Brother Eye or someone else getting their hands on it.
Through all of these big moments Tynion also did a good job with giving us some small character moments around Tim’s return. Tim’s interactions with Bruce stood out as something that was important to both characters. The opening scene in particular highlighted how much Bruce sees Tim as a son, even if he does not admit it. That was furthered with how they talked to each other as Batman and Red Robin that further shows some of the similarities and differences between the two.
In addition to that, the Stephanie Brown scene, while quick, worked to further drive how emotional this story is for both versions of Tim Drake. Seeing Tim-Batman apologize to Stephanie from the shadows does bring into question what he did in the future to be so remorseful about where their relationship went. It also brings into question where Stephanie’s character will go if Tim is back full time after how she fell out of favor with the team.
Outside of all the Tim-centric material, it was interesting to see Bette Kane being brought in for a brunch with Kate Kane. This was a nice node to their relationship in the past and quickly established where they currently are. It also highlighted Kate’s own military background as we continue to see Tynion and the Batman writers push that narrative even more for the character. It could play into the upcoming “Fall of the Batmen” as Kate seems to be at the center of all that is going on right now even though she isn’t directly involved, yet.
Alvaro Martinez does a great job filling in for Eddy Barrows in this issue. I didn’t even notice that Barrows wasn’t the artist for Detective Comics #967. That is something that is important for such a big art that we don’t see a big shake up in artistic styles. Martinez in particular did a great job showing how confident Tim-Batman is in his abilities and preparations. It made the final page stand out even more as we see where all that preparation has taken Tim-Batman.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Detective Comics #967 nailed the chaotic situation this future version of Tim Drake as Batman has created by coming to the present. His interaction with the Batman Family highlighted how fascinating the character is. At the same time, it shined a spotlight on what the actual future Tim and the Batman Family will be if they all make it out of this story together.