Holy Bisexuality, Batman! Robin Comes Out

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday August 11, 2021
Originally published on August 11, 2021

Batman's sidekick Robin came out as bisexual in a recently published issue of the DC comic book "Batman: Urban Legends," where he also sets up a date with another man.

Forget the colorful "Biff!" and "Pow!" title cards as the closet door flies off the hinges. Though it follows an action sequence, the moment is played seriously, NBC News reports.

Robin — in this case, Tim Drake, Dick Grayson long ago having gone off to become an adult superhero called Nightwing — has been wrestling with his place in the world, being neither the first nor the last teenaged super-sidekick to don the crimefighting Robin persona, NBC summarized.

"The current storyline, 'Sum of Our Parts,' sees Tim reconnecting with an old friend, Bernard Dowd, who last appeared in 2005's 'Robin' No. 140," NBC News recounted.

"Bernard is kidnapped by a new villain, the Chaos Monster, and Bernard hints during their daring escape that he knows Tim is Robin, saying he wished "we could have finished our date,' " referencing a dinner the two young men recently shared —†a dinner during which Tim found himself attracted to Bernard.

Fittingly, it's as the two fight for freedom that Drake puts two and two together — though talk of a date happens later.

"'Ever have a lightbulb moment?' Tim wonders" as the fight rages, according to The Hollywood Reporter. " 'Like something out in the ether has been taunting you, 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.' "

After the two young men battle their way out of their predicament, "Bernard then asks Tim out on a legitimate date, which the young hero accepts," NBC News adds.

Writer Meghan Fitzman talked with Polygon about her desire "to pay tribute to the fact that sexuality is a journey."

Fitzman recalled that Drake has also had a relationship with a female crimefighter, and told Polygon, "To be clear, his feelings for Stephanie have been/are 100 percent real, as are his feelings for Bernard. However, Tim is still figuring himself out. I don't think he has the language for it all... yet."

The comic — Urban Legends #6 — hit the stands on Aug. 10.

Drake's emergence from the closet (or, at least, his exploration of sexuality) follows a number of other LGBTQ+ superheroes in the DC comics — among them Batwoman (who is portrayed as a lesbian both in the comics and on TV), and a new, openly gay teenage version of Captain America.

Artist Belen Ortega posted a few panels from the comic at Instagram, and thanked fans for their support during the six-issue run of the storyline.

"It's overwhelming all the comments and love I'm receiving from you guys, thanks for your support on my very first series with @dccomics," Ortega posted.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.