Tim Drake has always been the sort of Golden Boy of all the Robins. Unlike the others, Tim was always groomed to be Robin, and not Batman’s eventual replacement. Because of this, Tim is easily the least tragic of all Robins, at least at the time that he started. Over the years, several big changes have been made to Tim’s character.
From Robin to Red Robin to Drake, he has also undergone a lot in recent years. However, no matter what era of DC continuity, or what his codename is, Tim has still gone through his fair share of darker moments. At times, he has even made some tough decisions that had some very dire consequences. To look into some of those choices, here is our list of the 10 most unforgivable things Tim Drake has ever done.
10 Killed And Became the Joker (Batman Beyond)
Though not a story from the comics, Tim Drake still saw himself as the Joker for a time. During the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) movie, it was revealed that the Joker once kidnapped him and, using all sorts of chemicals and advanced technology, brainwashed Tim and turned him into his own sidekick.
While Tim was eventually able to fight through what the Joker had done to him, Batman still banned him from donning the Robin suit ever again. In the future, the Joker’s programming begins to take hold once again, turning Tim back into the iconic villain and presenting all-new problems for Neo-Gotham. While this wasn’t exactly Tim’s fault, it is still one of the darkest turns the character has ever taken. Thankfully, he was stopped by Terry McGinnis’ Batman before things became too drastic.
9 Held Off On Azrael
During the Knightfall storyline, Bane famously breaks Batman’s back, leading Jean Paul Valley to assume the role of Batman. During after the fact, Tim still operated as Robin, and actually coached Valley on how to be more like the Dark Knight. However, as Valley began to make more brutal and drastic decisions as Batman, Tim stood by and didn’t say anything until it was too late.
Valley displayed signs of violence very early on in his time as the Dark Knight, and with Tim being such a great detective in his own right, he should have known to alert Bruce before things became too drastic. While Tim’s actions did help bring Bruce to a faster recovery, he still could have helped Valley course-correct before he became irredeemable.
8 Keep Files on His Teammates
During the JLA: Tower of Babel storyline, it was revealed that Batman had kept files on ways to take down each individual member of the Justice League. Shortly after this, Robin’s teammates on the Teen Titans approached him on the issue. Tim then reveals that the story they’d heard was actually true, and that he and Batman had files on the Titans as well.
As one can imagine, this sent a pretty large rift through the team, though Robin’s repercussions weren’t nearly as drastic as Batman’s. Tim just had to smooth things over with his teammates, while Batman was actually expelled from the Justice League. Even though his consequences weren’t that great, Tim still lied to his closest friends for a long time.
7 Quit Being Robin
After getting into several disagreements with Batman, Tim eventually quit being Robin altogether. For a while, he was just like any other Gotham kid, going to school and hanging out with friends in his free time. However, his heroic instincts would still kick in on occasion and he would come to the rescue of anyone in need.
During this time, Tim’s love interest, Stephanie Brown, actually became the new Robin, though her time with Batman was very short-lived. Eventually, Tim would assume the role once again, but not until some important details were worked out between him and Batman.
6 Creating Brother Eye
For those unfamiliar, Brother Eye is a supercomputer and artificial intelligence that was originally created by Batman and Mr. Terrific to help the Justice League better fight crime. However, the computer quickly decides that humanity must become extinct in order to save the planet and has been a big enemy for the League ever since.
As of DC Rebirth though, Tim actually drafted the original software that would eventually turn into Brother Eye, effectively becoming its creator instead. Likewise, when an evil version of Tim shows up from the future, he takes advantage of the software at hand and turns it directly into Brother Eye as part of his evil scheme to take out the Bat-Family. Though he definitely had good intentions, Tim accidentally created one of the biggest problems the League has ever faced.
5 Kissing Wonder Girl
Superboy and Wonder Girl grew incredibly close during their time on the Teen titans. The two were so close, that they became romantically involved. Shortly after, however, Superboy came to sacrifice himself against Superboy Prime, resulting in his death. After a year had gone by, it was revealed that Tim and Wonder Girl had actually developed feelings for each other. The only issue was that Robin and Superboy were best friends while Superboy was alive.
While it was nice to see the two take comfort in each other, their relationship did feel very awkward considering their relationship with Superboy. Even though the two tried to push aside their feelings for one another, things just didn’t work out the way they had intended, putting immense strain on their relationship from the very beginning.
4 Replacing Jason
As mentioned previously, Tim Drake is the third person to call themselves Robin. After Dick Grayson graduated to become Nightwing, Jason todd assumed the mantle of Robin. Unfortunately, Jason died in an encounter with the Joker, meaning that Tim could take the mantle a short while later.
Unfortunately, when Jason came back from the dead, he certainly felt as though his death had meant nothing and that he, himself, was replaceable. This led Jason into a direct encounter with Tim at the Titan's Tower, in which Jason nearly killed Tim. Though Jason has since forgiven Tim for assuming the role of Robin, the two have never really been incredibly close.
3 Become Batman
In an alternate future, it is revealed that Tim eventually becomes the successor to batman. It is later revealed that Dick tried to be Batman for awhile, but eventually quit, and that Jason was in too dark a place to even become Batman. As a result, the mantle then fell to Tim, who, surprisingly, made for a much darker Batman than even Bruce.
For how dark things were in the future, the Justice League (as well as the former Teen Titans) was forced to take much more drastic measures. With Tim being so smart, he actually made for a much more ruthless Batman, running Gotham as his own police state. Likewise, the version of Tim that attacked the Bat-Family and activated Brother Eye is none other than this version. For being one of the brighter versions of Robin, it is truly disheartening to see Tim fall so far.
2 Nearly Killed Johnny Warlock
For all the mistakes Tim has made over the years, one of his greatest has been nearly killing Johnny Warlock. After Warlock almost killed Stephanie Brown, Tim made sure to return the favor. The beating he delivered was so severe, that even Batman became worried about his young sidekick.
Thankfully, Tim didn’t take things too far, although there’s no telling what he would have done if Batman hadn’t shown up. Surprisingly, for how close Tim came to killing in this case, it still sin’t the darkest he would ever get as a character.
1 Nearly Killed Captain Boomerang
During his time as Red Robin, Tim actually comes really close to killing Captain Boomerang. Granted, Boomerang did kill Tim's father, so it makes sense that Tim would come to question his code. However, that doesn't change the fact that Tim still considered it to the point where he even lured Boomerang to his death.
Though Tim decides to save him in the end, he still went through a lot of work to actually kill Boomerang. Thankfully, Tim came to his senses at the last moment, but it doesn't change the fact that it happened in the first place. Overall, this is easily one of the darkest, in-canon moments for Tim Drake.