SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Detective Comics #977, by James Tynion IV, Javier Fernandez, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, John Kalisz, Adriano Lucas and Sal Cipriano, on sale now.
When Tim Drake returned to the forefront of the DC Universe in “A Lonely Place of Living,” the celebration was short-lived because of an entirely unexpected party-crasher: the murderous, gun-toting future version of Tim, who took up the mantle of Batman in his timeline. That, alone, was a bitter pill for the Gotham Knights to swallow, but to make matters worse, they also learned that the eventual impetus for this unprecedented transformation was none other than Batwoman.
We’ve already seen Kate take her own first steps toward the ominous future foretold by Bat-Tim when she shot and killed her fellow Gotham Knight Clayface, but in Detective Comics #977, we witness what could be an even bigger, deadlier game-changer for the Bat-family… unless Tim can somehow stop it from happening.
Last issue, Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong offered Tim a glimpse of his future, courtesy of the files he stole from Bat-Tim using Brother Eye, and as Issue #977 kicks off, we find ourselves watching those events unfold firsthand. While attending Ivy University, the Tim of the not-so-distant-future learns that Gotham has once again been declared a No-Man’s-Land and that the President has ordered Batman be brought in dead or alive.
Meanwhile, at Wayne Manor, Batman is refusing to surrender to the Colony, despite them having him completely surrounded. However, while the Colony might not know how to infiltrate the Batcave, Batwoman does, so it doesn’t take long for her and her troops to reach Bruce, at which time she fires a warning shot to his left shoulder.
“You can still surrender,” Kate tells her wounded cousin. “You know damn well that was never going to happen,” Bruce defiantly replies. Then, drawing her weapon once again, Batwoman fires off another shot before radioing to the President to inform him that “The target is down.”
Tim, who had brought his Red Robin costume out of retirement and fled from Ivy University, then arrives on the scene. Unfortunately, he immediately realizes he’s too late to stop Batwoman from killing his former mentor, as the simulation concludes and we return to the present-day.
Obviously, it seems as though we’re still missing some significant pieces of the puzzle that will lead our current Tim Drake to become Bat-Tim, as the latter previously revealed he wasn’t the first former Robin to take up the mantle of Batman following Bruce’s death. However, should this grim version of the future come to fruition, we can at least confirm Bat-Tim’s claim that Kate destroys people “piece by piece” was no hyperbole.