SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Detective Comics #965, on sale now.
As a young reader of comic books, James Tynion IV found himself in Tim Drake, his favorite Robin who also happened to be a major player in a number of epic storylines from DC Comics. Now the writer of Detective Comics, Tynion pays tribute to a number of iconic Tim Drake arcs, not the least of which is "A Lonely Place of Dying" by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez and "Titans Tomorrow," by Geoff Johns and Mike McKone.
More importantly, Detective Comics #965, which features art by Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira, picks up threads from the jaw-dropping reveal of Mr. Oz's true identity of Jor-El from Action Comics #987, and unleashes a supervillain so powerful, he once inflicted irreparable injuries against DCU's Man of Steel. Tynion also discussed his own shock in finding out Mr. Oz's true identity, and why the other character Tim Drake meets in his captor's prison will prove to be just as big and important a surprise for readers and long-time fans of Red Robin as Mr. Oz's real name.
CBR: There was a lot of buzz and excitement when you announced Tim Drake was part of your initial roster for Detective Comics. And then you basically took him off the table after the first arc. While he's been missed, did knowing he would be coming back in a big way to face off against Mr. Oz make it easier to bench him for nearly a year?
James Tynion IV: Absolutely. The big thing we would wanted to build for the entire Detective run was this idea of Tim Drake as the optimistic heart of the team. And we saw that in the first arc, "Rise of the Batmen." We saw it even further during flashbacks in the second arc, "The Victim Syndicate," where you had Batman speaking to Tim before the creation of the Belfry and the decisions about what they were actually going to build together. We wanted to build Tim into the fabric of the series so his absence would really shape the book while he was gone because really they are still operating under this idea that Tim had. The idea of the team, the idea of the Belfry and the idea of how they approaching fighting crime are really Tim Drake ideas much more than they are like Batman ideas or Batwoman ideas.
In "A Lonely Place of Living," being able to bring Tim back into the center and do a story that speaks to the real core of the character and really define him for the Rebirth era, that was something that I was really excited about since the very beginning.
I remember when I had my first meeting with Geoff Johns talking about how the end of the "Rise of the Batmen" arc was going to play into the larger Rebirth mythos and I was super excited but the one thing was that I made Geoff promise me one thing: I get to tell the story that brings Tim Drake back. [Laughs] He said, "You got it!" And he was good on his word, because here we are.