Tim Drake has a new costumed identity as revealed in this weeks' Teen Titans #15, part three of the "Super Sons of Tomorrow" crossover event -- but it probably isn't any of the ones you might have expected.
But then again, it's also probably not the Tim Drake you're thinking of.
This week saw the evolution of the future Tim, the adult who comes from the alternate future in the "Titans Tomorrow" timeline, and his new turn is anything but heroic -- o straightforward, for that matter. But never fear, we're here to break it down, as depicted in Teen Titans #15 by writers Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, and artists Ed Benes, Jorge Jimenez and Richard Friend.
Days of Future Drakes
Tim Drake's life has been complicated lately -- namely, because there's two of him running around. There's the Tim we know and love, from our timeline, the current Red Robin who spent the greater part of last year imprisoned by Mr. Oz and presumed dead. Then, there's the other Tim -- an adult from an alternate future timeline where he and his friends have grown up to inherit the mantles of their mentors.
This future Tim actually originated back in the early 2000s, during the "Titans Tomorrow" arc of Sean McKeever and Eddy Barrows' run on Teen Titans, but was brought to new relevance thanks to the "Lonely Place of Living" arc in Detective Comics this year. There, we learned that this Tim didn't take the transition to being Batman all that well -- or even by choice -- and paid the price: he's dedicated his life to absolutist measures, hyper violence and murder to execute what he deems to be the logical end of Batman's methodology. Future Tim is obsessed with eradicating the need for Batman entirely, and is willing to do whatever it takes to make that dream a reality, even traveling back in time to "fix" the past.
In short? Future Tim's not a great guy, even if his heart's in the right place. His uncompromising certainty that he's doing what's right, and what's best for everyone, has made him one of the most brutal and personal threats the Bat-family's ever had to face. During their first encounter, Future Tim attempted to kill Batwoman to prevent her from kickstarting events he believed would prove catastrophic, but was pulled back into the timestream by "Hypertime fighting back" against his efforts.
But that was far from the end of Future Tim's story. The "Super Sons of Tomorrow" crossover has brought him completely back into focus, and with a more solid objective than ever before: he has to kill Jon Kent, before he can do something catastrophic that will trigger even more events that cascade into the bleak future this version of Tim is trying to circumvent.
To top it all off, the threat Jon represents is also an echo of a pre-Rebirth story as well. Jon's struggling with a "solar flare" problem, where his powers build up and explode out uncontrollably -- the same affliction Superman himself struggled with as the New 52 wound down, leaving him depowered and eventually dead. Not a great prognosis to have, especially when you're a scared 11 year old with a murderous future version of Batman hellbent on killing you before it can get too bad.
It's a lot to take in, to say the absolute least.
Future Tim's been using the Batman mantle and costume since he first arrived back on the Rebirth Radar -- in fact, the fact that Tim was Batman at all was one of the major motivators for his need to change the past. He never wanted to inherit Bruce's identity or role, and was willing to do whatever he could to prevent it from happening.
This week, however, he took the next logical step all on his own. After a brutal initial encounter with the Teen Titans, Future Tim was forced to raid Titans Tower for replacement gear and equipment to replace his broken tech, crafting an all new name and costume for himself in the process.
He took the name "Savior" as a symbol of what he believes is his endgame goal: to save the past from itself, no matter the cost.
The name and uniform are totally unique to this incarnation of Tim, though the style of the costume bares some resemblance to both Tim's pre-New 52 Red Robin uniform and the uniform of a totally different DC hero, Vigilante -- both of which are pretty appropriate thematic inspirations for Tim's new lot in the superhero world, but in completely different ways.
Of course, his time as Savior may or may not be short lived. Almost immediately after he officially introduces himself, his team from the future, and Hypertime itself, begin to track him down and "fight back" all over again, similar to how things went back during his first attempt with Batwoman. Tim loses a hand in the process, and vanishes completely.
He's definitely not gone for good, that much is sure, but whether or not Savior is going to be a new villain for the DCU -- and what that might mean for the Tim Drake of the present moving forward is really anyone's guess, especially with the fourth chapter of "Super Sons of Tomorrow" in next week's Superman #38, and the epilogue in Super Sons #12, on sale Jan. 17.