SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Detective Comics #979 by James Tynion IV, Philippe Briones and John Kalisz, on sale now.
Two very different futures are the outcomes for a tale of two very different Tim Drakes. The modern-day Tim has long optimistically envisioned the idea of The Belfry, the Bat-quarters set in the heart of Gotham established to watch over and protect the city. His alternate future counterpart, however, comes from a grim timeline where Tim has assumed the role of Batman – a dark, dystopic world that he cites Batwoman as being to blame for creating.
Present-day Tim's vision became somewhat tainted, though, when his idea of The Belfry literally fell apart after Clayface's monstrous and unfortunate transformation resulted in its destruction. Conversely, the dark reality of future Tim seemed somewhat brightened as Batwoman and her father's operation The Colony has been shown to be less villainous than Tim believed.
In James Tynion IV and Philippe Briones' Detective Comics #979, part four of "Batmen Eternal," those two futures seemingly begin to converge -- although not in the way either incarnation of Tim necessarily ever expected.
Tim Drake – OMAC?
Jacob Kane's former ally Ulysses Armstrong, who now calls himself The General, had tried to convert present-day Tim to his cause by showing him what the future otherwise held for him. Failing to do so, Ulysses took a more drastic and direct approach at the end of last issue, by beginning to transform Tim into an OMAC using Brother Eye's nano-technology, while Batman, Batwoman and Jacob fight off a group of OMACs at the shuttered Kane Manor.
Timely intervention by Batwing neutralized the OMACs by disrupting the nanites cohesively bonding their shells. As the issue begins, Tim is subject to horrific future visions, but still fights Ulysses' attempts to control him. Fed up with Tim's resistance, the General completes his transformation of Tim, converting him into a different kind of OMAC altogether.
The result is a grotesque Batman/OMAC hybrid, built with Brother Eye tech but one who still claims to be Tim. The transmuted Tim then initiates a new protocol called Pax Batmana. The code causes the OMACs previously neutralized by Batwing to reactivate, but instead of re-engaging the Bat-team, they and countless other OMACs depart for the center of Gotham. Their intent? To converge and create a new central structure to serve as OMAC-Tim's base of operations. That's right – Tim's idea of The Belfry 2.0 has come to realization, but far from the way he had intended.