Just when you thought Gotham City had enough defenders of the night, a new costumed crimefighter has made his presence known in the pages of Detective Comics. While he wears the familiar cape and cowl of the Dark Knight, this individual is actually the future Tim Drake of the Titans of Tomorrow -- and, well, he's looking more supervillain than superhero.
It's unclear if future Tim will stick around once “A Lonely Place of Living” concludes, but cover art for the final chapter in DC’s “Super Sons of Tomorrow” crossover features what appears to be Drake in a new identity, and it’s looking a lot like the Rebirth version of Vigilante.
Titans of Tomorrow and Rebirth Debut
First appearing in Geoff Johns and Mike McKone’s Teen Titans run in 2005, the Titans of Tomorrow consisted of Robin, Superboy, Wonder Girl, and the rest of the Teen Titans growing up to assume the mantles of their mentors while ruling over the West Coast of the United States with an iron fist. The most dramatic heel turn came from Tim Drake, who became a ruthless gun-toting Batman.
The Batman of Tomorrow made his DC Rebirth debut in Detective Comics #965 as one of Mr. Oz’s prisoners alongside the present-day Tim Drake. After being freed and realizing events transpiring in the present can alter his timeline, future Tim decides to set his target on Batwoman, the one person he blames for the fall of the Batmen and setting his life down a horrible path. However, Batwoman isn’t the only current-day superhero future Tim is on the hunt for.
Super Sons of Tomorrow
The solicits for a four-part crossover between Superman, Super Sons, and Teen Titans tell us the Batman of Tomorrow is tracking down Superboy to prevent him from causing a catastrophe that results in millions of deaths. While initial speculation leaned more towards this being an adult-version of Damian Wayne, we now know it's future Tim Drake. Though we only know about his grudge against Batwoman at the moment, apparently Future Tim also has it in for Damian’s Super Sons partner, Jonathan Kent.
Aside from Superboy being responsible for a horrific event in the future, we may have gotten another clue as to why the Batman of Tomorrow wants to eliminate the Boy of Steel. Near the end of Detective Comics #966, the two Tim Drake’s prepared to go their separate ways when Future Tim has one last request of his counterpart. “Tell Conner you’re sorry,” he said. Present Day Tim, a look of surprise on his face, replied, “Conner? Who the hell is Conner?”
The Conner in question is, of course, Conner Kent, the pre-New 52 Superboy and the Superman of the Titans of Tomorrow timeline. Earlier in the issue, we got a glimpse of Conner in a pre-recorded message to Future Tim, asking him to return to the Titans. It seems some years from now the former best friends will have a falling out, with Future Tim never apologizing for whatever comes between them. The Teen Titans of the New 52 era did count a Superboy as one of its members; however, this was a totally different Conner Kent than the one who would eventually grow up to be Superman in the Titans of Tomorrow.
With the world having been reshaped and manipulated by the events spinning out of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 and the launch of the New 52, Red Robin has no recollection of the one true Conner Kent. Would seeing his younger self not recognize the name of his former best friend be enough of a spark to cause future Tim to hunt down and destroy what he considers to be the inferior Superboy?