Warning: Spoiler for Future State: Robin Eternal #2!
Robin has been and always will be an important staple in the Batman mythos. It’s a mantle that has seen any number of Bat-Family members play their part as one half of a duo that is as efficient as they are iconic, and in DC’s far-flung future, fan favorite Robin Tim Drake is still going strong as an older, wiser and even more high-tech version of the Boy Wonder.
But in this mysterious Future State, Tim has died and been reborn again as he fights the good fight against the overwhelming forces of The Magistrate to stop their iron fisted rule over Gotham City dead in its tracks. Yet coming back from the dead – especially via a concentrated dose of Lazarus Pit resin – has its consequences, and if Tim’s hallucinated visions are any indication, his inner demons are much, much worse than fans could have ever imagined.
Taking place in Future State: Robin Eternal #2 by Meghan Fitzmartin and Eddy Barrows, the story picks up directly after the surprise conclusion of the previous issue: Tim has been killed by a giant Magistrate cyber hopped up on refined Lazarus Pit resin. As luck would have it, Tim is immediately bathed in the same resin that heals his broken neck and brings him back to the land of the living… just a little worse for wear. As fans of Batman and his wild escapades over the years know, when one is returned from the dead via any form of the Lazarus Pit’s supernatural concoction, there’s a brief time where the user is not only overpowered as a fighter, but also genuinely insane for a short time to boot. And it’s here where Tim’s inner demons begin to show.
Covered in the concentrated liquid that has just revived him, Tim goes off on the cyber that ended his life only moments before, ripping it to shreds in a shower of sparks and green fluid. Realizing what has happened to him and knowing full well what the Lazarus Pit can do to someone (he even muses on how Jason Todd, the second Robin, must have felt when he experienced it), Tim’s worst thoughts and self-doubt begin to consume him as hallucinations of his failures, fears and past memories flood his mind as the Lazarus resin takes full hold over his psyche.
Seeing images of himself and fellow crime-fighter Spoiler, along with the Bat-villain Two-Face, whom he encountered in his inaugural Robin story, A Lonely Place of Dying, Robin’s true inner demon rears its shadowy (and pointy) head, and it’s none other than the Dark Knight himself. Reinforcing Tim’s negative beliefs about himself and how he isn’t good enough, smart enough or strong enough to save his friends, accomplish his mission and be a proper “son of the bat,” this nightmarish, shadow version of Batman goads Tim like a devil on his shoulder, forcing Tim to focus and fight back.
So while Tim does manage to shake the image of a self-destructive version of his mentor from his mind with his own inner strength and resilience, it can’t be denied that this Robin has some serious demons that are lurking in the far corners of his mind. Tim might not think too highly of himself at times, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s one of the best Robins to ever wear the symbol, especially in a future that has yet to come to pass.