Detective Comics #965 gives us the reemergence of Tim Drake into the DC Universe and takes us down memory lane by reintroducing the character of Red Robin whilst taking a look at his origin and how he came to be a member of the Bat-Family. Mr. Oz — who we now know is Jor-El, the Kryptonian father of Superman — is back, and he wants to know the story of Tim Drake, what drives him to be there for Batman and what influences him to be the hero that Batman needed him to be.
Every page is centered around Tim Drake as it should be, and telling his story to the mysterious Mr. Oz. As much as I love Batman I’m sure everyone can agree that we’ve grown sick of his origin. The origin of Bruce Wayne is constantly being shoved into our faces in every iteration of Batman. In this issue it’s nice to get a fresh reminder of just who is Tim Drake. Tim seems to be the only Robin whose origin isn’t constantly being told or referenced. Taking the look back and being reminded just how smart Tim is was a wonderful reminder and joy to read. I need to dissect Mr. Oz a bit because he’s always been intriguing to me and has kept his identity for well over a year. He lets Tim get away too easily in this book. I can’t wrap my head around why after all this time of taking characters prisoner all over the DC Universe and keeping Tim locked away for so long, he just lets him go that easily. That was a huge problem for me and one of the most shocking moments to see, that a story can start over a year ago and just be dropped so suddenly. Granted he doesn’t give Tim a ride home, but he just sort of leaves him alone after he tries to escape and it just baffles me to see Oz give up so easily. Unless he didn’t just let him get away, and I’ll be eating my words when we read the next book.
This issue isn’t in your face with action and epic beatdowns, but it does have a great amount of suspense and drama. Mr. Oz, the man supposedly manipulating time and altering the DC Universe, is as much of part of this story as Tim Drake is since he’s the one asking about his past. The character structures in this issue are impressive and kudos to James Tynion for starting off this story at such a natural pace and not rushing into anything, especially since readers have long awaited this for just over a year. The writing was touching and moving and really made you love Tim Drake even more. Every detail that makes Tim the person he is today is in this issue.
The art by Eddy Barrows is exceptional. Every important moment and emotion were captured when they were needed the most. There are some moments where Tim is drawn very strange looking, though. He almost looks evil in one too many panels and I found myself staring at the page and going back to see if maybe I missed a plot detail about Tim going to the dark side. It’s not that big of a deal or a even a flaw — I just feel that this story is very important and fragile to Tim and when he’s speaking about his very touching past it’s confusing when his expression comes off very Joker-ish.
Everything about this issue is important and serves a purpose and doesn’t feel like some filler issue with pointless dialogue and stretched fight scenes. This is not an issue you should skip or skim through. This is a must-read issue that does not disappoint. The closing of this issue leaves you with a huge cliffhanger to kick off this story of Tim Drake and his attempt to escape the prison he’s been trapped in. The Tim Drake epic is right here in Detective Comics #965.