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  1. #1
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Default When did little Tim become a Bat-photographer?

    Iíve seen it tons of places that Tim trailed and photographed Bruce and Dick without being noticed for years, and I thought it must be canon. But I donít recall that, when originally introduced, Tim actually snuck out at night and took pictures of Batman and Robin when he was very young? Have read most of the Tim stuff from 1993 until the early 2000s, but itís easy to miss a reference, even if it was established in that era. Then I saw someone post a comment (can't recall who so I can ask) that implied it was fanon.

    I mean, certainly Tim was trailing Batman and taking photos of him right before he confronted Dick and asked him to go back to being Robin. But in Batman #440, Timís older stuff all seemed to be newspaper clippings and the like, with the implication him photographing Batman was very recent. Tim said he clipped articles in #441 and we know he watched video of them to see the flip and figure out the identity. But he doesnít reference tailing them in his even-younger-years.

    So I was just curious as to if any Tim fans could tell me what issue that element was introduced in, if it is canon.

  2. #2
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    Imo it is a misinterpretation of his origin story (or a miss understanding by people who never read the original origin story, and only got some second hand information about his origin).

    You see Tim shoot photos of Batman in his origin story but that was when Batman was fighting a villain in bright daylight.
    Thats also something people often don't realise, at the time of Tims Origin Batman was not not an urban myth, and was operating more public than in modern comics, it even shown in Tims origin that he discovered Dick identity when he saw Batman and Robin on TV.

    There is btw. also no source that shows that Tim was interested in photography (which is also a popular fancanon), while there is iirc some golden or silver age story that showed Dick being interested in it...

    Btw. there is also a similar myth about Jason constantly disobeying Batman, resulting in the Bad Guys getting away, which was also not really a thing during his run.

    And Dick was also not taken hostage as often as some people claim.

  3. #3
    Caperucita Roja Zaresh's Avatar
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    That it carried from Peter Parker, by the usual comparison that some people has often made years ago, is my best guess. It kind of fits, or fitted, his character too, uhm, maybe.
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  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Jackalope89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aahz View Post
    Imo it is a misinterpretation of his origin story (or a miss understanding by people who never read the original origin story, and only got some second hand information about his origin).

    You see Tim shoot photos of Batman in his origin story but that was when Batman was fighting a villain in bright daylight.
    Thats also something people often don't realise, at the time of Tims Origin Batman was not not an urban myth, and was operating more public than in modern comics, it even shown in Tims origin that he discovered Dick identity when he saw Batman and Robin on TV.

    There is btw. also no source that shows that Tim was interested in photography (which is also a popular fancanon), while there is iirc some golden or silver age story that showed Dick being interested in it...

    Btw. there is also a similar myth about Jason constantly disobeying Batman, resulting in the Bad Guys getting away, which was also not really a thing during his run.

    And Dick was also not taken hostage as often as some people claim.
    The Jason one, sadly, was perpetuated and pushed heavily by DC themselves. Along with a lot of victim blaming.

  5. #5
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    This is what bothering me about Tim's origin. The common knowledge that he "figured out" their identity is kept and perpetualated without ANY KIND of context. This is not the 80s anymore.

    1988 :
    Background conditions : Batman is human. No tech only camera. Batman and Robin work in broad daylight, also without security techniques for secret identities that later Bruce use.

    Tim : obsessed with Dick Grayson. Didn't even want to be Robin until Dick lured him into it. Later realised he has no skills and has to learn from Dick.

    2000s and now :
    Batgod, with mad tech and public coverage, lies, and security systems for secret identity. Works more secretly.
    Tim : Somehow breaks through all of this with mad skills. Comes and is Robin on his own while Dick fucks off somewhere in space and cheats on Babs. Jason and Dick was also so weak and incompetent that Bruce never needed them, but SOMEHOW he still needs "Robin".

    No wonder DC and his fans can't decide who he is, just "normal everyman that works to match the past Robins" or "uber genius detective and best Robin that even Batgod needs" and had to fuck him up in new52 and Rebirth. Now, if batgod never needed the first, why the fuck would he need the second and third??? Right, Bruce is a mafia boss/ abuser and Tim is just his ultimate Robot.
    Last edited by nhienphan2808; 11-03-2019 at 07:21 PM.

  6. #6
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    1988 :
    Background conditions : Batman is human. No tech only camera. Batman and Robin work in broad daylight, also without security techniques for secret identities that later Bruce use.
    Makes me wonder if the Batmobile has ever been retconned more advanced in that era, given Jason's post-COIE intro.

    Tim : obsessed with Dick Grayson. Didn't even want to be Robin until Dick lured him into it. Later realised he has no skills and has to learn from Dick.
    I think that's overstating it. He did have some rudimentary skill. And he was obsessed with Batman and Robin not Dick Grayson. And moreso Batman than Robin in his first few issues, at least. I mean, he basically wanted Dick to give up not only Nightwing, but his entire life (Titans, NY, etc.) and go back to being Robin for Batman's sake. It was an extremely unhealthy and disturbing dynamic. Things got better.

    There's also some of that stuff that I deem the victim-blaming Jackalope89 mentioned with how Tim felt safer when working with Batman than he did when working with Nightwing. He felt like as long he did whatever Batman said, he couldn't be hurt. Normally, I'd have taken that as a naivetť on Tim's part, but with the way Jason was treated in the era, I honestly kinda think we were supposed to take it as a factually correct statement. To drive home that Jason's death was his own fault because he disobeyed. Thankfully, Tim grew past that mindset of Batman-is-always-right. Though he, like the others, still lets Bruce get away with way too much. But it was very disturbing to see how unrealistic Tim's perception of the risk he was taking was. And if it was an intentional wrongness on Tim's part by the writer (as I would think it if not for the reality of the Jason-blaming), it makes for the really good kind of disturbing to read, the interesting kind. But if it's taken as accurate, it's the bad kind of disturbing

    I do agree that Tim wasn't a supergenius then - I liked better in '90s. He was a smart kid, no doubt. And he jumped in the fray when needed and got the job done. But when it came to mystery-solving, the vastly more experienced detective (Dick was still allowed to be a detective back then) was right and Tim was wrong. But they didn't make him look stupid in that case, which was good.

    When re-reading the old issues, I saw this, and it really grabbed me. Tim is remembered for "Batman needs a Robin" - it's sometimes seen as wise, sometimes noble, sometimes self-sacrificing. Usually perceived as a good thing. In any event, it's become Tim's line, a famous quote. So I was interested when I saw it a little earlier, in such different context. I have no idea if it appeared earlier than this, but this is the one that stuck with me, and I wondered it was an intentional call back.
    batman needs robin.jpg

    Here, Bruce says Batman needs a Robin and it's an excuse. It's misleading and selfish certainly to me an early post-COIE example of the sort of selfishness and poor treatment of others that would become more prominent in Batman as time wore on.

    Edit: We've strayed from the topic, haven't we? But I'm enjoying the discussion.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 11-03-2019 at 07:52 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    Makes me wonder if the Batmobile has ever been retconned more advanced in that era, given Jason's post-COIE intro.

    I think that's overstating it. He did have some rudimentary skill. And he was obsessed with Batman and Robin not Dick Grayson. And moreso Batman than Robin in his first few issues, at least. I mean, he basically wanted Dick to give up not only Nightwing, but his entire life (Titans, NY, etc.) and go back to being Robin for Batman's sake. It was an extremely unhealthy and disturbing dynamic. Things got better.

    There's also some of that stuff that I deem the victim-blaming Jackalope89 mentioned with how Tim felt safer when working with Batman than he did when working with Nightwing. He felt like as long he did whatever Batman said, he couldn't be hurt. Normally, I'd have taken that as a naivetť on Tim's part, but with the way Jason was treated in the era, I honestly kinda think we were supposed to take it as a factually correct statement. To drive home that Jason's death was his own fault because he disobeyed. Thankfully, Tim grew past that mindset of Batman-is-always-right. Though he, like the others, still lets Bruce get away with way too much.

    I do agree that Tim wasn't a supergenius then - I liked better in '90s. He was a smart kid, no doubt. And he jumped in the fray when needed and got the job done. But when it came to mystery-solving, the vastly more experienced detective (Dick was still allowed to be a detective back then) was right and Tim was wrong. But they didn't make him look stupid in that case, which was good.

    When re-reading the old issues, I saw this, and it really grabbed me. Tim is remembered for "Batman needs a Robin" - it's sometimes seen as wise, sometimes noble, sometimes self-sacrificing. Usually perceived as a good thing. In any event, it's become Tim's line, a famous quote. So I was interested when I saw it a little earlier, in such different context. I have no idea if it appeared earlier than this, but this is the one that stuck with me, and I wondered it was an intentional call back.
    batman needs robin.jpg

    Here, Bruce says Batman needs a Robin and it's an excuse. It's misleading and selfish certainly to me an early post-COIE example of the sort of selfishness and poor treatment of others that would become more prominent in Batman as time wore on.

    I agree. And Tim, since DC realized his arguments were just a mistake but never dared to fix his origin (while trashing Dick's and jason's left and right) has become irrelevant, No wonder they don't know WHY he was Robin and what to do with him any more.

  8. #8
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    In one of his first appearances, maybe even his first appearance, before we know his name is Tim Drake, we see him photographing Batman fighting NKVDemon, I think... it's in one of the Marv Wolfman "Batman" issues just before A Lonely Place of Dying.

  9. #9
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    In one of his first appearances, maybe even his first appearance, before we know his name is Tim Drake, we see him photographing Batman fighting NKVDemon, I think... it's in one of the Marv Wolfman "Batman" issues just before A Lonely Place of Dying.
    I know that. But as I said in OP
    I mean, certainly Tim was trailing Batman and taking photos of him right before he confronted Dick and asked him to go back to being Robin. But in Batman #440, Tim’s older stuff all seemed to be newspaper clippings and the like, with the implication him photographing Batman was very recent. Tim said he clipped articles in #441 and we know he watched video of them to see the flip and figure out the identity. But he doesn’t reference tailing them in his even-younger-years.
    I don't see any indications at all that this is a long-time thing. To me, it reads much more like he's only done it now (while on vacation from boarding school) in response to his worry about Batman being more violent after Jason's death. Nothing to me indicates that he has a years-long history of doing so. That is the claim I've ways seen - an 8 or 9 or 10 year-old Tim sneaking out at night and trailing B&R unseen, taking photos.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    I know that. But as I said in OP I don't see any indications at all that this is a long-time thing. To me, it reads much more like he's only done it now (while on vacation from boarding school) in response to his worry about Batman being more violent after Jason's death. Nothing to me indicates that he has a years-long history of doing so. That is the claim I've ways seen - an 8 or 9 or 10 year-old Tim sneaking out at night and trailing B&R unseen, taking photos.
    Gotcha. I think I have read close to every Tim Drake appearance — easier with the DC Universe app's backlog, as buggy as it is — and I'm pretty sure that is the extent of his photography. I don't think Chuck Dixon nor the Red Robin or Young Justice runs ever returned to this trait as a regular hobby for him.

    I don't think you are missing anything, in other words.

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