Tim Drake, the third iteration of Batman’s young ward Robin, has officially come out as bisexual. In this week’s Batman: Urban Legends #6, we see Drake come to an important realization about his sexuality, and even land a date with a nice young man named Bernard.
“Ever have a lightbulb moment?” Drake wonders while fighting alongside his friend Bernard Dowd. “Like something out in the ether has been taunting you, teasing you. Like you know you’re supposed to be on the same page as your brain but not everything made sense. People keep asking me what I want. But I couldn’t grasp it. Whatever it was. It always felt just out of reach. Until now. Until right now.”
“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about that night and I don’t know what it meant to me,” Drake later tells Dowd. “But I’d like to find out.”
Dowd responds, “I was hoping you would. Tim Drake… do you want to go on a date with me?” To which Drake replies, “Yeah … yeah. I think I want that.”
Wow, a bisexual character (and a male one at that) thinking deeply about his sexuality and going on the same journey that many others find themselves taking in figuring that out, then immediately pursuing a romantic connection with a male partner? And, it’s presented in a way that will definitely continue, and not be instantly tossed to the side? Commence the slamming on the table while yelling: “Robin TV show! Robin TV show!”
Meanwhile, over on the Marvel side of bisexual representation this week, Queer As Folk creator Russell T. Davies called the sidebar inclusion of his sexuality “pathetic” and a “ridiculous, craven, feeble gesture towards the vital politics and the stories that should be told.” The most offered up in terms of any LGBT+ representation in recent years at Marvel has been slyly included offhand comments or asides, most recently seen in Loki, when the antihero confirms his bisexuality as he tells Sylvie (his woman romantic interest) he’s been with “a bit of both.” That’s all he says, with no further exploration, much less him even showing romantic interest in someone of the same gender in the series.
While Loki’s director Kate Herron says she hopes to explore his sexuality later on in the series, what we were really given in the first season was textbook queer baiting. Despite having a host of canonically queer characters in the comic books, Marvel’s done this time and time again in promotion of its films, like in Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel, expecting applause for their “groundbreaking” representation that consists of a background character mentioning a partner with the same pronouns as them. This bisexual writer? Not impressed in the slightest. While D.C. is certainly lacking representation in the same areas when it comes to their films and television series, they don’t create buzz for them by promising LGBT+ characters. However, Marvel has the chance to right its wrongs in Thor: Love & Thunder, which was teased two years ago as featuring solid queer representation with the bisexual Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson.
This week’s winner in terms of bisexual representation easily goes to DC.