It seems like a right of passage for those who hold the mantle of Robin to move on to a new identity, and now it seems its time for Tim Drake to make the transition. The latest issue of Young Justice takes the bold first step in transforming Tim Drake, by giving him a brand new superhero codename!
As revealed in Young Justice #8, Tim Drake (aka Red Robin) will now be going under the codename of "Drake!"
Tim doesn't come up with this name change on his own: he actually gets the inspiration from an evil alternate version of himself. The Young Justice team was transported Earth-3, after being banished to the multiverse by the people of Gemworld. Earth-3 is home to the Crime Syndicate of Amerika, who have vanished from the scene, leaving a massive power vacuum that Wonder Woman's dark doppleganger Amaxon Thunder and her crew have been trying to step into.
While part of the team deals with Amaxon Thunder and crew, Red Robin is ambushed on the sidelines by his own doppleganger. After beating Red Robin down, the doppleganger asks "What do you call yourself?"
Tim Drake responds by presuming "Same as you, no?" which the doopleganger thinks is hilarious. He responds "Still?" to which Tim says "What's your fancy name?" The doppleganger responds with "Drake." Red Robin questions whether that's all there is to the name, to which "Drake" responds, "It's one of the most dangerous birds. It's who I am."
It may sound like a cool line in the scene, and is an obvious play on Tim Drake's name - but it's also a pretty inaccurate biology lesson. A "drake" is the name for a male duck - not a killer male duck or something, just a duck. It's far from being "one of the most dangerous birds" by just about any standard one can think of.
Brian Michael Bendis' reinvention of Tim Drake / Red Robin will culminate in a costume change that debuts in Young Justice #10, but so far, it feels like a somewhat lackluster evolution. The costume (a cross between a Court of Owls Talon and TRON) is okay - but this "Drake" nickname is kind of a bust. Not only is it a male duck, but it also happens to be the moniker of one of the most popular musicians on the planet right now, which is sure to lead to confusion. In short: one of the coolest Robins around kind of deserves better. Even Earth-3's "Drake" seems cooler by comparison...
Young Justice #8 is now on sale.