We Have to Talk About the Tim Drake Love Triangle (Not That One)

[SPOILERS for recent Tim Drake storylines and also for the story of that other major character who recently came out as bi!]

Alright, read this and tell me it’s unironic. Am I happy for Tim? Of course. Has this been coming for two decades? Unquestionably. But… Cutest couple in the DC Universe? You’re… You’re kidding, right? I mean… How about most other couples? Are they cute? Yes. Do I feel bad for Bernard that I’m saying all of this? Yes. But… What!? You’re not seriously setting them up for, like… Forever, are you? It was a gutsy move to act like this about Jon and Jay, but the two of them are perfect for each other! Tim and Bernard? THE MAN’S NAME IS ■■■■■■■ BERNARD!! And yes, a big part of this is I miss Tim and Steph. The two of them were so obviously and clearly in love it’s… What? When Tim came out, there was little doubt in my mind that, even if it wasn’t already being planned, Tim and Conner were maybe 18 months from being made official. Now obviously, it hasn’t been that long, but the powers that be are acting like Tim and Bernard are freaking Catradora when they’re not even… I’ve got nothing, because the two are so thoroughly unmemorable that I can’t really think of any that are so… UNREMARKABLE! This would be absurd even if Tim hadn’t previously been with someone who was perfect-ish for him. You’ll notice I said “perfect-ish”, and that brings us to Conner. Not only did they spend the last two decades being the cutest coded couple this side of Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman - maybe even cuter than them - okay, definitely cuter than them. The cutest this side of Korrasami then. And he was definitely the only one who I could forgive Tim dumping Steph for. And now we see the two of them side-by-side for the first time since Tim came out, and if anything, they’re more blatantly coded than ever before. They’re holding ■■■■■■■ hands. But the marketing is explicitly selling Tim and Bernard as the next Lois and Clark. Is Ortega rebelling against Fitzmartin? So far, the reactions to Tim’s coming out that I’ve seen have basically been:

  • 25% “Seduction of the Innocent was right!”

  • 25% “Tim Drake is the worst Robin”

  • 25% “BUT TIM AND STEPH!!!”

  • 25% “Oh my God, Bernard sucks.”

Sometimes more than one at a time. So… What’s going on? Why is DC forcing Tim into a relationship that basically started as “turns out I’m into guys, sure, I’ll go out with this loser”? And you could argue that Conner was cloned from what appears to be at least two straight guys, but it all matters, because it all happened, and therefore it is also canon that Conner is a clone of Jon!!! Wait, what was I talking about?

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I’ve seen a lot of hate for Bernard and I keep meaning to go back and re-read his original introduction from Tim’s 1993 series but I haven’t gotten there yet. So I can only really comment on what we’ve seen of him in Urban Legends and the Pride Special. But I really do like him with Tim.

I really think this hate isn’t at Bernard but against the idea that Tim isn’t with Steph or Conner. Not every hero is going to be with another hero. I know we all have our own head-canons and we all want someone to be with someone else. So when something like Tim/Bernard happens there is backlash because this wasn’t anyone’s ship. The same thing is happening with Jon Kent and Jay Nakamura, but that is it’s own conversation.

What I am trying to say is that it is nice to see Tim figuring himself out. And it is nice to see Tim finding people outside of the hero community to do that with. Yes, most people want him to be with other heroes. But it is good for Tim to be with other people his age who aren’t normally saving the planet or jumping off rooftops. Where the scariest thing they have to face is wondering if Bernard actually wants to hold his hand or not. It’s a good thing.

So, yeah, I like Bernard. I think it is a good thing for Tim. I’m happy for him. For both of them. And I can’t wait to read more of them together.

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I definitely do think it was upsetting for Stephanie Brown and Tim Drake fans that their relationship had been replaced for somebody who largely is forgotten.

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“[S]omebody who largely is forgotten”? He was in (checks DC Database on Fandom) exactly six issues before Infinite Frontier.

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I mean well you got me there! Six issues!

Look, I am aware he existed before,
But keep in mind for info that this is prime earth continuity that changed certain details of the pre-flashpoint era to make this relationship more possible. It’s actually been a while when we last saw him that it’s easy to forget a original supporting character from Tim Drake book that wasn’t spoiler
If I’m omitting a detail it’s something that I wanted to avoid saying about Bernard because you might be a fan but if we’re going to get into this discussion than if I’m really honest, compared to Stephanie or Conner, poor Bernard is wonderbread and boring as sin.
As a love interest he gives me vibes Dick Grayson former love interest Bea had. Someone who if he didn’t appear would be out of sight out of mind.

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THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I’M SAYING!!! (I have to add something here in lowercase b/c they won’t let me post in all caps.)

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