Spoilers ahead for those who haven't read The New 52: Futures End #46.
DC already revealed that their new Batman Beyond series in June would star someone new in the role — and this week, not only did the old Batman Beyond die to make way for a new hero, but all signs are pointing toward Tim Drake donning the costume.
In The New 52: Futures End #46, the former Batman Beyond, Terry McGinnis, died after battling a cyborg Joker/Batman.
And just before Terry took his final breath, he asked Tim Drake to be "part of the future."
Now, to be clear, the request by Terry for Tim to be "part of the future" could have meant that he wanted Tim Drake to just continue living into the future.
But a dying Terry McGinnis specifically looked at Tim, shook his hand, and said, "will you be part [of the future] now?"
If you take this development, and pair it with the teaser image released by DC in October — where Tim Drake is shown holding a cowl with the words, "Your Future" — it's looking like the former Robin will be wearing the Batman Beyond costume in June.
It's also worth noting that the solicitation for Futures End #46 says "a reluctant hero rises," and in the weekly series, no hero has been more "reluctant" than Tim Drake, who (in Futures End) had quit fighting crime, changed his name, grown a beard and started running a bar.
If Tim does take over the mantle, he still needs to somehow travel into the future to star in DC's new Batman Beyond comic. According to Newsarama's interview with the creative team behind the June-launching title, Batman Beyond will take place 35 years in the future, in the "definitive" future of the current DC comics universe.
The new comic's timeline will spin out of Futures End, where the 35-years-in-the-future timeline has featured a devastated Earth with Brother Eye-controlled, evil, cybernetic versions of superheroes.
The new Batman Beyond timeline will also not be connected to the Batman Beyond TV show, nor the digital-first Batman Beyond comic that DC had been releasing the last few years.
The Batman Beyond concept was first introduced in an animated series, where a young hero named Terry McGinnis took on the Batman identity (and a high-tech Batman suit) under the mentorship of an aged Bruce Wayne.
In Futures End, a version of Terry had traveled back in time from 35 years in the future, on a mission to save his future by preventing the eventual takeover of Earth by the evil, robotic villain Brother Eye.
Although Terry was trying to travel back in time to the current DCU, he ended up landing a few years too late — in the "possible-five-years-in-the-future" timeline of Futures End.
In the weekly series, Terry met a bearded, no-longer-a-hero Tim Drake, and eventually convinced him to help with the battle to save Earth.
As Futures End #46 ended, Tim Drake was standing next to the body of Terry McGinnis, whose high-tech Batman suit from the future is just waiting for someone to wear it.
Futures End has two more issues, ending on April 1 with issue #48. As of issue #46, Brother Eye has not been stopped from beginning his annihilation of Earth, and because Terry's mission seems to have failed, it's looking like someone else is going to have to jump back a few more years to prevent the creation of Brother Eye — after all, there's one time jump available, and Terry gave it to Bruce Wayne.
So will someone from Futures End land in the current-day DCU? Or will Tim use that final time jump to go into the future and become Batman Beyond?