BATMAN Learns A 'Rebirth' Secret In DETECTIVE COMICS #962 - SPOILERS

Detective Comics #962
images from Detective Comics #962
Credit: DC Comics
Credit: Yasmine Putri (DC Comics)

Spoilers for this week's Detective Comics #962.

Despite the best efforts of Mr. Oz to continue hiding Tim Drake from the world, Batman has learned that the young Red Robin is still alive.

To review, Tim Drake has been missing from the DCU for about a year. In September 2016's Detective Comics #940, Tim Drake sacrificed himself to save hundreds of people in Gotham City, reprogramming a slew of missiles to aim directly at him. But just before the missiles impacted the teen hero, Tim was transported away by Mr. Oz, the recurring character who's been shown in "Rebirth" titles to have been "watching" DC characters.

Tim is now trapped in a prison that's being controlled by Mr. Oz. The prison holds other DC characters as well (including Mr. Mxyzptlk, who escaped), although some are still unidentified.

So how did Batman figure it out?

Well, he didn't. Someone told him. It's a bit of a let-down for readers who trusted in Bruce Wayne's powers of detection, but at least the cat's out of the bag.

It all went down in this week's Detective Comics #962, in the midst of a storyline that featured the returned Batman character Azrael and everyone's favorite magical heroine, Zatanna.

Jean Paul Valley/Azrael, who's been struggling with issues connected to his dad's meddling, was fighting against an antagonist named Ascalon. Zatanna joined the fight against Ascalon by using a magic, all-knowing sphere that has shown up in recent Detective Comics issues.

Zatanna shows Ascalon the error of his ways by allowing him to see the whole picture via the sphere. It works - he sees the light.

However, he also tells Batman something: Tim Drake is alive.

images from Detective Comics #962
images from Detective Comics #962
Credit: DC Comics

And Batman believes him - because he's fully aware of the sphere's powers (because of the events in previous issues of Detective Comics).

images from Detective Comics #962
images from Detective Comics #962
Credit: DC Comics

We also find out that Jean Paul Valley's dad is alive and is connected to Ra's Al Ghul. Because Ra's appeared in the prequels to Dark Nights: Metal, there's probably some overlap coming between Detective Comics and Metal with Valley involved.

Now that Batman knows Tim is alive, he's pondering who has enough power to obscure Tim from him. "It all feels connected," Batman said. "And I fear this is only the beginning."

The story of Batman's hunt for Tim Drake appears to be culminating in the upcoming storyline, "A Lonely Place of Living," which begins in Detective Comics #965. As solicitations have already spoiled (and with an alarming cover), Tim Drake will soon be escaping the fortress of Mr. Oz (in October).

images from Detective Comics #962
images from Detective Comics #962
Credit: DC Comics

And over in Action Comics, Lex Luthor and Superman will be confronting Mr. Oz directly. That fight takes place in late August and September issues of Action Comics, so - although Oz's prison is outside of time - Superman's confrontation with Oz theoretically precedes Tim's escape. So Batman may be even more knowledgeable about Oz by that time.

Whether this fall's stories about Oz/Superman and Oz/Tim overlap, there are two events that appear to be important: Superman will find out the identity of Oz (and be "shaken" to his core, we're told), and Tim Drake will find out who is locked in Oz's prison with him (and it will "change Tim's world," according to solicitations).

And of course, this will all tie into Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's much-anticipated 12-issue event series Doomsday Clock, which promises to feature Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan versus Superman when it launches in November.

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