Spoilers ahead for this week's Detective Comics #965.
The origin of Tim Drake has been officially changed in Detective Comics #965 by James Tynion IV and Eddy Barrows, returning the character to much of the continuity established before 2011's "New 52" reboot.
Tim Drake has now been Robin (something eliminated in the "New 52"), and his origin story is back to the character's previous continuity.
The issue also re-introduces the violent, future-Tim Drake Batman from "Titans Tomorrow," a storyline from Geoff Johns and Mike McKone's Teen Titans run.
It also reveals a few things about Mr. Oz: The character (whom we've learned elsewhere is actually Jor-El, Superman's father) says he "was a prisoner" as well. Oz also claims that someone called "him" was behind Tim being targeted - a wording that seems to refer to Dr. Manhattan.
Detective Comics #965 kicks off a new storyline called "A Lonely Place of Living," a title which pays homage to "A Lonely Place of Dying" - the storyline by Marv Wolfman and George Perez that introduced Tim Drake.
Tim as Robin is Back
The issue begins with Tim Drake being questioned by Mr. Oz. (Tim has been in Oz's prison since his capture last year, causing most of the DCU to believe he's dead.)
During the questioning, readers are shown scenes from the character's origin story - one that re-establishes his original, post-Crisis origin.
As a result, DC has discarded the "New 52" version of Drake's history, which had Tim refusing the mantle of Robin (becoming Red Robin instead), and had his parents so endangered that they entered a witness protection program.
The newly established "Rebirth" continuity includes the following:
- Tim was at the circus the night Dick Grayson's parents fell to their death. Before the tragedy, Tim met Dick and looked up to him.
- Tim noticed the quadruple somersault that Dick Grayson completed that night at the circus, and he saw Batman take Dick Grayson with him. When he later saw a costumed hero completing the same somersault, he realized Dick was inside the costume.
- Tim used this information to deduce that the identity of Batman was Bruce Wayne.
- Tim got photos of Batman not "acting right" after the death of Jason Todd, and he went to Dick Grayson to encourage his return to the Robin mantle. - Tim became Robin.
Tynion had hinted earlier this month on Twitter that continuity changes were coming in this issue. But there's no in-story explanation in the issue for the change.
However, several events in "Rebirth" continuity have shown that post-Crisis continuity is bleeding into the current "Rebirth" continuity, including the return of redhead Wally West, a new Ted Kord history, and the complete change to Superman and Lois Lane's continuity during "Superman Reborn."
In the issue, Oz being to question Tim's decision to quit being a superhero (and go to Ivy University instead), something the character had just decided before being captured.
Oz even asks Tim if he would give up his life to become Batman? "I will never be Batman. I've known that from the beginning," Tim answers.
But as Oz is talking, Tim deciphers and reprograms his restraints' Kryptonian coding. After escaping (and using a bit of acrobatics), Tim kicks Oz in the chin and knocks him down.
As a result, Oz reveals his true identity once again - that he is Superman's Kryptonian father, Jor-El.
Oz says Tim's consuming desire to save his friends and his world is "what turned 'his' eyes" toward Tim (presumably referring to Dr. Manhattan noticing him and kidnapping him).
Oz also says Manhattan is currently distracted: "All I can be certain of is that his eyes have been turned elsewhere as he prepares to act. I must put my plot in motion, before it is too late."
Before he leaves Tim alone in the halls of the prison, Oz insinuates that, when he was a prisoner there, he began to regret his efforts to save Krypton. He encourages Tim to similarly quit being loyal to the heroes of the DCU and quit trying to save his world.
After Oz leaves, Tim tries to use his computer to send a message to Batman, begging him to come to his rescue.
A voice says "this is Batman responding."
Batman says he is also a prisoner, and he asks Tim to open the containment cells in Corridor 6A.
Tim is overjoyed, and he tells the computer to deactivate all containment cells.
But when Tim runs toward Corridor 6A to find the freed Batman, he's surprised to see that the Caped Crusader has a gun.
"Right and wrong are subjective," Batman says, then reveals that the gun he carries is the one that killed Thomas and Martha Wayne.
Batman is angry that Tim opened all containment cells instead of just the ones in his corridor.
Tim says, "You're not Bruce!"
Indeed, this is not Bruce Wayne. This is the future Tim Drake who became Batman - the one who carries Joe Chill's gun. This is the Batman from the Teen Titans storyline, "Titans Tomorrow."
Tim is appalled. But he doesn't have time to consider it because this Batman is not the only prisoner who's been freed.
Doomsday was also one of Oz's prisoners. He is now free.
And as the issue ends, Doomsday busts through the wall to attack the gun-toting Batman and young Tim Drake. A teaser at the bottom of the last page says, "Next: Doomsday!"