Tim Drake nearly took over for Blue Beetle instead of Batman

Blue Beetle. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics.
Blue Beetle. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics. /

Tim Drake, one of the most popular Robins ever, was slotted at one time to replace his less-recognized mentor, Ted Kord, as the Blue Beetle.

Tim Drake has had quite a storied history. A character with big shoes to fill, he had to follow the acts of Dick Grayson and Jason Todd to assume the mantle of Robin. It was no easy task but fans warmed to him as the new standard bearer.

His accolades would continue as his adventures got bigger and more dangerous, both as a solo vigilante and as a member of the Teen Titans. Drake has had countless allies over the years and, interestingly, more than one mentor who doubled as a partner – as strange as that sounds.

Tim Drake and Blue Beetle, partners in crime(fighting)?

In an esoteric piece of comic book lore, Tim Drake, believe it or not, was teaming up more with Ted Kord – the former Blue Beetle and forerunner of Jaime Reyes – in the early 2000s due to writers having one end goal in mind: putting Tim in the BB costume.

This idea was the brainchild of former Batman and DC writer Chuck Dixon who was responsible for the bulk of the Bat-Family titles back then, especially Nightwing and Birds of Prey. Over the years, he has periodically confirmed his plans for Tim and Ted, and as recently as last year.

It started with Kord frequently hanging around Oracle and the BOP to tune up their tech and get physical evaluations that bore daunting news. He soon realized his crimefighting days were numbered, and he’d have to pass down the responsibility eventually. That is where a surprisingly amenable Tim came in.

Best laid plans

He was getting tired of the Batcave and living in Bruce’s wide, dark shadow, so he began going on more missions with Kord, who in turn was looking to recruit beyond just the Boy Wonder. His grander scheme entailed deputizing other neophyte heroes he would coordinate, and assign to cities all over.

This would play out in a book titled “Blue Beetles” while Stephanie Brown/Spoiler took over as Robin in Batman-associated stories. Only one of those things happened, if only for a period of time. Dixon explained DC editorial nixed his pitch but never gave a clear reason.

The most logical one is they were happy with Tim Drake as Robin and saw no tenable justification to upset the status quo, though it might have been fun to see him in a new costume, living his own life free of Bruce’s influence in a way similar to Dick Grayson.

In the end, they laid an egg

Editors held off but later reshuffled the deck to their liking anyway. Tim became Red Robin after briefly losing everyone close to him – including Batman and Stephanie – while Ted was killed off and Jaime inherited his super-identity.

Reyes, widely embraced in a short period of time much like Tim Drake was, bears the name Blue Beetle to this day and, portrayed by Xolo Mariduena, stars in his first feature film which is out in August.

Next. Batman: Brave and the Bold: Fan casting the Bat Family and more. dark

Did you find that piece of comic book history fascinating? Would you have liked to see Tim Drake leave Robin and Gotham behind to assume the identity of the Blue Beetle? Tell us below and through our socials.