23 September 2012

There, I Fixed It: Tim in Batman, #0

This month’s Batman, #0, contains a story scripted by James Tynion IV and drawn by Andy Clarke which shows the new DC Universe’s Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake before they came Bruce Wayne’s sidekicks.

Some readers complained that the story makes young Jason a killer or a legal accessory to murder. His distinct symbolic value remains having been the Robin on the moral edge, so that doesn’t seem like such a big change to me.

I agree with another set of complaints about that story, however: that Tim Drake comes across as arrogant. He boasts that he’s “the best student in the school,” and tells his antagonist, “you made it ridiculously easy,” and, “how stupid does a man have to be…?” Perhaps this is a new characterization of Tim as intellectually snobbish. Stories about him overcoming that flaw could be interesting, though I think they’d undermine some of his appeal for readers. (Shall we see what Teen Titans, #0, brings?) [ADDENDUM: It brings significant new information that undercuts the basis of this posting.]

But I also found the dialogue on Tim’s two pages to be heavy-handed and wordy, with revelations in odd places and occasional vagueness. So I did a rewrite reflecting my understanding of Tim’s character and the scene’s important revelations while sticking to letterer Patrick Brosseau’s balloons.

My lettering is in the Smack Attack font by Nate Peikos of Blambot. Click on the thumbnails below for full-page images.

2 comments:

Richard Bensam said...

See now, that comic story I would actually read. I can't comment on your alterations because I didn't read the original version...but I can tell when a writer has an innate grasp of how to structure dialogue for the panel and word balloon. (Funnily enough, I could name half a dozen full time pro comics writers working today who don't.) That you knew how to fit it into the existing space is even slicker.

J. L. Bell said...

Thank you, but it turns out my imagined scene was based on wishfulness.