Scott Lobdell revealed another big difference to the new DC universe today—in his own Teen Titans, Tim Drake will be asexual, a little-known sexual orientation characterized by a near-total lack of sexual attraction.
“The fans have spoken loud and clear that they’d be interested in seeing this aspect of the character,” Lobdell said in an exlcusive interview with ComicsAlliance.
Lobdell goes on to say the full reveal will come about in the context of the new Superboy exploring his humanity and sexuality, prompting Tim to explain his own condition. “The idea of Superboy having to process all his feelings, including sexual ones, is something [Young Justice creator] Greg [Weisman] wanted to do, but there’s only so much you can do in a thirty-minute cartoon. It’s a great gift to be able to do that exclusively in the comics. I think the fans will really get a kick out of it.”
Scott Lobdell will also be writing Superboy’s solo series, which will go into greater detail on Kon-El’s coming of age. “I think it would be very interesting if he were bisexual, but that’s not something we have to stamp down for a while. I do think the days of the Superfamily being exclusively heterosexual are coming to a close, although I doubt a relationship between Superboy and Red Robin would work. There is an overture from Kon to Tim in the fourth issue [of Teen Titans], because Kon at that point doesn’t know any better, and Tim rejecting him leads to his asexuality coming out.” He returned to the subject later, once again denying a relationship. “I think Kon’s someone who would need his partner to be attracted to him. He’d need a lot that Tim Drake couldn’t give.”
Historically, Tim Drake has been portrayed as straight by writers such as Chuck Dixon, but fans have always speculated as to his relationship with best friend Kon-El. Lobdell dismissed the notion that Tim would be “cured” of his condition, or discover he was homosexual. “This is something we’re not going back on. Dan [Didio] has done a lot to try to increase the visibility of gay characters in the reboot, with Midnighter, Apollo, and Batwoman getting her own series. It’s about time that this diversity extends to asexuals.”
Lobdell wouldn’t rule out the idea of Tim having a romantic relationship in the future, though, pointing out that asexuality doesn’t preclude an emotional attachment, one of the things he hopes the revamped character will educate readers about. “I was talking to Mark Waid the other day and he was very understanding of what I was trying to do, but he couldn’t see how I take sex completely out of the equation. He wanted to know how I would write Tim without relationship drama, which is the bread and butter of a soapy comic like the Titans. But really, the idea of this character who can only be attracted to someone based on emotion, that opens up so many more doors than there would be if Tim were gay or straight.”
Not at all sure how I feel about this or if Scott Lobdell is the right person for the job, tbh.