Fabian Nicieza: Red Robin's mission remains, what I would call, "synergistically independent" of Batman Inc. The goals of the characters in both books are similar and can overlap, but Tim had already begun doing — on his own level — the same things Bruce intends to do. I think we pretty clearly established the parameters for the characters in Red Robin #17. Bruce apprehends criminals on a worldwide basis using a network of operatives, Red Robin investigates international crime on a more covert, comprehensive level while his Neon Knights social organization tries to keep young people away from a life of crime before they begin.
But how it affects Tim in Titans is honestly more J.T.'s province than mine!
Nicieza: Blah blah blah the writer is going to talk about oh-so-important themes in his superhero comics. If I have to tell it to you then I didn't do a good enough job writing the story!
I will say, a lot of what I try to do with Tim is about him learning now so that he can become a world-class borderline dictatorial control freak when he's an adult. "The Rabbit Hole" storyline shows Tim learning that he can't control all aspects of free-form information flow and that even when he can. it's not always a good thing.
Nrama: What's the story behind Red Robin #22? And how does it speak to the core of Tim's character?
Nrama: That all gears up the series for the "7 Days of Death" story in May. What type of story can we expect, and what will Tim be facing?
Nicieza: Red Robin goes on an international chase to figure out the depths of a worldwide Assassination Tournament, which is a lot deeper than Tim first thought, combined with being the object of that tournament when he becomes a target for assassination. Lots of twists and turns, some unexpected guest stars, an unexpected death and issue #24 contains the single best cliffhanger I've ever written.
Nrama: What's coming up for Red Robin this summer?
Nicieza: Well, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but in issue #26, I hope we'll finally have the confrontation between Red Robin and Captain Boomerang that I've been foreshadowing for a while, but it won't be like any confrontation you could expect.
Nrama: What does Marcus To bring to the Red Robin comic? How does he add to the tone we see each month?
Nicieza: He brings the sexy. Seriously, I mean, month in and month out, he keeps getting better. His storytelling has always been a tremendous strength for him, but now he is also improving his anatomy, figure drawing, facial drawing, shading, everything. Check out the details in #21 this week, the facial drawings, the background details, the panel compositions — all technical stuff that a writer really appreciates.
I've been so lucky writing Tim in that I've gotten to work with Freddie Williams II when we did Robin together — and having him draw issue #22 was a blast and a half — and now Marcus. Great guys who produce consistently strong monthly work, and believe me, that's not to be taken for granted in our industry!