First off, I love the analysis and the panels you post up. With that said, how do you feel about Tim Drake's place in the New 52? I really felt he's taken a huge backseat, not just in the Bat-Family, but in the DCnU as a whole.
Thanks. I don’t know if I’m the right person to answer this, because I don’t know how huge Tim’s role is in the Preboot universe. Plus, I dropped Teen Titans after issue #7, so I can only judge from what I see in the preview.
Tim left Batman because he thinks he can do more good in the world as an information broker for young metahumans to protect them from teen heroes kidnapper N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and other threats.
When he was discovered, he jumped into the field to help them personally. He found and rescued Cassie and Skitter, befriend Bunker and sent Danny The Street as a spy to N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to rescue Kid Flash, who carried Solstice with him. Then together they form Teen Titans to fight N.O.W.H.E.R.E.
His helping hands also extend to the enemy. Superboy Kon-El who was ordered to capture them, and teenage metahumans who were captured by Harvest and forced to fight against each other to the death in The Culling. With Tim’s leadership they managed to work together and escape.
After The Culling, on top of Teen Titans he also oversees the training of The Ravagers, victims of Harvest who managed to escape, consisting of Beast Boy and Terra, among others. He wasn’t there in person, but Caitlin Fairchild and Superboy trained The Ravagers to be better heroes and make them ready for the world because they’ve been in a Battle Royale-like environment for too long.
Aside from his role in Teen Titans and Ravagers, he’s also involved with The Bat Family, helping during Night of The Owls and return to save Gotham from Leviathan as a Batman Incorporated member.
He’s also the only Bat Family member aside from Bruce himself who actively seek Jason Todd. I don’t know which of them was the first to contact Jason, but Tim and Jason have been exchanging informations since before he formed The Teen Titans, and he’s the one who persuaded Jason to help during Night of The Owls.
So in term of role in New 52, I like that Tim has a pretty big influence on young heroes. Red Robin is well known in the blogosphere as the beacon for teenage metahumans, and as a leader, he went out of his way to save as many people as possible, including perceived enemy like Superboy. His role in the Bat Family is minimal, but he reach out to Jason and settled his brotherhood rivalry with Damian, and that earns a plus from me.
If New 52 Tim feels like he’s taken a huge backseat, it’s because many titles he can have an influence in was cancelled early. The Young Justice line such as Blue Beetle, Fury of The Firestorm, Static Shock, Legion Lost and The Ravagers are filled with young heroes that could’ve unite under Tim.
However at this moment, Blue Beetle is in space, Static is interning at S.T.A.R. Labs, Firestorm is upgraded to Justice League, Legion Lost is… well… lost, and The Ravagers were destroyed by Deathstroke, with only Beast Boy seemed to have survived and move to Teen Titans, soon to be cancelled as well.
He’s also the only Bat Family member who doesn’t have his own title, but since he’s practically the star of Teen Titans, having him star under the Batman banner seems redundant. Superboy is the place he can make an appearance in, but looks like the status of Kon-El’s best friend is filled by Bunker up until his departure.
So there you go. All in all, I like New 52 Tim Drake as the leader of all teenage metahumans, but with the cancellation of Young Justice line, that role is practically over and he had to settle with Batman Eternal.
Though I read he will have a role in Futures End, so we’ll see.
dear father, I have an urgent spiritual emergency and am desperately in need of guidance. I feel that I have become lukewarm in my faith :( I already pray the rosary daily (unless I'm doing a novena) fast once a week, go to confession twice a week, participate regularly in the faith based programs in my school, and I am in the process of joining Catholic Ministries. through all of this, I still don't feel the joy that I should be feeling, instead, I feel dissatisfied and empty. have any advice?
Yes, I do have advice, my sister in Christ.
Slow down, friend. Take it easy. Relax. It is alright to feel dissatisfied and empty. Sometimes I feel dissatisfied and empty also. Really, I do.
Please do not judge yourself. There are so many things that can cause the feelings of spiritual lukewarmness. Sometimes it is some sin we are struggling with and God has put us to the test to bring us to repentance and humility. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives” (James 4:3).
Sometimes we are overly anxious for doing the “work of the Lord” that we do not meditate in silence and stillness in order to ponder the goodness of the “Lord of the work.” Luke 10:41 tells us that even the Lord’s good friend, Martha, got upset because of her worries, and Jesus said, “Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about many things.”
Sometimes, you are not sleeping enough, eating well, and getting enough exercise. The lack of rest, or eating the wrong, unhealthy foods, or not drinking enough water, alone, can cause your body to fill with toxins that require a change of lifestyle so that your body can “detox” from those poisons that harm your nervous system.
And as a result, depression or anxiety can accumulate in our minds and hearts, causing a long lasting inertia or sense of being lost and without energy.
A good friend, a kind counselor, a spiritual guide, can give us feedback in case we have distorted our problems. Mental distortion can lead to obsession, and many people now struggle with obsessive thoughts of trying to please God, to achieve religious discipline in their lives, etc. Jesus warned us that when obsessive thinking and mental distortions invade our thoughts, it is easy for us to lose our trust in God, our faith:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25, NAB).
At times also, the devil tempts us with that wicked voice of despair, like when the devil told Jesus to throw Himself from the parapet of the Temple, in essence, to attempt suicide. The devil our enemy will stop at nothing to make us turn against God. The enemy of our souls even paints God as a liar who is not to be trusted:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Why does the serpent speak to us like this? He wishes us to think that God will not provide, that He will not bless us, that His grace is not enough to help us. This is the beginning of doubt, which is the enemy of faith. The best counteract to doubt is gratitude.
So, right now, give thanks to God. Offer Him gratitude, and bless His holy Name, for He is mighty and gracious. Thank God that you are being tested in your faith. That means God wants you to be a saint! If God did not care for your holiness, He would never permit you to be tested.
Give thanks to God when you do not feel well. Praise Him and thank Him even for your “unanswered prayers”! In other words, if you wanted God to do certain things, and God said “No”, guess what? Thank Him!
Say, “Lord, some people can get spoiled when they always feel joy and holiness and peace. But today, you have taken away my joy and my peace and instead I am worried. PRAISE YOU Lord and thank you for not giving me everything I want, like a spoiled child.”
"And Lord, while I am at it, if tomorrow I wake up with a cold or headache, I want to thank you ahead of time. Yes. Amen. And if tomorrow someone I love goes through a tragedy or I lose a friend, I thank you even more! Yes, Lord, thank you for all my crosses, for my trials. I give them to you. Use my suffering and deprivations for your glory." Out of all your trials and the sadness endured by your friends and loved ones, God can bring about some good. That is what the Bible promises.
The Bible just doesn’t tell us exactly when we will see those promises. The Bible does not tell us that we will understand our tribulation when we go through it. Sometimes God gives you light in 6 days, or 6 months, or 6 years from now. But eventually, God will give you light to know why He permitted this.
So, instead of telling you that your spiritual crisis is bad, I am just going to say that it is a crisis. I am sorry that it causes you pain, but I am not sorry you are going through it. Because when God loves you, really loves you, He permits you to go through trial and tribulation. So, I know for a fact that God is loving you right now, at this moment.
God must break us of the practice of making demands on Him, and expecting Him to follow our plans, instead of His Plan.
God must permit, and then use, these hardships in your life, so that through them you will learn to endure patiently and eventually bring great comfort to others when they go through similar experiences.
Ahead of time, I thank God for whatever good He can bring as a result of your cross, and I offer you my prayers that you fall to your knees, bow down to the ground, confess your humility to God, and then say to Him, “Not to my name, Oh Lord, not to my name, but to your Name, give the glory!”
Then, trust God your Father. Trust Him with the blind trust of a little child. God bless and take care! Fr. Angel
Late night blurbs and ramblings (BULLET POINT STYLE! because I am lazy.)
2014 is slowly turning around. I hate to actually say that because I try not to go by a year-by-year look at my life but to say that this year started off pretty shitty would be a huge understatement.
FOR INSTANCE! DAD GOT A NEW JOB! He essentially got the same job (maintenance man for an apartment complex) but without the political b.s. that caused him to lose his previous job and a huge offering of benefits.
After 4 years of working nothing but part-time jobs, my mom also got a full-time position as a caretaker.
My sister is getting a job interview at In-N-Out on Friday. Here’s to 6th time being the charm (This being the 6th place she has applied for). For those who are reading this, please send out a prayer for her, thank you!
Work has been….tolerable. The customer’s I’ve dealing with have been actually….normal. The months before this, my co-workers and I have been bombarded with nothing but short-tempered customers with unrealistic expectations of how we are suppose to help them. It has been a needed change of pace.
Fanime is coming around nicely. It is one of the yearly staples that I look forward to. My friends and I managed to get a room at a hotel that is connected to the convention center. The problem? It isn’t a suite and we have 10 people going…Praying that someone cancels their reservation and we swoop on a suite.
Speaking of Fanime! My cosplay line-up for the weekend will be Monkey D. Luffy, Captain America (His Captain America: The Winter Soldier costume), and a Scout Regiment soldier from Attack on Titan. Pretty excited to rock these cosplays in a few months.
Things are looking exceedingly grim for my plan to move-out of my parents’ place and into my own place in San Jose by September. I mean I am saving up as much as I can but the issue is that the people I had hoped to be moving out with seem to be dropping like flies or they are becoming more and more hesitant to move-out as the days progress.
As I see blog posts and twitter statuses of my generation’s YFC-ers (Not just my area but all of NorCal), it has become very clear that time does change us. I can truly say my near decade long tenure with this community has greatly shaped me and helped me to become a better man and Christ follower. I’ve made impacts in some of these people’s lives and vice versa. But I used to feel that my generation would be there forever. I mean, of course we weren’t going to be but I really loved the group we had. But y’know what they say, once a YFC-er will always be a YFC-er. We may not be active anymore but once we all get called back to serve this community, it becomes like riding a bike and it is as if we never left. God calls us to go to the ends of the earth and I look forward to the times when He does call us back together.
Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered. Our greatest fear is not that we will be damned, but that somehow Jesus Christ will be defeated. Also, our fear is that the very things our Lord stood for— love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness among men— will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us. Then there is the call to spiritual perseverance. A call not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated.
If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified. Every hope or dream of the human mind will be fulfilled if it is noble and of God. But one of the greatest stresses in life is the stress of waiting for God. He brings fulfillment, “because you have kept My command to persevere …” (Revelation 3:10).
Hello Father! I have a question regarding Lent: Can you choose between sacrificing something or adding something, or do you have to sacrifice that thing AND add something else (like an act, or a prayer)?
Lent is a sacred time for renewing our baptismal promises at Easter. And to do this, the whole Catholic Church sort of “goes on retreat.”
Now, I’ve done this too, on retreat. I’ve gone to the talks, to the prayers, to Mass. But—back in my room—I still have my phone, or even laptop. I say it’s just for emergencies, while I try to keep the spirit of being on retreat.
However, it doesn’t really work. So, during your Lent, don’t ask “what do I HAVE to do? What can I get away with?” Just remember that during retreat, you go away to a place where you are supposed to quiet your spirit and open your mind and heart to God’s voice.
Sure, you could “cheat” and get away with a retreat that is noisy and filled with entertainments. And yet the only person we trick is ourselves. Unless we “retreat” from the world during a retreat, it just isn’t a retreat. It’s more like a simple vacation.
So, back to your question, the trick with Lent is to pare down your life, like peeling off the outer layers of stuff you just have hoarded, or acquired, or got hooked onto, and that you don’t need. Pare down, pare down, pare down. I’m talking not just sacrifice and penance. Yes, that is important when you are on retreat. But do anything and everything to transport your heart and mind to a different place for 40 days.
The more you get rid of during Lent, the more you purge, and the more simple your life becomes, the more your spiritual antennas are going to pick up from God’s transmission to you. The one warning I have is that people should avoid sacrificing things during Lent that will make it hard to think and concentrate and have interior calm.
Some give up coffee, and that’s not necessarily the best thing to do. Some say they are going to cut off all their friends and social networking on Facebook. I don’t know if that is wise either. Sometimes, you end up finding things on a social network that really help your Lent, instead of hurt it. Instead, just do the social networking at a different hour, and for a pared down time, and after they pray seriously for spiritual benefit as a result of their Lenten networking.
I hope and pray you have a spiritually rewarding Lent that concludes with a fervent and emotional renewal of your baptismal vows. God bless and take care! Fr. Angel