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Early Bird Reveal: DC Comics Spoils the Identity of the New Robin

Phillip Morgan ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

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Earlier this year, writer of DC Comics title Batman & Robin Peter J. Tomasi revealed that he would be taking a short detour from the main title to in favor of a miniseries entitled Robin Rises Omega. The new miniseries, which spills directly out of his last issue of Batman & Robin, details Batman’s assault on the planet Apokolips as he fights to retrieve the stolen body of his deceased son, the most recent Robin Damian Wayne, from the interstellar graverobbers. As interesting as that premise is by itself, what got comic readers full attention was Tomasi’s declaration that at the end of this miniseries, there will be a Robin beside the Caped Crusader once again.

Created by contemporary comic book juggernaut Grant Morrison, Damian Wayne was the son of Bruce Wayne and master assassin Talia Al Ghul, and after usurping the position of Robin from previous Boy Wonder Tim Drake, Damian quickly established himself as an entirely different breed of Robin. Lightyears ahead of his predecessors in training and experience despite only being roughly twelve years old, twice as ruthless in his dispatching of criminals, and infinitely more abrasive in his partnership with Batman, Damian proved to be a new challenge for the Bat Family and a breath of fresh air for Batman stories and readers alike. While he was not initially well-received due to his character being perceived by many as cocky, annoying, and overly violent, Damian’s struggle to overcome the savage killer instinct instilled in him by his mother and earn his father’s acceptance and trust was a truly gratifying character arc. By the time of his sudden death at the hands of his own mother’s organization Leviathan in the finale of Grant Morrison’s former title Batman Inc. most readers at least respected how far his character had come.

In fact, many readers came to love Damian due to the fresh new take on the Batman/Robin dynamic he provided as foils to both the Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne versions of Batman, and were crushed by his sudden demise. However, once the dust settled and the comics moved on from his death, speculation began about who his eventual replacement would be, assuming he wasn’t just brought back to life like so many famous comic book characters are. In nearly every Batman title, DC teased potential new recruits, such as introducing Harper Row in Scott Snyder Batman series (Row now aids the Bat Family as Bluebird in Snyder’s Batman Eternal series) and transplanting Carrie Kelley from Frank Miller’s critically acclaimed graphic novel Batman: The Dark Knight Returns into the main DC Universe, but no clear answer was ever given. Until now.

Yes, that’s right. A few days ago DC Comics announced they would reveal the new Robin in their January 2015 Solicitations, at which point Tomasi decided to take matters into his own hands and prematurely disclosed via Twitter the cover for the upcoming Batman & Robin #38:

It appears that, despite all nods to the contrary, Damian Wayne will rejoin the living by the conclusion of Robin Rises Omega, and may have even developed superhuman abilities beyond “World’s Deadliest 12 Year-Old” judging by the bullets bouncing off of his chest. Though this could just be an homage to the triumphant return of Superman following his sudden “death” at the hands of Doomsday, the idea of a super-powered Robin would certainly be breaking new ground in the Batman Universe, and his trip to Apokolips certainly leaves that in the realm of possibility.

At this point, anything beyond “Damian will return” is pure speculation, but more details are sure to be revealed as DC unveils the rest of their January 2015 Solicitations. Still, this is a huge reveal in the world of comics and a welcome return of one of the most beloved younger characters in the Batman Mythos back into the fold. Super-powered or not, Damian’s revival and resumption of the Robin mantle is sure to rock the DC Universe in a big way, and with stellar Batman writers like Scott Snyder and Peter J. Tomasi at the helm, the Son of the Bat is poised to make a triumphant return to the forefront.

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