Robin Watch: A Challenger Appears
It would appear that a new contender for the position of Robin appeared in this week’s Detective Comics #30 – at least as far as Newarama is concerned. They’re usually pretty cool, so I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and put Annette Aguila on my radar as a potential Robin candidate. Any development in DC’s search for the next Robin is worth noting in my returning column, Robin Watch!
(Though if I were more clever with puns, I probably should have called it ‘Bird Watching’.)
Batman isn’t going to be a solo act forever. A new Boy or Girl Wonder is on the way, and I’m dying to find out who it’s going to be. Could it be Annie Aguila? What does she have going for her?
According to Detective Comics #30, she might just be a motocross badass.
The creative team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have jumped from their time on Flash to take over Detective Comics, and their first issue introduces Aguila and her mother Elena. Newsarama seems to think Annie Aguila might be a contender for Robin, considering how DC is hyping up the issue. She’s 18, seems pretty tough, and has some spectacular motorcycling skills. Her mother is also in a bit of danger by the end of the issue.
Manapul and Buccellato were a bit coy about her chances as Robin when Newarama asked them about her.
Could she be a contender? Maybe! Join me after the jump to examine some of the clues.
Obviously DC Comics is being very tight-lipped about whether or not they will ever cast another Robin. That’s probably for the best for them, but I’m a very eager beaver, so I started this Robin Watch column to keep tracking of any developments. And as it stands, probably any new, young, impressionable teenager that enter Bruce Wayne’s world could be considered a candidate.
Especially in light of my last Robin Watch column, where it was revealed that the leading contender – Harper Row – is instead going to become a new hero named Bluebird.
Personally, I still think Harper Row stands a chance at graduating from Bluebird to Robin. But considering the touching story behind Bluebird’s origins, I also kind of think it would be cool if she stayed Bluebird.
So if Harper Row isn’t going to become the new Robin, who is?
Let’s check out Annie Aguila and Detective Comics #30, just in case. For starters, the story is about Annie’s mother Elena striking a business deal with Bruce Wayne to fund her project to re-invigorate Gotham City’s waterfront. They hold their business meeting at the dirt bike track so that Annie can show off her sweet moves. Also, Bruce has been working with the Aguilas long enough that Annie is comfortably familiar with him.
And, of course, the fact that she’s already a motocross champion is always a good sign. It usually helps when the Robins have some skills of their own to bring to the table.
But that motocross thing is key to one of the bigger clues of the issue.
In the middle of the story, Bruce Wayne is down in the Batcave working on one of the Robincycles. He gets into a chat with Alfred about how much Damian loved riding the motorcycle, and the freedom it gave him. So Bruce is trying to turn the bike into a new display inside the Batcave to honor his son.
So the subject of Robin comes up in the issue in a conversation that is specifically about the previous Robin’s love of motorcycles? In an issue that debuts a new contender who just happens to be a real pro at motorcycles?
Pretty clever, Manapul and Buccellato.
The issue ends with Elena coming under attack from the criminal forces who oppose her attempts to clean up the waterfront.
If she dies, that will leave Annie an orphan, which is sometimes a prerequisite for becoming Robin.
None of these clues are solid evidence that Annie Aguila will become the next Robin. Newsarama is just speculating, and there’s no harm in speculating. I think that Robincycle/motocross clue is pretty neat, but it doesn’t have to mean anything. Manapul and Buccellato may just want to introduce some new supporting characters into Batman’s life for their run of Detective Comics. Or maybe DC was eyeing Harper Row to become the new Robin until Scott Snyder said, “Nope, she’s gonna be Bluebird.” So DC turned to Manapul and Buccellato and told them that they could create the new Robin for Detective Comics.
Remember, the original Robin first appeared in Detective Comics #38 in 1940. DC would be fools not to mark the new #38 with some kind of Robin tribute, and I think Manapul and Buccellato will likely stick around for at least 8 more issues. So maybe this is their attempt to create a new, long-lasting Robin. We’ll see what the future holds.
There’s definitely a new contender in the race.