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Robin Watch: Robin Rising: Omega!

Big news on the Robin front today! DC Comics and writer Peter J. Tomasi revealed in an interview with the LA Times that Robin is definitely coming back this year for Batman’s 75th anniversary!

But which Robin?

Today’s news seems to point to a resurrected Damian Wayne – but doesn’t confirm it one way or another.

Zombie Robin?

Tomasi will be writing a one-shot called Robin Rising: Omega on July 16, which will kick off the finale of his ongoing ‘Search for Robin’ storyline. That issue will be immediately followed by Batman and Robin #33, returning to the series’ original title. When the last Robin, Damian Wayne, died last year, the series Batman and Robin played a game of teaming up Batman with a bunch of other heroes and villains. They went through everything from Batman and Nightwing to Batman and Aquaman. Throughout the series, Batman has been on a quest to try and resurrect his dead son, Damian – though first he has to get Damian’s body back from the madman, R’as al Ghul!

Will Batman succeed? Maybe. I guess that’s what Robin Rising: Omega is going to be about. Right now, Tomasi is only teasing the outcome of this new one-shot.

In the interview, he said:

Let’s just say that we are most definitely bringing back a Robin for Batman’s 75th anniversary. Batman needs a Robin and Robin needs a Batman, so what more needs to be said except that “Robin Rises: Omega,” drawn by the stupendous Andy Kubert, starts and ends with a bang and everything that occurs in this epic story all has seeds that Pat Gleason and I planted back during our first arc in “Batman and Robin: Born To Kill.”

There’s no gimmicks. We’re telling a character-centric action-adventure story that new readers can easily jump on board due to the way we constructed the opening pages of “Robin Rises: Omega” No. 1 that gives readers the ability to emotionally plug in and get up to speed without having read the series from the start of the New 52.

And it goes without saying, of course, that anyone following the book from our first issue will see that this has all been an organic uber-story and that all the moments they’ve spent with the characters will pay off as Pat, Andy and I serve our only purpose, which is to honor the actual title of the book so everyone can be invested in the roller coaster ride whether you’re new to the party or already scrunched up comfortably in the corner.

Tomasi isn’t coming right out and saying that Batman will succeed in resurrecting Damian, only that they’re ‘bringing back a Robin’ for the anniversary, emphasis on the ‘a’.

Heck, maybe they’re not even giving Batman a new Robin so much as just playing around with Robin. I don’t know what’s going to happen.

Apparently it involves Apokolips

Personally, I don’t want them to resurrect Damian. I think comic book resurrections are a little too silly these days, especially if you’re going to do it within a year of the character dying in the first place. If DC wanted Damian to stay Robin, why not just tell Grant Morrison not to kill him?

I’ll admit that Damian was growing on me as a character towards the end, especially in his partnership with Dick Grayson, but bringing Damian back from the dead just so  he can be Robin again strikes the wrong chord with me. Especially when DC has been teasing a new, female Robin.

I firmly believe that DC needs to create a new Robin to go along with the New 52. DC needs to create another Tim Drake, someone who can be a popular Robin for another 20+ years. Damian is turning into too much of a stunt character. Plus, what’s the point of threatening Robin’s life if all Batman has to do is resurrect them within a year?

Of course, if they don’t make Damian Robin again, that leaves Carrie Kelley available in Tomasi’s comic. Of the various female candidates, Carrie is the one Tomasi introduced and is writing about. But I want Carrie to be the new Robin less than I want Damian back from the dead, so I dunno what I’m supposed to do.

Just keep reading, I guess.

Robin Watch: Batsgiving

There hasn’t been too much Robin news lately – other than that day everybody mistakenly thought the new Robin was going to be black – but I’m still keeping a close watch on who might be the next Robin. As you may recall, the leading contenders are Carrie Kelley, an alternate reality version of the female Robin that appeared in Frank Miller’s classic The Dark Knight Returns, or Harper Row, the street-smart electrical engineer groomed by DC Comics’ current golden boy Scott Snyder.

Speaking of Snyder, he Tweeted a picture yesterday teasing the upcoming new weekly series Batman Eternal.

Why did they invite freakin’ Professor Pyg to dinner!?

The picture is full of Easter Eggs, like the little robin sitting on the back of Titus the dog, Alfred in a straight jacket, possibly a blonde Nightwing, and the first look at New 52 Stephanie Brown (she’s the one in the purple hoodie). So it’s definitely a neat picture. But our interest is in what it means for the new Robin.

If you look at everyone in the picture, you’ll see Harper Row plain as day in a very important position. I think Carrie Kelley might be that orange-haired woman sitting between Catwoman and Batwing, but it’s hard to tell. She’s not wearing her normally signature glasses. Heck, that might not even be Carrie Kelley.

But that’s definitely Harper with the blue streak in her hair sitting next to Red Robin. She’s the one sitting directly behind Batman. She’s also holding a drumstick in her hand, making her the only other person eating Thanksgiving dinner with Batman. She’s also sitting among Red Robin, (a possibly blonde) Nightwing and Stephanie Brown, so clearly that’s the ‘Robin Table’, as it were.

Maybe I’m reading too much into the picture, or maybe I’m reading exactly what Snyder wants me to read. His Tweet was bragging about all the Easter Eggs in that picture, after all, Easter Eggs for the Batman books in 2014. So I suppose we’ll still just have to wait and see.

This has been another edition of Robin Watch!

Robin Watch: Carrie Kelley!?!

The ongoing search for the next Robin continues with a rather surprise arrival in next week’s new issue of Batman and Robin: Carrie Kelley!

What the what!?! For reals, people, DC and writer Peter Tomasi are bringing Carrie Kelley into modern day continuity. But whether or not she’s going to become the next Robin is still anyone’s guess. DC are definitely good at teasing that possibility, at least.

BMROB_Cv19_Carrie-Kelley_02

This is just a strange choice, in my opinion, but it seems like the kind of thing DC would pull off. DC loves mining their big, popular stories for little stuff they can bring into normal continuity. Prior to the reboot, and even a little bit in the reboot, DC was using stuff from Kingdom Come left and right. Heck, Tim Drake is still called Red Robin. Then there was that whole Before Watchmen thing. Now they’re going to pluck Carrie Kelley from the legendary The Dark Knight Returns and tease her as a possible new Robin.

According to Tomasi in an interview with the New York Post:

“She’s a college kid who’s got spunk and speaks her mind,” said writer Peter Tomasi. “This is not an alternate-earth Robin, this is simply a girl named Carrie Kelley, who we learn knew Damian, which in turn weaves her into the fabric of the DC Universe for the first time in 25 years. What you’ll find out once you crack the book, is that she’s not exactly the ‘new Robin,’ but I don’t want to spoil the story and her introduction into Bruce Wayne/Batman’s life. In regards to how long she’ll be around, let’s just say that it’s a helluva lot longer than ‘one issue.’ I’ve got plans for Carrie that play well into the future.”

If I’m being completely honest, and this is just my immediate gut reaction, I don’t like this idea. First of all, Carrie Kelley is going to debut in the issue that was supposed to be dedicated to Tim Drake reteaming with Bruce Wayne. The issue is going to be called Batman and Red Robin, after all. I was really looking forward to their first real interaction since the reboot. But I guess DC just doesn’t want anything to do with the classic Bruce/Tim team. What a shame.

Second of all, I’m a proponent of Harper Row as the new Robin for reasons I’ve gone on and on about on my blog. Harper Row is a new character with a new life, which is perfect for the New 52 universe. Carrie Kelley is just a weak attempt to steal some goodwill from The Dark Knight Returns. I understand that we’re dealing with some alternate realities here, and that this version of Carrie is a new version, but she’s still a character with some complicated backstory. My #1 rule for writing comics, movies or anything else is to Keep It Simple, Stupid. Are you really going to want to introduce Robin from now on as the alternate reality version of a different Robin from the future?

And who also dresses like Robin at parties.

And who also dresses like Robin at parties.

I think this is all just one big tease. I think Tomasi has some ideas for what he might do with his version of Carrie Kelley, and he’s going to run with them. I don’t think for an instant that this is the definitive revelation of the new Robin. At least I hope not. I would probably have no problem in the long run with this new version of Carrie Kelley being the new Robin, but like I said, Harper Row represents a much cleaner, fresher sort of character. Harper Row the much better candidate.

Still, it looks like DC is going to keep the recruiting field wide open!

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