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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.

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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.

Favors yellow, green and red coloring, eh?

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.

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Robin Watch: The Immediate Future of Harper Row

Welcome to the latest Robin Watch! As some of you may recall, I am keeping my eye on DC Comics’ search for the new Robin, because I am confident that they’re not going to keep Batman solo forever. The phrase ‘Batman and Robin’ is just too well ingrained in the public’s mind. It’s marketing gold. The last Robin, Damian Wayne, has been dead for about a year now, but Batman is still flying solo. DC doesn’t seem to be in any rush to name a new Robin. They’ve got more than a few contenders in play, and something pretty major happens to my pick, Harper Row, in this week’s Batman #28!

I can’t believe I didn’t see this coming. It pretty much changes the entire game!

Though any game with Batman is still fun

I want to warn everybody that there will be massive SPOILERS for Batman #28 in this article. If you don’t want to be SPOILED, then don’t click to continue.

Want a little hint? Let’s just say that the developments in this week’s issue are so massive that I may have to change the name of this feature. And for those of you rooting for Harper Row, like me, this issue should be both amazing and bittersweet.

Join me after the jump to see what happens to Harper!

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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: Damian Returns!?

I did not see this one coming! Damian Wayne is coming back! Just…not back to life. An interesting twist in the search for the new Robin is an upcoming Elseworlds mini-series starring Damian Wayne. Revealed today in the pages of USA Today, the series will be called Damian: Son of Batman, and will take place in an alternate future where Damian grew up to become Batman.

Damian

Possibly by killing Batman?

Alternate futures are a staple of comic books, and Damian has already been the subject of at least one.

The 4-issue mini-series will be written and drawn by comic book legend Andy Kubert, who was the artist on Batman #666, which was itself a futuristic story about Damian as Batman in a post-apocalyptic Gotham City. The first issue of the new mini-series will be released on Oct. 30.

Kubert had this to say:

“I had a big affinity for Damian when I drew Batman issue #666 (in 2007). I really liked that Batman and always wanted to revisit him. Damian is a bit different than the ‘Bruce Wayne’ Batman. Grant Morrison tweaked his character in a way that made it very endearing for me to draw. And to write. Basically, what I’m doing is exploring the path that Damian has taken to become Batman. I think readers will see him in a different light than before.”

This sounds like a pretty cool story to me. I’m sure everybody will tell you that DC killed Damian long before his character wore out his welcome. I didn’t like Damian at first, like pretty much everybody else, but the little twerp grew on me over the years. I never particularly liked him as Robin, but as Damian, he was a pretty cool character. He still had a lot of potential. But Grant Morrison is Grant Morrison, and if he wants to kill off his own creation, then he’s allowed. Being a legendary comic book writer holds that kind of power.

So I don’t really know what to expect from his upcoming mini-series. Andy Kubert is great, and I’m sure he’ll tell an exciting story. This doesn’t reveal anything in terms of who is going to become the new Robin, but it’s definitely something to keep our eye on here at Robin Watch!

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