Will Harper Row Be the Next Robin?
WARNING: Contains spoilers for Batman Incorporated #8 and Batman #18.
People have been speculating who the new Robin will be since Damian's death back in Batman Incorporated #8
. The theories ranged from newcomer Harper Row to both former Batgirls Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown. But as of Batman #18
, it's pretty clear to readers who the next Robin will be: Harper Row.
I think most Batman readers have had the same reaction to Harper Row as I've had: love. She's a great and upstanding female character with an appropriately depressing back-story and she has a good (if sometimes amusingly reckless) head on her shoulders with a winning personality full of witty retorts. She also clearly has the capability of being a Robin. Not only does she takes a sucker punch from Batman, she saves his life using her brilliant technology (a tactic she uses to track down the Bat, which many a Gothamite would kill for) and consoles him about his loss by bringing up the death of her mother. The loss of a relative seems like a prerequisite for every Robin! Really, Harper Row would make the perfect Robin.
So why do I disagree with the decision to make her into the newest Robin? Two reasons:
1. Damian Wayne's body isn't even cold yet.
He only just recently died and even though the speculation of who would be the next Robin didn't wait until Damien's body was lowered into the ground that doesn't mean Batman writers should replace him just as fast. There are plenty of fantastical elements to the Batman mythos, but getting over your son's death and replacing him in a matter of weeks – at best – is pushing it. And I doubt DC will pull another Batman Year One where they jump ahead a year in the DC Universe when they just rebooted a couple of years ago.
2. Harper Row isn't ready.
She even says it herself in Batman #18
: "I'm not an idiot, Batman. I know I'm not ready."
Hopefully the writers aren't idiots. Right now Harper could serve in a more Oracle-esque role with her levels of knowledge, but her fighting skills could still use some work. After all, Damian was trained by assassins for almost his entire life – look what happened to him.
Most fans also agree with me when I say Damian Wayne shouldn't have died and will be back, even if it takes a year, so there is still the chance he will return before Row can take his place (Lazarus pit, anyone?). In which case, I'd enjoy seeing Row in another costume, even if it's a new one rather than red-and-green spandex. But even that one wouldn't be so bad... after some time has past.
Who do you want to see in Robin's costume? Let me know in the comments below.