What Is the Future of Batman and...Robin?

With rotating titles like Batman and Nightwing, Batman and Batgirl, Batman and Red Hood, and Batman and Catwoman, I'm not sure if any series has ever managed to suffer from multiple personality disorder as completely as Batman and...

To See This Article with Image, Click Here.

Batman and..., of course, refers to the series formerly known as Batman and Robin, but ever since Damian was beaten, shot full of bullets and arrows, broken Bane style, riddled with projectiles once more, slammed head first into a wall, and run through with a sword, (because killing a Robin with just a crowbar and bomb was so twenty years ago) the old title doesn't really seem to fit the book anymore.

Right now, the series seems to be in limbo. With a new titles every month, it's anybodies guess what the future holds. However, that's exactly what I'm going to examine today, and though I can't authoritatively offer any conclusions, I can certainly give you a fair rundown of the options.

As I see it, there are only three big picture possibilities for the series. The series can be canceled, it can continue to act as a team-up book, or it can continue as originally conceived with a new Robin. Let's check this out one option at a time.

Canceled!

DC has made many calls over the past couple years that I, and many others, find questionable and downright stupid, but despite these reservations for the editorial staff at DC, I do not think there is any real chance that Batman and... is going to be canceled.

Peter J. Tomasi (former editor of Hitman and current writer for Batman and... and Green Lantern Corps) and Partick Gleason (former artist for Robin and cover artist for Arkham City: End Game and current penciler for Batman and Robin) have proven their skills on this book. In addition to delivering many of the most critically acclaimed stories of in the DCNU, they've been successful financially firmly planted in the top third of DC's sales month to month. Very few creative teams are still together since the inception of the New 52; Tomasi and Gleason are one of the very few left, and they apparently enjoy working together and unquestionably deliver a high quality product.

DC might occasionally make some immensely stupid decisions, but I do not believe that they are anywhere near stupid enough to shoot one of their champion horses in the face. Batman and... might switch titles and directions, but as long as Tomasi and Gleason are willing to work together, I think there will be a place for them on a Bat Family title.

The Brave and the Bold

The long term fate of Batman and... might be a mystery, but the immediate future is clear. Batman and... is just a modern incarnation of The Brave and the Bold, and it seems to me that this might be a good fit for the DCNU.

The original The Brave and the Bold lasted for 133 issues as a team up book between Batman and a hero of the month. (the series was also a variety show sort of book for other heroes of the super and non super variety for 67 issues before Bats took the lead) More recently, the animated The Brave and the Bold was a more tongue in cheek version of the series which proved that the basic concept still has legs, and it's really no surprise. People love seeing the emotional, physical and psychological force that is Batman contrasted to the backdrop of other heroes. It's a simple formula. Batman + X = Awesomeness

I believe Peter J. Tomasi's style would be perfect suited to do a modern reinvention of a Batman team up book. In addition to being just a solid comic book writer, Tomasi is an excellent character writer. Think about Tomasi's run on Batman and Robin. What scenes come to mind as those that really stand above the rest? I'll tell you the ones that come to my mind. Damian breaking the bat, (little b) Damian killing Nobody, Bruce worrying about how to be a father to Damian, Damian taking his Dad on a world tour to explore his past while donning a mini Bat suit to guard Gotham, Damian sacrificing himself for his father in Death of the Family, Damian brooding with his headphones, Alfred crying over a painting of the Family, and Bruce losing his mind in rage and loss all stand out to me as phenomenal scenes, and all of these moments are based on the emotional bonds between characters. They are not sweeping and grand actions scnes; they are based off the subtle and not so subtle elements that make the characters who they are. That is exactly the kind of touch that would work perfectly to paint short masterpieces as Batman interacts with some of DC Universe's most colorful characters.

One of the aspects which make this so attractive an option to me is that The Brave and the Bold was almost always a one shot comic, (granted, it was from a one shot age) and personally, I'd like to see comics get a little closer to that approach. Since John Layman (current writer of Image's Chew and Detective Comics) took over Detective Comics, he has been writing each issue as a standalone case, yet he has also built an overarching story which builds from issue to issue. No doubt, this is a more difficult form of constructing a story, and it has not always worked perfectly as Layman has occasionally spent too much time on the one shot aspect of the story and neglected the overarching plot or vice-versa, but at the end of each issue, I've had a complete story which is satisfying in and of itself, and this has made me realize that I am really sick of having to wait eight months to see the end of an arc. Most issues these days try to keep us in a never ending state of suspense, and quite frankly, that is psychologically draining. It's refreshing to read a story that is one and done, yet I can still pick up the next issue and see how events have built from the last.

That appears to be exactly what Tomasi has in mind with the next several issues anyway, and though I did not care for the darkness present in Batman in the most recent issue and I thought Red Robin was forced into the issue unnecessarily, Tomasi did show the ability to tell a one shot story which is complete and satisfying as a standalone while continuing to work through the over arcing story of Bruce grieving for his son, and in addition to the lackluster guest appearance of Red Robin, Tomasi actually included a much more interesting guest appearance of Frankenstein, a character we would never regularly see interact with Batman. In just a few panels, I saw who Frankenstein was as a character, and seeing Frank interact with Bruce was easily the most entertaining part of the last issue.

Batman is, in my view, the center of the DC Universe, yet there are many characters with whom we never see him interact. I hate the reboot, but as long as it is around, Tomasi should use it to his advantage. We have virtually no backstory on a smörgåsbord of characters who, due to the reboot, have probably never met Bruce. That's an opportunity I would think would make many a writer's mouth water.

The New Robin

The most obvious and most likely outcome of Batman and... is that it will continue to have a rotating cast until the new Robin is chosen at which point she or he will take the slot left open by Damian and the series will once again fit its original moniker, Batman and Robin. The question of who will take on the role is still very much up to debate, and if you want a good discussion of options, This should give you some food for thought, but I don't have time to run down the list of options, so I'm just going to look at the most obvious choice, Carrie Kelly.

Carrie Kelly is most definitely not the new Robin yet, and nobody has officially confirmed that she is slated for that role, but you have to think that DC brought her into continuity for a reason, and you would think that reason must be more than just a red herring for future looking fans. There could certainly be another scheme in the works for her, but the timing and location of her debut is more than a tad suspicious, and from the buzz I've heard through interviews, it appears as if she will continue to appear in Batman and... for some time to come, so it seems likely that Carrie Kelly will soon be the Girl Wonder.

As for my personal feelings on the matter, I'm less than thrilled. I think it would be more meaningful if Bats were without a Robin for a couple years, but I understand Robin is a crucial part of the mythos, and DC is concerned about making the universe as friendly as possible to new readers. However, the replacement of the last Robin is less of a concern to me than the nature of Carrie Kelly.

They say first impressions are the most important, and for Carrie's first foray into the mainstream universe, she threw a pizza in the face of some guys who were flirting with her. The more I've thought about this, the more it has bugged me. I mean, let's just reverse this and say it were a guy eating the pizza and two girls pulled up along side him, and said, “Hey Baby, love your hair! Want to share your pizza with me?” and in response, the guy threw the pizza in one of the girl's faces. Does anybody have a problem with that? I do! That would make that guy a complete douche, and though I understand that guys are held to a higher standard of conduct in the way they treat women due to chivalry, it still makes Carrie a severely spoiled brat, doesn't it? Reacting with a minor manifestation of violence to a slightly offensive comment is never a sign of maturity no matter the context.

Beyond that, I guess Carrie was fairly neutral to me, but again, first impressions are powerful, and I can't help but wonder why Carrie was brought out of retirement. Carrie was fine in DKR, but she was just fine. I never thought, “I really want to see this girl in a monthly series,” yet that appears to be the direction things are heading.

Conclusion

I do not think it is a coincidence that the last issue of Batman and... held several prominent costarring roles while possibly introducing the new Robin. I'm guessing that DC is floating the idea of Carrie Kelly as Robin to see how fans respond before they green light her as the certain replacement for everybody's favorite Bat Brat. The emphasis on costars to carry the book in the meantime makes me think they might be flirting with the idea of a team up book as well. If you have any strong feelings on the matter one way or another, this is the time to let DC know about it because they will soon be pushing ahead with their plans whatever they may be, and I suspect they are interested in hearing your opinions on this matter

21 Comments
21 Comments
Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

To my knowledge it was one of the highest selling books so they probably won't cancel it. I personally think they should reinvent it into a Bat-Family team book. Not just Batman & (insert partner) but instead it should be (Bat family member) & (Bat family member). Maybe even make it more than 2 people at one time. I think "Shadow of the Bat" was something like that or maybe it was "Gotham Knights."

But they'll probably revive Damian or get a new Robin soon...I really don't know.

Posted by roboadmiral

While it'd be a shame to see Tomasi & Co. out of a job based on plot points not in their book and DC will never shut the title down if they think there's a buck to be made off of it, for artistic purposes, I'd say it's time for Batman and Robin to go. At least until they inevitably bring on another Robin (personally I'm against it, but it's going to happen no matter what, so I hope they at least give it a year for the sake of believably). Considering that there are five Batman books, and none of them are even Elseworlds books, the continuity is getting jumbled and it's time to trim the list down.

Edited by Stronger

To my knowledge it was one of the highest selling books so they probably won't cancel it. I personally think they should reinvent it into a Bat-Family team book. Not just Batman & (insert partner) but instead it should be (Bat family member) & (Bat family member). Maybe even make it more than 2 people at one time. I think "Shadow of the Bat" was something like that or maybe it was "Gotham Knights."

But they'll probably revive Damian or get a new Robin soon...I really don't know.

A bat-family book is an excellent idea..

Posted by thejman251

- I honestly hope they cancel this book.

- Previously, i was going to drop the book if they decided to add another Robin however, now that Carrie has been introduced i'll put it on probation if she becomes the new Robin, though I can't say that I'm a fan of her first impression, and i'll drop it if anyone else becomes the new Robin.

Posted by colonyofcells

Batman and Robin must've been selling since dc has not yet cancelled the comic even with no Robin. This suggests dc will just continue Batman and Robin with a new Robin like Carrie. Movies don't like to use the obsolete sidekicks but the cartoons still like Robin so the comics continue to have a Robin.

Posted by ULTRAstarkiller

@stronger said:

@arturocalakayvee said:

To my knowledge it was one of the highest selling books so they probably won't cancel it. I personally think they should reinvent it into a Bat-Family team book. Not just Batman & (insert partner) but instead it should be (Bat family member) & (Bat family member). Maybe even make it more than 2 people at one time. I think "Shadow of the Bat" was something like that or maybe it was "Gotham Knights."

But they'll probably revive Damian or get a new Robin soon...I really don't know.

A bat-family book is an excellent idea..

I agree but isn't Nightwing in Chicago for good now?

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

@stronger said:

@arturocalakayvee said:

To my knowledge it was one of the highest selling books so they probably won't cancel it. I personally think they should reinvent it into a Bat-Family team book. Not just Batman & (insert partner) but instead it should be (Bat family member) & (Bat family member). Maybe even make it more than 2 people at one time. I think "Shadow of the Bat" was something like that or maybe it was "Gotham Knights."

But they'll probably revive Damian or get a new Robin soon...I really don't know.

A bat-family book is an excellent idea..

I agree but isn't Nightwing in Chicago for good now?

He's currently in Chicago but I hope it isn't for good. But, even if he is there for good, that doesn't mean he can't travel or others can't travel to him.

Posted by Nerd Of A Hero

Batman is a cash cow so no way in the world they'll cancel ever Batman and Robin. I'll have to follow up on the series but people seem to dislike this recent character Carrie, and it appears that DC is making her the new Robin (unless it's some way of us thinking that and that they got other plans in mind) but it doesn't seem wise to just throw her as a robin when they already lose Damian. They may not want a Robin so they don't want to lose somebody someday. I like the idea that Batman can team up with other heroes like the brave and bold; It'll not show us the interaction of batman and Co. but that character may do things more with Batman and take things at a different perspective.

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

Batman is a cash cow so no way in the world they'll cancel ever Batman and Robin. I'll have to follow up on the series but people seem to dislike this recent character Carrie, and it appears that DC is making her the new Robin (unless it's some way of us thinking that and that they got other plans in mind) but it doesn't seem wise to just throw her as a robin when they already lose Damian. They may not want a Robin so they don't want to lose somebody someday. I like the idea that Batman can team up with other heroes like the brave and bold; It'll not show us the interaction of batman and Co. but that character may do things more with Batman and take things at a different perspective.

Carrie isn't exactly a recent character. I think the problem people have with her is that she exists at that age in this timeline, rather than not liking her as a character. I could be wrong though.

Edited by Stronger

@ultrastarkiller said:

@stronger said:

@arturocalakayvee said:

To my knowledge it was one of the highest selling books so they probably won't cancel it. I personally think they should reinvent it into a Bat-Family team book. Not just Batman & (insert partner) but instead it should be (Bat family member) & (Bat family member). Maybe even make it more than 2 people at one time. I think "Shadow of the Bat" was something like that or maybe it was "Gotham Knights."

But they'll probably revive Damian or get a new Robin soon...I really don't know.

A bat-family book is an excellent idea..

I agree but isn't Nightwing in Chicago for good now?

He's currently in Chicago but I hope it isn't for good. But, even if he is there for good, that doesn't mean he can't travel or others can't travel to him.

Agreed....

Edited by fodigg

@batwatch said:

They say first impressions are the most important, and for Carrie's first foray into the mainstream universe, she threw a pizza in the face of some guys who were flirting with her. The more I've thought about this, the more it has bugged me. I mean, let's just reverse this and say it were a guy eating the pizza and two girls pulled up along side him, and said, “Hey Baby, love your hair! Want to share your pizza with me?” and in response, the guy threw the pizza in one of the girl's faces. Does anybody have a problem with that? I do! That would make that guy a complete douche, and though I understand that guys are held to a higher standard of conduct in the way they treat women due to chivalry, it still makes Carrie a severely spoiled brat, doesn't it? Reacting with a minor manifestation of violence to a slightly offensive comment is never a sign of maturity no matter the context.

Street harassment is not a compliment. You imagine yourself being complimented because you don't have to deal with constant harassment over your looks.

Posted by Exia009

I was just pondering over who I would prefer to become Robin and I think I came up with a satisfying solution (also a highly unlikely one). Rather than who would become Robin, it is who would be following the Batman &.... and I think the best choice for this is Red Robin. If they pick out a completely fresh character for the role like Carrie or Harper, there's bound to be some divisiveness; hell, I wouldn't be content with either of them at first (although I was adverse to Damian at first, as well). But Tim just fits into this so well since the changes made since the New 52 began. True, this is the same character that spent the better part of the 90s and early 00s as Bruce's sidekick and some may be tired of it right now; but honestly, with the direction the New 52 has taken for him in particular, I think it would seriously save this fan favorite character from his poor appearances in the Teen Titans book. Plus, his time with Bruce has been limited if not completely nonexistent, again due to the direction of the New 52 and some ambiguity as to whether he was even Robin in the first place or just skipped to Red Robin; I'm sure I'm not the only one this doesn't sit well with. Batman & Red Robin could serve as his redemption, at least until a good amount of time has passed and they can introduce a new Robin.

Anyway, my two cents.

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@exia009 said:

I was just pondering over who I would prefer to become Robin and I think I came up with a satisfying solution (also a highly unlikely one). Rather than who would become Robin, it is who would be following the Batman &.... and I think the best choice for this is Red Robin. If they pick out a completely fresh character for the role like Carrie or Harper, there's bound to be some divisiveness; hell, I wouldn't be content with either of them at first (although I was adverse to Damian at first, as well). But Tim just fits into this so well since the changes made since the New 52 began. True, this is the same character that spent the better part of the 90s and early 00s as Bruce's sidekick and some may be tired of it right now; but honestly, with the direction the New 52 has taken for him in particular, I think it would seriously save this fan favorite character from his poor appearances in the Teen Titans book. Plus, his time with Bruce has been limited if not completely nonexistent, again due to the direction of the New 52 and some ambiguity as to whether he was even Robin in the first place or just skipped to Red Robin; I'm sure I'm not the only one this doesn't sit well with. Batman & Red Robin could serve as his redemption, at least until a good amount of time has passed and they can introduce a new Robin.

Anyway, my two cents.

Completely fresh? You know Carrie was introduced even before Tim Drake? Or do you mean it in a different way?

Edited by Exia009

@v_scarlotte_rose: Yeah, sorry for the confusion. I'm aware Carrie was introduced first, but never into the main continuity, so I'm considering her a 'new' character, since we're not really sure what she shares in common with her TDKR counterpart other than her name and appearance; heck, the appearance is even a bit loose at this point.

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@exia009: Yeah, considering the obvious age differences she could be quite different. I don't know if it would be a good idea to bring her in as the new Robin, but I'm not sure why else she would be introduced if that isn't the plan.

Edited by BatWatch

@exia009: Yeah, considering the obvious age differences she could be quite different. I don't know if it would be a good idea to bring her in as the new Robin, but I'm not sure why else she would be introduced if that isn't the plan.

Have you guys heard the Stephanie Brown Theory?

Posted by evilvegeta74

I think they should just bring back Damian, I think sells are gonna tank with the addition of any other Robin aside of him . Damian is second only to Dick Grayson when it comes to ranking the 10 Robins ( http://www.newsarama.com/comics/10-best-robins.html ) .It's obvious who the people like, regardless of the occasional trolling on Damian. I feel that anything other than bringing Damian back will surely end up as utter fail.

Posted by havoc1201

i hope they just make Carrie Kelly the new Oracle and leave it at that, her character was not that great in the Dark Knight Returns comic, IMO i found her barely readable, and i will drope that book very fast if she becomes Robin which would be sad bc i love the team on that book.

Posted by r3d_rob1n

What about the option of having Batman study and review the recordings of past Batman and Damian adventures that it was shown he has? This could go on for a year or so while the main Bat title is exploring Zero Year. At the end of the run, Bruce can evaluate where he could have improved as a partner and guardian and focus on taking steps to ensure his next protege is better protected.

This would allow us to see more of Damian and allow Bruce to learn something and grow as a character.

Posted by BatWatch

I think they should just bring back Damian, I think sells are gonna tank with the addition of any other Robin aside of him . Damian is second only to Dick Grayson when it comes to ranking the 10 Robins ( http://www.newsarama.com/comics/10-best-robins.html ) .It's obvious who the people like, regardless of the occasional trolling on Damian. I feel that anything other than bringing Damian back will surely end up as utter fail.

I agree and disagree. On one hand, I'd love to see Damian back because I liked him. On the other hand, comic book deaths are meaningless enough without being dead for three seconds. Also, I am open to the idea of a new Robin. I mean, everybody hated the idea of Damian at first, and now many love him.

I suspect they will do a new Robin, and if she/he bombs, they will revive Damian.

i hope they just make Carrie Kelly the new Oracle and leave it at that, her character was not that great in the Dark Knight Returns comic, IMO i found her barely readable, and i will drope that book very fast if she becomes Robin which would be sad bc i love the team on that book.

I'm hoping Tomasi and Gleason have better plans. I'm open...though reluctant...to her being Robin, but she made a poor first impression. Why do you say Oracle though? Nothing she has done so far seems to fit the profile. Oh, and I also agree that she was not that great from The Dark Knight Returns.

What about the option of having Batman study and review the recordings of past Batman and Damian adventures that it was shown he has? This could go on for a year or so while the main Bat title is exploring Zero Year. At the end of the run, Bruce can evaluate where he could have improved as a partner and guardian and focus on taking steps to ensure his next protege is better protected.

This would allow us to see more of Damian and allow Bruce to learn something and grow as a character.

Interesting idea. I can see this as a good miniseries, but it would annoy me to basically suspend progress in the progress indefinitely. Though I did not like the latest issue, I do like the idea of Bruce going through the grieving process, and by the end, I suspect he will be in a point to move on.

Posted by Joelislegend

Once Batman Inc finishes I think they are going to focus the series on Bruce getting Damian back. Just check out the covers of futur solicits.