[SPOILERS!!--No pun intended]
Damian Wayne, son of bruce Wayne, and current Robin in the DCU, is dead.
Since Batman Incorporated #8 arrived last week, Damian’s death has been a hot topic of discussion. How it was handled, whether it did the character justice, how long it was planned for, and so on. And of course, there is rampant speculation about how long Damian will actually stay dead, as we all know superhero deaths are rarely permanent. (For the record, I see him being resurrected as a villain within a year and a half.)
What I’m most interested in now though, is what’s next for the mantle of Robin. Will Tim Drake drop the Red Robin gig and become Batman’s sidekick? Or, will a new character come along and become the boy (or girl) wonder?
As fans, we all have our own ideas about what could or should happen, and I’m no different. There is only one character I want to see as the next Robin--Stephanie Brown.
In the old DCU, Stephanie spent time as Spoiler, Robin and eventually Batgirl. In my mind, she was the worst casualty of the DC New 52 initiative, as Barbara Gordon became the Batgirl of the New 52, and Stephanie was cast out into the ether At this point, she has yet to appear in the current incarnation of the DC Universe.
Which is why there is a perfect opportunity to make her the next Robin. In the New 52, origins and backstories have been re-imagined Stephanie could be introduced into the new Bat universe in any number of ways. Some fans online have suggested that Stephanie come back as the daughter of The Riddler, instead of Cluemaster, to make her more high profile. What’s interesting is that Batman writer Scott Snyder is said to be working on a new Riddler arc, and that would be a good time to introduce Stephanie as his daughter.
However, since Cluemaster has yet to appear at all in the New 52, I think there’s more possibilities there. He could be more of a disposable character, and maybe he dies in the arc that introduces Stephanie. Maybe Stephanie is involved in the death of her father by trying to “spoil” one of his criminal schemes. Maybe Batman feels somewhat responsible and agrees to train her as Robin, as he is still grieving over his loss and sees Stephanie suffer a great loss of her own.
Any way you slice it, it’s pretty safe to say there will be another incarnation of Robin in the future. My vote is going to Stephanie Brown. There’s also a pretty good chance of a standalone Robin book as well, and if there’s any justice in the world, Bryan Q miller will be writing that book with Stephanie as the girl wonder.
What would you like to see happen with Robin in the future?