Writer Scott Snyder and artist Sean Murphy revealed this week that Detective Comics #27 will include a glimpse at a Batman first: A black Robin.
Batman has had a sidekick named Robin for almost as long as he has been around himself: Batman debuted in Detective Comics #27 in 1939, and Robin came along less than a year later, in Detective Comics #38. For the first 43 years, Robin was Dick Grayson, but since then, Batman’s sidekick has changed frequently: Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Batman’s own son, Damian Wayne. Currently, there is a vacancy for the position.
But Snyder and Murphy aren’t planning to fill it anytime soon. CBR compiled some of their Tweets, in which they discuss the new character, and it’s clear that this will be just a fleeting glimpse of a possible future Robin. “Now the structure of the story is such that you see a LOT of time pass, and w/o giving too much away, the Robin in question only appears in a brief moment. And whether or not he’ll ever make it into some future continuity, I have no idea,” Snyder Tweeted.
DC started renumbering Detective Comics with #1 when they rebooted it two years ago as part of the New 52. With the historic issue #27 coming around again, group editor Mike Marts explained in another CBR article, DC decided to do a special issue, kicking off the “Gothtopia” storyline, written by John Layman and illustrated by Jason Fabok, and backing it up with a number of short stories that comment on Batman’s timeless, mythic nature. Snyder and Murphy’s future-Robin story is one of these side stories. (DC has a number of comics that feature the Caped Crusader; Snyder is the lead writer on Batman and Murphy has done some Batman work as well.)
Reaction has been so positive, though, that this Robin might become a reality after all. “to be clear-NO ONE seemed upset about a black Robin, dude,” Snyder Tweeted on Friday after word got out. “Opposite. I don’t want to get people’s hopes up about his role is all”
“Agreed–people seem thrilled about this,” Murphy responded. “Hope the book does well so we get a chance to do more with him.”
A former book editor and newspaper reporter, Brigid Alverson started MangaBlog to keep track of her daughters¹ reading habits and now covers comics and graphic novels for Comic Book Resources , School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Robot 6, and MTV Geek. She also edits the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. Brigid was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards. Send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org