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The Dark Knight Returns' Carrie Kelley may be Batman's new Robin

Illustration for article titled emThe Dark Knight Returns/em Carrie Kelley may be Batmans new Robin

It looks like Carrie Kelley, the female Robin to Grumpy Old Batman in Frank Miller's classic The Dark Knight Returns, is joining the DC universe proper. She's on the gatefold cover of Batman and Robin #19 (which comes out next Wednesday) in a Robin costume. Does this mean she'll actually be the next Robin? Maaaaybe.

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DC is keeping mum on whether she'll take over the sidekick role last held by Damian Wayne, but they obviously have no such concerns about telling people of Kelley's arrival, since they gave the news to the NY Post. Here's what writer Peter Tomasi had to say:

Illustration for article titled emThe Dark Knight Returns/em Carrie Kelley may be Batmans new Robin

“What you'll find out once you crack the book, is that she's not exactly the ‘new Robin,’ but I don't want to spoil the story and her introduction into Bruce Wayne/Batman's life,” Tomasi said. “In regards to how long she'll be around, let's just say that it's a helluva lot longer than ‘one issue.’ I've got plans for Carrie that play well into the future.”

The move is the latest in a string of eye-catching maneuvers since DC Comics relaunched its primary line in 2011 under the banner The New 52. And it comes in a month where the publisher has been promoting an array of oddball occurrences and encounters across the entire line.

But Tomasi promises that Carrie Kelley’s arrival is no mere stunt, or dream, or what-if story.

“It's all real,” he said. “It's all in continuity. It's all part of the Batman universe in the here and now. Carrie Kelley has found her way into The New 52 and she's here to stay - in what capacity is anybody's guess - except mine of course.”

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We're waaaaaay overdue for a female Robin, so I hope this isn't just a publicity stunt. There's one problem, though, that my pal Brett White pointed out: Why the hell isn't Carrie wearing pants? This is the New 52-iverse, where none of the Robins have gone tights-less. Why would Carrie suddenly decide she needs to show off her legs as Batman's sidekick? Is Bruce making her? Because that would be super creepy.

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DISCUSSION

Although it would be interesting for a re-introduction of a female Robin to the already crowded Robins' roster it begs a question, Is this a dictate from editorial or higher to cash-in on the Dark Knights Returns animation releases? If so, than is DC driven more from outside interest of animation and film divisions than the print creators who primarily develop the characters that they use? It would explain the operating agenda as of late at DC especially with the numerous stories about editorial. Their decisions would speculatively be based on market research first then readership instead of the other way around being the normal practice.