In the latest issue of Batman/Catwoman, Selina Kyle reveals Batman’s real reason for dressing Robin in bright, ostentatious colors.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Batman/Catwoman #7
In the latest issue of DC Comics’ Batman/Catwoman, Selina Kyle reveals the real and tragic reason the Dark Knight dressed Robin in bright colors for his costume. Featuring an interconnected narrative set in the past, present, and potential future of Bruce Wayne’s and Selina Kyle’s relationship, the future sees the former Catwoman finally killing the Joker. However, this new issue sees her placed under arrest by none other than Gotham’s new police commissioner Dick Grayson, Batman’s first Robin, who’s seemingly evolved beyond his solo vigilantism as Nightwing. However, this scene is where she reveals this new truth about the Robin costume that Dick himself didn’t even know.
In prior issues of Batman/Catwoman, Selina Kyle killed the Joker (in the story’s future), the result of a conflict where the Joker horrifically killed the Phantasm in the present. While Selina had apparently wanted to kill Joker for years, Batman wouldn’t let her. As a result, she had to wait until her husband passed away, allowing her to finally murder the Joker in this 12-issue maxi-series from Tom King and Clay Mann, providing an alternate timeline for the Bat and Cat based on King’s vision from when he was writing DC’s flagship series a few years ago.
Eventually, enough evidence was found by Selina and Bruce’s daughter Helena (the future Batwoman), and this lead to Commissioner Grayson arriving at Wayne Manor to arrest Selina for the murder of the Joker. However, as she’s being lead to the patrol car she tells Dick that she once asked Batman why he had Robin dress in such bright colors: “Shouldn’t he be in black like you?” While Dick responds that Batman believed black would allow Dick to rely on the darkness rather than his own skills, thereby forcing him to work harder to limit his vulnerabilities, Selina reveals that Batman once told her the real and much darker reason: to make the joker laugh at him and disregard Dick as a threat.
Clearly, this is a much more tragic origin for Robin’s costume, and it’s made even worse due to the fact that it ultimately failed when it came to the second Robin Jason Todd, who was murdered by the Joker in Death in the Family. Furthermore, it also communicates the levels of caution and healthy levels of fear Batman had of the Joker. That being said, the anecdote serves Selina well, making the point that she has no remorse for her actions, while also implying that Dick shouldn’t be arresting her for killing the man that wouldn’t have hesitated to brutally kill him over the years given the chance.
It’s going to be interesting to see what this alternate future holds for Selina Kyle as Batman/Catwoman continues, as the rest of the issue reveals that she already has the means to escape after being booked by the GCPD. In any case, the fact that Robin’s bright colors were a desperate attempt to protect his sidekicks from the Joker is kind of twisted, especially because it ultimately didn’t even work. Still, the colorful Robin costume lives on, supposedly for the sake of tradition.
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