SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Batman and Robin Eternal” #18.
Over the course of “Batman and Robin Eternal,” Mother’s presence has loomed over all of Batman’s proteges. It’s been clear since early in the book’s run that one of them was a product of her programming, but it was never clear exactly who it was — until now. In James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Ed Brisson, Scot Eaton and Wayne Faucher’s “Batman and Robin Eternal” #18, Orphan revealed Harper Row was intended to be Batman’s Robin replacement.
The series has seen Dick Grayson grapple with the fact Batman sought to replace him as Robin using Mother’s methods. Of course, after the flashback in issue #17, it became clear this wasn’t the case at all; Batman simply tried to play Mother so he could gain her trust and dismantle her organization. Mother sent him to kill a little boy’s parents in Cairo as a test, while ordering a hit to take place in Gotham simultaneously. Whether or not Batman passed her test in Cairo, another child of Gotham would suffer the trauma of losing their parents thanks to Mother’s program.
As it turns out, that child of Gotham is Harper Row. What’s more, it wasn’t just anyone who killed Harper’s mother: it was Cassandra Cain. This was the death Harper saw when the Sculptor revealed Cassandra’s origins in issue #11, the one that ultimately caused Cassandra to renounce Mother and Orphan. However, this will likely drive a wedge in Harper and Cassandra’s budding friendship — if Orphan is telling the truth, of course.
“Batman and Robin Eternal” #18 is now available.