WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batman Beyond #20 by Dan Jurgens and Marco Castiello, on sale now.
In the future, Terry McGinnis has long since taken over the mantle of Batman, but the role of Robin has remained vacant for years. After all, this is a world where superhero costumes of days past remain under glass in solemn memorial, and Wayne Manor stands vacant. That all changes in Batman Beyond #20, where Matt McGinnis receives his very first official Robin costume from Bruce Wayne.
The Batman Family lives again.
Matt McGinnis has taken on a more prominent role in his brother’s story in recent years, and it’s all been leading to this. After a few recent teases, Dan Jurgens and Marco Castiello finally reveal Matt’s new costume, and it’s perfect.
In original Batman Beyond continuity, Tim Drake was the final Robin before Batman’s career came to an end. While Damian Wayne’s history has since been added to Gotham’s future, this series still takes its visual cues from the DC Animated Universe. As a result, Robin Beyond’s costume honors the look Tim had in Batman: The Animated Series while still being futuristic enough to fit in and be it’s own thing.
Tim Drake’s animated look ventured far from the red and green scheme present in the traditional Robin costume. This version relied on a simplistic design with a big, red bodysuit as the base. Black gloves, sleeves, boots, and underwear accentuated the red with a few yellow elements added in to diversify the costume. In time, this design was even incorporated into the comics with Tim Drake wearing a mostly-red Robin costume post-Infinite Crisis.
If you place Matt’s suit next to Tim’s previous costumes, the similarities are clear. Both rely on red and black being the suit’s primary coloring, and yellow is used in Matt’s belt, chest, and wings to diversify the costume. Matt even has some green added in the mask to pay homage to the classic Robin costume colors.
Matt’s new look actually honors Tim Drake in a completely different way, too, which may or may not have been intentional. In the New 52 era of Teen Titans, Red Robin wore a costume that took his bird motif a little too seriously. Instead of a simple cape, Tim had wings that he could use to fly in a limited capacity. DC even gave it feathers just to hammer home the whole bird thing. The wings on Matt’s suit certainly match Terry’s costume, but they also help to make that New 52 concept actually look good.
Unfortunately, Matt’s initial stint as Robin has not gone over well with his brother. In an interesting role reversal, Terry is very against the young and inexperienced Matt going out to fight crime, while Bruce supports the idea. This reflects an inverse of their initial positions on the matter when Terry first stole the Batsuit in Batman Beyond.
After Matt went out to defend his brother against the villain Payback, Terry was appalled at the idea of putting his only living family in the middle of battle. But as Bruce put it, if they don’t train Matt, he’s likely to go out on his own unsupervised before too long. This is a major shift for Bruce Wayne, who has seemingly shied away from the idea of building a new Batman Family. It also does a good job of highlighting why the original Batman brought so many children into his crusade. He wanted to keep an eye on them before they went about things the wrong way.
The cool thing about all this is that this may not even be Matt McGinnis’ final Robin costume. Bruce mentions that this suit is a just prototype, which will do just fine until they can design him a suit comparable Terry’s. Whatever the real Robin costume ends up looking like, there’s little doubt it won’t be, as they say in New-Gotham, schway.
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