EDITOR: The original version of this story included interior pages from "Batman and Red Robin" #19. CBR has pulled them at the request of DC Comics.
In a move not many fans expected, the next issue of "Batman and..." will feature the first appearance of a character not seen in years, and never in an in-continuity issue of a DC comic: Carrie Kelley, better known as the Robin from Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns."
"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," series writer Peter Tomasi told The New York Post. "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."
When Tomasi spoke with CBR just after Damian Wayne's death, the writer hinted at big plans for the future of the "Batman and..." title. "I didn't want to take the usual road that's been travelled when it comes to the "Batman needs a Robin" angle," the writer said. "Let's just say there's a big, epic picture in view over the horizon, but there's plenty of lightning storms and hurricanes ... to still fly through before it all becomes clear."
"It's a New 52 version, but we're staying close to Frank Miller's visual template and personality of Carrie Kelley. She's a college kid who's got spunk and speaks her mind. This is not an alternate-earth Robin, this is simply a girl named Carrie Kelley who we learn knew Damian which in turn weaves her into the fabric of the DC Universe for the first time in 25 years," Tomasi said of Carrie's place in the moder Batman mythos. "It's all real. 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."