“At a glance, the news that Duke Thomas is teaming with Batman brings with it an obvious conclusion: As with the early appearances of Harper Row when the previous “Batman” series debuted four years ago, we’re led to think Duke will be the new Robin.
In the DC Comics one-shot, some plot elements are a return to the status quo, like Bruce Wayne regaining his family’s assets (thanks to some accounting magic from Lucius Fox) orAlfred Pennyworth serving as assistant to Bruce in both of his identities. When Duke asks why Batman’s summoned him, however, it’s not to be trained as a Robin.
Yes, Duke is offered a place to stay at Wayne Manor until a cure for his parents is discovered, and yes, he’s offered a new, costumed identity — but it’s certainly not the traditional Robin outfit.
Instead, Duke is presented with a snazzy yellow-and-black number with a Bat-emblem on the chest. “I’m trying something new,” the Dark Knight explains.
While no new code name has been revealed, we begin to see the nature of their relationship: They appear to be in a crime-fighting partnership – as equals, with Duke assisting Batman to defeat the Calendar Man.