Meet Jarro, Batman's Favorite Robin (Ever)
Hard as it may be to believe, the confirmation of Jarro--a psychically gifted alien starfish--as not only Batman's son, but his new Robin, is effectively a minor point in the current arc of Justice League. After the previous issue concluded with the older Superman of DC's future arriving to show the League their greatest possible future, fans were left unsure of what to expect next. But for obvious reasons, it's Batman's return to chasing down Gotham criminals that is going to produce the most powerful responses from readers. For it's there that Bruce crowns his most accomplished sidekick in history.
Just as Jodie Foster's heroine in Contact (1997) regretted being chosen to look upon a cosmic miracle, recognizing that "they should have sent a poet" to translate such beauty into mere words, we find ourselves unable to do justice to the debut of Jarro in full costume as the newest Robin, the Boy Wonder. So when words fail, we must let the artwork of Jorge Jimenez say what we can not.
For now we can only hope that Jarro's costume was fashioned with the same loving hands that crafted (and mended) the suits of Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and Damian Wayne. All things considered, it would make for Alfred Pennyworth's easiest challenge to date, crafting a cape the size of a tissue. But it isn't the size of the sidekick that matters to Batman. It is the dedication, loyalty, and commitment to serve as Batman's reliable partner in the field that counts. And before Bruce can even ask Jarro to aid him in apprehending Deathstroke, Jarro is leaping into the action to immobilize Slade Wilson in seconds.
That level of readiness and combat effectiveness is what prompts Batman to finally refer to Jarro as his "son," while commending him as not just a capable sidekick on par with the DC greats who have claimed the mantle... but as "my favorite Robin ever. No, I mean it. My favorite ever." It's a moment so touching... we hate to even remind ourselves that it's taking place inside of a larger, more uncertain, almost impossible future. Which means this scene of Batman/Jarro fatherly bonding might not be a exactly as it seems. But if we're honest, we couldn't care less. Even if this scene is a fantasy of Batman's (or Jarro's) the truth of it can't be denied.
Bruce Wayne has never had a son who loved him as only an alien starfish grown in a jar on his desk possibly can. And Jarro lives to become the hero his ancestor was at heart, serving his father to the best of his ability. If that doesn't make for the Robin Batman would prefer most of all... what kind of story are we even telling?
Justice League #20 will be available on March 20th from your local comic store, and directly from DC Comics.