I finally got caught up on the Scott Snyder interview for the Gender Through Comic Books class, and naturally this was the one question that interested me the most.
What’s ironic about this question and Snyder’s subsequent answer is that the idea of Batman having a daughter who became Robin was already explored in the new Earth-2 universe with the New 52 version of Helena Wayne (aka The Huntress).
Even though the Earth-2 version of Bruce Wayne is a slightly different character from the mainstream one in that he was the version of Batman who actually made the decision to marry and have children, I don’t feel the mainstream Batman would’ve reacted that much differently to having a daughter as Robin. I feel that Scott Snyder was spot on in stating that Bruce is an equal-opportunity ‘Robin-finder’ (for lack of a better term) and as such, I feel he’s just as likely to accept a female Robin as his sidekick as any of the male Robins.
Interestingly enough, he was just as equally spot on in stating that in having a female offspring he would’ve ‘surveillanced’ any dates she went out on, which is something that Helena Wayne herself confirmed in Worlds’ Finest #1 as the reason she never dated on Earth-2. (There will be more discussion on that later).
What has yet to be explored, however, is why Earth-2 Bruce chose to raise his daughter to essentially become the next Batman. Obviously the Apokolips war wasn’t going on all her life, so it would be interesting to see what went on in Bruce (and even Selina’s) mind that ultimately led to that decision when Helena was born.
James Robinson stated in earlier interviews last year that Bruce was simply passing his love for his daughter by teaching her everything he knows, which would be in character for Bruce, but why specifically to be a crime-fighter? This was definitely a significant change from the pre-Crisis continuity where Bruce did not want his daughter to follow in his footsteps and actually lead a normal life.
Another thing that hasn’t been touched upon yet was who decided that Helena should become Robin? Did either Bruce or Selina pick out the name and costume, or did Helena herself decide on the Robin identity? I do feel a lot of these key details about Helena’s past need to be addressed eventually in order to get a more complete feel for her character.
Going back to Scott Snyder’s territory, I think a better question would’ve been ‘how would mainstream Bruce personally react to the idea of having an adult daughter from a parallel universe as a potential partner?’
I would have definitely loved to hear Scott’s thoughts on that.