Bluebird (DC Comics)
Harper Row in costume as Bluebird, posing with her weapons.
Art by Dustin Nguyen
|First appearance||As an unnamed woman: Batman (vol. 2) #1 (September 2011)
As Harper Row: Batman (vol. 2) #7 (March 2012)
As Bluebird: Batman (vol. 2) #28 (February 2014)
|Created by||Scott Snyder
|Alter ego||Harper Row|
Bluebird (Harper Row) is a fictional character, a superhero and supporting character of Batman, appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Harper Row was created by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, first appearing in Batman (vol. 2) #7 (March 2012), before debuting as Bluebird in Batman #28 (February 2014). Harper Row's Bluebird identity was designed by artist Dustin Nguyen. Within the fictional DC Universe, Harper Row officially joins Batman's group of allies during the events of Batman Eternal, a year-long weekly maxiseries.
Instead of taking on the mantle of Robin, which is traditionally that of Batman's sidekick, Harper Row instead adopts an entirely new superhero identity, Bluebird. Unlike Batman himself, Bluebird has no problem with using a gun. Her appearance marks the arrival of the first new "Bat-family" character in Batman comics since DC relaunched its entire line in 2011 as part of its The New 52 publishing event.
Harper Row first appeared as an unnamed cameo in Batman (vol. 2) #1 (September 2011). She later made her first full appearance in Batman (vol. 2) #7 (March 2012), where it is noted that she and Batman have met before. Their previous encounter was detailed in Batman #12 (Oct. 2012), illustrated by Becky Cloonan; this issue marked the first time a female artist has worked on the Batman title. Harper Row next appeared in Detective Comics (vol. 2) #21 (August 2013), the first time a writer other than Snyder has written her.
In Batman (vol. 2) #28 (April 2014), a sneak peek into the future of Batman Eternal, Harper Row makes her debut as Batman's new sidekick Bluebird.
Scott Snyder reportedly based Bluebird on a design created by the daughter of prominent cosplayer Kyrax2. "Harper & Row" was also the name of the major American publishing firm Harper from 1962 to 1990.
Fictional character biography
In early issues featuring Harper Row, she is introduced as a streetwise young woman from the Narrows, one of the roughest neighborhoods in Batman's locale of Gotham City. She and her brother are also revealed to be from a broken family with a deceased mother and a deadbeat father who would later end up in jail. With such humble beginnings, Row did not seem naturally inclined to be a hero. In fact, she made her first appearance stealing food from a Wayne charity gala. However, her life changed when Batman saved her brother Cullen from being gay-bashed, although not before the bullies managed to butcher Cullen's hair with a pair of scissors.
Batman's intervention left a lasting impression on the young woman. In addition to shaving her own head in solidarity with her brother, Harper began trying to learn more about Batman in order to assist him in his fight against crime in Gotham. She even managed to discover the devices Batman uses to disable the city's security cameras, and improved them with technology of her own design.
Her efforts only earned the Batman's ire; at one point he rewarded Harper's attempts at helping him by breaking her nose. The next day Harper visits Bruce Wayne at Wayne Tower and shows him plans that she thinks will help Batman. To her surprise, Bruce agrees. That night, Batman tracks Harper and apologizes to her. She tells him she may not know the details, but she knows he’s going through a lot of pain (the death of Damian Wayne). She also reminds Batman what he means to the city with a touching and personal story. The issue concludes with Harper’s message to Batman broadcast on Wayne Tower. It’s one simple word taught to Harper by her mother before her death. “RESOLVE.” Which just so happens to begin with the letter “R.”. Even saving Batman's life by pulling his unconscious body out of Gotham Bay and restarting his heart using only jumper cables and a car battery failed to win him over.
In Batman Eternal, Harper stows away on board Red Robin (Tim Drake)'s plane and, over the course of the series, gains his trust. In issue #41, she suits up as Bluebird for the first time in order to rescue her brother Cullen; Red Robin and his allies Batgirl and Red Hood are caught up in a trap, leaving it up to her. Despite setbacks in her relationship with Batman himself, a near-future flash forward shows that Row eventually manages to overcome Batman's reservations and joins him in fighting crime as Bluebird.
- Santori-Griffith, Matthew. "Interview: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo Revisit Batman’s ZERO YEAR". Comicosity. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
- Rogers, Vaneta (February 12, 2014). "Robin Is Dead, So Meet Batman's New Comic Book Sidekick". MTV.com News. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
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- Franich, Darren (February 12, 2014). "Batman has a new female sidekick: Meet Bluebird". Entertainment Weekly Popwatch. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Burlingame, Russ (February 12, 2014). "Batman, Meet Bluebird: Harper Row’s Role Revealed in Today’s Issue". Comicbook.com. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Johnston, Rich (August 8, 2012). "A History Of Harpers Row In Batman #12". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
- Nagorski, Alex (August 8, 2012). "Spotlight on BATMAN #12 Guest Artist Becky Cloonan". DC Comics. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
- Johnston, Rich (February 13, 2014). "How Scott Snyder Turned The Batgirl Of San Diego’s Daughter Into DC’s New Batman Superhero, Bluebird". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Logsdon, Mike; Baumgartner, Scott (March 14, 2013). "Alternating Currents: Batman 18, Mikyzptlk and Scott". Retcon Punch. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
- Batman Eternal #41 (March 2015)
- DC Comics Bombshells #8