If I rebooted Batman and Robin
This is a light modification of a panel in Legends of the DCU: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1. I could go either way on making Batman’s costume black and gray or blue and gray, but for a creature of the night, the yellow belt made no sense, and the panties were just too 1940s.
My Batman’s personality is inspired by the 1960s “New Look” Batman: he’s a detective who has mostly made peace with the fact that he can’t bring his parents back from the dead. He doesn’t like putting Robin in danger, so Robin is a supporting character, someone who goes undercover in places where Batman can’t and who usually has adventures on his own or with the Titans. Their styles are so different that they shouldn’t team up often: Batman’s inspiration is the creature of the night; Robin’s inspiration is the people’s hero, Robin Hood. The only reason Batman trains Robin is because he realizes that the kid will fight crime no matter what Batman does, so he might as well do what he can as mentor and friend.
The Bruce Wayne playboy is not a “cover”. Batman thinks of himself as a soldier or a spy who works hard and parties hard. He knows he needs R&R to keep doing his duty, and he wants fun that won’t result in anyone becoming too fond of him. He’s an adrenaline junkie, and sometimes, late at night, he wonders if he has a bit of a death wish. If so, so long as it helps him do his job, he’s fine with that.
The capes can become rigid and serve as gliders. Otherwise, why are acrobats wearing capes? Other than they look cool? Which, I grant, in a comic book is never automatically the wrong answer. The trick to making the original Robin cape work is to use the collar. George Perez understood that.
But I would be tempted to make Robin’s cape green.
As for the Batmobile, its time has passed. Batman and Robin should patrol from a Batplane that can hover in place.
Will Shetterly is the creator of [[[Captain Confederacy]]], the author of [[[Dogland]]], and the co-creator of [[[Liavek]]] with his wife, Emma Bull.