WARNING: The following article contains spoilers from "They Make Great Pets" in Batman #119, on sale now.
Maps Mizoguchi recently teamed with Batman in "They Make Great Pets" from Batman #119 (by Karl Kerschl, John Rauch, Ben Abernathy). She is acting as his temporary Robin while investigating the disappearance of one of Maps' friends. However, Maps' eagerness to be a good partner to the Dark Knight led to her following orders a little too well. As a result, Batman may have just been killed by the very creatures they were trying to investigate. This creates an interesting parallel with another female Robin, Stephanie Brown, who disobeyed orders and saved Batman's life. In contrast, Maps' obedience may have gotten Batman killed.
Maps was on the hunt for her missing friend Lindsay, even suiting up in her own Robin costume to sneak into her friend's house. This was where she met Batman, who intended to bring her home. Being who she is, Maps was excited just to interact with Batman and obeyed as they got in the batmobile. When they were attacked by strange creatures, Batman ordered her to stay, a directive she listened to until she saw that Batman was in danger. Her adherence to his orders delayed her ability to react in time and Batman was pulled beneath the water.
This incident mirrors the scenario Stephanie Brown faced during her last night as Robin. Batman had ordered her to not follow him while he dealt with Scarab, a highly dangerous assassin who had already bested the dynamic duo once before. When Stephanie heard Batman struggling to capture her though, she disobeyed orders and went to Batman's side. In doing so, she saved Batman's life, but this gave Scarab the opportunity to hold Stephanie hostage and use her as leverage to escape Gotham. After that, Stephanie was fired as Robin due to her inability to follow orders.
There is a certain irony here. When Robin disobeys Batman, she ends up saving his life. By listening to him this time, she may have gotten him killed. So really, Stephanie made the correct choice when she disobeyed Batman that time. He may have fired her after, but he was still alive to do so. In contrast, the one time a Robin listened to Batman to the letter he was thrown into mortal peril. It really raises the question of how the Dynamic Duo is supposed to function in relation to one another.
Dick Grayson summarizes Robin as the light to Batman's darkness, acting as a counteragent to all the Dark Knight embodies. If so, then Batman, who represents almost total order, must be balanced out by Robin, who brings chaos and spontaneity to the fight. That unpredictability and creativity has come in handy more than once, and more often than not in flagrant disregard of Batman's commands. By not trusting her own instincts, Maps may have cost Batman his life, whereas Stephanie's decision saved it. This might lead to the first time in history where Robin was fired for following orders too well. However, Maps' adventure as Robin is not over yet and she may just prove to have the right stuff to be a proper girl wonder.
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