Of all the Batman sidekicks over the years, one of the most intriguing and unfortunately short-lived, no she didn’t die, but has left behind her crime fighting days, is the character; Bluebird aka Harper Row.
Harper Row first appears in Batman (vol. 2) #1 in September of 2011, but doesn’t make a full appearance until March of the following year. In this storyline it is hinted that she and Batman have met before. That encounter is chronicled in Batman #12 of October of 2012. This issue is notable as it is the first time a female artist had worked on a Batman title. Harper then returns in Detective Comics #21 in August 2013, in a story penned by Scott Snyder. It would be in Batman #28, a Batman Eternal story, that Harper Row would make her debut as Batman’s new sidekick Bluebird.
Harper is a street wise kid from the Narrows, the worst part of Gotham. She lives with her younger brother, her father a failed criminal and her mother deceased. In her first appearance she is seen stealing food from a Wayne Gala event but when she sees Batman save her brother Cullen from being gay bashed, her view of the world changed.
A good street fighter, Harper is gifted in technology and even manages to discover the devices Batman uses to disable the city’s security cameras and improves on his technology with her own designs. This of course has the opposite effect of what she had hoped and instead of impressing him she only angers the Batman. To the point that he actually breaks her nose. The next day Harper visits Bruce Wayne with her plans on how she can help the Batman. She believes Wayne funds the Batman and since the Batman won’t listen, perhaps Wayne will.
Batman visits Harper that night and apologizes for his reaction. She tells him that she feels he is going through a lot of pain, she doesn’t know what but that he is in pain and that he is not the same Batman he was before. This takes place soon after the Death of Damian Wayne, Batman’s son. She leaves him with one word to help cope, the word Resolve. She follows Batman and when he is left to die unconscious in Gotham Bay, she dives in and pulls him to safety and even restarts his heart with a car battery and jumper cables. Still Batman rejects her help.
Finally in issue #41 of Batman Eternal she suits up as Bluebird when Red Robin, Batgirl and the Red Hood are trapped. Batman finally takes her in even though there are setbacks in their relationship from time to time.
In Batman & Robin Eternal, when Batman is battling a villain knows as “Mother” who takes in traumatized children and makes them stronger through more trauma, it is revealed that Harper’s mother was murdered by Cassandra Cain. It was also revealed that Mother had Cassandra murder Harper’s mother in a scheme to offer Harper to Batman as the perfect Robin.
Despite recognizing Harper as being an ideal partner, Batman rejects her again so that he would not profit from Mother’s criminal acts and her controlling of traumatized children. Eventually Harper steps away from crime fighting to go to college and better her and her brother’s life. However issues of Batman showing a glimpse of the future show the Bluebird as his partner.