Harper Row is a female comic superhero who features in DC Comics.
Harper Row was a female human born in the modern age as the daughter of Miranda Row and Marcus Row. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #18) She had a younger brother who she cared for with this being Cullen Row. (Batman v2 #12)
Her father regularly broke items at their home and disappeared for days at a time. This saw Harper see the engineer engage in electrical repair work which sparked her interest. (Batman v2 #12) By the time she was 12, she was doing minor electrical jobs across the neighbourhood in order to buy food for herself and her younger brother. When she was 15, she was emancipated and took on a full-time job to support both of them. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #26) She began to operate as the city's electrical engineer where she worked on the grid. (Batman v2 #12)
Row later attended the Wayne Gala at the insistence of her younger brother Cullen after she won the raffle ticket to attend the event. During the gala, she met the Wayne butler Alfred Pennyworth and made her way back home. Once there, she found out that some bullies had broken into the apartment where they beat up Cullen Row. One day, she and her brother were returning home when they were mobbed by a group of bullies that overwhelmed them. They were only saved by the arrival of Batman who told the attackers never to harm the Rows again. At that time, she became obsessed with learning more about the Batman. After viewing footage, she noticed that video feeds and power grids always shut down at sites he emerged. This led to her checking the Gotham grid where she discovered Bat-Boxes attached to the grid that remotely shut power at key sites for Batman. To help him, she began modifying the Bat-Boxes in order to improve their effectiveness which she did as a 'thank you' to him. She began making regular attempts at indirectly helping Batman who approached her and told Harper to stop with these actions. (Batman v2 #12)
She later found Batman after his escape from the Court of Owls where he was unconscious and she took him into her boss's van in order to resuscitate him. After awakening, he left and told her to leave him alone. (Batman v2 #7)
Row later underwent training as she was determined to become Batman's partner out in the field. This was against the Dark Knight's wishes and she crafted an identity for herself where she came to be known as Bluebird where she used gadgets to fight criminals. (Batman v2 #28)
Following the return of Batman, she met with him to inform him that she would be stepping aside from being a vigilante for a time. She had applied for a Wayne scholarship at the Gotham Technical Institute to get her bachelors as she intended to make a future on her own terms. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #26) She began working at the Leslie Thompkins Free Clinic where she had decided to retire from being Bluebird in order to help people. (Detective Comics v1 #943) After the Joker War, Gotham was attempting to return to normal with the authorities having arrested the Clown Prince of Crime's right-hand named Punchline. It was being decided by the courts whether she was mentally fit to stand trial with the city having capital punishment as a possible judgement if she was found guilty. Dr. Leslie Thompkins attended the court appearance to provide expert opinion and an assessment of Alexis Kaye's mental state with Harper Row accompanying her. She then returned home where she prepared for her night shift with Harper's brother expressing interest on whether Alexis Kaye was genuinely innocent or not. During this time, Cullen Row started listening to Alexis Kaye's old podcast where she was seemingly an ordinary person who was only cataloguing the activities of the Joker. At dinner, Harper expressed a distaste at Cullen's growing interest in a murderer but her brother instead defended Kaye stating that she was innocent of any crimes leading to an argument between the siblings. She then got a call from Dr. Thompkins who was growing disturbed at the coming trial of Alexis Kaye and requested Harper return as Bluebird to help at the coming court appearance. Bluebird was on the rooftop when a large crowd of people had arrived to demand Punchline to be freed with Harper advising Leslie over the radio. During this time, she saw her brother Cullen in the crowd where he took part in the protests where he wore a Joker mask and was part of the crowd cheering for Alexis Kaye. (Punchline v1 #1)
Personality and attributes
Upon becoming a vigilante, she started to operate under the name of Bluebird. (Batman v2 #28)
She believed that she grew up fixing things which she attributed to her father always breaking things including those things they needed to survive. (Batman v2 #12)
Harper said that she had no issues with using guns in a fight though did not use lethal means to take down an opponent. (Batman v2 #28)
She was the daughter of Miranda Row and Marcus Row. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #18) Harper had a younger sibling with this being her brother Cullen Row. (Batman v2 #12)
Harper came to feel indebted to Batman after he saved her and her brother. She stated that no one had ever done that before or would do so again. Thus, she felt the need to help and support him which she initially did so as a thank you to him. (Batman v2 #12)
Powers and abilities
In order to get a job, she learnt everything that she could about electrical engineering. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #26) Her skill in electrics led to her creating an augmented taser that could fry a person. (Batman v2 #12)
She underwent training in order to operate as a vigilante and serve as Batman's partner in the field. (Batman v2 #28)
As a vigilante, she came to use a variety of gadgets that she used in the field. This included a gun that fired shock pellets designed to knock out enemies. (Batman v2 #28)
- Harper Row was created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo where she initially appeared as an unnamed woman in Batman v2 #1 (September, 2011) but identified in Batman v2 #7 (March, 2012).
- The character later appeared as Bluebird in Batman v2 #28 (February, 2014).
- Bluebird was reported to had been based on the daughter of a prominent cosplayer.
- On Newsrama, writer James Tynion IV noted in an interview on the character, "I always liked how Harper was just this brash, confident kid, taking care of her brother, and doing everything her own way. Someone who was inspired by Batman to become something better, and who then decided to hang up the Bluebird costume for a while and work at Leslie Thompkins' clinic while she's working through school. No matter what, Harper is going to work to help people in Gotham, inspired by Batman as an idea... If Harley Quinn is Punchline's opposite, Harper Row is Punchline's dark mirror. They are both young members of a rising generation in Gotham that doesn't remember a time before costumed heroes and villains. Harper's role model for self-improvement was Batman. Punchline's was The Joker."
In other media
- In Young Justice, Harper Row appeared in the animated television series third season Outsiders starting from the episode "Another Freak" where she was voiced by actor Zehra Fazal. She was noted to had a younger brother named Cullen Row with their father being abusive to them leading to Harper suffering regular beatings from him. Harper came to be a student at Happy Harbor High School where she met Violet Harper and Fred Bugg with her commenting that they were 'freaks' but that she enjoyed interacting with them. One day, her father was drunk and beat Harper with her taking away his gun as she was scared about what he would do with it. She then went out and decided to drink alcohol as a means of coping with her life. At this time, Violet was present and Harper convinced her to drink from the bottle of alcohol where she kissed her despite both having a boyfriend. The police arrived at the scene and took the pair into custody for possession of a firearm. Afterwards, Harper went for counselling with Megan Morse determining that the problems in her life were because of her father who had grown more violent and started beating her younger brother. The session ultimately led to Harper confessing the truth about the domestic violence happening in her home with Megan promising to help her and her brother Cullen as well as to ensure that the pair were cared for when Child Services became involved in the matter.
- Batman v2: (2012)
- Batman Eternal v1:
- Batman and Robin Eternal v1:
- Detective Comics v1:
- Punchline v1: (2020)