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How Gotham Knights Crafted Their Own Robin Costume (& How Much Was Bird-Inspired)

In the wake of Bruce Wayne's (David Miller) demise, The CW's "Gotham Knights" follows a team of young heroes-to-be as they unravel the mystery behind his death. One such novice vigilante is Carrie Kelley (Navia Robinson, who was anxious to take on the role), who studies at Gotham Academy when the Sun is up and would fight crime with Batman when the Sun was down. During her time alongside the Caped Crusader, she adopted the superhero mantle of Robin, putting together her own crime-fighting costume to match — one that the "Gotham Knights" costume department had fun making a reality.

During a chat with The Mary Sue, "Gotham Knights" costume designer Natalie Bronfman talked about the thought process behind the design of Carrie Kelley's Robin suit. "We were talking about it in production, and they wanted to approach it with, this is something she would have made herself at home," she explained, noting that Kelley's goggles would stand among these mismatched elements as a reminder of her time as Batman's sidekick. Bronfman adds that they tossed some green feather-like textures to her chest plate, making the outfit more bird-like to match Kelley's superhero identity.

Aside from the trademark big green goggles, the "Gotham Knights" look for Carrie Kelley is vastly different from the one fans have come to recognize on the pages of DC Comics. According to Robinson herself, deviating so much was entirely intentional.

Robinson wanted to take her Carrie Kelley in a new direction

Carrie Kelley made her DC Comics debut way back in 1986 in the legendary book "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns." Since then, writer Frank Miller's addition to the Robin lineage has appeared in several print stories, even taking on the moniker of Batwoman for a time. Nevertheless, Navia Robinson's "Gotham Knights" interpretation is the first live-action adaptation of Kelley to date. While one might imagine that Robinson would want her portrayal to stick closely to the source material, she actually went for the total opposite.

"It's great to be able to do a completely new interpretation of her. It was amazing to take some notes and characteristics from the [other] interpretations and take that in, but I ultimately wanted to let that all go," Robinson explained in an interview with CBR. Instead, she focused on finding the throughline between Kelley and her fellow Robins, using that connection to form the basis of her performance. As for the costume, Robinson describes it as going for a "practicality over presentation" look, despite its comic book Robin and bird-inspired touches.

It may not be the most comic-accurate Robin costume to ever reach a screen, but no one can deny that, at the very least, it's pretty unique.