Bernard Dowd was a very minor character in Batman lore, a student at Louis E. Grieve Memorial High School alongside Robin's secret identity, his friend Tim Drake, who first appeared in 2004 in Robin #121 from DC Comics.
With a crush on Tim's stepmother, he believed conspiracy theories that Batman was working for the government and that the concept of Robin was one of several kids taken from orphanages owned by Batman.
Created by Bill Willingham and Ricky Mays, he only appeared six times in that title, 121-123, 126, 127, and 140. No death, no mysterious disappearance, that was… that.
There was also the suggestion that he may be the son of supervillian Nina Dowd, The Mighty Endowed, but that wasn't explored either.
And then he reappeared in Batman: Urban Legends #5 this July. And in the issue that came out last week, Tim Drake and Bernard Dowd were dating.
It is also worth noting that after Dowd's experiences in Robin, he had taken training and knows how to fight, taking on those who were kidnapping him alongside Robin.
Combine that, and the media fuss over the possibility that Tim Drake is a bisexual Robin, might this suggest that Bernard Dowd will be a permanent fixture in DC Comics?
If so, Robin #121 might be one for collectors to take another look at… because it's not just Tim Drake has been on a journey.
Say, maybe Bernard could be the new Mighty Endowed? Will he shape up?
I suspect that only Tim Drake will be able to tell you…
(W) Bill Willingham (A) Rick Mays (CA) Jason Pearson
Written by Bill Willingham; art by Rick Mays and Aaron Sowd; cover by Jason Pearson
In stores December 17. The first issue by Eisner Award-winning writer Bill Willingham and acclaimed art team Rick Mays & Aaron Sowd! While Batman turns up the heat on Robin's training, Tim's encounters the most bloodthirsty killer of his career – one destined to make his life a living hell. FC, 32 pg In Shops: Dec 17, 2003