UPDATE 11/15/2013 5:40 PM PT: Scott Snyder has addressed the Sean Murphy-designed Robin at length in a series of tweets. His comments, slightly edited for format, follow.
"Something I should clarify regarding the info about the African-American Robin being introduced in in Detective Comics #27 by [Scott Snyder] and [Sean Murphy]. The story is a vision of a distant future, sort of my 'Batman Year 100,' but even farther off. It's 12 pages, but it means a tremendous amount to me. Grant Morrison has been extremely kind to me since I came on the book, and one time, he told me that as you work on Batman, you develop your own continuity, not just your own Bruce, but your own future for him and this story is my first stab at that -- imagining where the Bruce Greg [Capullo] and I have made up for ourselves will end, and looking beyond that end.
"Now the structure of the story is such that you see a LOT of time pass, and w/o giving too much away, the Robin in question only appears in a brief moment. And whether or not he'll ever make it into some future continuity, I have no idea. That said, b/c this story is my attempt. to see our Batman's future, he's very real to me, and the team -- as are ALL the characters glimpsed in this story (and there are a lot). He's got a name, a story, and he's there waiting in the future. Anyway, I wanted to clarify as I didn't want anyone to be misled about the nature of the character in current continuity. I know Sean explained, but I wanted to just clarify, too. None of the art or info he shared earlier was meant as any sort of announcement. We're just both really excited about the story and the future it suggests."
"Detective Comics" #27 hits stores in January with a special oversized issue with a laundry list of creators, including Sean Murphy. Today, the artist took to Twitter with one of his first designs of Robin for the issue, who is the first African-American Robin in history.
According to Murphy, the new Robin debuts in "Detective Comics" #27, which also kicks off John Layman's "Gothtopia" crossover. While it's possible Murphy's character has something to do with the Elseworlds-style event, it's unlikely considering DC Comics' January 2014 Solicitations list the "Gothtopia" part of the issue by Layman and Jason Fabok. Murphy is one of many creators contributing short pieces to the 96-page behemoth, illustrating a story by Scott Snyder, making it's impossible at this point to know whether Murphy's Robin will stick around beyond "Detective Comics" #27.
UPDATE: Murphy has since sent out clarifying Tweets to say, "Thanks everyone for your excitement about the new character! Just to clarify, this isn't an official new Robin – my story [with Scott Snyder] is set in an imaginary future. Sorry for the confusion, I should have been more clear."
Meanwhile, CBR has conducted a brand new interview with "Detective Comics" editor Mike Marts about all of issue #27, and that will appear early next week.
"Detective Comics" #27 hits stores in January.