Wednesday, May 31, 2017



"Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot. So my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible..."

The Caped Crusader and self-proclaimed protector of Gotham City, a superhero most heroes are afraid of, Batman's journey to becoming the Dark Knight started out when he was just eight years old when he witnessed his parents murdered in front of him. That night, a young Bruce Wayne promised to rid the city of the evil that had taken their lives. Sculpting, training, studying, and traveling the globe to become the world's greatest detective and a master of martial artists, Bruce Wayne soon returned to Gotham with the intent to fulfill his promise. Knowing that theatrics and deception would give him an edge, Wayne decided to take on the theatrical form of a bat, a creature which terrified him as a child.

While Wayne now knows that the very thing that terrified him as a child now terrifies the criminals of Gotham City, at his core, Bruce's goal remains the same, not simply because he sees it as justice, but so that no one ever again has to live the horror that he did on that one cold night.


As Batman never appeared in the Teen Titans cartoon, Batman's history and personality primarily stem from his comic book appearances and continuity. Having grown up with the goal to rid Gotham City's streets of evil after the deaths of his parents, Bruce Wayne traveled the world learning from the best of the best in all fields ranging from criminal psychology, martial arts, warfare, economics, and so on. Upon his return to Gotham City and taking on the mantel of Batman, Bruce Wayne worked alone for the first few years of his crusade until one night, he went to a circus performance.

There, he saw the same sight unfold as it did to him all of those years ago. But this time, to a young acrobat named Richard "Dick" Grayson. Feeling a kinship with the young boy, Wayne decided to offer to provide Grayson with a home as his new legal guardian. However, with Wayne's midnight escapades, it wasn't long before Dick realized that he wasn't really in the home of the "womanizing millionaire Bruce Wayne", but the attic of the terrifying "Batman".

Recognizing a desire in Grayson to protect others from harm, similar again to his own, Batman agreed to train the young boy, who soon became "Robin, the Boy Wonder", the first ever sidekick to the budding superhero pantheon of the modern era. However, being the first also came with unforeseen consequences. Upon the Boy Wonder's debut, he became a target of criminals upon which to inflict pain. This became no more apparent when former District Attorney Harvey Dent, now known as Two Face, beat Robin nearly to death with a baseball bat in front of Batman, only stopping upon Batman freeing himself from his confines and stopping Two Face by force.

Though the incident didn't seem to faze young Dick Grayson, Wayne briefly forbade his ward from continuing on as his sidekick, questioning his judgement in letting a young boy out on the streets of Gotham. Upon seeing Grayson's determination to continue to fight crime regardless of having his guardian's approval, Wayne relented on the condition that rules were always to be followed out on the field.

With time, the Dynamic Duo became an unstoppable force in Gotham, however, Batman continued to be strict on keeping to rules while out at night in order to guard Robin from danger, even when Robin became capable of handling more than he was currently allowed to do. This led to the fracture of their partnership, with Robin going off to pursue work with the Teen Titans in Jump City. Since then, Batman has worked alone and whenever Robin has returned, it's almost always been because of extenuating circumstances.

Personality and Relationships:

Smart, methodical, strategic, strong, Bruce normally comes across as quiet and unsociable, even terrifying to those who are unfamiliar with him (and even to those who are). Really, he comes off as uptight, fierce, and downright scary at times. In some ways, the fear he strikes into the hearts of criminals comes from a very basic, core part of his personality, a controlled anger and rage at those who would dare to hurt another human being.

While Bruce Wayne has no superpowers in the traditional sense, one might say that his determination boarders on the supernatural level as it has allowed him to become the formidable force known as Batman. Unyieldingly stubborn and strong willed, these are both some of his greatest strengths as well as his greatest weaknesses.

Since the death of his parents, Bruce Wayne's ultimate goal has been to prevent such a thing from ever happening to another person again. In his pursuit of this goal, he began to cut himself off from having any real relationship with another person on the basis that it could put their lives at risk. The first primary exception to this would be the family butler, Alfred, who assisted in raising Bruce since he was young. Alfred would often note that as Bruce continued his crusade, he continued to also become 'wrapped inside this monster' which he felt was consuming Bruce's identity as it seemed that Bruce would at times, perhaps wish to discard the identity of "Bruce Wayne" for that of "Batman". Indeed, this would become something of a struggle for Bruce over the years to come.

The prevention of such a transformation occurred however with the entry of the second person Bruce Wayne allowed into his life, Dick Grayson, who, while he became Robin, clearly saw a distinguishment between Bruce Wayne and Batman. Batman was his mentor. Bruce Wayne was his surrogate father, though he never said it out loud. Alfred would see this as the ultimate reason why Bruce would never fall into the identity of Batman completely, because Bruce Wayne was still needed by someone aside from himself, and maybe, perhaps, despite his determination to remain cut off from others, Bruce saw Dick Grayson as a son too. Soon, other people entered Wayne's life, such as Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl (currently in "Custody" on college leave), Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, and even the likes of Clark Kent aka the Man of Steel, Superman himself.

Despite the good these few relationships do, Bruce continues to see relationships as a weakness. As such, his worry over others' safety manifests itself in a strict set of guidelines he enforces on those around him, particularly those under his care. Ultimately, even in the face of all of the knowledge, skills, and triumphs Bruce has, he still fears the same tragedy will befall him and those around him once again and he will be powerless in preventing it from occurring.

Personal Thoughts:

I find Batman to be a very intriguing character. As Batman is such an iconic character in American Culture, I am sure that some of my thoughts may or may not line up with the perspectives that the writers or fellow fans may have. So please take this all with a grain of salt if it so happens that my views do not align completely with others'. That being said, hopefully we agree on some things. :)

I feel that Bruce Wayne is very much one person who is split between two identities and a man still wrestling with an injustice that will likely never be resolved. On the one hand, he has the identity of Bruce Wayne, a fake-y socialite whose image is forever stained with the worst night of his life, that of the death of his mother and father. On the other hand, he also assumes the identity of Batman, a cold, unyielding, and unstoppable force that can extract vengeance and justice upon those that do wrong. I think he's very aware of how easy it would be to throw off the persona of Bruce Wayne in favor of that of Batman and at times, I think he considers it.

That is not to say that I don't see him as a strong character. Rather, I see him as an incredibly strong willed person who is able to overcome his own struggles, heartaches, and pains for the sake of others, an admirable quality at the very least. I think part of his strength to not only fight the demons of Gotham, but also his own demons though comes from his acceptance that he cares about others, not just those in the "Batfam", but those all around him. He knows that at the end of the day, he's doing this for other people.

Finally, since this is a 'father-son' story, I'll say a bit about my thoughts on Batman and his sidekick, Robin. I find Robin to be a unique aspect of the Batman mythology, if for the sole reason that I think without him, Batman's popularity wouldn't have remained. Batman himself is a great character, but Robin allowed for readers to get to know Batman not just as an observer, but as someone right in the middle of the action. (Honestly, I really wish that there would be a "Robin" Origin story movie for Batman just for that very reason. I think it would be way different than anything previously done with the character on the big screen before and thus, would be a refreshing new take on an already very well known character).

Furthermore, I think adding Robin into Batman's story rounded him out. It made him more relatable. Because suddenly, he had a family and we all wanted to see what would happen this time around. Dick's contrasting personality in comparison to Bruce's also allowed for the hope of Bruce's crusade to flourish. Just imagine, night after night, doing the same thing and nothing ever changing. How futile would it seem? But then to have someone there, who believed in you, looked up to you, relied on you, and smiled for you, just think how that would change everything. It probably wouldn't seem so hopeless, would it? That's why I think Bruce, underneath it all, relies on Dick much more than he lets on. So it's no wonder that he would be strict with him. He doesn't want anything bad to happen to Dick because of him as Robin provides him with hope and humanity. With Robin around, Batman becomes not just some crazy vigilante jumping off rooftops. He becomes a father, which is perhaps the most central aspect of who he is as a pivotal character in the DC Comics Universe.

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