EDITORIAL: Becoming a Hero - Why One Character Makes No Sense in the Nolanverse

When the credits roll in TDKR, one character has a choice to continue a legend or, apparently, start something new. *Spoilers Ahead*

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By BattlinMurdock - 8/11/2012
Obviously, if you've seen The Dark Knight Rises then you know that the character of John Blake deduces the identity of Batman and then is left to choose to carry on the cowl of the legend that Bruce Wayne has created. The film ends with Blake receiving directions to the Batcave and examining the depths of it to find Batman's plethora of goodies.

However, some people have taken the idea that this means that Blake will abandon the idea of becoming Batman, and will take up the mantle as his comic book counterpart (in Dick Grayson) as Nightwing. And this, to me, is a theory that makes little to no sense for the following reasons.

1. It Destroys What Bruce Wayne Worked So Hard To Accomplish


Let's bypass the whole argument of "Batman can be anyone." It's been said to be a theme of the movie, but the fact that Wayne is a billionaire ninja (and the fact that he hates copycats doing what he does) kind of defeats the purpose of that. "Batman is a legend" is a better phrase to use, and the phrase that the idea of Nightwing trumps.

On one hand, Batman is incredibly personal to Wayne, as it was his fear of bats that inspired the idea for Batman (along with the training from the League of Shadows). Wayne believed criminals should share his fear, and thus, the idea of Batman was brought to life. In that respect, it makes sense for Blake to become Nightwing.

But Blake doesn't know why Wayne chose Batman. So, on the other hand, we have an idea (and an effective one at that, as even Blake is inspired by the legend) that Batman, as a symbol, is what mutes criminal activity. And that idea took almost a decade to cultivate. To introduce something totally new upsets that previous standing. It makes it look as if Gotham is ripe for the taking under any vigilante with the means to keep crime at bay. And of course, that leads us into point number two...

2. It Has a Greater Possibility of Creating Copycats than Batman's Return


Imagine you are a Gothamite. I'll give you a moment to fully imagine the pain and misery and what I'm assuming to be a great buyer's market. Now, before spiting yourself for being an absolute imbecile, imagine that when Batman died saving the city, another hero just turns up, using equipment almost identical to Batman's and even using the same tactics. And as he is dealing out his own brand of justice, you notice that what this guy is doing is actually working. He's not Batman. He's some guy called Nightwing.

Now, one of two things could happen: the first is that Gothamites start believing in some sort of conspiracy that the police force is employing these heroes to just pop up and deal with crime in boundaries outside the law, and when one dies, another take his place.

The second is that Gotham is free game for anyone who wants to put a boot in the ass of maliciousness. What's to stop copycats now? It's easy to justify why Bruce is allowed to be Batman and others aren't, but Blake is not much different (except from his incredibly brief stint as a cop) than an average Gothamite, training considered. It'd be difficult to make a case why Gotham shouldn't be in constant civil war, aside, maybe, from the point that Wayne left the mantle to Blake (an incredibly irresponsible thing to do, I might add).

3. Grayson Becomes Batman in the Comics...Once Bruce Wayne Dies


Even in the comic world, Dick Grayson understands the importance of the symbolism that is Batman. He returns to Gotham not as Nightwing, but to fight for the cowl to become the necessity that is The Batman.

In essence, Grayson understands that Batman Batmans because Batman. In other words, Batman does what he does and is what he is because Batman is what Gotham is not only used to, but what Gotham has learned to need. Gotham is not alienated by the idea of Nightwing, as they've seen him before. But they also know that Nightwing is not the legend that he fights side by side with.

4. Gotham Criminals are Not Afraid of Anyone Except Batman


Should this really have to be explained? Gotham's super criminals have a very odd relationship with Batman; they both fear him and are attracted to the challenge that is Batman. The Joker, who is by all means still within Gotham's grounds somewhere (whether incarcerated or not) isn't going to get his kicks with Nightwing. He's not going to be intimidated by a rookie beat-cop with a blue bird strapped to his chest.

Had Bane survived, would he have sniffed at the idea of Nightwing? Probably not, that mask gets in the way, but you understand the point. The League of Shadows, hardened criminals, even the police force, would probably roll their eyes at another hero who shows up at Gotham's door. And Nightwing will only gain the respect needed to save Gotham if he is greater than Batman. Anything less just won't cut it.

So, I'm interested to see what you guys have to say about Nightwing's "arrival" in Gotham City, or if you decide that he should be Bats or GTFO. Throw it at the comment section down below.
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12 Comments
MikeKus34 - 8/11/2012, 9:34 PM
I assumed Blake was becoming the new Batman...I mean anything else doesnt make sense. Why would Bruce have a had a whole new suit made just to leave to Blake at the end. He cave him the cave with a Batsuit in it already. Idek where everyone is getting this Blake as Nightwing stuff from.
lapress - 8/11/2012, 9:40 PM
no nightwing please. maybe he could be the oracle?
Tainted87 - 8/11/2012, 9:51 PM
Nolan kind of painted himself into a corner, didn't he?
G3n3r4lzZoD9 - 8/11/2012, 11:59 PM
I think it´s pretty obvious he´s not becoming nightwing
Sabconth - 8/12/2012, 2:57 AM
Bruce isn't saying anyone could simply become another Batman, he knows that's impossible.

He's saying that he wanted people to think Batman could be anyone.

Batman: "A hero can be anyone. That was always the point."

He wanted to become a symbol of hope that would inspire people to do good. To give them something to believe in again.

While nobody could do what he did as the Batman, they could be heroes in much more profound and important ways.

Batman: "Anyone. A man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hadn’t ended..."

That's the legacy he wanted to carry on. That anyone could be a hero.
BarnaclePete - 8/12/2012, 6:25 AM
This is all just speculation on something that doesn't matter. Maybe he will be a new Batman, which makes the most sense or maybe he will be something else. It is obvious from Batman Begins and Dark Knight he Bruce didn't want to do this forever and he felt anyone could be Batman. This isn't Bruce in the comics. It's an adaptation of that in a movie. It's gonna be different.
Batman didn't like the copy cats because they were using guns and didn't have proper gear. That was obvious.
Dick never wanted to become Batman. In Battle for the Cowl he wasn't fighting to become Batman. He was trying to stop Jason.
SimyJo - 8/12/2012, 6:41 AM
Pfft, I hate all this 'new Batman' talk.
A Batman without the tragedy, without the driving-force that drives him (almost psychotically) to go out night after night beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands - is no Batman for me.
ager - 8/12/2012, 7:53 AM
This is exactly what ive been saying since the night i saw the movie. you just say it better. hers my thoughts. its more or less the same. however i tried to speculate a way it would work.

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/ager/news/?a=64345

its funny, like you said, the whole point of TDK was that theres only one Batman and in TDKRises all of a sudden, anyone can be the symbol. dumb!

thumbs up
ager - 8/12/2012, 7:58 AM
Sabconth@

oh wow, i just read that and it makes total sence. he wasnt saying anyone can where the mask but that Batman, a hero could have been any Gothamite, any individual in the city could have been a hero. I get it... [slaps self in head]

still say Blake will be Batman and that that in it self is just wrong.

Hellsing - 8/12/2012, 8:42 AM
First of all this is well written piece and its nice to see an editorial not from people claiming Batman and Robin is the second coming of jesus or some thing.

What doesn't make sense is this debate of whether or not John Blake would take over the mantle or not. Its pointless its kinda obvious that your not going to see the character ever again because lets be honest Nolans not coming back and if any one touches that world or character then the crazy ass nolanites would kill them. It was pretty open ended and people should interpret how ever the [frick] they want really. But anyways good write up and some interesting idea even if it kinda point less imo debating about it.
Tainted87 - 8/12/2012, 8:49 PM
Hmmmm
It could be said that John Blake has the potential to be a better Batman than Bruce Wayne. Batman was shaped by Ra's al Ghul to be a terrorist, but Bruce took him down a different path. Perhaps his final encounter with Ra's left a bad taste in his mouth, and Bruce decided to give up training to keep building Batman. He got over-confident way too fast and that led to his inability to cope with being Batman.

Maybe John Blake would have more humility.
Oxbow - 8/12/2012, 8:55 PM
Of course he is going to become batman. Batman has all the juice in gotham already, plus the idea that there must always be a batman is there in the movies, especially in the third one. At the same time, the whole discussion is rendered moot for me, as the characters in tdkr are out of character with the ones represented in comics for decades.

bruce wayne runs off with selina kyle and pretends he doesn't recognize alfred when he runs into him in the middle of europe? Really?????

And Robin John Blake is not dick grayson or any of the other robins. he is a new character. I could see him being batman for a few years and passing it on, as he takes on an apprentice in the form of a "sidekick." so the hero community in the Nolanverse could grow, and there would always be a batman. that would be the way I would write it ^o^

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