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*
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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