From Sidekick to Hero to Legend

Why I believe DC Comics should eventually allow Bruce Wayne to really "die" off and Dick to take over as Batman.

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By Rhino4508 - 1/7/2013
I have been an avid Batman fan all my life and have enjoyed countless tales of about the entire Bat Family. I am currently loving the New 52 reboot and think that the Batman titles (Batman, Detective Comics, Nightwing, Batman and Robin, and Batgirl) are all very well written and doing well. However, I greatly enjoyed reading Dick Grayson as Batman after the Final Crisis where Bruce dies a Heroic death after defeating Darkseid, and well after all these years of Bruce Wayne as the Caped Crusader...I think it is time that he either step down or die and pass on the mantle of Batman. I also believe that the next Batman should be Dick.



Now many CBMers may be thinking this is an absolutely ludicrous idea, but before you write this off here me out. Batman was created to be a symbol, something that could live on even after the original Batman is dead and gone. For years, Bruce has trained others to potentially take over when he is no longer fit to wear the cape and cowl. DC had finally moved past the Bruce Wayne era after Final Crisis only to bring him back again and then relaunch the Universe via The New 52. While I do think the relaunch was a good move, and I hope that they continue the good work, staying away from weird death and revival stories, I think it is time for Bruce to step down. And that is just how he should do it too. He needs to pass on the mantle to Dick rather than be killed in action.

Batman is a tough guy, but he ages just like the rest of us, and with the hell his body has been through he shouldn't be able to last for decades in the line of fire without getting sloppy due to wear and tear. Dick has already stepped up as a great hero in his Nightwing persona, and has proven himself to be a great detective like Bruce. However, his mind isn't as sharp as Bruce which is one reason I think Bruce should still be around to help out much like Alfred has done for Bruce.

While I do think Dick would need to be taught to be more like Bruce in some aspects, he needs to make the cowl his own. Much like he did when he stepped in after Final Crisis. He was a much more acrobatic Batman and fought occasionally with his Escrima sticks. I would still like to see that in his portrayal of the Bat along with the adjustments to the cape and keep his wit while fighting. As Robin and Nightwing he was known to make jokes during battle, and I think it would be great to see Dick bring that into the Batman persona.

This would also give us a chance to see a Batman who makes mistakes. Batman is known for being perfect, always being one step ahead with contingency plans for everything. Dick wouldn't be as prepared so we'd see a more rough around the edges Batman. A little sloppy, but not quite as rough as Year One's Batman. Dick would still have a lot of background experience from his years as Robin and NW.

This role change would also give DC a chance to change Bruce Wayne's role in Gotham. Imagine the good Bruce could do if instead of focusing say 90% of his time as Batman 10% of his time to Wayne Enterprises, he spent 90% on WE and 10% on Batman. Gotham would have a chance to thrive in a way that it had never imagined. They would benefit from having Bruce's mind at the helm of WE free from distractions, except for the occasional mentoring of course, and keeping the Batman to patrol the streets of Gotham.

I know this article is probably a little rough around the edges, and I apologize for that. I hope those of you who have read this enjoyed it. I am open to any constructive criticism you have for any future articles I may post.
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JDUKE25 - 1/7/2013, 9:53 PM
I think it'll be a while before Dick takes over, since they started the new 52, but I do think he should when it's time for Bruce to hang up the cape and cowl.

Movie-wise, they need to include Dick in the reboot as robin and have him become Nightwing, and eventually taking over for Bruce.
Rhino4508 - 1/7/2013, 10:02 PM
@JDUKE25

I completely agree man. But the outfit better look like Tim Drake's in BTAS
Jollem - 1/7/2013, 10:03 PM
dick has "taken over" for batman numerous times in the comics. nolan beautifully achieved this in his movies because he was telling a singular story(not with dick, but a merging of multiple robins). as far as the comics go, i'd like to see bruce continue being behind the wheel
Rhino4508 - 1/7/2013, 10:57 PM
@Jollem

I loved how Nolan went about it in his trilogy. Sucks that it can't continue on from that point but beautifully done.

Comics: I have just been reading the Detective Comics and Nightwing since the start of 52 and have actually come to enjoy Nightwing more than Detective Comics. Nightwing is "growing up" in a sense and I feel like if the stories continued for say 2 more years I think a transition from Bruce to Dick would do well for the characters continuations. Instead of never seeing any real change in the Universe. But I do understand that a lot of people really want Batman to stay Bruce forever and always. I was the same way for a long time, but now I kinda feel like it's getting to the point of a change. Possibly after the actual Death of the Joker.
Jollem - 1/7/2013, 11:24 PM
@Rhino4508 - i wouldn't mind if dick took over as the batman for five of our years in the comics, just as long as bruce will always be the batdude. i'm still waiting to see if these comics people will ever declare that we are in a new "age" of comics. they do "reboots" and "relaunches" and earth 1 and 2's and ultimate universes, but i'd like to see a new, definitive age. i believe we are still in the bronze age. they should do an "iron or brass or copper or steel age" already
JDUKE25 - 1/8/2013, 12:08 AM
@Rhino yeah, I don't want any green in the uniform, just red black and yellow.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 1:02 AM
@Jollem

So true man. I'm thinking copper. But like I said earlier if Dick took over I think Bruce should kind of take on the role of Oracle/Alfred, settle down with Selina and have some BatBrats lol.

@JDUKE25

I agree. But if Green is gonna be in it, Robin from Arkham City style
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 1:05 AM


This is much better though in my opinion
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 1:11 AM


Of course I would take just about anything, except for this
JDUKE25 - 1/8/2013, 1:52 AM
@Rhino yeah, Arkham body armor with the cape from the comics. I don't like that short cape.
Spideyguy94 - 1/8/2013, 3:41 AM
@JokerFan True, especially after a robinless batman film series ( Robin John Blake does not count). The only way I could see WB doing that is if it was in a 2 part movie released close to each other.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 6:34 AM
@JokerFan
Thanks! Yeah WB would more than likely never do that because usually movie wise you kind of have to stick to the general audience market. However, DC has more leeway with their storylines, so maybe in another 2 to 5 years we will see someone taking up the Batman mantle instead of good ol' Bruce.

@JDUKE25 yeah the cape length looks odd in this pic but in the actual game it looks longer than that especially while gliding.

@Spideyguy
A two part movie just for a Batman movie might actually be a good idea if you think about it. Look at how well movies like Harry Potter 7 and Twilight: Breaking Dawn (and currently the Hobbit) have done with splitting up the story into more than one film. It's given them the opportunity to cut less from their story and take a few more creative turns than they would have been granted in just one stand alone film.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 6:56 AM
@imadick

Yeah I expected a few more negative views lol.

I agree with you on the odd name. I think it would have been better recieved had it been Richard Grayson with Jason's story and Tim's discovery of Batman. SO at least Nolan got 2/3 right haha.

About the transfer story from Bruce to Dick, if DC continues with the crew and vision they currently have I don't expect to see any garbage runs.
Spideyguy94 - 1/8/2013, 7:27 AM
@Rhino4508 Yeah I would personally like to see that happen as well, adapting the grant Morrison story of the black glove. Kill Bruce at the end and have dick take over for the next movie.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 7:30 AM
@Spideyguy]

I don't even know if killing him off would be the right move. Could do more of a Batman Beyond kinda deal where he's just too old to continue crime fighting.
Spideyguy94 - 1/8/2013, 7:58 AM
@Rhino I don't think an old batman would be the right route to go, especially if the reboot is going to be in the DCCU.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 8:01 AM
@Spideyguy
what about crippled?
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 8:04 AM
@Spideyguy

Honestly I still like the idea of just retirement after Joker's death. After his death, Bruce no longer has a "personal responsibility" to a specific criminal that would keep him in the cape and cowl.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 8:36 AM
@KnightofSteel

I like that idea. Don't think it'll ever be put into action though :/

As far as Barry goes though, I love Barry Allen's Flash much more than Wally. I am hoping both in film and on print Barry stays around a while. Wally is just too goofy as the Flash in my opinion. Barry gives Flash more depth as a character.

Also, if you're a Flash fan, how are you liking this New 52 run so far? I'm loving it. Especially how they've beefed up his villain roster.
BluKnight88 - 1/8/2013, 8:58 AM
I agree with having Dick being Batman definately. He's proven time and time again. Besides, Like The Phantom and Zorro, Batman is a symbol and an ideal. Damian would one day take the mantel when both Bruce and Dick aren't fit to wear the cape and cowl.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 9:21 AM
@BluAngel88 My point exactly. Although Damien I think would have a lot more hardships in the "Do not kill" area.
johnblake - 1/8/2013, 9:24 AM
Thats one thing i like that they do with anime. let the student finally become the master and make series about that. american comics cant seem to get that. I would really like dick to become the permanant batman. seing we have decades of bruce. but it wont happen cause comic fans cant accept permanant change
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 9:32 AM
@johnblake

Yes and no. It really depends on the hero, and how they handle bringing about the change. For instance, many are pissed about Spidey's replacement, Doc Ock in his body.

But when Barry Allen went MIA for a long time, Wally got a lot of positive response. Robins have always had a good change out as well, but many didn't like it when Barbara Gordon was replaced as Batgirl.

Like I said, depends on the character, the timing, and the presentation of the change. However, it is possible to go about a permanent change in the comics that can be accepted.

For Batman though, it has to be a perfect transition story, not killed after firing a time bullet and getting vaporized by omega beams. It's not good enough. Really killing off Bruce would more than likely bring about a big disappointment to most fans, but the retirement with a meaningful need to do so and a passing of the mantle to the one who deserves the honor of Batman, that's how you do it. IMO
Spideyguy94 - 1/8/2013, 10:45 AM
@Rhino yeah crippled wouldn't be a bad idea, although TDKR comparisons are going to be made straight away.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 10:54 AM
@Spideyguy

Yeah that's why I like the Joker death/retirement reason. However, TDKR crippling was a little unrealistic seeming...
For instance, after having his back punched into alignment, he climbs a wall, falls, and is caught with a snap of a rope around his mid section. How did he not reinjure his weakened back? I think they need to find a moment in his life that brings forth a desire to leave the Bat behind.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 10:59 AM
@KnightofSteel

Yeah I could see that working out well. I thought the YJ TV series was doing really well in the beginning but haven't watched in a long time.
TheHawkWithin - 1/8/2013, 12:04 PM
Very well written article, and I totally agree with you about Batman not having to be only Bruce Wayne. There are so many potential heirs: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne. Personally I would really like to see a story where there's a new Batman, but someone that doesn't have any Robin experience or help from an elderly Bruce. Call me crazy, but I would love see a movie with John Blake as Batman.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 12:24 PM
@KnightofSteel yeah but some of the episodes are backwards lol. Yeah that would be a neat idea.

@TheHawkWithin
Thank you! Yeah John Blake continuation would be kind of a neat idea. A Batman that is completely his own man having to learn the line between hero and vigilante. It's definitely a cool idea. Though comic wise I'm pushing Dick. Todd is too violent, Drake is too much like Batman now, Bruce's perfect student, and Damien is too young. Dick is already a great hero and worthy of the Cowl.
TheHawkWithin - 1/8/2013, 12:40 PM
I agree out of all the Robin's, Dick Grayson would make the best Batman. But you have to admit, Jason Todd does have that "I'm Batman, I can do the impossible" downpat, he took down the entire Teen Titans himself and he almost beat Green Arrow in a sword fight.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 12:57 PM
@TheHawkWithin

Todd is freaking awesome don't get me wrong, but Todd is more of an anti-hero kinda character. He couldn't handle the responsibilty of the mantle. He'd break when confronted with a Joker type character and kill them.

Dick can go the distance like Todd, but has the right character. Hell truth be told, Batgirl is tougher than any of the Robins lol. She gets her ass kicked, stabbed, paralyzed, and still gets up and goes to over come it all. She's really quite similar to Bruce. However, she seems like she is on the verge of breaking her oath and killing currently.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 1:30 PM
@KnightofSteel

Thank you!
BatmanBlueLantern - 1/8/2013, 2:20 PM
Nice write up. However, I disagree. I am in the belief that Damian should take the role. Dick has put so much work in to making Nightwing HIS identity. He deserves that title, no one else. So I would prefer him to stay Nightwing, and Damian to take the reins. He is the only biological son of Bruce, and it would make sense, truly continuing on the Bat. Just my two-cents though.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 2:33 PM
@BatmanBlueLantern
The reason I think Dick over Damian are age and character. Damian still thinks like Talia as far as justice goes. Dick may have made Nightwing his own, but Nightwing isn't a symbol like Batman. Dick wants to continue the Batman Legacy just didn't want to live in Bruce's shadow any longer. Gotham can live without Nightwing, but not without Batman. Damian has a long way to go before he'd ever be able to take up the mantle, and if he takes on the mentality of Jason Todd he'd never measure up. But I greatly appreciate your input. Though we disagree, I do love hearing other's opinions on comics and conversing peacefully without all the trolling. lol.

He's also the grandson of Ra's, and was raised from infancy to the age of 10 by Talia. Those teachings from his more impressionable years would be hard to completely forget. Could be considered a hinderance in becoming the Bat. Just another thought.
WesleyGibson - 1/8/2013, 6:40 PM
I have never been keen on the idea of my childhood superheroes dying.
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 8:14 PM
@WesleyGibson

"Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo."
johnblake - 1/8/2013, 8:32 PM
i really enjoyed the dick and damian batman and robin. i think the idea should be bruce should be in a position of power doing good stuff for the world and richard as Batman
Rhino4508 - 1/8/2013, 8:57 PM
@Johnblake
Yeah it was a pretty good series. You keep up with New 52?
ravennpilot - 1/9/2013, 2:55 PM
I would be interested in an Else World story. Exploring what would it mean for Batman to pass away. Also what would happen to the DC universe if that happened.

Also, it would be interesting to see what happens if some of the other heroes start passing away. Should they look to to replace Superman in the JLA or could someone even fill those shoes? If Wonder Woman passed how would Relations between her world and the rest work out? If Flash passed would any speedster do or should the just pick someone worthy of that spot?

There is a lot of story to explore.
BatmanBlueLantern - 1/9/2013, 3:19 PM
Fair enough Rhino, lets just agree to disagree.
Rhino4508 - 1/9/2013, 6:22 PM
@BatmanBlueLantern

Agreed.

@ravennpilot

Interesting is right. As far as Superman goes, I think it should be his son. Him and either WW or Lois need to have a superbaby that Clark can mentor. WW would be hard to replace for sure. Flash, I'd say Wally would take over there.
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