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.
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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