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Off My Mind: Should The Gotham Police Train Officers To Become Batman?

Should the GCPD make their own plans for a replacement in case Batman disappears again?

There could be a discussion whether or not Gotham City needs a Batman. Let's skip that and agree that it does. Gotham has its share of kooky villains and the fear of Batman keeps them slightly in check.  
You might recall from Batman #674 that once upon a time, there were plans to create a replacement for Batman through the GCPD. If Batman dies or disappears, the villains will notice and wouldn't hesitate to all try to take a piece of Gotham for themselves. Batman is smart enough to have his own contingency plans but look what happened the last time he "died." He chose Dick Grayson to take his place without consulting him. Dick struggled with his new appointment and was ready to turn it down. There was even a battle over the cowl between Jason and Tim. Would it be better for the police to choose and train their own candidate to be Gotham's protector? 
 == TEASER == 

Here is where the debate comes in. If anyone has the right to choose a replacement for Batman, it should be Bruce. Then again, one of his potential replacements was Jason, who we all know is far from stable. Sure Jason probably was further down the list but he's still a loose cannon that Batman allowed to run free. The three police officers that were chosen for the program weren't in much better mental condition. This could be due to Doctor Hurt's wacky conditioning but the GCPD's track record isn't so great now. 
Gotham may have survived before Batman was born. His presence has helped tame some of the corruption but you have to admit he has also attracted a new kind of criminal element. There weren't a bunch of costumed criminals before Batman's debut. Should he die or disappear, Gotham needs someone to fill his boots. Dick Grayson or Tim Drake may not be available. Who has the right to choose the next protector of Gotham City? Batman may have the right to decide but would choosing his successor be one of his top priorities? His hands are full fighting crime in Gotham while also being part of the Justice League. Is it fair to the citizens of Gotham to place their trust in the hands of one vigilante? The GCPD, if done properly, could ensure that the next candidate is properly trained, ready and willing to take the job when called to duty. Unfortunately, even if Commissioner Gordon were involved, what would be the chances of finding someone on Batman's level? Perhaps Gotham will simply have to hope that Batman will always be around and will always have a suitable replacement waiting.
40 Comments Refresh
Posted by Tainted-Cell

There's always a willing replacement, but for the police, I think the point of Batman is to have someone operating outside the law, outside their authority.

Posted by FLStyle

Since when did GCPD have a say in who and how Gotham is protected? It was their corruption that lead to the need for Batman in the first place.

Edited by longbowhunter

Even if the cops had Batman's training there is no way they could match his drive. I think something like what we saw in the "Battle for the Cowl" one shot, "The Network" would work better.
Posted by KagiEN

Oh definitely not the police. They have shown without a shadow of a doubt that they will screw up the process and pick someone way more unstable (or make them more unstable) than Jason to be Batman. Plus there is too much corruption in there to trust them anyways for a position so important.

Posted by bobtv

Just clone Bruce Wayne and and train the kids, like the clones in episode II, hahaha.

Posted by dan1509

The thing to see it is batman as a person underneath the cowl, or batman as a symbol, and the way I see it, ur trying to replace Bruce Wayne aka Batman. Dick grayson has took over but criminals have noticed that its not the same, somethings different with this "new" batman. 
I duno :P

Posted by dondasch

@ G-man  There's already a suitable replacement, in my opinion.  His name is Jean Paul Valley, a.k.a. Azrael

Posted by AJthenewusrname

Well, this is a sort of debate of what was firs: egg or a chicken?

The reason for Batman to exist on the first place is the fact that Policemen aren’t doing their job. Mainly because they are dirty. But it is not just them; it is the whole system that is corrupt, therefore they won’t prevent crime from happening.

The logic behind Batman’s fight is to inspire people to do better, good people like lawyers, government officials, by exposing the corrupt ones. If this happens Batman has succeeded, law enforcement is working properly, therefore he’ll be obsolete.

In the mean time though, no one else can replace him, no one has the means to stand between the forces of law and destruction.


Posted by Comiclove5
@FLStyle said:
"Since when did GCPD have a say in who and how Gotham is protected? It was their corruption that lead to the need for Batman in the first place."

That is a very true statement.
Posted by Jotham

I don't think anybody needs to choose who should be Batman. Nobody chose the original Batman. If anything happens to Bruce, several people will try to fill his shoes and one will triumph, exactly as we saw in Battle for the Cowl.
Also, I thought Bruce asked Dick not to fill in as Batman.

Posted by ComicMan24

I don't think the GCPD should play any part in this decision. Batman must choose his replacement and he is capable of choosing someone right fot the job.
Posted by Gylan Thomas
@ComicMan24 said:
" I don't think the GCPD should play any part in this decision. Batman must choose his replacement and he is capable of choosing someone right fot the job. "
@dondasch said:
" @ G-man  There's already a suitable replacement, in my opinion.  His name is Jean Paul Valley, a.k.a. Azrael "

 Is Jean Paul dead or some thing now?
And although he was Bruces choice I seem to remember it really didn't go well.
Edited by ComicMan24
@Gylan Thomas:
Yes he is dead, for now at least. You are right, he wasn't the best choice but I think he was chosen out of necessity since Dick Grayson refused if I am not making a mistake.
Posted by DaggerKlutz

Tough choice. At first I would say only Batman should choose his replacement but then eventually there may be a corrupted Batman. The police started noble too but eventually some crooked people joined and ruined an aspect of their noble goal. The same thing could happen with Batman's replacements (it may take several generations though). 
My choice is no one should choose the batman replacement. Nobody choose Bruce and he did an amazing job, maybe Gotham should just hope that someone comes along and decides that what is happening is wrong and wears the mantle.

Posted by HaloKing343

Somebody should write a batman story exploring what happens when batman is not there. How will the city react? I think the villains would grow bored with the "game" that they used to play with batman. I think it would be interesting to see the city reverse itself and be cleaned up without him. That might make a cool arc, a very psycologically stimulating one.
Posted by Golden Cod

There would have to be mentorship akin to Batman's training of the "Sons of the Bat" gang in The Dark Knight Returns.   The gang was originally murderous and no better then any other gang until Batman decided to teach them his ways.
In short, such a group would have to be trained by Bruce himself.   It would have to be a cult of personality because his personality is what keeps himself on the narrow path.
Nor can you force someone into tragedy.   Take the origin of Terry McGinnis for example.  

Posted by DarkSyde79

This is simply a case of nurture vs. nature. While having the physical and mental skills needed to become Batman are important, it's Bruce's control developed over the years from his early childhood that make him who he is. 

Dick and Tim through their experiences and guidance from Bruce are perfect of examples of how this works out. 

Jason, Jean-Paul and Damian are examples of how not having the morality of Bruce can lead these perfect candidates down the wrong path. 

Biology means nothing because even clones of Bruce (as physically skilled as they where) where driven crazy by the memories of Bruce. 

Batman Beyond said it best, it's not just the brains and brawn that makes Batman... BATMAN... it's his HEART!!!  

So while I would definitely say that GCPD should have elite officers trained to be like Batman... none could be him without understanding what fundamentally makes him who he is.

Posted by Jotham

I thought I remembered seeing this. So I guess even Batman didn't want to choose a replacement Batman.
Posted by KRYPTON

So it was discussed in one issue right? Does the original Batman know about the GCPD training people to become the next Batman? Well either way. I guess there could be a cop who was Batman. However in Batman and Son there was the GCPD cop who was killed by the Joker and left a bullet in the head of the Joker. Then Joker got a new look etc etc. So it might be a good idea, however GCPD cops won't uphold the "morals" of Batman. 

Posted by G-Man
@Jotham: Maybe Bruce was afraid he'd be a better Batman? Of course I'm kidding...or am I?
Posted by chalkshark

Perhaps instead of trying to train a new Batman from amongst their ranks, The Gotham City Police Department, as a whole, could train their cops to be better cops.  Weed out that corruption & get an actually effective police force out on the streets. Then, maybe, just maybe, Gotham City wouldn't need a Batman anymore.  Another thought just occurred to me. Why do they have to get a new Batman? They didn't get a new Green Lantern when Allen Scott gave up being the city's defender. Perhaps the future Gotham City will have a completely new & different vigilante hero keeping her streets safe at night.

Posted by hdorman1

the should just train their officer in advanced tactics, martial arts  and sharp shooting 

Posted by Moomin123

I don't think they should be trained as Batmen but they could train as other vigilantes.
Posted by LP
@chalkshark: Thanks, that's a great point. I'm glad I'm not the only one who smells stinky scents at the Box!
Posted by LP
@bobtv: Actually that happened - Amanda Waller clones Bruce to make his "son" - Terry McGuiness, then he gets trained to be Batman.
Posted by teewillis1981
I agree. Batman has no boundaries besides the ones he sets for himself. His purpose is doing what police are not able or not willing to do.
Posted by thatlad

Bruce didn't choose Dick to be his successor, in fact he told him to stay away from it. 
I think Bruce never chose a replacement on purpose, he's tried that before in Jean Paul Valley. He's realised a person has to choose to be The Batman, just like he did. It can't be thrust upon someone. 

Posted by robokungfu

No one the police or military can find to train can be a suitable replacement.  Batman had his instructors, of course, but he was entirely self-motivated to become who he is.  No one could be as driven and disciplined as Bruce.  Should the GCPD find a replacement Bats?  I ask where would they even start?  This is a man with a supernatural and mysterious reputation amongst the civilian and law enforcement population.  While Batman is the linchpin in the whole costumed Gotham vigilante deal, he's not th only one.  I say the GCPD or whoever should NOT keep a stash of second and third string Batmen because they'll only half-ass it.  

Posted by The Avenging Angel

I feel it should be completely up to Bruce; and to a lesser extent Dick (as he IS currently Batman) who should succeed them as Batman. Yes, the police could probably train an effective Batman; but only Bruce and Dick have the first-hand experience and skill necessary to REALLY train someone to be Batman and be prepared for all the duties and dangers that come with that. 
"Courage Now.....Truth Always......BATMAN FOREVER!!"
Posted by Big

Batman is a special breed. He  happens  to  be a genius of unheard of mental capacities. His special ability to perceive qualities in  people helped him to choose the boys  and girl that would become Robin. The police do not have this eye for spotting talent. Otherwise they would not need  Batman in Gotham city, because they would  have men and  women in the  police force that would possess the qualities of Batman. Also, do you think that the GCPD would have the funds to train a person to become Batman? It cost Bruce Billions of dollars, in addition to years of training and endurance, to become Batman. Also, he started at a very young age. The GCPD would have to start these officers out at ten years old! "Hey mom, can I play with Sammy next door?" Mom: "Not until you're done with your Thogal training, honey." :/  I don't think it would work.
Posted by ArtisticNeedham

This reminds me of an episode of the Batman animated series, where the bad guys are playing poker and talking about Batman.  Two-Face says that Gordon has a whole team of Batmans, and Joker laughs at him and says he is always seeing double.
I also thought Iron Man might do this once Steve had died and he was running SHIELD.  I thought he might make a team of Captain Americas (make it a sort of title and uniform) that SHIELD agents would work their way up to.
I think that since Bruce is Batman, created out of the city's need for a hero who works outside of the law getting the law involved might not help anything.  Batman needs to work outside of the law in order to get results that the police wouldn't but he also must know where to draw the line.  Bruce doesn't murder, he knows how far is too far.  I think the only reasonable replacement is someone like Dick or Tim, someone Bruce can trust.  Maybe Bruce can start training a team of replacements with the specific goal in mind, it could be a Secret Society of Batmen.   Batman finds young children who have lost their parents and who have the potential and trains them for the task of one day becoming Batman, it is disguised as the Wayne's Orphanage or something.

Posted by Dracade102




Posted by Kal'smahboi

No amount of training can make someone the Batman.
Also I agree with @Tainted-Cell: Batman can't be affiliated with the law.

Posted by MisterMollusk

Gotham's a big place. How come there don't seem to be many super powered people there?

Posted by sambalam
@MisterMollusk:  I don't think Bruce trusts anyone else to keep Gotham safe other than himself and the people he's trained or given special permission to operate within the city. 
The thing about the GCPD is that if it isn't full of overly corrupt officers, then what's the point of Batman? Since the criminal underground and the mob have been focal points of the comic since it started (plus the reason Bruce and Dick are orphans), it would be ridiculous to suddenly have a police force with more conscience than corruption. The fact that Batman is fighting with a criminal element we can identify and understand versus nothing but super villains, like other heroes, makes him more appealing and more accessible. 
Plus, who on the force is going to have the same drive and determination as Bruce, Dick, or Tim? And the training? It took Bruce years to develop some of his techniques and the same goes for his sons. Rigorous training putting their bodies and minds in peak condition. So unless Batman makes a clandestine agreement with Gordon to start recruiting in junior high, you're not gonna see a lot of GCPD officers making the cut to play Batman any time soon. 
It would be interesting, however, and it's probably already been done, to watch a group of rookies on the GCPD. Some of them go the way of corruption and others join Gordon/Batman's side. But it would be a fascinating psychological profile of police officers, their interactions with the brass, criminals, and Batman.
Posted by spider-pig23

A government controlled Batman? 
If so, Batman is truly dead.

Edited by Shadowdoggy

I really can't see the Gotham City Police training people to become vigilantes 
being able to work without having to consider the most direct ramifications of his actions is key to Batman's survival 
Sure, he never kills and he tries to act morally if not lawfully, but if he (or someone trying to be like him) had to stop and weigh the pros and cons of how their co-workers, peers, employers and the public would judge what they did and how they acted, it would prevent them from doing what needed to be done. 
Batman works outside of the law and always does what it takes to get the job done, and no regular person whose identity was at stake, whose job was at stake, whose future was at stake, who could be held accountable for his or her actions could EVER do what Batman does. 
It wouldn't work.....and besides, as we've seen time and time again, there's more than just one reason not-just-anybody can pick up a bat-shaped-grapple and call themselves "the Batman."
Posted by Neverpraying

 The only real Batman is Bruce Wayne.

Posted by Illyana Rasputin

With respect to your question, I always viewed Batman as a vigilante. Granted, he's a crime fighter, but a vigilante, nonetheless. Would that not go against the idea of the "Batman". It might put an interesting new spin on the tale if the police were to train a specialty enforcer to rid Gotham of its foes.

Posted by RedHurricane24

Batman is like a good Hattori made sword... One of a kind. But still, if Terry, Tim, Dick, Damian, even Jason managed to be Batman, then surely someone under the right training can be Batman.