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Off My Mind: What Preparations Does Batman Make for the Death of his Partners?

Many of his closest allies have civilian identities and the sudden death could raise some suspicions.

Everyone knows the origin of Batman and Robin. As a child, Bruce Wayne witnessed the murder of his parents. Having no other living relatives, he was raised by the family butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

After dedicating his life to creating the Batman persona to put a stop to crime, he eventually gained a partner, Robin.

Robin's story was similar to Batman's. Dick Grayson's parents were killed by a mobster and Bruce took him in as his ward as Grayson didn't have any immediate family either. He was eventually trained and become the other half of the Dynamic Duo.

Despite later taking in Jason Todd, seemingly an orphan at the time, Batman has enlisted or endorsed other superheroes in his fight against crime. They may not have all been his official partner but more and more have become part of his inner circler of crimefighters. Some of these other heroes working as part of the Bat-Family do have alter egos and families.

What precautions does Batman take in dealing with relatives should any of his allies die in the line of duty?

== TEASER ==

Tim Drake was the first Robin that wasn't an orphan. Batman had decided there wouldn't be another Robin after Joker killed Jason Todd. It was Tim Drake's detective skills and persistence that convinced Batman he did need a Robin. One of the problems was Tim had parents. His mother did die early during his crime fighting career but he still had to tiptoe around his father…until he discovered his secret.

Because Batman had already lost a Robin, he knew it would be a possibility. It's one thing to bring in someone with no other family connections. Bruce did insist Tim get the absolute best training before officially allowing him to be Robin but despite being fully prepared, it just takes the slightest mistake or bad timing that could result in Tim's death. If that did happen, how would Bruce explain it to Tim's dad?

Stephanie Brown is another character in Batman's inner circle. She spent most of her time as Spoiler but also was a Robin for a brief period. During the War Games arc, Stephanie seemingly died. Batman was there during her final moments and she brought up the fact that she had a baby before. Batman mentioned that she'll "never want for anything." What exactly does that mean? As soon as someone is brought into his inner circle, does he start up college or retirement funds for the families? What did he tell her mom? Does he make sure he immediately gets to the scene of a fallen comrade to dispose of their costume? Does he keep spare clothes in the trunk of the Batmobile to prepare for that situation?

Clearly Batman can not always be there.

In the pages of BATWOMAN, Flamebird got in over her head and basically got her butt seriously kicked. She ended up being discovered by the police and brought to the hospital. Batman does have preparations for this unfortunate situation. He makes sure there aren't any records, fingerprints, DNA files on anyone in his circle. This helps to avoid anyone discovering his secrets but doesn't explain what he does for the families of the fallen.

What about Barbara Gordon? She kept her time as Batgirl from her father. What would happen if she was injured or killed while in action? Does Batman have a story to tell Commissioner Gordon should that ever happen? Would Jim approve of the fact that his old friend Batman has secretly allowed his daughter to place herself in harm's way for so long? Would Batman tell him the truth or try to find a way to hide her time as Batgirl?

Batman is a crafty guy. Of course he places his secret identity high on the list but also that of others. He will make sure his allies are properly trained before hitting the streets. But you have to wonder what his plans are for the families if his allies ever die in action.

Batman is known for being prepared for any situation. He tries to take in partners that don't have other ties. But there are those that force their way into his circle that do have families. Batman will do everything in his power to ensure they are properly trained and ready to face the criminal element. But should an extreme unfortunate situation happen, you know he'll have at least five plans already set in motion to protect the families, the identities of the rest of the Bat-Family as well as a way to offer peace and condolences to the families.

Thanks to @jonsoderling for suggesting the topic.

53 Comments
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Posted by saoakden

Good question, I was thinking about that while I was watching Batman: Under the Red Hood when he covered up Jason's death. I also wonder what does Batman do if they come back from the dead or something like Jason or Stephanine? It makes me wonder. Batman is one smart guy, don't mess with him.

Posted by Dernman

He makes sure he has a another display case for their costume.

Posted by Inverno

@saoakden said:

Good question, I was thinking about that while I was watching Batman: Under the Red Hood when he covered up Jason's death. I also wonder what does Batman do if they come back from the dead or something like Jason or Stephanine? It makes me wonder. Batman is one smart guy, don't mess with him.

I don't think Batman would be prepared in case Superboy Prime shattering reality with a punch and caused Jason to be brought back to life.

Posted by saoakden

@CaioTrubat: Good point, I don't think he be prepared for that. Now I think about it, what if Superboy Prime didn't do the reality punch thing, what if Jason came back and it was a clone? What would Batman say to that? I'm just thinking.

Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER

He has enough display cases for everybody.

Edited by Mattersuit

Shortlists of potential new sidekicks?

Posted by Bobzenub

He raids an orphanage.

Posted by krspaceT

The ultimate way to loose your secret is to die, and thus expose the loss of your alter ego.

Posted by Eyz

@Bobzenub said:

He raids an orphanage.

Ha! XD

He's probably got some replacements prepared under hand, just in case :P

Posted by nitsen

Stephanie Brown had a baby? When did this happen?

Posted by THEBlaqueBasterd

lol.. Being that Bruce is one of the richest guys in the DC Universe the whole : [Batman mentioned that she'll "never want for anything." What exactly does that mean?] bit is probly THE most obviously redundant part of an otherwise interestingly thought provoking OMM piece

Posted by Bobzenub

@Eyz: Why doesn't he use a whole orphan army, called Robin-flock? I bet a few dozen 12 year olds with right combat training would easily take down any villain from his rogue gallery.

Posted by Blizaga101

To not want for anything means to have all the basics for living life so I guess batman means the people would have a normal life with all the necessities

Posted by deadpool25mm

@Dernman said:

He makes sure he has a another display case for their costume.

LOL!

Online
Posted by pspin

Wait Stephanie Brown has a kid??!?!?!!

Apparently when Batman sees Robin hung he just shrugs it off and goes and get another

Posted by Mediumflyer7

Stephanie Brown had a baby. I never heard of this in the Batgirl series

Posted by perry_411

He certainly doesn't mind putting young people in danger.

Posted by Mucklefluga

Batman has something ready for every possibility.

Posted by Suprman

@perry_411: He certainly doesn't mind putting young people in danger.

These kids chose this job, if they are skilled and determined to fight the good fight, then the best thing Batman can do is train them the best he can to prevent another death and protect their identities should the worst happen.

Posted by Ravager4

In regards to Stephanie having a kid, it was quite a while ago. From her wiki page:

The two (Stephanie and Tim) form a relationship and eventually become romantically involved despite Stephanie being pregnant with her old boyfriend's child who had ran away from Gotham after the earthquake. However, Robin was always there for Stephanie, even taking her to Lamaze classes under a false identity. She still did not know his true identity because Batman forbid Tim from revealing his identity to Stephanie.

Later, Robin would leave for boarding school but he would eventually return when Stephanie gave birth. Stephanie decided, against her initial thoughts, to give the baby up for adoption without ever seeing her.

Edited by feargalr

This is a very good question actually.

Posted by TheFlashguy

To answer the question...

" What about Barbara Gordon? She kept her time as Batgirl from her father. What would happen if she was injured or killed while in action? Does Batman have a story to tell Commissioner Gordon should that ever happen? Would Jim approve of the fact that his old friend Batman has secretly allowed his daughter to place herself in harm's way for so long? Would Batman tell him the truth or try to find a way to hide her time as Batgirl?"

if you watch the old animated show... here's the name of the show/season/episode :

More at IMDbPro »

The New Batman Adventures: Season 1, Episode 11

it pretty much answers it. lol... I mean aight, so it's not from the "comics" per-say.. but I still think this is a pretty good take on what MIGHT occur.

Posted by perry_411

@Suprman: Yeah right, they chose this job. Batman uses them to continue his war on crime. He is no better than Raz Al Ghoul

Posted by SupermanJohnathanKentJr

We throwing spinning sht now...erm I mean, we can submit ideas for stories? Has one been writing about what makes certain superpowers interesting yet?

Posted by EdwardWindsor

I think he's probable excuse to cover the loss of a sidekick would be kidnapping or over seas placement of somekind.

Posted by hyperman

mmm well, before the re-boot, James Gordon was fully aware of Barbara's alter ego, he had already found her costume, and years later Barbara confessed the truth. He could've done something in order to try to find out Batman's identity but he didn't, so I guess he was fine with it XD

Posted by VioletPhoenix

2 most dangerous positions in comics:

  1. Being Batman's sidekick
  2. Being Wolverine's girlfriend

(Secret #3: Being Jean Grey's grave caretaker, "WTF not again..I JUST fixed this. WHERE'RE ALL THESE SCORCH MARKS FROM?!")

Posted by Illuminatus

He should start taking out life-insurance policies on them.

Posted by The Impersonator

@deadpool25mm said:

@Dernman said:

He makes sure he has a another display case for their costume.

LOL!

Posted by InnerVenom123

@Illuminatus said:

He should start taking out life-insurance policies on them.

That's genius.

Edited by RedOwl_1

............. I never thought about this before >_< Mmmmm.............

@TheFlashguy: I must watch it now!!!!

@Bobzenub said:

@Eyz: Why doesn't he use a whole orphan army, called Robin-flock? I bet a few dozen 12 year olds with right combat training would easily take down any villain from his rogue gallery.

I've seen that before..... oh yes Orphans

Posted by TheIncredibleNightcrawler1999
@nitsen: It was her ex-boyfriend's baby. In the pages of Robin I think...
Edited by MonsieurShogun

@CaioTrubat said:

I don't think Batman would be prepared in case Superboy Prime shattering reality with a punch and caused Jason to be brought back to life.

In UTRH, Ra's Al Ghul used the Joker as a distraction against Batman, however the Joker went rogue and kidnapped Jason, killing him latter. To repay things up, Ras tried to revive Jeson via Lazarus Pit... and it worked, but at the cost of Jason's sanity.

I think it was a more valid plot than the whole retcon punch.

Posted by Herokiller12344

So am I the only one that's disgusted by how often Batman sends kids to die.

Posted by RufusY2K

Thanks for the article G-Man (I'm @jonsoderling, by the way). It raises a lot of great points. The reason I originally came up with this question is because I was watching an episode of Justice League Unlimited, where Batman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman followed Chronos through time and he altered the future where Batman Beyond was. Terry was helping fight the gang of Jokerz from Return of the Joker, and was killed by the Dee Dees. Old Bruce was monitoring on the computer and started to cry (or close to it), and all I could think of was what was Bruce going to tell Terry's mother. Luckily, the future was saved and changed back, so it's moot, but still.

Posted by venomyak

@VioletPhoenix said:

2 most dangerous positions in comics:

  1. Being Batman's sidekick
  2. Being Wolverine's girlfriend

(Secret #3: Being Jean Grey's grave caretaker, "WTF not again..I JUST fixed this. WHERE'RE ALL THESE SCORCH MARKS FROM?!")

Hilarious!

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

@VioletPhoenix said:

2 most dangerous positions in comics:

  1. Being Batman's sidekick
  2. Being Wolverine's girlfriend

(Secret #3: Being Jean Grey's grave caretaker, "WTF not again..I JUST fixed this. WHERE'RE ALL THESE SCORCH MARKS FROM?!")

Being Green Arrow's sidekick is just as bad, if not worse, than being Batman's.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

He makes plans for any given situation so even in ones involving partners and their deaths,you can be assured he's got 'em covered. Its what he does as the Dark Knight; that's his M.O. Contingencies are the name of the game for Batman, and he's not worried in the least for something happening.

Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

I have this darkly humorous idea that Bruce Wayne has an entire section of a graveyard reserved for dead Robins and that he frequently make calls to orphanages for black haired boys aged 10-15. That Bruce always 10 steps ahead.

Posted by Purgatory

They know what they signed up for. If they die they die. No different from a cop getting killed.

How would he explain to Jim if Babs died? Well what kind of a man would Gordon be if he's ok with Batman, but not with his own daughter?

Posted by WZA

wow i don't remember stephanie having a kid? Oo

Posted by DarthShap

@Emperor Gonzo Noir said:

I have this darkly humorous idea that Bruce Wayne has an entire section of a graveyard reserved for dead Robins and that he frequently make calls to orphanages for black haired boys aged 10-15. That Bruce always 10 steps ahead.

Unfortunately, Miller sorts of consecrated parts of your awfully creepy theory in his atrocious All Star Goddamn Batman and Retarded Robin, with Bruce saying "I've had my eye on him for some time!" to Vicky about Dick before the deaths of his parents.

Oh Frank...

Posted by zackattack529

wait i think this was already an article?? o.0

Posted by Bitchgurl

@Emperor Gonzo Noir: LOL!

The funny thing is I could picture this with no trouble!!!

I can see him brooding, thinking, "Things don't look good for Robin, he might not pull through...maybe I better get that clone machine cranked up, just in case..."

Posted by ChaosAgent

Wow, didn't know about the Stephanie thing...That's pretty interesting.

On a side note, oh man...these comments. Hilarious.

Posted by BatClaw89

was this an article or just a bunch of unanswered questions? 

Posted by Thespispunk88

At this point, after both Jason Todd and Stephanie Brown have come back from the dead. Batman's now 2 for 2. I'm sure he just sits back and relaxes when a Robin dies. If asked why, he replies, "oh, they'll be back sooner or later."

Posted by revbucky

It's kind of like being Dirty Harry's partner for the San Francisco Police Department--they keep dying.

Posted by Cooke76

@Mediumflyer7: The reason you never heard of Steph Brown having a baby in her Batgirl series was because they tried to ignore that little fact as much as humanly possible along with all her past experience and training by having her trip over her own feet most of the time.

Posted by Lonestar1979

Plenty of Orphanages created in Gotham, as a result of just The Joker, let alone all the other insane criminals, earthquakes, gang wars, etc etc etc.

Gotta be some athletic kids out there.

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