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Off My Mind: When Bruce Returns, Why Not Have Two Batmans?
by Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero on
Or should I say Batmen?
When Bruce Wayne was "killed" by Darkseid at the end of Final Crisis, we all knew he'd be back, especially since it ended by showing Bruce drawing bat symbols in a cave. Dick Grayson has been filling in as Batman and might just be getting the hang of it. He was extremely reluctant at first because by becoming Batman, he was acknowledging Bruce's death. The question has come up, when Bruce returns, what happens to Dick?
I've thought about this for a while. My first thoughts were he can't go back to being Nightwing since Christopher Kent was using that name. Perhaps that will change. I just wonder if Dick would want to go back to being Nightwing. I know he didn't really want to be Batman but now that he has and has been accepted as Batman, it would be a step backwards for him. He's even on the Justice League now as Batman.
Does Bruce's return mean Dick is done being Batman? One thought I had was perhaps it would be similar to what Steve Rogers did when he returned. Rather than reclaim the Captain America role, he insisted that Bucky keep it and we've seen the images of Steve running around in a new costume. Maybe Bruce will want to allow Dick to remain as Batman and he might find a new role for himself. We don't know what his journey through time will do to him. Maybe he won't be able to become Batman once again. I doubt that. There's another solution.
== TEASER ==
I think the best resolution would be to have both men remain Batman. Why can't there be more than one? Bruce's promise to his parents was to cleanse Gotham of its evil. He's welcomed the help of others and has had several sidekicks. Why not expand the mission of Batman and have there be more than one? Bruce has always tried playing on the fact that villains are a "cowardly lot." Imagine how freaked out they'd be if Batman was making appearances at different places at the same time. Batman used to be more about being an urban myth or a dark force of justice in the night. Too much lately Batman has been seen as just a man in a costume fighting crime. I think "Batman" needs to go back and use the element of fear in order to defeat the criminals.
There's also the fact that Batman often travels the world fighting evil in the Justice League. If he's sworn to protecting Gotham City, who is watching over when he's sitting around the Justice League Watchtower? Sure he might have some link or be listening in on the police radio but you can't honestly believe that not a single crime is occurring when he's not in Gotham. And despite there being a bunch of other costumed crimefighters in the city, I can't see him placing total trust in their ability to protect every single innocent life in his city.
I recall a story in Supergirl #27 where she met the team of Batmen from 400 years in the future. There was a connection to Bruce in that team. And of course there's the Batmen of All Nations as well. Why can't there be more than one Batman? To me, this seems the best solution for his battle against evil.