I have been out of comic books for a year or so now, but I still follow the plot lines and read the stories on wikipedia and various other sites. I just ready about the 500th issue of Detective Comics (which is a Batman title for those of you who don't know) and I gotta say, it was a pretty awesome story. Everyone knows who Batman is, and after the recent Nolan trilogy most people know his origin (despite the changes it is always the same - man kills his parents after a movie, Bruce becomes Batman 15-20 years later). Well, in this story that happened, and then it happened again, and then... it didn't. How can this happen again you ask, easy, alternate realities. These are pretty big in the comic world. It is basically the comic industires 'go to' for anytime they want to change something, kill someone or just create new stories with old characters. So, the Batman we all know (for now) was given a gift from a guy known as the Phantom Stranger (a story far too long to go into here). On this other earth in a parallel universe Bruce Wayne was about to repeat the cycle or watching his parents murder and become Batman. For all the good Batman has done, one of his greatest failures in his mind is the inability to protect his parents. He was a kid (in most cases he was 8) so yeah, really not much more for him to do than cry/sob. So, in pops Phantom Stranger and tells our Batman, 'hey, as your friend I am giving you this gift. You can go to this place and save your parents there, your own personal parents will still be dead but you can save these ones' and then Batman is like, 'Let's do this, I'M BATMAN.' Also, I should note that in this story, child Bruce is a spoiled brat and our Robin worries he may grow up to be a pig if he doesn't become Batman.
Flash forward to the end of the story, which was really a great story, Batman shows up outside the movie house just in time to stop the mugger from killing his parents. This has an effect on young, spoiled Bruce. He begins to be respectful, take up studies in detective work and so forth. Basically implying that he is on the road to becoming Batman, after watching Batman save his parents. He has become 'the Batman that wasn't'
This is a story I would love to see continued in some long term capacity. In almost every serious incarnation of Batman, his parents (or a parent) die. Sometimes, even he dies as a kid and his dad becomes Batman (looking at you crappy Flashpoint series). In fact, most of his side kicks are also born out of death. Dick (Robin/Nightwing) loses his parents. Damian (current Robin and Bruce Waynes son) was raised by assasins and has killed as many people as small pox. Tim (Robin #3) lost his dad to a dude names Captain Boomerang and his girlfriend to Black Mask (who also force fed her human flesh). Jason (Robin #2) was beat to death by the Joker with a crowbar, just to be brought back years later by a 'cosmic punch'(dont even get me started) and become a psycho. Terry (Batman Beyond) lost his father. But what if Batman could be born out of something good and not tragedy? This is the chance to tell that story. Batman is always a serious, unhappy, tunnel visioned @$$hole. Even when he is happy he's grumpy. And there is hardly an issue that goes by without reference to the night his parents were shot. Ok, we all get it, his parents were shot and he became Batman to get revenge and give people hope, check. But how about this, a guy in a mask saves his parents and becomes a hero in the kids eyes, so he makes himself the best he can be in order to be a good guy for the sake of being good.
Just like everyone else, I love the dark guys. Batman, Punisher, Spawn, Daredevil... I could go on but why? Once in a while though, it's nice to see a 'good' good guy. Who is good for no other reason than to be good. And for all of you out there who read this and think, 'well that's superman right?' go choke yourselves. Batman is a MAN, Superman is not (despite the name). Also, Superman is full of sh*t these days, although I am super excited to see the reboot this summer. To the rest of you who think, 'hey, thats Captain America' I say, have the guy who said thats what Superman is for choke you before they choke themselves. Captain America is built out of Patriotisim and super powers, not being good to be good.
This Batman would be a good story to read. This Batman would have his innoncence, and that is always something to create the most vile villians with. What happens when someone he cares about finally DOES get killed by a villian? How does this already established heroic Batman take it and what does he do about it? Will Batman be able to smile and laugh? Crack a joke at the villian in Spider-Man fashion? Will he have more trust of other heroes and believe in redemption?
Alright, done with my rant. Just wanted to say that this is a Batman I would want to read.