The New Batman Family

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707/18/10New Batman Family, The(Blog) (Forum) (List)Batman Family(Back) (Next)

This is something that's been bothering me ever since Batman was an "urban myth." When Bats was an "urban myth" - never seen or photographed by the public - it didn't make sense that he was still out there with the JLA, or doing everything in Gotham personally. Even now that he's dropped the urban myth angle, it still doesn't make sense to me that Batman's so good he can do it all himself. I think he'd need a team of partners to accomplish everything he does, and DC has the characters available to break it down pretty simply. So who would be in the new Batman Family?

First, the standards are all there: Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Huntress, and now, Red Robin and Batwoman. You can't lose them. They can serve in an all-around capacity, but they've got their own stuff going on too, so they're not strictly Gotham-bound. I'd include Flamebird too, just because I liked her.

Include Azrael if you must, but personally, I'd turn him into a villain again. I don't like it when popular villains get turned into dark heroes. Why can't some of the badguys be cool looking? Azrael was a real physical threat to Batman, edged out only by the fact that his moves were dictated by a system that had him fighting from a sort of trance state. Batman needs a physical challenge guy. So for me, he's a villain. Let the stoning begin. Moving on...

I don't really know what to say about Jason Todd. I was around when DC did the 1-900 vote to kill him, and I was glad the "no" vote won. I thought it was a bad decision for DC to bring him back, but they have made him interesting this time around. I think he's going to be around for awhile, because I don't see DC killing him again, but I really think he should be a villain. Therefore, he wouldn't be part of the Batman Family. The black sheep role they've got him in has promise, but I question if they can keep it balanced in such a way that's believable. "Believable" meaning that Batman wouldn't just take him down for stepping too far over the line. That's why I say he should be a villain.

I'd include Blue Beetle (Ted Kord - okay, this part was before he was shot). He's one of the few DC non-powered, fights-with-gadgets guys that's not part of the Bat-Family, and that's mostly because he started at Charlton. I think Ted would be the tech guy. He'd take the place of Harold - designing Batman's gadgets and vehicles, just like he'd design his own. I think his villains would be a cool addition to Gotham too - I'd love to see the Madmen working for the Joker. I think The Bug would look really cool over the night lighting of the Gotham skyline, but I think that Ted would be the daytime guy. When Batman's sleeping, during the day, Blue Beetle would be out there doing the legwork needed and fighting the fight during those hours. A possible replacement for Ted as Blue Beetle would be Tim Drake (discussed in another blog), or maybe Connor Hawke, who's redundant as Green Arrow II. Neither of them have enough tech savvy to replace Ted's inventiveness though. Maybe the next version of Ted's Blue Beetle should be another Charlton character that DC doesn't really use - Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. Having learned to utilize the other 90% of his brain power (something that killed the original Ravager, btw), perhaps he'd be smart enough to invent stuff like Ted did? ...Yeah, he could operate as Thunderbolt, but personally, I want to see Ted's version of Blue Beetle back out there.

Of course, Oracle is still around, because the Bat-Family needs its info and communications guru. Babs is indespensable.

When Batman needs information from the streets, he sends out the Question.

When Batman needs someone found, he sends Manhunter. When I first had this idea, I was thinking of Mark Shaw, who was working in the same sort of bounty hunter role, as Manhunter, as DC later put Kate Spencer in. So Kate's Manhunter would work just fine. Huntress works well in this role too.

When Batman's trying to find more than the average hood or non-powered Bat-loonie, he hires a detective: John Jones, Martian Manhunter. (C'mon, you know that's cool.)

He might have a couple of other people around, like keeping Richard Dragon on retainer as a sparring partner, so he stays in shape as a fighter - needing more of a challenge than the average enemy gives him. He might hire Connor Hawke, Roy Harper, Katana or Bronze Tiger for the same - he might want to practice with multiple attackers.

Special mention: Green Arrow. Bruce used him in JLA: Year One, to act as the financier of the JLA, because they wouldn't have accepted Bruce Wayne's financing directly. I think Bruce would use him in costumed capacity as well. Green Arrow's got his own stuff going on, but I think he'd be on call as a stand-in for Batman. He'd have to shave the blonde goatee and 'stache for it, but Oliver Queen is even more prepared to be Batman than Dick Grayson. Dick's learned it and earned it, but Oliver outright imitated it. Bats has his utility belt; Arrow's got his quiver full of trick arrows. Batcave; Arrowcave. Batmobile; Arrowcar. Batplane; Arrowplane. Robin; Speedy. Batgirl; (Miss) Arrowette. Queen clearly applied a business principle of "why reinvent the wheel?" He saw a formula that worked for crimefighting, and copied it. A simple costume switch and change of theme, and he's Batman. Dick will stand in when he has to, because he doesn't want the Batman name tarnished, but he has respect for Ollie, and I think he'd be okay with Bruce's decision to have him stand-in, when the situation calls for it. Not always instead of Dick, but in extreme circumstances. If they wanted to tie him more firmly to the Bat-Family, Bruce might hire Ollie to represent his interests in Wayne Enterprises. Ollie has the business savvy for it, but I think it would be out of character for him to accept the business position.

Having these characters in place as a team isn't lessening the Batman. Great leaders put good people around them - often people even smarter than they are (which would be the case with Peter Cannon). Having these people to handle some of the details for him frees Batman up to be Batman.

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18 Comments
Posted by daredevil21134

JASON TOOD
Online
Posted by JCJQLB

Flamebird and Oracle

Posted by cbishop
@JCJQLB said:
"Flamebird and Oracle "

Hey, JCJQLB (whew, that's a mouthful).  What about Flamebird and Oracle?
Edited by JCJQLB
@cbishop: I like them! I think they deserve to be members of the family.
Posted by .Mistress Redhead.
@daredevil21134 said:
" JASON TOOD "
Technically, just to get argumentative. If you are saying Jason is now against him, then think about how Jason was killed and the pain he felt that Bats did not race after Joker and kill him, he has reason to be the way he is. Batman did screw the pooch on that one so he kind of deserves the backlash. 
 
@cbishop said:
" @JCJQLB said:
"Flamebird and Oracle "
Hey, JCJQLB (whew, that's a mouthful).  What about Flamebird and Oracle? "
agreed, what does Oracle and Flamebird have to mean that he should not have a family around him? are you meaning cause Oracle was shot?~
Posted by cbishop

@daredevil21134 said:

"JASON TOOD "

Hey DD', I've added Jason Todd.  Big "duh" that I forgot him - I was talking about him on another thread as I wrote this yesterday. 

@JCJQLB said:

" @cbishop: I like them! I think they deserve to be members of the family. "

 Ah, gotcha, and I agree.  I don't address them a whole lot, but they're in there. :) 

@.Mistress Redhead. said:

" @daredevil21134 said:
" JASON TOOD "
Technically, just to get argumentative. If you are saying Jason is now against him, then think about how Jason was killed and the pain he felt that Bats did not race after Joker and kill him, he has reason to be the way he is. Batman did screw the pooch on that one so he kind of deserves the backlash."


Hi, Mistress (man, it felt weird saying that).  I have to agree with you, which is why I think he should just move on over the line to villain. 

Posted by .Mistress Redhead.
@cbishop: Hi! and you can call me MR most people here do :) 
Posted by cbishop
@.Mistress Redhead. said:
" @cbishop: Hi! and you can call me MR most people here do :)  "

MR it is. ;)
Posted by ChadwickDavis
Robin (Damien Wayne)
Red Robin (Tim Drake Wayne)
Nightwing (Dick Grayson) 
Batgirl (As Cassandra Cain)  
Oracle
Spoiler (Stephanie Brown/ granted she would be a lot stronger because she has been both Batgirl, Robin, and Spoiler)  
Huntress 
Batwoman
    
Red Hood (regardless of opinions Jason Todd is still the prodigal son in the Bat family) 
James Gordon (he has been the unspoken member for years) 
Alfred Pennyworth  
Lucius Fox
(for the tech support/ Blame Morgan Freeman for doing such an excellent job as Lucius in the movies
Catwoman 
Talia Head
(lets face it she helps Batman almost as much as his "core family" and her ties to Damien maker her easy to be considered the extended family member.)
Posted by cbishop
@ChadwickDavis: Ah, I forgot to say which Batgirl, didn't I?  I'd prefer Cassandra, but I was assuming Stephanie, when I wrote the blog.  Whatever the case, I really don't want to see the Spoiler identity come back.  It's just lame.  I cannot stress enough how much I disliked that character.
 
I didn't include Gordon, Alfred, or Lucius, becuase I was focusing on costumed characters.  I didn't name Lucius as tech help, because to me, that's just shorthand from the movie.  To me, he's the guy that watches over Wayne Enterprises.  Years ago, he did make a similar comment in the comics, as he does in the movie.  He basically said he knows where the money goes, so not to think him stupid, but it was never really addressed after that.  He's the business guy to me though, not the tech guy.
 
In my mind, Jason Todd's a villain.  Same with Talia, unfortunately - I liked it better when she and Bruce were in love and not enemies. 
 
I probably should have mentioned Catwoman, but since she got her "true memory" back, after Identity Crisis, she's supposed to be more of a villain, so I didn't include her.  I will say that she interests me much more as the love interest to Batman - the crook he doesn't really want to catch.
Posted by ChadwickDavis
@cbishop: 
 
 I really don't want to see the Spoiler identity come back.  It's just lame.  I cannot stress enough how much I disliked that character. 
I see your point in regards to Spoiler however, (in my opinion) she is sort of like the Claire "the Cheerleader" Bennet of the DC universe without the healing powers. She is very upbeat she is friends with Cassandra (or more appropriately Cassandra's "Robin") and she has grown. Granted She was never one of my favorites either, but I'm curious what she will become even if she did go back to being Spoiler. With all the tragedy, craziness, and the fact that nobody has ever wanted her to be a crimefighter there has to be some resentment. She is perky but not stupid, so naturally she is going to be aware that everything that has been said about her. I think her going back to the basics, would bring out a darker edge under the mask (not league of assassins, Huntress or Red Hood dark, but dark enough to finally be considered Bat family material.)  
 
Jason Todd's a villain. Same with Talia,  
True, but Talia does control the sharing interest in Waynetech (which is essentially where Batman gets his resources) so there has to be some type of passive support/ collaboration going on there  
Jason seems to be more bitter about Batman's "no kill rule" and the revolving door of supervillains to me than anything else (Joker did beat his head in with a crowbar afterall).      
Posted by cbishop

@ChadwickDavis: Y'know, I actually agree with you on all of that, except I just don't like the name Spoiler.  It's a lousy name and a lousy costume.  The only thing that could make it more goofy is if she went out on patrol, in response to a "Spoiler alert." lol

Posted by Comiclove5

I thought the Family is going to be:
Batman (Bruce Wayne)
Batman (Dick Grayson)
Red Robin
Robin 
Batgirl
Oracle 
Birds of Prey (The whole team: Huntress, Black Canary, Lady Blackhawk, and Hawk & Dove)
Batwoman
Wildcat 
Catwoman (Kinda) 
Catgirl (Wow!)
Manhunter
Alfred  
The Outsiders (Geo-Force, Metamorpho, Owlman,Halo, Katana, Black Lighting,  Creeper, and Eraticator)
Man-Bat
Ragman
Azrael

Posted by cbishop
@Comiclove5: Hey, Comiclove5, thanks for the comment.  I have no idea what the Bat-Fam's going to look like in the actual comics.  This is just more a list of how I'd line them up, and why.  In looking at your list, I hadn't thought about Wildcat or Ragman.  DC's done a little to tie them both to Bats at one time or another, but I don't know if either of them are a true fit.  Maybe that's because I was an adult when they tied Wildcat to Batman's origins.  I think it has something to do with the fact that they said Wildcat was one of the guys that taught him to fight, but you almost never see him in the Batbooks, after that. 
 
Ragman's kind of one of those guys that DC never quite knows what to do with.  He'd work okay in Gotham, but for my personal taste, I'd leave him in Shadowpact, and not use him in the Bat-Family. 
 
Outside of that, Catwoman and Man-Bat are villains, and Azrael should be IMO.  Catgirl was set in the future, so I don't count her, and the Outsiders have sort of become their own thing, although I think some of the members should be Bat-Family... 
  
Katana fits very well in the Batman world, although her sword would almost be better suited to be in the hands of a villain.  The Creeper just seems like the Joker as a hero to me, so personally, I have kind of a hard time with the character, but he fits the Batverse.  The last one I'd use there would be Black Lightning.  I kind of don't like bringing a powered guy into Gotham, but he's always been portrayed as a street level character, and I have always wanted to see Tobias Whale in the Batman rogues gallery. 
 
I haven't had a chance to read any of the stories with the Outsiders' Owlman.  To me, that's a villain from the Crime Syndicate, and he should be a villain in the main DCU also.  As a hero, he's a Batman wannabe, and I don't like that as much.
Posted by Eyz

I kinda dig the Outsiders' Owlman, he isn't that bad as character in the stories themselves...
But looking from "outside" the Outsider books (arf :P) he does look kinda dumb.. like a soft version of the other Ownlman (Crime Syndicate) or a uninspired Nite Owl...

Posted by Primmaster64

I like Jason...

Posted by saiyan_earthling
@Primmaster64: So do I =)
Posted by Eyz

Jason's a great character!
More so than a lot of people like to think -_-