Archive for the ‘Character’ Category

Damian Wayne

Posted: August 25, 2014 in Character
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The fourth main Robin has a different style of upbringing and a very similar name.

Batman only has two real considerations for a love interest, they being Catwoman and Talia Al’Ghul. As complicated as the former can be, Bruce may have a child with the latter.

Which takes nothing away from Damian, seeing as how Talia raised him and he was trained by the league of assassins. The young Wayne is no slouch when it comes to combat. Being more ruthless than his father at times, assassins tend to kill people.

And then add in the punk kid mentality and Damian can can be either a little jerk, or smugly clever.

For instance, in one of the first dozen issues of Batman and Robin, Damian was kidnapped and tied to a chair by Professor Pyg, and instead of being stereotypical sidekick scared and like, holy gee how am i going to get out of this. Damian just looked around and said something to the effect of, when I get out of this I’m going to start by punching you right in the face. I got a kick out of that scene.

Also, having Damian team-up with Supergirl at one point lead to some funny results if my mind serves me right.

Unfortunately, Damian is currently dead in the comics. Though Batman is on a journey to try and either find him or bring him back, I don’t know what’s going to happen. DC Comics is advertising some sort of return of Robin, but there is no guarantee that Damian is the one coming back. If it isn’t, there will be a part where I think that’s a little disappointing.

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Tim Drake

Posted: August 18, 2014 in Character
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The third and might be the most important Robin.

Current comic continuity might say otherwise, but it also says Batman went through the first two Robins and Tim, and had Damian Wayne as Robin in less than five years. So continuity be damned.

Unlike the previous Robins where Bruce Wayne eventually revealed himself as Batman. Tim Drake figured it all out. Then had enough balls to confront Batman about it. Few other people can make the claim they solved who Batman was, Tim might be the only one who wasn’t allowed to have a driver’s license yet.

Tim argued to Bruce about how Batman needs a Robin and after Jason died Batman became more violent, ruthless and acted less like the super sleuth Tim knew he was. Without Drake, Bruce was sliding down a slope no one knew where would lead. The world doesn’t need more violence, it needs a detective.

This was the Robin that put The Dynamic Duo back together. Although Tim wasn’t a force physically like the previous two Robins, he grew into that, and what he lacked in physicality he more than made up for with his brain.

Then, as Robins do, Tim grew up. Currently he goes by Red Robin, and if you don’t make a big deal out of certain continuity things, it makes sense, and Tim is still my favorite Robin.

Jason Todd

Posted: August 11, 2014 in Character
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Once caught trying to steal tires off the Batmobile, Jason Todd was the second and most ill-tempered Robin.

Not a serendipitous meeting as between Bruce and Dick, but not any less fateful. This new Robin had a lot of emotions running through him, and sometimes Batman didn’t know how to handle them.

Jason’s hole Robin personality echoed from Batman’s hard-hitting and street wise smarts. I don’t think Bruce ever got to completely put all his trust into his second sidekick as he did Dick.

Which is where things go real raw for Batman. Jason Todd died, as Robin, in Robin clothes, beaten to death by The Joker.

Comics are the only place where if someone dies it’s not such a big deal, because they can always come back. For decades this was the case with Jason Todd. His name was on a short list of character you do not bring back from the dead.

However with comics things change and the dead Robin returned, as a kind of bad guy, angry at Batman for not killing The Joker for what happened to him. I don’t blame Jason for feeling that way, the one man who had taken him in a protected him, ultimately did little when his biggest adversary destroyed protegé.

Despite death as a child, Jason grew up, he went under the name Red Hood and dispensed his own side of justice, using guns and seedy criminal activity. Despite using some less than savory methods for Batman’s taste, Jason is still an ally of The Bat.

Being Robin is a hard job for any twelve-year-old, only special people can fulfill. Regardless of Jason Todd having some glimpse of having that, he just fell a bit short.

Dick Grayson

Posted: August 4, 2014 in Character
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The once circus performer Dick Grayson was the first Robin, and maybe even the first kid sidekick.

It almost seems Bruce didn’t pick him, it was being at the right place at the most tragic time that did. Similar to how that night after the theater young Bruce’s parents were murdered in front of him, Dick’s parent were taken away from him during a trapeze accident one night in front of a crowd of people. It’s almost destiny that the one person who would know that exact feeling was sitting in the audience.

What makes the original Robin so good, is that he is a reflection of the athleticism and classroom smart parts of Batman. Dick was an acrobatic circus performer, and a college student, becoming an educated human being. It was a good fit for the Dynamic Duo, until Dick got older.

Then out of the shadow of The Bat, Dick broke out moved to another city and became Nightwing. This allowed Grayson to be his own man, and take what his time as Robin taught him and what disagreements he had with Batman’s philosophies and shine on his own.
Dick is the closest person to Bruce, aside from Alfred. Which makes Batman’s whole persona change, because the first Robin knows his tactics, and it makes it a little easier for Batman to say what’s going down rather than hide more. Which Bruce still does, he just confides more in Dick.

Like in Hush, before Bruce goes off and reveals to Catwoman who Batman is he asks Dick for advice. Nightwing’s response was that he should and he should probably shower. Batman takes the advice, tells Selina his big secret, and then regrets not taking the second part of Dick’s help.

The original Robin is my second favorite Batman sidekick, but I also like him better as Nightwing myself.

Catwoman

Posted: July 14, 2014 in Character
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Selina Kyle is almost the exact opposite of Bruce Wayne. Her morals waiver, justice can be on both sides of the law, and she is, for the most part, out for herself.

Her background has been told a multitude of ways, sometimes she starts off as a prostitute down on her luck and goes into cat burglary. Sometimes she skips that first part and goes straight for the robbery. Then other times, she gets thrown out of window and her body gets licked by magic cats that bring her back to life. All of them have the part where’s she is the down trotted looking to get a leg up in life.

Unlike a lot of other Batman villains that amplify a twisted piece of The Dark Knight’s core, Selina compliments Bruce rather than be one hundred percent adversarial. Even in certain Batman universes like the 60’s Adam West show, where The Caped Crusader is very black and white the justice of the law, takes a second look at Catwoman. Of course in those cases it also comes off as a little bit sexist.
DC’s New 52 Catwoman has gone through some changes. She started out a friend-with-benefits with Batman. It got better for Selina, but not before her new origin was told, and they used the Batman Returns magic cats route. And Last time I saw, she was Gotham City’s underground Kingpin. Which at this point is either where she is now, or last week’s news. Selina Kyle went a long way from being Batman’s fuck-buddy, but she’s still not to the character she was in Hush, where Bruce told her who he was, her and Batman kept the masks on. The New 52 is still new enough, she might get better stories in the future that aren’t lame.

Catwoman’s has some good stories though, Selina’s Big Score I remember being a pretty decent, so give that a try.

Two-Face

Posted: June 9, 2014 in Character
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Harvey Dent, Gotham District Attorney, friend of Bruce Wayne, and villainous foe of Batman monikered Two-Face.

Mirroring the dual identity of The Dark Knight and Bruce Wayne, Harvey’s bi-personality is more severe. While the man, DA Harvey Dent is hard-working on the “law” side of justice, his alter ego however isn’t definitely on any one side. Batman is the opposite, always in one state of mind, focused. It isn’t that Two-Face is at constant odds with himself, but he always refers to himself as “we”, it’s a reminder that there are two men in one brain.

With a person of two literal minds in the world of Batman, Two-Face might be a little obsessed with probability, flipping a coin before they make any decision, for better or worse. I’m sure it’s gotten Batman or Robin out of a jam a time or two.

In the end, Bruce Wayne being a good friend to Harvey Dent doesn’t necessarily make Batman want to lock Two-Face away in Arkham and that be that. When all is said and done, Bruce wants his friend back, and sometimes Harvey can get ahold of himself, just long enough to give Batman the confidence to continue trying to help Dent. Despite all the criminal activity Dent has gotten into, Bruce believes he can still put his friend back together for good.

The Joker

Posted: May 12, 2014 in Character
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One of Batman’s most hated villains has no origin, no real name, and no reason.

Debuting in Batman #1 in 1940 The Joker has had an followed Batman through every iteration there is.

As far as antithetical arch nemesis go, The Joker and Batman are as far as you can get on opposite ends of the spectrum. Batman is definable. You know where he’s from, his motivations, and philosophies. The Joker has none of that, except sometimes he likes messing with Batman, whether Joker is trying to kill Batman depends on the day of the week.

Sometimes, The Joker will come up with a story of where he came from. Sometimes he comes from an abusive home, other times he can’t quite make his father laugh, or maybe it’s the jerk of a wife he has that makes him crazy. Maybe one of the stories Joker told was true, maybe none of them, I don’t think it’s that important, because none of it matters. The story will change again tomorrow.

All of that makes The Joker a confusing piece of work for Batman. Though, I like it when Batman gets his number a couple of times then Joker makes a play that throws The Dark Knight off his game trying to keep Batman second guessing himself, even for just a second. It makes for an unpredictable turn of events.

Batman

Posted: April 21, 2014 in Character
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A whole year of Batman, I guess the most logical place to start is with the Caped Crusader himself.

What makes Batman so awesome? His ability to solve the toughest riddles to find what criminal of his outlandish rogues gallery committed the crime? Or maybe because he can go toe to toe with anyone in a fight and it’s never as outmatched as it might seem? I think it’s when you take a little of the former and mix in some action from the latter that Batman becomes a true superhero and not just a masked vigilante. Add in some ninja training, science knowledge, and escape artistry and you might have a concept of what The Batman is about.

The Dark Knight has gone through some locale, and philosophical changes through the years. For starters, in the beginning his base of operations was in New York City, and in the forties used guns to take out bad guys. Neither of which is true today. Some things don’t change, he always has a sidekick, most of them named Robin, he always prepares himself with the most cutting edge tech gadgets, and how would Batman get anywhere without his Batmobile?

The Bat-man’s first appearance

The Caped Crusader has been in every medium of media you can think of, comics, television, movies and even a video game or two. All those different kinds of Batmen featuring all the things that make Batman a fantastic vehicle to tell a good story behind. The cool thing is, no matter what you consider to be the absolute version, or when you discover the Caped Crusader, they are all Batman. From Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s first collaboration in the late thirties, to Adam West’s portrayal on TV in the mid sixties, to the Kevin Conroy voiced Batman in the nineties Batman: The Animated Series, even including the new upcoming Ben Affleck Batman in the new Batman vs, Superman movie. Everyone has their own model of a true Batman, and it’s great we get to see them all. You don’t need to like every one, but personally I like seeing new versions, at least every once in a while.

Each different type of media can make the different aspects of Batman stand out. Video games and comics can take a slower pace and delve deeper into the detective work. Movies go for more action and adventure. The good ones always get a good mix of everything for the medium that it’s in.

A hero can’t stand there and act the part, they need decent villains. Batman has them in spades from Abattoir to Zelda the Great, and some you might have heard of. Gotham City is a hotbed of criminal activity, keeps The Dark Knight on his toes.

Batman has kept a lot of fans for seventy-five years and the best is yet to come.