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Why No One Except Bruce Wayne Could Handle Being Batman

Updated on July 4, 2012

First let's establish his potential heirs from first to current: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne. Dick Grayson was Batman's first Robin and he is also known to be his prodigal son. Dick Grayson is the one whom Bruce is closest too and seems to care the most about even though he's hard on him. He is currently Nightwing. Jason Todd was Batman's first mistake, at least, what Batman feels was his mistake. Jason Todd was the second Robin, he was very different from Dick as he was much more impulsive and hard to control. Jason Todd was brutally beaten by the Joker with a crowbar and then left to die in a shed stocked with dynamite. Batman was too late to save him and he continues to blame himself. However, Jason was resurrected by Ra's Al Ghul and become The Red Hood. Tim Drake was the third Robin. He figured out Batman and Robin's identities and after Jason's death assumed the role of Robin. Unlike the other Robin's, Tim was not originally an orphan, however, after he becomes Robin, his mother died and his father was killed by Captain Boomerang. Tim becomes Red Robin and eventually leader of the Teen Titans. Finally, there is the current Robin: Damian Wayne. Damian is Bruce's actual, biological son, though all Robins are referred to be his sons. Damian is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul. He was raised by his mother and the League of Assassins until this point where Talia hands him over to Bruce. Damian is very disconnected from the world and does not seem to feel remorse nor really understand the meaning of true justice, but he is making progress.

We'll start from bottom to top in who could take over as Batman and why they wouldn't be able to.

Damian Wayne:

Damian is the least likely to be able to properly handle the Batman role. Not only is he far too young, but he does not understand what it is to be a hero, to be Batman. Damian is very intelligent and very skilled at engineering and building. He is also involved in the business at Wayne Enterprise alongside his father. However, Damian does not understand remorse. He kills criminals without a second thought because he feels that this is the only way to truly stop them. For Batman, this isn't justice. Killing those who kill make you just as bad as they are. To be Batman, you must be able to control yourself and to separate yourself from those who are bad. Damien is also very impatient. He often argues with Bruce about just going out and hunting down a villain when Bruce would rather take a day to heal and try to learn more about that person. Damian also makes decisions based on trying to prove himself to his father rather than think them out to the fullest. He constantly tries to fight with Dick and Tim as a way to establish himself as a superior Robin. He alsolashes out and acts on impulse rather than logic. This is shown especially during the Battle for the Cowl when, as a way to prove himself to Dick, he attacks Jason and almost gets himself killed.

Jason Todd:

Jason Todd is very close to Damian, but would be a slightly better choice because he does understand the importance of justice. But, like Damian, Jason kills people only with guns (or his knife). Jason also feels that ridding the world of the psychos and the criminals is the only real way to save it. Jason's skills lie in his detective ability. In Under the Red Hood he always seems to stay once step ahead of Batman in tracking down villains as well as already having a trap set up for them by the time Batman gets there. Jason is more of an anti-hero than a hero though. He also seems to be fueled by vengeance but not in the way Batman is. Jason clearly has a lot of emotional problems and lets those emotions get the best of him. A hero without a true cause is no hero. The emotional issues Jason carries with him are enough to make it virtually impossible for him to be Batman. During the Battle for the Cowl Jason actually begins to attempt to kill members of the “Bat-family”.

Tim Drake:

Tim is a good candidate, however, I just don't think he would be able to handle the strain. Tim is very smart in all aspects. He is a good detective and he is a flat out fast learner in pretty much any subject. But it seems to me Tim lacks the mental stamina to be Batman. Tim almost kills Captain Boomerang and when Batman “dies” in final crisis, Tim continues to be Red Robin but seems to stop caring about Gotham and only focus on finding Bruce. Though this is great dedication to his mentor, it is obvious that losses such as these are too great for Tim to handle. Being Batman means seclusion and the responsibility to do what is right for Gotham and if someone important dies, Batman must still go on. (Like when Bruce continued to be Batman even after Jason's death). Tim also has a brief falling-out with Bruce and again resorts to a form of seclusion to deal with it.

Dick Grayson:

Dick Grayson is the best possible option for anyone who could be Batman (he even does so for a bit during the Battle for the Cowl). Dick is the “prodigal son”, he is a born leader and a strategist. However, Dick is very lighthearted. He constantly makes jokes and he has a personality anyone would love. But as we see with Bruce in every comic, being Batman is a mental strain and even the most positive people can be consumed by the dark the cowl brings. There is also the immense pressure Dick feels to live up to Bruce's expectations. Being the favorite is a good thing, but it also means Bruce expects more from Nightwing. Dick constantly struggles with his master's lack of approval and becoming Batman furthers that pressure. During his time as Batman, Dick's personality changes and he becomes as cold as Batman. He takes the cowl despite Bruce's will for him not to, he seeks Bruce's respect and praise and it drives him into negativity. Had Bruce not returned, I think Dick probably would have cracked under the pressure.

The pressure that comes with being Batman is one only Bruce can handle. Yes, Bruce can be cold, but it is only because he has to be. The things he has seen, the trials he has gone through, no person could actually stay sane, except Bruce. He is a diamond in the rough and his dedication to Gotham keeps him strong. During the Court of Owls he almost loses himself and he does temporarily go insane after his time spent in a never-ending maze. However, Bruce somehow has a mental capacity that surpasses all other comic book characters and he thinks himself out of insanity. Although Batman is a symbol and stands for more than just Bruce Wayne, Bruce is the only person that can dawn that symbol and take the consequences that come with it.

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    • profile image

      Ana 

      3 years ago

      a sunshiny day! There's no reicpe this time, just a gorgeous photo – one of many taken by Andrea Dozier for her son's Lemondrops and Gumdrops first birthday party. I'm always in awe of

    • profile image

      Amory 

      3 years ago

      I've been lokinog for a post like this forever (and a day)

    • thejokethatkills profile image

      thejokethatkills 

      6 years ago

      Fascinating article and very well written. I think one of the greatest themes about Batman's character is, even though he is human, he still cannot be replaced. He has trained himself to physical and mental perfection and has an uncompromising morale and sense of justice. Such characteristics are not easily replaced and impossible to be done so in the same degree as Bruce. Gotham needs Bruce as Batman; he is the balance between madness and sanity.

    • cperuzzi profile image

      Christopher Peruzzi 

      6 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      That story, specifically, was a great resurrection of two silver age characters: Bat Mite and Batman Zur-en-arrh. Making both part of Batman's illusion was a matter of genius on Morrison's part.

    • harliquinn profile imageAUTHOR

      harliquinn 

      6 years ago

      Out of those I have read R.I.P. and I though that backup personality was really cool and it made a lot of sense. I appreciate the recommendations and I'm definitely going to check them out.

    • cperuzzi profile image

      Christopher Peruzzi 

      6 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      More than a little.

      I recommend the following for anyone who really wants to delve into the mind of Bruce Wayne.

      Batman: Ego

      Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth

      Batman and Philosophy

      The Dark Knight Returns (and any of the Batman and Robin by Frank Miller)

      Batman R.I.P. (Who creates a backup personality?)

      Mommy's dead. Daddy's dead. Brucie's dead.

    • harliquinn profile imageAUTHOR

      harliquinn 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for the compliments!

      @cperuzzi:

      I do agree, part of why Bruce can handle it is he's a little insane himself. That being said, I have read one comic where Damian was Batman and I felt he went a little overboard, but that's just me. I have not read the comics you are referring to with Tim though and that is something I'd like to read and it would probably change my analysis.

      I have seen Dick take over for Bruce and I did think he did a good job, however, no one (that I have read) has ever been there permanently, Bruce always came back, at least in the main realm of Batman. I was mostly looking at the "could they do this until they were physically incapable" as Bruce keeps at it until his body can't take it anymore in Batman Beyond. But, that doesn't mean 100% mean Dick or Tim couldn't do that. I like your points and I appreciate the input, you gave me some things I should try to read more on and perhaps take another look at this analysis.

    • cperuzzi profile image

      Christopher Peruzzi 

      6 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      Hmmmm...

      I'm not sure I completely agree with your analysis. I think the one thing we can agree up on is that Jason Todd is about a good a choice as Jean Paul Valley. Which is to say - not a good one.

      Three of the Robins have shown that they eventually can hack it as Batman. Would they be as good as Bruce Wayne? No, you need a certain type of insanity to be like that.

      The one fact that we need to acknowledge is that Bruce Wayne is a piece of fiction. The real person is when he puts on the cowl. Batman was born after the Waynes were shot in Crime Alley. Bruce's one man war on crime is done through dedication and the resources of the Wayne fortune.

      But I digress.

      Dick Grayson has been Batman more than once. He's proven to be a decent Batman - if not one to be a bit more lighthearted and talkative. He certainly is the equal of his mentor when it comes to the art of detection.

      An alternate world version of Tim Drake took the mantle in an older version of the Teen Titans. Drake was a formidable Batman and certainly was up to taking all of the precautions that Bruce Wayne had in his battle against crime.

      Damian Wayne, shortly after his introduction, was shown to be Batman far in the future. Only he was on the run against Commissioner Barbara Gordon. Damian Wayne would be the last of the line. What we know about DW is that he was present when A Batman was killed. Whether it was Bruce Wayne or Dick Grayson remains to be seen.

      Still, this was a good hub with an interesting analysis. Well done.

    • profile image

      AaronHubb89 

      6 years ago

      Great hub

    • SxECreator profile image

      SxECreator 

      6 years ago

      Fantastic hub. I enjoyed reading. Great job indeed

    • profile image

      Ghost32 

      6 years ago

      Wow, am I out of touch--didn't know there WERE any Robins other than Dick Grayson.

      Old School all the way...:)

      Voted Up & Stuff.

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