Comics/Graphic Novels

Bat People

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As you may have gathered I’m a huge fan of all things DC. My main focus has always been on the tales and exploits of the Gotham related series. I have watched little bats fly the nest, seen villains become heroes and witnessed more deaths and comebacks than Madonna’s entire musical career. As always the first thing that springs to mind when Gotham is mentioned is Batman. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the guy as much as the next DC fan, but I have always found that the stories surrounding, or at least including his subordinates, offer a better read.

If you know your history, well, DC history, you’ll know that the first ‘Ying’ to Batman’s ‘Yang’, was the original Robin, Dick Grayson. Robin was introduced to attract a younger readership and add an almost ‘Watson’ like character to the series. Someone for Batman to play off on, the ultimate ‘Wingman’, if you will… Ahem. This proved to be a rewarding move as sales quickly doubled, thus proving that Batman works better as part of a team, rather than… Flying solo… (OK I’ll stop). Since then, there has been a multitude of Robins, and, from these ‘humble’ beginnings a batch of new, independent heroes were born.

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The mantle of Robin has proved to be the most sure-fire way of an aspiring hero becoming a fully-fledged superhero. Ok, it isn’t always plain sailing as things aren’t always ‘A’ to ‘B’ in the Bat Universe.  Take, for example the cases of Jason Todd or Stephanie Brown where, the former died and was reborn a psychopath, whilst the latter, in an attempt to prove herself, managed to start an all-out war. Both managed to become new entities in their own right and can credit their new found roles to the experience they gained from their former ward. However, both had to go through hell, and even death, to get there and both still bear the scars of their experiences.

So, numerous heroes have been born from the ashes of Robin ,such as Nightwing, Spoiler (who also had a stint as Batgirl), The Red Hood and Red Robin. However, some of the most rounded and interesting of Batman’s subordinates are those who were recruited from the fringes of Gotham and at times its seedy underbelly. However those characters, such as Catwoman, The Birds of Prey and Huntress will feature in another article where I will provide an insight into the women in Batman’s life, whilst, in another article I will focus on the mantle and the pressures of being Robin. So, in all, this article is just serving as a prelude to the articles that will follow. So until then, my friends I’ll leave you with this final thought. What would Batman do?


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