Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I hinted that I knew the possible direction of the identity of Batman post "Batman RIP" in this post. If Rich is right in his latest column, I was correct.

Have you read Rich's column yet? What do you think of these potential spoilers regarding Batman? Surprised? Believe it? Will it last? Is it a gimmick?

And has anyone really warmed up to Jason Todd yet? What can be done to make him somewhat likable? Should he be likable? Is he even a good unlikable -- you know, like Shia LaBeouf?

And one more time I must ask the question: do you prefer reboots, eternal youth, or generational succession?

My answer: I prefer generational succession -- or the feeling as if time is passing and people are changing and growing.

HOWEVER -- generational succession is absent in some of our most famous properties.

We get a little of it in Peanuts, but it is extremely slow and the characters never mature past childhood. Moreover -- I don't WANT to see Charlie Brown grow up. Unless Jason Yungbluth is drawing it.


  1. I liked the way Moore handled the passage of time in Supreme. It just goes to show that good writing can turn a "problem" like real-time vs. comic book-time into something really interesting.

  2. I actually like Jason quite a bit, ignoring Countdown totally. The teamup of him and Dick should be interesting. I am actually excited.

    I actually would have liked to see him take up the cowl however. Dick works wonderfully as Nightwing and has been out of Bruce's shadow for years and Tim has made the mantle of Robin his own, eclipsing Jason and Dick's roles, he is so much more than the boy wonder, he's his own person.

    Jason on the other hand, has had to fight for everything. He was never as naturally talented as the Dick or Tim, he has been fighing since he was orphaned, he was a street orphan, his mother betrayed him, leading to his mrder/near-murder(not sure what canon is about whether he really died), all the time he spent back on the streets as an amnesiac, his story is full of tragedy.

    Add to that his complete retracing of Bruce's journeys, I think he would have made a great next step for the mythos, one that could have stuck.

    Plus, I really dislike the Red Robin costume=\

  3. Anonymous12:19 PM

    I'm not sure if this is cool-cool or sick-cool, but I would get a kick out of seeing Jason Todd and Stephanie Brown form a crime-fighting partnership. The two dead Robins, kicking butt and taking names.

    Stranger things have happened... :)

  4. I also prefer gerational succession but, in my opinion, not ALL caracters are fit for it.

    But if ANY iconic character, precisely because of it's very nature - being a highly trained human beeing and not a god, or alien, or mutant os anything of the sort - is FIT for generational succession, it is Batman.
    And if ANYONE should be the successor to Bruce Wayne, it is Dick Grayson.

    If you follow Nightwing as I do, it HAS been hinting at something like that for the past months.
    ESPECIALLY in what comes to the ralationships between Grayson and other important characters of he Batman and DC Mythos, like Robin and Superman.

    I, for one, think Dick would make an AWESOME batman, albeit one VERY different from Bruce Wayne.

    He would bring a "Batman year one" feel to the books, where he would be finding his own way into the legend. But at the same time, because Dick is an experienced hero on his own right, the character wouldn't lose that "Batman can do anything" feel.

    So, in my opinion, I think it woud be AWESOME.

    That said, it WILL be short lived.
    And the reason for that is very simple: Hollywood.

    I assume WB is pretty happy with the result it got from The Dark Knight, and PRECISELY because of that it is very likely there will be a sequel.
    By the time the third Batman movie hits theaters, Bruce Wayne will almost SURELY be back under the cowl.

  5. "That said, it WILL be short lived.
    And the reason for that is very simple: Hollywood."

    Yeah, that's really the problem for me. And Bale said he'll stop playing Batman if they introduce Robin, so there's little chance of keeping a Dick Grayson/Tim Drake character in there long enough to maybe get the succession in the films.

    But in general, it seems you have to have the synergy going.

  6. "but I would get a kick out of seeing Jason Todd and Stephanie Brown form a crime-fighting partnership. The two dead Robins, kicking butt and taking names."

    now you see, that's actually an awesome idea.

  7. "'but I would get a kick out of seeing Jason Todd and Stephanie Brown form a crime-fighting partnership. The two dead Robins, kicking butt and taking names.'

    now you see, that's actually an awesome idea."

    Oooh, I SECOND that.

    I Also think it COULD be pretty cool to have a Tim Drake/Batman and Damian/Robin... If not for anything else, for the plain DISLIKE they have for one another...
    Talk about short lived though. Lol.

  8. I think I'm in the minority here, but I'd really like it if Tim Drake became Batman. Tim seems like the natural successor. Dick's his own hero. He doesn't need to become Batman. Tim's said he doesn't want to, but I feel like he'd be the best candidate anyway.

  9. Even without the demands of its' corporate overlords, I have a hard time taking any Morrison-fueled talk seriously, for two reasons:

    1) We've been down this road before. Anybody remember Knightfall?
    2) This isn't a case like, say, Bendis on Ultimate Spider-Man or his run on Daredevil, or Brubaker's run on Captain America, where the writer was more identified/tied to to the book and the story. The Morrison Bat-run has positively screamed Stunt Casting from day one.

  10. I also think Tim WOULD make a good Batman, maybe a BETTER Batman than Dick or even Bruce... Let's not forget he figured out Bruce was Batman at FIFTEEN.

    But n my opinion he's still to green to take the mantle, while Dick is already a seasoned hero.

    But if it DOES happen like LITG said, it shows a LOT of respect for Nightwing as a character, by NOT having Jason or Tim become Nightwing while Dick becomes Batman.

  11. You have to wonder how any Bat-succession would affect the Trinity, not just in its' own title, but in its' "team within the team" role in the JLA. Would Clark and Diana tell Dick about their double-secret meeting room in the Hall of Justice?

  12. RE: reboots vs. eternal youth vs. generational succession;

    with all the convoluted continuity I just wish they'd pick one and stick with it!

    With the big 2, I can see where re-boots are the way to go (don't want to confuse the movie goers who might be inspired to pick up a monthly, now and again) then have all the non-cannon stuff explore the heroes aging, having kids etc.

    But mixing that with the generational stuff? It just gets too damn confusing. As a casual, occasional comic book lover, I didn't even realize that Jason Todd didn't stay dead! I can't pick up anything in "mainstream continuity" anymore...

    However, I remember thinking in the mid-90's, if the Malibu or Dark Horse super-hero lines kept their momentum, it would have been cool to have real time, generational succession, a la Dr. Who or The Green Hornet inheriting the mantle from The Lone Ranger...

  13. "Even without the demands of its' corporate overlords, I have a hard time taking any Morrison-fueled talk seriously,..."

    Don't get me wrong, very few things in this world put me to sleep faster than a Grant Morrisson book.

    Still, in my opinion, Grayson as Batman IS an appealing idea. And one that was not explored NEARLY enough in Knightfall.

  14. I prefer succession as well, but I find it very interesting that DC is going that route while simultaneously seemingly bringing back Barry Allen into the universe. (Along with Hal Jordan, Ollie Queen, Jason Todd, etc...)

    It seems like DC loves succession in concept but are afraid to stick with it for any length of time.

    That said, I've been ready to see Dick Grayson as Batman for a long time now. I wish it would stick but I'm with the rest of you regarding permanency due to my above comments and the Hollywood influence.

  15. generational succession is the only way to go. while i do not want to see all characters go the strikeforce: morituri route, i hate the simpsons style never aging very much.

    yes i understand that these characters are properties that bring in mass amounts of cash for their respective owners, but what says that books like legends of the dark knight could not be done, focusing on earlier tales.

    but if not that i would rather see the large shared universes rebooted every 20-30 years than sticking to the notion that bart is in 4th grade for 20 years.

  16. Tim was younger than fifteen when he figured out Bruce was Batman. He first appeared at thirteen, and he figured it out at nine.

    Unless it's been retconned.

  17. "You have to wonder how any Bat-succession would affect the Trinity, not just in its' own title, but in its' "team within the team" role in the JLA. Would Clark and Diana tell Dick about their double-secret meeting room in the Hall of Justice?"

    Good point.

  18. Red Jay:

    I'm also intrigued by the idea of Dick G. taking over the mantle -- it would make for a great Brave & The Bold story starring him and Wally, no?

    At some point down the line, however, if you're keeping up with the Teen Titans, you know that Tim will wear the cowl, even though he keeps saying he doesn't want to be Batman "when he grows up."

  19. "Tim was younger than fifteen when he figured out Bruce was Batman. He first appeared at thirteen, and he figured it out at nine.

    Unless it's been retconned."

    No, you're right, my bad. Too much continuity to keep track.

  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  21. aboynamedart:

    I have been on and of the Titans, but I DO know Tim WILL take the mantle.
    And, like I said, I think he will one day make the BEST of all Batmen, but FOR NOW, not only he is not that interested, but he IS too green... Makes too many mistakes.

    Oh, and about the Brave And The Bold Story, I think that is anohet GREAT idea, but they would have to hurry, because Geoff Johns' Flash: Rebirth is coming and, after that, I have a feeling we won't be seeing too much of Wally in the red jumpsuit. :(

  22. I like the idea of Dick as Batman, but I think I'd much prefer Tim Drake. Its interesting that in Morrison's run, Tim has been presented as a more competent figure than Nightwing,and also smarter - recognizing Batman's slipping grip on reality way before Dick did.

    That said, either Dick or Tim get my vote as Batman - but if Tim loses a book entirely, I won't be too pleased with that.

    Of course, if LITG means that Batman and Robin will be Dick and Tim and Red Robin will be Jason, that's fine by me.

  23. I'm not interested.

    This has all been done before. No one can replace Bruce, just like no one can replace Steve Rogers.

  24. Okay... gonna play Devil's advocate.... if you could pick ANYONE from the DC Universe to replace Batman, whom would it be?

    I'll make it easier... You get three choices. First choice is any character who does not star in their own title. Second choice is anyone who does. Third choice can be any character who is dead or inactive. (Dead characters can be resurrected with a different secret identity, like Robin was.)

    Oh, and if you had to pick ONE style of Batman from the past seventy years, which one would it be? I prefer the Wayne Boring "chum" Batman c1940s.

  25. I oppose this kind of generational replacement for the reason that, with any iconic character worthy of the label, it weakens the character. Batman hasn't been consistently popular since 1939 because he's a flawed character concept.

    I mean, look at it like this. Which is the more intriguing character:

    Millionaire Bruce Wayne witnessed his parents' murder by a mugger as a child, and swore to devote his life to avenging them. To better strike terror into the hearts of a superstitious and cowardly lot, he becomes the Batman, dark avenger of the night.


    Boy aerialist Dick Grayson witnessed his parents' murder and was adopted by Bruce Wayne, who was secretly Batman. He became his partner in crime fighting, but eventually left Batman to find his own identity as Nightwing. Later, Batman died, and Dick Grayson takes up his mantle to continue his war on crime as Batman, dark avenger of the night.

    To my mind, the first has a kind of primal, mythic force, while the latter has a convoluted history that requires a good deal of interest in backstory that I can't imagine is shared by many people who do not already have an interest in the character of Dick Grayson.

  26. That bit of succession just makes sense. It's been set up since his first appearance, so it's only right.

    Todd is good depending on who writes him. In Nightwing the character was a waste of time. In The Search for Ray Palmer, there he was handled right. He has as much potential as Winter Soldier, but you need a writer with a clear vision on the character in order for it to succeed and live.

    As for the future, the one thing I will NEVER support is a reboot. A reboot takes absolutely NO SKILL WHATSOEVER to do. It's the easy way out. I'm a writer, and therefore I should be able to craft any kind of tale I want. So there's 40 years of what. You make it work FOR you, not AGAINST you. That said, eternal youth is good TO A POINT depending on properties (like Peanuts), but I'll always take generation succession. Spider-Girl is one of the best books Marvel puts out right now. Blue Beetle is also a pretty decent read (or was...I'm about 12 issues behind at this point...). Again, it all falls down to a writer who knows EXACTLY what they want to do with the character.

  27. I'm all for generational succession. When you stop being able to believe that Bruce Wayne could have been Batman all these years and had all these adventures, it's time for you to quit reading Batman comics and hand it off to the next generation. :)

    Seriously, I think that any attempt to make anyone else besides Bruce Wayne into Batman is a mistake and is doomed to failure. Bruce Wayne is Batman, Clark Kent is Superman. Everyone in the world knows it. The two of them, along with Sherlock Holmes, are the most recognizable fictional characters in existence, and everyone knows not just who they are, but their origins, histories, and prominent villains.

    To be honest, legacy characters in general fail a lot more often than they succeed; everyone remembers the Flash and Green Lantern, arguably the two best successes at creating a legacy character, but for every one enduring classic like that there are ten Doctor Mid-Nites, Blue Beetles, Hourmen, Atoms, Hawkmen, Doctor Fates, and Aquamen.

    (Literally--there have been two Doctor Mid-Nites since the original, neither of whom ever had their own series, a Blue Beetle whose series never made it past issue #30, two Hourman replacements, only one of whom even got a short-lived title, two Atoms, both of whom have been canceled, a Silver Age Hawkman who's been consigned to comic book limbo, two Doctor Fates who've been killed off, and an Aquaman replacement who seems to be destined for the scrapheap.)

    And those are the characters the general public isn't passionately attached to. Imagine what it's like trying to replace a genuine icon.

    Nah, I give this five years, tops.

  28. I've yet to see a single explanation or justification for this.

    It doesn't even make any sense from a marketing perspective.

    If it ain't broke... etc. etc.

  29. I think it would be interesting if both Dick and Tim assumed the Bat mantle despite one another. Dick and Jason take to the streets as one dynamic duo while Tim and Steph become the caped crusaders in their own right.

    More Batman, not less.

  30. @ Torsten Adair - If I could pick three people to be Batman who aren't Batman but already exist in the DCU they would be:

    Kate Spencer
    Ted Kord
    Vic Sage

  31. "I've yet to see a single explanation or justification for this.

    It doesn't even make any sense from a marketing perspective."

    Oh, that has a very simple explanation.

    Grant Morrisson is the most self-indulgent writer in the industry today and DC editorial is more than happy to cater to his very whim.

    But not to worry, they also have Geoff Johns (for now) to clean up the mess after Morrisson is done.

  32. I'm having a Desilu®!



  33. no one thinks Bruce is actually gonna die int RIP do they? Clearly he's going to have a mental collapse and then step down for a while. Bruce will be back in the suit by the end of the decade.

  34. Generational succession can work as a plot device (to tell a story or prove a point) but it could only be a permanent fix if it REALLY suited the character.

    When Azrael took over as Batman, it was an obvious story-telling mechanism designed to show why DC characters work better as moralists rather than jacked-up murderous 90's stereotypes. It was obviously just a temporary situation for the purpose of a specific story.

    For this new replacement to work, it'd have to be either Dick or Tim stepping into the batsuit and Tim is too young.

    But, although it can be a tricky business, I'd love to see them try as it's important to keep things fresh.

    I disagree with most superhero fanboys. Reboots and generational successions are vastly unpopular among the die-hard fans but I think they're absolutely necessary. The other option, eternal youth, is just DULL. It forces the cardinal sin in any creative medium: sameness.

    Stories and characterizations you're familiar with are just too easy and too boring. Reboots or legacies infuse new blood into the mix, but, again, I'm a strange cat: most of the time these reboots or legacies are rendered null as fans cry out for classic continuity and classic characters.

    Congrats on your new CLOAK & DAGGER gig! Hit it out of the park.

  35. For Charlie Brown and Peanuts grown up, the play "Dog Sees God" actually did a fun job of that - at least as fucked-up teenagers. :)