I’ve been thinking about this ever since the entire debacle with Damian Wayne was announced. For anyone who doesn’t know, Damian Wayne is Bruce Wayne’s son, born to Talia al Ghul. Damian became the new and latest Robin, coming in after Stephanie Brown was Robin for a short stint, and following the legacy set forth by Tim Drake, Jason Todd and Dick Grayson. Damian Wayne was killed, and according to writers and editors, it was done to give more tragedy.
Anyway, that should bring us to the fore front of the conversation, now, before I really get into it, I have to build myself a protective fort.
Okay, now that the fort has been constructed, onto my talk.
Batman, by himself without his backup cast, is really, really boring. There, I said it. Batman, who some think is the star of his own series, is actually the least interesting character in his own series and his own universe. Had it not been for the Rogue’s Gallery of Batman’s (which was a phrase ripped off from the Flash), then Batman would have continued to be really dull. Had it not been for that succession of Robins, then Batman would have been pretty much a third tier hero. Had it not been for the three Batgirls, then Batman would have had zero interesting aspects. Even having the Huntress, both Helena Bertinelli and Helena Wayne, was actually making Batman interesting.
To be honest, Batwoman in her current run is far more interesting than Batman.
Even with the backup cast of Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Robin, Red Hood, Nightwing, Red Robin, Batgirl, Birds of Prey, and Batwoman, Batman is still a really boring character. The only time since the post DC Crisis of the mid 1980s that Batman has been interesting was when Dick Grayson became Batman for a short period of time. Let’s face it, the current version of Batman is just as Reginald D. Hunter said; a conservatives wet dream. He’s a rich guy who bought and made lots of toys and goes beating up bad guys in street level crime. Why not go after a corporate shill who happens to be pushing through bad legislation in order to make more money. That would be interesting.
But no, Batman has to go beating up guys who can’t make ends meet and are forced to work as henchmen for the Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and others. Batman sure helps out the private prison industrial complex, making sure that those cells remain filled at all times.
A while back Stan Lee had a hand in “creating” Batman in his Just Imagine series with DC Comics. That version of Batman, an African American boxer who had to deal with corporate crime, was far more interesting than what the current version of Batman has become.
Batman is only as good as his supporting cast, and that being said he must be good, because his supporting cast is awesome. From Nightwing to Robin to Batgirl to Batwoman. But the real problem is that while is supporting cast is awesome (of that, there is no doubt), Batman is still really boring.