Dick Grayson is the Batman. Bruce Wayne may be dead (or is he?!?!) but Batman lives on.
There have been many changes to the Batman universe. The cave is abandoned, Dick has moved Batman’s base of operations to below Wayne tower, in the center of Gotham. Robin is no longer a child who wants to be trained by the Batman. Damian Wayne, the new Robin, feels like he is ready to continue his father’s work. Damian was raised by villains and assassins but his father’s blood still coursed through his veins and made him want to be a hero. He is all of ten years old but can hold his own while fighting Gotham’s criminals. Damian also has a brilliant mind for technology. Before his first official mission as Robin, he had built a Batmobile that can fly.
Unfortunately all of those great qualities are overshadowed by Damian’s immense ego. He believes that Dick Grayson is not worthy of becoming Batman and does not respect Dick enough to want to be trained by him. Damian is brash and rushes headlong into situations because he does not think he can be beat. Damian also did not inherit any of his father’s detective skills. He thinks that he can just beat the information he needs out of people. Dick Grayson will have his hands full trying to teach this kid, who could grow to be his father’s equal and maybe surpass him.
Alfred is still Batman’s constant friend but, unlike his relationship with Bruce, Dick shares his feelings with Alfred and wants his input. Alfred feels more like a father figure to Dick more than he ever did with Bruce. After a particularly bad start as Batman, Grayson talks to Alfred about what happened. Alfred reminds Dick that he should look at Batman as a role to play, not as a burden he must bear.
Dick Grayson has big shoes to fill. Bruce Wayne was one of the most respected heroes among his peers and one of the most frightening figures to his enemies. Batman stood next to Gods and earned their admiration. Dick Grayson knows that he can’t be Bruce, but he knows that he can be Batman. Dick has all of the skills needed to carry the mantel and do so proudly. Dick must earn the respect of everyone in Gotham again. He did so as Robin, then again as Nightwing, and now he has to as Batman.
As (obviously) a huge comic dork, I wasn’t sure how good the new Batman and Robin series would be with Dick Grayson and Damian as the dynamic duo. I was happy that the first two issues put all of those fears to bed. The classic relationships in the Batman world; Batman and Robin, Bruce and Alfred, Batman as Gotham’s police force; have been turned on their head and it is full of possibilities. Damian is unlikable as Robin, but his skill can’t be denied and it will be great to see how Dick tries to help him become a man. Dick is already great and is not losing himself to become Batman. Dick and Bruce are very different and it shows. With the third comic in the series coming out today, I am happy to say it is great so far and will hopefully continue. I can’t be the only one that wants to see the new Batman take on the good old Joker!