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Tropes shared by the whole Batfamily
- Badass Family
- Badass Normal
- Bat Family Crossover: Trope Namer
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Batman has had intense training for more than a decade to prepare for his war on crime. He has also given nearly equally intense training to all of his proteges.
- Color-Coded Characters: Batman is blue, Robin is red, and Batgirl is purple when they work as a trio especially early in their careers. Once people start taking on new identities and new characters fill the old mantles it gets more complicated and irrelevant.
- Combat Pragmatist: As Batman once said, it's not fighting unfair, it's winning.
- Crazy-Prepared: It's how they're able to keep up with their superpowered colleagues.
- Does Not Like Guns: Except for Damian, who's been trained from birth to use them, but he comes to abide by this rule of the Bat-family while with Dick. Jason and Kate Kane are also exempt.
- Dysfunction Junction: See their individual sections. The DC Universe seems to have a compulsion against giving any of the Batfamily a happy life.
- It's an explicit editorial mandate (with the New 52, at least) that no DC hero may have a happy personal life or be married. It has also been mandated that members of the Bat Family have to have miserable personal lives.
- It's even been mentioned now and then that Batman's mother's side of the family may well be suffering "the curse of Kane", as virtually anyone connected in some way to Bruce's mother's family tree suffers misfortune.
- The Team: In general, Batman is The Leader, Robin is the Kid Sidekick and Batgirl is The Chick.
- More specifically, Bruce Wayne/Batman is The Leader and later the Big Good of the Batfamily, mostly levelheaded and mastermind type. Dick Grayson/Nightwing is The Lancer, his cheery personality as a child and charisma as an adult make him a foil to the brooding Bruce, and a much more respected leader whenever he takes charge. Barbara Gordon/Oracle becomes Mission Control and Team Mom feeding others intelligence reports from afar. Jason Todd/Red Hood is the Token Evil Teammate as a Fallen Hero that is sometimes on their side but just as likely a villain. Tim Drake/Red Robin is a Gadgeteer Genius variety Smart Guy, and generally Bruce's Number Two since Dick usually rides solo. Damian/Robin is the Young Gun and current Kid Sidekick, who's dark, overly ambitious and still adjusting to Bruce's code. Cassandra Cain/Black Bat is The Quiet One, and Stephanie Brown/Spoiler the The Chick as the most upbeat and hopeful of the family. Alfred is consistently in the background as Old Retainer Team Dad and occasionally Battle Butler. Selina Kyle/Catwoman is the most recurring Sixth Ranger bouncing back and forth between a heroic and a villainous Dark Chick.
- Thou Shall Not Kill
"Teacher, mentor, partner, but never a father... of course, Master Bruce, of course."
Probably the most famous butler in existence (even though he's often closer to being a valet), in current continuity Alfred and his ancestors have served the Waynes for generations; when Thomas & Martha Wayne were shot, he was the one who raised Bruce. (In the Golden and Silver Ages, Alfred joined the Wayne household shortly after Bruce had started his Batman career.) It seemed natural, then, that Bruce trusted him the most. From the start, Alfred knew that Bruce was Batman - in fact, he has often assisted his master with his latest experiments/inventions, even though he sometimes wishes that his master will settle down and live a normal life.During several critical junctures in Batman's career, Alfred was the key factor in his survival. A master surgeon, Alfred was almost always the one to patch him back up after particularly gruesome battles, since Batman couldn't very well simply go to the hospital. Alfred can be said to be the closest thing to a father figure that Bruce has - his advice is the often the only one that Bruce gives a second thought about. Or, as Michael Caine has said, he's more of the replacement mother figure in contrast with Gordon's replacement father.
- Almighty Mom: Alfred is the quintessential male example.
- Amateur Sleuth: Alfred had a great desire to be a detective in the early years after he was added to the cast. He studied detective work via correspondence course, and once even took a month's vacation so he could go to a nearby town and be a detective.
- An Arm and a Leg: In Endgame his hand is cut off by the Joker. He refuses to have it reattached with Bruce presumed dead, though he does get a new one attached after Bruce's return after Superheavy..
- Badass Grandpa
- Badass Normal
- Battle Butler: Perhaps the ur-example. Not exactly a battle butler, but his skill at espionage and disguise rivals Batman's, and as a retired secret agent he knows his way around a shotgun. A former combat medic, he's also a skilled surgeon, and has served as Batman's private physician over the years (just think how tough that job must be...)
- Beware the Nice Ones: Alfred is undoubtedly one of the sweetest, kindhearted elderly gentlemen you will ever meet... but unlike the rest of the Batfamily, he will bust a cap in your ass if he deems it necessary.
- Breakout Character: Alfred was originally intended to be a comedic foil to Batman and Robin, but eventually got more serious. The Post-Crisis version had him as an out and out Battle Butler, and surrogate father figure to the entire Bat-Clan.
- Characterization Marches On: Alfred started out as a goofy, clean-shaven, overweight butler.
- This is a minor case of Ret Canon. In the 1943 Batman film serial Alfred was played by William Austin, who was tall and thin, and had the moustache. To match this, comic book Alfred promptly went off to a health resort to lose weight and grew a moustache.
- Combat Pragmatist: When he has to fight, he either prefers to strike from behind or to be the only member of the household who's perfectly willing to bring a gun to a fistfight. One issue of Nightwing had him save Nightwing from a hulking metahuman via both, by shooting the villain in the back with rubber bullets... which he only used instead of the normal kind because Robin pestered him to.
- Cool Old Guy: For just one example, the guy listens to The Prodigy. It's canon!◊
- Deadpan Snarker: Constantly makes ironic (but highly polite and proper) comments on Master Bruce's lifestyle.Batman: Jim will pull through!
Alfred: Or what, master Bruce? You'll dress up like a giant bat and haunt the night for the rest of your life?
- Dramatic Drop: When he sees that Stephanie Brown is still alive, he drops a tea tray. Steph comments that it's good to see him lose his cool demeanor.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: Subverted; the pencil mustache that he's normally portrayed with is usually associated with villains.
- Go-to Alias: Alfred tends to use "Thaddeus Crane" (his middle names) whenever he has to go undercover.
- Heroic BSOD: Alfred's unflappable attitude breaks down whenever Bruce is seriously injured or thought to be dead to the point that he refuses to reattach his hand after Bruce is thought dead at the end of Endgame saying that he has no master to serve, and pitifully begs Bruce not to become Batman again once he recovers his memory.
- Honest Advisor: Alfred, who knows Bruce Wayne better than anyone, isn't afraid to tell him when he's taking himself too seriously or when he's doing something that probably won't end well. He's also the person Bruce most respects, and probably the only person he trusts completely.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Batman's other sidekick. Seriously, Alfred is in charge of: cooking, cleaning, creating convenient excuses for the Bat-Family's absences, emergency medical attention, acting as mission control, emotional counseling and support, teaching Bruce how to be a father, being Bruce's surrogate father, grounding the Batfamily with his trademark snark, sewing GPS trackers onto all their clothes, being a chauffeur (which includes flying private jets), making sure the Batfamily actually gets to sleep, on top of organizing every Robin in Gotham City. Bruce values the man for a reason.
- The Jeeves: What do you expect from one of the most classic butlers in existence?
- The Medic
- Mission Control: Is frequently this for the Bat-Family due to his more-lacking combat skills and the fact that he needs to be present at the manor to come up with excuses for the Bat-Family. He's also this to the Robins in We Are Robin, organizing them under the callsign, "The Nest".
- Old Retainer: He was the friend of Thomas and Martha Wayne before they got murdered. He continues to refer to Bruce and Dick as "Master Bruce" and "Master Dick" mostly as a term of affection; he still sees them as his boys, rather than grown men.
- Papa Wolf: See Beware the Nice Ones/Combat Pragmatist. He will step in to assist his charges if he has to. On one occasion, he even shot a PREDATOR that was overwhelming Batman.
- Parental Substitute: Openly acknowledged in a holo-message Bruce left to play in the event of his death. He refers to Alfred as his father and thanks him for raising him.
- Following the events of Final Crisis, he quietly grieves, "My son has died."
- Retired Badass: Former S.A.S soldier who still can kick ass if he wants to.
- Secret Keeper
- Servile Snarker: We actually considered naming this trope after him.
- Sharp-Dressed Man
- Team Dad
- Undying Loyalty: Alfred will never EVER abandon Batman.
- Except for the one or two arcs where he temporarily retires, because he thinks he's holding Batman back from growing up ("Officer Down", for example).
- Vague Age: Alfred's age in relation to Bruce hasn't been determined outside of "older than Bruce". This has led adaptations to vary widly with his age in relation to Bruce's such as him being in his early 50s either when Bruce is starting out as Batman or when Thomas and Martha Wayne died, to being in early 70s as a 30 year old Bruce Wayne starts his career as Batman, to being in his mid-60s as a Bruce who's in his 40s and been active for 20 years.
- You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: Alfred calling Batman 'Bruce' and not Master Bruce, is a rare occurrence, and only happens when something is very, very bad, or when it's very, very heartwarming.
Batwoman I (Katherine Webb Kane)
Before you ask, no, Batwoman was not Batman's wife. Not even in the Silver Age (no matter what that one comic cover on Superdickery.com says). Kathy was, however, designed to be a possible romantic interest for the Dark Knight (mainly to dispel the Ho Yay Shipping between him and Robin), as well as an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Superman's "family members", such as Supergirl. As a rich heiress and a former circus performer, Kathy's life was rather untouched by tragedy, and she mainly became a crimefighter because of her attractions to Batman. Eventually, her niece Betty joined in on the fun as well, as Robin's love interest Bat-Girl.Although rather sexist by our standards (she had a utility purse!), Kathy and her niece, the original Bat-Girl, were fairly popular back in the fifties and sixties. So, of course, when the Dark Age ensued, she, her niece, and a handful of other characters were wiped from the Caped Crusader's life (it's actually more complicated than that, as Kathy existed on both Earth-1 and Earth-2, and when Crisis on Infinite Earths is brought into the equation...)In the last few years she was reintroduced into the Post-Crisis universe by Grant Morrison as Katherine Kane nee Webb. A wealthy widow with an eye for thrills and dangerous men. At some point during her fling with Batman, she was murdered. Though the circumstances of her death have recently been put into scrutiny.
- Action Girl
- Back from the Dead: Thought to be this at one point, where the current Batwoman fought her in an abandoned carnival. Though it was revealed she was only an impostor. Though it's strongly implied she may be less dead than they thought. She's then shown to still be alive at the end of Grant Morrison's New 52 "Batman Inc." run, having become an assassin. She then tells Bruce to not bother finding her.
- Becoming the Mask: After she had fallen for Batman, she tried to get out of her deal with Spyral.
- The Chick: Utility purse, high heels, powder puff filled with mace, she's got it all.
- Comforting the Widow
- Cousin Oliver: Her original incarnation during the Silver Age. In recent flashbacks to this period, even Dick was shown thinking the idea was stupid.
- Damsel in Distress: Often enough
- Legacy Character
- May-December Romance: She was older than Bruce at the time. When trying to break things off with Bruce, she claimed that she was too old to be running around in costumes with a younger guy like him.
- Name of Cain: She married into the Kane family, and people claim his death was caused by the "Kane family curse". Judging by what's happened to the family of other people sharing the name, how can you blame them?
- Posthumous Character: These days she is usually only shown through flashbacks of Bruce's past, and established to have died during his early years.
- Put on a Bus: After Crisis on Infinite Earths, she was supposedly erased from existence. Up until Grant Morrison brought her back during Batman R.I.P. via flashbacks.
- Retirony: She was murdered only after she decided to hang up the cape for good.
- Stuffed In The Fridge: Her initial demise in 1979.
- The Vamp: She was initially out to seduce Batman to uncover his identity for the crime league, Spyral.
Batwoman II (Katherine "Kate" Kane)
Come the Modern Age, Kathy has been revamped as Katherine "Kate" Kane, a lesbian and a Jew who is much less of a Distaff Counterpart to Batman. During the 52 weeks following Infinite Crisis, she filled in for the Caped Crusader while he went on his self-discovery journey. She became the star of Detective Comics after Batman's "death" in Final Crisis. The first issue sold out despite the notoriously low popularity of female-headed superhero comics and the old claims that gay characters don't sell.Previous to her series, in 52, DC had some trouble fleshing out the character. She was basically a Lipstick Lesbian with Combat Stilettos. However, when she got her own series, both these traits were promptly dropped. While Kate is definitely not butch, she does wear her hair short out of costume and insists on wearing tuxedos to dances. She also now wears practical flats in costume. Now the tropes that define Kate are:
- Action Girl
- Affirmative Action Legacy: The new incarnation is Gay and Jewish.
- Angsty Surviving Twin: Well, she THOUGHT she was...
- Anti-Hero: Kate decided to become a vigilante crimefighter as an outlet and expression of her depression, listlessness and refusal to accept the decision of society to refuse her help.
- Badass Gay
- Being Good Sucks: Ever since her mother and twin sister were murdered, Kate Kane only had one dream, and that was to serve her country. When rumors began to circulate that she was gay she was given the opportunity to say it was a mistake and have the entire affair swept under the rug. She refuses, unwilling to compromise her personal integrity even for something this important, and subsequently loses the only dream she has.
- Daddy's Girl: Her father was her main line of support, supplying her with information and gadgets as she began her career as Batwoman. Issue #0 of her solo series reveals that their relationship has been drastically altered after the revelations of Kate's childhood.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: A large section of her Detective Comics run covers the years after she was expelled from West Point, where the running theme (and commentary from friends and family) is that she is listless and undriven, and that she does not know what to do with her life.
- Fiery Redhead
- Goth: After her initial appearances in 52, she started wearing black and grey casual wear rather than fashionable red dresses.
- Heroic Sacrifice: When Kate is forced to resign from the United States Military Academy at West Point she is first given the option of denying the affair and having the event swept under the rug. She will not deny that she is gay, so she admits to the charge and is discharged. However, she has a third option, which is to say nothing (Neither confirm or deny the accusation) which would result in an official investigation that could potentially rule that the "charges" were incorrect, allowing her to stay in the military without actually lying to a superior officer. Before Kate makes any definitive statement she first asks if there is anybody else under investigation, and when she hears that nobody else has been accused she confesses. If she remained silent and there was an investigation, her girlfriend, Sophie Moore, could have been discovered as well. Kate accepted discharge, from the only dream she had in life, in order to keep her lover from being discovered.
- Honour Before Reason: When confronted by her commanding officer over accusations that she is gay, Kate is given the option of denying the charge and having the entire affair swept under the rug. However, she admits to the charge and resigns from the United States Military Academy at West Point, quoting the Cadet Honor Code as she does: "A cadet shall not lie, cheat or steal, nor suffer others to do so... I'm Gay."
- Lady in Red: In her very first appearance in 52 she is dressed in a long, flowing red dress, and she wears out that dress.
- Lipstick Lesbian: As Renee Montoya says, "Kate Kane has the kind of beauty that leaves you breathless" when she appears for the first time. Her redesign for Detective Comics, as drawn by Williams, seems to deliberately play around with mixed butch and femme elements in her civilian wear, like wearing a tux with feminine hair and make-up, or a halter-necked top with a buttoned shirtfront and tie printed on the front.
- Long-Lost Relative:
- Her twin sister, Beth, turns out to be alive... and unfortunately evil.
- As of Batwoman 17, it's hinted that Mr. Bones is Beth and Kate's brother, or at least related to them. Though this turns out just to be a delusion on Bones's part.
- Military Brat: Kate's father was a SpecOps trooper, and her mother an Intel officer.
- Military Superhero: Was a cadet at West Point and well on her way to become an outstanding Army officer... until she quit because of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. She sees her superheroics as her new vocation in life, and her Army training pays off a thousandfold.
- Name of Cain
- Polar Opposite Twins: Kate and Beth's completely conflicting ideologies.
- Red-Headed Hero
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead
- Technical Pacifist: She has no qualms with roughing up her enemies, or even breaking the skull of a mutant fish-faced crocodile creature, but killing is off-limits.
- Twin Desynch: Played painfully straight; Beth has altered her appearance so much that her own twin sister couldn't recognize her.
- Twofer Token Minority: The newest incarnation is lesbian and Jewish, and they manage to work both angles into her stories logically as she celebrates a mixed Hanukkah/Christmas holiday season with her on-again, off-again girlfriend.
- Will Not Tell a Lie: She refused to lie about her sexual orientation in the army, which is why she was dishonorably discharged.
Batman V (Terry McGinnis)
Forty years into the future, Batman hasn't been seen in Gotham for decades, but 16-year-old Terry McGinnis, an ex-juvenile delinquent whose father was murdered on the orders of Derek Powers, the corrupt CEO of Wayne Enterprises after a hostile takeover, accidentally stumbles upon the secret that the reclusive billionaire, Bruce Wayne, was in fact the legendary Batman. Bruce isn't happy about the kid finding this out and is especially unhappy when said kid calls him out on his inaction over the corruption that still plagues Gotham. But after some bonding over some breaking and entering and stopping chemical weapons from being distributed, Bruce eventually decides to offer Terry the chance to be trained as the new Batman in Neo-Gotham.Later, about 15 years into Terry's career as the Tomorrow Knight, it is revealed that Bruce is Terry's biological father. The head of Project Cadmus, Amanda Waller, had over written Terry's father's reproduction DNA with Bruce's. Her reasons being that she believed the world needed a Batman once Bruce was gone and she was hell bent on creating one. However, the next step in the process, to kill Terry's parents in front of him as a child, fell through and Project Batman Beyond was abandoned thereafter. The fact that Terry became Batman anyway was completely a coincidence.In his crime fighting, Terry usually has Bruce's help via radio as well as quite a few advanced toys in his combat suit, including flight, limited invisibility, enhanced strength, and a whole lot more. Unlike his predecessor, Terry likes to talk and rile his opponents. He is decidedly less cynical and jaded and thus has a far healthier view of the role of Batman. Terry sees being Batman as an active redemption for his past sins as a criminal and a "bad kid" but he's also not afraid to enjoy the perks of the job and how it can be the coolest thing in the world.The Terry McGinnis character started out in the animated series Batman Beyond, one shot, while meeting Bruce for the first time since his a show that was pitched as Batman in high school. Defying all odds, the show was a runaway hit. In 2010, after nearly a decade of lobbying and one or two teaser appearances, DC officially made Terry and his future world part of the DCU multiverse with Terry officially appearing first in Superman/Batman Annual #4, then in his own now ongoing series titled Batman Beyond.These adventures, however, only took place in the alternate world of Earth-12 of the DC multiverse. Terry has since been adopted into the current mainstream DCU continuity where he is the fifth known incarnation of Batman (after Bruce, Jean-Paul, Dick, and Damian) and is now under the guidance of Damian Wayne instead of Bruce. The poor kid.
- The Atoner: Terry believes his time as Batman makes up in some small part for all the trouble he caused as a delinquent.
- Break Them by Talking: Terry pulled one of these over on the Joker.
- Badass Normal: He can still kick ass outside the suit.
- Canon Immigrant: He was very popular, but the setting of his story seventy years into the future, as well as being a new Batman, were significant roadblocks in allowing him to be included in the comics. His entrance was delayed for over a decade.
- Clothes Make the Superman: The suit isn't invulnerable, but it was at first the only thing allowing Terry to be in the field without being torn to shreds before he got more training.
- Cool Car: His Batmobile flies.
- Dating Catwoman: Terry had his own version of this on the show and now there's a (new) Catwoman in the new comic.
- Deadpan Snarker: "A huge smoking hole. Could be a clue."
- Delinquent: Terry used to be a criminal when he was a kid, but seemed to be scared straight by juvie hall.
- Terry's own particular form of Combat Pragmatism draws heavily from his street fighting days; in fact, he's one of the dirtiest fighters in the bat-family (which is saying something).
- Depending on the Writer: his need to rely on the suit's abilities or not at least in the DCAU to help him at first but later on he's shown being just as good as Bruce is out of the suit as well has in it.
- High School Sweethearts: Terry and Dana. In the future, Dana will eventually know Terry is Batman, and they'll get married.
- Legacy Character: He's the second or fifth Batman depending on the continuity you follow.
- New Neo City: Terry operates in Neo-Gotham.
- Ordinary High-School Student: "Until a moment of violence brought him to the home of Bruce Wayne....."
- Secret Legacy: Thanks to DNA replacement therapy that Warren McGinnis unknowingly went through, Terry is Bruce Wayne's son.
- Redheaded Stepchild: One of the biggest signs that Bruce was his biological father. Since Mary and Warren McGinnis were red- and light brown-haired respectively, only one of his grandparents could have had black hair. Meaning it was a serious genetic stretch for Terry to have it, let alone his little brother too.
- Troubled, but Cute: Following the trend of the Bat-family, if not the entire comic book genre, Terry is a handsome guy with a troubled past.
- You Fight Like a Cow: Terry likes to talk when he's kicking your ass.Ma Mayhem: This is getting old, Batman.
Terry: Look who's talking.
Bat-Girl / Flamebird / Hawkfire (Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Kane/Betty Kane)
During Pre-Crisis, Betty Kane was the niece of Kathy Kane and dressed up along with her aunt in order to meet their heroes (and potential love interests) Batman and Robin. She was routinely turned down by Robin, as seen below, but that didn't deter her! That is, until the Crisis on Infinite Earths occurred. Post-Crisis, Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Kane (pronounced the same way, mind you!) was a teenaged tennis prodigy who, after becoming infatuated with the red and green fellow with a cute butt and a domino mask, decided to become a superheroine herself. From there, she created the identity of Flamebird, making a metajoke on "Nightwing and Flamebird", a Kryptonian superhero legend that there really wasn't a way for Bette to know about.She was part of the Teen Titans for a while and did her best to attract that cutie Dick Grayson, eventually failing and giving up on the whole superheroine thing. But not being a superheroine and just being a tennis prodigy with perfect grades and lots of money got boring after a while and so she attempted to reignite her Flamebird identity. So far, it's not going so well. After an incident where she is gravely injured, she adopts a darker attitude towards crime fighting and has renamed herself Hawkfire.Additionally, Post-Crisis Bette Kane is the cousin of new Batwoman Kate Kane and looks up to her greatly, even not knowing she's that red and black bat-shaped thing running about Gotham. Although that may change sometime soon...
- Action Girl: At some points, written as practically being in it partially for the thrill of it all.
- Faux Action Girl: Though alternatively, her Pre-Crisis Bat-Girl incarnation as well as her initial Post-Crisis appearances came off as these, as she was more concerned with showing off to look good and to try to gain her crush's attention.
- All Love Is Unrequited: To her dismay.
- Ascended Fangirl: This is how she started.
- Canon Immigrant
- The Chick: As Bat-Girl she had a utility purse like her aunt, as well as wearing a dress and impractical heels to fight crime with.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Turned into one beginning with Batwoman's run in Detective Comics, as an artistic contrast to her cousin. Later colorists however, have reverted her back to having lighter skin (but never as light as Kate's).
- '80s Hair: Initially had an outrageous perm when introduced as Flamebird.
- Girls Have Cooties: Robin's attitude to Bat-Girl, which rather undermined the whole "See? Love interest! Not gay!" thing.
- Magic Skirt: As Bat-Girl, and to an extent with her first Flamebird costume (though she did wear tights underneath).
- Plucky Girl
- Retcon: Her history as Bat-Girl never happened in the Post-Crisis era, so readers are supposed to imagine her as Flamebird in any instances where she was with the original Teen Titans. Unless you count her cameo in Grant Morrison's Batwoman story as canon, but that's been rendered moot by the New 52.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Her middle name is usually spelled "Elizabeth", but was spelled "Elisabeth" in Sean McKeever's run of Teen Titans.
- Stalker with a Crush: Could be seen as this in her early career as Flamebird, and as Bat-Girl.
- Stepford Smiler: Implied in her appearance in the Hawk and Dove Annual, by Dove's analysis of her personality that she's actually a lonely and depressed girl desperate for company and contact with others.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Subverted, she get's maimed by the Hook, and it gives Kate more angst, as well as directly leading to The DEO figuring out Kate's identity, and leaves her in a coma for most of the "To Drown the World" Arc. However, she gets out, copes with the PTSD, and begins to take Crime fighting more seriously. She trains with her uncle, and joins in on the final battle, taking out the Hook, and helping beat Bloody Mary.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the Beast Boy mini-series.
- Took another in the Batwoman ongoing, becoming Hawkfire.
Ace the Bat-Hound
Ahh, the Silver Age. In this era of lightheartedness, sidekicks were abound, both human (or at least humanoid) and animal. Over in the Superman titles, Krypto the Superdog had made his debut, so a question was raised, "Why can't Batman have a canine sidekick as well?" And so Ace the Bat-Hound was born.With his identity as Bruce Wayne's guard dog, Ace fought alongside his master and his ward in their never ending crusade against crime... at least until Crisis on Infinite Earths where he was by and large abandoned by DC. Ace re-appeared in 1991 as a dog living in the Batcave, no longer wearing the Bat-Hound mask, but disappeared again after the No Man's Land storyline. In more recent times, Ace has made regular appearances on the animated Krypto the Superdog television series. Bruce Wayne also had a dog named Ace in Batman Beyond, who even got to be the focus of one rather touching episode.
A new 'bat hound' has appeared in the New 52. Named Titus, he is the pet of Damian who was bought by Batman for him.
- Canine Companion
- Cool Pet
- Gratuitous Animal Sidekick
- Heroic Dog
- Multiple-Choice Past: Each time he's adapted to a new continuity, his origin is heavily revised to justify Batman having a dog. Did he help Batman anytime his owner kept him at Bruce's care? Batman got him from a Native American? Was he a dog trained for illegal fights who escaped and was found by Bruce? A dog given to Damian?
- Evil-Detecting Dog: He didn't trust AzBats and remained away from him, in a hidden section of the Batcave, alongside Harold.
- Race Lift: A German Shepherd in the Silver Age, while his Post-Crisis version is a puggle. Titus is a Great Dane.
- Team Pet
Azrael II / Batman II (Jean-Paul Valley)
Batman during the Knightfall arc.So, anyway, Jean-Paul Valley was just an ordinary postgraduate student in Computer Science at Gotham University, when his father stumbled into his dorm, bleeding to death. Just before he died, good ol' dad informed him that he was actually the most recent in a long line of enforcers/assassins who worked for the Sacred Order of St. Dumas. So, after a series of misadventures involving a trip to Switzerland, training with a short old guy, allying with Batman, and defeating the weapons dealer that killed his father, Jean-Paul had learned that every Azrael was trained by being subjected to a series of subliminal messages (known as "the System," this training was "programmed" into an individual, and remained latent until activated by hypnosis) since childhood. Inspired by Batman, he rejected the Order of St. Dumas and saved the Caped Crusader from death. He even filled in for Batman for a while during the Knightfall arc, while the Dark Knight was incapacitated. Unfortunately, Azbats went crazy due to the System, and made a suit of armor to replace the Batsuit, which included adding a frikkin' flame-thrower and claws to it. The whole point of the arc was to show fans who wanted Batman to be more like The Punisher what would happen if that want became reality. Anyway, when the fan reaction was largely negative, they had Batman reclaim the title in a battle where he outwitted Jean-Paul, who finally came back to his senses when he took off the Azbatsuit's helmet.So he went back to being Azrael, and even got his own title, which ran for a solid 100 issues (retitled Azrael: Agent of the Bat at issue #47 in an attempt to boost sales by tying it in with Batman). He even changed his costume a few times, and was a major player in the Batman: No Man's Land arc. His comic was okay for the majority, but all good things must come to an end eventually. Unfortunately, the writing and art got really crappy, despite Denny frikkin' O'Neil and Sergio Cariello being the main creative team, killing off Jean-Paul in the final issue, after which he was never mentioned or heard from again, aside from popping up in Blackest Night for a single page. Some have speculated that the reason Azrael: Agent of the Bat was never really popular was because O'Neil and Cariello were the only creative team the book ever had, which often resulted in old ideas recycled, and an almost complete lack of character development for Jean-Paul.
Tropes that apply to Jean-Paul Valley:
- Adventure Towns: Ossaville (Population originally 56, now less than 28. Have A Nice Day), the new homebase for Jean-Paul Valley after the "Losses" arc (73-75), became one of these after ol' Az settled down there.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Besides the obvious differences, he has a LOT in common with Daredevil.
- AzBats was deliberately designed to be a Straw version of Marvel's Punisher and other ultra-violent heroes. The comparison is especially noticeable in a Batman / Punisher crossover published during his tenure.
- Anti-Hero: Slides all the way down the scale in Knightfall.
- Anti-Hero Substitute: For Batman during the Knightfall arc.
- Archenemy: Jean-Paul Valley had two; Carleton Lehah and Nicholas Scratch.
- Ax-Crazy: Jean-Paul Valley as Azrael could get pretty Ax-Crazy, though he wasn't as nearly as crazy as Michael Lane, who makes of habit of killing people deemed as "sinners".
- Badass Boast: Most of the Azraels have a penchant for this, combined with a strong case of Large Ham.
- Badass Bookworm
- Beard of Sorrow: Jean-Paul Valley sported one of these following the "Losses" arc, while in mourning for his "brother," the Faux-Azrael, though he soon shaved it after a pep talk from Batman.
- Big Brother Instinct: Jean-Paul Valley has this towards Cassandra Cain's Batgirl 2000.
- Well, he did say that he "liked her."
- Brainwashed and Crazy: This happens to Jean-Paul when he's under the influence of The System.
- Character Development: Sister Lilhy turned evil and allied with Faux-Azrael in order to re-found the Sacred Order of St. Dumas.
- Chest Insignia: Jean-Paul's first costume had the fleur-di-lis on it, and his second costume had a red bat-symbol.
- Clear My Name: Jean-Paul Valley had to do this at least three times, and it got more and more stale every time it happened.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: Jean-Paul, you dork. Oracle has a stuffed doll of you next to her computer (Check issue #82 of Azrael: Agent of the Bat if you don't believe me). Huntress considers your team-ups dates (but perhaps that's cutting it a bit fine). And you have the balls to wonder why you can't get a girlfriend.
- But then again, seeing as how he has a somewhat tense relationship with Nightwing, maybe he just doesn't want to tick him off even more by going out with either of Nightwing's exes.
- Christianity Is Catholic: Apparently, the DCU just doesn't have any Protestants, or Lutherans, or Calvinists, or even Greek Orthordox...
- Church Militant: Sacred Order of St. Dumas? Check.
- Costume Porn: Jean-Paul Valley's first costume.
- Cool Car: Averted. Apparently, nothing says "angel" or "agent of the bat" like a navy blue sports car with some slight modifications. The authors turned down the suggestion that he be given angel-like wings with the excuse "What? And get rid of his car?" Just read the "Az you like it" column in the back of Azrael: Agent of the Bat #81.
- Deprogram: The System is some form of this.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments.
- Dirty Old Man: Subverted for Brian Bryan, though he has stated concerning Lilhy, "If I were twenty years younger..."
- Canon Discontinuity: Jean-Paul Valley stated at the end of the Batman: Sword of Azrael mini-series that he and his father shared the same name. However, according to Azrael: Year One, his father's name was Ludovic Valley. This could be explained as simply Jean-Paul being mistaken, considering his somewhat strained relationship with his father... or the writer forgot.
- Doing In the Wizard: What wizard?
- Dual Wielding: Jean-Paul Valley had two flaming blade things on his wrists. See picture.
- Expy: During the aftermath of Knightfall while he is filling in for Bruce as Batman, his darker and edgier (and crazy) version of The Dark Knight starts off as a commentary on comics of the time, but slowly he explicitly becomes Frank Miller's Dark Knight, cemented when he makes himself gauntlets with metal claws.
- Face Heel Revolving Door: Lilhy.
- Flaming Sword: Most of the Azraels had at least one, or a variation thereof.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Does this guy even have a memorial in the Batcave? Poor guy's only made one page cameos since his death in Blackest Night and Neil Gaiman's Continuity Porn (but out of continuity) Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? story.
- Freudian Excuse: And a pretty darn good one at that. Extensive Sleep Learning combined with "the System" and becoming a "Well Done, Son!" Guy like Jean-Paul did would mess most people up pretty bad. See entries for Sleep Learning, Deprogram, and "Well Done, Son!" Guy for more information.
- The Glasses Come Off: Jean-Paul used to wear glasses prior to becoming Azrael, and still did occasionally afterwards.
- In the Blood: Averted for Jean-Paul Valley, who's father was an old-school version of Michael Lane, though Jean-Paul did become the new Azrael.
- Innocent Fan Service Girl: Sister Lilhy.
- Killed Off for Real: For the past ten years or so anyway.
- Knight Templar: The Sacred Order of St. Dumas was actually a splinter group of the original Knights Templar.
- Legacy Character: This whole Azrael thing has been going on since the 15th century, apparently, passing from father to son, and ending with Jean-Paul Valley.
- Later on the identity was picked up minor character Michael Lane who even got an ongoing series for about five minutes.
- Limited Wardrobe: Jean-Paul Valley was infamous for only wearing jeans and T-Shirts in most of his civilian appearances.
- Mask of Power: After a fashion for Jean-Paul - only his Azrael persona (see Split Personality entry below) has his Badass combat skills, and he can only activate this persona by putting on his Azrael mask.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": All of the Azrael's are very good at instigating these. Take this example found in Plus #1, were Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley) teams up with The Question:
- Mook–Face Turn: Lilhy used to work for the Order of St. Dumas before deciding to help out Jean-Paul, but then she was "Sister Lilhy".
- Naughty Nuns: Lilhy is implied to have turned into this.
- Nerd Glasses: Though he did look okay in his round glasses.
- Nineties Anti-Hero: Well, with Jean-Paul Valley at least, and only sometimes.
- A lot, actually. Notably one of the first to actually be treated as... bad.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Frequently lampshaded in Jean-Paul Valley's early days. In the words of the Hitman:Hitman: He about half-thinks he's an angel... an angel with a Bullet Proof Vest.
- No Social Skills: Jean-Paul Valley suffers from this.
- Oblivious to Love: Lilhy couldn't take any of Jean-Paul's hints, so the poor guy just gave up.
- Offscreen After Life: When Jean-Paul dies in the final issue of his series, he says "It looks just like the earth." And he was sporting his famous smile, so that's a good thing.
- Oh Crap!: Not only are the Azraels good at instigating these, but it occasionally happens to them too. For instance, Jean-Paul is going about in a run-down part of town as Azrael in issue #32 of his series. He's just been fixed up by this old woman, when he realizes that he left his car unattended. His sudden realization and reaction to this are priceless.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Jean-Paul Valley, thanks to "the System," is an incredible fighter, but he lacks the experience and finesse of Batman, making him inferior to him. However, the Caped Crusader has acknowledged that if Jean-Paul could just get his head screwed on straight, he could have the potential to become an even better fighter than him.
- Outdated Outfit: After a fashion. Ludovic Valley's decidedly more crusader-esque costume was one of the factors that contributed to his death.
- Our Angels Are Different: Apparently, the residents of the DC Universe's idea of an angel is either someone dressed up in crusader armor or someone dressed up, well, like in this entry's picture.
- Powered Armor: The final version of the Azbatsuit was this.
- Scary Impractical Armor: Jean-Paul Valley's final Azbatsuit was this.
- Sleep Learning: How "the System" works. Or, to be accurate, Subliminal Messages Played While You Are Sleeping Throughout Your Childhood Learning.
- Sociopathic Hero: Sometimes.
- Split Personality: Jean Paul's Azrael persona is significantly different from his civilian identity of Jean-Paul Valley. As the the sect that trained him was a largely medieval organization, he would often take a course of action would could have been more easily accomplished using modern technology. For example, during the Contagion arc, when a deadly plague was spreading through Gotham City, Azrael had to get the recipe for a cure to the hospitals. His solution to this was a mad rush across military lines, and though he succeeded, he discovered upon arriving at his destination that his allies had already sent the cure recipe to the hospitals by email. This is contradictory to the mindset of Jean-Paul Valley, who, being a student of programming, would be completely aware of such a solution. A third, though less developed, personality is Batman. This personality manifested during Jean-Paul's stint at the Caped Crusader, and remanifested near the end of his series. It combined the intellect of Jean-Paul Valley and the bloodlust of Azrael, but lacked the compassion of Jean-Paul.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Jean-Paul's inability to pull this off during his stint as Batman was Commissioner Gordon's first clue that there was a new Batman in town. The below scene doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny.Gordon: [...] ...Blame him... My God.Azbats: Something wrong, Commissioner?Gordon: You're still here.Azbats: So?Gordon: Usually I turn and you're gone.Azbats: I wasn't certain we were finished talking.Gordon: That never stopped you before.Azbats: I'll be going then.
- Sucksessor: Jean-Paul Valley to Batman during the Knightfall arc. The whole reason it ever happened was to show fans why Bruce Wayne's Batman wasn't a brutal Anti-Hero like The Punisher.
- Take Up My Sword: Batman (Bruce Wayne) appointed him as his Sucksessor after Bane broke Bruce's back.
- Tomato in the Mirror: This happened to Jean-Paul a few times, what with "the System" and all.
- Temporary Scrappy: Jean-Paul Valley was promoted as this when he turned into Azbats and the majority of the fans were not pleased.
- Tragic Dream: After an extenuating day being Batman, Azrael reflected that after being the Avatar of Saint Dumas order, who wanted to conquer Jerusalem back again to Christianity, and presently being the Temporary Substitute to Batman, who wants to stop crime in Gotham City, he finds the fanatical obsessive founder Dumas was the wiser: Sure, Jerusalem was never conquered again, but it was a tangible goal, that could be achieved by someone eventually... stopping crime in Gotham is a madman’s dream.
- Tragic Hero: At varying points in his series, though most significantly in the end.
- Tykebomb: Apparently, Jean-Paul was subjected to subliminal messages and other mental conditioning since he was a little kid.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Jean-Paul Valley, Brian Bryan, and Sister Lilhy, again.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Nightwing.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Oracle. Who else?
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Played straight. Jean-Paul had terrible issues with both his real father, Ludovic Valley, and his adoptive father figure, Bruce Wayne. The elder Valley had always been distant from Jean-Paul, and rarely even saw him, let alone had extended interactions with him. Even in Jean-Paul's "system" induced dreams and visions, Ludovic is condescending and unsatisfied with Jean-Paul's actions. But then again, it was revealed in Azrael: Year One that Ludovic was actually trying to get him to safety, away from the Order of St. Dumas when he mentioned the instructions, so maybe he wasn't such a bad father. And then there's Batman. Imagine if your father was Batman. (Maybe Jean-Paul could identify with Damian) Indeed, their relationship has been compared to a very athletic father looking down on an intelligent but physically lacking son. On the other hand, Jean-Paul's father issues led him to identify with a lot of the villains he fought.
- Will They or Won't They?: Jean-Paul Valley got this with Sister Lilhy a lot.
- Wolverine Publicity: Why do you think they renamed Jean-Paul's series Azrael: Agent of the Bat at issue 47?
Batwing I (David Zavimbe)
David Zavimbe was a child soldier from the fictional city of Tinasha who's parents both died of AIDS. He and his younger brother Isaac were drafted into General Keita's army at a young age, and soon became prodigies in the art of murder. Disgusted by all the needless bloodshed, David eventually fled the soldier life and became an honest cop in Tinasha, doing everything he could to uphold the law. Once Bruce Wayne announced the Batman, Incorporated initiative, David became one of his hand-picked recruits.Batwing first debuted in 2011, with the fifth issue of the first volume of Batman, Incorporated. He was one of the latest recruits to Batman's cause of combating the combined forces of Leviathan and Doctor Dedalus. He was seemingly killed by a legion of Talia al Ghul's Man-Bats in the one-shot Leviathan Strikes!, but was given his own ongoing series in the New 52.
Tropes that apply to David Zavimbe:
- Archenemy: His brother Isaac, now known as the mercenary Massacre.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: subversion.
- The Atoner: Fights crime to make up for his actions as a child soldier.
- Badass Boast: "I am Batwing, and I'm going to beat you until you can't stand up."
- Badass Normal
- Child Soldier: Grew up as one before running away.
- Despair Event Horizon: Quits being Batwing after Matu Ba dies.
- Long-Lost Relative
- Powered Armor
- Shell-Shocked Veteran
Batwing II (Luke Fox)
Luke Fox is the son of Bruce Wayne's coworker Lucius Fox, who took up the mantle of Batwing in Batwing #19 in the summer of 2013.
- Genius Bruiser: Luke is not only a talented MMA fighter, but is also a brilliant mind who constantly tinkers and improves his batsuit. In Gothtopia, he synthesizes a cure for the hallucinatory gas that engulfed the city.
- Legacy Character: Becomes the second Batwing at the urging of Batman.
- Mythology Gag:
- Powered Armor: Moreso than his predecessor. It covers his whole body, has retractable wings, and all kind of gadgets stocked in it.
- Secret Identity: Bruce Wayne isn't telling Lucius he's working with Luke, which the writers note will cause eventual friction between the two.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He's Terry McGinnis a few decades early.