Characters / Batman And Bat Family

This page has Batman and his allies that are "officially" part of the Bat-family. Bold indicates currently held identities, since many of these characters have held multiple identities.

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    Tropes shared by the whole Batfamily 
  • Badass Family: The whole lot of them fight crime in Gotham City, save perhaps Alfred who is their support and is quite capable of taking care of himself.
  • Badass Normal: They became superheroes in a world full of Physical Gods with no superpowers of their own.
  • 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.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Once again except for Jason and to a degree Damian (who was raised to be a killer, and abides by the Batfamily's no-kill policy but still doesn't entirely believe in it). Kate also mostly refrains from killing out of respect for the Bat symbol, but has killed or threatened to kill various enemies and doesn't have the same moral issues with it that Bruce does.

    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.

Later, in DC Rebirth, Ace would appear in a one-off story, and was given to Bruce as a gift by Alfred. At the same time, Titus is still around.

  • Decomposite Character: It seemed like Titus was the New 52 version of Ace, and was even part German Shepherd. But Tom King's story in the Rebirth Batman annual has Alfred give Bruce a dog called Ace, and he is in fact actually called the Bat-Hound by Bruce. Because of this, Ace and Titus are now two different characters.
  • Gratuitous Animal Sidekick: In his first incarnation
  • Heroic Dog: In most incarnations
  • 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/German Shepherd hybrid.

    Alfred Pennyworth 
"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 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.

  • Age Lift: Post-Flashpoint. While he's not young, he's noticeably less wrinkled and isn't greying anymore.
  • 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..
  • Art Evolution: This is a minor case of Ret-Canon. Initially he was an overweight butler. But 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.
  • Badass Grandpa: He was already working for the Wayne family when Bruce's parents were killed, and he is capable of holding his own in a fight.
  • Badass Normal: Like the rest of the family, though without being a costumed superhero.
  • Bald of Awesome: Not completely bald, granted, but there's no denying the awesome.
  • 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...)
    • Just for Pun, most incarnations of him are (semi)retired military, making him Batman's Batman.
  • 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 and would-be detective who would endanger himself while trying to solve a mystery and then solve it at the end through dumb luck. He become a slim, snarky and really competent butler showing medical and fighting abilities.
  • 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.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Very kind and supportive, but unlike the rest of the Batfamily, he's perfectly willing to kill.
  • Go-to Alias: Alfred tends to use "Thaddeus Crane" (his middle names) whenever he has to go undercover.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: 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?
  • Legacy of Service: Depending on the Writer. Some stories establish that his father Jarvis had worked for the Waynes before him.
  • The Medic: As former field medic, Alfred is capable of performing minor surgery and stitching wounds for the members of the Batman Family.
  • 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".
  • Nice Guy: Alfred is extremely caring, fatherly, and eternally loyal to Bruce. He has become his true father figure after the death of his parents.
  • 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's still a Battle Butler despite his age. 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: Naturally he is the first guy that knows Bruce's secret.
  • Servile Snarker: We actually considered naming this trope after him.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He is always dressed in a suit or tux.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Bang! Bang! Bang!
  • Team Dad: He may be a dad to Bruce but he's more team grandpa for the rest of them.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Starting with Scott Snyder and continuing through Tom King, Alfred's been known to enjoy making cucumber sandwiches.
  • 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 wildly 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 working for 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.

    Azrael II / Batman II (Jean-Paul Valley)

"I'm not him — I'm a lot moreand a lot worse."
Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley)

Azrael first debuted in 1992 with the Batman: Sword of Azrael miniseries. The reason Azrael was created was to introduce a replacement for 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.

A few years after the Cosmic Retcon of Flashpoint, Jean-Paul was reintroduced to the DC Universe in Batman and Robin Eternal. This version of Azrael was created by the woman known as Mother, his parents killed, his mind wiped and reprogrammed to serve as an assassin for the Order of St. Dumas. Encountering the Robins helped him break his conditioning, seeking revenge on the Order and Mother for what they'd done to him, and after Mother had been defeated, he set out on a quest for redemption for his past crimes.

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's original Azrael could get pretty Ax-Crazy, though he wasn't as nearly as crazy as Michael Lane, who makes a 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.
  • 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.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • This happens to Jean-Paul when he's under the influence of The System.
    • It's also how he's first presented following his post-Flashpoint reintroduction.
  • 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.
  • Character Development:
    • After his stint as an Ax-Crazy Batman, Jean-Paul Valley went through a lot to redeem himself and become a more mentally stable person, and reached a point where Batman would consider him equally trustworthy as most members of the Bat-family.
    • 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. His post-Flashpoint costume doesn't have one.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Apparently, the DCU just doesn't have any Protestants, or Lutherans, or Calvinists, or even Greek Orthodox...
  • Church Militant: Sacred Order of St. Dumas? Check.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Costume Porn: Jean-Paul Valley's first costume.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments.
  • Deprogram: The System is some form of this.
  • Dirty Old Man: Subverted for Brian Bryan, though he has stated concerning Lilhy, "If I were twenty years younger..."
  • 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 have at least one, or a variation thereof.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Did this guy even have a memorial in the Batcave? From his death through to Flashpoint's Cosmic Retcon, the poor guy only made one page cameos 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. It was mentioned once that he wears contact lenses for the costume.
  • In the Blood: Averted for Jean-Paul Valley, whose 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: Until Batman and Robin Eternal reintroduced him.
  • 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 by minor character Michael Lane, who even got an ongoing series for about five minutes.
    • Whether there was a legacy post-Flashpoint is open.
  • 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 Azraels are very good at instigating these. Take this example found in Plus #1, where Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley) teams up with The Question:
    Azrael: Know that you are evil. Know that you are abominations. Know that you will be punished.
    Terrorists: (Mass "Oh, Crap!" expressions)
    (Curb-Stomp Battle ensues)
  • 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.
  • '90s 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 Afterlife: 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.
  • 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.
  • Outdated Outfit: After a fashion. Ludovic Valley's decidedly more crusader-esque costume was one of the factors that contributed to his death.
  • 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.
  • 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 sect that trained him was a largely medieval organization, he would often take a course of action that 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.
  • Super Strength: The Order messing with his biology before he was even born seems to have instilled some degree or superhuman strength and agility. At the end of his own series he was experiencing further developments for unclear reasons, which raised his strength to "twist steel rebar into a pretzel with your bare hands" levels.
  • 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.
  • Temporary Scrappy: Jean-Paul Valley was promoted as this when he turned into Azbats and the majority of the fans were not pleased.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: This happened to Jean-Paul a few times, what with "the System" and all.
  • Tragic Dream: After an extenuating day being Batman, Azrael reflected that after being the Avatar of Saint Dumas, who wanted to reconquer Jerusalem for 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.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Jean-Paul Valley, Brian Bryan, and Sister Lilhy, again.
  • Tykebomb: Apparently, Jean-Paul was subjected to subliminal messages and other mental conditioning since he was a little kid.
  • 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?

    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. However, not being a superheroine and just being a tennis prodigy with perfect grades and lots of money got boring after a while, so she attempted to reignite her Flamebird identity.

In the New 52 (& Rebirth), how much of Bette's history is still intact is left vague. She is the cousin of Kate Kane, who treated her as a rookie who needed lots of training, although Batman implied in his study of Kate that Bette had been first on the scene. When Kate tried to fire her for her own safety, Bette responded by taking to the streets to prove herself. Her uncle Col. Jacob Kane promised to train her if she still wanted to be a vigilante when she was gravely injured and rendered comatose by the villain Hook. Under the tutelage of him and his Murder of Crows, she became Hawkfire and successfully took down Hook. She is currently enrolled in West Point Military Academy.

See the Batwoman character page for her tropes.

    Batman V (Terry McGinnis)

the Tomorrow Knight. 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.

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, originally pitched as a show starring Batman in high school. Defying all odds, the show was a runaway hit. These adventures, however, only took place in the alternate world of Earth-12 of the DC multiverse. 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. In the post-Crisis DCU continuity, he is the fifth known incarnation of Batman (after Bruce, Jean-Paul, Dick, and Damian) and was under the guidance of Damian Wayne instead of Bruce. The poor kid.

Years later, as part of the New 52, Terry was adopted into the mainstream DCU once again. He was one of the protagonists of the Futures End series, and is depicted as being trained by Bruce once again, and is now the fourth Batman (after Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson and Jim Gordon). He now also has an AI in his Batsuit called Alfred. Currently, he has his own ongoing series titled Batman Beyond.

  • 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.

    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.

Tropes that apply to Luke Fox:

  • Characterisation Marches On: Starts off as a pretty normal guy in Batwing and Batman Eternal with something of a rebellious streak towards his father. By the time of the Rebirth Detective Comics, he's a showy, charismatic supergenius inventor with a big ego, just like...
  • Expy: Of Tony Stark in Rebirth, complete with a car that contains his armour, which Tony had used a year before.
  • 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.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: He designed prototype non-lethal weapons to be used by the GCPD, with the logic that they could be used to stop criminals without killing them. Kate Kane then pointed out that while the technology is advanced, the GCPD would never be able to afford or mass produce 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.
  • The Smart Guy: He's one of the most tech-savvy members of the Bat Family. Batman actually recruits him for the team he and Batwoman run because Luke is the only one smart enough to actually operate and maintain the technology Red Robin created before his apparent death.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • He's Terry McGinnis a few decades early.
    • In-universe, he's brought into the team to replace Red Robin, the Batfam's other resident Gadgeteer Genius.

    Batwoman II (Katherine Rebecca "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 series 52 (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.

Kate is first cousins with Bette Kane, the original Bat-Girl and later Flamebird. After years of speculation from fans based on her surname and DC all-but outright stating it, Kate and Bruce Wayne were confirmed to be cousins during the "Zero Year" event of the New 52, and were further specified to be first cousins in Detective Comics (Rebirth). This means that Kate is also cousins with Damian Wayne; first cousins once removed, to be exact.

More info on Batwoman personal page.

Goliath is a bat-dragon that Damian befriended while in the League of Assassins. Damian slaughtered Goliath's family, but after Goliath doesn't fight back, Damian tearfully adopts the then baby Goliath as a pet. Talia allowed this, but encouraged Damian to raise Goliath as a weapon. In the year where Bruce Wayne was "dead", Damian and Goliath began a globetrotting adventure called the "Year of Atonement", where Damian sought to make amends with those he wronged during Talia's "Year of Blood".

Damian would go back to regular superheroics after his atonement, freeing Goliath. Goliath chose to stay with him, but Damian tasked Maya Ducard with caring for him.
  • Big Eater: The thing eats a lot, and his meals are often the size of Damian.
  • Cool Pet: The fourth for Damian, after Alfred the Cat, Titus the Bat-Hound and Batcow.
  • Last of His Kind: Courtesy of Damian, who killed the rest of his species.
  • Remember the New Guy?: He's introduced in Robin: Son of Batman as a pet Damian has had for most of his life. Why he never appeared and has never been mentioned before isn't explained, and it's just implied that he's been on Al Ghul Island with Ravi the entire time.
  • Weak Sauce Weakness: Any kind of sonics. Maya eventually learned to manipulate her own sonic equipment to better guide Goliath.
  • Undying Loyalty: Despite what Damian did, Goliath is completely unwavering in his love for the brat.

    Julia Pennyworth
The daughter of Alfred Pennyworth and a member of the SRR. First appears in the New 52 during Batman Eternal after not appearing for several decades. While she has no interest in becoming a vigilante herself, even after discovering Batman's secret, she acts as Mission Control like her father after Hush injects him with fear toxin.

  • Ambiguously Gay: Several of Julia's comments during the first arc of Batwoman (Rebirth) suggest that she finds Kate Kane attractive, and that the two of them may have even had sex.
  • Badass Normal: Joins the SRR, and manages to beat Selina, albeit after she hadn't practiced for a time.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Inherits this from her father.
  • Legacy Character: Kinda. Her call-sign when working with the Batfamily is "Penny-Two", whereas Alfred was "Penny-One".
  • Like Brother and Sister: Word of God claims she and Bruce are intended to be this.
  • Mission Control: Often operates behind the scenes in the Batcave. She later became this for Kate Kane specifically.
  • Parental Abandonment: Alfred does this, though it wasn't willing on his end due to a breakup with her mother.
  • Race Lift: Julia was white in the Pre-Crisis continuity, but her post-Flashpoint counterpart is biracial.
  • Wait What: Not her, but she inspires this from the Batfamily whenever they discover she's Alfred's daughter in Eternal.

     Lark / The Signal (Duke Thomas)
Duke Thomas is a teenage prodigy who helped organize the We Are Robin movement. After his parents were driven insane by the Joker's toxin, he was invited to move into Wayne Manor as Bruce's new partner.

Tropes that apply to Duke Thomas:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: At the end of Robin War
  • Affirmative Action Legacy:
    • Technically the first African-American Robin, though he never officially held the title. When he was officially made Bruce's partner, Bruce went out of his way to say that Duke was not Robin, but someone new.
    • However, in the The New 52: Future's End, he officially became Robin after Damian's death.
  • Black and Nerdy: Though a more physically capable example than usual.
  • Child Prodigy: Duke is a very gifted student, and was shown preparing to take the Riddler's quiz challenge before Batman intervened and stopped the villain himself.
  • Civvie Spandex: His Robin outfit consisted of a red jacket with the trademark "R" logo and a protective helmet. Bruce later gave Duke a proper costume when he made him his new partner.
  • Cool Helmet: Wore one in We Are Robin, and was then given a new one as part of the suit Bruce gave him.
  • Cultured Badass: One of his Robin War descriptions is "Vigilante Poet"
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Dark Nights: Metal reveals that Duke is a metahuman with the power to... do some vague things.
  • Foreshadowing: Before Duke was officially inducted into the Bat-Family, Bruce had a hallucination during Batman: Endgame that showed Duke as a costumed hero named Lark.
  • Fighting with Chucks: His Weapon of Choice.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: By the end of his first solo comic issue, he has a basic idea of some things he can do and how to activate them, but he's still far from proficient.
    Duke (internally): So...Signal powers go!
    Duke: Out loud then. Powers...on. Powers? #$%@&
  • Mission Control: Serves as this for Batman after officially becoming part of the Bat-Family.
  • No Name Given: While he was previously known as (an unofficial) Robin, he had no superhero name as a member of the Bat-Family for his first few storylines, with Bruce generally just calling him "Mr. Thomas" while they're working. As of the miniseries Batman and the Signal, he has taken the name of the titular Signal.
  • Only Sane Man: When Bruce informs the Bat-Boys that Bane is coming to Gotham and will likely attempt to kill them all, Dick, Jason and Damian immediately state their desire to stay and fight. Duke is the only one to heed Batman's warning.
  • Power Glows: One of his light-based powers is the ability to see the points where Null takes in light energy to convert into negative space.
  • Reimagining the Artifact: The Lark identity and general aesthetic first appeared in an old Silver Age story.
  • Red Herring: When Duke was first introduced, it was heavily hinted in stories like The New 52: Future's End that he would become the new Robin. While he did become a Robin, it was after Damian Wayne had already been resurrected, and never in any official capacity.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Pre-Identity Crisis Tim Drake, as a nerdy everyman and Only Sane Man who lives with an older relative instead of at Wayne Manor.

     Orpheus (Gavin King)

In mythology, Orpheus went to Hades to rescue his dead wife Eurydice. He failed. Perhaps Gotham City is this Orpheus' version of Hell. I wonder who he's trying to save.
Doctor Excess, Batman: Family Vol 1 #3

A Gotham crimefighter with a specialized stealth suit who infiltrates gangs to try and control them from the inside. He has a background in dance and martial arts especially Kung Fu. After graduating from college he traveled the world in a dance troupe where the poverty he saw and losses he suffered inspired him to try and combat crime. He was recruited and trained by a secret organization which gave him his high tech suit and funded his activities in Gotham, his hometown to which he returned to fight crime.

Tropes that apply to Gavin King:

  • Badass Longcoat: His stealth suit has one.
  • Badass Normal: No superpowers, just his martial arts training and his stealth suit.
  • Black and Nerdy: In his youth he was picked on and bullied for being a dancer, it's why he started learning Kung Fu which he adapted to quickly seeing it as another form of dance.
  • Cool Helmet: Part of his stealth suit.
  • Dance Battler: He was a dancer first and has viewed martial arts as an extension of dancing since his youth.
  • Depending on the Artist: Just how purple is the stealth suit when it's not being used to camouflage?
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: He's not mentioned much after his death and does not appear to have a memorial in the Batcave, on the other hand he was largely independent of the Bats and tended to consider anytime they worked together as a favor.
  • Foreshadowing: His superhero name references the Orpheus of myth, whose story is a tragedy and whose manner of death is not all that dissimilar to Gavin's.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: He rarely fights with any other weapon.
  • Invisibility Cloak: His stealth suit operates like an imperfect one.
  • Killed Off for Real: In Batman: War Crimes
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The first time he and Batman meet they have a misunderstanding which leads to a fight.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Guy with the last name King ends up leading a gang.
    • Orpheus, he returned to Gotham largely for his first love, and it hints at the manner of his death as well.
  • My Greatest Failure: How he views his failure to save his friend the Marcus Cooper from Doctor Excess' experiments in time to save his life.
  • Reverse Mole: In the Hill Gang which he took leadership of with Onyx acting as his bodyguard and Number Two.