Characters: DCAU-Batman The Animated Series Batman And Bat Family
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Batman I (Bruce Wayne)
"I am vengeance! I am the night! I am BATMAN!"
Arguably the least-changed character from his comics counterpart, the DCAU Batman
has generally the same origin: his parents were shot dead after the three of them went to see a movie, and he decides to avenge them by becoming the vigilante Batman, complete with Batmobile and a handy utility belt.
This version of Batman, in particular, is notable for being an amalgam of the Golden Age
, Silver Age
and Bronze Age
versions of the characters. He's dark and brooding, but also an excellent Parental Substitute
and even gets a few witty one-liners
(as well as being caught in the occasional Death Trap
As a member of the Justice League
, Batman usually serves as Mission Control
more than anything, due to his lack of superpowers, and is not as openly active as his Justice League allies, preferring to work alone and from the shadows. Nonetheless, he has a vested interest in the group's activities, as it is Bruce Wayne's finances that paid for their Watchtower headquarters and Javelin ship. And as the Series Finale
of JLU showed, he can still kick ass if need be.See here for tropes applying to him in Batman Beyond
- Big "OMG!": When he discovers Freeze's motives. The production team is still shocked that they got away with it.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Which is why he flips out when Deadman possesses his body and shoots Devil Ray, killing him.
- The Dreaded: Even the superpowered crooks in Justice League have a fear of him.
- Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: In "Feat of Clay", he used a minion's phobia about germs to extract information by threatening to drop a jar containing a liquid culture of a disease on the minion's head. It was a bluff, the jar merely containing a sample of completely ordinary seawater, but the fear it caused was as real as if the jar actually had contained deadly germs.
- Escape Artist: Always prepared with the right tools and skills, from lockpicks to acid to liquid nitrogen. He learned from the master himself, John Zatara.
- Eureka Moment: Virtually every conversation he has with Alfred while pondering the crime du jour leads to a Eureka Moment (and an "Alfred! You're a genius!" declaration, and a bemused "Of course, sir" response).
- Evil Laugh: His laugh in "Mad Love" is so creepy even Harley is creeped out.
- Exactly What I Aimed At: Averted the "Missed me" dialog: Mad Hatter had trapped Batman under a playing-card wall and was about to axe off Batman's head. Batman throws a batarang directly at Hatter, to which Hatter easily dodges. Rather than sneer, Hatter resumes his attack only to discover Batman's toy severs a line suspending a huge gargoyle statue. Paralyzed with horror (Oh Crap), Hatter is pinned beneath the statue's claw with Batman escaping in the nick of time. Yeah, just as he planned it.
- Faking the Dead: In "The Man Who Killed Batman"
- Fearless Fool: In "Never Fear", the Scarecrow creates a toxin that removes Batman's fears and inhibitions, making him much more reckless than usual—and it doesn't stop there. The writers are savvy enough to even make him more heartless, as he doesn't fear what his own reaction will be if, say, Robin gets killed or if he breaks his one rule and kills a criminal. Scarecrow is making a point that fear is necessary, not just useful, and then in his usual mad fashion extends that to mean that he is necessary to have around.
- The Final Temptation: "Perchance to Dream" featured Batman caught in a virtual dream world by the Mad Hatter (who fortunately could not observe the dream itself) living a life as playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne, with his parents alive and well (and thus he had never become Batman). In the dream he was engaged to Selina Kyle (who was not Catwoman) and the mysterious Batman was someone ELSE who just showed up in Gotham. His friends and family in the dream almost had him completely convinced he had created his real life as a delusion to escape his feelings of not having accomplished anything on his own, but the illusion fell apart when he discovered he couldn't read anything (because reading requires parts of the brain not used in dreams?). Suffice to say, he did NOT appreciate the Mind Screw when he woke himself up.
- Trying to read something in a dream is a trick used by lucid dreamers to detect whether they are dreaming. Unless you have a photographic memory, your brain will have some trouble trying to remember or imagine a page full of text.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
- Friend to All Children: Part of his Jerk with a Heart of Gold personality, best demonstrated in "Injustice For All" (he gently coaxes a little girl to go with him out of a burning building) and "Epilogue" (he stays with a dying Ace at her request).
- Gadgeteer Genius: He actually built the Watchtower by the time Justice League rolls about, as well as the Javelin. While not a 12th level intellect like Brainiac and Luthor, his main skill as a scientist is his peerless engineering, all his products are functional, competent and made to last.
- This is taken Up to Eleven in Hereafter where Superman is teleported to a post-apocalyptic Earth where Vandal Savage is the only survivor. Superman finds the Watchtower crashed to the earth, only to be told by Vandal Savage that it only fell out of orbit recently, which implies a span of several thousand years after the end of life on earth. Savage gives the Understatement when he remarks that it's a great feat of engineering.
- Grappling-Hook Gun: One of the gadgets that gets frequent use throughout the DCAU.
- Grave Marking Scene: Visits the place where his parents were killed once a year, on the anniversary of their death, even as a very old man in Batman Beyond.
- Great Detective: Even in-universe, he has followers on the internet that acknowledge him as the "World's Greatest Detective".
- Grudging Thank You: In "Night of the Ninja", Batman feared the titular Ninja could actually defeat him in combat (though he wouldn't admit it); when the final showdown occurs, he's in Bruce Wayne disguise and can't fight up to his full potential... until Robin comes along and "removes" the sole witness. In the denouement a day later, Batman thanks Robin for his assistance, and admits that defeating the Ninja might have been highly difficult, "maybe impossible".
- Heroic BSOD: Gets a brief one in "I Am the Night" after he blames himself for Commissioner Gordon getting shot.
- Heroic Fatigue: Suffers an emotional breakdown like this in "I Am the Night"
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Falls into this in "I Am the Night", when Commissioner Gordon is wounded during a police bust. Batman bitterly reproaches himself for his failure, thinking he does more to help merchandise salesmen than the people who really need it. This trope is Lampshaded by Robin, who points out that Gordon is fully aware of the dangers of his job, and tries to remind Batman that Gotham would probably have fallen apart without him. Eventually, it's subverted when a disgusted Robin gives up trying to cheer up Batman and goes to the hospital to protect Gordon, since "Jazzman", the mobster they busted, has escaped from prison and is probably going to pay the Commissioner a "visit". Subverted again when Batman snaps himself out of his depression and goes to the hospital himself. Jazzman tries to whack Gordon, and runs into Batman...
- Heroic Sacrifice: In "Starcrossed," he tries to manually pilot the Watchtower into the Thanagarian's hyperspace-bypass weapon. Fortunately, Superman saves him in the nick of time.
- Hope Bringer: For the decent citizens of Gotham City and its Police Department (well, the non-corrupt parts)
- Horrifying Hero: This version of Batman strikes so much terror into evil that he's often seen as a monster outright rather than man, as shown for example in The Forgotten.
Poor Random Mook (Running into boss's office, terrified out of his wits): A Bat!! A GIANT BAT!! HORRIBLE!!
- Icy Blue Eyes: In the New Batman/Superman Adventures era, and in Beyond as well. The two versions of Justice League are a bit inconsistent about this, sometimes giving him his black eyes from Batman: The Animated Series instead.
- Impersonation Gambit: A few times, like in "The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy" or "Almost Got 'Im".
- Implacable Man: In "The Underdwellers". First, one of the sewer kids tries to elude Batman through the tunnel system he knows like the back of his hand, only to find to his shock that Batman is waiting for him. The Sewer King gets his own surprise in a quiet moment when he thinks that he has eluded Batman and locked the door behind him, only to suddenly have it blown open seconds later as he realizes that the Dark Knight is after him and will not stop.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Several times like when Batman stops "the Jazzman" from killing Gordon by flinging a batarang right into the muzzle of his gun in slow motion.
- Invincible Hero: Lampshaded when, after Batman returns from yet another seeming demise, the Joker shouts "Why won't he stay dead?"
- I Regret Nothing: Contemplating his eventual demise in "I am the Night".
It might be the Joker, or Two-Face, or just some punk who gets lucky. My decision. No regrets.
- Kind Restraints: Happens to him twice, both as a result of the Scarecrow's toxins. The first time Bruce inhales a fear-inducing hallucinogen and is confined in Arkham Asylum while suffering various paranoid delusions, unable to convince his caretakers that the Scarecrow's plan is actually real. The second time, a fear-eliminating toxin turns him into a psychopath, and Robin ties him up against his will to protect his enemies.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Moreso in TNBA and Batman Beyond than BTAS.
- The Knights Who Say Squee: "Beware the Gray Ghost" had him showing as much squee as he can upon meeting the actor of a childhood TV hero, the "Gray Ghost", who seems to have inspired some of the Batman persona. Played by Adam West as a Shout-Out to earlier incarnations of Batman.
- Knuckle Cracking: In "Robin's Reckoning", there's a crook who is loudly declaring "I'm no squealer" that Batman needs to get information out of. Batman just cracks his knuckles and narrows his eyes threateningly. The guy talks.
- The Lancer: When he becomes a part of the Justice League later on.
- Master of Disguise: He would occasionally disguise himself for undercover work in the criminal underworld.
- McNinja: He has the tools, the clothes, the attitude, the moves, even the backstory of training in Japan for it.
- Metaphorically True: In "Night of the Ninja", Bruce explains to fellow prisoner Summer that they escaped because Batman arrived and took down the bad guy. Hey, his voice changed so it was mostly true...
- Mighty Whitey: Bruce Wayne is considered by his martial art's master, Yoru, to be his best student. This creates the friction between Wayne and Kyodai Ken who constantly refers to Wayne as "Rich Man's Son".
- Mission Control: It allows him to stay out of the spotlight in Justice League.
- My Greatest Failure: Both Dick and Tim. Dick because Bruce allowed their relationship to fall apart and Tim because of what the Joker did to him.
- Ninja Log:
- A panther lunges at Batman, and somehow it gets tangled in an empty cape.
- In Mask of the Phantasm, the police open fire on Batman, only it's just his cape draped over a road barricade.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: His Thou Shalt Not Kill attitude had its heavy price in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
- No Sense of Humor: He is thought by many to have no sense of humor, but that's a false perception influenced by his extremely introverted personality. Indeed he becomes The Comically Serious in the Justice League serving as a reliable straight man to a The Flash and, disturbingly, The Joker.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: As Bruce Wayne, particularly whenever he encounters his enemies out of costume.
- Offhand Backhand: To the point that a mook's chances of hitting Batman actually decrease if he attacks from behind.
- The Patient Has Left the Building: In one episode, an injured Bruce Wayne considered his Batman duties important enough to defy his doctor's orders to stay in bed and recover.
- Reading Lips: Does this in Mask of the Phantasm and Shadow of the Bat
- Roof Hopping: His main mode of travel.
- Samaritan Syndrome: "I Am the Night'' featured him making his annual visit to the site of his parents' murder, which makes him late for a sting operation that he helped set up. He arrives in time to help subdue the crooks, but finds that Jim Gordon has been severely wounded. Batman's guilt (which is not helped at all by Detective Harvey Bullock) over not being there in time to save Jim sends him into a Heroic BSOD. He is saved from a Heroic BSOD because he stops another attempt on Jim Gordon when he wakes up and finds out Jim has the same doubts.
- In other episodes, he's refused to let minor inconveniences like a cold and, oh, blindness stop him from bringing down the bad guy because he knows what kind of mayhem is being unleashed while he sits it out.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: On the other hand, he also has money.
- Secret Identity
- Shrouded in Myth: Demonstrated in "P.O.V." and "Legends of the Dark Knight". Very few people get a good enough look at him to get an accurate impression.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Ra's al-Ghul explains his wonderful plan to save the world by wiping out most of humanity. Batman responds with a note of wonder in his voice. "Yes... I can see it all clearly now for the first time. You are completely out of your mind."
- Single Episode Blindess: "Blind as a Bat"
- The Smart Guy: Along with J'onn in the League.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Master of it, to Gordon's repeated annoyance.
- The Stoic: It's part of his portfolio, after all.
- Super Window Jump: Does this regularly.
- Take a Third Option: Harley Quinn captures Catwoman and ties her to a conveyor belt heading for a massive meat grinder. Batman arrives and catches Harley, who then taunts that he can either bring her in or save Catwoman, but not both. Batman then... nonchalantly reaches over to the circuit breaker and shuts off the power to the grinder, to which Harley responds, "Good call—Help!"
- Talking Your Way Out
- Used this when Harley Quinn singlehandedly captured him and put him in a Death Trap he couldn't escape from. He played off her infatuation with the Joker and convinced her to call him so that he could "witness" his death, knowing that his ego wouldn't allow anyone else to off the Batman.
- When caught and held defenseless by Scarface's gang, Batman convinces Scarface that the one who sold them out was Arnold Wesker, aka The Ventriloquist. Scarface angrily orders his men to kill Wesker, and when they hesitate he thinks they are traitors as well. Batman escapes in the chaos and bring the gangsters down. The twist? Scarface is Arnold Whesker - he is just a ventriloquist's doll that Wesker uses to manifest his psychotic Split Personality.
- Taught by Experience: Mask of the Phantasm had Bruce perform his first night as a vigilante in black clothes and a ski mask, yelling out police commands. He had all the training and gadgetry, but didn't really understand Batman's foundation of fear and intimidation. This is what leads him to being the poster child of Crazy-Prepared. This aspect of the movie was a homage to Batman: Year One, which used essentially the same thing.
- The Team Normal: The only member of the League who doesn't have any form of super-powers, natural or bestowed.
- Trophy Room / Superhero Trophy Shelf
Poison Ivy: So Harv, whatever happened to the giant penny?
Two-Face: They actually let him keep it.
- Troubled, but Cute
Diana: No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.
- Technological Pacifist: The episode "Blind as a Bat" marked Bruce Wayne's first, last, and only time developing anything for the military. After the troubles that stemmed from that, Bruce declared that Wayne Corp would never develop weapons again. It briefly does develop weapons under Powers' helm in Batman Beyond, but the no-weapons policy comes back in full force when Bruce regains control of the company.
- Temporary Blindness: In the episode "Blind As A Bat."
- 10-Minute Retirement:
- In "I Am the Night", Batman messes up a stakeout, and Commissioner Gordon is shot as a result. In the wake of this, he goes into a deep, irrational depression and nearly gives up the cape and cowl, even when he hears that the gangster has broken out of jail and plans to finish the job. Only when Robin tries to save Gordon on his own does he finally snap out of it.
- "Chemistry" has him give up being Batman when he finally found the love of his life, preferring to settle down and marry (though Nightwing believed he would be back in the suit in a month). However it is later discovered that she, (along with everyone else's partner on said ship) is a plant person created by Ivy to inherit all their fortunes once they're dead. Bruce is back as Batman to foil her plot.
- Took a Level in Badass: Already incredibly badass in BTAS, Batman levels up as his career progresses and in the Justice League he takes on the likes of Vandal Savage, Brainiac and finally goes toe to toe with Darkseid himself, earning Villainous Praise from the most powerful being in the universe. This for a Badass Normal with no powers who took small crimes as seriously as major supervillains in a Wretched Hive like Gotham.
- This becomes a plot point where an early issue raised doubts about Batman's ability to keep up with the rest of the league, after he easily gets taken out in a group fight against Luthor's Injustice Gang with Superman asking him to stay back while he investigates. Batman instead displays how his skills as a detective and master tactician and psychologist completely damages the opponents by triggering their Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. He progressively raises his game to hyper-competent levels. In a later episode, he's able to Judo Throw Kalibak, an alien Superman-level thug from Apokolips who Superman says he could have easily beaten.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Deliberately invoked. During the TNBA era, he's growing grimmer and colder.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Wonder Woman. Sorry, shippers.
- Used To Be More Social: By the time Bruce is in old age the only friends of his who he hasn't alienated are dead.
- Villain Respect: From Ra's Al Ghul, Darkseid and Amanda Waller, though the level of villainy varies from extreme to mild.
- In Hereafter, Vandal Savage praises the engineering of The Watchtower which lasts for several thousand years after the end of the earth, only falling out of orbit a short while before Superman's arrival in the future. Savage is unaware that Batman was responsible for the engineering but does remark that it's a remarkable feat of engineering.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Superman and Flash.
- Weapon Stomp: Has done this at least once.
- When He Smiles: Horrifying appearance notwithstanding, the rare smile that he shares with children is so warm-and-kind it can melt glaciers.
- Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: From his money, that's where.
- With My Hands Tied: Is forced to beat up two burly orderlies while in a straitjacket and held for treatment in Arkham.
- Working Through The Cold: In "Heart of Ice"
- Would Hit a Girl: Batman is smart enough to not recognize genders in a fight. This is especially true if his identity is at stake. In "Almost Got 'Im" during Poison Ivy's tale, Batman punches Ivy off when she tried to take his mask off. There's also this exchange from "Harley and Ivy":
Batman: Man or woman, a sick mind is capable of anything.
Poison Ivy: A very enlightened statement, Batman. We'll carve it on your headstone.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: As with his comic counterpart, he absolutely hates it when others hurt children or puts them at risk.
- Wrecked Weapon: Bane makes his presence in Gotham known by smashing the Batmobile with his bare hands. Another villain, Lockup, puts a boot (wheel clamp) on it.
Batman: He trashed my car, Alfred. Between a couple of guys, that's real personal.
Robin I/Nightwing (Dick Grayson)
"Hey, no one can be a Boy Wonder forever."
Much like his comic counterpart, Dick was a member of The Flying Graysons
, a family of circus acrobats. His parents were killed by a mobster named Tony Zucco (not Zuko
). After being taken in by Bruce Wayne, he eventually finds out his secret and takes up the role of Robin
. Eventually, he grows up and strikes out on his own, taking a new name: Nightwing
- Commuting on a Bus: Done intentionally. Dick spends most of the week at school, letting Batman establish himself both with and without a partner. He only appears in two episodes of the first season. This continues when he graduates to his Nightwing identity; Justice League Unlimited suggests he does double duty in both Gotham and Bludhaven.
- Cool Bike: used one as Robin from time to time; later the Nightcycle.
- Dance Battler: While his fighting style is more acrobatic than dance-like, he did train in capoeira according to The Lost Years.
- Dating Catwoman: Had his own brief fling with Catwoman in "You Scratch My Back".
Batgirl (Barbara Gordon)
"So Batman can't help me? Fine. Let's see what Batgirl can do!"
The daughter of Police Commissioner Gordon, Barbara first takes up the Bat cowl when her father is framed for corruption by Corrupt Cop Gil Mason
. She plans to attend a "Gordon is innocent" rally while impersonating Batman, believing that the appearance of the Caped Crusader will drum up support for her father. When she gets involved in a drive-by shooting that hits the rally, she is partially unmasked by Robin when he rips the back of her cowl, freeing her hair and leaving the city wondering "Who is Batgirl?"
Barbara operates independently in her appearances in Batman: The Animated Series
, but is officially inducted into the Bat-Family by The New Batman Adventures
. She serves as Batman's main partner throughout the series, replacing Dick Grayson, while the new Tim Drake Robin is more of a once in a while helper.
In Batman Beyond
, a much older Barbara has put aside the cowl and picked up the badge, taking her father's place as Police Commissioner of Gotham City. As fate would have it, the long-retired Bruce Wayne has just taken on a protege as the new Batman. See here for tropes applying to her in that show
- Defiant Captive: The SubZero movie. The highlight of it all is when Belson unlocks the chain binding her, she immediately starts swinging it at him.
- El Cid Ploy: This is Batgirl's origin: dressing up as Batman in an effort to add the Bat's support to Commissioner Gordon's innocence.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Supergirl in "Girls' Night Out". Kara is after Livewire (who would join up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn), and Barbara teams with Kara to stop them. They'd bond through the episode, and in the Christmas Episode of Justice League, "Comfort and Joy," it's said Barbara invited Kara to go skiing with her.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
- Her Code Name Was Mary Sue: Though not an actual book, script, or screenplay, she has a dream at the beginning of "Batgirl Returns" where she saves Batman from Two-Face, Penguin, and Joker single-handedly. Just as they're about to make out, Dick Grayson wakes her from her nap.
- Hidden Depths: She had been fearing for a while what would happen if she never got the chance to tell her dad.
Robin II (Tim Drake)
Voiced by: Matthew Valencia, Dean Stockwell [older]
This Tim Drake is a combination of both the comic version and Jason Todd, the Robin before him. The son of a two-bit crook who betrayed and was murdered by Two-Face, Robin falls into Batman's world while fleeing Two-Face's thugs who are chasing him over something left by his father. Like Grayson, Tim finds out Batman's identity, steals the Robin costume, and ultimately helps bring Two-Face down.
Voiced by: Efrem Zimbalist Jr.
- Like a Son to Me: Alfred gives a double moment with a single line; in "Old Wounds," at Dick Grayson's college graduation he says that Dick is like a second son to him. Alfred is childless: His first "son" is Bruce Wayne.
- Mathematician's Answer: Played with. Alfred and Frederick, an old compatriot of his, had been captured and injected with Truth Serum. When the serum starts to take effect, Alfred seems to be drunk off it. When Red Claw asks, "What's the second password?", he replies "The lion and the unicorn..." Turns out Alfred was faking inebriation as the password was exactly what he said.
- Neat Freak: When he and Bruce briefly visit some run-down movie-store, Alfred tries his finger on the counter, reproachfully looks at the dirt it comes up with and then proceeds to wipe the counter clean (well, cleaner) with a cloth.
- Nice Guy: One of the best examples comes in his last appearance in the DCAU, "Starcrossed", where he consoles Hawkgirl when the League vote whether to expel her from the League for being a mole and advanced scout for the Thanagarian Invasion. Alfred admits that whatever they decide, her decision to protect Earth and risk exile is proof enough for him that she is a hero and worthy of his trust.
- No Hero to His Valet: While he remains unfailingly loyal through thick and thin, he also practically raised Bruce from childhood and taught him several of the tricks he would later come to use as Batman, with the result that he never fails to vocally criticize Batman to his face when he thinks it's needed and is practically the only person Batman cannot intimidate with his usual tricks.
- The Other Darrin: Clive Revill voiced Alfred in his first three appearances before leaving and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. replaced him.
- Retired Badass: Former SAS soldier/high-ranking intelligence agent, who can not only defend himself against thugs, but also hold out against truth serum.
- Secret Keeper: To the Batfamily
- Servile Snarker: Just as snarky in animation as he is in the comics:
Alfred: Why, you're the very model of sanity. Oh, by the way, I pressed your tights and put away your exploding gas balls.
- The "Beware the Creeper" episode, where Alfred gives this gem:
- Sophisticated as Hell:
As they say on the streets 'I ain't touching that one'
- Spot of Tea: As the most British of gentlemen, he frequently offers an actual 'spot of tea.'
- Undying Loyalty: To Batman