The Kid Hero trope is deconstructed in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Being a youngster who fights evil won't spare you from the torture and brainwashing Mind Rape you'll receive once you end up in the claws of a sadistic, murderous, amorally psychopath. If you do survive it, you'll completely lose your sanity, it will take years of therapy to cure you, and you've to live with PTSD through the rest of your life. Though Tim was actually not regretful of it until the Jo0ker began influencing him in his attempt to take over.
Timothy Drake (as an adult): Fun and games. Boy wonder playing hero. Fighting off bad guys and no one ever gets... oh god. I killed him. I didn't mean to. I tried so hard to forget. But I still hear the shot. Still see the dead smile. Every night the dreams get stronger... he's there when I sleep. Whispering! Laughing! Telling me that I'm as bad as he is! We're both the same! (though his 'dreams' are actually the result of the Joker placing a chip on him before he died in an attempt to take over Tim.
- The Joker points out that for all the fear he invokes being The Cowl, Batman is not more than a pathetic Man Child crying out for mommy and daddy after all those years.
The Joker: I must admit, it's sadly anti-climactic. Behind all the sturm and bat-o-rangs, you're just a little boy in a playsuit, crying for mommy and daddy! It'd be funny if it weren't so pathetic.
Me and the others gave everything, but it just wasn't enough for the old man. I used to think, if I went on long enough, someday he'd retire and I'd... ah, the heck with it. Capes, costumes, bad guys - it was kid's stuff! Bruce probably did me a favor. By the end, I was so sick of it I never wanted to see that stupid Robin suit again...!
- However, it's been noted that his hatred for being R Obin was a result of the Joker's influence on him and he was actually pretty okay.
- The New Batman admits that The Joker is a successful supervillain, but a pathetic comedian: he never made Batman’s laugh, nor corrupt or break him. He never was Affably Evil, just Faux Affably Evil. And maybe the clearer proof that The Joker is a mediocre comic is that he cannot deal with the natural enemy of a comedian: The Heckler.
Terry McGinnis: The real reason you kept coming back was you never got a laugh out of the old man.''
The Joker: I'm not hearing this...
Terry McGinnis: Get a clue, clowny! He's got no sense of humor! He wouldn't know a good joke if it bit him in the cape... not that you ever had a good joke.
Terry McGinnis: I mean, joy-buzzers, squirting flowers, lame! Where's the "A" material? Make a face, drop your pants, something!
Batgirl: How could you help Joker do it, Harley?
Harley Quinn: Okay, so he roughed the kid up a little. But I'll make it right.
Batgirl: Yeah, you're Mother of the Stinkin' Year!
Batman (McGinnis) [after his interview with Drake]: Were all of you that bitter when you left?
Barbara Gordon: Comes with the territory, McGinnis. Look up Nightwing someday, has he got stories.