Webcomic: Batman and Sons
Inspired by the comic Tiny Titans
, the-dark-cat/The Black Cat not only portrays Batman as a superhero/crime fighting detective, but also as a single father trying to raise his four sons: Dick, Jason, and Tim (the three most famous Robins), and a baby named Terry
. The comic is not only funny and adorable, but also succeeds at poking fun at topical points in comics, such as the Dark Knight, Batman's 70th Anniversary, and Grant Morrison
. It also occasionally features other DC superheroes and their respective sidekicks/kids.
You can read it here
- Adult Fear: Played for Laughs as "Bat's in the Cradle" shows Bruce scared of letting Terry grow up too soon (we see Terry go from baby, to little kid, to eventual Batman Beyond).
- Badass Adorable: All the boys, but especially Baby Terry. Tim in Rivalry also manages to win against all of the metas, and only fails when he hesitates upon seeing Mia.
- Badass and Child Duo: Batman and Terry, or occasionally Tim.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Baby Terry is surprisingly eloquent. He spends two strips showing off his Genre Savviness and his in-depth knowledge of Batman's comic book history.
- In 'Rivalry', the Flash tells Wally that Superman's ability to reverse the rotation of the earth "only happens in the comics".
- Also in 'Rivalry', the second and third acts are preceded by characters summarizing the prior events for the audience.
- Bullying a Dragon: In the "Rivalry" storyline, Superman tells Lois how Batman always messed with him as a boy, passing it off as him being "such a kidder." When Lois accuses him of being in denial, Superman answers, "It keeps me from killing him, Lois."
- Callback: Tim's Superman doll in "Crime and Punishment" made its first appearance two years earlier as one of Tim's presents in the holiday special "Terry's Favorite Thing".
- Catapult Nightmare: Dick has one during the "Mr. Bat-Mom" storyline.
- Cheerful Child: Tim, though it cracks easily. Dick, as well.
- Chew Out Fake Out: When Jason calls the Green Arrow's family the fairy squad, Batman admonishes: "Jason! Not so loud!"
- Also the starting point of "Better Than You". Jason farts while the kids are watching Star Wars, and Dick retorts: "HEY! I can do better."
- Chocolate Baby: While a lot of superhero "families" include Affirmative Action Legacies, the Hawk Family gets special mention for including Warhawk, Hawkgirl's daughter with John Stewart from the DCAU. If you look down in the comments, Black Cat jokes about this.
- Chromatic Arrangement: The Robins' pajamas. Dick wears yellow, Jason is green, and oddly enough, the youngest adopted son Tim is in red. Terry's unchanging onesie is black.
- Civvie Spandex: Inverted. None of the heroes ever appear out of costume, even as children.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: This universe's version of Kyle Rayner.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Batman once punished Jason by not allowing him to train. He also takes advantage of the boys' Barry Allen phobia.
- Cutaway Gag: They happen quite often during storylines, and always within context.
- Daddy DNA Test: Bruce did a parental test with Terry to prove he was his son. (Mentioned in 'Back to the Cave' and 'Cabbage Patch'.)
Batman: But you're Daddy's baby! Because Daddy did a blood test with you. Yes I did! Yes I did!
- Dead Dog Comedy: Perhaps a story arc titled "Ace in the Hole" should've warned us. There's even implied Dog Of Steel, Bitch of Kleenex for one unfortunate Ace.
- Defeat by Modesty: Batman defeats Jessie Quick this way.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mrs. Wayne's ghost.
Thomas: First those kids, now (Bruce)'s brought a dog into the manor. Martha, that boy can't do anything right.
Martha: (without looking up from her book) It's nice to know that death hasn't tainted that jaunty personality of yours, Thomas.
- Alfred and Jason aren't weak in this department either.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Being an adolescent who has started to notice girls while being surrounded by and hugged by some of the most beautiful women in the world, Dick has a hard time trying to hide how badly he is effected by this.
- The Faceless: The ghosts of Bruce's parents, and Iris Allen, never have their faces shown.
- Five-Finger Discount: Done in "Don't Mess with Bats." After a bad day which gets Batman snarky, he gets on the nerves of Jesse Quick, Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite by showing his hands "are quicker than" their eyes: he snatches Jesse's top while she runs at him, he gets Hourman's hourglass while he's making his threat (Hourman suddenly sees it's gone and on Batman, who goes "Tick Tock"), and he gets Dr. Mid-Nite's goggles, rendering him unable to see—and running into a tree.
- Freudian Trio: Jason is the shoulder-devil Id (particularly the death instinct), Dick is the golden boy Superego, and Tim is hopelessly swayed between them as the Ego.
- Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Done to Dick by Jason when he starts panicking over their plans during the "Mr. Bat-Mom" storyline.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In a scene of "Rivalry", Jade is pelting Tommy Bronson with water balloon constructs to defend Obsidian:
Jade: You take back what you said about my brother!
Tommy: All I asked [was] if he wanted some fruit... Didn't get it?
- Give Him a Normal Life: Well, Terry's life probably won't be very normal, but he's at least safer with Batman than Catwoman.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: Strangely, Jason has the neatest hairstyle of all the boys.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Bruce is very harsh in training the boys (tying them upside down from ropes order to teach them escape skills... while Tim needs to go to the bathroom), though he does try to be fair in his strictness. In "Rivalry", a montage of photos revealed that Bruce had one as well.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Batman rants that Green Arrow rips off everything from him; when Dick points out that Green Arrow has a daughter and he doesn't, Batman promptly decides to adopt a girl.
- Also, Batman scolds one of his sons for letting the feminine sex distract him. Cut to a panel of him being "distracted" by Catwoman.
- You may chalk this to him teaching from his own experience, though.
- Finally, he passes off a competitive Flash's ranting at Superman as "infantile", in the middle of a story about his rivalry with Green Arrow.
- I Can Still Fight: Exhibit A--Last Panel◊. To clarify, it shows Bats attempting to answer the Bat-Signal with two broken legs.
- Ignored Epiphany: During the Thanksgiving special, Flash reminds Batman and Green Arrow that they are Not So Different and scolds them for ruining the one day Native Americans and settlers got along. The two hang their heads for a moment...and then Batman punches Green Arrow flat.
- Loafing in Full Costume
- Mediation Backfire: In "Rivalry", Batman and Green Arrow's latest argument is interrupted by their baby sons hugging. Superman tries to interject An Aesop about the importance of tolerance and friendship, only for the two to turn on him and then return to their argument.
- Men Can't Keep House: Averted. While Batman fails dreadfully at chores in the beginning of "Mr. Bat-Mom" due to having servants all of his life, getting a tip to read instructions and then doing research in the Batcave results in the same obsessive perfection that Batman usually gives to detective work.
- Also, Barry performs a one-man house-cleaning service in exchange for cake.
- Meta Guy: Baby Terry.
- Most Common Superpower: To Dick's continual embarrassment.
- Mouthy Kid: Jason
- Mundane Utility: Superman cooks hamburgers with his heat vision.
- Mysterious Protector: Catwoman on occasion to Terry, because she's his mother.
- Mythology Gag: As noted in Shout-Out below, there are a lot of references to the original comics.
- Nerds Are Sexy: Barbara Gordon wears her Nerd Glasses over her cowl and has braces on her teeth. She's still pretty, and Dick has a crush on her.
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe, Hal Jordan feels Batman hasn't forgiven or forgotten his time as Parallax.
- The Nicknamer: Batman's WWE-esque nicknames in 'Take Down' range from groanworthy but acceptable (Terror Terry) to nonsensical (Fearsome Tim) to absolutely dreadful (The Dickminator).
- Parental Abandonment: Of course, there's the obvious cases (Batman and all three Robins). Also, Catwoman, who is Terry's mother in this continuity, left him in Batman's care, feeling he would be safer with Bruce.
- Parental Favoritism: Batman is most overtly affectionate with his youngest (acknowledged) biological son Terry, is also kinder to the youngest ward Tim, tends to be exasperated with Jason's schemes, and holds Dick to very exacting standards. But the true unfavorite? Damian.
- Parental Obliviousness: Green Arrow is the worst father ever. Proof? See here.
- Precocious Crush: Jason possibly has one on Wonder Woman, as seen here.
- Dick has one on Babs. And if you look closely at her binder, it seems like she might have one on Batman.
- Put Their Heads Together: Superman lightly knocks Batman and Green Arrow's heads together after one of their fights. Unlike most cases, it isn't hard enough to hurt them or knock them unconscious.
- Rule of Funny
- Running Gag: In the holiday drawings, Terry hitting Tim with various objects.
- Ship Tease: "Rivalry" has numerous examples, mostly based on official comic couples (Roy flirting with Donna, Jade calling Kyle "cute," etc.)
- "Crush" has Dick running across town to catch a glimpse of Barbara Gordon at her high school. Then he runs all the way back to get into the Batmobile on time. When Batman asks why he's so sweaty and out of breath, he then notices Starfire walking a few feet away.
- Shout-Out: Lots, not just to the comics, but also to the various Batman and/or DC Comics TV series, movies, etc. There's even been references to Peanuts and The Karate Kid.
- In-universe: Baby Terry has a habit of climbing to high places, has a Catman doll, and resembles a kitten due to his baby face and short cowl ears. Because his mother is Catwoman.
- So Proud of You: Bruce tells Tim in "Rivalry" when Lois gave Tim a ribbon for third place, "I'm proud of you, Tim."
- Bruce tells Clark about Terry in 'Super Birthday,' "I'm so proud of him." (Green Arrow's younger son had stolen Terry's balloon, but Terry wouldn't let him get away with it.)
- Spinoff Babies: Has shades of this, considering how many DC characters are aged down to kids, babies, or teenagers.
- Inverted with some of the veteran JSA members: Alan Scott, Jay Garrick and Wildcat are old to the point of senility (Jay is hinted to not even have Super Speed anymore).
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Green Arrow to Batman
- Take That: Two in one.
- Don't forget the one-shot gag in the Fourth of July strip against certain recent developments in the Green Lantern mythos.
- Tempting Fate: "Selina's Cats: Meet Butch and Sunny" have the cats on the other side of a window, and taunting the guard dog on the other side. A final taunt has them put their behinds to the glass.
BUTCH: Lick my ass!
SUNNY: I'd tell you to lick my balls if I still had them!
(Guard dog licks the glass with a loud SLURP!)
SUNNY: (horrified) Dude, he really did it!
(giving middle claw to a smirking guard dog) You Perv!
- Thirty Xanatos Pileup : 'Mr. Bat-Mom' consists of Alfred pretending to be have a cold to have Batman take care of the boys for once, Jason and Dick scheming to get Batman back to normal so they won't have to do chores, and Tim working against Jason and Dick because he likes spending time with Batman.
- Toilet Humor: Usually one-off jokes based on baby Terry, but also the entire focus of the oneshot "Better Than You".
- The Unfavorite: Damian isn't even acknowledged as Batman's son despite being biologically related. Considering how biased Batman is towards Terry, that's saying something.
- Visual Pun: A succession of them in this Holidays page.
- The Voiceless: Catwoman never says anything besides "Meow". Her longest correspondence with Batman was a written note. Also, Cassandra Cain.
- We Want Our Jerk Back: Dick and Jason feel this way in the Bat-Mom comic.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: All four boys are terrified of Barry Allen. And acrobat hoops.
- Those aside, pretty much the only thing that frightens Jason is the Joker. Understandably so.
- Your Answer to Everything: Batman is annoyed by Flash suggesting that he and Green Lantern hug and make up, asking, "Do you really think everything can be solved with a hug?"