Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Batman and Bat-Family

Go To
They’re not all together like this very often, so enjoy the moment.note 

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.

Back to the main character page

    open/close all folders 

The following members/identities have their own dedicated pages:

    Tropes shared by the whole Batfamily 
  • Animal-Motif Team: They are all named after bats (Batman, Batgirl, Batwoman) or birds (Robin, Nightwing).
  • Badass Family: The whole lot of them fight crime in Gotham City, even Alfred isn't exempt and has done plenty his share of asskicking.
  • 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.
  • Child Soldiers: Dick, Barbara, Jason, Tim, Stephanie, and Duke all started out as these. Cassandra was one under her father, David Cain, and started out as one as a vigilante post-Flashpoint. Damian still is one.
  • 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.
    • Dick carries a gun during his time with the Bludhaven police, but he doesn't use them as a vigilante.
  • 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 Friend Nobody Likes: Much of the Bat Family, except for Nightwing most of the time, has this reputation in the superhero community due to the manipulative actions of their patriarch the Batman and his manipulative Magnificent Bastard traits rubbing off on all of them. Comes to a head in the aftermath of the Tower of Babel comic arc where the family lost the trust of much of their allies due to Batman's contingency plans against his team and were even deemed as pariahs.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Downplayed, since Cassandra Cain/Batgirl/Black Bat/Orphan, Damian Wayne/Robin, and Kate Kane/Batwoman all had some form of formal combat training before they became vigilantes, and Bruce and the rest did train extensively prior to going out in the field, but the Batfamily is essentially Bruce Wayne and his collection of orphaned, abused, and neglected children, most of whom are desperately looking for his approval.
  • The Team: In general, Batman is The Leader, Robin is the Kid Sidekick and Batgirl is The Chick.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: This is usually what you get if you put two or more of them on the same case.
  • 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.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: He didn't trust AzBats and remained away from him, in a hidden section of the Batcave, alongside Harold.
  • 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?
  • 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.

Alfred is, if necessary, the only person who can tell Batman what he can and cannot do. Has also, on occasions, wielded a shotgun.

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Pre-Crisis, Bruce was already Batman and had taken Dick under his wing when Alfred came to work for him. Post-Crisis and every other version afterward would see Alfred as a part of the Wayne household since either, Depending on the Writer, Bruce was a child or before Bruce was even born, and would replace his Uncle Philip as Bruce's surrogate 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 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. He also wields a shotgun in several iterations.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Alfred is undoubtedly one of the sweetest, kindhearted elderly gentlemen you will ever meet... but unlike most of the rest of the Batfamily, he will bust a cap in your ass if he deems it necessary. He's also the only person that Bruce will, without any snark or back-talk, truly listen to.
  • 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.
  • Give Him a Normal Life: After Bruce came back amnesiac in the Superheavy arc, he tries to keep him out of the loop of his former vigilante life, and urges Bruce to settle down with someone. All the while taking over the Batcave to make kids be Robins, and letting Jim Gordon become Batman to protect Gotham.
  • 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 most of the rest of the Batfamily, he's perfectly willing to kill. He was a soldier after all.
  • 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.
  • Hired Help as Family: Alfred Pennyworth is the Waynes' butler/valet and he is treated as a beloved member of the family, to the degree that when Thomas and Martha Wayne are murdered, Alfred takes their son Bruce under his custody and raises him like his own son. The feeling is quite mutual, with Alfred and Batman mourning each other as "my son" or "my father" when one believes the other has died.
    • Presumably Thomas and Martha Wayne left a will with instructions of who would raise Bruce - it seems that person was Alfred since no-one else comes forward.
  • 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. And when you consider Batman's list of associates include Nightwing, Wonder Woman, and Superman, that is the highest of all possible praises.
  • 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 drive (since his parents died before he was of driving age), 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 - he can, it seems, literally do everything.

    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.

More info on Azrael personal page.

    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 (and 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 after she was gravely injured and rendered comatose by the villain Hook. Under the tutelage of Jacob and his Murder of Crows, she became Hawkfire and successfully took down Hook. After being badly injured again soon after this, she took a break from vigilante work. As of the Rebirth era she had enrolled at the United States Military Academy, seeming to be in her second year.

See the Batwoman character page for her tropes.

    "Batman of Tomorrow" (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.

Over the years, diverging versions of Batman Beyond have headlined their own series. Listed below are general tropes applying to the character as he has appeared. For tropes specific to those versions, please see their respective pages.

  • 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.
  • Red-Headed 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.

  • Deflector Shields: Luke's armor comes equipped with a personalized electro-magnetic based force field that's more than capable of tanking automatic fire from point blank range. However, hard-hitting weapons such as a high-caliber sniper rifle were shown to be able to pierce his field.
  • Depending on the Writer: Luke's personality changes depending on what role he is filling at any given point.
    • He's just a pretty normal guy in Batwing and Batman Eternal, angsting about his mistakes as you'd expect. In Detective Comics (Rebirth), he's a showy, charismatic supergenius inventor with a big ego, seemingly to contrast him with Tim Drake, who he was replacing on the cast, and whose defining trait was being "the normal one" on the Bat-Family. He'd return to his more everyman and subdued characterization in The Next Batman: Second Son and I Am Batman.
    • His relationship with Lucius. Originally, it was established that Luke had something of a rebellious streak towards his father, but nothing particularly overt beyond refusing some big job offers, and that the relationship was otherwise loving. However, in The Next Batman: Second Son and subsequent works with Jace Fox, Lucius is established to have been a neglectful father to his children. Also, Luke is established as more of The Dutiful Son type, while Jace is the rebellious one, in contrast to his previous characterization.
  • Expy: Of Tony Stark in Rebirth, complete with a car that contains his armour, which Tony had used a year before. He's a flashy, charismatic inventor superhero with a penchant for power armor and being smug.
  • 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 after David Zavimbe quit.
  • My Greatest Failure: Not being able to save his sister, Tamara, from her condition after she was poisoned by Ratcatcher. His little sister Tiffany also holds it against him.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Pet the Dog: After hearing about some of the crap Killer Croc went through while serving time with the Suicide Squad, Luke decides to let Weylon off the hook for attacking him in exchange for helping him apprehend the Riddler and his goons.
  • 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.
  • Reimagining the Artifact: In a way, Luke Fox was initially conceived as a reimagining of the Pre-Crisis Tim Fox as the smart-assed troublemaking son of Lucius Fox, but debuted with both a significant boost in intelligence as a tech prodigy and combat prowess as an MMA practitioner to justify his rise to becoming David Zavimbe's successor as the second Batwing. But when Tim actually did return to continuity in late 2020 as Jace, Luke was rewritten into being a dutiful responsible son to contrast with Jace's regained status as the true Black Sheep of the Fox Family.
  • Secret Identity: Bruce Wayne isn't telling Lucius he's working with Luke, which the writers note will cause eventual friction between the two if Lucius ever finds out.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Ever since his big return in James Tynion IV's Batman, Luke's bitter rivalry with his older brother Timothy "Jace" Fox has defined a large bulk of their interactions together. Luke even makes an active and spiteful effort to keep referring to Jace by his given name as both a petty "Fuck You" and to ensure Jace never forgets whatever Noodle Incident he committed in the past which brought infamy to his name and effectively exiled him out of Gotham for much of his life.
    Jace: Hey, Luke.
    Luke: Well hello, Jace. It's Jace right? Don't want to offend you by accidently using your real name.
    Tam: Luke c'mon...that's not necessary.
    Luke: Clearly it is! He gets set off every time you call him Tim. Isn't that right...Timmy? 'Cause you think, you change your name, you change your past. Doesn't change anything. It sure as hell doesn't change what you put this family through.
  • 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.
  • The Unfavorite: He seems to be this in his family, at least when Jace is around. His parents go out of their way to help Jace and give him chance after chance, as well as emotional support, while they mostly berate Luke for not doing the same. Similarly, his little sister Tiff shows much more affection towards Jace than she does to Luke.

    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.

Not to be confused with the previous Goliath tied to the Batfamily, a Red Robin villain who can be found on the character sheet for Tim's series here.

  • 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 former member of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment. 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. She later played the same role on a global mission with Batwoman.

  • Ambiguously Brown: Julia is biracial, but her mother's ethnicity is not known.
  • 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 Kyle, albeit after she hadn't practiced for a time.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Her modern incarnation has consistently had short, cropped hair.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After the Rebirth Batwoman series, she was completely absent from comics for over three years, with no real explanation. Perhaps most infamously, she was not around to react to the death of Alfred, her own father, in the immediate aftermath.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Inherits this from her father.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Played with. She's introduced as a special operations soldier of the SRR, but is almost immediately severely wounded and taken out of that line of work.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A crime boss impales her through the torso, ending her SRR career and leading to her Mission Control work with the batfamily.
  • Lawful Stupid: On her mission with Kate, she often chastises Kate, sometimes harshly, for relatively minor infractions. For example, she admonished Kate for stealing an EMP from her personal weapons cache despite the device proving necessary to deactivate explosives that would have destroyed an island and killed thousands of people.
  • 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.
  • Ret-Gone: She was no longer canon in Post-Crisis.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: Her mother was Mademoiselle Marie in the pre-Crisis continuity, currently they're not related at all (due to her unknown mother having darker skin).
  • 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, a collective of young vigilantes who adopted Robin's iconography to fight crime during Batman's absence. After his parents were driven insane by the Joker's toxin, he was invited to move into Wayne Manor as Bruce's new partner.

  • 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: Futures 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 very vague things. Brian Hill's run on Batman and the Outsiders attempts to rectify this by having his ambiguous light-based powerset be corrupted by one of Ra's Al Ghul's enforcers, causing Duke to develop a much more clear cut style of Darkness Manipulation in its place.
  • 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.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Becomes this with Cassandra Cain after they both join the Outsiders. The duo constantly lean on one another as close friends and confidants when they're not currently busy kicking ass together.
  • 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: Downplayed. The Lark identity and general aesthetic first appeared in an old Silver Age story but Duke never officially adopted the alias beyond a hallucination sequence. These days, he officially goes by Signal as an alias.
  • Red Herring: When Duke was first introduced, it was heavily hinted in stories like The New 52: Futures 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.
  • Superior Successor: Having learned from the various mistakes he's made since taking other young men and women under his wing as sidekicks, Bruce reveals that he deliberately designed Duke's training as a multi-phase "immersion program" so the kid could eventually become this trope to those who came before him within the Bat-Family. Bruce even grants Duke his own base of operations in the form of the Hatch, gifts him a data-drive holding all of his personal files, contingency plans, and journals written over the course of his career as Batman to study from, then promotes Duke as Gotham's sole protector during the daylight hours, all so the fledgling hero can continue fostering his true potential.
    Batman: I failed Jason. Damian requires continuous supervision. Dick had to leave to find his own identity and city. But you? You represent Gotham's best. A born-and-bred Gotham metahuman with unparalleled detective skills who will be trained for League-level leadership? That's a legacy worth fighting for.
  • 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.
  • Unique Protagonist Asset: He's notably the only official member of the Bat-Family who explicitly possesses actual superpowers where everybody else is some degree of Badass Normal.
  • We Used to Be Friends: After officially joining the Bat-Family as Gotham's latest costumed hero, Duke inadvertently ended up alienating his old friends in the We Are Robin movement. The most tragic examples being Riko Sheridan and Daxton Chill, who both think Duke is a Sell-Out who turned his back on the Narrows so he could become Batman's "diversity hire."

    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.

  • 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.
  • The Mole: In the Hill Gang which he took leadership of with Onyx acting as his bodyguard and Number Two.


A remnant of the Starro alien being that Batman kept in a jar. While Batman only wanted to use him as a proble, they eventually developed a deeper, more affectionate father-son relationship.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: