Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Batman - what an important part of pop culture in the world. Batman is the darkest hero of the comic world, and perhaps his popularity is due to the fact that he is not a meta-human; he has no special abilities or powers other than his strength and intelligence, which have been developed through hard work and training.

Perhaps Batman's obsessive behaviour gives us a glimpse of what would happen if our little obsessive behaviours became overwhelming. Or maybe his dark side brings out the dark side of every person.

Maybe Batman's motivation is what draws us to him - his parents' tragic, senseless murder, and a man trying to make sure that no one in Gotham City has to undergo what he did as a child. Whatever the reason, Batman seems to be the most compelling character in comics, ever.

Bruce Wayne (Batman)
Bruce Wayne is a very rich man, who resides in Wayne Manor, on the outskirts of Gotham City. Wayne is the owner of Wayne Enterprises, a very large and successful company. Bruce's parents were killed by a mugger when Bruce was six, and the money that his parents' had was placed in trust, eventually becoming worth a lot. Bruce decided that no one should have to lose their loved ones to crime, and became Batman. During the day, however, Bruce effectively fools people into thinking that he is a rich, stupid fop.

Tim Drake (Robin)
Tim is Robin, a pretty-cool fifteen year-old. Tim's mother was killed some time ago, and his father Jack was a pretty sick guy until very recently. Mrs. McIlvaine is the housekeeper at the Drake home, and Dana is Jack Drake's newest love interest. Tim is always trying to hide his "other self" from Jack and Mrs. McIlvaine, and from his girlfriend, Ariana. Ariana recently underwent a crisis of her own (and Robin's, too), as her family was moving away from Gotham. However, Bruce Wayne purchased the store for far more than it was worth, so the family opened a new store elsewhere. Now Tim has Ariana going to his school (Gotham Heights).

Dick Grayson (Nightwing)
Dick has just returned to Gotham. After being found by Alfred, Dick returned, and then undertook a mission of great importance to himself: the discovery of what really happened to his parents. After undergoing an arduous journey (which included a new love interest, Miggy) Dick discovered that his parents were in fact killed to set an example by a protection racket.
Dick now lives in Blüdhaven. He moved to get away from Bruce/Batman, and to strike out on his own. Mostly, I think it was an attempt to stop the comparisons between himself and Batman. Blüdhaven seemed like a lost cause, so it provided a good challenge. Dick is living in a dump of an apartment, and is working at a police bar (hoping to catch some good tips) as a bartender.

Jean Paul Valley (Azrael)
Jean Paul Valley, son of Ludovic Valley, was a computer science graduate student at Gotham University. One night his father appeared at his door, dressed in a strange costume, dying of gunshot wounds. He begged Jean Paul to strip him and leave him in an alley, and to open "that box I gave you." Jean Paul travelled to Europe, and there he found out that he had been trained since he was young to assume the role of Azrael, the Avenging Angel. Jean Paul, as Azrael, saved the life of Bruce Wayne, so Wayne gave Valley a job with Wayne Enterprises. Jean Paul began training with Robin to override the assassination "Program" and to turn himself into a protege of Batmann. After Banee broke Batman, Jean Paul took over as Batman. He has since lost that role, and is back to being Azrael.

No comments: