"Realistic" Batman Must Leave DC Universe

Tio Croc

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I'm going to start this post by saying that it makes perfect sense for Batman to NOT have street level powers, and instead be in pair with the likes of Wonder Woman and Superman. In fact, it makes NO SENSE why he is surronded by people who are "just humans" like him but have weapons that rivals those superpowerful beings, and yet he refuses to upgrade his armor and arsenal:
  1. Lex Luthor is able to create an arsenal of weapons, mechs and suits that rival Superman. Batman not having them is a plot hole. Why can't he make them himself or just learn how to do them by spying Lexcorp (which is completly plausable due to his stealth skills). Steel is his co-worker, which Batman sees pretty much every day, and he never wonders how the hell he can make armor and suits that are that strong? It just does not make much sense...
  2. There are tons and tons of fictional metals in the DC Universe such as metallo that have a durabilty equivalent to the likes of Superman. Superman even has a villain that was literally a normal dude until he was transported to a metallo body, and then became super powerful. Batman could literally just make his Batsuit and weapons out of metallo and then boom, he can literally be Batman but now with superpowerful beings. If he is that smart, why wouldn't he do that? I don't know...
  3. They defeated Aliens, creatures from other dimensions, magical entities so many times, so you can't say he has no technology to build some sort of Batsuit that could enhance his strength and durability. Also, he has money to build an entire space base in orbit, BUT HE HAS NOT MONEY TO UPGRADE HIS OWN FREAKING STUFF??? Like in some comics this man does not event wear a bullet proof vest and other gadgets that exist IN REAL LIFE, and instead drips with a cottom shirt that is vulnerable to stabs and gun shots as he just came straight from 1939.

The feeling many Batman fans have from this could be "I like Batman because he is just human, that would ruin the character." No, this makes the character better and rely on real, stablished armor, instead of plot armor. Let me explain.

There are basically two options when it comes to integrating Batman with the Justice League universe:
  1. Give him an upgraded Batsuit or exoeskelleton that gives him enhanced strength and duability. This causes no further complication, is more plausible and you can just adjust the enhancements to a reasonable level.
  2. Divide the tasks in the Justice League, assigning combat to other members and letting Batman be more like a strategist, detective and "brains" of the team. During combats, writters will have to constantly walk on eggs with Batman, leaving him out of them or always assigning him an opponent of his level; until they cannot, so they just save him with plot armor. It eventually WILL happen, and every DC fan knows that.
I am pretty tired of seeing this beloved character just being the main user of plot armor. To make the universe make sense, clearly giving him adequate equipment is the way to go.

Just to end with the "he is just human" argument once'em for all, saying that Batman does what he does without a suit that enhahnces his strength, agility and durability is the same as saying he is super human. He can lift 500 lbs, dodge bullets and survives when hit by superpoweful beings.
Giving him an armor that suits the logics of his universe and gives him enhanced athleticism does not only makes sense, but also creates opportunity for him to actually be "just human"; and situations where he cannot rely on the suit and has to do the job with actual human level powers, so the story can show that the man makes Batman, not the weapons or plot armor. In my view, much more interesting.

I would also quickly mention what can be called "the tragdity of the realistic character". Basically, because it is stated that Steel is able to make fictional armor and Batman is "realistic" from the start, the general publics thinks it is perfectly resonable for Steel to have his fictional armor while Batman is "realistic", even though Batman is smarter, richer and with more resources than Steel. The same thing happens in other fictional universes, such as with DnD martials, but this is a content for another post.

What I am trying to say is that stories where Batman made a resonable Batsuit are usually deemed as "ilogical" while other characters such as Steel and Luthor do exactly the same thing and it is fine, because of "the tragdity of the realistic character".

It is way better to Batman as a character and to the universe for him to have a Batsuit that enhances his physicallity, specially when he is in the Justice League where unenhanced humans cannot survive without plot armor.

Therefore, I think it is better to the DC universe to oficcially recognize that Batman does have a Batsuit that enhances him, or just remove his participation in the Justice League.

Thank you very much for reading until the end.
 
Hello Tio. Welcome.

The thing that springs immediately to my mind is that if Batman had a suit that could do all that he'd wear it all the time (I mean, why the hell wouldn't he), which would make his solo stories where he fights street-level foes pretty boring, as he (or rather his suit) would just annihilate them instantly. It would also mean no more Knightfall-type stories, as someone like Bane would pose no threat whatsoever. The writers would have to jump through all sorts of hoops to justify Batman not wearing the new armour all the time, which would in itself be ridiculous; if he had it he'd use it. So best he doesn't have it. IMO.
 
News flash: the “mixed genres” of the multiple-hero/shared-universe concept is not entirely coherent. :wink: It’s for this reason that many fans prefer solo adventures. Thus, the various heroes can exist within the fictional context that best serves them. For Batman, that would be a more grounded milieu; for Superman or WW, it would be more fantastical. And since the characters never (or rarely) team-up, there are no conspicuous conflicts in “story logic.”
 
Batman has those suits. He’s broken them out in many stories like Court of Owls, Dark Knight Returns, Endgame, and the story where he retrieved Damian from Apokolypse in the Hellbat suit.

So, when needed he calls upon suits like you describe, but he doesn’t rely on them in all situations likely because he would lose his sharpness or his edge if he relied too much on the technology.
 
Honestly, this feels unimaginative to me. I LIKE that Batman and his solo series are so different from the other characters. It's what makes it special when they come together.
 
Also, I just don't think Batman is well served by making him more like Iron Man. That's not who he is.
Batman's greatest strength is his mind. Yes, he's an amazing physical specimen, but that is something any healthy person could achieve with enough time and resources. He's a detective, not a mad scientist, and his contribution to the JLA should be in his ability to analyze and strategize, not in his ability to put on a big metal suit and fist fight aliens.
 
Also, I just don't think Batman is well served by making him more like Iron Man. That's not who he is.
Batman's greatest strength is his mind. Yes, he's an amazing physical specimen, but that is something any healthy person could achieve with enough time and resources. He's a detective, not a mad scientist, and his contribution to the JLA should be in his ability to analyze and strategize, not in his ability to put on a big metal suit and fist fight aliens.
Agree with everything except the JLA part. Batman should NOT be apart of the JLA. It makes no sense to have a street level hero with all these other super-powered heroes that don't complement or suit his style.

There's a reason why The Outsiders exist, instead of perpetually putting Batman in these epic-odyssey style stories.
 
Agree with everything except the JLA part. Batman should NOT be apart of the JLA. It makes no sense to have a street level hero with all these other super-powered heroes that don't complement or suit his style.

There's a reason why The Outsiders exist, instead of perpetually putting Batman in these epic-odyssey style stories.
I 100% disagree. The way I see it, "street level" is just a genre, and genres are just marketing terms. They don't dictate stories. Personally, I think it makes absolute sense for someone who has the intelligence, wits, perceptiveness, willpower, and creativity necessary to protect a city with a worse crime rate than Metropolis, all with no super powers. I think a group like the JLA would need a detective, would need a tactician/strategist, and more than any of that I think they would need someone who thinks differently than they do. Yes, Wonder Woman can also think strategically and tactically, but the difference between her and Batman is one of experience. Not length of experience, but types of experience. Diana is a demi-god from an island of immortal warriors who primarily contend with mythic beasts that she is more than capable of wrestling and slapping around. She is used to leading groups of soldiers in battle against mythic monsters. Batman, on the other hand, has been wounded, stranded in the middle of nowhere with no supplies or resources, trying to evade a SWAT team or a mob hit squad with intent to kill. Batman has a perspective that most members of the JLA don't, or at least don't have to quote the same degree as him: being in a situation where you are absolutely ****ed, and pulling off a hail Mary anyway through determination and finely honed instincts. Superman and Wonder Woman are rarely in situations where they are the underdog to the same extent as some of the crisis scenarios Batman finds himself in. I know he's got the money and the toys, but when it's 1:30 in the morning and you've been awake for three days straight and you just threw your last batarang and you still need to survive, the money and the tech aren't what's getting you out alive, the mind is. The JLA don't get together for any old problem, they get together for situations where any one of them could be killed easily, despite all of their strength, and the odds are stacked against them. The man who refuses to let the most dangerous city in America kill him through sheer force of will is a perspective you want in a time of crisis.

I like to think of it like baseball. In baseball, the ultimate point is to accumulate runs. The individual tasks on the baseball field are compartmentalized enough that no one player actually has to be good at every aspect of the sport. They just have to be an expert at their specific role, in order to maximize the number of runs your team gets.

Handling a crisis is like that too. You need a guy to lift heavy things, and a guy to come up with a plan and keep everyone organized and on task, and a guy to relay messages back and forth, and a guy to acquire access to transport and shelter and food and medicine, and yes, in action stories, a guy to fight the bad guys. That's what a team is. It's not everyone being great at everything, it's everyone doing what they can so everything gets done. And one role that very much needs filling is "the guy who refuses to give up when all hope is lost." I know that doing that is kind of part of the definition of being a hero, but I just feel like Batman has a relationship with hopelessness and a skill for defying it and overcoming it that the others don't by the very nature of the fact that they have powers.

That's my take. I love Batman in the JLA. I think the League needs Batman. They need someone who thinks like him and who has the skills and unique life experiences Batman brings to the table.
 
I 100% disagree. The way I see it, "street level" is just a genre, and genres are just marketing terms. They don't dictate stories. Personally, I think it makes absolute sense for someone who has the intelligence, wits, perceptiveness, willpower, and creativity necessary to protect a city with a worse crime rate than Metropolis, all with no super powers. I think a group like the JLA would need a detective, would need a tactician/strategist, and more than any of that I think they would need someone who thinks differently than they do. Yes, Wonder Woman can also think strategically and tactically, but the difference between her and Batman is one of experience. Not length of experience, but types of experience. Diana is a demi-god from an island of immortal warriors who primarily contend with mythic beasts that she is more than capable of wrestling and slapping around. She is used to leading groups of soldiers in battle against mythic monsters. Batman, on the other hand, has been wounded, stranded in the middle of nowhere with no supplies or resources, trying to evade a SWAT team or a mob hit squad with intent to kill. Batman has a perspective that most members of the JLA don't, or at least don't have to quote the same degree as him: being in a situation where you are absolutely ****ed, and pulling off a hail Mary anyway through determination and finely honed instincts. Superman and Wonder Woman are rarely in situations where they are the underdog to the same extent as some of the crisis scenarios Batman finds himself in. I know he's got the money and the toys, but when it's 1:30 in the morning and you've been awake for three days straight and you just threw your last batarang and you still need to survive, the money and the tech aren't what's getting you out alive, the mind is. The JLA don't get together for any old problem, they get together for situations where any one of them could be killed easily, despite all of their strength, and the odds are stacked against them. The man who refuses to let the most dangerous city in America kill him through sheer force of will is a perspective you want in a time of crisis.

I like to think of it like baseball. In baseball, the ultimate point is to accumulate runs. The individual tasks on the baseball field are compartmentalized enough that no one player actually has to be good at every aspect of the sport. They just have to be an expert at their specific role, in order to maximize the number of runs your team gets.

Handling a crisis is like that too. You need a guy to lift heavy things, and a guy to come up with a plan and keep everyone organized and on task, and a guy to relay messages back and forth, and a guy to acquire access to transport and shelter and food and medicine, and yes, in action stories, a guy to fight the bad guys. That's what a team is. It's not everyone being great at everything, it's everyone doing what they can so everything gets done. And one role that very much needs filling is "the guy who refuses to give up when all hope is lost." I know that doing that is kind of part of the definition of being a hero, but I just feel like Batman has a relationship with hopelessness and a skill for defying it and overcoming it that the others don't by the very nature of the fact that they have powers.

That's my take. I love Batman in the JLA. I think the League needs Batman. They need someone who thinks like him and who has the skills and unique life experiences Batman brings to the table.
You know, I respect this post. I'm more of a solo Batman reader, so I overshot myself with my post a bit. It's a shame that the comic sections on this forum don't get a lot of activity though. Most of the attention diverts to the adaptations, it seems.
 
It’s usually better to have these conversations in the general comics thread. This is oddly specific for its own thread and it’s good to have a lot of banter back and forth on various topics.

There’s some good comics readers on here.
 

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