Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Comic Books: The New Batman And Robin Part 2

Comic Books: The New Batman And Robin Part 2

In Batman's early career (according to the Year One storyline) he and the Gotham city police did not get along.  Part of the reason was Batman is a vigilante, moving outside of the law in order to bring justice to criminals.  A bigger reason was most of the Gotham city police were criminals themselves.  Batman doesn't care if you have a badge or not.  If you are breaking the law in his city, then he is going after you. 

Since their rocky start, however, Batman and the GCPD have worked together.  This is mostly thanks to Commissioner Gordon .  Commissioner James Gordon (again according to the Year One story) began as a lieutenant in Gotham the same year Bruce began his career as Batman.  Gordon was one of very few honest cops when he started at Gotham. With his stellar performance and unrelenting will to save Gotham, Gordon quickly rose through the ranks and cleaned up the police department.  Over the years Batman and Gordon have gained each other's respect. Batman trusts few people, but Gordon is high on that list.

For the few weeks after Bruce's "death" violence erupted in Gotham.  Bruce's identity was a closely guarded secret and news of his death wasn't widely known.  Still, many people believed Batman was dead, or at least suspected something was wrong with the Dark Knight.  The city nearly tore itself apart.  People tried to claim the Batman cowl as their own, villains took their gang wars to the next level, and there was no Bruce to come and save the day. 

When Dick became Batman many people in Gotham, both heroes and villains, weren't expecting the Dark Knight to be prowling the streets again.  This included the GCPD.  In Dick's first meeting with Gordon and some other officers, the reader can tell the officers are not sure that the real Batman is back.  Robin does Dick no favors.  Damian takes his interrogation too far with a criminal, giving her a concussion as Gordon and other officers try to stop him. 
After this disastrous first meeting, Dick gained Gordon's respect by finding and shutting down a new drug dealer in Gotham.  Gordon knows that this isn't the same Batman he has worked with for years, but recognizes that the person under the cowl is continuing Batman's mission.  Gordon might even have a hunch that a former Robin is the new Batman.  The irony is that if Dick could just tell Gordon who it is that is the new Batman then Gordon would know he can trust the new Batman.

When Dick took on Batman's mantel he knew that he couldn't let people know that it was a new person in the costume.  This will help him keep the fear that Bruce put into Gotham's criminals.  But for the few people who knew Bruce, even without knowing his real name, Dick will have to slowly earn their trust and respect or remind them why they feared Batman in the first place.

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