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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Default When did 'Batman will never retire" become a thing?

    Of course, he won't really retire - there'd be no books for us to read then. But when did it become such an integral aspect of his character to most that he was so driven he never could retire?

    I recall some people hating that in The Dark Knight Rises he retired, saying it was antithetical to his character and that he'd stay Batman until he died on the job. I didn't care for the movie either, but that wasn't my primary problem. But it did lead me to think about when that became a thing to so many people (I've certainly seen it enough, anyway). In early comics, retirement was a given. To a degree it makes sense - Bruce was less obsessed in those days (determined and driven, but not to the exclusion of so much else in his life). And at a certain point, the body just can't do what it used to (look at typical age of retirement for athletes). Early on, I think he though he'd complete his mission (making Gotham significantly better, if not perfect), or maybe (after Robin) hand it off to someone he trusted.

    Anyway, I would just assume the change came with COIE, but in early Robin issue, he again expresses he notion that he thought he could retire (when Jean-Paul Valley took over). So is that because that aspect of Bruce's personality hadn't been introduced yet, or had it been introduced, but not solidified and pre-COIE Bruce was still leaking in or somewhat there?

  2. #2
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    As with many things, the Dark Knight Returns probably codified it.

  3. #3
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    Frank Miller's story wasn't exactly breaking new ground. There's always been stories about Batman's possible future. And there was also the idea that Batman can't retire, because the task he's taken on is impossible to conclude--there's never a time when there's no crime to fight. But in most of those future stories, there are people who take up the war on crime, so that when Bruce is physically incapable of doing it, he has his proxies who can. For Bruce to retire, without ensuring that his mission is going to be continued by others, that makes no sense. It's more likely that Batman will die with his boots on, because he's not the type to stop fighting.

  4. #4
    Incredible Member jb681131's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    Of course, he won't really retire - there'd be no books for us to read then. But when did it become such an integral aspect of his character to most that he was so driven he never could retire?
    What ? Where do you get that feeling from ?
    There are several stories where you see Batman retiered and his role taken by someone else such as Dick Grayson or Terry McGinnis.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Idk. When was the first depiction of him as someone's so obsessed with crime instead of a person who relax in his armchair for the news before acting? Probably's been building up slowly from there

  6. #6
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    I suppose in some way it goes back to Bruce Wayne's childhood vow to spend the rest of his life "warring on all criminals". A lot of people, and a lot of creators in particular, feel that should be taken literally.

  7. #7
    Incredible Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    I suppose in some way it goes back to Bruce Wayne's childhood vow to spend the rest of his life "warring on all criminals". A lot of people, and a lot of creators in particular, feel that should be taken literally.
    I admit, I prefer the older version of him, where he had a little bit more balance in his life. Can't deny this version brings in the $$$, though.

  8. #8
    Spectacular Member Batknight's Avatar
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    I think it should be noted, him retiring in the TDKR is not antithetical to the Nolan version of the character. Nolan's Batman is a very different character than modern traditional Batman. He never swears any vow as a child to dedicate his entire life to warring on all crime to ensure what happened to him never happens to anyone else ever again. He sees Joe Chill killed very early in his life, so the root of a lot of his obsession and trauma isn't there since he gets a resolution to his parents' deaths which Batman typically doesn't. And he spends a lot of the movies wanting to quit once most of the crime has been cleared up so he can settle down and marry Rachel. So while yes, normal Batman would keep fighting until he died, this isn't true of the Nolan movies regardless of your view on TDKR.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batknight View Post
    I think it should be noted, him retiring in the TDKR is not antithetical to the Nolan version of the character. Nolan's Batman is a very different character than modern traditional Batman. He never swears any vow as a child to dedicate his entire life to warring on all crime to ensure what happened to him never happens to anyone else ever again. He sees Joe Chill killed very early in his life, so the root of a lot of his obsession and trauma isn't there since he gets a resolution to his parents' deaths which Batman typically doesn't. And he spends a lot of the movies wanting to quit once most of the crime has been cleared up so he can settle down and marry Rachel. So while yes, normal Batman would keep fighting until he died, this isn't true of the Nolan movies regardless of your view on TDKR.
    I don't disagree. I don't even think it's antithetical to golden, silver, bronze or certain (earlier) eras of post-COIE Bruce (except in that those versions would not have to fake death and leave Gotham forever to hang up their capes). It's just an opinion a lot of people seem to hold, and so think that Nolan's Batman was not Batman enough. My reasons for disliking the movie were different.

    I personally prefer the earlier version of Bruce where his mission was part of his life and didn't consume the rest of it. I enjoyed him more. I was just trying to figure out when the last vestiges of a man that most fans could look at as having a happily-ever-after retirement in the theoretical future disappeared from the character.

  10. #10
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    To me Batman just wants to have fun. The death of his parents is simply the pretext, but when I was a kid I wanted to be Batman because it looked like a lot of fun. So Batman would just continue to be Batman as long as he could.

    In the stories written by Alfred about Batman's future, in the early 1960s, Bruce eventually marries Kathy Kane and has a son, Bruce Wayne, Jr. The couple retire from crimefighting, but Dick becomes Batman II and Bruce, Jr., becomes Robin II, while Betty Kane becomes Batwoman II. Nevertheless, old Bruce and old Kathy can't resist the lure of going back into action as Batman and Batwoman. They might be over the hill, but they still want to have fun.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    batman_robin-e1468531900907.jpg

    Frankly even back in the golden age there was always the ideas that ANY of these heroes don't quit and don't back down. They stand up for what they believe in and fight to the death. The idea that Bruce Wayne can just chill somewhere watching TV while some other kid is being orphaned somewhere always HAS gone against the grain of ANY of the heroes.

    When Robin showed up, he took on a more fatherly role and the comics became more kid-central and there was the occasional fishing/camping trip or watching a movie or doing generally relaxing stuff did happen more. When the cops need him and that spotlight goes on... he would never turn his back on it.

    Then as time goes on Batman above all others became MORE obsessed and MORE determined. To push his body and willpower farther than human limits. The thing is... even if he thought or hoped that Jean-paul COULD take over for him... he was wrong. Bruce is the ULTIMATE human. Ultimate fighter/athlete/scientist/Detective... and no matter who he picks to wear the cowl, they won't do as good as he could. He's still needed. Other heroes MAY get hurt and retire... but it's become totally against everything that Batman stands for.

    The only time I DID like it... was in Batman Beyond. It wasn't his body that gave out. Having a heart attack is an inconvience… it was desperately grabbing that gun and threatening to kill the punk that pushed him away. He had to break his own code and didn't deserve to be Batman anymore.... I could live with that. Losing Jason in DKR... That kind of worked too. You have to break his willpower somehow, not just his body. He isn't looking for an escape hatch to live a 'real' life.

    I really thought Kingdom Come nailed Batman well. When his body couldn't handle crimefighting... he built drones and controlled them remotely. Either way, nobody else was getting mugged in his town

  12. #12
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    Nolan Batman is a very different character with a very different motivation, so much that he can quit. His motivation is because of guilt with a woman, and he has this focus on the past which isnt healthy for him, so when everyone points out to him that he shouldnt be an avenger and after he moves on from it, he already can quit. Also he has a father figure that worried he would die and tried relentlessly to stop him. He isn't that idealistic, his ideals are simple, his doings not dependent on Robins or Teammates and not even self-made. He also isn't much of a teacher or isolated; he can get normal relationships outside of Batman, that's why he quits.

    The Golden Age concept of Batman that largely stays is that he is just a guy only finding purpose of life in fighting (even if he initually wanted to avenge), so his mind is future orirented. it's the only thing he knows how to do. When he started out he made his ideals and insights of a fighter himself, and he shines as a teacher when he can work with partners and proteges. He isnt much of a puncher, but a planner, and he pretty much doesnt care for human relationships unless they come to him. His father figure has little pressure on what he thinks. In fact he IS that father figure who thinks he'd rather stay in the same city forever than let his son die (and Nolan Batman is honestly similar to Dick in that sense of temporary) So the idea that Batman never retires already is in the character, made more so by his partners who thinks the world needs Batman. That's his purpose in life, and he wouldnt be content just doing things his parents did. Thanks to his intellects, his resolve and his partners, he can be Batman till he dies.
    Last edited by nhienphan2808; 06-27-2019 at 07:04 AM.

  13. #13
    Spectacular Member Spencermalley935's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post


    batman_robin-e1468531900907.jpg

    Frankly even back in the golden age there was always the ideas that ANY of these heroes don't quit and don't back down. They stand up for what they believe in and fight to the death. The idea that Bruce Wayne can just chill somewhere watching TV while some other kid is being orphaned somewhere always HAS gone against the grain of ANY of the heroes.

    When Robin showed up, he took on a more fatherly role and the comics became more kid-central and there was the occasional fishing/camping trip or watching a movie or doing generally relaxing stuff did happen more. When the cops need him and that spotlight goes on... he would never turn his back on it.

    Then as time goes on Batman above all others became MORE obsessed and MORE determined. To push his body and willpower farther than human limits. The thing is... even if he thought or hoped that Jean-paul COULD take over for him... he was wrong. Bruce is the ULTIMATE human. Ultimate fighter/athlete/scientist/Detective... and no matter who he picks to wear the cowl, they won't do as good as he could. He's still needed. Other heroes MAY get hurt and retire... but it's become totally against everything that Batman stands for.

    The only time I DID like it... was in Batman Beyond. It wasn't his body that gave out. Having a heart attack is an inconvience… it was desperately grabbing that gun and threatening to kill the punk that pushed him away. He had to break his own code and didn't deserve to be Batman anymore.... I could live with that. Losing Jason in DKR... That kind of worked too. You have to break his willpower somehow, not just his body. He isn't looking for an escape hatch to live a 'real' life.

    I really thought Kingdom Come nailed Batman well. When his body couldn't handle crimefighting... he built drones and controlled them remotely. Either way, nobody else was getting mugged in his town
    You do realize the whole building and controlling Bat-Drones wasn't treated as a good thing, Right? Nor was him living alone in his secluded mansion with only a dog for company in Batman Beyond

    I think of Batman as like a soldier, He's gonna put several tours of duty and when his body gives out or when he's physically unable to continue, He'll gracefully back out and leave it to the myriad of sidekicks he's accumulated who perhaps aren't as skilled as he was technically but are still worthy to carry the mantle.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Jackalope89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spencermalley935 View Post
    You do realize the whole building and controlling Bat-Drones wasn't treated as a good thing, Right? Nor was him living alone in his secluded mansion with only a dog for company in Batman Beyond

    I think of Batman as like a soldier, He's gonna put several tours of duty and when his body gives out or when he's physically unable to continue, He'll gracefully back out and leave it to the myriad of sidekicks he's accumulated who perhaps aren't as skilled as he was technically but are still worthy to carry the mantle.
    Dick has far better social skills, and doesn't put on a fake persona to do so (I refuse to count "Ric").
    Jason has literally dug his way out of his own grave, after he died, as well as had his own trip around the world to learn from various masters, even hunts down mystical monsters.
    Tim is even more obsessive than Bruce is, and is a really good stalker.
    Damian started way earlier than Bruce in his own training, and wants the mantle for himself in the future.

  15. #15
    Spectacular Member Spencermalley935's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackalope89 View Post
    Dick has far better social skills, and doesn't put on a fake persona to do so (I refuse to count "Ric").
    Jason has literally dug his way out of his own grave, after he died, as well as had his own trip around the world to learn from various masters, even hunts down mystical monsters.
    Tim is even more obsessive than Bruce is, and is a really good stalker.
    Damian started way earlier than Bruce in his own training, and wants the mantle for himself in the future.
    I vote Dick

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