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  1. #16
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    I mean...not really? He's Bruce either way. The positive with Uncle Phillip is that it doesn't make Alfred look like the most ineffectual guardian ever. Who cares if Phillip is a bit of a fuck up?

    I also think it's more interesting if Bruce has an extended family and how he interacts with them. I think it makes him more human and would provide us with more opportunities to relate to him. How does he feel about them, how close is he really to them, etc? It is a little too convenient that once Thomas and Martha are dead, he has NO uncles, aunts, cousins or grandparents around. Maybe it was done to make him more isolated and to narrow the cast down to provide more angst for Bruce? Maybe the same train of thought as John Byrne making it so the Kents were alive into Clark's adulthood since he couldn't fathom anybody losing their parents and not becoming Batman, which is a frankly bizarre train of thought.
    I think the lack of an extended family does add to the isolation and how closed-off Bruce is to the point where he dedicates his entire life to becoming Batman. He doesn't have any immediate family or anyone to take him in save Alfred, who tries his best but is never able to dissuade Bruce from his crusade.

    He lost his family and didn't truly regain it until he became Batman and the Batfamily developed. And aside from Kate and Damian I don't think many people are all that interested in Bruce having alive biological family. Some people don't even like Kate being his biological cousin or having that connection to him.

  2. #17
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Being raised by a butler feels more Bruce Wayne to me then by an extended family.
    I strongly prefer his pre-COIE, more emotionally healthy, less emotionally-closed-off personality. I'm sure that's very "not Bruce Wayne" to people who prefer the modern version.

  3. #18
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I think the lack of an extended family does add to the isolation and how closed-off Bruce is to the point where he dedicates his entire life to becoming Batman. He doesn't have any immediate family or anyone to take him in save Alfred, who tries his best but is never able to dissuade Bruce from his crusade.

    He lost his family and didn't truly regain it until he became Batman and the Batfamily developed. And aside from Kate and Damian I don't think many people are all that interested in Bruce having alive biological family. Some people don't even like Kate being his biological cousin or having that connection to him.
    Having an extended family doesn't mean he has to be especially close to them, and it wouldn't erase the trauma of losing his parents. He is often portrayed as being close to Alfred even before the death of the Waynes, and Alfred being unable to dissuade Bruce from his crusade despite being in on it the whole time makes Alfred look like the worst guardian ever. Bruce can have aunts and uncles and only have surface level relationships with them, and not let them in on his plans so they wouldn't be able to stop them. And we have a good 40is years of published materials where that was the case.

    With Kate, I think the issue was more that she was created to be more independent and not interact with him much. The retcon of her being a cousin changes their dynamic a bit and the nature of her origin and inspiration by Batman, and is not really an indication of a lack of interest in blood relatives on its own. It's just that she specifically doesn't work for some people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    I strongly prefer his pre-COIE, more emotionally healthy, less emotionally-closed-off personality. I'm sure that's very "not Bruce Wayne" to people who prefer the modern version.
    I do too. And for a not insignificant length of time, it was very Bruce Wayne not to be an emotionally closed off asshole. And he was a much better character for it.

    Nice job screwing the pooch Alfred. Maybe Phillip is more competent than we realized

  4. #19
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    I strongly prefer his pre-COIE, more emotionally healthy, less emotionally-closed-off personality. I'm sure that's very "not Bruce Wayne" to people who prefer the modern version.
    I prefer a Batman who gets more emotionally healthy over time after he starts out as Batman and brings more people to the fold. It's then when he starts to finally really heal from what happened to him.
    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Having an extended family doesn't mean he has to be especially close to them, and it wouldn't erase the trauma of losing his parents. He is often portrayed as being close to Alfred even before the death of the Waynes, and Alfred being unable to dissuade Bruce from his crusade despite being in on it the whole time makes Alfred look like the worst guardian ever. Bruce can have aunts and uncles and only have surface level relationships with them, and not let them in on his plans so they wouldn't be able to stop them. And we have a good 40is years of published materials where that was the case.
    I don't think it makes Alfred look like the worst guardian ever, just that all his efforts to take care of Bruce and make him happy couldn't prevent Bruce from becoming Batman. It's part of the complexity of their relationship and Alfred's role in supporting Bruce as Batman.

    I can't think of anything that would really be added by having Bruce have random extended family. Any really parental or familial bond is pretty well embodied by Alfred.
    With Kate, I think the issue was more that she was created to be more independent and not interact with him much. The retcon of her being a cousin changes their dynamic a bit and the nature of her origin and inspiration by Batman, and is not really an indication of a lack of interest in blood relatives on its own. It's just that she specifically doesn't work for some people.
    It's kind of like how Batgirl was initially a solo hero fairly independent from Batman aside from the costume but subsequently then became more associated and closer to him in future comics/adaptions.
    Nice job screwing the pooch Alfred. Maybe Phillip is more competent than we realized
    I mean, there have been plenty of versions of Bruce who have only had Alfred and ended up pretty mentally stable. BTAS for one.

  5. #20
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Actor.

    I'm not overly fond of every person in a hero's life being some sort of uber-capable super-spy or soldier or anything. Alfred coming from a theater background is still useful, but more of a "normal person" thing than "I was a Navy SEAL before joining the CIA and then I became a butler!"

    I mean, if you wanna say Alfred did a tour of duty, cool. If he put in his four years (or whatever it is they do in the UK) and saw a little action and trained as a field medic, okay. A lot of people do that. But I don't want that role to be what defines Alfred's life before he ends up with the Waynes.
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  6. #21
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    It makes sense to me that he'd have some kind of spy background, but maybe in a more grounded way — like Tom King himself, worked for the CIA before writing superhero comics.

    He takes a job as Wayne's executive assistant, then finds himself assisting in a different capacity than he expected.

    I don't need the father/grandfather angle with Alfred as overtly as it's been played, I kind of like the Jeremy Irons version in BvS who is both hired help and avuncular. And once you remove Alfred as Bruce's surrogate/adoptive father, then there's less need for him to be as old as Michael Caine.

    I wouldn't hate to see a take that had a younger Alfred... or even one where Alfred / Bruce / Dick / Gordon / Lucius are relatively the same age, and the whole Batman thing is more of a joint enterprise.

    This is also because "Batman's father" has been so played out that I'm interested to see the relationship dynamics explore new ground.

  7. #22
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    You can have both frankly.

    Uncle Phillip is the guardian but he's ineffectual, not bad per se just either too busy working or just not there enough to help Bruce overcome his demons.

  8. #23
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    He's a butler, maybe he had a passion for stage acting but never caught a break. That's about it. I loathe "badass backstories". The spy thing is awful.

    I also wouldnt mind the entire situation being changed though! Make him a former friend of Thomas Wayne, maybe from the military, who steps in to take care of Bruce when his parents are murdered. Part of the appeal to this would be lessening the wealth of the Wayne family. I don't think Batman needs to be a billionaire. If anything being mega rich detracts from him. This also would make Alfred an accomplice, not a butler- which seems to be how he's written most of the time anyway.
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  9. #24
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    Iím generally ambivalent about supporting characters acquiring all the properties of the character they support. Sometimes it works out and yields a spin-off that is superior to the original. But is that what we want for Bruceóto fade into the background and another character overtake him in importance?

    If Alfred was just as good as Bruce and maybe better and the Batman is simply a byproduct of his magnificence, something Alfred invented, then Bruce is the inferior. Iíd rather have the Horatio Alger story of Bruce being a self-invented man, where he owes nothing to anyone and became Batman through sheer will. He may have taken elements from his peersóbut each of these only has a portion of what Batman has in total.

    I enjoy PENNYWORTH, but I watch it as an Elseworld. I donít believe the direction of that series leads to the Batman of the comics.

    Alfred was created to be the epitomy of a supporting character, literally serving the main characters. Quirky enough for comic relief. He gained greater importance in the 1970s as a sounding board, because Robin wasnít around for the expositional dialogue.
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