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  1. #1
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    Default [Batman theory/headcanon] About Tony Zucco, Bruce and Dick, class and power

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    Three times rereading the Golden Age issues and i’ve never noticed this maybe because they took care of Zucco in 1 issue.

    But, what if Zucco has changed through eras as Bruce Wayne did? That while Bruce got richer and richer and more powerful, Zucco also stayed some big Mafia boss/ lord that apparently could decide Dick’s fate more than polices and Bruce had to hide Dick away so he doesn’t die immidiately?

    Guys i just think everything makes sense NOW about Dick and his relationship with Bruce, the Batfam and the whole DCU at large.

    It shed some completely different light to Bruce as a character as well.

    It contrasts them. Dick Grayson is nobody but Robin/Nightwing is multiversally loved in contrast to how Batman is just a guy in the JL among gods but Bruce Wayne is Gotham’s Prince ; Bruce’s parents were killed by a nobody but Dick’s were by a big boss.

    And what if, it was this knowledge that made Bruce make the vow not to kill with Dick, not Alfred, not anyone else, 2 panels later?

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    Reminder that before Dick, he was not above using guns and killing. And we know it was a executive decision for Batman to be like "no guns" because Robin was a kid in the 40s. Now, i have nothing against those of you who liked later retcons of Dick’s origins or Bruce’s makings of Batman, and I am ok with the canon that both Bruce and Dick’s parents were killed by the same kind of criminals and he just saw himself in him but what if Bruce just saw himself in ZUCCO, in stead of Dick ? His parents were killed by a common thug so he thought all criminals were cowards, but this is a working class kid who just lost his parents, his home, his culture, his everything, just because a powerful guy of BRUCE’s wealth and class could harm anyone he wanted.

    What if this is where Bruce realized the truth that, systematic crimes are a thing, criminals don’t just operate out of fear like his initial ideology, and due to his self-critical nature, realized there’s something wrong about himself, like Zucco, getting all this wealth and power in society, yet gave himself the right to decide one’s life, lives like this boy’s family? and THAT was why he changed his ways about killing and second chances.? Cause that, under the family theme of “you and i are the same” , would be the most beautiful, yet gritty and realistic journey of self-reevaluation i’ve ever seen in any piece of fiction ever.

    2. What if in order to keep Dick safe, Bruce had to hide Dick Grayson for a while , only Robin is allowed to fly free?

    We’ve known how Dick had trouble finding himself outside of Robin and superhero-ing in general and had explained it like “he is too much a hero, loves Bruce too much to get out of that life”. What if it’s still like that, just more literally : In the first place, Dick Grayson was not supposed to be alive, only Robin, and Robin was both a hero and a mean to save his life ?

    I’m thinking of Bruce hiding Dick for very long since Zucco was like, as powerful as Bruce Wayne, he was home - schooled, kept a low proflle and everything, but even if Bruce doesnt hid him that long, the knowledge that you are supposed to die immidiately because somebody will kill you just because they can, has a totally different weight on your psyche than being thrown into a system or, fear of losing another family member so you gotta follow him, even when your killer is stopped and you’re free to do whatever you want.

    What if, Dick Grayson was hidden and everyone had forgotten the Flying Grayson by the time Zucco is stopped? Outside of Robin, Dick kept a low profile, in his first years with Bruce, and that’s why he was unaccostumed to school and “normal” things, and when he grew up and the teams parted, he just went “wait who is Dick Grayson?” and automatically threw himself into odd jobs and lived small in stead of what Bruce would want for him in order to find who Dick Grayson is despite completely failing at that because he never had the chance, or even the motivation, to be Dick Grayson, son of working class parents?

    Of course Bruce knows he need that and had been waiting for this day when Dick needed to find himself. (instead of acting like an asshole when Dick rebelled) but it still threw Bruce off because he never knew the real Dick Grayson either. Robin was only Robin to him, and Robin was too good, Threw both of them off, for Dick had always wanted a different life, to not depend on Bruce, yet never was prepared for the day Bruce pulled that net from under him first even after everything with Zucco is settled, the assurance that now he could live in peace.

    Also the thing about “world class acrobat” was only something DC TOLD us. And it makes little sense that Robin is big but Dick Grayson was also a star without compromising his secret id. He has never gave winning prices as an acrobat a thought or treated as world-famous. What if he never really had that either? a complete nobody so that his only fame is just Bruce Wayne’s most ward - or not even that? That only Tim remembered him from the circus, not because of talents of a detective, but just that. Tim remembered someone everyone had forgotten. He remembered the kind boy that gave him a hug.

    That would explain Dick’s insecurities, his need for independence and autonomy, his prideful refusal of money and help , warring with his lack of confidence in his place, of Dick Grayson’s place, in Bruce’s life, compared to his brothers. AND despite all that, still seemingly too forgiving love for all of Bruce’s failings as a father. He knew deep down, even when he didn’t understand it, that Bruce saved him, helped him too much already, not just in the sense that one man saved a boy and gave him everything, but the fact that Batman gave him the world, literally. Batman had closed the social gap between them to come to him, and more. I hope he did, but given who Bruce is, i’m sure Bruce never told Dick that Batman was a hero because of him. In fact, it also explains why he was even MORE loyal to the killing rule than Bruce himself. The rule, the entire mythos, kinda started with him.

    Living on the line, only prevailing and come out the best when you are pushed to your limits, was always a reoccurring theme of Dicks life. What if that’s the very thing that gave birth to Robin? Its not loyalty for Bruce or trauma response though he had both, it’s the haunting little voice in his heart that says “you were supposed to die with them” that made him push back and give ALL of himself to being Robin, being a hero and the best at that without hesitation or even any emotional distraction. Justice is not just something he wanted, it’s his only choice. From the moment they became family, Batman was the orphaned Prince’s way to the common man of Gotham, Robin/Nightwing was literally a bird straight from the ashes of hell transformed into the hero of heroes of the DCU.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    It's an interesting theory, but not one I am a fan of. I dislike survivor's guilt as a motivating factor. I prefer the original, straight-forward versions.

    I am also not a fan of back-projecting later-created characteristics onto earlier versions of the characters as motivating factors. It's not true to how the character was "back then" to me. I understand it doesn't make any sense as a singular narrative without back-projections given the vast differences in continuity, but I'm more prone to "rewriting" (or retconning away) the later stuff to fit the earlier than the reverse.

    Of course Bruce knows he need that and had been waiting for this day when Dick needed to find himself. (instead of acting like an asshole when Dick rebelled) but it still threw Bruce off because he never knew the real Dick Grayson either. Robin was only Robin to him,
    Heck no. They knew each other well and were close friends. I love that, and would not have it taken away. I dislike the later versions back-projecting the issues they had beginning in Dick's late teens to an earlier point in their lives. Making their relationship never good. I have similar issues with Ollie and Roy's problems being retconned earlier. Bruce not knowing the real Jason Todd and him being only Robin to him is much closer to canonical to me (though only in post-COIE, not pre-COIE), and even that was only early on.

    For the record, I also dislike retconning closeness in relationships almost as much as I dislike retconning distance. For me, Barry wasn't a father figure to Wally to me, and Barbara wasn't close with Jason and Dick and Barbara didn't date in high school, Dinah didn't know kid!Roy, and neither Dick and Donna nor Dick and Wally were besties at 13 (they didn't even know each other yet).
    Last edited by Tzigone; 12-01-2019 at 05:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    Being cclose to someone doesnt mean you know all about them. Dick is an actor. If he focused on being Robin all the time and with his tendency to hold himself back in front of Bruce and always tried to be good for him, i mean "not knowing him" as in his life as Dick Grayson, son of working class parents. It's growing up that drew them apart. It's like Dick found it hard to get along with Bruce Wayne after leaving him years alter and not when he was a kid. Even if Bruce doesnt fire him, they still would drift. Because Dick will never be Bruce Wayne (noted Bruce WAyne, not Batman) There's intances in the Golden Age when Bruce worries Dick will leave him every time he showed an inking of being distracted from work. He wasnt even a playboy (yet) before Dick. Id imagine Dick secretly be like "nope" @ Brucie Wayne and after he had friends, he started to grow up outside of Bruce, and that's where Bruce panicked. Pre crisis Bruce was like WHYYYY when he left, firing or not.

    For the record, I also dislike retconning closeness in relationships almost as much as I dislike retconning distance. For me, Barry wasn't a father figure to Wally to me, and Barbara wasn't close with Jason and Dick and Barbara didn't date in high school, Dinah didn't know kid!Roy, and neither Dick and Donna nor Dick and Wally were besties at 13 (they didn't even know each other yet).
    I respect that. in fact i have the same thoughts. But those are in a totally different context and irrelevant to this topic.
    Last edited by nhienphan2808; 12-02-2019 at 09:57 PM.

  4. #4
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    I am interested in the idea of playing up the socioeconomic differences between Bruce and Dick.

    This, to me, is a largely unexplored wing of the character that calls back to the first origin of the name Robin —it was a reference to Robin Hood more than a reference to the bird. Bruce and Dick are essentially professional private investigators like Holmes & Watson but in Zorro & Robin Hood cosplay.

    Robin Hood is a hero in a story about class warfare, taking from the rich to give to the poor. This is Dick's POV, in my mind — he is taking the opportunity from Bruce to strike back at the corrupt rich in Wayne's world.

    It would make sense if Dick were the one more involved in the philanthropic efforts, perhaps inspiring the Wayne Foundation... Dick coming from a working class background is an interesting contrast (Yes, he was an amazing acrobatic athlete but also working as a child; Dick has more work experience at age 8 than Bruce does at 20)... it allows for Robin to more directly help with Batman's moral compass.

    I want to write that story someday! I'd love to see a Batman who is more "equal" with his allies.

  5. #5
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    I just read the entirety of Kyle Higgins' run on Nightwing in the n52 for the first time (as a whole, I'd read parts in the past), and I think this is an interesting idea. While that run has a LOT of problems, I think the ideas of class and self reliance, as well as the connections of Zucco and Zucco's daughter Sonia, are very intriguing, though sadly not as explored as I think they should have been.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, by Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown, Batgirl, by Bryan Q. Miller
    Stephanie Brown Wiki, My Batman Universe Reviews

  6. #6
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    Im calling it, they missed the point of Robin totally right after Bill Finger stopped writing. In fact i believe this is why they kept replacing Dick. They felt he was not "close" enough to Bruce in origins (not personality ), that's why later Robins, even other partners like Babs, are closer and closer to Bruce and failed. Dick is supposed to be his CONTRAST.

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