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  1. #1
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Default The bronze age changes that didn't stick

    Sure, we talk about Dick going off to college. I've read multiple opinions on that, and have my own.

    But what about the other changes? Wayne Foundation/Enterprises as an ongoing entity/business stuck. But Bruce working there day-in-day-out and being regarded as a capable businessman didn't so much (definitely in parts of the '90s he pretends to not being paying attention to it). And Bruce leaving the manor behind for the penthouse - could that ever happen now? Or do you think the power of status quo or Bruce's own emotional demons mean he could never leave the home that he lived in as a child?

    Do you think it made sense for the character then or could now? Do you like it? When you were first exposed to the idea of Bruce moving to the city, did you like it?

    Side note: I know when they moved back in the 1980s, it was Bruce's ancestral home. I know in some golden age stories he was said to have bought it as an adult. Does anyone know for sure what the first issue to treat as his parents' home was?

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    First, why did he move to the penthouse and why did he return to the Manor?

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Restingvoice View Post
    First, why did he move to the penthouse and why did he return to the Manor?
    He moved into the penthouse because Dick graduated high school and left for college. And Bruce decided it was time for a change and get back to the "old days". IRL, of course, it was part of an effort to change the tone/status quo of Batman and probably to further distance it from tv show (which was already happening - the cover date for the issue he moved in was Dec. 1939). There was some very un-campy stuff then. And more "realistic" stories and just part of the general silver-to-bronze shift. Definitely in the letters pages you'll see people who think the comic is sort of going back to golden age roots (not really true, IMO, but opinions vary).
    Batcave.jpg
    Batcave2.jpg

    Bruce actually donated the Manor when he left. It was the past and they moving towards the future. But then they revisited the old Batcave a couple times and, after a decade, moved back in. I don't have that issue. May try to hunt up panels, though. It was a 1980s issue, so Dick had dropped out of college...maybe they didn't have enough bedrooms in the penthouse? :P
    Last edited by Tzigone; 12-01-2019 at 06:36 PM.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    He moved into the penthouse because Dick graduated high school and left for college. And Bruce decided it was time for a change and get back to the "old days". IRL, of course, it was part of an effort to change the tone/status quo of Batman and probably to further distance it from tv show (which was already happening - the cover date for the issue he moved in was Dec. 1939). There was some very un-campy stuff then. And more "realistic" stories and just part of the general silver-to-bronze shift. Definitely in the letters pages you'll see people who think the comic is sort of going back to golden age roots (not really true, IMO, but opinions vary).
    Batcave.jpg
    Batcave2.jpg

    Bruce actually donated the Manor when he left. It was the past and they moving towards the future. But then they revisited the old Batcave a couple times and, after a decade, moved back in. I don't have that issue. May try to hunt up panels, though. It was a 1980s issue, so Dick had dropped out of college...maybe they didn't have enough bedrooms in the penthouse? :P
    I know one reason he's closing shop was that Dick went to college, but I thought there may be another reason because that makes him so he's so adorably sentimental. Then again, a lot of Bronze Age is sentimental to the point of purple prose (an issue in the Nocturna arc have a whole page of poetry)

    I know the issue when they moved back in, but forget which, and since I've only read the preview I don't know why.

    Back to the topic, the question would then be, would modern Bruce close shop because Dick went to college, and would he be donating the Manor. The latter, I think, is a resounding no. At least before sealing that damn clock. Even then, how sure he'd get it back? The first one, depending on the writer, but 99% no.

  5. #5
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    Bruce moved into the penthouse because he wanted to be in the heart of the city and not removed from it. He wanted to root out the modernday criminals that hid in their ivory towers. It also allowed him to use the Batmobile less and just swing from one building to another. The publishing reason was to try and get rid of as many things that reminded people of the TV show: Batcave, Wayne Manor, Robin, Batmobile, Aunt Harriet, costumed criminals.

    Mind you Bruce had that penthouse or at least some apartment in the city prior to when he moved out of Wayne Manor. There are at least a couple stories I remember from the 1960s where he's at his apartment in town. And it seems to me that the early Batman stories in 1939 were not set in a manor house and sometimes it looks like he's in an apartment setting. If the early 1970s wanted to get back to that feeling of the early Batman, then moving him into the city was a way to do that.

    There were artistic modifications made on the Wayne Foundation building and the addition of its own Batcave with a new Batmobile--so as the 1970s wore on more and more of the 1960s bled back into the stories. And I imagine at some point it made no sense for Bats not to be at Wayne Manor with the real Batcave--especially once Jason came along. But the Batcave under Wayne Enterprises didn't go unused; it became the headquarters for the Outsiders.

    Given Bruce is so rich, it makes no sense that he would have only one residence--and even if he weren't so hands on with his company, there would naturally be an apartment in the tower for his use. Having a Batcave of some kind in the city is also practical as he can use the tech there, rather than making the commute to Wayne Manor all the time.

    Also, it makes no sense to me that Bruce and Batman always stay within the greater Gotham area. Many of my favourite Batman stories happen to take place in farflung corners of the world--and always having stories set in Gotham gets claustrophobic after awhile. I like him to be a fish out of water sometimes.
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  6. #6
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    The Penthouse has had perhaps the most staying power of any bronze age addition.

    I mean, THE DARK KNIGHT is probably the most watched Batman story in any media, and features a very bronze age Bruce who is not in Wayne Manor but in his downtown penthouse, actively engaged in the day-to-day Wayne Enterprises. TDK is also the rare Batman film that does not mention the Wayne Murder and generally features a Wayne that is operating at his mental/physical peak.

    I wonder with the upcoming THE BATMAN film being a younger Bruce, I could see them putting him in the Penthouse over the Manor.

    If you ask me, the most significant failure of the bronze age was not giving Robin pants. Once the art shifted to the more realistic body models, Robin wasn't wearing boy shorts like all kids did in the 40s-50s, instead he was bizarrely bare-legged with green panties and pixie boots... but it remained anyway.

    I know splitting Robin from Dick Grayson and creating Nightwing and everything that has followed with Robin and the idea of Batman's legacy/family was mostly a pissing contest between Marv Wolfman and the Bat editors, but...

    The whole trajectory of Robin's popularity and viability would be completely different, I'm convinced, if Neal Adams had created the Tim Drake suit for Dick Grayson when he started drawing Batman, then maybe there is no need to create an adult identity for Dick Grayson. He could just be Robin. With pants.

    It was so inconceivable apparently for Robin to have pants that the way Frank Miller made the concept work in the second birth of Batman in the 80s was to make Robin a small girl, who would make more sense in short shorts, and in Year One placed Jim Gordon as Batman's partner.
    Last edited by gregpersons; 12-02-2019 at 12:36 AM.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    If you ask me, the most significant failure of the bronze age was — not giving Robin pants. Once the art shifted to the more realistic body models, Robin wasn't wearing boy shorts like all kids did in the 40s-50s, instead he was bizarrely bare-legged with green panties and pixie boots... but it remained anyway.
    This is a pet peeve with me - Robin did not wear panties. He wore a leotard. If you want to treat the bottoms separate, they are trunks. Briefs if you want them to be called as underwear, no matter how inaccurate. But "panties" has no point but to sound insulting and derisive and is a term that would never have been used for men's underwear (which isn't what it was, anyway) by feminizing it. And I also want to bring up the sexism of "femininizing" things to be insulting towards men and boys.

    The whole trajectory of Robin's popularity and viability would be completely different, I'm convinced, if Neal Adams had created the Tim Drake suit for Dick Grayson when he started drawing Batman, then maybe there is no need to create an adult identity for Dick Grayson. He could just be Robin. With pants.
    This was discussed heavily in the '70s (letters pages and the like) when they decided to stick with Robin. Dick Grayson didn't need an adult identity. Back then, Robin grew up with Dick. He was regarded as adult and fantastic hero in the 1980s and his team title was the best-selling thing DC had. Dick didn't get a new name/costume to make Dick get taken seriously. He was already taken seriously. He got a new name/identity because TPTB wanted a kid sidekick for Batman, and that sidekick had to be called Robin. Dick's change to Nightwing was in service of the Batman franchise, not his own.

    It was so inconceivable apparently for Robin to have pants that the way Frank Miller made the concept work in the second birth of Batman in the 80s was to make Robin a small girl, who would make more sense in short shorts, and in Year One placed Jim Gordon as Batman's partner.
    Again with the sexism - where leotard style is perfectly fine for women, but ridiculous for men. And, anyway, short shorts were popular for men in the 1980s.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 12-02-2019 at 06:08 AM.

  8. #8
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    I always understood the reason for Dick getting the new identity to be for merch. DC had two different licensing deals, one for Batman and Robin and one for the Teen Titans--they couldn't give Robin away for the Teen Titans, because they had already given those rights for Batman and Robin--so with the wisdom of Solomon they split the difference. Or something like that. I'm sure someone can find the full story, which I'm poorly remembering now.

    There didn't seem to be any animosity between the editors on the two different franchises (and sometimes the editors and the writers were the same guys).

    I always assumed that Dick would either grow up to be Robin (he was already effectively grown up, being at Hudson University), as he did on Earth-Two, or he would become the next Batman, as he did in some of the imaginary stories. There was a big community of fans who loved Dick Grayson as Robin in the 1970s, so I don't think his popularity needed any kind of boost. DC might have been trying to get away from too much "Dynamic Duo" in the early part of the decade, but Dick had his own solo adventures and stories with the Teen Titans and later stories in BATMAN FAMILY, where he teamed with Batgirl as the "Dynamite Duo." Plus adventures with Batman in two different animated series on two different networks.

    And then there was the Earth-Two Robin, who became the anchor of the new ALL-STAR COMICS. He wore the suit that Neal Adams had designed for him--or for Earth-One Robin. I'd say that, because Richard on his Earth was using the suit, that meant that Dick on his Earth opted not to have it. Personally, I preferred the classic Robin outfit to the redesign. There were several suggestions from fans for new Robin costumes, but they all looked bad to me and not really an improvement. I wasn't concerned for Dick's legs, but I was concerned for his head--and when I tried out my own ideas for a Robin redesign, they always included a helmet--because he was forever riding his motor-bike and it seemed foolish to leave his melon bare.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    The Penthouse has had perhaps the most staying power of any bronze age addition.

    I mean, THE DARK KNIGHT is probably the most watched Batman story in any media, and features a very bronze age Bruce who is not in Wayne Manor but in his downtown penthouse, actively engaged in the day-to-day Wayne Enterprises. TDK is also the rare Batman film that does not mention the Wayne Murder and generally features a Wayne that is operating at his mental/physical peak.

    I wonder with the upcoming THE BATMAN film being a younger Bruce, I could see them putting him in the Penthouse over the Manor.
    You have a point.

    Plus, more recently, the Batwoman TV show basically has Kate Kane set up shop in the penthouse era Batcave under the Wayne Enterprises building.

    I wonder if Nolan was intentionally trying to hark back to the 70's era stories with his decision to relocate Bruce to the Wayne Enterprises building in TDK, or was it just out of necessity given that Wayne Manor had been destroyed in the previous movie.

  10. #10
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    You have a point.

    Plus, more recently, the Batwoman TV show basically has Kate Kane set up shop in the penthouse era Batcave under the Wayne Enterprises building.

    I wonder if Nolan was intentionally trying to hark back to the 70's era stories with his decision to relocate Bruce to the Wayne Enterprises building in TDK, or was it just out of necessity given that Wayne Manor had been destroyed in the previous movie.
    Didn't they move the Batcave back to the Manor in Rises?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    You have a point.

    Plus, more recently, the Batwoman TV show basically has Kate Kane set up shop in the penthouse era Batcave under the Wayne Enterprises building.

    I wonder if Nolan was intentionally trying to hark back to the 70's era stories with his decision to relocate Bruce to the Wayne Enterprises building in TDK, or was it just out of necessity given that Wayne Manor had been destroyed in the previous movie.
    I don't think it was an accident. David Goyer didn't have a screenwriting credit, but he was involved in breaking the story, and he definitely knows his comic book history.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    Wayne Foundation/Enterprises as an ongoing entity/business stuck.
    At least the Foundation is not hardly mentioned anymore, and the design for the Buiding was reused for Kane Industries iirc.

    And the whole "Victims, Inc. Program" was also quickly forgotten.

    I'm not sure if they count as Bronze Age, but Alfred's Brother Wilfred, his nice Daphne and his daughter Julia also disappeared post COIE.

  13. #13
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    At least the Foundation is not hardly mentioned anymore, and the design for the Buiding was reused for Kane Industries iirc.
    I meant the business - Wayne Foundation name was also used for the business (at least at times) in the 1970s.

    I'm not sure if they count as Bronze Age, but Alfred's Brother Wilfred, his nice Daphne and his daughter Julia also disappeared post COIE.
    True. But I was thinking more changes that affected the comic in an ongoing way/change in status quo, things a non-hardcore reader would notice (lack of Dick, moved location, job, etc.) and I don't think they were important enough to qualify.

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    At least Julia was around for quite some time in the comics (according to dc wikia she had 42 appearances).

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    The Bat-family has so many people now. Julia's job is a secret agent before she became a mission control for Batfam and she doesn't have a mundane job (as far as I know) so I guess that makes the writer only call her when necessary. Whereas when she's working as a journalist under Vicki, she can be a supporting character that can just show up regularly in the background whenever a crime that needs reporting happens.
    Last edited by Restingvoice; 12-03-2019 at 05:57 AM.

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