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  1. #1
    Mighty Member Timothy Hunter's Avatar
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    Default What's Your Headcanon For Why Batman Turned Into A Jerk In The '00s?

    Batman has become proceedingly more brooding over time starting in the Bronze Age and reaching it's apex in the 2000s. However from the 70s to the 90s, despite his moody and macabre demeaner, it was very clear that Bruce Wayne deeply loved his inner circle of friends. This all changed immediately after No-Man's Land ended.

    I'm currently reading the 1993-2008 Robin ongoing in it's
    entirety and you can immediately notice the shift between loving surrogate father to machiavellian asshole. During Dixon's run, Batman tells Stephanie Brown Tim Drake is Robin without consulting Tim on the issue. At the end of Jon Lewis's run Batman gives Tim a nervous breakdown by leading him to believe that Alfred from the future traveled back in time to warn him of a traitor in the Bat-Family. The amount of terrible things that Batman inflicted among those closest to him in the 2000s happened so frequently that I believe it must have been editorially mandated.

    I understand if this change occured in the 90's with the amount of turmoil Gotham was in during Knightfall, Troika, Contagion, Legacy, Cataclysm, and No Man's Land but even after the events of the Killing Joke and A Death in the Family Batman was very respectful on the large to Tim, Barbara, Dick, and Alfred.

    Unlike some, I actually have fond memories of the early 2000s Batman titles, but the more I think about it, Batman's sudden shift towards being an insufferable tool who alienates those around him just utterly baffles me and I would love to hear some in-universe theories as to why the character became this way after No Man's Land.

  2. #2
    see beauty in all things. charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Hunter View Post
    Batman has become proceedingly more brooding over time starting in the Bronze Age and reaching it's apex in the 2000s. However from the 70s to the 90s, despite his moody and macabre demeaner, it was very clear that Bruce Wayne deeply loved his inner circle of friends. This all changed immediately after No-Man's Land ended.

    I'm currently reading the 1993-2008 Robin ongoing in it's
    entirety and you can immediately notice the shift between loving surrogate father to machiavellian asshole. During Dixon's run, Batman tells Stephanie Brown Tim Drake is Robin without consulting Tim on the issue. At the end of Jon Lewis's run Batman gives Tim a nervous breakdown by leading him to believe that Alfred from the future traveled back in time to warn him of a traitor in the Bat-Family. The amount of terrible things that Batman inflicted among those closest to him in the 2000s happened so frequently that I believe it must have been editorially mandated.

    I understand if this change occured in the 90's with the amount of turmoil Gotham was in during Knightfall, Troika, Contagion, Legacy, Cataclysm, and No Man's Land but even after the events of the Killing Joke and A Death in the Family Batman was very respectful on the large to Tim, Barbara, Dick, and Alfred.

    Unlike some, I actually have fond memories of the early 2000s Batman titles, but the more I think about it, Batman's sudden shift towards being an insufferable tool who alienates those around him just utterly baffles me and I would love to hear some in-universe theories as to why the character became this way after No Man's Land.
    You kinda answered your own question: No Man's Land

    It's kinda hard not to become nihilistic when your own government leaves you and your beloved city for dead.

    Not only that Joker nearly broke Gordon after killing Sara, and the lead up to NML.

    You had Knightfall, Contagion, and then Cataclysm.

    To me all of these things kinda wrecked the Bat-family and then Jason returning pushed it over the edge.

    Morrison did pull Bruce back a bit, but in the end it all got retconned.

  3. #3
    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Godlike13's Avatar
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    Low T.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    To me all of these things kinda wrecked the Bat-family and then Jason returning pushed it over the edge.
    By the time Jason returned Bruce was allready a Jerk, and Morrison who took over after UtRH anyway mostly ignored Jason return up untill Bruce death.

    Form what I remember No Man's Land was really the point where it went bad.
    Last edited by Aahz; 01-25-2021 at 02:52 AM.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member batnbreakfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    Morrison did pull Bruce back a bit, but in the end it all got retconned.
    The whole point of Murderer/ Fugitive was Bruce realizing he's human and has a family at the end. It was immediately thrown out the window with Hush (Loeb) and Broken City (Azzarello). Still dig Broken City but its almost an Elseworld tale. Bruce recovers under Dini and Morrison.
    Despite Bruce being Bruce the early 2000s had great takes on the villains under Rucka, we got Sasha Bordeaux, Brubaker's Catwoman, J.F.Moore's Batman Family, Gotham Central, Kesel's Harley Quinn, Simone's BoP and Wagner's Batman (all much better than the current line... still hope to like Tim Fox, though).
    Last edited by batnbreakfast; 01-25-2021 at 03:21 AM.

  6. #6
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    In-universe, Morrison explains it best in 'Last Rites'...the escalating violence and tragedies, the higher stakes, and the feeling that years into his mission it was going nowhere broke down Bruce psychologically over the years until he basically became Batjerk.

  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batnbreakfast View Post
    The whole point of Murderer/ Fugitive was Bruce realizing he's human and has a family at the end. It was immediately thrown out the window with Hush (Loeb) and Broken City (Azzarello). Still dig Broken City but its almost an Elseworld tale. Bruce recovers under Dini and Morrison.
    Despite Bruce being Bruce the early 2000s had great takes on the villains under Rucka, we got Sasha Bordeaux, Brubaker's Catwoman, J.F.Moore's Batman Family, Gotham Central, Kesel's Harley Quinn, Simone's BoP and Wagner's Batman (all much better than the current line... still hope to like Tim Fox, though).
    if it's Hush then it's because Hush's machinations made him paranoid.
    Catwoman: "Hush"
    Ben Affleck voice before Ben Affleck: "WHy did you say that name?!"
    I don't know about Broken City.

    I get him being stressed during No Man's Land I don't know what he's doing after

  8. #8
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    The change in the writing staff and editorial staff after No Man's Land is the real reason. When Dixon was the main writer the rule was that Batman could sometimes be a jerk, but it didn't overwhelm and define the character like it did until Morrison came in. When Dixon left it seemed like every event was centered around how horribly Batman treated his friends, from Officer Down, Murder/Fugitive, and finally War Games. And every event ended with Batman pledging to treat people better and seemingly learning his lesson only to go right back to being needlessly cruel and manipulative immediately afterwards.

    In my headcanon I guess the escalating violence and tragedies pushed Bruce's inherent need to control everything and everyone to its fullest extreme, turning him into a person who would stoop to emotional manipulation whenever it suited him. The big change Morrison introduced was having Bruce accept that there would always be things outside his control and make peace with that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunofdarkchild View Post
    The change in the writing staff and editorial staff after No Man's Land is the real reason. When Dixon was the main writer the rule was that Batman could sometimes be a jerk, but it didn't overwhelm and define the character like it did until Morrison came in.
    He was already quite jerk in No Man's Land imo.

    That was iirc the first time were he kind chased the rest of the family away, and treat the ones that remained in Gotham (for example Huntress) like crap.
    Last edited by Aahz; 01-25-2021 at 05:05 AM.

  10. #10
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    It definitely had something to do with all the tragedies that he's been trough. In fact the after Infinite Crisis the Trinity realized that they needed a break and took a year off. Morrison had Bruce undergoing the thogal ritual because Bruce himself realized he needed to cleanse his "demons".

  11. #11
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    In-universe, Morrison explains it best in 'Last Rites'...the escalating violence and tragedies, the higher stakes, and the feeling that years into his mission it was going nowhere broke down Bruce psychologically over the years until he basically became Batjerk.
    This is my take on it.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member batnbreakfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Restingvoice View Post
    if it's Hush then it's because Hush's machinations made him paranoid.
    Catwoman: "Hush"
    Ben Affleck voice before Ben Affleck: "WHy did you say that name?!"
    I don't know about Broken City.

    I get him being stressed during No Man's Land I don't know what he's doing after
    Immediately after NML you have tensions between the OGs (those who stayed during NML) and the Deezees (those who fled), Bruce fights the mob and Ra's. Then Gordon is shot and retires. Alfred is gone... staying (maybe) at Tim's. I like your explaination, though.

  13. #13
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    Ironically, as much credit as people are giving Morrison for dialing it back, I credit him with the immediate lead up. I mean as much as I loved the run, he purposely wrote him as a an arrogant know-it-all jerk when he was writing JLA. I'm pretty sure he's admitted to that, himself.
    "Overturn everything! Can't he just write an executive order that says: 'Everything Trump did is now overturned. F**k that guy.' signed, Joe Biden."

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Gaius's Avatar
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    He didn't eat a snickers.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member babyblob's Avatar
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    To be honest I am kind of over all the males in the Batfamily. I cant pinpoint when it got bad for me. I guess I started noticing it in the 90's when I read The JLA comics.

    But Batman doing whatever he wants to who ever he wants because he feels it is what is best, and treating his friends and family like garbage and yet no one holds him to task for it. It is kinda of a gee whiz that is just Bruce being Bruce. And I could handle the jerk aspect. Fine a man who has seen what he has is going to be a jerk. But then they turned him into a god in a batsuit who can handle anything from Billy the bank robber to The Joker and Superman.

    Then you have Nightwing that I enjoyed until you couldnt read a comic of his with out him telling some one every two panels he is going to do things his way because he is not Bruce. And if he wasnt talking about it there would be a 20 line thought bubble on what a jerk Bruce is and how much he hates him and he messed him up etc...

    Then Damien. Little batman. Does what he wants. has to be the most badass person in the room (isnt that the point of the new comic in a few months. has to prove he is the best?) can never be wrong. They kind of softened him up a bit but it seems like he is going back.

    I read mostly Golden age and 60's and 70's batman. That is the most fun batman for me. I have read some new stuff and will read more. But I just do not enjoy them on the same level as the older stuff.
    Favorite teams. Alpha Flight, Avengers, Fantastic Four, West Coast Avengers, Justice Society of America, Legion of Superheroes.

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