The Bat-Family may be one of Batman’s greatest success stories, but a nightmare may have put a dark spin on the team’s purpose. Batman: Noel reveals what may have truly driven Bruce Wayne to form his team and keep such tight control over them.
Batman may have a reputation for being a loner, but the truth is he’s almost always had someone by his side. The Bat-Family has grown considerably since Bruce first began his mission to rid Gotham of crime. What started so long ago as a simple mission blossomed into an operation filled with multiple Robins and Batgirls to help Batman see his vision through. Though there have been some missteps and tragedies along the way, the Bat-Family has refined their work the more time has passed. With Batman at the head of the team, he’s helped ensure that Gotham will be safe for the next generation after he’s gone.
However, a twisted fantasy of Batman’s may have accidentally revealed the hero’s dark reasoning for creating the Bat-Family. In Batman: Noel by Lee Bermejo, Batman is spending his Christmas Eve trying to track down the Joker. After a conversation with Superman, Batman returns to his Batmobile only for it to explode, having been rigged by the Clown Prince of Crime. Batman survives, but his bell is rung hard, giving the Joker ample opportunity to dispatch his enemy. As Batman fades in and out of consciousness, he has a dark vision of a potential future where he has died and everything in Gotham has gone to hell. The streets are overrun with crime and the only ones keeping order on the streets are a group of vigilantes modeled after Batman who use extreme violence and murder to attain peace.
Batman Needs The Bat-Family To Protect His Legacy
It’s rough to see Bruce Wayne’s legacy as Batman corrupted by a band of hyper-violent vigilantes, especially considering how careful Bruce is in adding new members to the Bat-Family. Bruce has exceptionally high standards when it comes to who he trusts to bear his symbol and work directly with him. While much of this is more than likely due to him making sure everyone is kept as safe is possible, it seems that what Batman really wants is to avoid a future like the one he dreamed of.
Bruce Wayne is determined to save Gotham, but even he knows he’s not going to be around forever. The Bat-Family is a team that shares Batman’s beliefs and want to assist in helping Gotham prosper. But it seems that team exists to combating Bruce’s greatest fear: his symbol being corrupted in his absence. Bruce is going to die one day, and when he’s no longer around, anyone could easily put on a bat symbol and begin dispensing justice, whether they fall in line with Batman’s principles or not. The Bat-Family may aid Bruce in his mission to fight Gotham’s threats, but they may also only exist so Batman can protect his legacy long after he’s gone.
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