Friday, 16 August 2013

The Second Robin (6 different approaches)

I love age reversal verses. They're so limited, though. Why does it always have to be Damian as the oldest and Dick as a baby Robin? There's so many other options. This is just me ruminating on how the various Bats would handle being the second Robin, dying, and coming back.

Dick: Dick would feel abandoned, and he wouldn't blame just Bruce. He'd blame his friends (even if he wasn't around long he'd have made superhero friends, he's DICK), he'd blame Superman, he'd blame Nightwing and Batgirl – everyone he knew would be a target. He wouldn't have complicated plans to save Gotham and do what Batman couldn't, he'd have very personal plans to hurt people like they'd hurt him. He'd become emotionally manipulative and no matter how many times he betrayed people they'd find themselves believing that THIS time he really was trying to do the right thing. Dick would still do heroics, and he wouldn't kill, I don't think, but his heroics would often be part of his act. Bruce would be completely crippled by FEELINGS so I think Nightwing would take a lot of responsibility for keeping him in line, since he'd be a bit harder to ignore than Jason.

Babs: Babs would find the loss of control the pit-rage causes to be unacceptable. She'd isolate herself, so no one could see it. Get into computers because they let her control her environment. She'd focus on individual criminals she felt needed to be dealt with, and DESTROY them. Deal with her nightmares by giving them to other people. I don't think she'd be able to acknowledge her anger at all, so she'd try not to think of or interact with the Batfamily, or her father.

Tim: Tim would direct all his pit-rage inwards. He'd consider his death his own fault, and his replacement entirely logical (I think his main problem with Damian is he was being replaced by someone who had tried to kill him and had none of the characteristics he considered necessary to be a good Robin, not the replacement itself). It wouldn't make sense to blame Bruce, so any hurt he felt he'd redirect into self-hatred. The pit-rage doesn't seem to be entirely controllable, so he'd deal with it by self-harming. He'd avoid the Bats, because he didn't ever REALLY belong, it's not like he was Bruce's son, but would devote himself to saving Gotham. Sneakily. He'd buy, rebuild and revitalize key locations. Demolish (explosively, he needs to do SOMETHING illegal) problem areas. Kill certain villains. Not many, and he wouldn't make a big deal of it, but a few mob bosses, Szasz, and of course, the Joker, would quietly disappear. He'd be the easiest to drag back to the Manor, but the stress of dealing with the Bats would just make him more self-destructive. How do you help someone if talking makes them hurt themselves and punching seems kind of redundant?

Steph: Steph would probably be the most like Jason. She probably would have just started trusting Bruce when she died. She comes back angry, wanting revenge, feeling betrayed that Bruce didn't do more for her. But instead of focusing on gangs and human traffickers, she'd focus on the costumed criminals – people like her father and the Joker/Black Mask(depending who killed her). This would bring her into conflict with the Bats more.

Cass: I see Cass dying trying to save one of her 'sisters'. She'd just discovered that Cain threw away his failures and tried again with a new child. Then she wakes up and Bruce has a new Robin. She'd have nowhere to go, would probably kill for Ra's for a while, but wouldn't be able to stay away from Gotham. And then she'd stop killing, unless one of the Bats was around. Because, like Tim, her anger would be directed inwards. She would see that they don't hate her like they should and would need to convince them. Killing is the worst thing she could do, so Cass couldn't stop herself when they're around.

Damian: Damian would feel like he failed. I can't see Ra's or Talia treating him well after he died, and Bruce found someone else, so Damian would feel he had to prove himself. He still wouldn't kill, because killing meant failure while he was with Bruce, but all that anger would have to go somewhere. I can see him getting more and more violent with criminals, maybe even torturing them. Unlike the others, he'd still be openly desperate for approval, but sure he couldn't go back until he'd proven himself. He'd need to clean up Gotham before he could be accepted. Any disapproval of his methods would be a sign that he's not trying hard enough, but tacit approval would mean he needs to keep doing what he's doing. The only person he'd listen to is Bruce, and you know how good Bruce is at talking...

I'm not sure how well I did for the girls. Everything is extremely subjective, of course, but I wanted to focus on how people handle anger very differently, so not everyone would hate Bruce like Jason does. And you don't get a lot of self-destructive anger in fiction, but that's how I deal with things and I wanted to explore that.

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