Batman and Robin #12 – and now the legacy begins

One of the problems with former sidekicks and replacements stepping up into their mentors’ roles is that there’s some quality about it that doesn’t work.

Generally, the replacement just isn’t as good — the mentor being held up as the gold standard is part of that problem.

The only exception that comes to mind is The Flash. About 75 issues into his run, Wally West cemented his role as the Flash in an arc against Professor Zoom. It took a long time for it to happen but after that, Wally West was the Flash. Now that Barry Allen is back, Wally West is the gold standard. Considering the level of commitment DC showed to Bart’s run as the Flash, it’ll be interesting to see how long Barry carries the role, BID.

One of the on-going themes of Dick Grayson’s run as Batman is that it is temporary, that while he does well, he’s not “Batman”. People call him out on this.

That changes in #12. He acts differently in this issue. There’s a confidence and boldness present that’s not just bravado. Waltzing into Talia’s base, destroying her equipment and clubbing Slade Wilson wasn’t a trivial undertaking but he does it and makes it look easy. Either Talia or Wilson are foes who would’ve crushed Nightwing. But as Batman, Grayson beats both of them and  establishes himself as a force that may be more than they are.

And maybe to be feared by them.

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