DC Debate: Should Batman be Allowed to Protect Gotham?

@edt and I will be debating the question: Should Batman be allowed to protect Gotham?

We will use the same format as last time. Opening statements, rounds of arguments, rebuttal/closing arguments.

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Since you will be arguing the positive, would you like to go first?

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sure.

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Should Batman be allowed to protect Gotham?
I’ll answer by asking a series of follow-up questions.
Is Batman a vigilante?
Yes and No, Batman is not a vigilante because he works along side the police, however, He is a vigilante because he has taken the law into his own hands several times. Dictionary.Cambrage.org defines vigilante as “a person who tries in an unofficial way to prevent crime, or to catch and punish someone who has committed a crime, especially because they do not think that official organizations, such as the police, are controlling crime effectively.” My argument for this is that he is a vigilante sometimes, however, he still works along side the local law enforcement ultimately making him not a vigilante.
What is Batman’s purpose?
Batman’s purpose is to strike fear into the criminals of Gotham. Being a superstitions, cowardly lot, Batman, or at least the existence of Batman, deters some of the criminals from committing crimes. If the criminals that do commit crimes are not brought to justice though, then batman wouldn’t be a treat, just a symbol. Meaning the existence of Batman makes Gotham a safer place.
Why did Batman become Batman?
Batman put on the cowl during a time when the police were corrupt and crime was surging through the streets. The only hope for Gotham was Batman and Commissioner Gordan. Batman has always worked within the law even when the police haven’t.

Conclusion: Batman should be allowed to protect Gotham.

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Bruce Wayne saw his own parents get killed in front of him. In the wake of such trauma, he dedicated his life to becoming the very best he could be in the pursuit of fighting crime. His dream is to make sure that no child ever went through what he did. In that time, so much has changed in Gotham and in Bruce’s life. One of those things is that the city saw the birth of many vigilantes. And how does Batman compare to them? Well…Batman’s ideals inspired all these people to want to make their home a better place. Bruce himself trained many of them. But when it comes to how Batman himself stacks up, a certain phrase comes to mind…

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My opponent will present his case for why Bruce should continue to be Gotham’s primary protector. However, I am here to argue two things. First, that Bruce has failed to actually improve Gotham, only fighting the symptons of the city’s larger issues. And second, that Gotham already has at least one person ready to become the symbol of Hope that Gotham needs.

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In response to my opponent’s two propositions I will respond: neither of these prevents Batman from protecting Gotham. I proves that he might need help or that he might not be the best suited for the job, but not that he shouldn’t do the job.

Batman spent many years training with this in mind meaning that he is at least qualified for protecting, and, when needed, punishing, citizens of Gotham. He spent more time preparing then many law enforcement officers making him more qualified for the job than they are. He also understands the pain of citizens who are the victims of criminals. Because of this he is more motivated than many law enforcement officers. He has the money to support himself and the resources and allies to aid him in fighting crime. So why does he work with the police if he can run a crime stopping committee by himself? Because he knows that it is the right thing to do and isn’t that who you want protecting your city, a man that can do it on his own but has the moral values to work along side the law instead of outside the law?

Conclusion: Batman should be allowed to protect Gotham

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Let me begin with my first argument. When Bruce first set out to be Batman, the criminals of Gotham ruled the city. Organized Crime ruled the GCPD and City Hall, there was nothing they couldn’t get away with. But then…Batman gave them something to fear. Punishment and vengeance on behalf of all the regular citizens who suffered in order for the Falcones and other mob families to gain power. Here was a man who couldn’t be controlled and defied the powers that be. Not too long after his debut, the rule of Gotham’s crime families were reduced to barely a spark of what they used to be.

But keep in mind, Batman didn’t do this alone. The one good cop in Gotham, Jim Gordon, rose in the ranks so he could ensure that crime faced punishment in the legal system, alongside DA Harvey Dent. This is a cooperative effort, despite Batman admittedly doing a lot of heavy lifting in the early days.

Despite achieving a great victory, they will soon find out that Gotham abhors a power vaccuum. The “freaks” rose up to take charge, more destructive than ever. Joker would poison crowds of people with a gas that forced a smile on them as they died. Bane would over-run the city with the criminals that Gotham shoved away as opposed to rehabilitating them, and then he broke Batman’s back. Even Harvey Dent suffered a mental breakdown, his split personality taking over to become one of Gotham’s most notorious criminals - Two Face.

We are a long way past the era when Batman has made a true positive impact on Gotham. Sure, he is fighting back against Scarecrow and others like him. But he is so lost in constantly fighting against the supervillains and stopping plots that try to literally destroy Gotham that he has forgotten about those that are caught in the middle. These villains still see people willing to be their henchmen, the regular people don’t have the means to rise above the repetitive cycle of chaos that Gotham has trapped them in. The same cycle that Batman has been unable to break. You can make an argument that Selina’s plan to train regular people to be better criminals and target only the rich is the most productive change that someone has tried to enact in Gotham. If one is to be Gotham’s protrector, they have to realize their shortcomings. But Bruce has shown his constant distrust of his allies, making plans to take down the JL and not even letting his own Gotham allies know what his plans are.

Time and time again, we see Batman make the same decisions, either unable or unwilling to do more than punch the current villain of the week. With so many other vigilantes in Gotham now, its time he lets one of them take over. And when I come back for my second argument, I will elaborate on those that can do a better job than Batman.

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Im not one to deny that my opponent made a good argument. Protecting Gotham is a group effort. But without Batman the crimanals would have nothing to fear. If Batman is as expendable as my opponent says he is then why is it that every time he is unable to go on the streets, someone takes his place, and every time someone takes his place, he comes back? If he can and should be replaced like my opponent is saying he should, then why hasnt that happened yet?

On another note jim gorden refers to batman as “the hero gotham deserves.” He might not be the best but gotham being in the state that its in, (new jersey) Batman is giving Gotham what they need, a rude awaking. If Superman was the protecter of Gotham, he wouldnt be able to be superman, he would become the superman that fought against manchester black, a more Batman like superhero. If one of the Robins did it, it wouldnt be that different, other than them being younger and less prone to hip injuries. And if it be any other hero I dont thik they could handle Gotham. Batman is a nature and nurture hero, Gotham has just as much say in the persona of Batman as Bruce Wayne. He has evolved with Gotham making him the perfect hero for that city.

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The phrase “the hero Gotham deserves” always kinda felt weird to me. That always felt like a phrase a corrupt politician or a super villain would say after seizing control of the city. And it also implies that the people of Gotham can’t hope for anything better, which is simply not true. One of the greatest things Batman has done is inspire other people.

Let’s start with Cassandra Cain

If your looking for a Bat replacement that strikes fear into people, Cass is your girl. Hell, visually speaking, her outfit is arguably scarier. At least Bruce’s exposed jaw reminds people he’s human. Cass genuinely looks otherworldy. Her fighting abilities surpass Bruce’s and even he would admit that in a straight fight, he would lose. But more importantly, Cass came from a background that helps her relate to the people of Gotham in a way Bruce simply can’t. Being manipulated and abused by corrupt parental figures who didn’t care for her needs, Cass understands wanting to give some of the people in Gotham a second chance, as opposed to just simply waiting to beat them up again.

However, if your looking for someone with a more normal social life, let’s talk about Harper Row AKA Bluebird
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Growing up with only her younger brother in one of the worst parts of Gotham, Harper had to struggle to provide for themselves while still trying to not end up like their father, a convicted criminal. And let’s not also forget that Harper’s mom was killed because one of Bruce’s covert missions went sideways.

Anyway, Harper developed her tech skills and became the vigilante known as Bluebird. She fought alongside the Bat Family multiple times to protect Gotham. However, she also knows that just being a vigilante isn’t enough. She went to college and ended up working at Leslie’s clinic, realizing that helping Gotham means more than fighting criminals. She only took up the mantle again to take on Punchline after it became clear that prison wasn’t going to contain her. This is a person who sees the value in all kinds of assistance.

Another vigilante that recognizes thag is the former first Robin…Dick Grayson AKA Nightwing

Wherever Brucr zigs, Dick zags. Bruce is paranoid about his allies and keeps a cold and distant persona. Dick trusts his allies and presents himself as a warm and trusting hero for Bludhaven. He is seen as a mentor by Jon Kent, the young Superman, and his friends from the Titans are always there to help him with any problem. Not only that, but instead of keeping Alfred’s inheritance, he decided to give back to Bludhaven and created a program to help improve the lives of citizens and ecourage them to NOT follow a path of crime. He works hand in hand with City Hall to weed out corruption in politics and the police department. Dick is utilizing every option at his disposal to improve Bludhaven, not simply remain as the fighter that it may or may not deserve.

And then, lastly, there is Barbara Gordon

The daughter of Gotham’s best Police Commissioner (that’s right, I said it!), Babs’s greatest asset was always her mind. She might have been inspired by Batman to create and outfit and hit the streets, but her strategic skills and critical thinking arguably surpass Bruce’s. Her detective skills are certainly on point and she is in touch with what is going on in Gotham, making her more alert to potential crimes that might slip past Bruce. Even when she was paralyzed, she became THE BEST hacker in the DCU under the name Oracle. She formed her own team with the Birds of Prey and they take on threats at home and abroad. And on more than one occassion, Babs criticizes Bruce to his face about how he handles certain situations and how he treats his own allies.

Here is the short version - Batman has inspired so many people to want to improve their lives as well as Gotham in general. But they have also found ways to do so beyond putting on a mask and help turn Gotham into a place that deserves more than what Bruce is offering. Batman can’t be around forever and the next generation has proven time and again they surpasd expectations. It’s time for Bruce to retire and let Gotham evolve with its true protectors

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I’d say no, what gives him the right? :thinking:
Of course he’s not the one wearing hockey pads.

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That’s a copycat. The real Batman doesn’t wear hockey pads!

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My opponent has spent the debate stating that others might be better suited for the job of protecting Gotham but I have yet to hear a good argument for why Batman cannot be allowed to protect Gotham.

Batman is not a out and out vigilante
He understands the pain that unpunished crime can cause
He has spent years training
He has the resources and allies to assist him in his war on crime
Batman has evolved with Gotham in a way that someone new wont be able to do

Therefore, I believe Batman should be allowed to protect Gotham.

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Time to close things out!

The reason why Bruce/Batman should not be allowed to keep being Gotham’s protector is because his unwillingness to adapt his methods has forced Gotham to repeat a cycle of violence and trauma. I mentioned his distrust in his various allies have forced him to often go up against those trying to help him in his mission. And while striking fear into people is a good method to gain advantage in a fight, it isn’t a good deterrent of turning Gotham away from crime.

The reason I highlighted others who could take over is because they have improved Batman’s mission in various ways, all meant to help the people of Gotham as opposed to just punishing crime.

Batman was only the first step in helping Gotham become something better. He might have been what Gotham deserved in the beginning, but he isn’t what Gotham deserves now. The city needs heroes that do more than stop crime - it needs those that find new ways to help bring it out of eternal darkness.

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Who won this debate?

  • CKComics
  • EDT
0 voters
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Do we vote for ourselves or stay out of it?

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Stay out of it.

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