Imagine a world where Batman never existed. What would the DC Universe look like? What would pop culture look like? What kind of memes would people post if they didn’t have that image of Batman slapping Robin? Would you even be on the DC website right now? Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves are currently dominating the conversation across fandom as The Batman has become the latest cinematic hit. The Dark Knight is engrained in the DNA of our pop culture, making it hard to imagine what the world would be like without him.
A villain known as Equilibrium explores this question in Batman: The Detective, the recent six-issue limited series now available as a graphic novel. If you slept on this book, then you missed a dynamic and thought-provoking Dark Knight saga. Tom Taylor is the writer, and he’s currently crushing it on Nightwing and Superman: Son of Kal-El , so you know this is top notch. And no less than Andy Kubert pencils this saga, making the pages a visual treat that deeply enhance Taylor’s already far-reaching story.
It’s hard to say, but I think the American Broadcasting Company might not be around. In the Sixties ABC was doing very poorly in the ratings. Some people think that it was the success of Bewitched, followed by the success of Batman '66 that pretty much saved the network!
I do enjoy thinking about hypotheticals like this. Like it’s possible a new character (Flying Fox Man!) would’ve been created instead, or a lesser known character would’ve filled the Batman void. Maybe in this alternate universe there would’ve been an Adam West Green Arrow or Aquaman show.
And let’s go even further – Robin was the first sidekick, the first idea of legacy within the DCU. So it’s very possible that without Robin, you wouldn’t have any of the other kid sidekicks, you wouldn’t have the Teen Titans, you wouldn’t have the Outsiders. So many big, beloved characters would be potentially lost.
And let’s not forget this isn’t a DC thing, but Marvel as well. You wouldn’t have Bucky/the Winter Soldier, and that would fundamentally change Captain America as a character. Theoretically you wouldn’t have their legacy characters like Miles Morales or Kamala Khan.
Hell, considering just how successful Batman has been, would DC even still be around right now? And without such a stalwart in the industry, would Marvel or other independent publishers be effected?
Let’s just say it’s for the best Batman is around, because the possibilities of him not being around is making my head spin.
That reminds me – Joshua Williamson has talked about how the very first page of Dark Crisis, his tribute to the legacy aspect of DC Comics, is Bruce and Dick taking the vow by candlelight, as it was the moment that legacy within the DC universe truly began.
I don’t think the DC Community would be as fun without you! Anyway, I never thought about it, but without Batman I might never have become a writer. It was Batman '66 that made me want to read comic books and it was comic books that made me want to write… If Batman didn’t exist, it would have far reaching effects even on individuals.
Going back to that whole thing about how without Batman, you wouldn’t have the Robins.
I started out writing personal self insert fan fiction for my friends and I (which is where most of my Mrs. Todd persona lore comes from). Granted, I never posted it online, but it’s still something I did 2 years ago, and it’s a part of my journey as a writer as well.