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Date: 2009-09-22 09:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Fourth page, fourth panel, aw, that is the saddest Batman I've ever seen :(

Date: 2009-09-22 10:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I used to appreciate this whole trope. But I don't buy it nowadays. With the situation in Gotham as its is, even if Bruce Wayne didn't become Batman, someone else would've lost their loved one through crime, become a vigilante, yada yada yada. And who knows? Maybe he also would've taken in Dick and Tim.

Date: 2009-09-22 10:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can almost imagine this with the '70's Tales of Suspense, et al, art. It would have been amazing!

Date: 2009-09-22 11:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's an interesting idea (though the real world doesn't reflect it ala), and Bruce was uniquely positioned to be that combination of filthy rich and obsessive.

Date: 2009-09-22 11:53 am (UTC)
ext_396558: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Hah! Exactly the same thing happens in "Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader". Capture, Unmask, *Gasp*, "You're Beautiful!"

Date: 2009-09-22 11:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Robin: Okay, I'll make a deal with you. If we go out on patrol and Gotham is quiet, with no sign of the Joker, we come back here, have Christmas dinner and watch "It's A Wonderful Life".

Batman: You know, I've never seen that. I could never get past the title.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dick Grayson: Come on, Bruce. You're gonna love "It's a Wonderful Life"
Bruce Wayne: It's not relentlessly cheerful, is it?
Dick Grayson: No, it's about the difference one man can make to an entire city. Sound familiar?

B:TAS - Christmas with the Joker

Such a sad story, but very nicely told.

Interesting that the Joker still had his dip in the chemical bath even without a Batman.

Date: 2009-09-22 12:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I never noticed that last point. Interesting. Maybe Jack Napier is just...clumsy?

Date: 2009-09-22 12:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd think if his reaction had been "Holy crap, you're a right minger aren't you? No wonder you wear a mask" it would have led to one rather odd Elseworlds - Batman: The Nadless Dark Knight

Date: 2009-09-22 12:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
When the kids aren't around he sings "Somewhere out There"

Or maybe, "I need a Hero"

Date: 2009-09-22 12:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've seen sadder, the last panel of this page for example... Perfect woobie Batman..

Image (

Date: 2009-09-22 12:16 pm (UTC)
ext_396558: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Or else...

"Why, Miss Kyle - you're beautiful!"

It's poetry in motion...

She turned her tender eyes to me...

(In the Gaiman version, she scratches at his eyes, runs away and then cowers in a doorway out of shock for the rest of the night. Hm...)

Date: 2009-09-22 12:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was a friend of mine who told me the idea, in a What-if-Hitler-wasn't-born discussions. Not having Hitler wouldn't mean the WWII, the Holocaust, etc. wouldn't happen--with the conditions in Europe during that time, sooner or later a Hitler-like person would rise and unleash war. It's a theory in history or something.

Date: 2009-09-22 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love this dialogue. A very good example of why the Bruce/Dick relationship is

Date: 2009-09-22 01:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
For some reason I'm reminded of an exchange between Cyborg and Changeling back in the Titans halcyon days;

Vic - "So what happened last night"

Gar - "Well, she was this mousy looking librarian. And then she let her hair down and..."

Vic - "Yeah?"

Gar - "She was STILL a mousy looking librarian... so I dated her sister. Now SHE was gorgeous!"

Date: 2009-09-22 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

The point is... Yes, and no. There might have been a war, there might have been a "Hitler-like" (for a given value of "Hitler-like", that might turn out to be not much like Hitler at all) leader, but it would not have been WWII as we know it. It might have been, to quote "The Scary Door": "Something much better." Or worse, but it wouldn't have been WWII.

Date: 2009-09-22 01:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow DCAU Phantom Stranger !

Date: 2009-09-22 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Interesting that the Joker still had his dip in the chemical bath even without a Batman.

Yes! I think he would have been extremely different without that fateful day at Axis Chemicals. I would say that in the DCAU, he was working his way up in Sal Valestra's organization with the goal of taking over (after Sal retired or had an "accident", whatever). No Batman, no Joker.

Date: 2009-09-22 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Heh. So without Batman, Selina never dyes her hair blonde and keeps it cut short.

Date: 2009-09-22 01:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, as they say in the BTAS episode "The Trial", without Batman the gimmicks would have been different, but they'd probably still have been out there causing chaos.

So instead of focussing on Batman and upping his game repeatedly to challenge him, the Joker (after possibly dealing with the security guard/policeman/fellow crook who caused him to fall into the acid) seems a lot less of a threat, essentially becoming a Fagin style character rather than the world feared "Clown Prince of Crime". With Batman you NEED to be the best to be a recurring threat, Mr J here hasn't got that impetus.

Date: 2009-09-22 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not sure I buy this either. Bruce could still have taken in Dick without being Batman and mentored Tim as well. As for Selina, as far as I can see it's always been HIM who has pushed her away. Even when he was Bruce Wayne dating her and she didn't know he was Batman and after that it just became magnified. Bruce Wayne is a genius-level A-type personality and one of the richest men on the planet, whether his parents lived or not, he could have done a lot just by being "Bruce" to help Gotham.

Date: 2009-09-22 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Is this only the second story where a Dick without Bruce grows up to work for Tony Zucco? I honestly don't believe that a Dick without Bruce would have been doomed to a life of crime. (This Tim is more like Jason so for him it makes a bit more sense at least.)

Date: 2009-09-22 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like Dick becoming a vigilante on his own, learning and combining all the skills of the circus folk and other people he encounters as the circus travels its circuit; his parent's acrobatic skills, knife throwing, trick shooting, horseback riding, animal training, drunken clown fighting, mentalist tricks, strongman training, and a detailed knowledge of a subculture somewhat connected to the criminal underworld for his first street connections.

Date: 2009-09-22 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
the only problem i see with that that is that almost ALL of the Gotham Vigilantes were directly inspired by Batman. His methods, his "mission" his ideals. Others may have tried to rise to it, but they would most likely not last long.

Date: 2009-09-22 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*Checks Wikipedia*. I think that's the concept. :)
I think war would've still happened, even if Hitler wasn't around. War isn't simple causation, I think, and I don't have the expertise to discuss the complexity of it all. But yeah, it will not have been the WWII that we know.

Same goes for Batman, I think. If Bruce Wayne didn't become Batman, sooner or later vigilantism will happen in Gotham. Maybe he/she wouldn't be as trained, rich, equipped, or as ethical as Batman, but it would've happened.

Date: 2009-09-22 03:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What I dislike about it is the idea that Bruce would have actually been the vapid playboy he pretends to be, or that he wouldn't have had a social/moral conscience. I mean, his parents are always portrayed as good people who cared deeply about the city and its people.

If Bruce hadn't become Batman, he would've become a doctor, an FBI agent, or founded some ground-breaking charitable/non-profit organization.

Or maybe he would've been more like Ted Kord.
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