Tim Drake is Robin again, yay! Something about the execution, however, just doesn't leave me quite satisfied. So it took Darla's death to bring this about? And Tim is all "yeah, I promised my dad I wouldn't, but I must help!" Sure, you can't really hold people to promises made under duress, but Tim has always struck me as someone who, once committed to a course, whether of his own voilition or not, would hold to that course come hell or high water. Frankly, I think it would be more believable for him to simply do the superheroing from the background in an Oracle-like way, maybe going undercover and being an anonymous informer type. Because he PROMISED. Also, the fact that Batman just kinda... its like, there is no real welcome back. And yes, Nightwing says that Batman isn't mad at Tim, but I can't help that think that untrue. Because Tim committed to the course of being Robin FIRST and Bruce came to rely on that and on Tim and I think he would be very angry about Tim leaving. Maybe that anger is repressed, because in his head he knows logically that the situation forced Tim's hand (never mind what I think about the situation of Jack Drake learning about Tim being Robin from his diaries, grr), so the anger is not logical. I do think, however, it is there.
And, well, the Stephanie-as-Robin arc? I mean, in the beginning, I didn't think that Batman made her Robin as a plan to get Tim to come back, like Alfred suggested. However. His excuse for firing her was flimsy at best -- all of his Robins have at one time or another disobeyed him. He may not like it, but in a way I think that he knows it must be necessary. Like, if he really DID have a group of perfect soldiers at his beck and call (um, if they were all like Cass, actually), with no one talking back and second guessing him and even, gasp!, disobeying him every once in awhile, then he would soon go the way of the Kingdom Come Batman-run Gotham or the Justice League Justice Lord Batman-run Gotham. But by the end of Stephanie's tenure as Robin, I can't help that think that Alfred was right (at least partially, and maybe it was unconscious on Batman's part... yeah, I don't think so). Once it became obvious that Tim wasn't going to come back, REALLY, then Stephanie, who he had never wanted to be a hero in the first place (he cites her as not having the skills and talents necessary, but dude, that is what training is for -- and he even said so when he agreed she could be Robin! he also admired her tenacity, saying that while some hardcore generals couldn't stand up to him, this itty bitty blond bimbo could... or something to that effect) gets tossed out. It just doesn't sit well with me. I don't think Batman ever really gave her a chance. Yes, I want my Tim as Robin, but Stephanie... she could have been good. And I think it really would have been awesome to see Tim evolve into another Oracle-like figure while Steph evolved into an effective Robin. Aw well.
Oh, and now that Robin is once again Tim, I am eagerly awaiting the return of the assassin Scarab. Seriously, she seems like the type of chickee to take failure hard, and having believed she'd already killed Tim it isn't going to sit well with her that he has shown up again. I bet she has a reputation to maintain and I bet that Tim is going to be a thorn in her side. I want her to show up again. No, I don't know why I've latched on to a background, minor villian, I just have. I'm weird.
Batman doesn't kill. He has said it again and again: there is always another option. And then there is Superman, who stands for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. So, why is it that Superman gets to kill and Batman doesn't? Isn't Death the ultimate Justice for some villians so unredeemable that there is no other options? The American legal system and and our laws about capital punishment seem to say that. But see, that is only have a long trial by peers and a drawn-out appeals process (except for in Texas, of course, but we don't like to talk about Texas...). No comics writer would DARE make Batman kill, or even kill by inaction like Nightwing (and omg, I really fear for Nightwing. there is going to be PAIN.), because Batman is not judge, jury, and executioner. He is not the embodiment of Justice. He is a vigilante, and were he to cross the line and kill someone, the whole fricking universe would come down on him, but no harder than he would come down on himself.
But Superman. Superman. The Sun God, the greatest hero on Earth, Defender of the Innocent, the embodiment of human dreams for a better, finer world. Right? Except, as so many writers have pointed out time and again (in fanfic, in the Superman cartoon, in the Justice Lords episode of the JL cartoon, in multiple Elseworlds, heck, even in the canon!), it doesn't take much for all that glorious power to come back and bite him on the ass. The people of the DCU are often portrayed as having a supreme faith in Superman. Anything he does is golden. And don't you think that would get to him? Sure, he has Ma and Pa Kent, Lois, his fellow heroes, even Jimmy Olsen to keep him thinking straight... but what is that against the overwhelming adoration of the masses? I think this is why it is so easy for people to write Superman as a killer. Because for Superman, sometimes there isn't another option (a better option). And he is golden, he is Justice, he CAN be judge, jury, and executioner. Sure, he'll feel bad about it, but it was necessary, you see, really, and look, the world is all shiny now and most people can't really be bothered about the fact that their shining hero has killed and may kill again and has, in fact, the potential to become the worst kind of villian EVER.
Now this next part is me rambling along, blowing smoke out of my ass, trying to organize my thoughts and using odd metaphors and it not all together working. Sorry. Anyway. For Batman, I think that Death is the ultimate enemy, and murder in any context is WRONG. He learned that at a very young age, after all. But Superman doesn't really know Death. How, you may ask, can I assert this when, after all, Superman himself has died and he has watched friends and family die, too, right? Hmm, yes, but he has never been a position where he is utterly helpless to prevent death, like the child Bruce was, and he may have failed to prevent certain deaths but... okay, I'm going to use a Star Trek thing here. Superman has never had his Kobayashi Maru. I don't think Superman realizes the inevitability of death, of failure, while Batman certain does, and his mission is to go down fighting off failure until the last possible second. Does that make any sense? I haven't gotten it quite straight in my own head yet.
Anyway. That is why I think that Superman is more scary than Batman ever will be, and not just because of the phenomenal powers.
Okay, I have overdosed on Deep Thought now, so I'm going to go read some mindless (HA!) comics...