|Name:||Batfamily, Bat-Family, The Bats, Batman Family, Bat Clan|
|Creator:||Bob Kane, |
Bill Finger (uncredited until 2010s)
|Medium:||comics, books, movies, games|
|Country of Origin:||USA|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The Batfamily is the informal name fandom uses for Bruce "Batman" Wayne and his allies and supporting characters. It includes those who appear regularly in Batman comics such as: Detective Comics, Batman, Batman Confidential (2007-2011), Batman Family (Vol. 1 1975–1978, Vol. 2 2002), Legends of the Dark Knight (1989-2007), Shadow of the Bat (1992-2000), Batman Chronicles (1995-2001), Gotham Knights (2000-2006), and various mini-series.
There are also characters in the Batfamily who appear in the books of associated characters (Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, Birds of Prey, Azrael, Catwoman, various Huntress minis—as well as series about the Gotham City Police Department, like Gotham Central), and relevant adaptations of these media. Often these characters are closely associated with Batman, were trained by him, or are members of his adopted family. Batfamily encompasses a large section of the greater DCU fandom.
Many fans enjoy exploring the possible dynamics among the various members of the Batfamily, and the fandom has developed its own distinctive tropes and fanon characterisations. Batfamily fandom has attracted a number of second-degree fans who are more familiar with - and interested in - fanon than canon. The tendency of fans to characterise the Batfamily as a tightly knit domestic unit has attracted criticism from some fans who consider it to be OOC, while others have pushed back against the tendency to privilege fanon characterisation over faithfulness to canon. However, still other fans argue that this is in keeping with the varying nature of canon, where characterisation is not necessarily static to begin with.
Batfamily can broadly refer to the group of costumed vigilantes and other allies associated with Batman and operating in Gotham City; Barbara Gordon (Batgirl and then Oracle), Luke Fox (Batwing), and Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael) are sometimes considered members of the Batfamily.
Many use the Batfamily designation to specifically refer to those who are both part of the Batman business and Bruce Wayne's personal family unit; Bruce's adoptive and biological children, and his butler, Alfred Pennyworth, are some members of the Batfamily. Family members who aren't associated with the Batman business—such as Aunt Agatha and Bruce's deceased parents—are part of the Wayne family, but not the Batfamily.
Ask 12 different people and you will get 13 different answers. Batfamily means different things to different people. Is it the people Bruce considers family? Is it everyone who wears a Bat? Is it somewhere in the middle? Most of those characters don't interact a lot anyway.
I feel like as if another Bat character has a revelation and says "I know now I am not alone. My true strength is my family [whom I never talk to] !" And you don't four times out of five appear in the splash page of Batfamily back-up that comes one page later, you are not a currently active member of the Batfamily.
I personally define the Batfamily as anyone who operated in the Batcave under the direct tutelage and direction of daddy Batman and has family-like relationship with Bruce Wayne. [...] “Extended Batfamily” members are any superhero allies in Gotham like Batwoman, Catwoman, Huntress and Azrael.
All Batfamily fandoms are Batman media fandoms, but not all Batman media fandoms are considered Batfamily fandoms. The Nolanverse is generally not labelled as a Batfamily fandom, due to Batman lacking vigilante partners and a cast of family members.
- See also Category:Batman Characters.
Most notably the "family" consists of Bruce Wayne (sometimes known by fan nickname "Batdad"), the boys he took in and trained as Robin, Cassandra Cain, and his butler Alfred Pennyworth as well as his dog, but also includes Batman-inspired heroes like Batgirl and the Gotham-based team Birds of Prey.
Current and former protégés: The Batman's child protégés, trained by him when they were still minors, are often known under the fanon term Batkids. "Batkids" may also be used specifically to refer to Bruce's adopted and biological children.
- Dick Grayson (Robin, Nightwing, "DickBats" Batman)
- Barbara Gordon (Batgirl, Oracle)
- Helena Wayne (Huntress of Earth-2)
- Jason Todd (Robin II, Red Hood II)
- Carrie Kelley (Robin III - The Dark Knight Returns)
- Tim Drake (Robin III, Red Robin II, Drake)
- Stephanie Brown (Spoiler, Robin IV, Batgirl III)
- Terry McGinnis (Batman II - Batman Beyond)
- Cassandra Cain (Batgirl II, Black Bat, Orphan II)
- Damian Wayne (Robin V)
- Duke Thomas (Lark, The Signal)
Associates and allies:
- Selina Kyle (Catwoman)
- Katherine "Kathy" Kane (pre-Crisis Batwoman)
- Talia al Ghul (usually associated with the enemy faction)
- Lucius Fox and his children
- Helena Bertinelli (Huntress)
- Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael, "AzBats" Batman)
- Michael Lane (Azrael II)
- Katherine Rebecca "Kate" Kane (Batwoman)
- Bette Kane (pre-Crisis Bat-Girl, Flamebird, Hawkfire)
- David Zavimbe (Batwing)
- Luke Fox (Batwing)
- Calvin Rose (Talon)
- Basil Karlo (Clayface)
For a more complete list check out Wikipedia's article.
Some would say that the Batfamily started in 1940, when Bruce "Batman" Wayne was joined by the original Robin, the Boy Wonder Dick Grayson, an orphan whom Bruce took in as his legal ward.
Others define the Batfamily as something larger and more complex than the classic Batman-and-Robin duo. The pre-Crisis comic book anthology series Batman Family ran from 1975 to 1978, primarily featuring stories starring Batman's supporting cast, including Alfred Pennyworth, Vicki Vale, the Elongated Man, the Huntress (Helena Wayne of Earth-2), Bat-Girl, Batwoman (Katherine "Kathy" Kane), Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), and Ace the Bat-Hound.
Many fans point to the Chuck Dixon era in the 1990s as the formation of the modern Batfamily concept, with Batman and Robin (Tim Drake) being joined by Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley), Spoiler (Stephanie Brown), the Birds of Prey, Batgirl (Cassandra Cain), and others on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. This incarnation of the Batfamily was popular within the comics fandom on LiveJournal, with meta and transformative fanworks largely revolving around Dick Grayson and Tim Drake.
With the near back-to-back introductions of the long-lost Jason Todd (as the Red Hood) and then Bruce Wayne's newly discovered biological son Damian Wayne in 2005–2006, and the adoption of the freshly orphaned Tim Drake, the focus of the Batfamily fandom eventually shifted to Batman and his four sons, especially after the release of the 2010 Under the Red Hood animated movie (starring fan favorite actor Jensen Ackles as the voice of the Red Hood) piqued the interest of a fresh audience beyond established comics readers. As participation in Web 2.0 became more mainstream, social media platforms and fan wikis provided fertile grounds for second-degree fandom and kittyfic, making Batfamily content creation and consumption accessible to non-comics fans. Thus the "Batman and sons" version of the Batfamily became popular on DeviantArt, FanFiction.Net, Tumblr, and Archive of Our Own (AO3).
While Batfamily fan presence has remained relatively strong on those sites, the contemporary 2020s fandom has largely shifted to AO3, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Fandom has trended toward being more inclusive of Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain since their returns to comics following their initial absence in the New 52 reboot, as well as the new character Duke Thomas who debuted in 2013 and more officially joined Batman's supporting cast as the vigilante known as the Signal in 2018. However, the post-Crisis continuity (1986-2011) mostly continues to be the fan community's favored canon as of 2022.
All Batfamily fandoms are Batman media fandoms, but not all Batman media fandoms are considered Batfamily fandoms. The Nolanverse is generally not labelled as a Batfamily fandom, due to Batman lacking vigilante partners and a cast of family members.
Meta and Fanon
As of the present and at least since the dawn of Internet-based fandom, the Post-Crisis continuity (established by the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths event), has been the favored canon lore near-universally in the Batfamily fandom, and in the broader DC Comics fandom. Some elements introduced since the 2011 New 52 continuity reboot—such as the Court of Owls, and Jason Todd's improved relationship with the Batfamily—have been embraced in fan meta and fan works, but most outright retcons to Post-Crisis have been ignored. For example, in many fan works Barbara most often remains as Oracle and as a wheelchair-user rather than reverting to her Batgirl role.
Depending on the current canon and fanon, different sources and fans have different ideas of which characters should count as Bruce Wayne's immediate family unit, and which should count as close family friends (such as Stephanie Brown). For example, around the era of the New 52, Damian Wayne was often emphasized as Bruce's only "real" child, while Cassandra Cain hardly appeared, and Tim Drake's parents were still alive. There has been confusion as to whether Duke Thomas is a member of the Wayne household in the main continuity, as Bruce offered to foster Duke, but Duke's cousin ultimately became his legal guardian while Duke's still-living parents are institutionalized for Joker toxicity.
As of the present and the Infinite Frontier continuity, most agree that, in the mainline comics, Bruce Wayne is officially the parent of:
- Dick Grayson (adopted son)
- Cassandra Cain (adopted daughter)
- Jason Todd (adopted son)
- Tim Drake (adopted son)
- Damian Wayne (biological son)
These characters may be known as the Batsiblings or Batsibs.
Tumblr also created a fanon additional child for the Batfamily, Brad Wayne, who is headcanoned as an illegitimate son of Bruce's who is almost aggressively normal (and oblivious to all things superhero), providing an amusing contrast to the rest of the Batkids. Many headcanons have been created imagining how he might interact with other members of the Batfamily, as well as other DC characters.
Relationships and dynamics
- See also Category:Batman Relationships.
Batcest refers to pairings between two or more family members of Bruce Wayne—including Bruce Wayne himself, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain, and Damian Wayne—regardless of blood relationship.[note 1] Robincest specifically refers to pairings between the four former and current Robin brothers, sans Stephanie Brown. Though Barbara and Stephanie are included under the banner of the Batfamily, they are not officially Wayne children, and so pairings such as DickBabs, TimSteph, and StephCass are essentially never labelled incest. Some Batcest pairings have popular followings, but many Batfamily fans oppose and avoid any and all Batcest pairings.
Common Tropes in Fanworks
- Personal quirks: Certain batfamily characters are given specific fanon created quirks, examples being: Dick is a cereal-powered hug-maniac. Tim is a depressed insomniac addicted to coffee and psychologically scarred by his very comfortable childhood. Stephanie likes waffles and the color purple. Cass is a sweet and accommodating emotional support Asian.
- Meet the Batfamily: Often Outsider POV fics in which some party is surprised to find that blithe rich guy Bruce Wayne, or the brooding Batman, is a doting father with a bunch of rowdy children.
- Under the influence: characters being drugged, or acting uncharacteristically because of elements outside their control, two common examples being Scarecrow's Fear Toxin and Ivy's Pollen
- Crossovers: In addition to the usual shared universe crossovers featuring the extended Batfamily and the broader DC Multiverse, certain other fandoms have a notable crossover presence:
- Miraculous Ladybug - Maribat, often involving a somewhat crack and somewhat serious ship between Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Damian Wayne
- White Collar (see: White Collar × DC) - The dark-haired, blue-eyed Neal Caffrey is revealed to be one of the Bats in disguise, usually one of the three eldest "Batbros".
- My Hero Academia, in which Midoriya Izuku is Robin (sometimes specifically Dick Grayson), which has a canonical tag on AO3
- Many crossovers feature Batman adopting children/young people from other fandoms, some notable examples being:
- Alternate Universes: Dimensional travel between alternate universes, or intra-multiversal crossovers (Earth-3, the Young Justice animated series, Arkhamverse, etc.)
- Reverse Robins: is a role reversal where the order of the Robins is changed, often resulting in the family dynamic changing as well
- Dark AUs: sometimes exploring the canonical Earth-3, or fan created Mirror Universes or Crime AUs
- Time Travel: sometimes used as an interesting plot device, or a used in time travel fix-it fics, often used to prevent a character death or something terrible from occurring in Gotham
- Batkid Nicknames Powerpoint by sohotthateveryonedied
- What do the Bats call each other? by bitimdrake
- nicknames for the Batboys by cornflakepizza
(Not) One Big Happy Family
Many Batfamily fan works take place in a standard nebulous continuity in which the entire Wayne household is already comfortably established as one big happy family, without delving into how they came to be that way in the first place. (Comparisons may be drawn to the established Domestic Avengers teamfics popular in the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom.) While certain pairs of characters have familial relationships with each other, many fans feel that the canonical "Batfamily", as a whole, lacks a collective family dynamic.
People treat the Batfamily like they're an official team like the Fantastic Four, and not a group of loosely associated individuals with varying levels of friendly, romantic, or familial connections.
Sometimes, when I read Batman fanfiction, I wonder whether the writer has been reading the same comic books as I have. Because they paint a picture of a big, happy Wayne family where the kids are very close and sometimes the whole bunch even live together.
Just to be clear. I do think of Bruces adopted/foster children as a family because they have a common father(figure). But they have not grown up together. It depends on what DC continuity you’re playing with, of course, but most of them are in their teens when Bruce Wayne comes into their lives and they can’t have lived more than a few years with him. Several of them have not lived together. So even if I let my imagination run amok, I can’t see them living at the Manor together as a tight-knit family, and I don’t think all of them know each other very well.
For people looking to get into DC Comics:
- If you want a happy wholesome superhero family, read Superman or Flash comics
- If you want a messy but loving power couple paired with a group of disaster teens/young adults, read Aquaman and Green Arrow comics
- If you want non-traditional family relationships and co-worker drama, read Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Titans, and Green Lantern comics
And if you want a highly dysfunctional and convoluted family that’s really five separate mini-family units and lives in an ever-evolving intra-family turf war on who likes who at any given moment, read Batman comics.
Here’s what Batfam means for me:
- a term used as a marketing tactic/stunt by DC.
- a fandom I do not seek to join, nor claim to be part of.
Label my fanarts however you want, but I see it as mere characters interaction; a random bit of character study left to interpretation. - I - happen to not think that Bats associate or work together as a family.
“batfam” content to but to what end. like it doesn’t feel forced to you? doesn’t feel weird or like a cop-out to actual interaction and storytelling that makes sense in the context of these characters? the whole group chat thing reads like the 1,000+ nonsensical chat posts batfam blogs on tumblr dot com spam the tags with. the weird movie nights when some of the characters haven’t interacted on a panel in months or years (bc when has luke fox even breathed in certain chars directions???).
and why? the fans they’re catering to rn don’t buy comics. i’m not saying it like it’s a bad thing either you’re well within your rights to not buy them lmao but it’s true. a lot of y’all don’t buy or even read comics. you see panels and squeal/scream over them with zero context and that shapes your perception of these characters. so what is the end goal to catering to “batfam” stans, i need to know lmao.
A lot of the time in batfam fics, authors keep asserting that familial relation while not really giving us any evidence to back it, something that will make the readers go “oh, he is their dad”. Like sure, there’ll be all sorts of family drama but very little small domestic things that happen between parents and children.
I’m on the firm belief that the Batfam cannot work as a believable unit given their most dominant canonical personalities, or even their debut or most popular ones. Pre-Dixon Nightwing and and UtRH Red Hood and Red Robin from 2009 and preboot Oracle and Stephanie and Cass, for example, should not be able to work cohesively as a “Batfamily” unit becuase their methods, roles, ideologies, and goals clash, cancel out, interfere, or make obsolete all the others.
Everyone’s favorite versions of the characters (and I’m only talking about pre-N52 here) can be competent and accomplished, but putting their individual works next to each other in the same universe under the guise of a functioning work-family or actual-family is not believable. [...] Character assasination is a necessity to have them all “complement” eachother as a team and also reel them in as to not cause conflict (like Jason Todd giving up guns and dumbing him down to shift him away from competent Batman villain to Batman team player). They need to have flaws that can be covered by other members. This is why Damian Wayne, despite all the development he got under both Dick and Bruce’s Batmen, still had to unlearn all that during the Rebirth Teen Titans run. It’s why in the New 52, when a closer Batfamily dynamic was being pushed, Tim Drake got reduced to emotionally-stunted hyper-genius and Jason Todd to Daddy Issues Gun Guy and Dick Grayson to a dumber, ditsier character and then there’s everything that’s been happening with Barbara Gordon’s disability and abilities arising from her personal journey because of it and then the other two batgirls in relation to her etc etc.
[...] TLDR, all the Batfam members got way too OP as individual characters in the olden days so DC decided to hack their well-rounded personalities into pieces and reduce everyone into clear-cut puzzle pieces to fit specific roles.
Because Bruce apparently needs a Batfamily despite literally never consulting with them in most of his comics in the last decade with the exception of one of those seasonal comics or events that want to take advantage of all the Bat ensemble with substanceless, contributionless cameos.
Like I always say, the Batfamily are a family of Mary Sues. They’re all capable of whatever the plot requires them to be capable of, at any given moment, which makes trying to ‘rank’ them in terms of skills utterly pointless and arbitrary, IMO. My only concern is when people take away things they’ve been shown doing for years because they feel there’s only room for one hacker or one weapons master or one acrobat….and its like…why? They’re all hypercompetent and emotionally dysfunctional and there’s so much to mine in that dichotomy.
I think there’s such a focus on trying to make each Robin distinct and unique and have their own specific niche that people move entirely away from letting their similarities shine….when its a lot of those similarities that are the reason all of them (with the exception of Cass, obvsly) were Robin and GOOD at it in the first place.
Let them have things in common and common ground and shared skills and experiences and overlap instead of this “there can only be one” insistence that boxes out everyone else even in situations where someone having the same experience or skill would be BENEFICIAL to the focused upon character. That’s my stance anyway.
Too many Bats in the Cave
Some complain that the Batfamily cast has become too bloated and unbalanced.
Unpopular Opinion: There shouldn’t be anymore characters added to the Batfamily the roster is full and it’s coming to the point where everyone’s favorite member either isnt getting enough content or they have enough content and it isnt being written how fans want it
Then why do they keep making so many new bat """family""" characters?
Second-degree fandom and prevalent fanon
There exists some tension between comics fans, fans of media adaptations (such as the Arkhamverse and Young Justice the animated series), and "second-degree" fans who are familiar with Batman mythos exclusively through fan content and broad strokes pop culture osmosis. The lack of familiarity with the source canon has contributed to the rise of extensive and prevalent fanon, to the point that some fans even confuse popular fanon as outright canon. Some enjoy fanon, while others raise concerns that fanon distorts fans' understanding and appreciation of the canon lore, and makes canon-faithful fan activity difficult to find. The official spin-off webcomic Batman: Wayne Family Adventures (2021)—advertised as not requiring prior knowledge of Batman lore, and incorporating popular fanon such as Tim's coffee addiction—quickly and successfully amassed a large readership, raising concerns among some fans that popular ooc fanon could leak into official DC Comics publications.
Fanon kind of feeds on itself, especially within a comics fandom where a lot of people don’t read the sources and exist solely on fic and out of context panels.
Absorbing all that, putting it in their own stuff, and then it keeps going around and suddenly things are accepted as a common fanon/headcanon or even believed to be canon when they’re really not.
There’s a certain amount of exaggeration that happens as well.
I find other fandoms there’s sort of a limit because most people engage more with the source material, which is often shorter and easier to follow (like a 1 hour movie or something, or a book) so there’s less of a limit before the suspension of disbelief breaks.
So, depending on level of engagement with canon, the limit before you’re like ‘who the hell are you a fan of, because this is not the character’ varies. This is also influenced by time in fandom. If you’re new to a fandom, you don’t know the characters as well, so it’s easier to accept nearly everything, whereas once you’re really familiar with the characters you’re like ‘um no this is not possible’.
[...] it’s actually surprising how much fanon isn’t ‘pick and choose’ canon (and honestly, pick and choose canon is still canon) but just fanon that has become so ingrained that it’s considered canon, and is justified that way.
A lot of people who say that comics characterization is so all over the place and is constantly changing honestly…a lot of them actually don’t read the comics, or they only read a few select runs. Yes, characters changed with specific continuity changes and retcons, but those didn’t happen every other week. Post-Crisis, for example, was actually very consistent with characters, for decades. Even wildly different writers could usually manage to keep a ‘core’ of a character recognizable. Yes, there are exceptions and some truly terrible characterizations happened when things went bad, but tarring all of canon with that is kind of a disservice, imo.
Comics are fascinating because on some level canon isn’t static. Writers are constantly retelling history, changing it intentionally or unintentionally. On a very literal level, they are creating history. Retroactive continuity is a wild concept because few other mediums can have that as fully.
Canon is a contradictory mess, and it’s absolutely valid for people to come away with vastly different interpretations because they’re equally backed by canon.
I can explain that a retcon doesn’t make sense with previous characterization, but the character has changed and now that’s also “canon.” In some cases, there’s blatant real world issues behind the decision (Talia, Barbara), but in other cases I’m simply saying “of two exclusive options, I’m choosing this one.”
I guess it comes down to humility and acknowledgement. I recognize that abusive Batman exists, but that a) destabilizes the entire thematic center of the character and makes it fall apart and b) simply doesn’t spark joy. Ergo, I ignore it. I don’t run into fandom spaces discussing the canonical abuse yelling that Bruce is a good dad actually.
Read a lot of comics so you can come to your own conclusions about what you want to ignore. Know why you focus on some stuff, even if it’s not deep introspection or psychoanalysis, just “idk man Bruce hitting his kids sucks and I don’t want to read about an abusive dad.” The issue is not ignoring canon—everybody does that by necessity, since canon is contradictory—it’s treating your interpretations as universal and refusing to acknowledge (you don’t have to engage with it!) other aspects of the source material.
I really don’t care what the fandom does, but I do like making a distinction between fanon and canon so people are aware that one version isn’t strictly accurate. Many fans have unintentionally been misled and aren’t aware of the difference, and I find that many fans appreciate a character more once they understand the canon version better even if they still enjoy the fanon version.
Any time something is fanonized, it means we’re losing character depth and complexity, and any time this happens excessively, to the point where we have more fanon pervading the fandom than canon, I just find it a shame because it means the original character from the source material isn’t receiving as much attention as the troped pocket-size version of the character. Whenever I notice a fanon version of a character getting more attention than canon, I’m more inclined to actively draw awareness to their canon personality to make people aware of it– mainly in hopes that we can see the fandom balance itself out. Not to rid the fandom of the fanon version entirely, just to make sure the canon character isn’t being neglected entirely
Fanon doesn’t belong in comics. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy fanon a lot, mostly when it comes to art; Fanon gives fans the opportunity to mix things up and create their head canons and universes and I love that but fanon characterizations hurt comic characterizations when they are included in comics and when they are treated by fans as canon.
When you are first introduced to this fandom characterizations are very wild, you grow accustomed to fanon and when you start reading comics your world is suddenly turned upside down. The same happens when you are a comic reader first and then you join the fandom, I have experienced both of these situations and it’s confusing and can put you off from liking a character.
Sometimes I go into the Batfam tag out of sheer masochistic folly as if I’m some two-bit bar fighter kissing my knuckles before trying to beat down a professional wrestler and I genuinely cannot describe the feeling of scrolling down through all of those posts witnessing what can only be likened to a breeding ground of a newfound divergent species scrounging around in their self made echo-chamber clad with only wildly out-of-context comic panels and veritable troves of thinly veiled incest propaganda. Occasionally you find a post that punches you in the throat so hard that you’re left wheezing in horrified glee—like you almost feel concussed from the Vision that has abruptly appeared before you—and you’re in such brazen awe over this spontaneous mutation that it’s staggering. How did this come to be. How did we get here. The degree of separation between canon and fanon stretches like a never ending abyss it’s so inspiring, so debilitating, so brain damaging. In what other fandom can you find such a phenomenon, truly.
honestly those people who only know and care about fanon batfam are living their best lives. us virgins are out here spending hours of our lives trying to add some sort of flow and nuance to what are possibly the most disjointed, contradictory, and worst written pieces of media i’ve ever read in my entire life and for what. to claim that we are actually the superior breed of batfam stans on tumblr dot com? because we’ve actually read canon that isn’t even good most of the time? fanon batfam stans reuse drarry textposts from 2016 and think liking waffles is a personality trait and have never read a single comic book in their entire lives and i say good for them!!! good for them.
“what’s the right order to read-“ NONE. Everything is awful. Shut the fuck up and start pirating arbitrary comics and then desperately follow the references therein to OTHER comics like a proverbial breadcrumb trail for months until you’ve cobbled together some sort of ramshackle understanding of the universe and then lie with conviction for years like the rest of us. No comprehensible canon we die like men.
Some second-degree fans argue that obstacles prevent them from accessing canon materials. These obstacles include: confusion over where to begin reading (e.g. 1985 post-Crisis vs 2011 New 52 vs 2016 DC Rebirth continuities), lack of funds to purchase comics, and sheer intimidation by the massive volume of over 80 years of Batman content that varies in many different qualities. Comics fans point out that there are many ways to access Batman publications and media: in-person and online shopping, physical anthologies at public libraries, digital editions available for free through library-partnered services such as Hoopla, as well as online piracy. Some comics fans have created resource guides for writing canon-compliant characterizations, posts attempting to clarify what is fanon and what is canon, and rec lists for newbies interested in finding a starting place to read comics. It must be noted that even these guides are often somewhat influenced by their creators' own subjective biases. Although well intentioned this could also feel like a form of gatekeeping to second-degree fans.
- Re: "What are in your opinion the biggest difference between the comic and the fanon versions of the other Batfamily members?"Archived from the original by theflyingwonder
- Re: "Have you ever done a canon vs fanon post for the batfam? you're very insightful and I would love to see your take on it."Archived from the original by bat-lings
- Fanon vs canon by bitimdrake
- These are some facts that are easy to miss if you mostly read fanfiction instead of 20 year old comics. (Slightly Tim-centric, of course.) by kiragecko
- I think it’s fair to say that almost all fan-canons like that will fall somewhere between “a little ooc” and “very ooc”... and Re: "How do fandom tropes compare to actual canon characterization for the robins " and This is why we have the distinction between Fanon and Canon characters: because they are, in fact, two completely separate characters. by thebatmanfiles
- Something to keep in mind with a lot of fandom or fic critical stuff... by bigskydreaming
- I have many thoughts on the weird phenomena in the DC fandom and the Batfam fandom specifically where probably the majority of people just straight up. haven’t interacted with the source material. by autisticcassandracain
- an introduction to the fanon batfamily by outoftheframework
- uQuiz: which poorly characterized fanon version of a batfam character are you? by hedgebitch
- Canon vs. Fanon by red-jayson
- The way tumblr depicts the Batfamily and how wrong it is. by nanamadama
- As someone who has read comics from the 1930s to today by rainbow820
Other second-degree fans proudly declare that fan works are their preferred source of Batfamily content, even preferring fanon to canon. As of this writing, many of the most popular and kudos'd Batfamily works on Archive of Our Own (AO3) are made by openly non-comics fans, such as envysparkler.
"Batbros" and exclusion
The four "Batboys" or "Batbros"—Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne—have been the most popular characters in the Batfamily fandom since at least the 2010s, on platforms such as Archive of Our Own (AO3), Tumblr, Twitter, Wattpad, and more. Batbros stories are also popular for fics featuring original characters (OCs) or reader-inserts, with each Batboy bringing some unique persona to the table as a love interest or bromantic foils, not unlike Boy Band Archetypes or otome dating sims. The Batbros fandom could be considered an estrogen brigade.
Batbros-centric fandom has been criticized for not featuring the complete Batfamily, excluding female characters and ethnic diversity. Others point out that each of the four Batbros are prominently featured characters, appearing often in notable roles in high-profile comics and media adaptations, while characters such as Cassandra and Stephanie have not been nearly as heavily featured, contributing to the discrepancy in audience exposure to the characters.
I am begging y’all to let a woman exist
There has never ever been a time when the batfamily exclusively consisted of Bruce, Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damian. Barbara has been a big part of the team since her introduction. Cass and Steph (and Helena Bertinelli!) were major players well before Jason came back to life or Damian was introduced. The Robins include Steph. Bruce’s kids include Cass. Team Bat includes everyone listed above.
imagine……. being in a fandom where most refuse to touch comics and base characterizations of characters on fanon yet trying to say they won’t include minority characters (in groups! they are canonically part of! i’m not saying go write a huge character study, i’m just saying don’t pretend like they don’t exist in your pieces that supposedly have the entire group) because they haven’t read comics featuring those characters yet……….. and even then wiki pages exist and you can talk to people who do know those characters and Make An Effort……. but you Don’t…….
that is, how do i say it,
The reason so many people focus on Dick, Jason, Barbara, Tim, and Damian in their fanworks is because everyone KNOWS them. We’ve had their backstories shoved down our throats a thousand times over in canon, to the point where we know enough details that we can delve into every aspect of it, turn them into new plots and storylines. Nearly everyone has a grasp on who they are, where they came from, and how they operate.
Sometimes people are afraid to write Cass because of her speech problems and don’t want to be insensitive by doing it incorrectly. Sometimes people don’t feel like digging through decades of comics to find out when the hell Steph made the switch from Spoiler to Robin to Spoiler to Batgirl and back to Spoiler. Not everyone knows how to write Duke yet, what his mannerisms are and how his origin was set up. Hell, I didn’t start including Duke in my stories until recently because I don’t read current comics very often, so I had no IDEA what he was like or how to write him. Then I decided to do the research so I could get a grasp on him, and I’m glad I did!
[...] Not including a character does not inherently mean you hate them or think they have no value. Sometimes people just don’t read every single fucking comic in the world and that’s okay [...]
- Guide to the BatfamArchived from the original by comic-commentary (2016)
- justiceleaque’s Batman Reading Guide (Alternate Title: Oh Boy) by justiceleaque
- Masterlist of Comic Knowledge PostsArchived by sohotthateveryonedied
- Batfamily Fandom Survey Results by danseru-kunArchived from the original (2014)
- swearing Feb 24, 2017 tumblr post about swearing in the comics by oh-mother-of-darkness et al. + jason todd vs dick grayson + swearing by theflyingwonder
- I think the point that invariably goes missing whenever we get too far into character discourse in fandom is - characters aren’t static. by spite-and-waffles
- I’ve been in the Bat-fandom for a decade now. And there have been a lot of fights about representation. by kiragecko
- Timeline: Batman by CrimeAlley1048
- Modern Age Timeline [Google Docs] by samiralula01
- Post-Crisis Batfamily timeline, Post-Crisis Batkid Canon Ages/Age Differences, and First pass at a timeline of New 52 Batfamily backstory and ages by bitimdrake
- DC Timeline Powerpoint by sohotthateveryonedied
- Re: "I wish that people would remember that Jason is supposed to be a couple months younger than Cass and less than two years older than Tim" by thebatmanfiles
- Batdad by Andry-Shango
- Hanging by a Kryptonian by *DaPandaBanda
- Batfam by ~Killinganger
- batfamily doodle by dapandabanda
- Dark Knights by CoranKizerStone (2011)
- i feel for you bruce, Archived version by gicabyte
Baby Batkids wearing sweaters. by angergirl (2013)
- For a full listing of Batman fan fiction articles on Fanlore, see Category:Batman Fanfiction
- The Batfam Fanfic Survey 
- "Family Game Night"Archived by quipquipquip - A ficlet in which the Batfamily plays Monopoly. Inspired the fan art Batnopoly by gabzillaz.
- "The Strays Verse" by blackash26 - A verse in which Young Justice (TV series) Bruce adopts all the bat kids much earlier.
- Ephemeron: a Batfamily Zine (2017)
- GOTHAM BOLD: A Batfamily Fashion Zine (March 2019)
- Bats & Birds: A Batfam Zine (May 2019)
- Holy Coloring Zine, Batman! (Feb 2020)
- Of Bats and Beasts (May 2020)
- Cancel Me, Daddy! (May 2021)
- Stan dissing - Part 2 by jasontoddsguns
- These poor children are cursed with these foods forever, Archived version by runewoa
- likes to eat...... ? by Beckx
- Batgirl Inc
- uQuiz: which Batfamily member do you toxically stan?
- uQuiz: Which Batfam Character Are You? But All Of The Answers Are Bad
Archives and Links
- FanFiction.Net (FFN):The Batfamily
- DeviantArt: Bat-Family, theBatmanFamily
- Archive of Our Own (AO3): Batfamily (DCU)
- LiveJournal (LJ): See more at Category:Batman Communities.
- Batman section of Twisting the Hellmouth, crossovers with Buffyverse
- Fanworks tagged Batfamily on DeviantArt
- Posts tagged as #Batfamily on Tumblr
- Story search for #batfamily on Wattpad
- Knight List "Knight List". Archived from the original on 2001-08-11. Description: "A list for fanfiction about Gotham's Dark Knight and his supporting characters. This group does not archive its messages."
Other fan sites
- "thebatmanuniverse.net". Archived from the original on 2010-03-16.
- "therealbatmanchronologyproject.com". Archived from the original on 2022-03-14.
- Fan, Fainleogs comment on Who is in the Batman family now? posted to r/DCcomics/, Jan 30, 2022
- Batfamily Fandom Survey Results by danseru-kun
- Jan 5 2019 Tumblr post
- meta on LiveJournal-era fanon Tim Drake by angel-gidget (25 Jul 2017)
- 7 Mar 2021 tumblr post
- 16 Nov 2021 comment in r/DCComics
- The Wayne family, June 15, 2019 Tumblr post
- 19 March 2022 Tumblr post
- April 18, 2021 Tumblr post
- “batfam” content to but to what end. August 17, 2021 Tumblr post
- Comment on An Aquarium of Nameless Things
- The Batfamily Shouldn’t Work October 29, 2021 Tumblr Post
- What are some of the Dicks skills that fic writers pawn of to Tim and Jason? May 16, 2020 Tumblr Post
- July 18, 2017 Tumblr post
- July 18, 2017 Tumblr post
- Comics are fascinating because on some level canon isn’t static, October 29, 2021 Tumblr post
- theflyingwonder, 30 Jun 2016 post
- Hard agree that Jason has no good reason to be in the Batfam, June 13, 2021 Tumblr post
- 3 Dec 2021 Tumblr post
- Feb 25, 2021 Tumblr post (dead link)
- Dec 8, 2021 Tumblr post
- 19 Feb 2021 Tumblr post
- imagine……. being in a fandom where most refuse to touch comics October 29, 2020 Tumblr post
- July 29, 2020 Tumblr post