Batfamily

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Fandom
Name: Batfamily, Batman Family, Bat Clan
Abbreviation(s): Batfam
Creator: Bob Kane,
Bill Finger (uncredited until 2010s)
Date(s): 1939-present
Medium: comics, books, movies, games
Country of Origin: USA
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The Batfamily fandom is the informal name fandom uses for Bruce "Batman" Wayne and his allies and supporting characters, who appear regularly in Batman books: 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, as well as the characters who appear in the books of those 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.) Often these characters are closely associated with Batman or were trained by him.

Batfamily can broadly refer to the group of costumed vigilantes associated with Batman and operating in Gotham City; Barbara Gordon (Batgirl and then Oracle), Luke Fox (Batwing), and Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael) are some 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.

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.

Batfamily Fandom Survey Results by danseru-kun

The term is also used to differentiate between the greater DC Comics or team-focused fandom, and the fandom specifically focused on Batman and related characters. (See also Family vs. Team)

The Family

Most notably the "family" consists of Bruce Wayne (often known by fans as "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 proteges: The generations following Bruce, 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.

Batboys / Batbros — A fanon designation that generally includes Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne, and sometimes others such as Duke Thomas and Terry McGinnis.

Associates and allies:

Others: Some Batfamily members exist outside the main comics continuity.

Associated teams:

For a more complete list check out Wikipedia's article.

Overview

This article or section needs expansion.

Some would say that the Batfamily started in 1940, when the Batman was joined by Robin the Boy Wonder, Dick Grayson. Others define the modern Batfamily as something larger and more complex than the classic Batman-and-Robin duo, and thus point to Chuck Dixon's run in the 1990s as the formation of a Batfamily,[1] with Batman and Robin being joined by Nightwing, Azrael, the Birds of Prey, and others on a permanent or semi-permanent basis.

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, except in crossover and fusion fan works.

Meta and fanon

Continuity

As of 2021 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.

Batkids

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,[2] 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 2021 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.

Relationships and dynamics

See also Category:Batman Relationships.

Batfamily fan works often focus on slice of life and domestic shenanigans.

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 incest pairings have popular followings, but many Batfamily fans oppose and avoid any and all Batcest pairings.

Too many Bats in the Cave

Some complain that the Batfamily cast has become too bloated and unbalanced.

[shilsvampsinger]

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

[#124810232]

Then why do they keep making so many new bat """family""" characters?

[#124810400]

I actually have no fucking idea. Nobody knows.
I guess every writer wants to leave their imprint on the Batman mythos, so they are creating Batfamily member after Batfamily member, hoping one of them will be a hit. And currently we have this gigantic Batarmy running around with most of the Batkids being totally redundant.

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’.[3]

[...]

[...] 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.[4]

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.[5]

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[6]

Some second-degree fans argue that obstacles prevent them from accessing canon materials. These obstacles include: confusion over 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.

See also:

Other second-degree fans proudly declare that fan works are their preferred source of Batfamily content, even preferring fanon to canon. As of 2021, 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"

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 is (at least perceived as) an estrogen brigade.

Some have criticized Batbros-centric fandom 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.

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,
utter clownery[7]

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 [...][8]

Nicknames

Personal quirks

Flanderization.

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

Miscellaneous

Fan works

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Fics

For a full listing of Batman fan fiction articles on Fanlore, see Category:Batman Fanfiction

Meta

Arts

Zines

Other

Archives and fan sites

For individual fandoms/characters/ships, please check out their pages.
  • Knight List Knight List; archive link Description: "A list for fanfiction about Gotham's Dark Knight and his supporting characters. This group does not archive its messages."

Challenges/Exchanges

Wiki pages

Notes

  1. ^ Others such as Helena Wayne, Kate Kane, Duke Thomas, Ma'ri Grayson, and Jake Grayson may be included as well.

References

Related Concepts, Fandoms, Terms, Fanworks
See also Batman (franchise), Maribat