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This is a really interesting question! I really love the fact that Bruce always uses their first names. It’s definitely him trying to strip them of their power, reinforcing the idea that they are just human. That’s one of the reasons Joker is so scary – he doesn’t have a name, at least not one that Bruce can find or confirm, which creates or reinforces the idea that Joker isn’t even human at all, unlike the rest of the rogues. And while it’s a form of intimidation for many, like “You do not scare me, your masks and costumes mean nothing to me,” is also is a form of trying to reach them, especially with characters like Ivy, or others where he’s specifically reaching out to them, as in, “This is not you, and I can get you help.”
I don’t think that the kids would follow that model. If any of them would, I bet it’s Cass. Because Cass, you know, she never wants anyone to get hurt, and she’s the most loyal to the idea and symbol of the Bat. With a lot of villains, Dick is a lot more flip than Bruce is (no pun intended). Dick has fun doing the superhero-ing thing, so I think that part of him secretly likes the whole costumes and masks thing, because it makes it kind of exciting. I think that it is only with seasoned/personal villains that he would use first names, and then it would be more of in an angry way, like stripping them of their ego (literally, by denying them their contrived personality). This would be in cases of like, Catwoman (if she’s doing something bad or they’re trying to talk her out of something or something, I always think they call her Selina). But, y’know, I’m really not sure about Dick. Because take Two-Face for example. In Robin: Year One, Two-Face is the one who beats the crap out of Dick and almost kills him, and due to that I can see Dick either calling him “Harvey” or “Two-Face.” I think he would call him “Two-Face” because he would want to associate that kind of evil with the persona and not the man, you know? I think that may be how he views things, like people are not inherently these evil bad guys – it’s just carried in their name. But at the same time, he, more so than Bruce sometimes, recognizes that there’s no alternate-persona, you know, that people are just people and that’s it. He’s smart about that. idk.
^Interesting. He says there’s no “Harvey Dent” left, yet still calls him Harvey. Hmm.
Idk about Dick. He’s definitely evolving in my mind, actually, because of something I read about him the other day. In some respects, I think he’s even a little more cynical than Bruce when it comes to this, because he definitely believes that there are people who are un-save-able (idk like Talia for example, or even Selina; Dick would have given up on Selina a loooooooooooong time ago but Bruce won’t).
About Tim, I always think Tim is Strictly Business about this stuff. He doesn’t call them by their first names unless they’re genuinely misled and he can help them. But I don’t see him using it as a form of intimidation. I think Tim’s manner of approaching villains, especially post-Robin, is, like I said, very business-like, like doing his job neatly and completely and kind of coldly. Not cold, but just….idk. Not personally involved or invested in villains enough to call them by their first name, like he wouldn’t give them that respect. (this is really based off Red Robin!Tim, which is the Tim that I have in Earth-28. He’s a huge dork but he’s also a badass. And hard. A really, really hard kid.)
Damian is interesting, idk about him. I think that he’s less similar to Bruce than a lot of people think. I think that he has a little bit of Dick in him, in that he sort of in a way views this as a game, something that’s fun and he enjoys kicking villains in the face, but he also has a little bit of Tim in him, in that it’s very much his job, his directed purpose. Probably Damian would use villains’ first names more than the other boys, though, because he sort of views villains the same way he views himself. That is, and I’ve articulated this before, Damian and Robin are the same person. It’s not like Bruce, where people always say Batman is the true man and Bruce is just a mask, but Damian is Robin and Robin is Damian. They are inherently ingrained into each other. There is no divide. I think that because Damian feels that so strongly about himself, he may project it onto villains. Like, Edward Nigma is the Riddler, Harvey Dent is Two-Face, Pamela Isley is Poison Ivy.
This actually reminds me of what he said to the Joker, I think in his Batman and Robin run with Dick, when he hit Joker in the face with that crowbar (one of my absolute favorite B&R moments haha). Like, he doesn’t give a shit about the Joker, he isn’t intimidated or frustrated or amazed, he has no big plan behind it, he just fucking hates that guy and bashes his face for it. And he also says, I believe, he says something along the lines of, “I know your big secret, it’s that you’re not crazy at all.” Something like that.
(MY FUCKING CREYS RIGHT I can’t even deal with this panel, it also addresses a lot of how I view how he views his childhood. And the fucking biotube, everybody always forgets that the biotube had such an effect on him. But idk. Remember in Blackest Night, Deadman was like “wow that kid has a whollllleee lot of issues” and I don’t think it’s confined to the obvious stuff, the trained-as-an-assassin stuff, I think that he has a whole host of other stuff. I talked about how he feels about the biotube a little bit in the epilogue ofRestoration but I really think it’s much much much much much much more than we ever talk about, BUT HOWEVER that is me seriously digressing and I will talk about The Biotube And How It Fucked Damian Up at some point in the future)
And like, that defines him for me, and also is related to this issue in that he views everybody like this. This villain-persona that people have – that the Joker has – it’s not a part of them or a condition or something, but it is them. Theyare the one orchestrating all of that, so it makes no difference to them whether they call themselves by their real names or their contrived names, he doesn’t care, he’ll just take them down because they’re bad. When he’s younger, I feel like he would have to be convinced to extend that “I can help you” to certain villains, because he’s p ruthless, but the older he gets (and the more his family points out the fact that technically he’s reformed), the more he begins to actively, almost desperately, try to extend help to villains.
(I’m not really going to speak for Jay bc I’m not at all comfortable characterizing or even writing him. He’s barely been involved in Earth-28, although i’d like to include him more)
Wooooh thank you for mentioning that. So interesting to think about.
I DREAMED A DREAM OF TIME GONE BYYYYY
WHEN STEPH WAS HERE AND DAMIAN LIVIIIIIIIIING
I DREAMED THAT ROBINS NEVER DIIIIED
I DREAMED DC WOULD BE FORGIVIIIIIIIIIIIIING
WHEN CARTOON NETWORK WAS OKAAAAAAY
AND ITS GOOD SHOWS ALL GOT RENEWAAAAAAAALS
YOUNG JUSTICE GOT ANOTHER DAAAAAAAAY
GREEN LANTERN GOT A FRESH REVIVAAAAAAAAAAL