Bruce Wayne was psychologically traumatized as a child the moment his parents were gunned down in front of him. Surviving the ordeal to the best of his ability, Bruce turned his fear into a weapon he might use to ensure the same thing would never happen again to other young children. Along the way, Batman’s battled gods and monsters, protected both Gotham City and the Earth, and turned his body into a perfect fighting machine. In spite of this, Batman’s struggled with the notion of friendship and trust. Or at least that’s what the Caped Crusader would have you believe.
In fact, Bruce Wayne has opened his heart to a great many people over his many years of superheroics. Whether it’s in Elseworlds stories or in mainstream continuity, Batman’s shared his life with a number of women and had a fair number of kids as a result. Some of his children aren’t even his blood relatives, but he considers them part of the family regardless. That said, there have been many kids who’ve proved more formidable than Batman and those who lack their dad’s gruff personality and edginess. Today at CBR we’re looking at 15 of Batman’s kids and seeing who’s more dangerous than the Dark Knight and who’s tamer.
15 MORE DANGEROUS: DAMIAN WAYNE
The son of Batman and Talia al Ghul, Damian Wayne is a spoiled brat with a nearly unmatched natural fighting ability. Only 13 years old, Damian has taken on the Bat-Family, including Robin, Red Hood, and Nightwing in single combat, successfully defeating them in one capacity or another. Trained from birth to be a master assassin, he’s more dangerous than Batman due to his willingness to kill.
If Damian doesn’t see a solution, he’ll kill an opponent, as he’s done on several occasions.
In the Rebirth Batman Beyond storyline, Bruce Wayne and Terry McGinnis, the new Batman, encounter an older Damian who’s taken over the mantle of his grandfather Ra’s al Ghul. Terry and Damian fight and Bruce admits Damian is better than he ever was back in his prime as Batman. Damian then beats the stuffing out of Batman Beyond, despite the latter rocking a high tech battle suit.
14 LESS DANGEROUS: BRUCE WAYNE JR.
Throughout the '50s and '60s, there was a certain sect of stories by DC Comics called “Imaginary Stories.” Before Elseworlds would become a thing, and before Marvel’s What If…? comics line, DC’s Imaginary Stories took place outside of the regular continuity. Anything could happen in these tales, including the lead characters being killed. Though DC perfected the process early on, the idea was a little too cerebral and strange for many readers at the time. To make things easier for fans, DC provided the early versions of these stories with simple explanations, like maybe they were a dream.
There were obviously Batman imaginary stories, and one in particular caught people’s imagination. It dealt with Alfred writing a fictionalized future for Batman and Robin. In it, the Dark Knight married Batwoman and they had a son, Bruce Wayne Jr. He would become became Robin II to Dick Grayson’s Batman II.
13 MORE DANGEROUS: BATMAN BEYOND
Terry McGinnis as Batman Beyond ignited a massive fan-following that hasn’t gone out. Terry was a high school student whose father was killed by criminals. This lead to Bruce Wayne and Terry meeting and the former instructed the latter on how to be Batman. While initially Terry wasn’t as skilled as Bruce, the Batman Beyond suit made up for it in spades. It gave him superhuman strength, a deadly arsenal, and a fancy onboard computer system.
After a while, Terry became so skilled, he shocked Bruce by surpassing his mentor’s expectations and yes, Bruce is Terry’s biological father.
It was revealed when Amanda Waller explained her “Batman Beyond” project, where Terry’s father, Warren, had his DNA re-written into an exact copy of Bruce’s. In short, everything in Terry’s life was going to lead to him becoming heroic, and dangerous, one way or the other.
12 LESS DANGEROUS: DICK GRAYSON
Dick Grayson was the first Robin and paved the way for every sidekick to come. After becoming Bruce’s ward, the two did practically everything together. Eventually however, the time came for Dick to move on, from both Robin and Bruce’s style of crime fighting, and become Nightwing. In spite of the rift this initially generated between the two men, Bruce always considered Dick the son he never had. There’s no one in Batman’s life that he is closer to and loves more. The case could be made for Alfred, but the butler kind of has to be there.
Though more a lover than a fighter, Nightwing has surpassed Batman in multiple ways. He’s donned the cowl a couple times, proving himself just as great a hero as the first Dark Knight, yet he’s a gentler soul. Dick doesn’t mind fighting, but he’s not comfortable with the dark world Bruce inhabits.
11 MORE DANGEROUS: TIM DRAKE
Before the introduction of Tim Drake, Robin was just kind of…there. Tim’s appearance made the character a phenomenon. After his first few mini-series he became a major DC property. Over the years Tim’s prowess as Robin has exceeded nearly every other Robin before him; he’s surpassed Batman on multiple occasions. For starters, he’s beaten the assassin Lady Shiva several times, an enemy Batman constantly struggles against.
In recent issues of Detective Comics, Tim’s proved Bruce’s intellectual superior where technology is concerned -- he’s outfitted his Robin suit to essentially be one big walking computer.
Tim also created the Belfry to serve as a headquarters for other heroes and created the Mud Room, a room that used a molecular bonding agent from Clayface's body to create combat simulations. Let’s not even get started on his future self, who grows up to be Batman’s bloodthirsty superior in every way.
10 LESS DANGEROUS: BATMAN JR.
In yet another imaginary story, this time taking place in the comic Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #89, Lois Lane moves on from Superman and goes on a date with Bruce Wayne. The two end up falling in love and getting married. After their marriage, Bruce revealed that he was secretly Batman; that one heck of a secret to drop until after you get married, Bruce!
Anyways, the two of them had Bruce Wayne Jr. and Batman and Robin trained him to be the Caped Crusader’s successor. They called him Batman Jr. While all this is going on, Lois is incredibly bumbling and nearly reveals Bruce’s identity. Superman, who’s still in the story for some reason, frets that Lois is always going to be in danger, especially if, or more likely “when”, she slips and tells the world she’s married to Batman.
9 MORE DANGEROUS: XU'FFASCH
First presented in Kingdom Come, Ibn al Xu’ffasch is Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul’s son, albeit all grown-up when audiences first meet him. The man known as al Xu’ffasch, whose name literally translates into “son of the bat” from Arabic, was much more Machiavellian and dangerous than his daddy.
When he became an adult, he inherited Ra’s al Ghul’s criminal empire and seemingly teamed up with Lex Luthor to get rid of the world’s metahumans.
However, it turned out that al Xu’ffasch was more like dad than anyone previously thought, since he was secretly working with Bruce the whole time. With Ra’s Al Ghul’s empire at his disposal, Batman’s son had every opportunity to turn into a living nightmare, but he used it as a force for good, striking fear into criminals everywhere. Later, Ibn al Xu’ffasch married Nightstar, the daughter of Dick Grayson and Starfire.
8 LESS DANGEROUS: FIRST SUPER SON BATMAN JR.
Years before the Super Sons were introduced in the ‘70s the original Super Sons duo popped up in World’s Finest Comics #154. In the issue, readers met the young sons of Batman and Superman. It was considered another an imaginary story. In this tale, the sons read up on their their father’s exploits and are inspired enough to become Batman Jr. and Superman Jr.
The story was successful enough that there were several more issues with the young duo. One of the more interesting tidbits out of this whole thing was that no one knew who the parents were or where they were, since the kids were mainly on their own. Despite clearly being the sons of Superman and Batman, the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight were no were present and no mention was made of their mothers.
7 MORE DANGEROUS: TOM WAYNE
It’s not easy to fight in the shadow of the Dark Knight. Even though many iterations of Robin have stood side-by-side with Batman, they occasionally are given a hard time for their green short-shorts and being a sidekick. That changed with Tim Drake. The Robin property became so hot that it instigated Byron Preiss and P. Craig Russell to working on a Robin 3000 series. Set in the year 3000, Tom Wayne is the son of the current Batman (Bruce Wayne XX).
When Batman is killed, Tom Wayne takes it upon himself to kick butt and take names, doing both in spectacular fashion.
Fighting in his father’s stead, Tom Wayne puts the hurt on some evil aliens who are trying to conquer Earth. With all the skills of his predecessors, he also had a cybernetic hand that could fire lasers and control computers.
6 LESS DANGEROUS: SECOND SUPER SON BATMAN JUNIOR
Over the years, multiple iterations of Batman Juniors have existed. That’s what happens when your comic book universe includes a frighteningly large Multiverse. In 1973’s World’s Finest Comics #213 Superman Junior and Batman Junior were introduced, despite an earlier incarnation of them having been introduced eight years earlier. Known as the Super Sons, they were each dramatically weaker and less skilled than their fathers, and rebelled against the legacy of their famous dads.
Going on a road trip to find themselves, they later returned with a newfound respect for their parents and chose to embrace their roles as heroes. Just when readers were getting comfortable with them, Superman Junior and Batman Junior were revealed to be nothing more than a computer simulation created by Batman and Superman.
5 MORE DANGEROUS: BRENNA WAYNE
Batman’s legacy is so great even immortal villains never forget the pain the Dark Knight put them through. That’s essentially the premise of Batman: Dark Knight Dynasty. The graphic novel recounted how the immortal Vandal Savage had a thousand-year rivalry with the Wayne family. Clearly, Batman had a big impact on the villain for him to essentially battle Batman’s legacy for a millennia. In the story’s first arc, Joshua Wainwright creates a nifty suit of armor to fight Savage. Years later in the 20th Century, Savage murders Bruce Wayne’s parents. Bad mistake, Vandal.
Bruce Wayne acquires the armor and becomes Batman to stop Savage. Though he doesn’t succeed, his mission is carried on.
In the 24th Century, one of Bruce’s grandchildren to an nth degree, Brenna Wayne takes up the mantle of Batwoman. Thanks to the suit and the technology of her era, she finally stops the immortal baddie.
4 LESS DANGEROUS: SON OF THE DEMON
Talia al Ghul and Bruce tend to have lots of children, especially in Elseworlds tales. What make these stories interesting however, is that not all of their children grows up to crime fighters or become super villains. In Batman: Son of the Demon, their child grows up separate from any superhero shenanigans. Written by Mike W. Barr and Jerry Bingham, the graphic novel told a Batman tale wholly unique to the Batman mythos.
Batman and Talia have a child, having gotten married, and then team up to taking down one of Ra’s al Ghul’s former lieutenants. Then things take an odd turn. Talia, seeing that Bruce is spending too much time with her rather than punching criminals, fakes a miscarriage so Batman focuses on his mission. She latter annuls their marriage and the baby is put up for adoption, never to be raised by either Bruce or Talia.
3 MORE DANGEROUS: HUNTRESS
Back in DC Comics’ Silver Age, the concept of multiple versions of the Earth was introduced. These two worlds were dubbed Earth-1 and Earth-2. On Earth-2, there was an older version of Batman and Catwoman who ended up getting married. The two of them had a daughter named Helena. She would later become the Huntress. After evildoers killed Catwoman, Helena took the name of Huntress and decided to enact lethal justice.
Though Huntress wasn’t as skilled as Batman, her methods were deadlier and people legitimately feared her; they didn’t know whether she’d kill them.
After" Crisis on Infinite Earths", there was no more Earth-2, so Huntress was rewritten as a mob princess, Helena Bertinelli. Though not related to Bruce Wayne or Catwoman, she remained a part of the Bat-Family; Batman would frown on her brutal methods.
2 LESS DANGEROUS: THOMAS TAYLOR WAYNE
If you really want to see a child of Batman that’s infinitely tamer than his father, look no further than Thomas Taylor Wayne. We say this because he didn’t even appear on panel, but more on that later. Superman and Batman: Generations III jumped around decade to decade and century to century, following the journey of Batman and Superman, who, for one reason or another, were immortal; because why not?
In demonstrating how fleeting time was for immortals, Bruce Wayne has a son, Thomas Taylor Wayne, and his entire life takes place off panel. We only hear of him in time for the one-year anniversary of his funeral. For what it’s worth, Bruce’s wife is the daughter of Bruce’s adopted Kryptonian son, Clark Wayne, which sounds rather complicated if you ask us.
1 MORE DANGEROUS: TALLANT WAYNE
When it comes to Elseworlds stories and alternate realities, so long as Batman is involved, there are quite a few versions of the same character. With Tallant Wayne, there’s certainly more than one of him in DC Comics’ Multiverse, but we’re looking at the one from the story Batman: Brotherhood of the Bat.
In Batman: Brotherhood of the Bat , not only does Ra’s al Ghul seemingly take over the world, but he kills Bruce Wayne and annihilates the GCPD with an army of Batmen he trained called the Brotherhood of the Bat.
However, Ra’s did not plan for Tallant. The son of Talia and Bruce, Talia’s been training Tallant since birth to take down Ra’s. Tallant infiltrates the Brotherhood, systematically takes down the evil Batmen one by one, and then finally defeats Ra’s in single combat.