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75 Greatest Friends and Foes of Batman: Allies #10-6

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In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Batman. Future installments will deal with Batman creators and stories, but this month will be about Batman’s allies and his villains.

You all voted, now here are the results (40 bad guys, 35 good guys for a total of 75)! Here is a list of all the characters revealed so far. We continue with Allies #10-6…

Enjoy!

NOTE: There’s so many images in these pieces that I’ll be breaking them up over two pages.

10. Spoiler/Batgirl (Stephanie Brown)

Stephanie Brown was introduced by Chuck Dixon, Tom Lyle and Scott Hanna in a clever story where we learn that the daughter of the villain Cluemaster (basically a second-rate Riddler) is intentionally trying to screw up his plans by leaving clues for Batman and Robin to stop him…

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She seemed destined for just a clever one-off character until Robin got his own series and Dixon decided to bring her back as a ally/foil. Her guest appearance went over really well and fans clamored for more. She was a breath of fresh air – someone who was a vigilante because she just legitimately LIKED it (while initially it was just to get revenge on her dad, she quickly moved past that).

The problem was that Batman never quite trusted her. She slowly became friends with the other Bat-heroes, though.

Finally, she seemed to get her chance when her boyfriend, Tim Drake, had to quit being Robin for a while. She tried to get the job and Batman seemed to say yes…

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But after less than three issues as Robin, Batman fired her….

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As it turned out, it was just all a plan by Batman to make Tim jealous enough to become Robin again. One of the dickier moves by Batman, and that guy is ALL about dick moves.

The problem was, Stephanie then tried to prove herself to Batman by implementing a “War Game” she discovered that he had written that would result with Batman taking control of all of Gotham’s gangs. The problem was that the inexperienced Stephanie did not realize that the plan she implemented was incomplete (it required Matches Malone, Batman’s fake gang identity, to work properly and since Batman didn’t know she was implementing it, Matches was nowhere to be seen). In the end, she paid the price for her screw-up by being murdered by the crime boss, Black Mask. Later we learned that her death had been faked by Dr. Leslie Thompkins.

After first returning as Spoiler, she upgraded to Batgirl when her friend, Cassandra Cain, gave up the identity after Bruce Wayne’s seeming death. Stephanie excelled as Batgirl, even finding acceptance from Bruce Wayne (after he returned from the “dead”) that she was never able to get before. Here she is in one of her very last appearances (it was written before the new 52 but was published after the new 52)…

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Awesome stuff.

She has JUST made her new 52 debut and Batman Eternal will spotlight her a bit.

9. Robin/Red Hood/Wingman (Jason Todd)

Jason Todd was introduced by Gerry Conway and Don Newton as essentially a Dick Grayson clone. Honestly, in retrospect, it just seems kind of odd. Dick Grayson was slowly growing out of his role as Robin (mostly because of the great success of New Teen Titans, where Robin played a starring role in a series much different than Batman) so they replaced him with…a young circus acrobat whose parents were murdered and then Bruce Wayne takes in the orphaned circus acrobat. Kind of odd…

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Eventually Jason becomes Batman’s new partner, but without a name (he dyed his hair black to match Dick’s – as then-new Batman writer Doug Moench promptly removed the one unique thing Conway had done with Jason)…

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Finally, Dick decides to give up the Robin identity and give it to Jason…

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Jason then basically plays the Dick Grayson role until after Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Then DC decided to revamp Jason and give him a new-non-Dick Grayson origin. Now he is an orphaned streetwise kid who meets Batman when he steals the tires to the Batmobile!

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Under Jim Starlin’s pen, though, Jason gets more and more reckless. This eventually leads to his death at the hands (and the crowbar) of the Joker (plus a bomb)…

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When he was resurrected years later, he was a villain for a time (you can read more about his time as a villain in his entry on the villains list here).

Over time, though, Jason has mellowed and Batman even found a place for him in Batman Incorporated!

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Currently he is a flat-out hero in the pages of Red Hood and the Outlaws.

8. Robin (Damian Wayne)

Grant Morrison, Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang introduced Damian Wayne, the bratty son of Batman and Talia Al Ghul…

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Damian continued to be a bit of a thorn in Batman’s side, especially when the kid (who was trained by the League of Assassins) tried to nearly kill Tim Drake so as to replace him as Batman’s Robin…

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Damian is seriously injured and leaves with his mother to be treated. During Batman R.I.P., Talia and Damian return to aide Batman in his fight against the Black Glove. Soon after, though, Batman is presumed dead.

Dick Grayson takes over as Batman, but with Tim Drake now becoming Red Robin, Dick needs a partner – enter the slightly more matured Damian Wayne…

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The two became a great pair, with Damian’s darkness and arrogance being softened by Dick’s lighthearted nature and his enthusiasm. In effect, they were the reverse of the traditional Batman and Robin role.

When Bruce Wayne returned, Damian began to partner with his father. When his mother began attacking Batman and all of his friends, Batman tried to keep Damian out of the fight, but he was not someone you could pin down. Here, he re-teams up with Dick, who is back to being Nightwing…

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However, his mother allows Damian to be killed as he sacrifices himself to save an innocent girl…

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Since Damian was himself a clone, there is a VERY good chance that we will see him make a return soon.

Go to the next page for #7-6!

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32 Comments

But being that Damien’s a clone…there’s one thing misses at this kind of storytelling. He’s still not Damien.

I really like Spoiler, such a fun character.

Glad Catwoman outranked Superman.

More New Amalgam material for Iron Bat’s allies (and two foes):
-Spoiler was mixed with Sentry (Curtis Elkins) to make Alert (Stephanie Elkins), who later dates Mike Drake (Tim Drake/Michael O’Brien), the third Red Guard (Robin/Guardsman).
-Jason Todd was mixed with Justine Hammer to make Justine Todd, adoptive daughter of Oswald Hammer (the Penguin/Justin Hammer), the former 2nd Red Guard, and currently the Scarlet Cape (Red Hood/Crimson Cowl).
-Damian was mixed with Howard Stark II to make Howard Wayne II, son of Iron Bat and Bethalia Tou (Talia/Bethany Cabe).
-Superman, like the Amalgam Comics of old, was mixed with Captain America to make Super-Soldier.
-Catwoman was mixed with Madame Masque to make Madame Cat, daughter of Count Zeus (Maxie Zeus/Count Nefaria). Bethalia is her rival for Iron Bat’s affections.

Hey, guys, if you want to protect each other’s secret identities, maybe you should stop saying them out loud.

Steph/Spoiler was my number 1 – my favorite DC character. Such a good foil, especially for Tim Drake, but really all the Bat characters. Her sense of fun definitely sets her apart – WE know how fun it looks to swing through Gotham, but none of the characters seem to get it as much as Steph, making her a good audience insertion character.

Likewise, her moral outlook is pretty unique among the Bat family. She’s not even an anti-hero, she’s basically all around good, just at a more humanly attainable level than Bruce, Tim, Dick… so her presence sort of highlights what’s admirable about the other heroes, but also sometimes their ‘boyscout-ness,’ to amusing effect.

Like when she doesn’t think to pay for a soda in this convenience store she just saved:
http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2010/07/31/a-year-of-cool-comics-day-212/
These particular Chuck Dixon Robin issues are where I first began to really like the character, luckily Brian already covered them. Bonus material!

The only ones here I voted for were Superman and Catwoman. I do kind of enjoy Damian as a foil, but it’s always with the anticipation of just finding him annoying whenever he ultimately turns to the dark side. He seemed to be introduced as a plot device that could self-combust at any second rather than a character who’d be sticking around for the long term.

Steph’s Batgirl period was the only time I really enjoyed her, but that’s an outgrowth of my general disinterest in Tim Drake. I have nothing against Tim; I just don’t care about him.

Jason’s the only character in this batch that I flat-out dislike, though of course it’s inevitable that he’d show up on the list somewhere. I’m just mildly surprised it was this high. I would have expected him around the same level as Azrael, maybe a little lower. But I guess since he’s still being awkwardly shoehorned (or crowbarred) into the Bat-family in the New 52 despite everyone he knows hating him for generally being a scumbag, it shouldn’t surprise me.

joe the poor speller

May 3, 2014 at 11:25 am

glad to see steph this high. but, behind jason todd…

“They mostly liked to spend time just messing with each other, though, like the time that Superman let Batman know that he was replacing Batman as his partner with a new hero known as Nightman (“It’s the Night Man! The feeling so wrong it’s right, man!”)…”

I just know I’m gonna have that song stuck in my head all day… which is great, since I love it and the episode of It’s Always Sunny in which it made its first appearance

I agree it’s surprising Jason made it this high.
I rather liked Cluemaster when he first debuted. His theory that going up against Batman automatically puts you at a psychological disadvantage gave him an interesting angle (his goal was to unmask Batman, then kill him as ordinary man so there wouldn’t be the same feeling of facing the invincible Batman) but after that yeah, dullsivlle.

I voted for Steph at #1!

Yay, Steph!

It’s pretty baffling to me that Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne would outrank Cassie. The interest in Spoiler always escaped me. She was just a tumor of Tim Drake’s, as far as I’m concerned. And she certainly wasn’t nearly as compelling as Cassie.

Damian… ugh, I guess it’s just a sign of how unfathomably popular Grant Morrison’s Batman run was. Even though the very concept of the character is unnecessary.

At least Supes outranked them.

Was Superman #76 written by Jerry Siegel? Wikipedia doesn’t tell when exactly Siegel-Shuster’s run ended.

@penguintruth: Comparing Stephanie and Cassandra is apples and oranges as Steph is a complete contrast to Cass attitude and personality wise. I can see why people would prefer a chirpy, more lighthearted Batgirl to a darker, brooding one.

As for Damian, Morrison just made him WORK even though he shouldn’t have by all logic and reason. I’m glad he beat out Todd. I wish even Steph and Cass had beaten him, locking him out of the Top 10 altogether.

been wondering if spoiler got on the list given how i thought she was an interesting character seldom used right. and amazed to see catwoman got a higher rank then super man for thought he would be close to the top five and catwoman as a ally like almost seven. plus thought jason todd said he was a red head not blonde in an issue of his solo series.

I love that shout out to Poison Idea in that Jason Todd panel. What an obscure-ish band to feature on a poster in a Batman comic. Love it!

I don’t know anything about Spoiler but the others are certainly understandable. I think Damian is my favourite Robin (although it seems proper that he is placed in the Robin hierarchy on this list where he is). Glad Jason made it this high.

Was kind of hoping we’d see Harvey Dent on this list, as his roles in Year One and Long Halloween were kind of fun, with him covering for and helping out Batman in cool ways. Not a lot of appearances to justify bumping some of these other folks, but still…did Harvey Dent get many votes?

Brian Cronin

May 3, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Harvey Dent did okay. Top 50, for sure. I am not positive beyond that.

The only thing I want to know is who will be number 1. Dick, Gordon, or Alfie

Catwoman was the only one of my picks on this one.

I reckon I guessed all the final 15 (after 35-16 were revealed) so it looks like BatCow is not going to make it

Glad to see my #1 vote for Steph didn’t go down the drain :)
If there was anything I wish I could have seen more of was Steph’s Batgirl teaming up with Damian more. Next would have been Steph and Cass as Black Bat teaming up. Oh why can’t DC do there own modern version of What if?

I’m surprised that, despite Catwoman being in both the heroes and villains lists, the only mention of the Earth-2 Selena’s post-costume relationship with her Batman was in her daughter’s entry.

I had Drake #7, Superman one place higher, and Damian Wayne one place higher. Damian Wayne is my favourite Robin. Loved the Dick as Batman and Damian’s Robin chemistry and stories.

Made a mistake there. Sorry, Brian.

Meant to say I voted for this go around: Damian Wayne (#8), Superman (#7) and Catwoman (#6)

Ironically, I didn’t vote in this poll at all, but I did vote back in 1988 to kill off Jason Todd. I actually had the issues of Batman and Detective where he originally became the new Robin and that was done well. But then the post-Crisis reboot just made him an annoying snot and I gladly voted to get rid of him. It was well worth the cost of the call, especially given how well-done Death in the Family was.

Anyone else unable to stand modern DC artwork?

Spoiler made the top ten???

Blimey!

I’m not huge fan myself. I definitely prefer Cassandra. (And I like oranges more than apples).

“It shockingly took all the way until the 76th issue of Superman before Batman and Superman actually even MET! And HOW they met was hilarious – Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne had to share a room on a cruise!”

Actually, SUPERMAN 76 (June, 1952), was not the first time that Batman and Superman met in the comics. Two prior encounters between Superman and Batman are ALL-STAR COMICS 7 (1941) and ALL-STAR COMICS 36 (1947). In ALL-STAR COMICS 7 they make a cameo appearance as “honorary” members of the Justice Society of America. In ALL-STAR COMICS 36, though, they actually go on a mission with the JSA.

From this list #10-6. I voted for Jason Todd (#5), Damian Wayne (#9), Superman (#10) and Catwoman (#7).

AverageJoeEveryman

May 6, 2014 at 10:34 am

I am much more attracted to Batman now that I know he is a “big boob”. Thanks Jason!!

Bill Williamson

May 7, 2014 at 7:34 am

I always thought that Damian was just Jason again, only better realised. They even kind of did the ‘Darker Robin, Lighter Batman’ thing with Bruce and Jason, Jason’s emo angsty-ness made Batman look cute and cuddly by comparison.

I only voted for Catwoman among these. Wait, Damian was a clone? Sigh. And reading the comments it seems like Spoiler made it because people either voted for her #1 or not at all.

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