DCAU #250: Old Wounds

IN THIS ONE... Nightwing recalls how he and Batman parted ways.

CREDITS: Written by Rich Fogel; directed by Curt Geda.

REVIEW: When a story is told in both the television and comics formats, then the televised version is always the preferred one, and in this case, though the episode cover ground surveyed in the previously-reviewed Lost Years mini-series (specifically "Lost Years" and "Graduation Day"), Bader's comics script was based on the as-yet-uncompleted "Old Wounds". And yet, for someone who experienced both show and comics in their actual chronology, there's an annoying sense of deja vu. You know most of the bits, and you miss the ones missing (for me, it's Batgirl much expanded role and Dick more clearly committing to fighting crime even though he quits the Dynamic Duo).

Still, the story has impact. In condensed form, the Joker isn't behind the scenes so much, the Babs-Dick relationship is more romantic, and that punch at the end of the story floors you as much as it does Batman. Wow. And one thing the comic perhaps did badly was suspense. Here, a plane actually starts flying over Gotham as Batgirl tricks the Joker into destroying his radar jammer, a real ticking clock where in the comics, there really never was any visible jeopardy.

To fit it in the New Batman Adventures, there's a frame tale that explores the Dick-Tim relationship further. Dick bails out his replacement and at first, only sees another victim of Batman's manipulations. Tim makes him see he's not all that different from Batman, the old story of the son rejecting the father even as he goes on to take his place. When at the end, Dick finds Connor, a henchman badly treated by Batman in front of his own family, the very moment that made Dick quit, now an employee of Bruce Wayne's, he realizes Batman perhaps played it too close to the vest. That the Batman persona is not truly reflective of who Bruce is. Or that he had more of an effect on the old man than he thought. After all, why would the Bat maintain a team of lighter heroes if not to keep him from falling off the edge. And in that moment, Nightwing finds closure. And the capacity to forgive.

SOUNDS LIKE: Connor is played by recognizable soap actor Ian Buchanan () who doesn't quite manage an American accent all the way through; he was also Dick Tremayne on Twin Peaks.

REWATCHABILITY: High (unless you read the comics first, then Medium-High)
- Irksome deja vu still doesn't take away the story's power, especially once you see it "acted".


Anonymous said...

I consider this a very important episode to show people, even if there are episodes I enjoy more. Critics of Batman always complain "well why doesn't Bruce Wayne do more" and this episode shows us that Bruce Wayne DOES do more.

The question sometimes comes up of whether Bruce Wayne or Batman is the "real" person, and I think the answer is: Bruce Wayne, when he's among confidantes, is the real person. He's the man who uses all his resources as best as he can. Batman is a useful role because he does things that Bruce Wayne the Industrialist, Bruce Wayne the Philanthropist, and Bruce Wayne the Socialite cannot -- all of the above are Bruce Wayne using different skills to address different problems.

And there are those who say that Bruce is obsessed with fighting crime; I say that he's obsessed with fighting human suffering. If you've ever seen a comic where Batman rescued someone from a burning house, you know that his deal is helping people, whether or not the threat is crime. And as we see in this episode, Bruce not only made sure that whatshisname could find employment (and thus an alternative to crime), but also made sure he's got his dignity and be someone his family can be proud of.

Siskoid said...

Good point. Superheroes are usually more than "crime fighters".


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine