“Do You Do This to Be Liked?”: Batman Just Proved He’s the Perfect Superhero Mentor (Despite Being a Jerk)

Contains spoilers for Nightwing #112!


Summary

  • Batman is a hero who doesn’t need to be liked but always helps those in need.
  • Beast Boy learns from Batman that being a hero isn’t about being popular, but about saving people.
  • Gotham’s dark nature makes Batman’s unconventional heroism philosophy fitting for the city.


Batman proved to Beast Boy that he doesn’t need to be likable to be a good mentor or hero. Bruce Wayne isn’t known for being the most easy-going superhero in the world, but he doesn’t need to be. Batman is hard to work with for many heroes, but there’s one reason he doesn’t mind the criticism he gets for being unapproachable.

Beast Boy and Batman are as different as superheroes can get, at least from a personality standpoint. In Nightwing #112 by Tom Taylor and Sami Basri, their differences in both personalities and how they handle heroism are made apparent — but they agree that the only thing that matters in hero-work is helping other people.


During the aftermath of Beast World, Beast Boy feels lost as a person and as a hero. When he unexpectedly goes to Bruce Wayne for advice, Batman has the perfect response for his unlikely mentee. It may not be the response Beast Boy wants to hear, but it’s what he needs to hear.

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Beast Boy Needs Batman’s Help After Beast World

Batman Knows What Matters

Comic book panels: Batman gives advice to Beast Boy.


Despite Batman’s cold demeanor, when Beast ​​​​​​​Boy ​​​​​​​needs ​​​​​​​help, ​​​​​​​Batman ​​​​​​​is ​​​​​​​there. ​​​​​​​As ​​​​​​​a ​​​Titan​​, ​​​​​​​Garfield Logan was ​​​​​​​used ​​​​​​​to being ​​​​​​​a ​​​​​​​hero people ​​​​​​​could ​​​​​​​support. ​​​​​​​It’s ​​​​​​​easy ​​​​​​​for ​​​​​​​the ​​​​​​​average citizen ​​​​​​​to ​​​​​​​like a ​​​​​​​hero ​​​​​​​like ​​​​​​​him. His ​​​​​​​lovable power — ​​​​​​​shape-shifting into ​​​​​​​animals — ​​​​​​​makes ​​​​​​​him more ​​​​​​​approachable. ​​​​​​​In many ways, and partly because of this approachability, the Titans surpass the Justice League. That being said, they don’t have as much experience with major backlash. Now, in the aftermath of Beast World, Beast Boy has no clue how to deal with being hated and feared.


Beast Boy and the Titans are heroes because they want to save people — and they saved the world.

On the other hand, Batman operates in the shadows under the cover of night. Therefore, it makes sense for Beast Boy to ask him for advice. Beast Boy asks Bruce how he deals with being disliked and feared. Rather than answering, Batman poses a question of his own: “Do you do this to be liked?” It’s a simple yet telling question. Furthermore, it’s exactly what Beast Boy needs to hear. He’s not a hero to be liked. None of the Titans do it for popularity. Beast Boy and the Titans are heroes because they want to save people — and they saved the world.

Beast World is a major event for the Titans and includes a number of tie-in issues. However, readers can get the main story in
Titans: Beast World
by Tom Taylor, Ivan Reis, and Lucas Meyer, which will be available in a collected edition in August 2024. The story is available in stores and digitally in single issues.


Bruce Wayne’s Unconventional Approach to Heroism Has Helped Many People

Will Gotham Ever Truly Love Batman?

Comic book panel: Batman Comforts Beast Boy

Batman not caring if citizens like him is uncommon for heroes. Many heroes want to be heroes for the people. Conversely, Batman doesn’t think people have to like him to be a hero. He may be rude, but he’ll still always help. Bruce doesn’t have to like someone to save them. This philosophy makes sense for a Gotham hero. Most people in Gotham aren’t friendly, but that doesn’t make them bad people. If Bruce tried to be liked by everyone in Gotham, he’d never have time to be a hero.This attitude separates Batman from Nightwing and the other Titans.


Beast Boy and Batman may have very different views on public perception and heroism, but neither of their viewpoints are invalid. They each make sense for the type of hero they are and how they operate. That said, Beast Boy needs to hear that other views exist. Right now, the Titans are just as unpopular as Batman, and for many of them, this place in public opinion is new territory. Beast Boy may not be Batman’s student, but Bruce Wayne is the perfect mentor for him — or almost any hero.

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Nightwing #112 is available now from DC Comics!

NIGHTWING #112 (2024)

Nightwing 112 Main Cover: Batman and Nightwing moving to the right over a white background.

  • Writer: Tom Taylor
  • Artist: Sami Basri
  • Inker: Vicente Cifuentes
  • Colorist: Adriano Lucas
  • Letterer: Wes Abbott
  • Cover Artist: Bruno Redondo

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