Total Nerd 'Batman' Is Secretly About Nontraditional Relationships  

Robert Carnevale
10 items

Whether or not you realize it, Batman is about nontraditional families and relationships. In fact, the series was always about these. Batman and Alfred are basically two dads raising an orphan, Harley Quinn's daughter lives with her aunt, and Scandal finds a father in none other than Bane. It's these kinds of plots and narrative elements that broaden the scope of what constitutes a family unit, something Batman comics routinely challenge.

Whether it's single motherhood, adopting unusual creatures as family pets, or testing the age gap in successful relationships, nontraditional bonding is at the core of many Batman stories. Hopefully, these narratives encourage more open-mindedness among readers, too.

Batman And Alfred Are Two Fathers To Robin

Batman And Alfred Are Two Fath... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 'Batman' Is Secretly About Nontraditional Relationships
Photo:  Nightwing Vol. 1: Traps and Trapezes/DC Comics

Through his years as Batman, Bruce Wayne finds the time to open his doors to many children. First, Dick Grayson - who loses his parents while traveling in a circus - joins the Wayne family. After Grayson, there's Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and the Caped Crusader's biological son, Damian Wayne. With all the crime-fighting, Bruce needs help keeping tabs on his many wards. What better co-parent to help raise his sons than Alfred Pennyworth - the man who raised Batman?

Kate Kane And Maggie Sawyer Are In A Committed Same-Sex Relationship

Kate Kane And Maggie Sawyer Ar... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 'Batman' Is Secretly About Nontraditional Relationships
Photo:  Batwoman Vol. 2: To Drown the World/DC Comics

Many initially praised the comics involving Kate Kane as the second woman to become Batwoman and one of the few openly gay characters in mainstream comics. Her arc ends in controversy, though, as she changes into a vampire against her will.

On a more positive note, she's a voice for lesbians in comics. She shares a deep bond with Maggie Sawyer, and their relationship offered a glimpse at nontraditional partnerships within the DC Universe.

Alfred Raised Bruce Wayne By Himself

Alfred Raised Bruce Wayne By H... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 'Batman' Is Secretly About Nontraditional Relationships
Photo:  Batman and the Outsiders Special #1/DC Comics

Nearly everyone knows Batman's origin. A crook guns down Thomas and Martha Wayne, leading their orphaned son, Bruce, to become the Caped Crusader.

But he can't do it alone. Throughout Bruce's upbringing, the loyal Wayne family butler, Alfred Pennyworth, helps him with his endeavors. It's the single-father lifestyle for Alfred - one that pays off, considering how much Bruce goes on to accomplish.

Joker And Harley Quinn's Daughter Lives With Her Aunt

Joker And Harley Quinn's D... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 'Batman' Is Secretly About Nontraditional Relationships
Photo:  Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two/DC Comics

When you've got a dad who disables other people's daughters for fun, and a mom permanently banned from Hell, maybe it's not such a bad idea to live with a relatively normal aunt, far away in the countryside. This is what happens in the case of Lucy Quinn, the daughter of Harley Quinn and the Joker. Once Harley realizes how unqualified she and her Puddin' are for the parenting lifestyle, she sends Lucy off to live with a relative.