Originally Posted by adamjohnson
When the Dark Knight was ready to "rise" I had hoped that meant Bruce came to understand there would be no end to Batman, not for Rachel or Alfred. And especially not for Bruce Wayne. Nolan sort of went the opposite, which, in an odd way, was also the opposite of most other superhero films - where the hero's journey typically "goes on." Swinging back to action, flying back to the mansion, or looking out over the city. That's the usual story anyway. But, in TDKR, Bruce finds a way to put Batman behind him, but more than that, his parents death and his guilt and hate and anger as well. To find real closure and get on with a happy life.
Im not really sure if thats ever been done in Batman before.
But it also just feels kind of "wrong."
It has been done before. Like I said before, the golden age Batman, in a story published in the 1960's, does eventually retire, marry Selina (like I said, she's the only one who ever got Bruce to the church) and has a child. The golden age Batman and Catwoman also eventually die, and never, to this day, have they come back. (although, I guess you could count the recent earth-2/world's finest as them coming back, if only for a cameo appearance to be killed by Darkseid's forces).
To anyone whose familiar with the entire Batman mythos, the most intriguing thing about Nolan's choice of Bruce ending up with Selina is that it makes perfect sense. What is the flaw in Alfred's reasoning, when he and Bruce have their splitting apart? Alfred, like most rational men, want Bruce to hang up the cape and cowl, settle down, marry and have a family. In short, to find his happiness in life. Here's the logic Alfred is basing his wishes on: that no woman will stick around with Bruce after they find out about Batman. His logic is sound: in the comics, I don't even KNOW why Bruce dates all those women, he has to know how it always ends, she finds out about Batman, she asks him to give it up, and Bruce never will. His mission as Batman always rates higher than the girl.
That's why, in 70+ years of comics, only ONE woman has ever gotten Bruce to say "I do", only one, out of the thousands (literally) that Bruce has dated. The reason it makes sense? Because she's catwoman, she has her own mask, and she likes the masked lifestyle. Catwoman, in the current incarnation (ie, not the golden age one, but the one we have right now) is repeatedly portrayed as the one gal in town who has no interest in Bruce Wayne, she's in love with Batman. Every other woman is the opposite: they have no interest in Batman, they're in love with Bruce Wayne. Its obvious why Selina is really the only choice: she's the one person who will let Bruce have his cake and eat it too. Who will let him marry, have kids, and still be Batman. The reason being? She'll be there, by his side, out on the street, in her costume, defending Gotham alongside him. If he ever tells her that he wants her safe at home, he's a hypocrite.
If Bruce had ended up with someone else, then, yes, I'd agree that he's going to retire. However, he didn't end up with someone else, he ended up with Selina. Based on that, I'm pretty sure Bruce's time as Batman isn't over (it could go either way, based upon all the comics I've read, I could be reading too much into what was simply a choice of convenience, but I don't think Nolan rolls like that) and I'm pretty sure what he's doing for Blake is to take him on as an apprentice. It would make sense, Blake's fighting skills aren't up to snuff, and someone has to train him.
Part of the reason why I think Bruce has to get with someone like Selina is to find his peace in life. Once he's done that, he can start to make Batman into something even more effective than just one man's war on crime. For that to happen, Bruce has to, to some degree, overcome his pain, overcome his trust and abandonement issues. He has to overcome it, to rise above it, so that he can begin to make Batman, the symbol, into a true force for good in Gotham. One man in a mask can only do so much.