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Titans Shows Why Batman is DC's Greatest Vigilante

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Batman has always been depicted as DC Comics' greatest vigilante, but thanks to Titans, we have a good idea of what that means in a more grounded world full of superheroes.

It's easy to say Batman is the best in the more fantastical worlds of comics and animation, where there's less effort to ground the character, or even in live-action movies where he's been depicted as the only vigilante like in The Dark Knight trilogy, or by making him the only non-superpowered hero (so far) in the DCEU, but what about a world populated by other street-level heroes who aren't just wearing hockey pads? What makes Batman special then?

Related: Superman Exists (In Some Form) In The Titans Universe

Titans' depiction of Hawk and Dove shows that Batman and Robin don't corner the market on costumed heroes, but it does show that it's a life that takes a toll. Hawk is shown as a very capable and badass hero, but he's certainly worse for wear. His opening scene alone sees him sustain some serious injuries while he's being tortured, but once he gets home with Dove, we see he bears a number of scars from years fighting crime, and he's apparently suffering from numerous long-term physical issues because of it.

This shouldn't be anything shocking, as boxers, football players, and other professions that make one susceptible to injuries and put other strain, wear, and tear on a body often only see a few years of involvement, and regularly leave the athlete with permanent physical issues. While a rare few see extended careers, the average career is usually 5 years or fewer. Presumably, a career as a vigilante, where the physical demands and threat of injury are greatly increased, should be even less.

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Robin is shown fighting with Hawk and Dove in a flashback, so, considering the love triangle and relatively similar ages of the actors, it's fair to assume they're similar ages and have been fighting crime for a fair amount of time, although Robin also started so young that he could easily have several years on them. Either way, none of them have been fighting nearly as long as Batman, which says a lot about what separates the Caped Crusader from other heroes. If Hawk is well past what should have been the end of his career, then how has Batman survived significantly longer?

First of all, it's a testament to the sheer skill of the Dark Knight. Simply avoiding being injured as often due to a greater skill in combat and self-defense is one of the easiest explanations, but there's no way that accounts for all of it. Unless Batman's history in Titans significantly deviates from his traditional comic-canon, there's no way Batman survived for most of his career without sustaining a number of significant injuries. From simple cuts and scratches to more severe gashes and puncture wounds to poison to broken bones - including a famously broken back - Batman has been through more than his fair share of hurt, and while that injury history could be toned down for Titans, it certainly can't be erased.

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This is where Bruce Wayne's considerable resources come in. Surely he has access to far more advanced medical care than Hawk's alter-ego, Hank Hall, but even with the resources of a billionaire, Bruce Wayne would still need to put immense work into physical therapy after an injury, not to mention the other stretching, conditioning, strength training, diet, and more a part of his more basic physical maintenance.

Batman's detective abilities also surely play a major role as well. We see Hawk has a penchant for getting himself caught in traps by rushing into situations he intends to solve with his fists, and some simple detective work from Robin reveals Hawk's last mission was a trap. Surely Batman's detective abilities help prevent him from making that same mistake as frequently as Hawk apparently does.

While Batman has been teased plenty in Titans so far, it's not clear if he'll ever actually appear on the show. But if he does, he certainly has a high standard to meet. If Hank Hall's Hawk is an example of what to expect from other non-superpowered heroes in this universe, then Batman must really be something. Even if Robin doesn't think so.

Related: DC's Titans: Cast, Character & Powers Guide

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