Spoiler warning for Batman #126
The students have outgrown the teacher: only Batman's many sidekicks can defeat his latest unbeatable villain, Failsafe. After being introduced in the previous issue of DC Comics' Batman, Failsafe makes a violent move against Batman. The newest villain overwhelms the Caped Crusader—until a horde of Bat-Family members swoop in to save the day.
Despite his contemporary reputation as a lone wolf vigilante, Batman's worked with partners and sidekicks practically since his inception in 1939's Detective Comics #27. Just a year later, Robin debuted in Detective Comics #38, and Batman never looked back. Since then, Batman has trained five official Robins and a number of other kid sidekicks, including a few Batgirls and the We Are Robin star Duke Thomas as The Signal. In more recent Batman title events, Bruce Wayne takes a closer look at his relationship with his third Robin, Tim Drake, and begins to question whether training so many young people has been good for their happiness... or for the Batman mission at large.
Despite Bruce's questioning, his many trainees are responsible for saving his life in Batman #126 by Chip Zdarsky, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles. Just as Batman's fight against Failsafe turns against him, a squad of Bat-Family members arrive in the nick of time. First on the scene is Gotham's latest hero, The Signal, along with the two Batgirls. Robin and Nightwing aren't far behind, and Oracle coordinates on the comms. Though even this experienced team of vigilantes are also quickly outmatched by Failsafe—who, from context clues, appears to be a robot created by Batman himself—Robin manages to whisk Batman back to the original Cave, saving his life. For the time being, at least.
If Failsafe turns out to be something Batman created himself—and it looks that way from context clues in this issue—it’s striking that practically all of Batman’s mentees have moved in to save him from such an unstoppable force. These young vigilantes are practically saving Batman from himself, asserting the power of legacy characters in the Batman franchise. In addition, there's a notable parallel between this issue, where Robin whisks Batman away in the Batmobile, saving his life, and the events of Batman #125, in which Batman carries Robin to the Batmobile after Tim is shot.
As Tim Drake once said, Batman really does need a Robin—as well as all his other young sidekicks. They are the lights to his major darkness, and the people who often save his life. It makes perfect sense that only Batman's sidekicks could save him from Failsafe, the unbeatable villain that Batman himselflikely created. As the new Batman creative team continues to focus on Batman's relationship to Robin and his other young allies, readers will likely see more epic Bat-Family team-up moments—and surely Robin will save Batman's life a time or two more.
Check out Batman #126, available now from DC Comics!