Plague Doctor Robin and Cyborg Oracle: A Snazzy Reboot Of DC Comics' Batman Reboot

Illustration for article titled Plague Doctor Robin and Cyborg Oracle: A Snazzy Reboot Of DC Comics' Batman Reboot

You may remember Dresden Codak illustrator Aaron Diaz's rebooted takes on the Justice League and Legion of Doom. Now, he's given the Bat-family a similar refurbishing. Here's Diaz's take on Bruce, Tim, Steph, and Barb.

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Illustration for article titled Plague Doctor Robin and Cyborg Oracle: A Snazzy Reboot Of DC Comics' Batman Reboot

For brevity's sake, I'll highlight the most altered aspects of each character. For Batman, not much as changed, save some suit and gear modifications:

The bat-symbol on his chest can light up and function as a spotlight to startle criminals, or it can be turned off, allowing him to disappear in the shadows. His eyes lenses allow both night and infra red vision. Batman's ears function as a radio receiver, as well as a sound amplifier or dampener, the latter of which is necessary when he employs sonic weapons to frighting or disable criminals. Few things are more terrifying to denizens of the underworld than the inhuman screech of the Batman.

Illustration for article titled Plague Doctor Robin and Cyborg Oracle: A Snazzy Reboot Of DC Comics' Batman Reboot

As for Robin, he's more of a comrade-in-arms and less of a plucky sidekick. Also, he'd blend in at Sleep No More:

Batman and Robin should always have a Bad Cop/Good Cop relationship. I've always liked the friendship between Rorschach and the Owl from Watchmen, where each guy's motivation to be a hero's pretty different, but they find common ground and play off each other's strengths. Robin is the less cynical of human nature and also takes the whole "superhero" thing less seriously. He grounds Bruce, keeping one foot in reality. Visually I wanted something indicative of The Shadow or the Golden Age Sandman, where the detective elements are more emphasized (his mask, too, is meant to evoke a sort of venetian plague doctor vibe).

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Illustration for article titled Plague Doctor Robin and Cyborg Oracle: A Snazzy Reboot Of DC Comics' Batman Reboot

Diaz rejiggers Batgirl's origin a twinge:

Stephanie Brown was only 16 when she discovered her father, Ed Brown, was also known as Edward Nygma, the notorious Riddler, a criminal Batman had never managed to capture. Feeling obligated to thwart his criminal plans with her inside knowledge, Stephanie spent months training and following her father's escapades, studying his movements and patterns of riddles. To hide her identity to him, she took on the persona of The Spoiler, and vowed to spoil his plans whenever possible. Eventually Stephanie's efforts paid off, and after anonymously delivering a message to Batman, helped him finally capture the Riddler. Batman, seeing that he had created an orphaned crimefighter, took in Stephanie as his ward to pay for her education.

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Illustration for article titled Plague Doctor Robin and Cyborg Oracle: A Snazzy Reboot Of DC Comics' Batman Reboot

Finally, Diaz made Barbara Gordon a cybernetics expert who uses Wayne Tech to build herself an exoskeleton:

I [...] focused on the notion that Batman using kids to fight crime is kind of reckless. We see with Stephanie that he's since taken a different approach and keeps her mainly out of direct harm. I also took Barbara out of a wheelchair, because I felt that in a superhero universe of magic and flying robots, someone with access to Bruce Wayne's money should be able to get up stairs, regardless of their injuries. I want to present Barbara as someone who has become just as driven and obsessed as Batman.

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Illustration for article titled Plague Doctor Robin and Cyborg Oracle: A Snazzy Reboot Of DC Comics' Batman Reboot

You can read Diaz's full alternate dimension write-up here. Also, here's his earlier stab at a Batman reboot, which plays it incredibly fast and loose with the characters' motivations.

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Related: The New Fifty-Too Project.

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[Via Project Rooftop]

DISCUSSION

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Brett D

I love Aaron Diaz's artwork and some of the tidbits of his stuff (I'm especially thinking of the comic where the little girl pretends to be a space explorer from the "Planet Moob" and gets a cookie from her mother, declaring "I will do SCIENCE to it!" - also, the line "Victor Hugo once got so mad he threw a baseball through a dog" will forever be in my brain) - but man, Dresden Codak hits, if not surpasses, Ghost In The Shell in terms of unintelligible, obtuse, pseudo-philo-intellectual ramblings that it is nearly impossible to follow what the hell is going on in 95% of his strips.