Batman and Superman’s new son got off to a shaky start, gaining sentience and attacking his parents, but now he is finally making them proud!
Warning: spoilers for Batman/Superman #14 ahead!
The son of Superman and Batman is finally making them proud. In Batman/Superman #14, by writer Joshua Williamson, artist Max Raynor and colorist Alejandro Sanchez, the “child” created by Superman and Batman is causing havoc in Metropolis, and Batman must take a fatherly approach to bringing him and Superman’s unruly child under control.
The child in question is actually a program Batman and Superman created to study better techniques to defeat villains. Having become corrupted by a database of villains corrupted by a Brainiac virus, which led it to gain sentience; it then launched an attack on its parents by creating robotic duplicates of their villains. Superman and Batman were able to fight the robotic horde off with an assist from Steel and Batwoman. Batman thought he could beat the program by exploiting a weakness in the program, but it out-thought him, and turned itself into a new version of Composite Superman before flying off to destroy Metropolis, with Superman in hot pursuit.
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In this issue, Batman has one last gambit. Realizing that the program is a child, he opts to play the parent instead. Entering the virtual realm (in a sequence straight out of Tron), Batman attempts to reason with it, explaining that he and Superman were the base the program was created around, and that it had both of them inside it. He went on to tell the program that it was created to stop villains, not be one; that if it became a villain, who would stop it? This line of reasoning worked, and the program called off its attacks. Never once did Batman raise his voice, despite the grave circumstances, comparing it to talking to one of his Robins when they were teenagers. He kept calm and made his case in a reasonable and rational way – just like a good parent. Meanwhile on Earth, Superman was bearing the brunt of the program’s attacks. After Batman convinced it of the error of its ways, it shut down, but not before telling Superman it wanted him and Batman to be proud of it.
The Dark Knight’s parenting skills can be called into questions sometimes, but here he showed good parental instincts, by not using force to correct a problem but instead to talk it out and turn it into a “teaching moment.” Superman and Batman had the best of intentions when creating the database program, but matters spun out of control. Their “child” could have potentially caused untold amounts of damage and loss of life, but thanks to Batman’s quick thinking, the situation was diffused and the program sacrifices itself, returning to the digital landscape in a new, gleaming composite form intended to honor the two men from who it draws its personality and purpose. Happily, Superman and Batman were ultimately able to unite to create a new consciousness fit to make them proud.
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