No one can be him. But someone can represent what he stood for. The ideals that made Batman-- justice, consequence and ironclad resolve to protect. And there is none other that has the wherewithal to uphold those ideals than you... Richard Grayson.
There are reasons not to kill. We've discussed these before. To say that murder is immoral is too vague. Killing, even once, even with reasons, strips you of your humanity. I do not mean this in an abstract way. Though we move about the world as individuals, the human race as a whole is spiritually-- necessarily, scientifically-- a single entity. You cannot afford to revoke that citizenship. You cannot work meaningfully for humanity from outside of it. I know you know this. I know you.
Bruce... I have never questioned you before. Nor have I for one moment been disloyal. You have given me an extraordinary life-- a life I have cherished and hope to continue cherishing. But I will not be a part of your self-destruction. Anything but that. If you do not obey the doctor's orders, I shall resign my post.
Master Bruce has a very clear idea of human perfection towards which he constantly strives, you understand. The absolute physical mastery of the top martial artists, gymnasts or yogis... the logical deductive skills of master philosophers, forensic scientists and detectives... the understanding, discrimination and moral clarity of ultimate zen adepts... need I continue? His is a mind like no other. I have grave doubts either of us will ever fully comprehend its decisions, but we must never underestimate its strength and resilience.
Try to think of your Batman not as a memorial -- you and I know he'd hate that -- but as a performance. Think of Batman as a great role, like a Hamlet, or Willie Loman... or even James Bond. And play it to suit your strength.
I watched him smile. I watched him cry. I watched him grow. I watched him bleed. I did my best. I want you both to know that. But I failed him... and in the process failed you. And though it may not provide your spirits with any solace, I want you to know that I grieve as a parent... for he was my son, too.
I certainly don't need to be lectured about that. I believe I would know better than anyone what he would approve of. But we must accept that he is not coming back... and that we must find the means to replace what he did for this city. The concept of what he stood for may be more important than one man. Or one method. And if this network proves to be the method that allows his legacy to continue, it has my blessing. Whether he would have approved of it or not.
You're only human. Both of you. You'd do well to remember this the next time you're in Gotham -- every face you see, should it be an innocent or the basest villain... each and every one of them owes you their lives.
Hechoseyou, and that choice was not made lightly. No one enters his confidence without his knowing, without his permission. However it came to pass, rest assured, it occurred because he wished it to. Take that for what it is worth.
He knew that Jason Todd was not Dick Grayson. It wasn't about skill, or endurance, or even their will to succeed. No. It was that Jason had a "mean streak". Jason was dangerous. And as a father... he was at a loss for what to do.
All the time I was with the master, I was isolated from the world. Now I've seen the lives of ordinary people. Their emotions run deep, but their understanding of themselves and their lives is shallow. Like children.
Master Bruce told me of your decision. I must confess that I approve. I've always secretly hoped that you would eventually choose your own path. Sometimes, I even hope that Master Bruce will find another venue for his talents. I also hope for world peace, environmental harmony and honest politicians.
Batman formed the Outsiders so there would always be a "Batman" outside of Gotham. And as egotistical as it may sound, he hoped that a team representing different aspects of himself would fare best against the evil force that is gathering... that individuals with distinct abilities, when placed together, would form a unique unit capable of combating the darkness. Batman understood that there's no use in saving only one city from the abyss. That a world-view is necessary... and he wanted each one of you here to be a part of his vision to help save the future.
Master Richard carries so much on his young shoulders, the normal troubles associated with adolescence in addition to sharing Master Bruce's crusade. I only wonder if he knows how casually he is throwing away the years of his youth.
Yes, his parents are dead and it would be no small kindness not to remind the boy of it. All you need do, Master Bruce, is play the required role for one evening. It shouldn't prove too difficult for you. As simple as putting on a costume, one might say.