Warning! Spoilers for Batman Beyond 2.0 #28
In a world inspired by the beloved DC Animated Universe, Batman once got Batgirl pregnant. Not only is their past relationship scandalous to fans— it’s also infuriating to Dick Grayson AKA Nightwing, who was Barbara Gordon’s boyfriend at the time.
Although some fans might forget that both Bruce and Dick had romantic relationships with Barbara during Batman: The New Adventures, audiences were enraged when Batman and Batgirl got together in the animated adaptation of The Killing Joke. At the time, many felt it was inappropriate for the two bat vigilantes to get together, especially when she had been long portrayed as a teenage sidekick. However, it turns out there has been an even bigger offense regarding their affair in Batman Beyond 2.0 #28, written by Kyle Higgins with art by Phil Hester and Craig Rousseau.
When Barbara confronts Bruce in the Batcave, she reveals that she’s been pregnant for seven weeks. Assuming that it’s Dick Grayson’s child, Bruce is congratulatory, but she goes onto explain that he hadn’t been back in Gotham at that time. While Dick was away, Bruce and Barbara’s relationship became romantic and went in a direction they hadn’t planned. The moment adds new context for why Robin and Batman initially fell apart in the DCAU, as Dick went onto become Nightwing and distance himself from his Boy Wonder image. Based on their interaction, it seems like they’ve both acknowledged the mistake and will leave it in the past.
The flashback to the New Adventures era of the timeline comes across like a deleted scene that the animation rating system wouldn’t approve to air. It almost fits in perfectly with the episode Old Wounds in which Dick Grayson disavows his Robin persona, punching Batman and abandoning the bat family for a time. However, Dick is more furious with him than fans had seen him before. After becoming aware of what had happened between Barbara and his surrogate father, he goes into a rage and overpowers Bruce. While it had been known that the bat family’s adventures ended in tragedy, as referenced throughout Batman Beyond, Barbara’s pregnancy was never an emphasized breaking point. Instead, Return of the Joker made it seem that Tim Drake’s demise brought the team to a definitive end.
If Barbara and Bruce had a child together, it would have changed the course of the DCAU, and potentially rob Batman Beyond of its premise. The son or daughter of Batman and Batgirl would be a likely candidate to take over the mantle in the future as Gotham’s guardian. Terry McGinnis would’ve been out of a job if the city already had a Dark Knight by the time he was a teenager. Similar to Damian Wayne, the son that Batman had with Talia, Barbara and Bruce would be certain to raise a strong fighter.