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"Dead, Stark? Then I'm back to haunt you!"
―Lance to Stark[src]

Lance Bruner is a troubled youth taken in by Bruce Wayne after the death of his father, Dr. Bruner, who was a close friend of Bruce's father. Lance's mother died when he was two, and his father was often too busy for him, leaving him without proper guidance. Lance's rebellious nature leads to various misdeeds, including getting expelled from multiple schools and accumulating a juvenile record. He was created by Bob Haney in 1969 with the comic book The Brave and the Bold #83.

Throughout his time with Bruce and Dick Grayson, Lance causes trouble, often getting Dick blamed for his actions. Despite his difficult behavior, Lance shows moments of vulnerability, revealing his deep-seated need for attention and acceptance. His manipulative tendencies and cunning nature are evident as he deceives those around him, even arranging his own kidnapping to test Bruce's care for him.

Lance's true transformation occurs when he realizes the meaning of genuine love and respect after witnessing Dick's selflessness. This leads to his ultimate sacrifice to protect those who care about him, showcasing his potential for redemption and growth. Despite his flaws and troubled past, Lance's story highlights his complex personality and the possibility of change with the right support and guidance.


Early Life[]

After the death of his father, troubled youth Lance Bruner enters the lives of Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Alfred Pennyworth. He brings with him a signed agreement between his father and Thomas Wayne, stating that if anything happened to Lance's father, Thomas would take care of him. With Thomas Wayne no longer alive, Bruce decides to honor his father's commitment.

Throughout the single issue where Lance appears, he causes numerous problems for his new family, especially for Dick, the Boy Wonder, who takes the blame for Lance's mischief, such as stealing money from the house, painting a police officer's motorcycle, and denting the fender of Bruce's new car.

Bruce takes Lance to a corporate meeting about an oil hijacking case that he and Dick are working on. During the meeting, Lance takes an interest in Grantland Stark, who seems to be causing trouble for Bruce. Meanwhile, Dick convinces the Teen Titans (Wally, Roy, and Donna) to hang out with Lance.

In their civilian clothes, the Titans take Lance to a club to dance. Lance does little to impress the Titans, who start to develop a growing dislike for him. Lance, however, mingles his way over to a "top local gangster" named Milo Manton. Later that evening, Bruce receives a ransom note demanding $50,000 for Lance's safe return.


Kid Flash discovers Lance entering a bank

Lance is returned and tells a tall tale about his kidnapping. The next day, Kid Flash discovers Lance entering a bank. Later, Bruce confronts Lance about a deposit of $25 into his account. Lance lies again, saying it's legacy money from his father. During their conversation, Charles Hinton from the State Correctional Department arrives to inform Bruce about Lance's true background, including his delinquency record and expulsion from military academy. Hinton proceeds to take Lance away, but Lance rushes to Bruce and begs him not to let Hinton take him. He confesses to everything he's done, including getting Dick in trouble and arranging his own kidnapping (claiming he did it to see if Bruce cared enough to get him back). He promises to change, and Bruce agrees to officially adopt him.

For a while, it seems like Lance has changed, most noticeably by helping Alfred and donating items they got from clubbing.

While Bruce and Dick are out as Batman and Robin, and Alfred is also out, Lance takes the time to explore the manor and discovers the Batcave, concluding that Bruce is Batman and Dick is Robin, and that's why they're always vanishing. He decides it's time to make them pay for humiliating him.

The next day, Lance meets with Stark, delivering Batman and Robin to him on a platter by setting a trap for them, as Stark was behind the oil hijacking case all along. He tells him he knows their identities but doesn't reveal them, just that he set a trap for them, which they fall for.

As the trap is set into motion, Lance arrives at the tower where the trap had been set to get the payoff just as Stark aims a high-pressure air hose at Batman, which Robin jumps in front of, sending him off the tower. Batman leaps into action, thinking Robin is dead. Before Stark can shoot the hose at Batman, the Teen Titans come to the rescue.


Lance as Robin surprises Stark

Stark escapes on a boat as the Teen Titans take care of his men, and Batman gives chase. Stark shoots at Batman, who is climbing onto the boat, and Robin springs from the shadows below deck, distracting Stark long enough for Batman to take him down, but not before Robin is shot.

Batman, thinking Dick sacrificed himself twice for him in the same day, asks why. Robin reveals himself to be Lance. Lance apologizes and says that when he saw Dick sacrifice himself for Bruce, he finally understood what real love and respect were, and it made him want to prove he wasn't all bad. He tells Bruce that Dick is okay and he's sorry he couldn't be who Bruce wanted him to be before passing away in Batman's arms. Bruce mourns the fact that Lance wasn't given enough of a chance, realizing he had become the man Bruce hoped he would be.

Later, the Teen Titans and Bruce hold a small ceremony for Lance, placing a bust of him in the garden of Wayne Manor.



Ceremony for Lance's passing

Lance Bruner is a complex character shaped by his turbulent past. Initially, he is a rebellious and troubled youth, carrying a lot of emotional baggage due to his father's death and his experiences in reform school and military academy. His actions reflect a desperate need for attention, validation, and belonging. He appears manipulative and cunning, lying and manipulating those around him to get what he wants. Lance successfully deceives Bruce Wayne multiple times and even arranges his own kidnapping to test how much Bruce cares about him. Beneath this tough exterior, he is deeply insecure and craves love and acceptance, which is evident in his efforts to prove he is not a bad person.

Despite his destructive and vengeful behaviors, especially when he feels humiliated and disrespected by Bruce and Dick, Lance also demonstrates extreme observance and resourcefulness. He discovers the Batcave and deduces the identities of Batman and Robin, showing his intelligence and ability to connect dots that others might miss.

However, Lance's true transformation occurs when he witnesses Dick's sacrifice and finally understands what true love and respect are. This leads him to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect those who care about him, showing his capacity for redemption and growth. Lance proves that despite his flaws, he has the potential to change and become a better person. Lance's journey from a troubled youth to a self-sacrificing hero highlights his complex personality and the possibility of change, even in those who seem most lost. His story is a testament to the idea that, with love and guidance, even the most rebellious can find their path to redemption.


Lance is a young man with blonde hair and blue eyes, characteristics he inherited from his parents.



  • On page 5, Bruce notes that Lance is the son of his father's closest friend, Dr. Bruner. However, Lance's father's first name is not mentioned. Lance claims he witnessed his father's death in an accident, though he does not provide details.
  • On page 6, Bruce tells Dick in another room that he remembers seeing Lance as a baby in Dr. Bruner's arms, indicating that Lance was born before Bruce's parents died. It is noted that Lance was expelled from both reform school and military academy, suggesting he was likely also expelled from public or private school. Additionally, Lance has a juvenile record.
  • Lance tells Bruce that his mother died when he was two years old, and his father was always too busy for him. He mentions that he never had anyone to guide him or teach him right from wrong while growing up. It is never explicitly stated if Lance revealed the identities of Batman and Robin. However, from the context, it appears that even though he claimed to know who they were, he did not actually disclose their identities.