I understand that. It still seems like it’s gotten excessive to me, and the large Bat Family during the early Silver Age usually isn’t brought up as a positive of that era (although for the sake of giving the great Dick Sprang lots of characters to draw, I can’t fault it).
Most of the better adaptations in other media do away with the bat family entirely or move it to the sidelines. I’m not saying this makes the idea inherently bad, I’m just saying that when people need to start trimming extraneous characters from the narrative, they’re usually the first to go. I know that the comics and television industries are addicted to decompressed, long-form storytelling with dozens of characters but I don’t think that’s necessarily the best way to go. A lot can be learned from the brevity of formats like film, or one-shots, or episodic rather than arc-based stories. Episodes or shorter arcs (yet another reason I love Legends of the Dark Knight’s early run) force the creator to think about what’s important to put in the story. The first Legends arc, Shaman, introduces all the characters it’s going to use within the first two issues and their plots are all resolved by the end of it. I’m getting kind of off topic here, though.
I don’t mind some of the Bat Family. As my icon suggests I’m a fan of Dick Grayson (more as a Titan or as Nightwing, but still) and I think Barbara is great (again, prefer her as Oracle but that’s rather beside the point). My point is there’s not a lot with a lot of the newer characters to differentiate them. “How is character x different from character y”? At some point for a casual or new reader it all falls apart under the weight of its own complexity like a Rube Goldberg Device that can be fouled by a speck of dust on an oiled surface.
I wish I had a specific example to cite, but whenever one of the extended Bat Family members is in an issue with no explanation I always feel like someone has walked up to me and said “Hey, how you doing (Name Withheld)” like they know me and I’ve never met them before and all the way through I’m trying to figure out who they are and then they just kind of disappear to a different story at the end of the issue.
To me it’s almost like there’s a disconnect between two characters. There’s Batman, this lone gothic figure that strikes terror into criminals with only some mission control from Alfred and James Gordon…and then there’s the Bat-Manager, who works as part of a big team of heroes. The only common thread is they’re both Bruce Wayne.