Batman is a great example to use for Rice’s model because, while most lasting characters are subject to change over time as creative teams and editorial direction change, very few will ever reach eight decades of published history. Literally hundreds of people have helped to craft the story of Batman; building a reflection of (or, sometimes, spiteful answer to) the real world in which they were living. This is further helped by the fact that the publisher that owns Batman, DC Comics, has largely been the epicenter for the aforementioned paradigm shifts in comics.
This version of the character largely fought against organized crime and petty thugs; he was, if effect, fighting against a representation of the criminal elements that plagued the cities during that era. He just happened to do so in a costume themed after a bat. Many of the things that, I believe, most people associate with Batman: the Batcave, his trusty side-kick Robin, and even the city of Gotham, were all added over the course of the next several years. Those earliest stories serve as a reflection for what the creators saw the their social-rhetorical situation. As the world in which the comics were being drafted changed, the world within the comics changed as well.
Take for instance the relationship between the Batman that my parents grew up with versus the Batman that I grew up with. My parents grew up watching the bright and campy Batman television series starring Adam West. This version was deeply influenced by the tropes and trappings common of the “Silver Age” of comics: the quirky humor, the colorful palette, and the very tongue-in-cheek approach to narrative. This was all, in many ways, a response (or perhaps a capitulation) to fears of subversion that were common during the era of McCarthyism and the height of the Cold War. In many ways the noir-detective persona had been traded in for something considered to be more palatable to family audiences.
Approximately 20 years after the prime of the "Silver Age" we see a distinct shift away from the tropes of the 1960’s as the comics industry made a violent shift into the “Modern Age”. Batman, in particular, was greatly effected by these radical changes. As stated by Edbauer-Rice, “Rhetorical situations involve the amalgamation and mixture of many different events and happenings that are not properly segmented into audience, text, or rhetorician” (20). Here we see Edbauer-Rice making the argument that our traditional 'rhetorical triangle' is inadequate for properly explaining all the possible variables, many external, that can effect the way an argument is present or received. The industry experienced a paradigm shift in the mid-80s as those lines between rhetor and audience were blurred. Those who had been audience members during the era wherein Batman was made to be more family-friendly were now given the opportunity to change the status quo.