Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A New Batman?

There was an article in Geek this month about the potential retiring of Bruce Wayne and who might be the next Batman. They discussed Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, as well as other possible Bat-centric characters. I thought we already knew who the next Batman was. Terry McGinnis, right?

Terry McGinnis was Batman on Batman Beyond, and while not canon, it is at least as real as Miguel O'Hara as Spider-Man in 2099.

Batman Beyond begins circa 2019. Bruce Wayne suffers a heart attack and is forced to threaten a criminal with a gun. This is so at odds with his beliefs that he retires as the Batman. Circa 2039, Terry McGinnis has a run in with some of the Joker Gang's members, and finds himself at Wayne Manor. Bruce fights the gang members with him, but is made ill by the exertion. While staying to make sure the old man is alright, McGinnis discovers the Bat Cave, and "borrows" a high-tech batsuit. He is then tutored by Bruce Wayne on how to be a crime-fighter.

Of course, this leaves twenty years with no Batman at all, and until we get a bit closer to 2039, it would be difficult to take Batman that far out of timeline Just to add the McGinnis character. The problem with many of the speculative choices are that they, I think, do not want to be Batman. Dick Grayson certainly does not. He is well established as Nightwing, and frankly has enough problems with Bruce Wayne to be a bit repelled by the thought. As far as Jason Todd or Tim Drake go, I am not so sure. Todd has a new persona as The Red Robin. Tim Drake might be young and impressionable enough to want to take the mantle, perhaps?

Here is who should be Batman in my opinion. Bruce Wayne.

Sure, logic dictates that he has to age, but that is why Batman Beyond is set forty years in the future and includes Bruce Wayne. To you and me, it should not matter that Batman today would be sixty-nine years-old (or more like eighty-nine, depending on his age when he became Batman). How long was Peter Parker in college? How old would James Bond be in Die Another Day (the last film prior to the restart of the character with Daniel Craig)? How many years was Conan at twenty-summers? It does not really matter.

If this really happens, I fear it will be another attempt to boost sales briefly, just as they did when they "killed" Batman, and Superman. Hopefully, the comic buying public is smarter than this. I don't mind the idea of story lines with an aging Batman like Frank Millers Return of the Dark Knight, and I really enjoyed Batman Beyond. The core character, however, should be Bruce Wayne, fit as a fiddle and ready to bust heads.


iasa said...

I'm with you. For me Batman is Bruce Wayne. All other Batmen (or Batmans) can get of my lawn.

LMPjr007 said...

Sorry. As much as I love Bruce, one day he will get killed, massively injured or just too old. Teryy is the BEST LOGICAL choice. Best off Since Batman Beyond appeared in Superman/Batman #22 so he in DC Comic continuity so they can use him. Plus let's be serious, his Batman suit is so cool!

SamuraiFrog said...

This is why I can't read comic books anymore; Batman's been around for 70 years. The beauty of comics is that you can take the characters and reinvent them so they're relevant to whatever time they're being written in. Why start treating him like a man subject to the laws of time now? DC Comics has ruined their entertainment value with their endless streams of stunts that are supposed to "fix" continuity "errors." They simply make old stories pointless and new stories unreadable. Making concessions to some sort of fixed continuity and pretending its realistic is simply ridiculous.

Bruce Wayne IS Batman. Batman is anything a creative writer can make of him.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I wouldn't mind seeing a story arc where someone takes over being the Batman, and the former-Robin squad goes after the guy. Maybe arc is not the right comicbook word? A "temporary alternate reality", perhaps?

You can't permanently change the main character though. You can paralyze Barbara Gordon, you can kill Gwen Stacey, but you leave the headliner alone.

@S.F. - I'm with you. I think the collector craze of the '90s, and all the shit both DC & Marvel did to make every issue collectible drove me away from comics. The only comics I read regularly in the '90s were "Cavewoman" and "Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose" — both partly due to the sexy factor (though the original Cavewoman was a great run of comics).

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Bruce is the only Batman and not even he has the right to give that identity to anyone else. Without him you only have copies that are psuedo 'batmen' that bring the best of his style and abilities while incorporating their own skills into the identity. Each Robin is unique and what makes Nightwing so great is that he managed to work himself away from the identity he created. Tim might have moved out of Dick's shadow but only until he becomes his own person (Red Robin?) while he become the hero he is meant to be. Robin is the training ground but eventually they all have to grow up, even Jason. Batman Beyond's Terry is NOT Batman. He has the name which is a false identity. He is more Robin than the Bat.

Jamdin said...

Bruce IS Batman and no one can fill his bat-boots for very long.

SamuraiFrog said...

Darius: I wouldn't mind seeing a story arc where someone takes over being the Batman, and the former-Robin squad goes after the guy.

Wasn't that basically what Knightfall was all about? DC loves their gimmicks so much they just repeat them over and over again, so I could see it going down this way.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@ S.F. - The more comic blogs I look at, the more I realize how little I know of what is/has been going on. If I was reading correctly, I guess they did kill Bruce Wayne recently.

I'll stick with the cartoons and action figures, I think :-)

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