By Michael Tennant aka “Nightwing”
“Selina. I love you. Marry me.”
With that simple line of dialogue in Batman Vol. 2 #24, change comes to BATMAN and BRUCE WAYNE’s world. No matter the answer, storytelling avenues have been opened. For once the notion that ‘nothing will be the same again’ may actually be true.
Since “The Button” crossover with The Flash, comic readers have known that something big was coming in the Batman books. Something that would affect the future of one Bruce Wayne. In Batman #22 THOMAS WAYNE from the FLASHPOINT UNIVERSE tells Bruce “Don’t be Batman. Be a father for your son in a way I never could be for you. Let the Batman die with me.” Since that moment fans have wondered how that interaction would affect Bruce. This is a man who has lived his life, created Batman to honor his parents. No one’s words could possibly have a greater effect on Bruce’s life than his dead father’s.
And so we have waited for the proverbial shoe to drop. Many have wondered if he would simply retire from dressing as a bat and going into the dark ever night. Fortunately, TOM KING is currently writing Batman. King, in my opinion, is the best writer in comics today. So rather than taking the obvious course, he chose to throw us a curveball.
By asking Catwoman to marry him in Batman #24, Bruce is seeking to be happy and opening up an entire world of possibilities. I spoke with a clerk at my local comic shop about some of these new questions:
One being: if Bruce stops being Batman, who takes over?
The easy answer is DICK GRAYSON. He has done it before. Many fans loved the original Robin’s time in the cowl. I do not believe we should go back to this well, however. I was never an advocate of making Grayson the Bat. He is a hero in his own right. Putting him in the Batsuit is a step back for the character. Could it instead be Bruce’s son, DAMIAN WAYNE? In the Nightwing comic it was made clear that Damian sees himself as his father’s successor and there have already been future stories written with him in that role. Of course, the wild card in all this is TIM DRAKE. While the various Bats believe him to be dead, we know better (he has been taken off the board by the mysterious MR. OZ). What better way to bring him back than having him rise like a phoenix to claim the mantle of the Bat?
Of course that assumes that Bruce retires. At this point Selina Kyle, CATWOMAN, has not yet said “Yes.” Even if she does, it is a long time from there to a wedding. Let us suppose all that comes to pass, do we really believe Bruce could stop?
“I’m not Batman because I like being Batman. I’m Batman because I’m Batman.”
In that case they could have him step back from the day-to-day leading the heroes of tomorrow in some new version of Batman Inc.
Or do he and Selina each fight their addictions, settle down and start having kids? That in itself could be interesting. In the Earth 2 comic they had a daughter Helena who became Robin in her own time.
Just imagine brother and sister, Batman and Robin.
The future is out there just waiting for us.
For now, we only have questions and of course there’s the upcoming ‘War of Jokes and Riddles’
Me, I think I will enjoy the ride.
After discovering Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes #239 as a young man, Michael never looked back. Armed with a passion for journalism and a thirst for knowledge, he still talks to his imaginary friends.