Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Death of Bruce (Batman) Wayne

In Rich Johnston’s Lying in the Gutters column he states that the rumor is that Bruce Wayne bites the dust in June/July of 2008. He would be replaced by Dick or Tim, I suppose, as Batman.

Please let this be true. DC needs to actually shake up the status quo and move things forward. If Final Crisis is to actually mean anything that a seminal event needs to occur. If you look at DC’s pantheon of heroes they have:

1) Superman who remaining immortal can make comic sense as he is an alien.
2) Wonder Woman as a creation of the gods can easily be immortal.
3) Hal Jordan can say the ring makes him younger.
4) Most of the Justice Society has been replaced with younger versions of themselves.
5) Green Arrow was reborn in a convoluted way and made younger.

Batman is mortal and almost every story that can be done with Batman has been done over and over again. We have ended up with fourteen different versions of Joker’s origin. It gets so bad that the side kicks grow up and move on, but Bruce remains the same.

By letting Bruce die we are given a chance for a new character to be Batman. Especially if we let it be Dick or Tim, because they will have a history to build on, but have to be different taking over the Batman role. The whole Azrael thing was a feint because who ever took over was never intended to stay as the Batman. By making it Azrael we could see that a harsher Batman made no sense , which would make Bruce seem new again, but it hasn’t.

I love Batman and love Bruce Wayne as Batman, but we can have new stories still be told about Bruce Wayne as Batman as specials and mini-series. With 52 worlds we can have a world that has Bruce just starting as Batman in 2008. The stories possibilities are endless and real change is the key to successful sales.

Marvel overtook DC in sales because Marvel was allowing their characters to change and grow. DC recently almost caught up to Marvel and actually won one or to months around Infinite Crisis because it felt like real change was occurring and we got a new Atom and Blue Beetle. Marvel returned the favor and crushed everyone in sales with Civil War, which was not a change of the characters, but was a change in the status quo of the Marvel Universe.

The sales numbers are close again and Marvel is trying to throw open the door that anyone can be a skrull to make us excited about their universe. DC is upping the ante by showing us almost anyone can die with the Death of the New Gods and other events occurring.

Wholesale slaughter of beloved characters is not the answer, but actually having events that change the status quo and provide the opportunity for newer stories is important. Dick or Tim as Batman changes almost everything as Batman is such a core part of the DCU that having a new person under the mask changes the dynamic immensely.


  1. I like the arguement you give, but I just don't see it happening. At least not while there is money to be made from movies and such. And you know when they bring him back, you would hate the way they did it.

  2. I don't think we have to kill Bruce, we could have him retire like in Batman Beyond - that was pretty cool. But I agree, it'd be nice to see an actual change. If you're going to keep Bruce has Batman he needs to go immortal like in Generations.

  3. John Byrne's Generations series is one of my all time favorites. I really wish he'd do another one.

    I figure Final Crisis will be another reboot of the DCU. Maybe not. But I like the idea of Batman having his own universe. In fact, I'd like to see the JSA back on their own world. Give us that sidekick world for Jason Rusch and Kyle Rainer. Keep them separate and just go wherever you want with it.

    I don't like the idea of heroes dying in their prime. Both Batman Beyond and Spider-girl are good examples of moving the story forward, where the original heroes have to retire.

    Death of the New Gods is an excellent closure for that series, one that will give birth to the New New Gods - although I hope Darkseid escapes somehow.

    The DCU is a convoluted mess right now in my opinion - continuity-wise. You might as well just do all mini-series -- it doesn't really connect together well anymore. Well, there are some good Superman stories out there like the new Action issue; however, Superman is unrecognizable from what I've been reading in the last two years and it's frustrating. Although a good story is a good story and I don't know about you guys, but I loved the new issue of Supergirl! (It would be my Best of the Week :)) I don't even care about what's been going on between issues 6 and 22.

    It's all too much to think about on a Friday night and I've got a little girl that won't seem to settle down and fall asleep.

  4. It's crap. Just like killing CAPTAIN AMERICA. It will never last, which makes it a waste.

    I like the idea of BRUCE buying it and moving on the legacy. I just don't trust DC right now on that front.

    The biggest theory I believe in is DICK becoming BATMAN with DAMIEN becoming the new ROBIN. This coincides with the BATMAN #666 issue where the older DAMIEN says he is not great like BRUCE or even DICK GRAYSON. It is widely believed the TIM will retire as ROBIN or adopt another identity.

    If they make JASON TODD the BATMAN I will stop reading the books altogether.

    And I agree, SUPERMAN is a mess. The biggest problem DC has is too many versions of the same characters. ACTION COMICS was a good issue. Great art. I am not a big continuity stickler, but it seems Johns is writing it in Richard Donner SUPERMAN MOVIE continuity, and not for the comics I've been reading.

    The LEGION is even the old silver age Legion.

    Hell ALL-STAR SUPERMAN is a great place to play with Silver Age style SUPES. But if they're doing it in the books they need to reboot his origin so I know what the fiznuck is what.


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