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We are getting closer to Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, every day. In order to go in blind and enjoy every twist and turn the film has to offer I’ve been staying away from news for the flick. I even passed the writing of the Film Spotlight over to our contributor Kris Greet so I wouldn’t accidentally get spoiled. While we slowly march to July 20th, lets change paces like we did for The Amazing Spider-Man and speculate on possible villains in a Batman reboot (which I don’t think will be very far away if this is indeed the last Nolan/Bale Batman adventure).

Nolan was very smart to stay away from villains that appeared in other Batman films with Batman Begins when he used Ra’s al Ghul and Scarecrow, two lesser known villains that still have a lot of history. I think a new director/writer team will do the same and stay away from Nolan’s main baddies, including the Joker, Ra, Scarecrow, Two-Face, and now of course Bane, at least for the first movie in a new series. I also think the new series will start with Batman already being established, maybe a short montage origin recap (as used in The Incredible Hulk). So, who might they bring into the mix to face off with the Dark Knight?

Professor Hugo Strange. Not to be confused with Marvel Comic’s Doctor Strange, Hugo Strange might not be a house hold name, but he definitely has his place among Batman’s classic rogue gallery having first appeared in 1940. Strange is an insane psychologist who invented a serum to drive his victims in to mindless killing machines and him obsession with Batman lead him to want to become him. He is as smart as he is insane and is a formidable opponent for the Dark Knight. To take things one step further, you can have Strange’s serum create some of Batman’s other classic villains, like Man-Bat or Clayface, giving the movie a more superhuman vibe which could separate it from Nolan’s super realistic take on the hero.

Man-Bat. Playing off my last entry of Hugo Strange, I think this combo of villains could work really well. On the flip side, if done right, Man-Bat could work for the main villain also. You can make Dr. Kirk Langstrom a Wayne Enterprises scientist who has the best intentions who accidentally mutates himself in to the Man-Bat. Of course this would be very similar to the movie Spider-Man’s Green Goblin, Doc Ock and the remake’s Lizard stories. But just think how cool a Batman vs Man-Bat fight flying across the Gotham skyline would be! None of Nolan’s villains were any bit as monstrous as this guy, none nearly as scary either. (and for Warner Brothers, just think of all the toys they could sell!)

Deadshot. Yeah, I know he was in the last season of Smallville, but who cares? The “second greatest assassin” in the DC Universe could give Batman a run for his money. Sure, I can’t see him being the main villain, but imagine he is sent to kill Bruce Wayne in public during the day. Bruce has to hide the fact that he is Batman, but still get out of the situation alive– maybe enter Robin or Batgirl to come to his aid? This would be another thing to separate a remake from Nolan, the introduction of the Batman “family” of allies. Of course, who would send an assassin to kill Bruce Wayne? How about…

Lex Luthor. Yes, Superman’s top villain. Why would he be in Gotham going head to head with Batman? Luthor could be bank rolling Hugo Strange or he could send Deadshot to take out the head of Wayne Enterprises, one of his top defense competitors. Hopefully Luthor will be in Zack Synder’s upcoming Superman reboot, Man of Steel, in a cameo and maybe he can do the same in a possible Batman reboot. Luthor could be in the background, pulling the strings, in all of the upcoming DC Comics movies creating an actual shared universe. Setting up an epic World’s Finest crossover with Superman and Batman, or maybe he could be forming the Injustice Gang to go head to head with the Justice League in a future crossover of all of DC’s top heroes.

If DC Comics and Warner Brothers are going to reboot Batman so soon after Nolan’s acclaimed trilogy, then they better give us something special. And Batman in a fantastic universe sharing scenes with the likes of Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman would be the perfect hook and give a reason for the reboot that no one would complain about. Now, who should play Bruce Wayne/Batman?

Last week DC Comics revealed the shocking news that they were rebooting the whole DC Universe of books, renumbering them all to #1 (including the two longest running titles out there Action Comics and Detective Comics), and they will be releasing the print issues and digital issues on the same date.

While I hate the idea of restarting continuity (or rewinding it? It is really unsure at this point exactly what they are doing), it could lead to some good storytelling as Marvel Comic’s Spider-Man “Brand New Day” did as it rewrote years of history.  DC has slowly started to reveal the new creative teams for some of their most popular characters. Today I want to focus on the Dark Knight…

Detective Comics #1 (above right)
Writer/Artist: Tony Daniel
Official Description: Marking the first time Batman will appear in a debut issue of Detective Comics, the series will find Bruce Wayne on the trail of a dangerous serial killer known only as the Gotham Ripper.

Batman and Robin #1 (above left)
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artist: Pat Gleason
Official Descriotion: …will explore the family dynamic of the Caped Crusader as Bruce Wayne battles the Gotham underworld with the help of his son, Damian, in the role of Robin.

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 (above left)
Writer/Artist: David Finch
Official Description: A twisted adventure that pulls Bruce Wayne deep into the halls of the famed Arkham Asylum, a jail for Gotham City’s most dangerous and criminally deranged.

Batman #1 (above right)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Official Description: In the series, Bruce Wayne once again becomes the only character taking on the Batman name.

What do you think about the new run of Batman titles? Is it more of the same or are you excited about the creative teams that DC has put together? Do you like the idea of the whole DC Universe starting fresh or is it finally time to give up on them?

Batman and Robin issue 13 covers


Batman and Robin
#13 is the start of a new 3-part story from writer Grant Morrison and artist Frazer Irving. In the new issue, a man claiming to be Thomas Wayne appears and makes a stake for the Wayne empire. And without Bruce Wayne to prove him wrong, he just might get it. The issue also features the long-awaited return of a classic Batman villain (could it be the one on the cover getting beat with a crowbar by the new Robin?).

The concept for this new story is very intriguing and I’m really surprised that no one (to my knowledge at least) has gone with “impostor” Wayne parents in the past (if that is what he is). It is especially interesting that we get this story at a point when Bruce is removed from the title. How would he react? What if it really is Thomas Wayne? The issue hits stands Thursday July 8th from DC Comics.

I’ve been digging this change within the Batman books. Dick Greyson taking over the mantle of the bat seemed like it was a long time coming. I just wonder if it will last when Bruce Wayne returns or if he’ll just step right back into cowl. Over at Marvel Comics, Bucky took over being Captain America when Steve Rogers died. And now, even though the original Captain is back among the living, Marvel is keeping Bucky as the ongoing Captain America. Steve Rogers will have a new identity. Is this a good idea or a bad one? Did Marvel make the right move? What do you think DC Comics is going do to with Batman?

Check out these Batman and Robin related comics…

Posted on July 8th, 2010 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
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