[Contains spoilers for DC: Rebirth]
Billionaire Bruce Wayne, the orphan head of Wayne Industries, lives a double life. After witnessing the murder of his parents by a street rat, he vows to eradicate crime in Gotham by becoming The Batman!
For more than 75 years Batman has been a pop-culture favorite, with the most comic book appearances, intriguing villains, and stories, not to mention a plethora of video games, cartoons, and animated and live action appearances. Starting up as a crime-fighter, taking out gangs and crime lords, he quickly moves up in rank, appearing alongside Gods and aliens as well as fighting against Gods and aliens.
But is it time for him to retire? Has Bruce’s run reached an end?
Recently in DC Rebirth, in a crossover story between Batman and The Flash, Bruce meets his Flashpoint counterpart… Thomas Wayne, his father.
After having to leave Thomas behind and return back to their own universe, Thomas says these words to Bruce…
…which make Bruce consider the possibility of actually passing on the mantle of the Caped Crusader. Now the question to be asked is: should he do it?
In short, yes. Maybe the time has come for Bruce Wayne to bring his epic and long career to a full stop. There are only so many stories that can be told, and the character cannot keep being explored forever. Every good story that could be told about Batman of the prime earth has most likely been told. The Bruce Wayne Era should come to a natural end. And if you were to look at the bigger picture of what DC is doing, you could kinda see it come to play. Proposing to Selena is one major point that should lead us to believe that maybe DC Comics is ready to evolve. Damian Wayne’s character revolves around being the heir to the Batman mantle. In a few instances, on a couple of panels where we are shown the future of Damian, he seems to fulfill what he claims his birthright.
The entire BatFamily is another argument. A theory suggests that they all represent an aspect of Batman, and even top it. Dick Grayson is an acrobat, far more skillful than Bruce. Jason has a natural drive to rid of crime, and goes even beyond that, by not being afraid of eliminating the bad guys.
Tim Drake, detective skills complimented even by Ra’s Al Ghul, maybe even better than Bruce’s. Barbara, daughter of a legendary GCPD officer/commissioner, has a photographic memory which Bruce still has to constantly train. Cassandra Cain has the superhuman ability to read body movement and mimic her opponent’s abilities, making her a dangerous combatant.
And last but not least, Damian Wayne, son of Batman and grandson of Ra’s Al Ghul. Like his father before him, a representative of peak human intellect and physical achievements, also engineered to be a perfect physical specimen. It would not be entirely wrong to assume that together they make a better Batman than Bruce, and I think that the time has come for them to give Bruce the peace he deserves.
One final point would be the stories that these characters bring. While his sidekicks are amazingly developed and have gone through rough individual evolutions, they also showed incredible potential to have not only standalone books but their own roster of bad guys. Not that Batman is a bad character, but he has been explored entirely. Dick Grayson is a more compelling individual since he’s relatively fresh in comparison and has his own city to protect now.
Same could be said for Jason Todd and the fact that he’s considered the wicked Robin. Not afraid to kill when necessary, and having a hard time dealing with his emotions and whether or not to follow Bruce’s footsteps, Red Hood makes the case for an intriguing fellow who maybe should be the one to be in charge of Gotham after Bruce retires.
Tim Drake has [spoiler] finally escaped Mr. Oz’s prison, and I personally can’t wait to see how he evolves further on in the Rebirth storyline. And Damian is having an incredible run so far; with Super Sons alongside Jonathan Kent Superboy and Teen Titans. He has gone from an annoying and snarky brat to a slightly less annoying, snarky fan favorite.
Do you feel like Bruce Wayne should pass on the mantle, and to whom? When Rebirth wraps up, let’s hope we get our answers then.