Give DC Comics credit. In an effort not to be outdone by Marvel Comics recent killing of Captain America, DC Comics has stirred up all sorts of media attention by killing off Batman. Of course, no one on the planet believes Batman is actually dead. After The Dark Knight raked in over half a billion dollars this summer to become the second highest grossing movie of all time, Batman is likely more invulnerable than Superman in the comic book world.
If you haven’t picked up Batman #681 yet or read any of the thousands of media headlines spoiling the ending of the comic, then you might want to stop reading now, because we are about to cover exactly how Batman was supposedly killed. Batman wasn’t shot through the heart or decapitated, but instead he perished in a fiery helicopter crash. You know, one of those fiery helicopter crashes where any bodies recovered will of course be charred beyond recognition.
Everyone in the comic book world knows what is going to happen next. Nightwing, who is really Dick Grayson who was the original Robin, will become the new Batman. This much was already foreshadowed in Batman #681 as Nightwing was shown looking at Batman’s cape and cowl. Before Dick Grayson jumps into the role however, DC Comics will hold a “Battle for the Cowl” storyline to draw things out and sell a lot of comics.
Could it be that DC Comics has really killed off Bruce Wayne, but Dick Grayson will be the Batman going forward? Of course not, Bruce Wayne will always be Batman. Expect Dick Grayson to wear the Batman mask for about a year, which is just about how long comic fans will gobble up every issue before starting to miss the original Batman. Then, Bruce Wayne will re-appear and re-claim the Batman cape and cowl in another media-hyped event.
While there are numerous superheroes where the man behind the mask could easily be replaced, Batman is not one of them. What makes the Batman character great is the psychologically damaged, mentally unbalanced, but extremely driven Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne is the world’s greatest detective, which is something that Dick Grayson will never be.
Another reason that Bruce Wayne will eventually have to become the Batman again is that everyone knows there will be another Batman movie, and Christian Bale is the best actor to ever play Batman. Because to replace Bruce Wayne in the movie franchise would mean replacing Christian Bale, it just isn’t going to happen. And when the third movie comes out, DC Comics will want to make sure the secret identity of Batman in the comics is the same as the one in the movies, so new readers jumping onboard won’t get confused.