It looks like the Batman from the Flashpoint timeline, that world's version of Thomas Wayne, may have come to the DC Universe.
Spoilers ahead for Batman #50, on sale today.
In the final pages of Batman #50, Catwoman realizes that Batman needs his "misery" in order to be Batman, and calls off their engagement. After she does so, it appears as though everything -- the romance, the engagement, and the cancellation -- was part of a grander scheme by Bane to "break" Batman again.
One of his allies? The "Flashpoint" Batman.
Flashpoint was a 2011 event miniseries in which The Flash traveled back in time to save his mother from being murdered at the hands of a time-traveling supervillain. He succeeded, but the butterfly effect from doing so badly damaged the timestream. Stuck in a horrifying alternate timeline with no powers and a very limited amount of time before he would eventually forget the "real" timeline, The Flash turned to Batman for help...
...only to discover that the Batman of the new timeline was no longer Bruce Wayne but his father Thomas. Bruce had died years ago during a mugging gone wrong, and it drove both of his parents over the edge, creating Batman (Thomas) an The Joker (Martha).
Thomas, upon learning about the main DC Universe, agreed to help bring his own world to an end in order to save a timeline where things weren't so hopeless, and Bruce had survived.
Later, The Flash and Batman (this time Bruce, and this time in the regular timeline) would team up to investigate a mysterious smiley-face button, dabbed with a drop of blood, which had appeared in the Batcave from another time and place. During the course of their investigation, Bruce Wayne and Barry Allen ended up face to face with the Flashpoint Batman, who sacrificed himself -- and had some advice for his son as he did.
"Don't be Batman," he said. "Find happiness, please..."
Bruce did find happiness, with Selina, and then she left him, thinking that being with her would stop him from being Batman. That doing so would "kill" Batman.
"Let the Batman die with me" were the very final words Thomas Wayne ever spoke to his son.
And now, at the moment Bane has manipulated Catwoman into leaving Batman, effectively sealing his unhappiness and his Batman-ness in stasis...there is Thomas Wayne standing shoulder to shoulder with Bane's people.
Why? It's not clear at this point. Did he have a change of heart, like Jor-El seems to have had? Is he a mole in Bane's operation? Working with Catwoman? Or was that first comment, somehow, improbably, part of Bane's whole plan?9comments
Either way, it is clear that the scene from "The Button," in which Thomas Wayne talks about "killing" Batman so that Bruce can find individual happiness, is being intentionally mirrored in Batman #50.
It is possible -- maybe even likely -- that the figure standing in Bane's lair is not Flashpoint's Thomas Wayne but someone else in his costume, either in order to weaponize Bruce's feelings for his father or just so that DC can keep using a popular costume design. In any event, it seems we might take as long as fifty more issues to find out exactly what the plan is here.