The Batman may have settled [SPOILER] – But is it too soon?

The Batman sets up a whole future for the Dark Knight, with The Joker, Penguin, and potentially others providing chaos and fan service to Gotham.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Batman, in theaters now.

It’s been said by many that Batman has the best rogues gallery of any hero in comics, given their unique complexity as well as Gotham City’s penchant for breeding a particular strain of criminal madness. The Dark Knight’s antagonists reflect a twisted garden of the human psyche brainwashed in the shadows and nurtured in the cesspools of city corruption. The Batman, directed and written by Matt Reeves, is heavily influenced by Jeph Loeb’s work in the comics and Christopher Nolan’s realistic version of Batman in film. These touchstones naturally invite comparisons between previous incarnations or contextualize the villainy of the city as a whole and Reeves’ vision successfully launched an entire series for one of Gotham’s infamous underbelly denizens thanks to a will sheer creativity and strength of Colin Farrell’s portrayal.


Along with infusing a brutally dark patina on the world at large where even daylight seems to be sprinkled with twilight, Reeves has also explored the heroic side of this dark room. Alfred is brimming with restrained fatherly affection, the former and future police commissioner exudes endless patience and earnestness, and the idealistic new mayor seems poised to make well-meaning reforms that will make a difference in people’s lives. Hidden among each of these powerful figures is a boy who remains mute throughout the film but whose presence tickles the possibility of becoming Batman’s greatest ally.


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Mayor Mitchell's son from The Batman

The Riddler’s first victim was Don Mitchell Jr., the mayor of Gotham City, who was killed on Halloween. His body was found by his young son after returning from trick or treatment, his father’s face mummified in silver duct tape, tattooed in scarlet ink in bold letters. Batman lingers at the crime scene as he greets the child, transported to the similarities of his own bloody past. Later in the film, at the mayor’s funeral, Bruce Wayne made a rare public appearance to pay his respects, though in truth he expected the Riddler to show up. When he does so with a literal crush of the dark event, Bruce saves the boy’s life by pushing him out of the way of a speeding car that has sped into the cathedral’s inner sanctum. At the end of the film, when Batman attempts to protect the innocent from the Riddler’s latest gamble, it’s Mitchell’s son who reaches out first and agrees to be led to safety by this violent man in a cape and cowl.


Her on-screen utility, in frequency and emotional impact, seemed to point to an importance to the character that eagle-eyed viewers took notice and theories began to take flight. It has been widely reported that Reeves stipulated from the outset that if he were to take part in this project, his adaptation should be isolated from the established DC iterations of these characters. It would leave the door open for anyone other than Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, or Tim Drake to step through and take on Robin’s identity in an entirely new way that would tie him to one of the most notorious villains in history. Batman. Neither Nolan’s nor Snyder’s interpretation of the Dark Knight included his sidekick, so the opportunity to approach this character specifically in the grittier realism of Gotham’s neo-modern dark protector could have been a thrilling challenge.


Sean O’Connell of The Reelblend podcast interviewed Matt Reeves and asked him directly if there were any plans to turn Mitchell’s son into the Robin of his universe and Reeves answered bluntly with a no, although he was very intrigued by the idea. He stipulated that the boy is meant to serve as a substitute for Bruce’s vulnerability, an acknowledgment of Batman’s origins without spending time in a Crime Alley flashback. Alfred’s connection to the child, vicariously through the monitoring contact lenses Batman uses in the film, creates connective tissue between him and Bruce as they substitute the boy’s experience for their own shared trauma. .


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first year batman

The events of this particular adaptation could be called Batman: Year Two, as the caped crusader still finds his way around his hometown and creates a sense of normalcy around his presence, especially when it comes to the police department. At this point, Commissioner Gordon is still a lieutenant and while he still serves as Batman’s liaison to legitimate law enforcement, his hideout hasn’t achieved the fairness it will one day enjoy. Batman’s interaction in police affairs has always been a balance of tolerance and encouragement, but Reeves clarifies that right now this is seen as an affront by most of Blue’s men and women. There’s even a brief on-screen expression where Batman seems intimidated by the height of a skyscraper and tentatively throws himself from it before activating a balloon wingsuit.

Given that the Dark Knight is still in its infancy, it may be premature to begin shaping the relationship he would cultivate with a service he is tasked with raising during the day and perfecting a weapon at night. Although a sequel has yet to be announced, a sequel will almost certainly be in the works given the success of the film and the work that has gone into leading up to its release to tell other stories in this version of the Batman universe. . Using any real estate in the next film to create this rapport might seem undeserved when there is still a lot to do for Bruce and Batman to grow, especially since this film leaned so heavily on its true detectives. . Though he thwarted the Riddler’s puzzles at every turn, there was a moment of second-hand embarrassment when the Penguin had to call Batman and Gordon over their inability to translate a single sentence of Spanish.


The Batman tackles issues of class division and Bruce’s privileged seat within it in a way not unlike Todd Phillips Joker. Batman introduces himself early in the film as Vengeance, but by the end he realizes that this designation falls well short of what he wants and needs to become to affect the kind of change Gotham deserves. At this point, it seems more natural for Batman to come to terms with his own soul before meeting the needs of someone who will be so completely dependent on him. One day, Reeve’s Batman may become a kindred spirit as a ward and apprentice, but that should be once he gains a better understanding of the enemies that stand against him, the true needs of his city, and his own vulnerabilities.

To see the Robin that never was, The Batman is in theaters now.

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