Batman's secret identity shocker
November 4th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Batman's secret identity shocker

He's been dead and back again, and now Bruce Wayne has made an announcement that will send shockwaves through the comic book world.

"Batman and Robin" #16, which went on sale Wednesday, ends with a press conference put on by Wayne, which DC Comics editor-in-chief Bon Harras called "a game-changer," not to mention "one of the top 10 moments of Batman's career."

Harras told CNN, "Bruce announces to the world that he’s been funding Batman all these years and he's taking this crime fighting globally."

In other words, this is the first time the names Bruce Wayne and Batman are synonymous in the DC universe (which is owned by Time Warner, the owner of CNN). It's just the latest twist in an epic story arc written by comics icon Grant Morrison. "He’s been taking Bruce on a journey," said Harras. "He wanted to change the way Bruce looks at the world."

Harras said that Bruce - whom he pointed out is a "master tactician" - will begin a worldwide search for others to fill the mantle... or mantles, rather, of the Bat. "He is changing his persona from that of a playboy to saying he is socially responsible," he explained. "He's saying, 'I have a goal, and part of that is funding Batman."

For well over a year now, Bruce's former sidekick Dick Grayson has been Batman in the pages of the comics, but now that Batman will be more than one person, not to mention a corporate entity (the title of the new series "Batman, Inc." says it all), how will people react?

"There will be ripple effects on cast members of the Batman storyline, not to mention for fellow heroes and villains," Harras said. "The heroes all know each other. There will be an impact, because what Bruce has done is a radical change."

What do you think of this new plot twist? Do you like the idea of there being Batmen all over the world? Or do you prefer the Dark Knight fighting a one-man battle? And what about this big change for the character of Bruce Wayne? Share your view in the comments.

soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. BD

    The reality is that Batman lost its mystique when Bruce first left the scene during Knightfall, IMO; its all been downhill from there.

    I miss the days of the dark brooding bat....RIP

    November 23, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    Wannabe spiderman story arc. Sucks because Batman was one of the few good heroes in the DC universe. Pretty sad when even superman stories start looking good compared to batman.

    November 20, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. Erebusd13

    Batman as an individual is a vigilante who often commits morally debatable actions in working towards what he believes to be the greater an individual it makes him interesting and heroic as an organization it makes him a fascist (which I think will be the ultimate end of this arc).

    November 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ender

    Is the idea of an army of bat men (or batboys)? Is our Bat memory SO short term that we actually consider this a novel idea? In fact, excepting Batman Beyond, where he passes the mantle to just one boy, don't MOST future portrayals depict this exact same thing happening? Absolute Justice? Millers Dark knight books? Hello!? Not necessarily shocking.

    November 16, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nighthhaawk

    I realize the goal is to sell comics..but the WB corporation is sacrificing the essence of the Batman character. I won't be reading this either.

    November 16, 2010 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bgg1175

    Morrison is just one of many talentless and unimaginative people in the comic book industry who masqerade as artists and writers! Some children play with toys creatively. Sometimes a kid with a cool toy comes up and asks " Can I play?" But he cant play creatively, he starts knocking toys around and the only thing they are able to think of doing with their toys is to break, burn, and mutilate them. Morrison, and most of todays comic writers do just that. They cant play with Batman, Superman or Captain America. But they can break them and mutilate them and because they are the 1st to do so, their messes are called groundbreaking. Nevermind that their mutilations, though interesting to see, are not entertaining, or interesting. What comic fan considers The Deaths of Superman, Captain America and Batman and other recent shock and awe comic gimmicks to be worth reading after the story ends? Truly great and legit writers like Stan Lee, create real stories with real imagination that flows with drama and excitement! Todays comic writers are perhaps more schooled than Stan. They may have learned the proper way to structure stories or maybe not. But you cant go to school and learn how to create as a writer. You have it, or you dont! So, it seems that if one such as Grant Morrison, cannot create, then they destroy! They write stories that maim, mutilate and destroy the creations of truly talented creators and writers! It's all they can think of. No imagination. No creativity. Just a desire to make money as a writer who cannot write. A talentless person who cannot play with ideas nor create them but can only break the ideas of others and hope they shock you with their ability to do nothing but pervert anothers creation and hope you cant see through their smoke and mirrors. Yes they do things with characters that no one has done before them. But not because they are creative, but because the true writers who created the worlds and creations they incompetently attempt to play with, were too busy creating to destroy!

    November 15, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. scroo yoo

    It still looks better than the electric supes they came out with 15 years ago

    November 13, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. David Hunter

    I feel this is not the diraction that Batman should go but it may be whats needed to re-invigorate the character and open it up to a wider audience.

    I dont like the people who say they "stopped reading Batman for a while" your either a fan or not.

    November 8, 2010 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Nighthhaaawk

      I will always be a fan of the Caped Crusader/Dark Knight.. I just vote on what I like and dislike as anyone else does... with my hard-earned cash!

      November 16, 2010 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. Charlie

    Weird... Batman funds the justice league. Isn't this the same concept? Redundant?

    November 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. me

    I'm not a comic book guy, but I've read a handful of the more prominent DC Graphic Novels, and I've loved every bit of Bruce Timm's work.

    To me, this sounds horrible. In the DCAU the whole schtick with Batman was that he was just one man who managed to do exceptional things. The Amanda Waller speech in "Epilogue" summed up what us millions of casual fans love about the character. Something like this undoes that all.

    But personally, I think it's a little farfetched how big his circle is in the DCU even before "going global." You take a vigilante like Huntress who somewhat believes in murder, the Batman I know would put her in handcuffs rather than use her on his team...

    November 6, 2010 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. Victor

    Vigilantism is illegal. Bruce must have some pretty damn good lawyers because he is going to get lawsuits from all over the place. Just imagine, all those crooks he's beatn up over the years can now go to court and file for damages against Wayne Enterprises because they were unding the guy that put them in traction for over a year.

    This storyline is so crazy. Morrison has gone of the deep end and made a mockery out of everything that made Batman the awesome and fersome urban myth he always was. Now he's just another corporate stooge easily duplicated and merchandised globally.

    It's a monumental change allright Mr. harras, a monumentally bad one!!!!

    November 5, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. eGG

    I hate this whole story arc. I miss stories like The Long Halloween. This story is just dumb. I hate Damian. I feel like it's a Iron Man comic without Tony or Robots. It blows. I hope to God this doesn't last long.

    November 5, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. paperbulletbice

    The actions of Batman have always been illegal. Wayne Enterprises is not invincible, and it would not survive advocating vigilantism at a local level, much less across the world. Bad idea.

    November 5, 2010 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. boatguy1326

    The multiple Batman thing sounds interesting. However, keeping the fact that there are more than one would have been even better. Batman, seemingly everywhere, would have built on the "urban legend" mystery that makes Batman unique.

    November 5, 2010 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tonmoy

    Batman is an 'unique human being'. Forged by the personal tragedy and charactaristics of Bruce Wayne. I do think introducing multiple Batman-s will make it 'light'.

    November 5, 2010 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  16. DPD


    November 4, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  17. museonpac

    This sucks

    November 4, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Meg Mo

    I like their being one Batman... But I love the dark Robin 😉

    November 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Seán

    Mad!First iron man copies the Batman billionaire idea know DC copies the Iron Man idea!This should hav been a elseworlds story!Bad idea!

    November 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  20. guitarharry

    The good thing about comics is they can always "undo" a storyline; this is fantasy fiction, after all. I noticed a few years' back, the Superman writers decided to revise the look/tone of Clark's home planet Krypton–they tossed the visuals created by artist John Byrne (which had been heavily influenced by the Christopher Reeve movies' look) The current Krypton looks something like the "old" Krypton from the '60's Superman. If Batman, Inc. doesn't work, they will just rewrite it and say the whole thing was Bruce's demented nightmare, all caused by the Scarecrow poisoning the well at Wayne Manor, or something.

    November 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • yubaraj

      very funny, but batman rocks, and the greatest thing is we , the true believers are ready to accept even that , in case DC announces it.......

      November 5, 2010 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  21. Steven Seagal

    How many of you middle age men who still read comic books are currently living in your mom's basement?

    November 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zur En Arrh

      That's funny, considering Seagal's an avid comic book collector, as well as a fan of vintage guitars. How many of you jock boneheads are still stuck in the stone age, and afraid to embrace your childhood?

      November 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • b badger

      Good point! How many of you are fat jocks living with your parents trying to relive your high school days?

      November 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven Seagal

      You're a goob for knowing that Seagal collects comic books. Ever hear of irony? Perhaps there's a little in my nom du'jour.

      November 4, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1badbat

      Seagal's comment sounds more like Someone looking for a companion, probably looking for a shmuck much like themselves......comics rock!!!!ahahaha

      November 4, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1badbat

      Zur En Arrh, B Badger.....NICE!!!!!!!

      November 4, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  22. ororoson

    Not a fan of this storyline at all.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Choomba

    The first time a Batman dies on Bruce's watch, This batmen incorporated will end, bruce will blame himself, and he'll continue his one man war on crime. Batman is the epitome of human ability. I can see Dick and even Tim taking up the mantle...but what about Jason Todd going nuts and doing it himself. Multiple batmen going vigilante, or even worse The Bat Lantern Corp. I love the character but I dont see how this is going to be anything less than hoakey or more than a disaster

    November 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Dave

    Bruce Wayne distanced himself as much as possible from his Batman persona so people would not connect the two. Now with his "coming out" as a financier of Batman it will be much easier to do so. He may not be able to be kidnapped because he is Batman, but if he wanted people to know he was Batman he would have stated that instead of stating he was the main financier of Batman. I dont care for the direction and I stopped reading Batman a while ago. This started out with Batman volunteering for a supposed government mind project, which I found to be stupid on Batman's part. because he would never volunteer for such a thing. Its just way too much and sort of silly. Morrison's story arch called the black hand I think, had Batman meeting other Bat-type vigilantes on an island and I had a hard time buying that goofy scheme. Morrison is rewriting the silver aged stories for a modern era and I dont think it translates well as the character of Bruce/Batman and comes off as another DC gimmick for publicity.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Jeeper

    Well this does it. It kills Batman for me. I would have preferred they just stop writing the comic instead of this. It's all about money and an ADD nation. It mimics a nation that damns it's own heroes and fuzzies everything.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Well

    I don't really like it, or dislike it for that matter. It gives Bruce Wayne a more real, human-like persona. Who could really be out watching crime from the roof-tops of Gotham at 80 years old? But then again, Batman has always been different than any other hero. To see Batmen, well, quite frankly it sounds absurd.

    November 4, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  27. screengeek

    It reminds me of Tyler Durden in Fight Club setting up franchises in other parts of the world. It kind of makes Bruce Wayne a more legendary figure.

    November 4, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  28. HMMMM

    Knock off of Ironman? If anything Marvel rips major storylines from DC all the time. The whole idea of being trapped in time by a bullet was done in Final Crisis before it was done in the death of Captain America.

    If you read the series, it explains that Bruce Wayne has realized that the world needs Batmen rather than "Batman." The Road Home showed that all of the people who he has worked with have taken control of the mantle just fine and lived up to his legendary reputation. That is why he's making Batman Incorporated.

    Also, Bruce Wayne would not be a liability...he's still Batman...people kidnapping him would not stand a chance. I'm stoked, Grant Morrison typically is really out there when it comes to stories but I feel that this is the next logical step in the Batman franchise.

    November 4, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  29. Batman

    Before anyone criticizes me about not knowing what I'm talking about. I admit I did not re-read my comment until I had posted it. I mistakenly typed in Grayston and it should be Grayson.

    November 4, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  30. Batman

    I don't like this at all. The thing that makes Bruce Wayne the Batman that he is was the death of his parents & his solemn vow that they would be avenged & no one would have to go through what he went through. The Batman is a symbol, a legend & an icon & no one, I don't care who they are will ever be able to fill his shoes in the way that he has. Dick Grayston pulls off a great Batman but not even Dick who knows him better than anyone could be as good as the one true Batman. I agree with the others that the great icons of DC should be left alone. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman & the like have been an inspiration to all of us who have read their books over the years. I am now 42 years old & I still love reading comic books & always will but how they have treated these heroes in recent years saddens me to no end. Their motives aren't about honoring these heroes but about making money which is something they do need to think about but it isn't the only thing they should be thinking about.

    November 4, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • 1badbat


      November 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonmoy

      very well put! totally agree!

      November 5, 2010 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
    • bat_fan

      i agree.

      batman and bruce wayne have always been two sides of the same coin, and no one can ever BE BATMAN other than bruce wayne. though i will suspend judgment on this new story arc until i read it, i must say that i am concerend that this arc may dilute the batman mythos.

      November 8, 2010 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
  31. Elwood

    I think it would be cool for the "bat" to sread out. Would this mean that the actual Bruce Wayne personna would turn in his cape and cowell or will he still be running the night? If that would be the case, I feel it would be hard press to sell the hard core Batman fans...

    November 4, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  32. Torsten Adair

    Well, DC did try this last year, in the little-read "The Web" series.

    And Lex Luthor, via his Team Luthor security units, has also done something similar.

    This will be much more interesting. What sort of liability will Wayne Enterprises have? Will Lucius Fox have a larger role to play? How will LexCorp react?

    November 4, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  33. falcon

    big mistake...but if its done then its done...the bats is a master of his own making, powered by his unmoveable will. all of the bats skills traits and knowledge can not be found in any other beings...multiple clones would have served a better for bruce coming out the closet smh no no no he has now become a victim giving batman a weakness...cant see this being a success, but good luck, and i hope ill enjoy it...

    November 4, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • 1badbat

      Totally agree with you, now Bruce WILL be a target and soon everyone will find the Cave and Batman will be ruined by this Crap Writer. Unfortunatly I will buy them.....

      November 4, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Bruce Wayner

    I feel it is a knock off of Marvel"s IRON MAN. The whole storyline is Tony Starkish. First they destroy wonder woman, then superman, now Batman. I will never buy another DC COMIC again. Some things and legends should be left alone.

    November 4, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  35. Robert

    Its a statement. One man can make a difference. But a team can change the world. With something to stand for...but are we looking at a watchmen twist?

    November 4, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  36. Jim

    This whole storyline has taken away the essence of the Batman character. Batman/Bruce Wayne has always been a hero who hid in the shadows and fought crime his own way. Making Batman a brand in the comics takes away everything Batman stood for.

    November 4, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • ororoson

      Couldnt agree more. I wont be reading this.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • pariah

      Batman has always been the idea of humanity perfected and that is what Morrison has been exploring in his story, so it is not out of left field and it does not change the character. Morrison is playing with the idea of perfect man, and now he is demonstrating how this perfect man and affect global change. It is just and extension of what Batman always was.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Porage

    Batman is cool.

    November 4, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  38. Heather

    I think that he /shouldn't/ let everyone that joins his little Batman Inc be called Batman. Perhaps, like that show a few years ago, I don't remember what it was called..Anyway, it was based in the future and Batman had these other heros helping him out. Ex: The Raven. I think that each of the seperate heros should get seperate names. -Nods.-

    November 4, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • pariah

      The do all have separate names, there are two Batmen, but the other heroes will not be more Batman. El Gaucho, Mr. Unknown, Knight, Squire, etc. etc. etc.
      It is an expanded take on Morrison's Batmen of many countries joke.
      There are not going to be a bunch of actual Batman. Heroes from other countries are going to be deputized by Bruce.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  39. CompuDoc

    There is a real problem here, everyone knows that Bruce would know who all the batmen were, putting him at risk of being kidnapped, tortured, ostracized by other companies and millionaires. People would try to track his buying and be able to imitate his tech, corporate espionage could reveal who some or all of the batmen were and therefore attack those close to them. Alfred could be at risk, people could hold him for ransom to find out who is behind the mask.

    Too many risks in this whole "I am the money behind Batman and am hiring more to wear the cowl"
    I guess I am old school, keep the mask on, keep fighting.

    November 4, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  40. jake

    so nice,we like it so much!

    November 4, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  41. chester

    I think it might work but I will still love the one man batman because he stood for something and he was feared by a lot of people even superman to change him is like changing Pepsi it won't be the same it will be a cheap knock off and we know the original is always better!

    November 4, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  42. Masse7326

    I like it. I am a DC lover and whatever they do, they know how to do it and do it well. Their must be a bigger picture than this. We might see Tim Drake/Wayne finally take over the mantle of his adopted father, Bruce Wayne. I'd love to see this!

    November 4, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  43. Shaun

    He didn't reveal himself as Batman just that he was funding the project so to speak. I don't know if I like the idea of there being multiple individuals becoming Batman but it will be interesting to see how it plays out. It seems like it will just dilute what makes Batman unique. Has too much of an Ironman feel to the way its being portrayed.

    November 4, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • celticfaerie

      I kind of agree, but then I also really love the Dick/Damian combo. I'm just not sure it would work out to have a dark, brooding Batman AND a dark, brooding Robin. I feel so conflicted!

      November 4, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Shaun J

      I totally agree with you Shaun, Bats have been and still is one of the pillars of the DC universe and this move might shake up his following alot!!

      November 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Tron5000

    Read the issue yesterday. Heck, I've read the whole story that Morrison's been building for 5 years. And it's been awesome.

    Really looking forward to this new stage of Batman's evolution.

    November 4, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  45. Tom

    Eh, I prefer the superheroes not to age, get old, die, and pass the mantle.

    November 4, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |

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