Why The Batman Is a Bruce Wayne Origin Story, Not a Dark Knight Beginning

In the swath of obscure trailers for Matt Reeves' The Batman, fans are constantly guessing what secrets Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) will chase courtesy of Paul Dano's Riddler. It's a cat-and-mouse game that brings in Selina Kyle/Catwoman as well. But while this movie is being pushed as another beginning for the Dark Knight, it may actually be an origin story for the real Bruce Wayne.

Thus far, Bruce has been steeped in the muck and mire of his parents' murders, hiding away in his mansion, even alienating a worried Alfred as he goes about his vigilante crusade. In the latest trailer for The Batman, though, Alfred has to remind him that he's still a Wayne in what could be more than a throwaway line as Bruce holds up a button with his family's "W" insignia.

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It may be the butler hoping Bruce will reduce lurking in the shadows to fix crime, but it could also hint at a story of identity that has not really been done in cartoons and films. Seeing as lies are a big theme in The Batman, one of Riddler's bombshells could be that Bruce isn't a true Wayne, deepening the chasm to Thomas and Martha. It'd affect the vigilante's psyche and give Riddler a visceral edge, having the Bat question his reason for living.

This embattled purpose has been touched on in Sean Gordon Murphy's Batman: White Knight, where the Waynes' past was rewritten to make their ancestors thieves. It left Bruce desperately trying to rebuild himself, and from jail, he gave his fortune away to replenish Gotham. Now, if Bruce discovers he's adopted or that the Waynes were criminals, it'd rock his world and leave him struggling to rise up from an empire of lies.

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Whether he's blood or not, Bruce may want to break away from the family history, maybe even wanting to kill the Wayne identity off. It'd explain why Alfred's so concerned at this rebirth, and what could be the next step in Bruce's quest for his true identity could turn him into more monster than man -- possibly, what Riddler's big plan has been all along.

Conversely, family dynasties and blood legacies don't need to be what defines the future, so this path would allow Bruce to try to be the first Wayne to do it right. Given he isn't into charity and such yet, audiences might see him letting go of the scars Alfred begged him to, thus revealing the best version of Bruce.

As such, it'd subvert the usual schtick where the journey of self-discovery and identity is always focused on the Bat and not vice versa, But by having Bruce learning to be more human and less Bat, Reeves would produce something fresher, thought-provoking and way more cerebral than what came before, helping to make Batman more of a hero than an anti-hero amid Gotham's chaos.

To see what direction Bruce Wayne goes in, The Batman hits theaters on March 4, 2022.

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Renaldo Matadeen (7335 Articles Published)

I'm a former Chemical Engineer. It was boring so I decided to write about things I love. On the geek side of things, I write about comics, cartoons, video games, television, movies and basically, all things nerdy. I also write about music in terms of punk, indie, hardcore and emo because well, they rock! If you're bored by now, then you also don't want to hear that I write for ESPN on the PR side of things. And yes, I've written sports for them too! Not bad for someone from the Caribbean, eh? To top all this off, I've scribed short films and documentaries, conceptualizing stories and scripts from a human interest and social justice perspective. Business-wise, I make big cheddar (not really) as a copywriter and digital strategist working with some of the top brands in the Latin America region. In closing, let me remind you that the geek shall inherit the Earth. Oh, FYI, I'd love to write the Gargoyles movie for Disney. YOLO. That said, I'm on Twitter @RenaldoMatadeen. So holler.

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