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Upcoming Batman TV series
Catwoman will be a tragic CharacterIt is confirmed she will appear as a child in this, so they will give her an origin. This origin will make her an sympathetic future antagonist.
Gordon will lose his eyesight.Thus he will need his iconic glasses.
Bruce Wayne was born with a skin membrane similar to the sort a flying squirrel or other gliding mammal hasIt was never removed with surgery. When his parents died, the combination of possessing it and seeing that bat come through the window inspired him to adopt his bat motif ( because Flying-Squirrel-Man isn't as intimidating ) . If Bruce needed to escape very badly, while held hostage in a tall building, he could glide away out a window.
A meta example, Harley Quinn is a wish fulfillment/take that towards Joker fans
Helena Kyle traveled through time after being separated from her mother, eventually become the Huntress.
Bruce Wayne murdered his parents for the inheritance money, and went insane with grief afterwords.
Robin doesn't exist.The Flying Graysons either didn't have a son, or that son died too. When Bruce saw the dying Graysons at the circus, he flashed back to that painful memory when his parents died. This led him to hallucinate a child who wanted revenge for his parents murder, just like young Bruce. Basically the Robin hallucination is what Wayne wishes he could have been when his parents died but couldn't due to lack of training and skills. That is "Robin" is a manifestation of a repressed element of his personality. The original Robin is Bruce's childhood happiness that was destroyed by the murder of his parents, as well as his belief that his parents could be quickly avenged. "Jason Todd" is a reflection of Bruce's early bratty personality and "Tim Drake" is an reflection of Bruce's innate intelligence. Together they paint a portrait of the Bruce Wayne who lost his parents all those years ago. He was a happy child, if occasionally moody/given to temper tantrums, and very bright. All of the other sidekicks are additionally either parts of Bruce's tortured personality, or remnants of memories of his lost parents.
The Joker is so insane that he doesn't just see his own delusions, but the delusions of other mentally ill characters as well.
Batman created Bruce WayneAll of Batman's back-story is just an illusion created by himself to try to gain trust, justification, and admiration from the public (comic book audience, aka YOU) and from supers, hence why they often seem distant to batman when not discussing things, etc. Batman only SEEMS to not be a super, for he is the most ultimate human mentally and his real power lies in his ability to manipulate everything without anyone's knowledge.
The Joker is infused with the power of The First Evil.After getting his ass kicked in The Buffyverse, he ran to the DCU and found himself a new insane, homicidal nutjob to give his power to.
The current Jason Todd isn't the real oneHis body maybe that of the original, but his spirit might not be the same. It's possible that it's a different soul who believes he's Jason.
The real reason the 60s series hasn't been released on video? They can't afford itIt's so cheesy that they need to include a case of wine with every DVD.
Batman has a What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? Super Power.That is, the ability to see 1 second into the future. However, via his training and reflexes, he can exploit this to kick your ass. How? He sees you about to hit him a second early, and there for dodges right then, dodging your attack. He can only be caught off guard if you change a second before impact. Basically, he should be useless, but with training, he isn't.
Batman does not want to save Gotham. Gotham is a training grounds for his arms sales/holding cell for his army of villains.
Batman will posses Joker and force him to help him come back to lifeThey will have to share bodies. Maybe there will be a Sitcom. And Batman/Harley Quinn will become canon via Batman tricking Harley while possessing the Joker.
All the Jokers are good friendsThey have a pocket dimension where they have meetings. Mark Hamill's Joker and Heath Ledger's Joker seem like they would get along. This is how Joker knows Batman so well — he can talk about him with hundreds of himself.
Joker is DeadpoolHe escaped the Marvel Universe to escape someone, got plastic surgery and the next day became Joker due to some kind of accident. He went
Joker is Batman, and a god, and has pocket dimension meetings, and is DeadpoolOne day, Deadpool got godly powers. He created many dimensions based on his dreams and then went into one of them. He can hop around. In those dreams, he plays Bruce Wayne/Batman, the good part of his mind. He also, unknowingly, splits off his bad part, the Joker. Their fighting is part of his moral problems. The bad parts meet up to plot and talk.
Joker is the love child of Deadpool and DeathAs above, except the godly powers come built in!
Joker secretly came to our universe and read the Joker Immunity page, somehow giving him immortality.
Batman is a Furry.Note how the Detective has many qualities that are ascribed to the Furry Fandom. For example:
Bruce Wayne has crippling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, self-medicated by being a vigilante.This is practically canon, unspoken if not outright stated in many, many incarnations of Batman.
The Joker is Nyarlathotep's avatar.Both seem to exist just to cause chaos for the sake of chaos, and both are good at manipulating people, and talent for Gambit Roulette. Joker's makeup is like a mask, reference to the thousand-masked god, perhaps?
Batman is Siddhartha.After leading a sheltered life, Bruce Wayne came face to face with the harsh realities of the world all at once. Instead of seeing a sick old man, he saw his parents murdered, leading him to embrace violence as a means of escape rather than the life of an ascetic. He is currently partway down his road to enlightenment, at about the point when the original Buddha passed out in the stream. Soon, thanks to the grace of a woman (Leslie Thompkins?) who nurses him from near death, he will renounce his path of vengeance and go into isolation. He will emerge having discovered the Middle Way, as seen at the end of Kingdom Come. He eventually lead the other superheroes to Nirvana. This means he is also the Maitreya, the prophesied reincarnation of the Buddha.
Bruce was shot in that alley with his parents, and the entire DCU is his Dying Dream.Just the fantasy of a boy who read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy as a kid. That's why it started simple and optimistic, but keeps getting Darker and Edgier as his brain begins to lose function and his dreamworld falls apart...
The entire DCU is a delusion Bruce is having while locked up at an insane asylum for the rich.... Think about it. All the villains are based on his fellow inmates (it explains their own issues). Superman is the kindly idealistic male nurse father figure, while Wonder Woman is the motherly psychiatrist. The Flash is the resident chemist, and Green Lanterns are the guards. It started so optimistic because he was sent there as a child, but he is getting older. The crisis was him hitting puberty...
Batman will change his name to Bee-Man.He is obviously deeply traumatized by the Amazons' bee superweapon and will come to realize that the bees frighten people more than bats. He will change his name and thus become Bee-Man.
The Joker has No Fourth Wall.He seems perfectly aware of his status as Batman's nemesis and, despite being roundly trounced, continues trying to kill him. He makes multiple asides and comments about the inconsistency of history (for example, he lampshades his own multiple backstories). His recklessness comes from being aware of his Joker Immunity, but he knows it'll wear out if he stops trying to kill Batman. Joker's occasional refusal to kill Batman, his preventing other villains from killing Batman, and his habit of putting Batman in a Death Trap are due to uncertainty over whether he'll disappear if the comic ends.
The Dark Knight Returns and Kingdom Come are in the same continuity.Bruce Wayne's decision to retire from public (superheroic) life was just one step leading toward the events of Kingdom Come.
Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow? takes place in the same continuity as Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.Whatever Happened's main text takes place first. It's reasonable to assume that if Lois lied about Superman dying, then she lied about the Gold Kryptonite. In exchange for giving him a new identity, the government requested a few odd-jobs every now and then from Superman. Then, between Whatever Happened's main text and the frame story, the Dark Knight Returns. This requires that you disregard the Dark Knight Strikes Again, but would you miss it?
Helena Kyle's father will be retconned to be Bruce WayneDoes this even need an explanation? Selina's her mom; and before the first Crisis, her dad was Bruce. Besides, her life was in danger just for being the daughter of Catwoman. If she was known as the daughter of Batman as well? Slam Bradley agreed to be the father to cover up Helena's true lineage for her own protection.
Selina's daughter is Molly Hayes.The baby's appearance (brown-ish hair and green eyes) is similar to Molly's. Heck, take a look for yourselves. She's even got a little hat on in that page. Bruce was to hide her away mysteriously, he might have somehow arranged for the child to be transported through space and time into the Marvel Universe. What's a better hiding place than a completely different universe? And it's possible Molly's powers are not of the Marvelverse mutant variety, but of the metahuman kind. If you think about it, it makes sense. The Hayeses were having trouble conceiving and apparently couldn't due to their 'mutant powers'. It's possible they adopted or somehow came to possess her (i.e.: stealing her from the people Bruce had originally arranged to raise her), deciding to raise her and have her be spared by the Gibborim. They were even more shocked to find out she had powers of her own, which they might not have expected at all if she was not their biological child.
Billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne is the Batman!Just think about it, fellow Gotham residents! Have you ever seen Batman and Bruce Wayne together in the same room? And yet all other high-ranking people in the community are either confirmed or rumored to have associated with The Bat, including Commissioner Gordon himself. The strange bruises and cuts we see on Mr. Wayne's face and hands sometimes. The evidence points to only one conclusion!
The Joker is Beetlejuice.Specifically, Burton-movie-Joker. More specifically, he decides to become Betelgeuse once he meets the Celestial Bureaucracy after his hilarious cathedral-related demise. He used his new shapeshifting powers to make himself look just like Batman, just for kicks.
Batman is a Super SoldierThere's some evidence that Batman is using requisitioned military equipment. But what if it wasn't requisitioned? What if it was issued to him by the Government? He's clearly an experimental weapon in the War on Terror, surgically or chemically enhanced to superhuman levels (hence the superhuman feats). Five years from now, assuming the experiment is successful, every city will have its own Bat.
Batgirls are Super SpiesThe above also explains the three batgirls. They are closer to spy models (even if they can fight they shouldn't unless they have to)
The Joker is not human.The Joker is more than one person, both sequentially and simultaneously. The DC Universe is bordering on insane - normal people just can't cope with alien invasions, gods and demons, and superhuman battles on a daily basis - and it needs a safety valve. The Joker exists to bleed off insanity and is more of a psychic entity than anything else. Every time he "dies," a new manifestation emerges, either full-blown out of nowhere or, perhaps, possessing someone and transforming their body. This explains how he never stays dead for long and his wild variations in sanity, stated origin, methodology, purpose, appearance, motivation, and attitude. This also explains how sometimes, very different versions of him can appear simultaneously in different storylines in a short period of time. Either that, or it's just Gotham City that's insane, and the Joker is how that manifests.
Riddler, The Question? Same personLet's see:
The Riddler and Rorschach are the same personSame scheme as above, more messed-up result.
The Riddler is an alternate personality of Edward Nygma's.Riddler commits the crimes; Nygma leaves the clues.
The Joker has a Healing FactorThis is the simplest explanation for why he can "take a licking and keep on ticking," even after what should have been Certain Death. It's not even Power Creep, Power Seep: in his first appearance, the powers that be realized that this character was too good to kill off and, at the last minute, they inserted a final panel where a doctor examining the fatally-stabbed Joker shouts, "This man is going to live!!"
Batman is Patrick Bateman.Come on! Just drop the "E" and that's "Batman!" Could he make it any more obvious? Bateman's wealth would allow him develop all kinds of devices. And why else would Bateman work out so much? Or wander the streets late at night? How else can we explain the mysterious bloodstains on his clothing and person, except that he is fighting criminals? The Batsuit is as exquisitely tailored as any of Bateman's Armani. And the Batmobile - sheer style. Bateman is regularly mistaken for other Wall Street men - useful if one has an identity to conceal.
Alfred has magic powers.How else could a single senior citizen take care of an 80-room mansion?
Batman is a former supervillain in PurgatoryBecause we need to have at least one Purgatory theory. And because he's that morally ambiguous.
Batman's legendary preparedness is because he's aware of all his alternate incarnations.In every universe, there is a Batman/Bruce Wayne. Because he's aware of all of his realities, he's able to adapt to any situation because chances are he's already experienced it (in another world) or he's gone through something that's close enough. Since this includes the worlds where he's failed or become evil, his driving guilt - which has often been labeled as overblown, all things considered - extends to all of his lives, not just the one we're familiar with. This could be conscious or subconscious, by the way; if it's subconscious, then that explains why he's always surprised to meet his alternate selves.
Schrodinger's cat lives in Batman's tool belt and hands him stuff.That's why he always has the right tool for the job, no matter how random. (And yes, this does mean that his tool belt is bigger on the inside. That also explains how he went back in time to meet Neils Bohr.)
The Joker has escaped.One link above demonstrates that the Joker killed Heath Ledger. It doesn't mention that he did it on purpose, but he did. Why? He wanted to escape the fictional universe into the real world. He used Ledger's death as a springboard out. Where is he now? Secretly running Anonymous.
The Joker is black.It's not like we know his backstory. Everything is speculation. Maybe it was going from black to albino that really drove him insane.
If/when fan outrage about Bruce Wayne being dead occurs, he will be brought back......via a Black Lantern Ring. Because Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns influence each other, this could very well happen.
Simon Hurt was a reincarnated New God intentionally sent by Darkseid to break Batman.The whole purpose of the Black Glove (or if you prefer, the Club of Villains) was to break Batman so that he could be taken in by Darkseid to become the new soldier template. Why was he chosen? Because of his actions when Supergirl was reintroduced in Superman/Batman: he may have frightened Darkseid with a threat. (Darkseid admitted that he believed that Batman could blow up Apokalips.) Impressed, Darkseid wanted Batman's qualities for his minions.
Batman is a descendant of Sherlock Holmes.Let's face it, it's just too improbable that the two greatest detectives of their own time who also happen to be highly badass aren't connected.
Batman is a metahuman.Undiscovered by all, including himself, Batman has luck powers that were activated by the stress of his parents' deaths. He gets hurt or traumatized, but only in ways that eventually make him stronger. The metagene is not discovered because doing so would shatter his self-image as a Badass Normal and make him a less effective fighter, resulting in his getting killed; thus, it always produces a false negative when tested.
Dick Grayson will develop the Beyond Suit.After taking up the mantle of Batman, Dick has been upset with how the suit hinders his fighting style and capabilities. While he wants to live up to the visage of Batman, he'll eventually come to realize he needs to be his own Batman, not a copy of Bruce. This will lead him to develop the Batsuit seen in Batman Beyond (which, at least in design and idea of being a "future" Batman, is canon in the DCU), or at least a recognizable prototype. When one takes a good look at the suit, it really does look like the Nightwing suit, but with slight changes to make it distinctively a Batsuit.
The Bat-Shark-Repellent is really...Ground stout-punching fish. Hell, it makes as much sense as anything else in that movie.
Batman is deadly allergic to bees.That's why he was so freaked out by the Amazon superweapon. One bee-sting swells him up like a pufferfish. It's not like there is anything that says otherwise. And every superhero needs a Kryptonite Factor.
There are multiple Arkham Asylums around Gotham City.Ignoring all of the Depending on the Artist designs there are, it seems that the Asylum doesn't have a set location. It might just be outside of the city or a relatively long drive. The Arkham Family actually bought a bunch of locations to be used for the insane, but due to the numerous jail breaks that occur, at least one is open while the others are being fixed.
Batman is a member of the Wold Newton family.
Batman is a Time Lord.Think about it. How else can he be so Crazy-Prepared? Its because he comes back from the future, knowing exactly what is going to happen, and is able to determine exactly what he needs to counter it. The Batcave is his TARDIS, and Alfred and the Bat Family are his companions.
The Joker is 100% sane.Think about it, no doctor has ever been able to diagnose his actual mental illness, and he seems to be almost as Crazy-Prepared as Batman himself. He's just pretending to be mentally insane to disguise his true nature and make himself harder to stop. Why is he doing this? Because it's fun!
Dr. Chase Meridian from Batman Forever is an Elseworld Harley QuinnLet's see. A blond haired romantically obsessive psychiatrist? Where have we seen that before? Dr. Chase Meridian is a Harley who never met the Joker, and hence became obsessed with his nemesis. Remember, in that universe, the Joker died a long time ago. It's possible she changed her name from Harleen Quinzel ironically to avoid association with the late Mr. Napier.
Batman is a cat person.Which is why Schrodinger's cat lives in his tool belt.
The Joker is a Timelord.Obligatory.
Joker is a servant of Warhammer 40,000 god Tzeentch.He practically spells it out in The Dark Knight.
Joker is in fact VHe's crazy. And he's an anarchist, as said above about his statement in The Dark Knight. The reason he lost is because he is fighting against the wrong government (democracy instead of dictatorship), allowing morality to take effect.
Joker is AlfredBoth are thin and fit. Both super-smart. Both know Batman to his very core.
Batman did kill people at first.From Batman Forever:
Batman's "Death" is a Stable Time LoopThe Omega sanction not only kills a person but forces him to live lives that are progressively worse. Since he was sent back in time, he will eventually reach a life in which his wealthy and loving parents were killed in front of him causing him to become the caped crusader for the first time. If he ever gets brought back it'll create a time paradox based Crisis Crossover.
Batman is really a bat.When the bat during the famed "cowardly and superstitious lot" scene flew in the window, Bruce had a heart attack and died of fright. Guilt-stricken, the Bat hastily built a man suit and took the dead man's place. Not even Alfred knows, although he has his suspicions about how that guano keeps getting into Bruce's bedroom...
Batman needs Robin, but not in the way we thinkThis isn't my WMG, it's the WMG of Brendan McGinley at Cracked, but I'm cut-pasting it here anyway, with acknowledgments, because it rather fits the page. "Robin acts healthier than even the most unmolested teens. What gives? Something way weirder than a rentboy gig is going on here. Let's examine the facts:
In the Batman Forever movie, Bruce (and possibly Alfred) manipulated Dick to get him to become RobinBruce had witnessed the Graysons' deaths, noting the similarities to that of his own family. Even from that moment, he thought that this was a golden opportunity to get Dick's help in his crusade. At first, Dick wanted nothing to do with Bruce or Alfred until they both double-teamed him and managed to pretty much bribe him into staying (with promises of good food and a motorcycle). Alfred gives Dick a heartfelt speech about 'broken wings being able to mend' and promising that 'Robin will fly again', which probably got to him. They forbade him from entering a certain room that led into the batcave, which knowing a stubborn guy like Dick would make him deadset on going in. Everything was carefully planned and executed by Batman, despite his claims of not wanting a partner.
Jonathan Crane's little sister is going to grow up to be just as insane as anyone in Arkham.Sure, Scarecrow: Year One ends with that happy little domestic scene, but somewhere along the line, another writer will pick up on three things. 1. If her mother Karen's previous taste in men is any indication, it won't be long before she picks up another abusive white trash boyfriend who might, eventually, turn his abusive ways on his girlfriend's young daughter. 2. Karen kept in contact with the worthless piece of crap who knocked her up, but not her own son, which doesn't speak highly of her mothering skills. 3. The baby might have unconscious memories of her mother's white trash boyfriend (her dad?) getting killed with a ginormous knife (in the process of attacking her and her mother) and her own freakin' brother holding a gun on her until a guy in a bat costume swooped in to save the day. She looks like she's about eighteen months old when this happens. Plus, somewhere along the line she's gotta find out about her messed up family, right?
The Joker, Rorshach, Nite-Owl, The Riddler, Alfred, V, Tony Stark, Doc Samson, and Batman are all the same person.And he's very, very busy.
Batman is Malkavian.Despite looking relatively young, he's been around since the thirties and he is never seen during the day, so chances are good he is a vampire. Now the Malkavian part...
Bruce Wayne Jr.'s mom is....
The events of 1989 Batman and most of the events seen in Batman Returns occur in the same yearThe mayor seen in Batman 1989 was really in the midst of a reelection campaign. That's why he was so insistent on having the Anniversary Festival despite obvious problems, and why he has only now brought in someone like Dent to be the DA. But, possibly as a direct result of how the Mayor handled the Joker crisis, he loses to the Mayor seen in Batman Returns in November. Batman Returns mostly takes place in December of that year, but portions of it occur in January of the following year.
Batman actually has a wide variety of low-level superpowers.
The Joker has a daughter, who is Tsuruya from Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.Same hair color. Chronic laugh. The mother could have been a vampire, which would explain Tsuruya's fang.
Mr. Rogers is Batman.He has the training, after all.
Batman is an incarnation of the Eternal Champion and the Joker is an agent of ChaosAs per Michael Moorcock's multiverse. Law and Chaos are always in conflict, and the Eternal Champion is the one who brings balance to the conflict. Gotham was subjected to chaos-inducing insane criminals and freaks, and Batman is the Eternal Champion's incarnation who was sent to restore balance by strengthening Law. The Joker is probably the prime agent of Chaos in that universe.
Cassandra Cain is no longer in control of her bodyNear the end of her Batgirl series, Cassandra ends up in a battle next to the lazarus pit with her mother Shiva Wusa. She lost the fight but still crippled her mother. As an act of revenge Shiva took her daughter's body using the powers of the pit. The next time she appears, Cassandra appears smarter and better educated. Her crappier fighting style is due to Shiva not used to the smaller body. Eventually, Cassandra starts retaking control but merges partway with her mother's psyche, resulting in her altered state of mind. Alternate Universe where Bruce never met Jason and he never became Robin, he grew up in the slums as before, except he dedicated himself to becoming a better, well educated person. Thus he got good grades and was on his way to college. Except Batman busted him for a crime he didn't commit, sending him to prison. In the end, he became everything he resented from his old life: a drug addicted "criminal". Everything he did in the movie was his revenge for Batman essentially fucking up his life. Some of the methods he uses are also reminiscent of him as Red Hood...except the taser to the crotch thing...
The Joker is the sanest person in the DC Universe.Why else can be break the fourth wall? The Joker has a far greater awareness of the nature of his universe than anybody else,to the point he knows he's fictional. He knows people are writing him. His sensless mayhem is commentary on the absurdity of the universe that most people are unaware of.
Dr. Crane is faking it.I contend that the Scarecrow is not at all insane, just very evil. His knowledge of psychology allows him to put on a really good show for the state psychiatrists and private doctors who testify about his mental health and get him transferred to Arkham, but he is really stone cold sane. Obviously, for this to work, you have to disregard Jeph Loeb's characterization - Hush Scarecrow is obviously bat guano insane, what with the nursery rhyme quoting and the switching to normal speech when Batman rips his mask off heavily implying dissociative identity disorder, and of course the A God Am I thing in Knightfall too. But most characterizations really aren't all that crazy - very obsessive and sinister, but not really crazy. In the Diniverse, it's worth noting that the only time we see Crane in a completely off-the-rocker rant, he's in Arkham Asylum with tons of patients and at least one doctor as witnesses - and stops himself to acknowledge Harley. And in Scarecrow: Year One, when he is about to kill the guy who got him fired, the speech bubbles beg you to picture either a stone cold killer or a Large Ham of Gary Oldman proportions - the fact the illustration shows him standing calmly suggests the former.
Forming a rock band would be the only way the Robins could cope with Batman's actual deathAs portrayed here, Batman's sidekicks would need a big distraction to keep them from becoming traumatized over the death of their mentor. Rather than splitting up, which might push some of them (like Jason) over the edge, they would need to stay together. Doing something ludicrous like forming a band would be the way to go.
Batman is a robot!
The Joker was brought back after death by the sentient fictional concept of a story's script for the purpose of balancing the DCUAfter the Joker was originally killed in his second appearance, he wasn't consciously reintroduced by writers, but forced back into the story by the story itself after it recognized him as Batman's ideal antithesis. Later writers thought this to be a Joker tradition, and continued the trend.
The Joker is Heath Ledger in the afterlifeAfter Heath Ledger died he came to the DC Universe in a sort of Life On Mars turn of events then trying to perfect the role he had in The Dark Knight he became The Joker. This is why he has no problem killing people as he knows they're not real and how he can keep coming back to life as this is his after life it would also show how he seems to have no fourth wall as he knows this is all happening in a comic or other such medium.
Mental disorders of the villainsJust what are the types of psychoses that Batman's enemies that are labeled insane and sent to Arkham possess? It's known that Riddler has an extreme case of obsessive compulsive disorder, due to childhood abuse. This makes him obsessed with never lying by leaving clues around, as he simply cannot commit a crime without clues. Two-Face had multiple personalities, with the darker one being more dominant, but the good side having some power through the use of the coin. It's possible that the Ventriloquist also has multiple personalities shown through the puppet Scarface, but I believe that Scarface is living. And the Joker's mental disorder is unknown. But what's wrong with the other villains like Poison Ivy or Killer Croc? Exactly what is the name of the insanity they have that causes them to do what they do? Feel free to add suggestions.
Alfred is a child abuser.As a former spy, Alfred left England disgusted by the permissive chaos of the '70s and, in a fit of pique, went into his father's business as an attache. He came to America and was hired by the Wayne family, two new parents with overly stressful jobs. Despite the master/servant relationship, Alfred and Thomas Wayne became friends. When the Waynes were killed, Alfred's long-simmering resentment over being forced into early retirement and his perceived steady decline of law and order congealed into a plan for revenge. Instead of encouraging Bruce Wayne to engage in the process of healing, Alfred nurtured the boy's rage and fear. Immediately, he began teaching Bruce subterfuge, self defense, thievery, and other spycraft. At this point Alfred was still telling himself that what he was doing was in Bruce's best interest. Disagreements over this aspect of Bruce's education are the reason Leslie Thompkins's relationship with Alfred never flourished. During Bruce's teen years, they began traveling the world, meeting up with Alfred's old spy contacts who each trained young Bruce in their areas of specialty. Even as he was honing Bruce's mental and physical skills, Alfred kept Bruce in a stunted emotional state. He kept the boy isolated and encouraged the eight-year-old's instinct for confronting complex problems: hit it until it goes away. He taught Bruce that the outside world is a chaotic, violent, and unpredictable place, and that only Bruce could restore order and justice. Once they returned to Gotham, Alfred took advantage of Bruce's childlike imagination and theatrical impulse, and thus they created Batman, a superhero of Bruce's own imagination with the power, bravery, and will to keep at bay the faceless, nameless shadows that killed his parents. When Bruce took on young Dick Grayson, Alfred got an audience's view of the abuse he had put the young Bruce through an realized too late that he had started a pattern that would perpetuate itself until it imploded. He stepped back from his commitment to Bruce's training and found himself in the position of discouraging his former methods and attempting to steer the Dick through a healthier path to adulthood. As Dick matured but Bruce remained the same, Dick began to see how childish Batman's game and distanced himself from it. Bruce perceived this, naturally, as a lack of commitment on Dick's part and further proof that the world is unreliable and naturally corrupting. Finally having seen the error of his ways, Alfred remains Bruce's attache out of a sense of self-imposed penance and responsibility for what he has wrought. He now spends his energy desperately trying to walk Bruce back from the very precipice Alfred placed him on in the first place, as well as hopefully defuse the very time-bomb he created: a highly trained, highly intelligent, paranoid, top-secret vigilante with the emotional development, moral compass, and self-awareness of a pre-teen
Batman was Bruce Wayne all along!Think about it, who else could afford the training and gadgets? We also know that he traveled the world much of his early adulthood in which he could have been training in esoteric martial arts and skills. His parents being killed in front of him would have given him the perfect motivation to become a crime fighter as well as causing him to constantly seek out new sidekicks to create a sense of family for himself. The millionaire playboy act is all an elaborate ruse worthy of the DCU's greatest detective himself!
The Insider suit currently worn by Bruce Wayne in The Road Home miniseries is the basis for the Batman Beyond Batsuit.The suit gives him an array of superpowers, including superstrength, flight, and even has a cloaking device. It's far more advanced than any Batman costume created and even has a complete faceplate. When Bruce Wayne returns to his role as Batman he will put it away, but as his age catches up to him he will refit it with a bat-motif and use it as his costume of choice again to take advantage of its enhanced abilities and power assist functions to compensate for his age.
Alfred is a Flash.
In Batman Forever Riddler knew all alongRiddler already figured out Bruce was Batman when he first used the Box. Watch the movie considering this. Suddenly so many things in Riddler's scheme start to make so much more sense.
Bruce never returned at all. We've got some sort of clone or evil doppelganger in Bruce's place.That's why Batman Inc was started.
In the Adam West series, Professor Mackelroy owes one of Tut's "Queens" child support.Self-explanatory, really.
Joker is in the closet.Oh come on, it's plainly obvious. Not only is there a whole bunch of Foe Yay, but he hasn't shown any real attraction towards Harely Quinn. And this is Harely Quinn we're talking about. The only possible explanation is that he's gay. Whenever he kills or screws around with those close to him, it's because the Joker is either jealous, or lashing out at the fact the Batman is straight. Why is he in the closet? While he's pretty evil, associating with the depraved homosexual trope is something even he's disgusted at. That, and he wants to retain his fangirls. A similar principle applies to why Poison Ivy is in the closet, even if it's painfully obvious she loves Harley.
In the 1989 movie, the Joker was not responsible for the deaths of Bruce Wayne's parents. Batman killed him because of a paranoid delusion.The murderer of the Waynes remained at large throughout the Burton/Schumacher continuity, just as it has been in the comics themselves post-Year One (where Joe Chill did exist, but he was a heroin addict who was at home in bed on the night of the murder). Even on the eve of the 200th Anniversary Festival Parade, the Wayne case remained unsolved, as the file Bruce examines in the Batcave clearly indicates. Bruce merely tricked himself into thinking that Jack Napier was the killer, even imagining the Joker's words issuing from the mouth of the gunman. Why did Bruce scapegoat the Joker? Because, according to the twisted logic by which his scarred mind operated, a man who looked like a clown had to have been responsible. The movie Bruce harbored a deep-seated prejudice against clowns and was not even consciously aware of it (or was, but was too ashamed to admit it). His parents died for literally no reason, and so Bruce recoiled from all suggestions of absurdity and chaos, however innocent-seeming. Attempting to make sense of a confounding and cruel world, Bruce became a strict Cartesian rationalist who did not accept (and in fact intensely hated) anything that could not be explained by any sort of rigorous philosophy. That is why he disguised himself as an animal - a creature governed by instinct and subject to natural law (and also why he was so drawn to Catwoman in the sequel) and why he relied so much on the scientific method when it came to crimefighting. And so he couldn't stand the sight of the Joker. Clowns are inherently unreal: they are pure artifice, literally paintings come to life. They have no place in the natural world; they have no right to exist. Bruce was filled with fear and loathing of all clown-like creatures long before the Joker appeared on the scene: note his reaction of what is arguably disgust when several men appear to him on the street disguised as mimes, and this before he knows they're working for the Joker or is even yet aware of the Joker's existence. Then, when he saw the Joker's permanent smile, he naturally connected it to the smile on the face of the mugger who shot his parents. Only a clown-like creature - a figure thoroughly illogical and nihilistic - could have caused such a senseless tragedy. Batman remained in this psychotic state throughout the first two movies. He was not a hero at all, but a murderous paranoid - one step above a Serial Killer, really - who was prepared to unthinkingly slaughter anyone who was associated with clowns. (Note the Disproportionate Retribution he visits upon the members of Penguin's Red Triangle Circus Gang.) It took the Penguin's tragic demise for him to once again see the humanity in children's entertainers, and so in Batman Forever he can once again attend the circus - and take Dick Grayson in as his ward - without revulsion.
Killer Croc will get even worse.Over the years, Killer Croc has gone from a Genius Bruiser with a legitimate skin condition, to The Brute with crocodilian fangs and a tail. The writers claim that Killer Croc suffers from an extreme form of atavism, which is causing him to devolve into a crocodile. Thus, it's not going to stop at him being a were-croc; one day, Killer Croc will simply be an ornery and particularly cunning crocodile living in Gotham's sewers.This is practically canon.
Adam West is not only Batman...But every masked super hero ever. He has the power to clone himself much like Multiple Man, and tends to send his clones out into the world in hopes that they'll gain super powers. Some of them actually succeed at gaining powers; while others work as regular costumed vigilantes. Bruce Wayne actually died years ago, and was replaced by one of West's clones that got cosmetic surgery and brainwashed himself into thinking he was Wayne. All the others have undergone similar brainwashing. Also, the main west, or "West Prime" is actually... Commissioner Gordon.
Tommy Elliot's next plastic surgery project will be to turn himself black.Purely so that in this iteration he can get called "Nigga Hush".
Speaking of Hush...Hush in the "hush returns" arc was not the real Hush but someone else, whose memories were altered with brain surgery by the real Hush to, what else, distract Batman while Hush was preparing his actual plans. Furthermore the "Joker" was a similarly mind-altered impostor too, but because of an error in the brain-surgery, this impostor had a sense of honor. Also, to my knowledge this theory is already canon with Prometheus, except the memory-alteration-by-hush-part.
The Joker has read the Necronomicon.Even worse, he read it cover to cover. In this ancient eldritch tome, the man who would become the Joker discovered, to his horror, exactly how insignificant humans were in the grand scheme of things, and how thin a membrane of what we would consider reality lies between us and soul-rending terror. He realized then, with his first glimpse of the true nature of the universe, how hilariously stupid humanity's many endeavors are, when set against the fathomless depths ruled by inhuman creatures that, if we are lucky, pay us no mind at all. This is why the Joker does what he does - he knows full well that nothing matters in the grand scheme of things, because eventually they will be swept aside like so much dust in the incalculable eons.
In the 1989 movie, Jack Napier's partner was Joe Chill in the flashback.Like in the original comics, he tried to steal Martha's pearls. This is a way of the movie being a bit more faithful to the original source material. Carl Grissom ordered Jack to kill Thomas Wayne, because they were both running for city council. Jack brought along Chill to make it look like a random mugging. But Chill was surprised that Jack also killed Martha, which wasn't part of the plan. Chill heard footsteps or police sirens, so he told Jack they should leave. (This is inspired by an early script where it was Rubert Thorne who hired Chill to kill Bruce's parents.)
Insanity is genetic in the Keeny family.Evidence? Lets see....
Batman Deliberately Planned WargamesHe lost Tim Drake. Stephanie Brown volunteers. He trains Stephanie. There are now 2 trained Robins, however, only 1 is active. He could easily sacrifice Steph to get back Tim, all he needs are the right circumstances. He fires Steph, allows a girl who only wants approval alone in the Batcave, and waits for her to do her thing. If she doesn't start a terrible gang war, she will likely get herself killed or crippled vigilantee-ing anyway, which would make Tim come back for revenge, and once back fighting crime, with such a terrible loss, would be unlikely to give up. If she does, he will come back when some other tragedy occurs for the benefit of Gotham, and knowing what happened through his enabling, would be unlikely to stop. Is Steph or some other vigilante were to die, then the guilt from allowing such a thing to happen will make him a far more efficient and colder vigilante, worth more than his old self and Steph. Any which way, Gotham benefits. Batman doesn't deny to Alfred that Steph is just being used to draw back Tim anyway, and he didn't change the Bat PC passwords at any point, giving this theory credence. More to the point, he came up with this, or just did an Indy Ploy, in about 2 seconds, after Steph demanded to become Robin. Identity Crisis was simultaneous with War Games, so even should Steph not be fired or maimed, then eventually the person killing Super Hero dependents would likely get around to the Drakes, as apparently Robin who hadn't even told Superboy his identity yet to my knowledge, had his real name and familial details known to every b-list JLer, and thus to the killer. The shock of losing his dad would, as usual, make Tim return to the fray to get revenge, and wouldn't give up. And should somehow none of those work, the tedium of everyday life and the lure of his Teen Titan friends, not to mention rebellion against his father that comes in adolescence, would likely have him at least rejoin the Titans. Which would mean that Batman's Robin would have weekends free, and the TT Robin would be fresh from the school week, not being a Triple Shifter, as well as there being 2 well trained Robins, increasing the overall amount of Robins for little cost. To summate briefly, Batman is a friggin' genius.
The Joker has multiple backstories, because he's multiple peopleThe Joker is actually a virus that turns the skin of people white, and degrades their mental state. Everytime the Joker dies, he's replaced by another person that's contracted the virus. Its only passed via prolonged contact, and doesn't affect women, so it usually passes to henchmen.
Scarecrow is a Nay-TheistHaving been raised by a zealot of a great-grandmother, Crane grew up to resent religion. But dear old Granny had ingrained religion to deeply into his psyche for him to not believe in God, so instead he decided God was just as cruel as everyone else in his life. After all, what kind of God would allow a child to be locked in a church and torn apart by crows regularly?
Alfred is Destruction of the EndlessDestruction hasn't been around much for awhile and yet, still in DCU, we have Batman and a somewhat enigmatic butler who has had spec ops level training. Curious. Fan Dumb assumes that batman is in fact a Showy Invincible Hero instead of a Broken Ace. It also makes it hard for newer heroes to breakout as the fans will just clamor for more Batman. The cursed with awesome side of things: Batman's supposedly cursed with a strong inability to feel genuine happiness, but the awesome part is that he does gain a great deal of affection for having his bat family to support him.
The Michael Keaton Batman is really Damien Wayne's grandson.Think about it. Damien Named one of his kids Thomas Wayne in honor of his own grandfather, whom gave his son the name Bruce in honor of one of the greatest heroes that ever lived. Both the real Bruce and Damien died at a time when Gotham was crime free and when news that Batman died reached the criminals, it became a crime city again. This Thomas decided to be a doctor like his great grandfather rather than take up the Bat Mantle, so he could escape from that life. Joker quit after Batman died and became a two bit thug who had a kid named Jack Napier. Who followed in his footsteps to become a criminal. He ends up killing Bruce Junior's parents and Bruce Junior decides to be Batman. Napier heard stories from his father about a giant bat terrorizing criminals but refused to believe them until he met Batman face to face. This along with being dropped into the chemicals made him Joker Junior. The clues to this are as follows:
The Joker is an elemental being, and Batman did create him.More specifically, the Element of Chaos. When Batman took up his mantle as a symbol of Order and Justice in Gotham, the universe needed to balance him out. And so it was that The Joker sprung from the pits of Gotham fully formed and ready for destruction. And because he is not a true living being, he can't die.
Harley Quinn has a brother.His name is Manny, and he's obsessed with puppets. Let the fanfics commence.
Hugo Strange isn't Eli Strange's biological father.Dr. Strange is probably the rogue least likely to reproduce - just look at the fanbase's surprised reaction to him having a son. Even the DC wiki (admittedly fanmade) thinks it's more likely Dr. Strange took advantage of Eli, a troubled genius orphan, by pretending to be his father - and that kind of manipulation fits very well with Strange's character.
The Joker spends his free time on TV Tropes and is reading this.He is very amused.
After getting his face cut off in New 52 continuity, Joker got a new face and has been impersonating Alfred for sometime now.Because it'll be a nice twist.
Bruce Wayne is a patient of Arkham Asylum and hallucinating being Batman.Due to his parents death, he had a psychotic break and was confined to the mental institution. All of the rogues gallery are other residents. Joker is the sociopath in the next room, taunting him constantly for his delusions, Selina Kyle and the various incarnations of Catwoman are patients with extreme cases of kleptomania, Harvey Dent is being treated for his severe bipolar disorder, the Riddler for his obsessive-compulsive disorder, Bane is a patient who attacked him, Doctor Strange is his psychologist and Jim Gordon is a kindly security guard. The various Robins are actually manifestations of Bruce Wayne's inner child and not real. Alfred is also the owner of Wayne Industries and comes to visit him regularly.
The entire The Dark Knight Saga was Ras Al Ghul's Magnificent Bastard attempt to redeem Gotham.This is the hypothesis. Ras was never trying to destroy civilization. He was trying to rebuild it! Remember in the comics that Ras Al Ghul is really immortal.
Cass and Steph are currently missing, because Barry Allen doesn't know who they are.When Barry reset the universe, he had to create it from scratch, with the details that are different being because as he didn't know every detail about his world. Cass and Steph, to my knowledge, never interacted with Barry, and aren't exactly so well known, so he didn't think to add them in. They'll come back when someone *cough*Tim*cough* works out Barry's part in the universe change and tries to get his ex and adopted sister back (More details to be added in the Flash WMG section).
The Joker actually died quite some time agoThe thing is, sooner or later the person who kills him snaps and adopts his persona. The franchise has gone through dozens of Jokers so far.
Martha Wayne didn't actually die.More than that, she actually hired someone (either Joe Chill or someone else) to kill Thomas and fake her death, but specifically not kill Bruce. She wasn't happy; she no longer liked city life and even though she loved Thomas and Bruce, she resented them and the way of life they were a major part of. But she couldn't ask Thomas to leave the city and give up everything his family had built, and he wouldn't grant her a divorce, so she didn't have many options. For a while, she was content splitting time between the city and a more agrarian environment she found to be more down-to-earth and fulfilling, but she didn't think that was fair to anybody, so when her paramour asked her to marry him, she had to resort to desperate measures. After her "death", she settled in with her husband full-time and shortly after, they began to raise their adopted son, Clark.
The reason all of Gotham's buildings are in the neo-gothic style.Wayne Enterprises will only fund buildings built in that style (or perhaps lobbied for a bill to make that the only acceptable style) because ledges and gargoyles are way easier to climb than glass and steel.
The Lazarus Pits exist because of the Life Entity.Why are there pits that can restore life all over the Earth? Because the very incarnation of life slept within the Earth's core.
The Joker is the real hero of the DC Universe.Hear me out. The Joker has been hinted/outright stated to be able to see past the fourth wall. He is aware he is in a comic book. If he is aware of this, he might also know that the only reason his universe exists is because people are entertained by it. This realization drove him to desperate measures. He figured out that the only way to keep the universe going and not let The End of the World As We Know It happen is to keep the readers entertained. He decided to do this by becoming the ultimate entertainer. He dresses like a clown, and in order to keep his entertainer image 24/7, he purposefully touches his face up with the stuff that transformed him in the first place whenever new skin or hair grows in in his natural coloring. At first he started with simply killing and robbing, the kind of villain people typically read about when he was created. But as time went on, he has had to constantly change his persona to keep the readers invested. Over the years he has had to resort to more horrific and bloodthirsty tactics than ever before in order to sate the ever more jaded readers' thirst for crazy and gore. He continues to do these horrible things, not because he enjoys them, but because it's the only way to keep the readers coming and to keep the DC Universe from ending for good. He keeps his ever-present smile and humor because it's what the readers want, not because it's what he actually feels or thinks. But still, he goes on. Because the people he kills will either be brought back to life anyway or were created just so that he could kill them for the readers' entertainment. They are necessary sacrifices to keep the entire DC Universe and all of its characters from permanently coming to and end from lack of sales. And if he must become the villain to end all villains in the eyes of everyone else to do so, then so be it.
The Butler Did It!Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's valet, is ex-S.I.S, a former professional actor, and was an employee of the British Royal Family before moving to the U.S. to work for the Waynes. Not long after he settled-in at Wayne manor, young Bruce Wayne's parents were gunned down before his eyes just as they were leaving a Zorro movie together, leaving an intelligent, healthy, filthy-rich and impressionable youngster on his own. Alfred immediately became Bruce's legal guardian. He then helped him to seek training to become a vigilante, mentored him in spycraft, and exerted an inordinate amount of influence on him his entire career. And it was all done so subtly that Bruce Wayne never once considers the possibility that his parents' death was set-up, and the most likely culprit is the person that he trusts the most. And worst of all, if it is true, is that "The World's Greatest Detective" can't even see that he was the victim of the world's worst cliché.
The Perfect Robin Would Be...... Billy Baston. Think about it, he's a young orphan, but can turn himself into a figure who's as powerful as Superman. If he could just give him the reds & greens, evildoers wouldn't stand a chance in Gotham. Bane and Killer Crock would be on the floor crying and bleeding.
There will be a storyline in which a worldwide blackout occurs.Similar to the premise presented in Revolution, but it would be handled differently. First, it would leave Bruce Wayne in a pickle, because most, if not all, of his toys are electric, and they would be useless in the event of a worldwide blackout. Then Batman would have to bring order to Gotham City, in a manner comparable to The Dark Knight Returns. Also, he would have to discover the existence of electricity absorbing nanomachines. But once he does, he could discover ways to put it to good use....
The Joker is from Wonderland.. The reason his past and identity is such a mystery is that he comes from a dimension where such things are fluid. In Wonderland, everyone has a multiple choice past. Furthermore, his dress style, his (il)logic, and his sense of humor have a distinct Wonderland- aesthetic. His name is that of a playing card, indicating he comes from the deck of cards found in the novel. The Joker never is mentioned in either of Carroll's books, but that doesn't mean he isn't there. Perhaps the Queen of Hearts banished him to Gotham? We're all mad here, Dear Alice...
The Joker's original self is considered a monster by The JokerDuring "A Death in the Family", The Joker was terrified of Batman revealing his true name. This is not only because he did not want the "fun" to stop, but because hearing his original name again would bring out his original personality, and he does not want that man to come back. Not only is he not "fun" in the eyes of the Joker, but vicious, bloodthirsty, and most frightening...Sane. While the Joker would be only concerned with Batman, The Joker's other self would only be concerned with Bruce Wayne.
The Joker is a champion of Delirium.Do I even need to explain why?
Bruce Wayne is the DC Universe's answer to Haruhi Suzumiyah, and created the Batman mythos from his own psyche.In truth, Bruce Wayne is not the embodiment of the Badass Normal trope, but rather a borderline-omnipotent Reality Warper. The meta-gene for reality alteration came out when his parents were killed. To this day, Bruce Wayne is completely unaware of his true powers, as he can only use them on a subconscious level. Thankfully his Reality Warper powers only manage to affect Gotham City. Gotham City is a Crapsack World because its seen through a depressed Adult Child, and Arkham Asylum is Bedlam Up to Eleven because it embodies Bruce's insanity. And most of the characters embody a part of Bruce Wayne's psychology:
The Final Issue of Batman '66
Two-Face's former fiance Marilyn Crane and her twin sister Madeline are Scarecrow's half-sisters by way of his father.Because in Scarecrow's Year One comic his father Gerald Crane mentions having two children by another woman. Now Gerald does say both of his kids are nice even though Madeline's been noted to have sociopathic traits since childhood, but this could have been before Madeline was realized to be insane. Not to mention that it would explain why, even though insanity clearly runs in the Keeny family (given that Mary, Marion, and Karen all have the same last name despite being from different generations and illegitimacy being so stigmatized that it's a plot point, I'm guessing incest had something to do with it), Scarecrow managed to get an extra dose of crazy. It runs in BOTH sides of the family. That and it's comic books. If there's a slight chance that people are related, they WILL be related. It's not as prominent in DC as it is in Marvel, where almost the entire roster of heroes and villains are related in one way or another, but still. Which means that Two-Face and Scarecrow almost became related by marriage, adding even more crazy to the whole mix. Thanksgivings would have been aaaawkwaaaaaaard... And before I forget, Marilyn was an expert in psycho-therapy and was good enough to (temporarily) cure Two-Face back into Harvey Dent. DO we know anyone else with the last name Crane who's good with other people's brains?
Batman is Lamont CranstonSo you're probably asking:How could he be a crime boss who died in Tibet in 1930? Simple: Cranston died shortly after his henchmen murdered a temple load of Buddhist monks, and the head monk cursed him to never truly die until he'd stopped as many crimes as he'd caused. Since Cranston was a heroin dealer whose activities caused hundreds of thousands, or even millions of crimes, from petty smuggling and theft to gruesome murders by and of junkies, his ghost is trapped, essentially forever.
Batman is actually a faulty robot from Superman's Fortress of SolitudeIt does explain why Superman appreciates Bztman and cares for him even though Batman can be so aloof: he's really Clark's property but his program is faulty and doesn't remember his master. So Supes' just opts to let him be useful and do vigilante work instead of taking care of the fortress. This way also Batman can do the small fry (for Superman standards) in problematic Gotham City while Superman goes take care of real cosmic menaces. It's also the reason why Batman tends to be the strategist while the rest of the Justice League has more physical work to do: it's a relic from his days at the Fortress of Solitude. This is also why Batman figured Clark Kent & Superman are the same person: no detective work necessary, he already knew because he lived in Superman's intimate dwellings. It's also the reason why Superman never felt threatened with Batman knowing his real identity and why despite being so unlike each other, Batman feels compelled to work as part of Worlds Finest with his master, and Superman knows him too well since he built him. It also explains how can a seemingly normal man can become proficient at a dozen kinds of martial arts and learn a dozen languages and still have the time to be good at chemistry and math and escapism and extra stuff for which a non superpowered human would need 100 years to sort of learn: it's in the programing Superman installed on him. It also explains that he also gets the time to pretend he's a playboy millionaire (failed attempts at behaving like he believes that humans actually live) as well as his inability to be intimate and why we shouldn't worry that Bruce constantly adopting stray kids seems so pedo: it's just Superman's way to help and give a home to gifted children by proxy without going through all that family stuff with a workaholic jerkass like Lois Lane. Alfred and Bruce's social life are just programming in Bruce's head Philip K. Dick style Also it would nicely help explain how come someone can be so pathologically mistrustful and yet become pals with Superman: his programing inadvertently drives him to be nice with Supes, the mistrust is just the guarding of the Fortress of Solictude part of the programing that went awry. It also explains why Superman never feels quite threatened by Batman: he can push a button somewhere in the Arctic and turn Bats off. Otherwise Batman's natural ally ought to be Lex Luthor, not Superman as is the case. It also solves why Batman, the supposedly dark, badass, cool one of the two, chooses not to kill, following the program built in him by Superman. Finally it also justifies how Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent physically resemble each other with square jaw and black hair and all that, what with Superman tending to build the Fortress' robots to resemble him.
Dolphins are extremely evil.Batman used guns on them! Clearly, dolphins armed with plastic explosives are the ultimate evil of the DCU!
New 52 Batman occasionally gets caught in Groundhog Day-style timewarps
Batman is The Emperor of Mankind.Because who else is it gonna be?