DC Comics tells us about Bruce Wayne's secret identity bombshell

Illustration for article titled DC Comics tells us about Bruce Waynes secret identity bombshell

Grant Morrison's final issue of Batman and Robin came out today. In the comic's final panels, Bruce Wayne revealed a huge secret to the press. io9 spoke with DC Comics editor-in-chief Bob Harras about Batman's new status quo. Spoilers!

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In Batman and Robin 16, Bruce Wayne returns from his time-traveling shenanigans and announces that A.) he's been funding Batman in secret for years; and B.) that the Batman franchise is going global. Harras told us about Bruce's grand confession, what it means for the DC Universe as a whole, and what to anticipate from Morrison's new series — Batman, Inc. — which showcases Batman's adventures across the planet.

First off, what can we expect from Bruce Wayne now that he's outed himself?

This is an incredible game-changer for the character. What Grant's been doing for the last five years is taking elements from the Golden and Silver Ages and adding them to modern continuity. You'll see both of Bruce and Batman in play during Batman, Inc. You have this character who changes from a playboy to someone who's socially responsible, and where that leads us is going to be very, very interesting.

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This is one of the Top 10 moments in Batman's history. Grant's been doing this larger story for a while — he's gone from Batman R.I.P. to Batman and Robin to Return of Bruce Wayne to this. It's like a longterm novel that's coming to fruition.

Illustration for article titled DC Comics tells us about Bruce Waynes secret identity bombshell

What sort of reaction can we anticipate from Batman's friends, foes, and the countries Bruce is setting up shop in?

You'll get a reaction coming from those characters like Superman and Wonder Woman because this change is new territory for them. You will also that this change will be of interest to Batman's villains. Any and all of them will be very interested to find out that Bruce's been funding Batman. Grant's going to have some fun with that — he's mentioned how Bruce's confession is the ultimate deflection. By coming forward, Bruce is protecting his secret identity even further. As for stories about setting up franchises in new nations, that's definitely part of the plan — when Batman comes into a new country, it changes the status quo.

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Batman, Inc. hits stores November 17.

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DISCUSSION

Can someone just take the Batman franchise away from Morrison and give it to Dini or Rucka to run? Morrison can have Superman, I guess.

This doesn't track at all with the Bruce Wayne/Batman character as it's been established over the decades. For one, Batman's too much of a control freak to allow other people to wear the mantle. The sidekicks are surrogate family members, and he bosses them around so badly most of them quit or want to quit. He's not going to bankroll an army of Batmen to follow him into the abyss. What would the hiring process be like?

I liked it in the late 90s and the early 2000s, when stories like No Man's Land and Bruce Wayne:Fugitive took the character we knew and threw him in drastically different situations to see what would happen. This is drastically changing the character itself, and that's lazy.