Why the DCU’s Batman might not be Bruce Wayne

Last week, DC fans got the long-awaited news when James Gunn and Peter Safran unveiled the first projects that will form DC Studios’ new DC Universe. Dubbed “Chapter One: Gods and Monsters,” the first slate will feature ten projects across five television series and five movies and among those movies is the Batman-centric The brave and the bold. According to Gunn, the project is inspired by Grant Morrison’s comic series and is the story of Damian Wayne. family and clarified that yes, Bruce Wayne is also a part of this.

Since the announcement, there has been no shortage of speculation about how The brave and the bold will take shape and what specific aspects of Morrison’s running fans can see come to life on screen. Many assume that we have an origin or introduction story for Damian Wayne from the Batman and son bow of Batman #655-658 and #663-666. Others think the story will also feature the introduction of Dick Grayson’s Nightwing to the big screen, but there’s another possibility that arguably fits into what Gunn and Safran have said about the project, putting the extended Bat-family front and center and embracing itself. getting ready for the next chapter of the DC Universe: Batman may not be Bruce Wayne.

What did Gunn and Safran say about The Brave and The Bold?

To begin with, let’s look at what Gunn and Safran actually said The brave and the bold. At the press event announcing the slate, Gunn described the film as introducing the DCU’s Batman as well as being the story of Damian Wayne.

“This is the introduction of the DCU’s Batman,” Gunn explained. “This is the story of Damian Wayne, the real son of Batman who he didn’t know existed for the first eight to 10 years of his life. He grew up as a petty assassin and assassin. He’s a little bastard. He’s my favorite Robin. It’s based on Grant Morrison’s comic series, one of my favorite Batman series, and we’re all putting it together now.”

“And this is clearly a feature film, and it will feature other members of the extended Bat family just because we feel they have been kept out of the Batman stories in the theater for far too long,” added Safran please.

Later, when specifically asked about Bruce Wayne, they clarified that Bruce Wayne is in fact Batman in this new version.

“No, no, no. It’s Bruce Wayne,” Gunn said, and Safran added, “It’s Bruce Wayne.”

“It’s a father-son story between Bruce and Damian.”

Don’t Gunn’s comments make it pretty clear that Batman = Bruce Wayne?

While those comments seem pretty direct, the reality is that Gunn and Safran aren’t exactly showing all their cards here. All of their comments confirm that Bruce Wayne is Batman at some point in their story, Damian is Bruce’s son, the overall story is a father-son story between the two, and that there are even more Bat family characters in the game will be. All this on top of confirming Morrison’s influence, of course. And it is within this direct but still not fully detailed answer where we can find room to make this theory work. It comes down to what’s in Morrison’s Batman walk and where exactly The brave and the bold begins, narratively.

Okay, so what’s in Morrison’s Batman?

There’s a lot at Morrison’s Batman run – and when copies of it make their way back onto store shelves, it’s something you absolutely must check out. In many ways, Morrison is moving on Batman and the associated titles surrounding it are the gateway to today’s, “modern” Batman comic book fans most familiar with now. It’s both dark and gritty at times, but there’s also a lot of emotional weight and we see real evolution from all the characters involved across the full width of the run. There’s plenty of weird too, so it’s never a dull moment or read.

However, the main highlights of the run are the introduction of Damian Wayne and the complicated dynamic between Damian and not only his father, Bruce, but the rest of the family as well. We see Batman trying to relate to and work with a son he barely knows who has a very different ideology than him, while also dealing with the challenges and darkness of Gotham City. During the run, Batman also essentially dies, leaving Dick and Damian to adjust as Batman and Robin, respectively, while Batman returns to present-day Gotham City. There’s honestly no good way to fully summarize the epic run, so you’ll definitely want to read it for yourself, but these are the main points – and it falls within this whole general circuit of things (Damian shows up, Bruce dies, Dick and Damian team up and Bruce returns) where a Dick-as-Batman story works while keeping the father-son aspect of it all.

So, how could it work?

It’s actually very simple, it just depends on where the story begins. To make this work, The brave and the bold must begin in media res – in the middle of things. We don’t need much to establish the Bruce/Damian relationship directly. Going into this story we could already see the father and son working together and having a tense and complicated dynamic with Bruce/Batman trying to mentor Damian/Robin and teach him his way of dealing with crime and justice in Gotham City. It could be during this difficult and troublesome time that tragedy befalls the family, leaving Dick in a place where he must act as Batman and a mentor to his “brother”. At the same time, you could have elements of Bruce returning to them, motivated not just by his duty to Gotham, but to this son he’s only just beginning to get to know. You have Damian trying to be the son trying to fill the shoes of a father he barely knows, Bruce trying to return to be a father to that son, and Dick functioning as a son trying to be a father in the absence of a self – a complicated father-son story that serves as Damian Wayne’s true origin as he fully becomes Robin and a member of the Bat-family.

The film could then easily devolve into a reunion of the three to face an overarching threat that could be related to the incendiary event that took Bruce away in the first place. This kind of final confrontation would allow Damian to learn something about his new place in the world and his relationship with his father, cementing his path for future stories, while also showing Bruce learning important lessons about both human and Being Batman – all while bringing the extended Bat family into play for future chapters of the DC Universe to boot. It works within the Morrison framework, fits in with Gunn and Safran’s comments, and makes sure that Bruce Wayne is technically Batman, but also that Batman isn’t Bruce Wayne.

Let’s say they go this route. What comes next?

There are many directions DC Studios could take if this is the path they’re going to take The brave and the bold, but a particularly tempting one is that it could be a setup for a Super Sons story. One of the other important questions about the Chapter One: Gods and Monsters slate is how Superman: Legacy going to bring Morrison’s All Star Superman to life. Gunn has said that before Superman: Legacy will not be an origin story, but will instead explore Clark Kent coming to modern Metropolis and starting out there as Superman. While there are several ideas about exactly how the film could approach this, one of those approaches culminates in the reveal of Superman and Lois Lane’s son, Jonathan Kent. If Superman: Legacy would set up for Jon Kent in the DCU and with The brave and the bold Possibly leaving Damian in a position for his own adventures and stories, it feels like a natural next step to bring the two together for adventure in the next chapter.

Beyond that a direct Super Sons team is on the horizon, the kind of storytelling that’s been theorized about here The brave and the bold would also organically do what DC Comics does better than anyone: legacy. DC Comics has a long history of including their legacy characters alongside their main characters, so much so that it’s not uncommon to see “sidekicks” step up when needed at key moments. The brave and the bold – And Superman: Legacy to a greater extent – sets up the idea of ​​functioning legacy characters already operating within continuity alongside the main heroes. If the DCU moves into a bigger crisis-level event in Chapter Two or later, setting up these legacy heroes early on will help them become well established and make the storytelling much smoother, something that’s an important part of the game. point of distinction from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which hasn’t so organically worked its legacy characters into multiple stages.

In the end, any discussion is about what’s to come The brave and the bold or any other movie or television series in the first chapter of the DC Studios slate is pure theory and speculation and it will be several years before any of it actually comes to life. Superman: Legacy is currently dated July 11, 2025, and The brave and the bold doesn’t have an announced date yet – while the announced expectation is two movies and two shows a year, it could also have a 2025 date. There is still a lot of time to decide and write the story. Still, it’s worth considering that this next take on Batman’s world might be unlike anything we’ve seen before, and it’s important that we don’t completely rule out the idea that it might be someone other than Bruce Wayne who eventually – at least for some of the time – gets under the cape and hood of the DCU.

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