Batman #1 is finally here. The last time we saw a Batman #1 was back in 1940. With DC's 'The New 52,' we've been seeing some characters are getting tweaks and overhauls as we move forward in this new era for DC Comics. The idea of Batman going through changes has been both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Batman is a favorite for many. Why should his character and story be changed if everything has been working smoothly?
Batman writer (and former Detective Comics writer) Scott Snyder has been extremely vocal in assuring us that Batman isn't going to change. What has happened before has still happened. Obviously since other characters in the DCU have gone through some changes, that has to mean so has Batman. First encounters, team-ups and other tiny details may be slightly different.
Batman #1 does show us that most of what we knew still remains. But we can't say that this Batman is the same exact Batman we've seen before. There are indeed some changes. Let's take a look at what remains the same and what changes are evident. There will be some minor spoilers below. Batman #1 was a stellar issue and a great jumping on point. Check out our review here and be sure to read the issue for yourself if you haven't already. You're going to want to be on board from the beginning to witness what Scott Snyder has in store for us. Trust me on that. This is the beginning of some big things.== TEASER ==
What Remains The Same?
Batman's Rogues Gallery
At the very beginning of the issue, we find Batman fighting for his life inside Arkham Asylum. He has defeated his enemies time and time again but how can he take them all on at once? Is this a fight he'll have to face alone? You'll see many familiar faces here.
The Batman writers had the chance to update and add changes to the Bat-villains but they all felt they were already near perfection. There's no need to make changes just for the sake of change. Seeing these familiar faces reassures us and starts to set the tone for the Batman Universe. The villains are still the villains...with maybe one exception? Someone does come to his aid...or do they?
The Batcave and Bat-toys
What does the Batmobile look like? What about the giant penny? The Joker card? In a two-page spread, we see that those still exist. The cave has seen different interpretations over the years by different artists but Capullo captures the essence of what we've seen before.
The hall of armors is still there. The Batmobile that Dick and Damian used as well. It's easy to get the feel that this is picking up right where we left off. At the same time, it gives newer readers, who most likely have at least heard of the Batcave, a sense of what Batman has at his disposal. He is a vigilante but his crime doesn't just depend on his fists or intellect. He also has a lot of technology that he can use and apply.
It's been asked, what events have happened? In one panel, so many questions are answered. You've probably already read last week's Batman and Robin #1 so you know Damian still exists with his same...lovable manner. Dick Grayson is still around. He and Bruce didn't have another falling out. Tim Drake is going by Red Robin (still) in the pages of Teen Titans. He still has his past with Bruce, he was a Robin before.
Other tiny things we can conclude from this one image is something that's been mentioned about Dick. Look at him compared to Bruce. You can see a height difference as well as an age difference. When Dick was Batman, there were times when it was difficult to figure out if he was Dick or Bruce. Tim's build has fluctuated as well since Battle for the Cowl. And tiny details such as Dick's red vest, perhaps a nod to the new red on his costume and Damian's sneakers gives them a little more personality.
What is Now Different?
As seen in Batman and Robin as Detective Comics, Batman has increased his wonderful toys. We are in the 21st Century after all. Batman and Wayne Enterprises would have to stay on the cutting edge in order to successfully do what they do. Batman can't just rely on shark repellent or other simple gadgets he kept in his utility belt. The villains are constantly upping their game and Batman has to as well.
Does this fit with who Batman is? I don't think he'd ever have to fully rely on technology to defeat his enemies. He has a brilliant mind. But it's also that brilliant mind that allows him to create this stuff or have it created. It's going to be interesting to see what else he adds and how often he uses them.
You can also see in the Family image above that he has another toy as well.
Attitude Towards City
Batman is no longer hung up on the past. This is another theme we saw in Batman and Robin #1. Batman and Gotham City have gone through a lot. There's been a lot of bad times for Bruce, all starting with the death of his parents. He feels it's time to get over some of the past misfortunes and focus on the future.
It's not often we see Bruce Wayne taking such a public stance on...anything. The last time was the announcement of Batman Incorporated. As with that time, could there be something more to Bruce wanting to give this speech? Is this really what's best for the city or will it somehow aid Batman in his war against evil. Which essentially does help the city as well. He has plans for the city including rebuilding certain areas.
Now if we think about that, what advantage might he have if he was involved with the rebuilding of certain areas...?
Tone of the City
Gotham City is not to be ignored. Scott Snyder mentioned in our interview how he sees Gotham.
Bruce is like the consummate warrior for Gotham. There's not a lot you can throw his way that would surprise him at this point. He is not someone that has the same sort of chinks in the armor that Dick has for the city to go after. Those chinks in the armor are strengths for Dick, in my opinion. That's why he wins out. They're strengths, not weaknesses. But that's what Gotham tries to do, it convinces you they're weaknesses.
There is a big focus on Gotham City. It is still the same city we've seen but there is something more to it. There is a secret lurking that is going to have a big impact on Batman.
There are still a couple other things worth pointing out in the issue but we need to leave reasons for you to pick up the issue if you haven't already. This is the big Batman issue. This is the one you should not miss.