Batman & Son


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From IGN:

Contemplating Crisis: Batman & Son

Could Batman's long-lost son return to DC continuity?

by Hilary Goldstein

February 14, 2006 - A Crisis is coming to the DCU and in March every title will leap forward to One Year Later. With massive changes coming to the DCU, the likes of which have not been seen since Crisis on Infinite Earths, everything we know about the heroes and villains we've come to love (or hate) may change. Each week, as we head to OYL and beyond, we'll take a look at different aspects of the DC Universe. We'll catch you up on what's been happening, suggest what may be coming and tell you what should happen and why.

Most recently we looked at the potential future for Wonder Woman. With fresh info from WonderCon, we take a look at the future of Batman and imagine life One Year Later with a son in tow.

What We Know

During a WonderCon panel exploring the future of the DCU, Executive Editor Dan Didio let slip that Grant Morrison was taking over as writer of Batman. Morrison revealed that he had already plotted the first 15 issues of his run and that the first story arc was titled "Batman & Son".

During the weekend of panels, DC also reiterated that it was creating a unified world. At the same time, all of the continuity glitches would be explained, the deleted history re-instated for a bold new world.

As for Batman, it was revealed that he, Superman and Wonder Woman would be gone for much of the "skipped" year in the DCU. The weekly series 52 examines a world without its three greatest heroes.

These three facts may seem only slightly related, but one retconned story of the past offers clues to the Dark Knight's potential future.

Unlikely Allies

In 1987 Mike W. Barr wrote one of the best Ra's al Ghul stories of all time. Batman: Son of the Demon imagined a situation where Batman became ally to his long-time nemesis, Ra's al Ghul. For the first time, we saw what it may be like for Batman to accept his place as heir to al Ghul's empire.

This relationship was not superficial. Batman trained al Ghul's troops to use non-lethal weapons to subdue their enemies and found himself involved in intense philosophical debates with Ra's. The Detective finally let down his guard and gave himself fully to Talia, daughter of the Demon. They were married and unbeknownst to Batman, Talia became pregnant.

Of course, any association with Ra's al Ghul can only be short-lived. Soon enough the two found themselves at odds and Talia took the side of her father. Batman never knew about the pregnancy. Neither did Ra's. Talia disappeared and the baby was given up to anonymous parents to live a normal life, free from influence of Ra's or the Batman.

This child was removed from continuity, despite being one of the most attractive plot devices in he Dark Knight's universe.

Son of the Dark Knight

If DC is true in its WonderCon statement that the bits of continuity chopped off in the past will be folded back into the DCU, then the story title "Batman & Son" takes on a whole new meaning.

If Bruce Wayne's abandoned child has been allowed to exist and age in the DCU he could be 10 or 12 by now and possibly ripe for being the next Robin. Either way, his sudden reemergence might explain why Batman disappeared for a year. Imagine Bruce Wayne discovering he has a son -- a true son. He has the chance to make up for past mistakes with his previous wards. More importantly, he has the clarity of mind to know that he can't do it while being the Batman. Perhaps Bruce takes time off to get to know his son. Or perhaps he leaves Gotham in search of the son he has just learned exists.

If true, this could make for some interesting changes in Batman's world. Tim Drake, the one Robin who always seemed destined to be free of Batman's shadow, could assume a new identity, allowing Batman's son to take the role. That would explain the new costume. After all, every new Robin gets a new outfit.

It's also possible that Bruce's kid will be just a kid, allowed to go to school and live a life outside of crime-fighting. Let Tim stay Robin and Bruce Jr. enjoy the childhood lost to his father. The existence of this child also creates an interesting new twist to the relationship between Batman and Talia, who is currently about as evil as she has been in her 30-year comic-book life.

Bruce al Ghul

Here's another possibility to put in the hopper. Ra's is dead and, honestly, it seems unlikely the original villain will return to the role. Bruce Wayne was always the intended heir. It has crossed the Batman's mind that he could take the reigns of the organization and use it for good instead of terrorism.

Throw in a kid, one belonging to Bats and Talia and there's potential for a reunion. Perhaps Bruce is more than just the Dark Knight of Gotham City. He could also be the Demon's Head.

Sadly, we don't have any concrete info on Batman. There's still the possibility that when we jump One Year Later, Bruce is not the man in the cowl. Any change like that won't last, but if Bruce has left for soul searching, Dick or another character could step in temporarily.

Batman may not get a son, but our fingers are crossed. It would explain any "softening" of the character's personality and could provide years of new stories not before possible. No matter what happens, knowing that Morrison is in charge puts us at ease. Things are looking up for the Dark Knight.

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