Superhero Secrets: Batman

Alfred Doesn’t Know These Batman Secrets

Kid Flash: [about Batman] “Every mystery the universe has ever faced — from the streets of Gotham to the solar pits of Apokolips — he’s solved them.”

DC Universe: Rebirth

Batman might be the world’s most popular superhero. He’s DC’s biggest cash cow, headlining countless comics, shows, and movies each year. DC Comics is even named after Detective Comics, the series in which Batman debuted. No wonder he’s always the star.

There are some big Bat-Secrets with eighty years of material to pull from. So what is Batman hiding in Wayne Manor’s belfry? Let’s find out.

#5 Eye See You

Brother Eye:Wonder Woman and the Amazons pose a threat that must be exposed.
Batman:Shut the O.M.A.C.s down, Brother Eye. Shut them down!
Brother Eye: Program: Truth and Justice must be completed.
Batman:No, damn you. Stop this!
Brother Eye:Eye will show the world the truth. Eye will bring the world justice. Eye will do as you have programed me to do.

Infinite Crisis

Batman’s contingency plans to disable or kill every superhero are infamous. His planning went too far in the lead up to the Infinite Crisis event. Batman was justifiably paranoid after learning his Justice League allies had wiped his memories. He created a satellite to monitor superheroes that was run by an A.I. called Brother MK 1.

Brother MK 1 was hacked by a villain named Maxwell Lord, who planned to kill all the superhumans and conquer the Earth. Wonder Woman killed Lord, but the damage was done. The A.I. renamed itself Brother Eye and used nanotechnology to turn millions of innocent people into murderous cyborgs called O.M.A.C.s.

Brother Eye’s O.M.A.C.s began hunting down superhumans, leaving the Justice League scrambling as a new crisis began. A swarm of O.M.A.C.s was even sent to wipe out the Amazons and avenge Lord’s death. So yeah, this was a bit of a screw up on Batman’s part.

#4 The Batman Who Laughs

Batman Who Laughs:Take a good look, Bruce. What do you see? You’ve never fought someone with all your training. Your discipline. See it yet? I’m not him in a Batsuit. I’m you. You. How you are supposed to be without the codes. Without the rules. Except one. Batman. Always. Wins!

Dark Nights: Metal

In 2017, Batman discovered a portal leading to the Dark Multiverse. This was a twisted realm where everything that could go wrong did. Even worse, the Dark Multiverse began encroaching on the regular universe. The vanguard of this attack was the Dark Knights, a septet of corrupted Batmen fashioned into a faux-Justice League by their leader, The Batman Who Laughs.

The BWL was a normal Batman who finally murdered The Joker. Sadly, this was part of the Joker’s plan and Batman was dosed with chemicals that turned him into a new Joker. Within a week of being infected, the Batman Who Laughs had slaughtered his sidekicks and the Justice League. With them gone, there was no one left to stop him from destroying the world.

Our Batman eventually escaped and recruited the Justice League to help fight the Dark Knights. They defeated most of them, but the Batman Who Laughs escaped to fight another day. Our Batman is now hunting him, hoping to kill him before he kills again.

#3 Batman vs. Rock and Roll

Robin: [discussing music] “I mean, wasn’t there a lot of great punk coming out when you were a -”
Batman:PUNK!? “Punk” is nothing but death… and crime… and the rage of a beast.

Batman: Fortunate Son

This is one of the weirdest and worst of all the Batman secrets.

Batman: Fortunate Son stars Izaak Crowe, an strung-out rock star who whines about the music industry and is advised by a hallucination of Elvis. Batman and Robin get involved when Crowe starts committing terrorist attacks and inciting riots. Along the way, Robin is horrified to learn that Batman hates rock and roll.

Batman’s reason for hating rock is that Thomas Wayne had scolded him for listening to rock music right before Thomas was killed. Batman’s hatred only grew when he befriended a Sid Vicious knock-off who killed Not-Nancy Spungen. The final nail in rock’s coffin was learning that all of his villains loved rock music.

A dead end causes Batman to decide he needs to learn about rock music. Apparently Batman just needs a few hours by himself to become an expert who understands “the true meaning of rock and roll”. His new mastery doesn’t help as Crowe and the villain manipulating him are both killed. Batman and Robin then try for some poetic message about silence being the sweetest music, but it falls flat.

Someone is supposed to like this comic but it ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no appreciable son, no.
It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no fortunate son, no.

#2 All-Star Batman and Robin

Dick Grayson:Who the hell do you think you are, giving out orders like this?
Batman:What are you, dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am?! I’m the Goddamn Batman!

All-Star Batman and Robin #1

DC released its All-Star Imprint in 2005. The idea was to give A-list writers and artists freedom to do whatever they wanted. Of the planned stories, only All-Star Superman and All-Star Batman and Robin were made. This resulted in the greatest Superman story ever written… and the worst Batman story.

AS:BAR starts with Batman kidnapping a newly-orphaned Dick Grayson, who the story constantly reminds us is twelve years old. Batman traps the traumatized child in the Batcave and tries to force him to hunt rats for food. We also see him kill criminals, even burning one gang to death with napalm.

Other heroes appear, but man, do they get shafted. Black Canary is turned into a psychotic love interest of Batman. Wonder Woman becomes a raging straw feminist who needs Superman to put her in her place. Green Lantern is an ineffectual loser and the only one who bothers calling Batman out on his crap.

All-Star Batman and Robin is a terribly written story filled with awful characters, ultraviolence, and spite. The negative response helped ruin writer Frank Miller’s career. DC would be wise to use a retcon to have this story take place in the Dark Multiverse. Perhaps All-Star Batman as a younger Batman Who Laughs? Nah, wouldn’t work. The Batman Who Laughs can be likable.

#1 Batman Secret: SOB: Son of Batman

Amanda Waller: Bruce’s DNA was easy enough to obtain. He left it all over town. [Terry gives her a look] Not remotely what I meant!

Justice League: Unlimited “Epilogue” (Season 3, Episode 19)

The ultimate Batman Secret is his son. No, not Damian Wayne; plenty of folks know about him. We’re talking about Bruce Wayne’s first son: Batman Beyond.

The series Batman Beyond debuted in 1999. It was set 30 years after Batman had been forced to retire and featured Bruce Wayne training a new Batman named Terry McGinnis. The pair occasionally quarreled, but Terry managed to become worthy of the role in Bruce’s eyes.

Terry reappeared in the original finale of Justice League: Unlimited. A medical test revealed that he had Bruce Wayne’s DNA. Terry’s investigation led to long-time League ally Amanda Waller. He then confronted her, demanding to know if he was a clone of Batman.

Waller revealed that she had realized Gotham would always need a Batman. When Bruce became too old, she used her spy connections to impregnate Terry’s mother with Bruce’s genetic material. Waller planned to recreate Bruce’s origin story with Terry, but backed off after realizing it would betray Batman’s ideals. Fate still led Terry to take up the cowl, but it was his choice.

Learning Bruce is his father helps Terry reconcile after a fight the two had The episode ends with Terry resuming his role and rushing out to defend Gotham City as Batman Beyond.

What do you think is the greatest Batman secret? Would you shuffle any of these around? Let us know in a comment.

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