Who would be the Anti-Batman? Would it be the Joker? Batman is methodical and calculated, predictable even. He has a Bat-cave, drives the Bat-mobile, and throws Batarangs. On the flip side Joker is wild and crazy, unpredictable, but still has Joker gas and likes to make people “smile”. But what if there was an Anti-Batman? One more like the character in Nemesis by Mark Millar? Could Batman #38 be leading up to this? Most certainly there is a new character introduced in Batman #38. But will this lead up to a new villain?
Read on for spoilers. There are no pictures and the text is not redacted. Read on only if you don’t mind spoilers.
Batman #38 has a FOC date of today. (It has a regular cover and a Olivier Coipel B cover, that is pretty incredible.) This means this is the last chance for retailers to adjust their orders before the order window closes. After that, they will have to compete with other retailers to grab copies on Advance Reorder. This could lead to allocations meaning some stores will not get as many as they would like from Advance Reorder. Tom King tweeted out back on November 21st that this is his first new character and will build to something bigger, so one of our questions have been answered. Yes, this is the first appearance of a character who will be a major villain.
So let’s get on with the spoilers.
First and foremost, the story is called the Origin of Bruce Wayne. We know the origin of Bruce Wayne as he has been around for a couple of years now, give it take a few reboots, deaths, resurrections, and broken backs. The character that they are revealing the origin of is a young rich boy named Matthew. We meet him and his butler Taylor, who calls Matthew “Master Bruce” oddly enough.
Bruce Wayne is meeting with Matthew, because like Bruce, Matthew’s parents have been murdered. Bruce gives his normal pep talk and then moves on to his alter ego to investigate the death. First it looks like Zzasz is to blame, then moves on to other suspects.
Other killings happen and they also mimic other villains of Batman. Batman seems to be one step behind whomever is doing the killings.
Finally, while in bed with Catwoman, Bruce figures it out. He goes to confront the killer, Matthew, and gets an explanation. Seems that Matthew really wants to be Bruce Wayne, in all aspects. He had his butler, Taylor, help him. Taylor was in it to assume control of the family fortune.
The creepy twist ending is Matthew is carted off in a straight jacket to a cell. He is told he is just a sick kid with dead parents. Matthew retorts, “Yes, but what else is Bruce Wayne?”
So there we have it. Batman #38 sets up a major new villain, one as smart and with the resources of Batman. So, will he be the anti-Batman? We will need to wait and see him in costume though.