When I say terrible, I don’t mean for us… while I process the story and the ramifications of what it reveals about Batman’s past, I can say this. Wow.
If you haven’t been reading Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo‘s Batman, you have been missing out on what could quite possibly be DC Comic’s best book out of the New 52. For the past ten months, the Dark Knight has been battling the super secretive Court of Owls, an organization that has existed for over a century, slowly seizing control of Gotham City. As Snyder and Capullo’s Night of Owls arc reaches it’s climax it was clear they were building to something big.
How big? How about forcing fans of the Batman to completely rethink everything they thought they knew. Yes, there is a huge spoiler, yes it is up after the jump, and yes you should really read the book before you proceed any further.
Meet Bruce’s younger brother Thomas Wayne Jr., born years later and locked away in the children’s hospital equivalent of Arkham Asylum, Willowwood. Born premature due to a car accident and hidden away under a fake name to protect him from the Court of Owls, he eventually was taken in by the organization and twisted even further to the Owls own ends.
The brothers have lead vastly different lives yet they seem to have run in parallels. When the Waynes were murder, their funding of Willowwood ended, causing the hospital to spiral into the darkness and chaos, so their death too was the catalyst to his creation.
Synder’s telling words from the big reveal, ‘from the other side of the mirror‘, clearly show what this other Wayne brother is. He is everything that Batman is, just twisted and dark and brutal.
At the end of the book, we see Junior don an owl themed suit of power armor and pounce towards Batman. This has the making of becoming the apocalyptic version of simple sibling rivalry. This has the making of being one of the best foes Batman has faced in decades.
Taking something like the Batman mythos and making such a huge change is a very risky endeavor, I for one feel as though that risk has paid off for Snyder and in turn for us the reader.