I always have a problem with comic book character continuity. And when it comes to my favorite characters, Superman and Batman, I am very selective in the continuity that I choose to believe in. And in choosing my continuity, I don’t limit myself to the comic books (since time doesn’t allow me to read them as often, I can’t keep up anyway).
I know some things are canon, and I’m not talking about messing around with those.
But, for Superman – I like to believe that his life included the events portrayed in the television series Smallville. I know that Tom Welling in portraying “Super Boy” is now older than any actor who has played Superman in the modern era. But I think the series long story arc of how Clark and Lex go from best friends to mortal enemies is being portrayed exceedingly well. It explains things much better than any comic book story arc has done.
So, what does this have to do with being Batman?
Well, for one – I’m going to ignore the origin story portrayed in Batman Begins. Although this is my favorite Batman movie by far, I don’t like how short the Bruce to Bat metamorphis happened.
I know there was also a comic story arc that shows Bruce Wayne going to the FBI academy in Quantico to learn his craft. I’m ignoring this altogether as well.
We have to remember that Bruce Wayne would have been all over the tabloids following the deaths of his parents in Gotham. Bruce would have been very well known anyway as the sole heir to his parent’s empire, but the gruesome details of their deaths would have put him on the covers of all the major magazines.
For those of you old enough to remember think of Barbara Hutton.
For those of us not old enough, think of JFK Jr. Or Princes William and Harry.
In any case, even assuming his notoriety died down once he reached adulthood, I find it hard to believe that The Bruce Wayne could go to Quantico, get trained, then leave the FBI to return to Gotham – only to have some masked vigilante with exceptional detective skills appear months later. And no one notice or even get the connection?
The Bruce Wayne in my universe had his parents murdered when he was 8. He spent 4 years being sad and being a kid and eventually being bored. When he was 12 he left Gotham, and under the direction of Alfred and one of his uncles, he traveled the world and found himself.
He would have been a very unruly and angry young man. And he might have even picked more fights than he could handle. Probably against opponents that not only outnumbered him but who also overpowered him. And he didn’t even fight for all the right reasons. He probably just fought because it helped him handle his anger (most 12 to 14 year old boys fight a lot anyways – he’d have even more reason).
He was probably first sent to boarding schools throughout Europe. Some of which were even tied to some of the greater institutions over there. His anger and restlessness probably got him expelled from more than one school.
Somewhere along the way, someone – probably Alfred – told him he needed to find himself or lose everything his parents ever stood for – justice, protecting the innocent, defending the defenseless, helping the helpless, etc.
He undoubtedly graduated high school early. Got some undergrad degrees in chemistry and science. Maybe did some internships with Interpol or Scotland Yard working alongside detectives and forensics experts. Graduate school would have come next.
All the while he was probably learning to harness his physical aggression by taking Martial Arts classes. At first it was just to learn some discipline. Then it was about the mastery of the art. He would have dabbled a bit in extreme sports like racing cars, skydiving, rock climbing, hang gliding and base jumping. His wealth would have allowed him to travel the world and learn from the best.
This is the origin story I like to believe in. As for what happens after he becomes Batman – I generally follow the continuity laid out at The Bat Squad.
Posted by Vinny