After multiple painfully long delays and many reshoots, The Batman has finally released worldwide, bringing with it an awesome noir-like Gotham City and gothic versions of its countless infamous characters. The Batman introduces fans to a much younger and much darker version of Bruce Wayne, who is only in the second year in his crime-fighting career, and who directly contrasts the much more experienced Batman audiences have previously seen on-screen.
Matt Reeves skillfully crafted this version of Bruce to be darker and more violent, having been mainly inspired by Darwyn Cooke’s Batman: Ego comic book, alongside some other dark Batman storylines and grunge-themed media. From his lack of high-tech gadgets to his brutal fighting style, this iteration of Bruce Wayne is an essential step in his journey to becoming a hero.
He Cares Less About Gotham
Throughout The Batman, Bruce Wayne is constantly reminded by important figures in Gotham City that he could be doing more for the city due to his extensive wealth and the Wayne family’s influence within Gotham’s past.
This differs from the Batman Bruce will later become, as audiences know from previous movies and comic books that Bruce purchases many establishments within Gotham to help the city slowly become a better place, as well as actively supporting and even influencing Gotham’s many mayors’ agendas. Furthermore, it seems as though Bruce cares little about Gotham throughout The Batman, and instead violently fights crime to release his anger, which he later does out of love for his city.
His Lack Of Connections
In his early days as Batman, Bruce Wayne had very few friends, if any at all, and this is reflected in the movie, where Batman’s lack of connections hinders his ability to fight crime. Bruce is, for the most part, disconnected from reality.
Throughout The Batman, Bruce meets Selina Kyle and begins building up a relationship with her, which later becomes one of the comic book industry’s most iconic relationships. Before Selina, Bruce’s only known accomplices were Jim Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth, which differs hugely from the huge list of allies and enemies the more-experienced Bruce Wayne later gains, from his superhero pals in the Justice League to the countless villainous foes in his Rogue Gallery.
His Gothic Fashion
Many long-time Batman fans will know of Bruce Wayne’s iconic billionaire lifestyle and esteemed status within society, as well as his slick dress code that reflects his privileged lifestyle. However, during the dark period of his life that viewers see in The Batman, Bruce does not care about his appearance, instead opting for darker clothing.
Bruce’s clothes are significant throughout the movie, not only reflecting the gothic atmosphere Matt Reeves masterfully crafts but also Bruce’s psychological state. Despite multiple characters mocking his appearance, Bruce remains completely unphased and is happy with his representation, which is a huge contrast to the older Bruce Wayne, who does everything in his power to keep up his prestigious appearance.
Civilians Still Fear Him
One of the biggest recurring themes throughout The Batman is ‘fear.’ Bruce Wayne has (for now) overcome all of his fears, and criminals fear Batman, paranoid that he is hiding and watching within the shadows. However, Gotham City’s civilians, the people Batman is there to protect, are also terrified of him.
This significant fact is one of the best things about The Batman, and it proves that Gotham’s population does not yet see Batman as their protector but rather as a dangerous, frightening, and intimidating vigilante. This version of Bruce has yet to gain Gotham’s trust, as DC fans know Batman is later seen as a hero and Gotham’s protector after defending civilians from multiple street-level and other-worldly threats that The Batman’s Bruce has yet to face.
His Relationship With Gordon Is Just Beginning
Batman: Year One featured the origins of Jim Gordon and Batman’s professional partnership and how Gordon slowly learned to trust the Dark Knight and even become one of his closest friends.
In The Batman, viewers learn that, although their relationship has already been established, Batman and Gordon have only been working together for just two years, meaning there is still a level of distrust and uncertainty between the pair. Their partnership slowly becomes one of Batman’s greatest friendships throughout DC comics, where Gordon becomes Bruce’s voice of reason and helps him properly combat crime throughout Gotham, something viewers hope to see more of in future Batman films.
He Prefers To Be Batman
The Batman focuses on Bruce Wayne coming to terms with his traumatic past, where he brutally releases his anger upon Gotham City’s enormous selection of criminals. Concerningly, Bruce seems to prefer being feared as the Batman than respected as himself, an interesting characteristic perfectly portrayed throughout The Batman.
Throughout the recently-released film, Bruce Wayne always looks uncomfortable and awkward within any public appearance and is even mocked by Carmine Falcone at Gotham’s Police Commissioner’s funeral for being seen out in the open. However, Bruce always boasts an extraordinary amount of confidence and composure when dressed as the Batman, proving that he prefers to be the Caped Crusader or, rather, prefers the isolation that comes with being the Batman. This differs hugely from the man Bruce later becomes, as he begins to care more about his identity and the perks that come with his wealth and fame.
He Does Not Care About His Reputation
Throughout DC Comics and multiple different forms of Batman media, Bruce Wayne has always been viewed as a very wealthy and very successful philanthropist, billionaire, and playboy.
However, during the dark period of his life portrayed in The Batman, Bruce does not care about his own reputation in the slightest and instead prefers to live in the shadows, isolated from society and away from the spotlight. Bruce drastically changes as he grows older, not only to become one of Gotham’s most influential and significant people but also to embrace his celebrity status, attending important events and meeting with other noteworthy individuals, all while maintaining his prestigious reputation.
He Has Much Less Experience
Although obvious, The Batman features Bruce Wayne in his second year of crime-fighting and shows the audience that he has not been Batman for that long and, therefore, has not faced off against many major villains (yet).
Over his countless years as Batman, Bruce Wayne has experienced a lot, from the never-ending onslaught of villains that threaten Gotham and Earth as a whole to iconic comic book arcs that take a huge toll and alter Batman himself. Although Bruce has already faced off against the deadly Riddler, this is just the beginning of his crime-fighting career, and the countless things he has yet to experience will ultimately define who Batman becomes.
Lack Of High-Tech Equipment
Throughout pop culture, Batman can easily be identified for his large assortment of weapons, gadgets, vehicles, and other tech due to the lack of any notable superhuman abilities.
Despite Batman’s well-known arsenal, Robert Pattinson’s Batman uses surprisingly few gadgets throughout the movie, instead mainly relying on Bruce’s own intellect and abilities. The gadgets Bruce uses are very tame, such as a Batarang that acts as a knife or a simple grapple gun. Even his most iconic vehicle, the Batmobile, which has featured onscreen multiple times throughout Batman’s history, is toned down and rather tame for Batman. The lack of gadgets allows for a new interesting take on Batman that fans have not yet seen on screen, which focuses on his own strategies and psychology, becoming a treat to see.
Much More Violent
Early on in Bruce Wayne’s crime-fighting career as Batman, he was dealing with his own tragic past and took his anger out on Gotham’s never-ending stream of criminals.
Bruce’s fury was portrayed perfectly within The Batman, where Batman brutally beat his enemies to a pulp. This boundary-less version of Batman differs hugely from the hero he later becomes, as he no longer needlessly beats his enemies within an inch of their lives, but rather actively helps deter crime and only fights if necessary while remaining within his own well-established moral boundaries.
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About The Author
Paul Jack (22 Articles Published)
A university student from the United Kingdom. Avid gamer and pop culture enthusiast. Passionate about all things pop culture, technology and science. Specific love of superheroes in general, Marvel, DC and Star Wars. Aspiring writer.