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Summary

  • Many stories have forced Bruce Wayne to confront the progential trauma of his superhero career, the murder of his parents, though the storyline depicted in
    Superman/Batman
    #16 is one of the most unique, as Batman inadvertently erased himself from continuity by saving the Waynes from Joe Chill.
  • Trauma shaped Batman, but even avoiding the defining moment of his parents’ murder wasn’t enough to prevent him from becoming a hero, as
    Superman/Batman
    #16 proved when Clark brought a non-superhero Bruce back to Crime Alley and forced him to confront Batman’s core trauma.
  • Despite alternative timelines where Batman didn’t witness his parents’ death, he still became Batman after his encounter with Superman in Crime Alley, though he critically lacked the years of dedicated training and experience that Batman is famous for, making him more vulnerable than normal.
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Batman was born from the trauma of Bruce Wayne seeing his parents gunned down in front of him at a young age. One might assume that if this tragedy never happened, Bruce Wayne would never become Batman – but according to DC, that’s apparently not the case. In one story, even with his parents alive, Superman still convinced Bruce Wayne to become Batman.

In Superman/Batman #16 – by Jeph Loeb and Carlos Pacheco – Superman and Batman were forced to witness their own origins stories. Superman was deeply moved by witnessing the Kents take him in from that rocket ship, with Clark instantly regaining his memories of his original history upon witnessing it.

Superman/Batman #16, Batman prevents the Waynes' murder, inadvertently erasing himself from existence

Batman didn’t handle his origin nearly as well. Instead of simply standing by and watching Thomas and Martha Wayne be murdered, Batman immediately sprang into action, disarming Joe Chill and even shooting him in the head, which promptly erased Batman from history.

Related

DC Confirms Bruce Wayne’s Parents Would Not Want Him To Be Batman

The murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents inspired him to become a hero, but DC Comics has revealed that they would be disappointed he became Batman.

When Bruce Wayne’s parents were gunned down in front of him, it traumatized him in a way he has never been able to get over…The entirety of Batman’s identity was shaped by that trauma, but even avoiding this defining moment wasn’t enough to prevent Bruce from becoming the Caped Crusader.

This Story Forced Bruce Wayne To Face His Childhood Trauma To Reclaim His Identity

Superman/Batman #16 – Written By Jeph Loeb; Art By Carlos Pacheco, Jesus Merino, Laura Martin, & Richard Starkings.

Superman/Batman #16, Superman brings an alternate timeline Bruce Wayne back to Crime Ally

When Bruce Wayne’s parents were gunned down in front of him, it traumatized him in a way he has never been able to get over. Not only did this event inspire Bruce to eventually become the crime fighter known as Batman, but it also deeply traumatized Bruce, giving him an aversion to guns and death. Batman refuses to use guns, and will avoid using lethal force no matter the circumstances. The entirety of Batman’s identity was shaped by that trauma, but even avoiding this defining moment wasn’t enough to prevent Bruce from becoming the Caped Crusader.

In Superman/Batman #16, after Batman erased himself from existence, Superman traveled back to the present, where the world had been completely taken over by Ra’s al Ghul. Desperate, Superman confronted this timeline’s Bruce Wayne, who grew up with his parents, and seemed to be as perfectly well-adjusted as a billionaire can be. Superman forced Bruce to return to Crime Alley, where Bruce somehow remembers the trauma of his parent’s death, despite this version of Bruce never actually experiencing that. It’s a very strange explanation due to time travel, but the end result was Bruce regaining his memories and becoming Batman once more.

Superman/Batman
#16 made it very clear that this timeline’s Bruce Wayne was not Batman…In effect, this version was like a Multiversal echo of the Dark Knight.

Bruce Wayne’s Trauma Reverberates Through The DC Multiverse

Superman/Batman #16, Bruce Wayne remembers his alternate life as Batman

Superman/Batman #16 made it very clear that this timeline’s Bruce Wayne was not Batman. Despite remembering the trauma that he didn’t experience, he never took on the training to become Batman that the main timeline version did. In effect, this version was like a Multiversal echo of the Dark Knight. While this Bruce was certainly in shape, he went on to be easily defeated by Ra’s al Ghul in the comic, ith Bruce explicitly stating that he isn’t the hero Superman needed him to be.

While not the cleanest of DC’s time travel adventures, this story did work to emphasize that Batman as some core, latent heroic part of Bruce Wayne does exist whether or not he witnessed his parents murder – though without years of training, Bruce Wayne isn’t nearly as effective a crimefighter as he could be. Even with Bruce managing to stop Joe Chill from murdering his parents, somehow, he still ended up becoming Batman, though the comic made it clear that the journey is as important to his heroic identity as the destination.


Superman/Batman
#16

is available now from DC Comics!



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