If my news is correct, I believe that once the currently running Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne mini wraps up, DC will be launching two lines of Batman books, one with Dick Grayson continuing on as Batman and one with Bruce Wayne reclaiming the cowl. To me, whose only foray into the DCU involves other characters who occasionally interact with Batman, this presents a bit of a problem. See below:
Some recent comics (like a recent issue of Justice League: Generation Lost, for example) have been having Batman appear in cameo or supporting roles. This has left several readers, myself included, wondering just who it is under the cowl. In the JL:GL example, Batman has begun to realize that the JLI’s actions against the mysterious (to him, at least) Maxwell Lord is worth investigating. This would be a big deal to me if it was Bruce Wayne figuring this out, since Bruce was a longtime member of the original JLI and had lots of interaction with Lord in his earliest of appearances. Dick Grayson, on the other hand, has had zero interaction with the JLI or Lord, so this – as well as his interaction with Power Girl in the Batcave – comes off as rather odd. Most of this is assumption on my part, though, as I’m really not familiar with Dick Grayson’s history in the DCU proper.
There’s not a real solution to this issue, since it’s not like the story really gives space to name drop in every guest appearance that Batman shows up in. Before now, there was never really a need. Rarely do heroes pass down their identity, and usually when it happens there’s a notable difference between the two heroes’ look. In the case of the Flash, there was a discernable personality difference between Wally West and Barry Allen, and even without it, heroes usually refer to them as ‘Barry’ or ‘Wally’.
Such is not the case with Batman. There is no good way to tell the difference between Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson in the Batman costume and the character is not one that allows the kind of interaction needed to make the difference obvious to the readers. I have no idea how DC plans on keeping two Batmans running around, but however they do it, hopefully it addresses the situation.
Important? Probably not. But it does irk me, and blogging is the best place to air said irks.