Attention passengers, this is your spoiler speaking.
Lieutenant, set spoilers to maximum warning.
Seriously, there are major spoilers ahead for DC's new Batman comic books!
Okay, so maybe it's not quite that major. It comes straight out of DC Comics' Divergence Free Comic Book Day special issue, which we'll all be reading in just a few weeks anyway. (Free Comic Book Day is May 2.)
If you've been following the various Batman titles published by DC — Batman Eternal, Batman: Endgame, Batman & Robin, etc. — then you know that a major change in the status quo is building, and has been for quite some time, thanks to the concerted efforts of writer Scott Snyder.
DC has already teased us with images of a brand new Batman in a high-tech, robotic metal suit that makes Iron Man look cuddly. Since the huge suit covers the wearer's entire body, head included, we've had no way of knowing who's inside there. Yet DC has repeatedly teased that this new Batman, debuting in Batman #41, might not be Bruce Wayne.
Turns out, they weren't kidding.
So this is it. Your last chance to turn back. The identity of the new Batman is a very cool twist, and should be quite a kick to see play out. If you want to wait and find out who it is the way you were meant to — in the comics — then leave this page now.
If you're still here... Here we go.
This is your new Batman:
It's none other than former Commissioner James Gordon!
According to Bleeding Cool, the Free Comic Book Day issue features a reveal that goes something like this. An unidentified man is smoking his last cigarette. He's recently shaved his head to an army buzz cut and gotten rid of the mustache as well. And then someone asks, "Are you ready to be Batman... Commissioner Gordon?"
Next we see him getting into the new suit, and he says to an unidentified assistant, "I'd like to go on record as saying this is the dumbest idea in the history of Gotham City."
Think about it. It fits with everything that's been happening lately. Batman Eternal left Gordon out of the Commissioner's chair but free to fight crime. (That pic of Gordon above is from the final panel of Eternal.) Batman: Endgame has been building toward some kind of climax that takes Bruce Wayne out of the game.
Just imagine how this is going to affect all of the relational dynamics in Batman's life. The current Robin, hot-headed Damian Wayne, isn't likely to be too happy about having a new partner that looks like a big robot. Batman/Superman should be interesting; can you even imagine Supes teaming up with Jim Gordon? And what will this do to Batgirl, aka Gordon's daughter Barbara?
But the biggest question mark of all has to come at the end of Bruce Wayne's name. What happens to him in Endgame? He's died before, he's had his back broken, he's given up the cowl and handed it off to others... How will Snyder get him off the game board without rehashing old plot twists?