Despite the changes a year ago in DC Comics with the launch of The New 52, Batman's origin has remained virtually untouched. In fact, it seemed as if his entire continuity managed to carry over while other characters have faced overhauls.
We might know Batman's origin but it turns out there are still some things that haven't been touched upon. His parents were killed as a child and Bruce vowed to train himself in order to fight the evil in the world. We haven't actually seen a lot of the years during his training prior to Year One.
With the 'zero' issues at DC this month, DETECTIVE COMICS has touched upon those final days of his training prior to returning to Gotham City. There are five revelations stemming from the issue. There will be spoilers from DETECTIVE COMICS #0 so be sure to read it first and to get the complete story.== TEASER ==
Batman Trained in the Himalayas
Bruce Wayne didn't just train his mind to become the world's greatest detective, he also had to train his body. Gaining full control over his body called for him to seek out the legendary Shihan Matsuda. Bruce was willing to completely devote himself to Matsuda's teachings in order to complete his training. Not only was he taught martial art skills and swordsmanship, he also learned to control his body. He was no longer bound by the outside elements and could call up warmth from inside to survive extreme temperatures.
Embracing the Darkness
Batman is often seen as cold and unfeeling. We know this isn't completely the case. It is rare to see Batman or Bruce Wayne show any sort of emotion. This goes along with his final training. In order to be effective, the idea was for Bruce to give up compassion and joy and embrace the darkness within. Emotions made humans weak. Matsuda was trying to teach Bruce how to gain distance from his emotions.
Lesson in Love
How often does Batman allow himself to become close to someone? He's had the occasional girlfriend in both of his identities but he doesn't usually allow himself to get close. Settling down is completely out of the question as well. During these final days, Bruce couldn't help but accept a growing attraction to a local merchant's niece. Even though he was trained to abandon all semblance of human emotions, what he felt was too much.
This could have been a turning point in Bruce's life. It's possible he could have turned his back on his path of vengeance. Obviously this relationship didn't continue. Something happened that set Bruce back towards becoming a warrior against evil. Bruce may allow himself to get close or intimate from time to time but it's clear why he finds just about everyone so untrustworthy.
The Wayne Fortune at Risk
What was going on while Bruce was traveling the world? Alfred remained at his post and maintained Wayne Manor. It turns out this wasn't an easy task. Young Bruce Wayne did have surviving relatives. There were members of the Kane family interested in the Wayne fortune. Alfred insisted on sticking to his post, even when Bruce had been gone for years and many suspected he was dead. They had an attorney hound Alfred into turning over the Manor but Alfred wouldn't hear of it.
Bruce Wayne was Missing for Years
Now we're given more of a time frame in the New 52. While Bruce traveled around the world during his training, he didn't necessarily report back to anyone. Not even Alfred was fully aware where Bruce's travels would take him. We know from JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 that the team formed five years ago. Now we know that Bruce's return to Gotham occurred seven years ago. This gives him at least a couple years of being active before fully becoming a public figure when the League saved the world from Darkseid's invasion. You have to wonder what story he gave to the press.
Bruce was in the Himalayas 'ten years ago' and returned home 'seven years ago.' We still have the question of what happened in between. Bruce spent over six months with Matsuda but most likely not three years. We'll have to keep an eye out for the other Batman zero issues to see what other new developments pop up.