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Off My Mind: The Young Bruce Wayne Adventures

Could we ever see a series devoted to a younger Bruce Wayne, years before he would become Batman?

Earlier this week we heard that BATMAN writer, Scott Snyder, was planning on devoting eleven issues to Batman's "Year Zero." What this means is we'll see what happened right before Bruce Wayne became Batman. How did he build the Batcave? Where did his gadgets or costumes come from? How long had he planned on actually taking crime fighting into his own hands? Or at least we can assume these are the sort of questions we'll have answered.

In a sort of related area, I had pondered over the possibility of going back even further. It was the recent three part story in the LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT digital comic written by Joshua Williamson. In this story we see a younger Bruce Wayne and Alfred traveling around the world. It's Bruce's aim to learn everything there is to learn about life. He may not have decided he would become a costumed vigilante but he has decided to try to learn all he can about self defense and more.

Just as "Year Zero" marks untouched territory, going back even further opens the door to other stories.

== TEASER ==

Similar to the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, a series set in Bruce's younger years could show us what exactly he did in the years after his parents died and the moment before he decided to become Batman. We could see more of Bruce (with a younger Alfred as well) traveling the world, learning how to become the greatest hero ever. We've seen snippets of his travels in the zero issues back in September 2012 but for Batman to have mastered all the fighting styles he has and to have learned all his detective skills, it would take more than just a couple years. Despite his desire to keep any close connections away, we know there had to have been moments where he might have had a chance at having a little more humanity.

It's clear we already have plenty of Batman comics. It could be argued that we don't need yet another one. Taking place during his younger years would mean no crossovers overs with the other titles. This is one of the selling points (for me) of the upcoming ZERO YEAR story in Scott Snyder's BATMAN.

As for the target audience, there's two ways this could go. This could easily be an all age book, allowing younger readers to see their favorite hero in an age closer to their own. As LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT showed, even at a young age with very little training, Bruce Wayne is no stranger to action. We might have stories with Bruce wearing the cowl but this gives an opportunity to see more of his training. He would still have to do some schoolwork but some of his studies could involve his detective training. The idea may have been that Bruce traveled the world for a few years alone once he turned eighteen but a more realistic idea is that he's been learning different martial arts ever since his parents were killed.

Of course the biggest drawback would be the fact that we would never actually get to see Batman in the comic. This could be a deterrent for some. Despite this, younger readers do enjoy kid adventure stories. My daughter has gobbled up the Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket and Spiderwick Chronicles books, which all feature young characters facing great adventures with few grown ups involved. It's also not just kids that enjoy these stories. Seeing a younger Bruce Wayne in comics wouldn't mean long time fans couldn't appreciate them.

What wouldn't make sense would be having a young Bruce Wayne meet up with other heroes or characters in the DCU. Bruce running into Clark or Diana wouldn't fit with the current New 52 continuity. But there is still so much of the New 52 Universe we haven't seen. There are so many dark corners yet to be explored. Having Bruce build up more experience and being able to become more familiar with the world would add to his repertoire of knowledge Being thrown into different adventures at a younger age would further allow him to constantly be prepared for anything.

We might not ever see a series like this. Again, not having Bruce in the cowl could be a deterrent. Others may feel we already have way too many Bat-titles. A miniseries could be fun but would likely be too condensed and only feature one or two 'adventures.' Some may feel having Bruce go on adventures at a younger age might take away some of the mysticism of his character. I feel it would add to the believability that he truly is the best trained hero there is. This isn't something that could simply be accomplished over a few years after high school. It makes more sense that he would've gained more experience at a younger age.

We already have problems with so much in the New 52 being crammed into five years. A series like this could help to strengthen Bruce's training years and it could give younger readers a place to start reading comics as well.

57 Comments
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Posted by OmgOmgWtfWtf

Bruce looks very Asian for some reason.

Posted by nappystr8

I never thought of something like this, but I think it would be something I'd be interested in reading. Probably more so than a traditional Batman book. With the right creative team that could be an unimaginably awesome series. As for that digital comic that already exists, I might have to hunt that down, either in digital form, or in the eventual print compilation.

Posted by Rumble Man

More alfred the better

Posted by TitanTempest

If not even a full-series, it could be used as a great mini-series! They would prob set up seeds for future stories, but hey its what comics do.

Posted by sturmritter

There would have to be a considerable amount of time devoted to telling of Batman's training with Ra's Al Ghul, for any story of his origins to be worthwhile, imho.

Posted by theDCkid

I would greatly enjoy a young Bruce series.

Posted by TDK_88

My scripting exercises (as I am an aspiring comic creator.) all consist of mostly young-Bruce/training to be batman Bruce stories. So I personally would love to read (and write) something like this.

Posted by Gylan Thomas

@sturmritter said:

There would have to be a considerable amount of time devoted to telling of Batman's training with Ra's Al Ghul, for any story of his origins to be worthwhile, imho.

I thought that was part of the movies. Did rqs train comic Bruce?

Posted by spiderturtle

I wanna see Bruce training with Ducard

Posted by feargalr

I dunno, I think I'd like it if it was something like Tiny Titans or Superman Family, but not in continuity...

Posted by mcduck

I love this idea. When I was a kid a there was an annual, I can't remember if it was detective or batman, but it was all about bruce seaking out this detective in the south so he could learn from him. It was a really good story and it left me wondering why no one else was mining this area of one of the most interesting characters in modern writing. I mean most of the time it goes from young bruce with his dead folks to him coming back to gotham. They've hinted at a few things but there is a whole lot of story there yet to be releaved.

Posted by michaelthemighty17

what issues are these panals from

Edited by DonFelipe

@michaelthemighty17 said:

what issues are these panals from

It's mentioned in the article. The 3 most recent issues of LOFTDK digital comic by Joshua Williamson:

#38-40 -- "I hate when he does that, part 1-3".

Posted by Queso6p4

@Rumble Man said:

More alfred the better

Couldn't agree with you more.

While there are too many Bat books I could definitely go for something like this.

Posted by Rumble Man

@Queso6p4: Honestly, I say the greatest butler in comics deserves his own series (at least a mini)

Posted by ccraft

My expectations are high for Year Zero. I really want to see him roaming the world look for great masters of Martial Arts to train under. I want to see him making his suit, I just want to see everything before Year One!

Posted by BlueLantern1995

Looks interesting, I'm intrigued.

Posted by jsphsmth

I would buy a Young Bruce Wayne ongoing in a heartbeat. I loved all the stories of Bruce's pre-Batman years, unfortunately this is an area that hasn't really been explored since the late 80s. Alfred has such potential as more than just a supporting character. Which is sad, considering how underused he has been since the reboot, aside from his use in Batman and Robin.

Posted by Bobsjonjon

Not interested..wanna see Damian if ur gonna show a young Wayne. Too late for that.

Posted by etragedy

God I hope not.

For one thing Bruce was already pretty young when his parents were killed and that was one of the defining moments of his character, so anything before that would make him too young - and would have him essentially be a hero before he became a hero, weakening his origin story. Anything that came after that would be too rage filled and vengeful to make for 'rollicking good-ole adventures' in the Indiana Jones style.

Posted by Mezmero

To me Bruce attained what he needed to be Batman when he was an adult. I'm not really interested in seeing him squander his family fortune so soon after his parents' death to listlessly search for the Batman philosophy. Bruce strikes me as a guy who can bide as much time and resources as long as he needs until he can make the best decision. I figure he would have spent most of his early years on his education and fitness to perfect the playboy persona of Bruce Wayne. He didn't become an accomplished businessman overnight and it took even longer than that to truly become the Bat.

I have high hopes for Year Zero. I really want to know what sets Bruce apart from the other Waynes to become something as legendary as Batman. It's not like he comes from a long line of crime fighters/ planet protectors. It has always felt like he owes nothing to his bloodline other than the billions of dollars, a knack for business, and a history of mental illness. I think I find Alan Wayne to be an equally fascinating figure in the New 52 timeline but not much ties the characters together other than a name. Thanks for the article.

Posted by xelanihc

I always thought they should use this concept for a television show, especially with the success Smallville had.

Posted by X9

Cool...seems a good idea

Posted by DurararaFTW

I'm good with this. Alfred and young Bruce seems like it would closer to a Dick and Damian dynamic then anything else, save that Bruce ismore in charge.

Posted by fodigg

This would be pointless. We already have four robins that they can—oh. Oh wait.

Posted by zanevittorio

When I read what Alfred said in the first picture at the top, all I could think of Bruce saying was:

"Not everything. Not yet."

Posted by Red_Robin97

Probably one of the best things New 52 has offered.

Posted by Mutant God

we could see Wildcat or Zatanna

Posted by RoastedRay

I would love to read this! But I would want a lot of Alfred in the story!

Posted by Trodorne

You know what I think of when I see this?

I honestly think a series that has alfred acting as his body guard while Bruce goes on his own misadventures.

who wants to bet bruce wayne wants to travel around and try to stop criminals motivated by the death of his parents?

Posted by batshrine

@xelanihc said:

I always thought they should use this concept for a television show, especially with the success Smallville had.

Agreed!

Posted by Icon

@etragedy said:

God I hope not.

For one thing Bruce was already pretty young when his parents were killed and that was one of the defining moments of his character, so anything before that would make him too young - and would have him essentially be a hero before he became a hero, weakening his origin story. Anything that came after that would be too rage filled and vengeful to make for 'rollicking good-ole adventures' in the Indiana Jones style.

Agreed.

Posted by VGLosers

I wouldn't read it. I just don't see the attraction. Of course, if Robin hadn't just been killed off, his own solo series aimed ad younger readers would've been perfect...

Posted by Reignmaker

The only Bruce Wayne I ever cared about was the little boy crying over the bodies of his dead parents. Other than that he's just a mask utilized by Batman.

Online
Posted by Omega-Man

@spiderturtle:

Why? that has already happened in the Batman & Robin comics it shows you in flash backs him training with Ducard. Why would you want to see it again when it's already been done a few months back?

Posted by mcbean

Of course if DC get enough emails asking for a young Bruce they will make it supply and demand.

Posted by Mucklefluga

I'd add this to my pull list (depending on the creative team of course) if this was a real series.

Posted by MaxSchreck

I`d prefer a mini series about Damian , but this idea sounds pretty interesting ,too .

Edited by NightFang

@batshrine said:

@xelanihc said:

I always thought they should use this concept for a television show, especially with the success Smallville had.

Agreed!

Batman: Year Zero/One the television series anyone?

Posted by Queso6p4
Posted by bananaz

I'd rather see an Alfred series, before meeting the Waynes. Does that exist?

Posted by moywar700

The idea of young bruce wayne is boring.WW's first adventure to the man's world or Superman's teen years on smallville is more interesting.Nothing interesting about him learnining to be an ninja.

Posted by lorex

I don't know that I would want to see a regular series about young Bruce but a few minis could be interesting to as Tony said to fill in some gaps in the back story with the compressed timeline in the new 52.

Posted by StMichalofWilson

@OmgOmgWtfWtf said:

Bruce looks very Asian for some reason.

lol I know right?!

Posted by wdchefdave

"Young Indiana Jones" anyone?!?

"Young Sherlock Holmes" perhaps?!?

"Young Frankenstein"... hell yes!

Let's just watch "Tin-Tin" for a few years until Bruce gets serious.

BORE ME MORE!

Posted by RemyLeBeau

@bananaz: Agreed. I think it would be awesome.

Posted by MuyJingo

Wasn't Alfred's family working for the Waynes for generations? Guess that's another thing Snyder is changing.

Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy

Hmm. Only interested in this because of Alfred.

Posted by Yung ANcient One
Despite this, younger readers do enjoy kid adventure stories. My daughter has gobbled up the Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket and Spiderwick Chronicles books, which all feature young characters facing great adventures with few grown ups involved

I guess I was more of a weirder kid than I thought because as a Kid I personally disliked heroes/champions that were underage. Honestly I did not care much for Young Pre-Teen Robin(as a kid.) I mean NOW I like Damian a lot more than I ever liked Pre-Teen Robin. I preferred reading Robin in his late teens. I always personally liked, and still like more heroes in their Late Teens or in their 20's, but to each is own.

(+)

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Eh, it would be interesting but if memory serves, a Young Bruce Wayne Chronicle is essentially how Smallville was originally envisioned and yet people just weren't clamoring for it. Truth is...a Young Bruce Wayne Adventures concept, at least in my opinion, appeals to only a target audience, and usually that is the younger generation. Now if they did this as a cartoon, yeah I can see the point. Live action? Definitely not.

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