It has become a very popular argument by Batman’s rogues’ gallery, especially the Joker, in recent years. The villains taunt Batman with the idea that if he weren’t around, most, if not all of them, would never have come into existence and that he is just as much to blame for their brand of chaos as he is. It is all an attempt to throw Batman off his game, but there is clearly some truth behind their words. Without Batman there surely would be no Joker venom, giant penny, or trick umbrellas. There definitely would be no “Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel”. And there would be no Boy Wonder, Oracle, or Batman, Inc.
And speaking of Batman, Inc., the basis of this new idea is that there is supposed to be Batmen all over the world that will be supported by Bruce Wayne. But what if Bruce’s next logical step on his unending war on crime does the exact opposite though of his intent and escalates it instead? Could all these new Batmen, in an attempt to quell crime around the world, be the launching point for more villains worldwide, much like Bruce theoretically was for some of his in Gotham? The world has enough trouble staying together what with the threats the JLA, JSA, Green Lantern Corps, and others are constantly having to snuff out. I’m sure that exactly what the world wants is three new Jokers, two new Two-Faces, and a Penguin from Sicily. == TEASER ==
Already the Batman of Japan, the former Mr. Unknown Jiro Osamu, has an arch-nemesis it would seem in Lord Death Man who re-emerged after a long hiatus in the launching of the Batman, Inc. series. What is it to say that this could not be the jumping off point now for Jiro’s own cavalcade of themed villains that could feature crazed samurai, ninja, or dragons that wish to take down Batman, Inc. and its representatives? And we all know how much Japanese people love dressing up in costumes (just check out the entire cosplay section of Anime Vice here).
Then there is Bilal Asselah, the Nightrunner, and currently the Batman of France. He truly lacks any sort of a rogues’ gallery, but that just sets him up for any number of possibilities. Bilal was last seen dealing with the difficulty of not being accepted by the Muslim people of France as they see him as an extension of an unnecessary American system. This leaves the door open for some extremist to come up with a gimmick to take him down. Or how about that France is home for many of the most evil and twisted group of clowns (even though they originated in Ancient Greece): mimes. It’s only a matter of time before one decides to become the French Joker that traps people in real invisible shrinking boxes that crushes them to death or hangs them from invisible ropes.
Of course, this is all dependent on these new Batmen at some point popping back up in the DC Universe and being fleshed out some more. Otherwise, are all these new Batmen simply tools to forward a current concept and never to be heard from again except as future fodder for another Crisis? Should the more popular ones come back as recurring characters in Batman, Inc. or get their own limited series or monthly spin-offs to expand the roster of DC rogues as a whole? Or will we start seeing more global inspired plots for Bruce Wayne’s villains in order to features these new Batmen more often?
And just how many Batmen are destined for Batman, Inc.? There are nearly 200 countries in the world. Will each one have a Batman? As interesting as it might be to see Batmen all around the world, and it would probably take several hundred issues to get to them all, the gimmick would definitely burn itself out at some point without adding some twists to the creation of dynamic, recurring, new villains with unique stories for these new Batmen or some huge event that features a lot of them all at once. Because right now Batman, Inc. seems like a drawn out version of an Elseworlds I read when I was a kid called Brotherhood of the Bat and in the end of that, "Damian" kicks the snot out of all the imitation Batmen.
So what do you guys think? If there were not a spike in the villain population caused by these new Batmen and some epic storyline that results from it, would this just be a waste of time? If new villains don’t start appearing all over the world, will Bruce Wayne’s rogues’ gallery have to give up the “Batman is the reason why we exist” argument? If the concept of Batman, Inc. doesn’t fail in the comics, does it mean the story will dry up and fail on newsstands instead if nothing radical happens? Let us know what you think with comments below!