10 BATMAN Revelations from DC's ZERO MONTH

<i>By <a href=http://www.twitter.com/Newsarama>Newsarama Staff</a></I> <p>Part of the intention of DC's "Zero Month" which shipped its final issues this week was to fill in some of the blank about the rebooted history of The New 52. <p>A large chunk of those 52 series star Batman and his extended family of caped crusaders, so in honor of our week-long look at the Dark Knight, we've compiled the 10 most important new developments revealed in this month's #0 issues ranging from concrete information to hints of things to come to even more questions being raised. Click "start here" in the upper-left corner for 10 Bat-revelations from Zero Month. <p>(<i>Graeme McMillan, Vaneta Rogers and Lucas Siegel contributed to this article</i>). <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p> <p>


The connections between the Justice League and the Fourth World grew even stronger with <em>DC Universe Presents #0</em>'s revelation that, not only was Batman responsible for the creation of Brother Eye in this new reality, but that he built him using technology left over from Darkseid's invasion of Earth as seen in the first <em>Justice League</em> arc. <p>Suddenly, the scene with Batman from <em>Justice League International Annual</em> #1 makes a lot more sense... and makes us wonder where this reliance on Apokoliptian technology will end up taking us.


Thanks to <em>Batman #0</em>, we have a definitive timeline for the Dark Knight's existence. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's lead story is set "Six Years Ago," and shows us a Bruce Wayne just about to take on the guise of the Dark Knight, while the back-up by James Tynion IV and Andy Clarke provides James Gordon setting up the Batsignal just one year later. <p>So, there we have it: Batman was created five-and-a-bit years before the start of <em>Batman #1</em>, and apparently got good enough at his job to earn a police signal pretty quickly.


Traditionally, Bruce Wayne has tended to be somewhere in his late 20s or early 30s, but that might not be the case in the New 52. <p>We don't know what the timeframe is for the end of <em>The Dark Knight #0</em>, when Bruce leaves Gotham to go and find out the root of all evil, but in <em>Detective Comics #0</em>, we catch up with him in the Himalayas, "Ten Years Ago." <p>Which is fine, in and of itself, but if that comes <em>after</em> he graduated college in <em>The Dark Knight</em>, doesn't that place him somewhere around, what, 32, 33 at the youngest? Is Batman significantly older than the rest of the Justice League in the New 52?


Ann Nocenti's story for <em>Catwoman #0</em> set up all manner of questions about the past of everyone's favorite feline thief including the basic one of "Is she really even Selina Kyle?" <p>After all, her database file gave her a Russian name, and discovering that fact almost got her killed. Now, it turns out someone has erased all mention of Selina Kyle online... But why?


When Dick Grayson took on the role of Robin, it wasn't something that Batman was entirely in favor of, according to <em>Nightwing #0</em>. In fact, Grayson didn't just come up with the Robin name which, in the current continuity, comes from his mother's love of the bird but he created the costume, too. <p>"I'd been working on the armor for weeks," he narrates, "piecing it together from spare Bat-suits." More to the point, Batman really didn't seem that happy to get a sidekick at the time although he seems to have grown used to the idea afterwards, judging from the number of Robins to follow.


The idea of Batman having a 10-year-old son has always threatened to wreck the new, shorter timeline of events in the DCU, but <em>Batman and Robin #0</em> comes very close to derailing the whole thing totally. <p>Even if we presume that Damian was conceived way before Bruce Wayne became Batman in the New 52 timeline, the issue shows Damian celebrating five birthdays <em>after</em> finding Batman's cowl, with the last happening "A Year And A Half Ago"... Meaning that Talia somehow had a cowl a year or so before Bruce Wayne decided to become Batman. Whuh? Maybe they do birthdays differently in the al Ghul family.


As of <em>Batman: The Dark Knight #0</em>, we know that Joe Chill was once again the man responsible for the murder of the Waynes and that, in a break from tradition, Bruce Wayne found him long before he ever became Batman. <p>In fact, Wayne's discovery that Chill <em>wasn't</em> a hired assassin seems to be the thing that sets him out to search into the human (and criminal) conditions even deeper, setting him on the road to becoming the Batman we know and love. Or, at least, respect.


In <i>Red Hood and the Outlaws #0</i>, writer Scott Lobdell made Jason Todd's dark past even darker thanks to The Joker. <p>Yes, The Joker was still the villain behind the former Robin's murder. But now, he's also the villain behind just about everything else that went wrong in Jason's life. <p>In a scene narrated by The Joker, it's revealed that most of the major events in Jason's life were orchestrated by The Joker himself. He claims that he manipulated Jason's entire life, from his father going to jail to his mother's OD on a drug laced with a chemical that simulates death. The Joker built Jason up, just so he could tear him down. <p>Whether you like this new Joker-based origin or not, it will at least give more gravity to the Joker-Jason meeting in the <b>Red Hood</b> tie-ins for "Death of the Family." After all, both of Joker's cruelest acts killing Jason and crippling Barbara have been "undone," so this latest revelation gives him even more reason to come back swinging. <p>Of course, there's always a chance DC will later retcon this narration to be "Joker's overactive imagination." But even so, The Joker knows details about Jason that imply he must know Batman's identity as Bruce Wayne. And that may be the biggest hint about "Death of the Family" yet.


Of the entire Bat-family, Tim Drake's origin is the most wildly revamped in his zero issue. <b>Teen Titans #0</b> focused entirely on the team's leader, the third Robin (or um,not). <p>So, Tim's changes? Well first off, he was never a costumed hero known as "Robin." Instead, in his red and black costume, he was "Red Robin" from the start. This is meant to give him uniqueness, and it takes care of the awkwardness of how the Red Robin identity and costume originally came from an alternate earth and was once worn by the then-recently revived Jason Todd (after originally being from an "Elseworlds" earth as Dick Grayson's grown-up ID). <p>But wait, there's more...


In the New 52, Tim never actually discovered Batman's (and by extension Dick's and Jason's) identity, a uniquely Tim Drake thing in the entire DCU. Instead, he follows a false trail Bruce sets up that still shows off his detective skills all as a test by Batman himself. In fact, one of the ways he discovered Bruce Wayne was Batman in the old DCU, through facial ticks and body language, instead now belongs to Dick Grayson's origin, in <i>Nightwing #0</i>. <p>Tim's new origin also seems to erase <i>Identity Crisis</i> from continuity officially. His parents are alive and well, but in witness protection because of Tim's brash mistake, and willingly gave him up to Bruce Wayne. Said parents were very supportive of his over-achieving in both academics and in athletics he's now a natural at gymnastics. <p>Oh yeah, one more thing. On that final page? Batman says, "His name is <i>now</i> Tim Drake." While his given first name is identified as Timothy, his last name apparently is not Drake, that's a witsec name. <p>In the end, Tim Drake aka Robin is neither a Robin nor a Drake. Discuss.

10 BATMAN Revelations from DC's ZERO MONTH

Date: 26 September 2012 Time: 08:44 PM ET