New Villain Introduced With Twisted Bruce Wayne Origin Retelling In BATMAN #38 - SPOILERS

"Batman #38" excerpt
Credit: Travis Moore/Giulia Brusco/Clayton Cowles (DC Comics)

Spoilers ahead for this week's Batman #38.

The new origin for Bruce Wayne promised for Batman #38 - and the new Batman villain from writer Tom King - actually ended up being the same thing. The poor little orphaned rich boy at the beginning of the issue, whose origin story mirrored young Bruce Wayne, was exposed by the end of the issue to be a crazy little serial killer.

The story, titled "The Origin of Bruce Wayne," featured art by Travis Moore and Giulia Brusco and contained a one-shot story that, by the issue's conclusion, already solved the crime and locked up the murderer.

Credit: Travis Moore/Giulia Brusco/Clayton Cowles (DC Comics)

The issue starts with the murder of a wealthy woman and her husband, the latter being a member of the board of Wayne Enterprises. As Bruce Wayne visits the dead couple's orphaned son Matthew, the two discuss the similarity in their circumstances.

Matthew asks if the pain will ever stop, and Bruce basically says no, it won't. "It's always there, scratched into you," he says.

But the scene with Matthew Warner gets a little weird when the boy's butler calls him "Master Bruce," something Matthew claims is a continuation of a joke his father used to make about him living up to the example of the great Bruce Wayne.

Credit: Travis Moore/Giulia Brusco/Clayton Cowles (DC Comics)

So who committed the murder? At first, as Commissioner Gordon and Batman compare notes, the murders appear to be the work of Victor Zsasz, but he's in prison.

And later, the parents of Zsasz are murdered in a similar manner, followed by a couple more people - these staged in a way that makes it seem Two-Face is the killer and might be trying to frame Zsasz.

As Bruce visits Matthew again, it appears that the boy is becoming obsessed by finding his parents' killers.

Hmm…who does that sound like?

That night, Bruce wakes up in the middle of the night and begins talking about the evidence to a sleeping Selina (in bed next to him and presumably not hearing a word he's saying). He's not buying that Two-Face did it.

Credit: Travis Moore/Giulia Brusco/Clayton Cowles (DC Comics)

As Batman talks through the clues, they lead him to the home of Matthew's butler, who confesses to killing the parents for the money, presumably committing the other murders to cover his tracks.

Later, Bruce is hanging with Selina as Alfred serves them dinner - Bruce feeling particularly thankful that Alfred wasn't a dirty rat like Matthew's butler apparently was. Then Selina mentions that he's lucky because Alfred would have done anything for young Master Bruce.

Credit: Travis Moore/Giulia Brusco/Clayton Cowles (DC Comics)

Those words rattle around in Bruce's head a bit and he realizes that the butler maybe didn't do it after all.

He discovers that it was Matthew the whole time, and he discovers the boy's desire to be Bruce Wayne has driven him to actually carve Bruce's parents' names Thomas and Martha on his face - one on each cheek.

Credit: Travis Moore/Giulia Brusco/Clayton Cowles (DC Comics)

So the new villain, it seems, is a young Matthew Warner. And although Batman's rogues are often inspired by the caped crusader, Matthew's origin is inspired instead by wealthy Bruce Wayne.

And now Batman has a villain with the names "Martha" and "Thomas" carved into his skin.

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