Who is the new Batman of Earth 2 that is on the cover to Earth 2 Annual #1? Outside of Bruce’s relationship with Catwoman and Huntress we know very little about the original Batman of this new Earth 2. So instead of looking at his history this post will look at the various Batmen characters related to an Earth 2.
DICK GRAYSON OF EARTH-TWO
The beginning of Dick Grayson’s story pretty much paralleled the Earth-One Robin. Along with his parents he was a part of Haley’s Circus’ trapeze act “The Flying Grayson.” During a show in Gotham, in an attempt to force the circus to pay protection money, Boss Zucco, sabotaged the “Flying Grasons” act which resulted in the death of Dick’s parents. Bruce Wayne was in the audience and seeing the similarities decided to take Grayson on as a ward. As Batman, Bruce eventually trained Dick to become his sidekick Robin. When Grayson approached adulthood instead of changing his superhero identity to Nightwing he stuck with the name Robin.
Grayson assumed the identity of Batman only once when the Joker, who went on a crime-spree after hearing of the death of Batman. Once he defeatedthe Joker, Grayson goes back to using the name Robin.
As far as we know Batman never adopted Dick Grayson on the current Earth 2. As far as we know Batman and Catwoman’s daughter, Helena was the only Robin on Earth 2. Could she have been the second Robin?
Why is he a good candidate? Dick is the original Earth-Two Robin. It would make sense that he would be the heir to the Batman mantle. It also would slightly mirror old Earth-Two continuity.
Why do I doubt it? It seems a bit too easy. Also it would somehow make Huntress’ roll seem less important as Robin.
Flying Fox was the son of the chief of a hidden and isolationist tribe of Native Americans from northern Canada close to the Arctic Circle. During World War II the Nazis learned about the tribe and attempt to get the tribe to engage in guerrilla warfare against the Canadian government. The tribe’s chief, refused to help, the Nazis put him to death in front of his son (the soon to be Flying Fox). Grief stricken the son was directed by the tribe’s shaman and his grandfather to go to a lost cavern to procure the mystical cape and cowl of the Flying Fox. The symbol of the Flying Fox was permanently painted on his chest. He received training in the use of his new mystic powers and was sent to help in the war effort against the Nazis where he joined up with the Young All-Stars.
Why is he a good candidate? Flying Fox was created by Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas and Michael Bair to fill the void in continuity of the Earth-Two Batman, in Young All-Stars who was erased from existence in Crisis on Infinite Earths. If James Robinson is looking to fill the void of the new Earth 2 Batman he need not look any further because one has been created. Just like Young All-Stars James has also used Fury to replace the Earth 2 Wonder Woman. Also Fox being a Native American and Canadian will fit perfectly with the international flavor of this book.
Why do I doubt it? Flying Fox is such an obscure Batman character that Grant Morrison didn’t even use him in Batman Incorporated.
The anti-matter universe Earth also known as Earth 2 had an evil Batman character known as Owlman. Thomas Wayne, Jr., was the older brother of that reality’s Bruce Wayne. As a child Bruce was killed along with his mother by a policeman when his father Thomas Wayne, Sr., refused to accompany him for questioning. Thomas, Jr., escaped the crime scene with the hoodlum Joe Chill, whom he considered his hero, and grew up to become Owlman, a master criminal and an ally to Boss Gordon (the antimatter Earth’s version of Commissioner Gordon). Thomas Wayne, Jr., blames his father for the deaths of his mother and brother and it is strongly hinted that the main purpose to his criminal career is to punish his father.
Why is he a good candidate? In the latest Wordballoon, James Robinson said, the new Batman will be a major character in Earth 2 and the DCU as a whole. Who better fits that description than a man traveling from another parallel world? We’ve also seen events of the main DCU have parallels in Earth 2. Apokolips attacked on both worlds. The Gray attacked like the Rot did. Why not have an evil Thomas Wayne Jr. attack? This Batman costume looks visually similar to the Batman in Flashpoint which makes me think of Thomas Wayne. Having Thomas Wayne, Jr. under the cowl somehow seems to work with what James said on the Comic Vine Podcast back in October:
Tony Guerrero: Was your Batman older than the regular Batman if he had a teenage daughter?
James Robinson: Uh, well, it’s never mentioned. Yeah, he kind of is isn’t he? I always pictured him as kind of like — a when everything — this is how I imagined it, that when everything — again people will get weird ‘cause they will think it’s Thomas Wayne and it isn’t but in the way that they’re like amalgams. You know like the Atom is an amalgam (he previously noted in the podcast that the new Earth 2 Atom is an amalgam of the Golden Age Atom, Atom-Smasher, and Damage). I sort of pictured him as post-Flashpoint being a Batman that was kind of Bruce Wayne if Bruce Wayne was an amalgam with the Thomas Wayne character from Flashpoint. So as a result he is probably ten years older.
Why do I doubt it? Adding Thomas Wayne, Jr. to the mix could end up getting confusing and DC seems to be trying their hardest to make these two worlds not easy to mix up. This why they have the rule that only Flash, Green Lantern, and Atom can have duplicates.
Who do you think the new Earth 2 Batman will be? Will it be one of these three characters? Will it be an amalgam of them all? Do you think it could be someone completely new or someone not previously related to Earth 2 characters?