That’s the rumour, anyhow. News of Wayne’s death spread like the Rage Virus after an article was posted on the internet by one gigantic nerd: Rich Johnston. Johnston’s an online comic-industry writer who’s been correct with more than one conspiracy theory in the past. He writes:
In June/July, DC are killing off Batman. Or rather, Bruce Wayne. Robin will inherit the Batman cowl. One of the Robins anyway. Tim Drake. Jason Todd. Or possibly Red Hood. Hey, maybe Jean-Paul Valley, it has been ten years since Azrael.
Either way, the book will relaunch with a nice shiny #1.
I have no problems with this. Considering who’s at the helm (great song), Grant Morrison, it’ll be cooked thoroughly. We’ve already had glimpses into: the future of Gotham, Damien’s destiny, and Bruce’s growing paranoia eating away at him, in the recent run of Batman. Three ghosts, which will he become? The gun-wielding madman, the whore rapist/murderer loaded on steroids, the Satan worshiper. Its clearly building toward something, maybe this is it? The death of an icon.
Of course, Batman would never die. He’s the companies franchise character; the Kobe to their Lakers, the Jeter to their Yankees, the Tiger to their Nike. They’d (DC) never sacrifice sales of that magnitude, no matter how good it could be. After the Resurrection of Ra’s, the Demon’s Head, Morrison will explore the myth of the Batman. At least, in his mind he will.
He’ll take us to the caves of Nanda Parabet, where Bruce supposedly went to purge his negative energy (thank Frank Miller), and spent time in his youth while searching for himself. He’s also looking back to Bruce’s final confrontation between him and the man that killed his parents, Joe Chill. What will this reveal that we already don’t know? Most likely something trippy and other-worldly, Grant’s trademark. There’s also been a build to the corruption of the GPD. An impostor Batman will begin killing officers, working his way to Gordon. We also know that at some point Wayne will lie helpless in a heart-stopped coma. The edge of death. Would they actually do it?