Batman is now a Metahuman.
Just when we thought Rebirth was gonna take us back on the road to the Classic DC Universe we wind up taking another turn down the road to dysfunction in Didioland.
Back at SDCC we had Dan Didio and Jim Lee telling us they were out to save the comic book industry from a collapse that was coming. Someone needs to tell them it’s bullshit like this that makes people want to walk away from comics and not come back.
According to Batman’s creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger Batman is a guy with no super powers. He’s a guy who is the peak of human athleticism, and extremely mentally adept. That’s why he’s been considered the world’s greatest detective. That’s why he’s an icon in American pop culture.
Unfortunately over the last 25 years writers and artists have taken Batman from being just an ordinary man and turned him into a cipher. So he’s anything they want him to be depending on the situation Batman can do anything from performing surgery like Dr. Mid-Nite, can use Green Lantern rings better than Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayneer and John Stewart and understands Thanagaraian better than Hawkman, and Apokloliptan tech better than Orion and Mr. Miracle. Shit he can even operate Metron’s Mobius chair and is more knowledgable about mysticism than Dr. Fate, Jason Blood, The Spectre and The Phantom Stranger.
Batman isn’t a Metahuman. He’s become a Mary Sue. And that’s one of the big problems at DC Comics.
Metahumans like Static and The Flash have a clear set of defined powers. And they have strengths and weaknesses. It’s those strengths and weaknesses that make them interesting characters.
Batman’s humanity was a strength and a weakness. Yes he was less powerful than the other heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman. But what made him a hero was his ability to overcome his human limitations.
Moreover, what made him a legend was his heart. Bruce always pushed himself so hard because he cared so much about people. He never wanted anyone to suffer the same loss he did so he always pushed himself beyond human limitations to overcome the greatest of challenges. Whether it was matching wits with the Riddler or trying to solve a basic homicide case, Batman’s greatest strength was his love of people.
It’s clear to me from this announcement that nothing has changed at DC. And that Dan Dido and Jim Lee are not genuine when they say they want to save the comic book industry. Letting the New Yorker tell the world that Batman is a Metahuman shows us that DC’s editors still more interested in getting cheap press in the mainstream media rather than getting DC back in place where they can be a competitive publishing house. It’s these kinds of stunts that have fans on the sidelines and holding their dollars.
From this stunt it’s also clear to me that DC is in desperate need a housecleaning in the editorial department. As long as the Didio era goes on, people are still going to get the same poor quality comics. Even if the DC Universe is restored after this so-called “Rebirth,” the quality isn’t going to change because Didio and Lee will still be running the show. And they’ll still be pulling bullshit like this that pisses off customers.
The definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing and expecting a different result. Announcing that Batman is a Metahuman shows us that a year into DC’s Rebirth we’re getting the same crazy in a brand new wrapper.