James Gunn’s DCU Needs To Address One Major Plothole That Has Haunted Batman Since 1943

James Gunn can finally have DCU address a long-standing concern surrounding Batman’s half-mask vulnerability

Ben Affleck, Robert Pattinson, Christian Bale, James Gunn
Credits: Wikimedia Commons / Gage


  • James Gunn’s DCU presents an opportunity to tackle the longstanding question of Batman’s half-mask vulnerability.
  • Despite Batman’s extensive live-action history, the risk posed by his exposed lower face has been consistently overlooked.
  • While practicality may demand a full-face mask, Batman’s expressive lower face is crucial for his detective work
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Soon after the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2008’s Iron Man, DC Studios kick-started its own live-action universe, starting with Zack Snyder’s 2013 film Man of Steel. However, a multitude of reasons eventually led the DCEU to a slow death. All of it culminated with a James Gunn and Peter Safran takeover in 2022 that spawned hopes for a revitalized future for the production house. The Suicide Squad director, as of now, has his eyes fixed on the upcoming Superman movie that will spearhead the future of the franchise.

Ben Affleck as Batman in Justice League | DC Studios
Ben Affleck as Batman in Justice League (2017) | DC Studios

However, anticipation also runs among fans at an all-time high for another of DC’s most popular characters, Batman. While plans are already afoot for a potential movie involving the Caped Crusader, the opportunity is ripe to explain one major weakness revolving around the character as well as a possible solution for the same that only ever appeared once on screen.

James Gunn can reason with one major Batman plothole

Wearing an iconic black cowl and cape, Batman’s voice and ability to incite fear into his adversaries is his biggest strength. However, his mask leaves a major chunk of his face visible and susceptible to damage and gunshots, a huge risk for a hero with no superhuman healing abilities. Surprisingly, this vulnerability never got addressed throughout the several live-action adaptations of the character, including the most recent one by Matt Reeves.

Robert Pattinson in Matt Reeves' The Batman | DC Studios
Robert Pattinson in Matt Reeves’ The Batman | DC Studios

The Robert Pattinson starrer had the character deal and take on the full force of heavy artillery, with little to no concern for his face, nor even catching any stray bullet in his direction, marking a plothole. Additionally, with the DC universe full of strategic mercenaries like Deathstroke, this weakness puts Batman at severe risk, yet the movies never showcase him trying to take note of it or receive any damage.

The only time the concept of a full-face mask or cowl made its way to the deciding table was with the 1943 15-chapter series, Batman starring Lewis Wilson as the first-ever live-action adaption of the hero. As of now, with James Gunn planning to revisit the character with his The Brave and the Bold storyline, he could very well choose to at the very least address this issue and explain why the fighter for justice always don a half-mask.

The comic-accurate reason why Batman does not fully cover his face

Chrstian Bale as Batman in the Dark Knight Trilogy by Christopher Nolan | DC Studios
Christian Bale as Batman in the Dark Knight Trilogy by Christopher Nolan | DC Studios

Long back, Bob Kane and Bill Finger created Batman and debuted it in the 1939 issue of Detective Comics #27. Originally, the character wore bright red tights, had wings on his back, and sported a domino mask. Soon after, Finger suggested the darker color palette as well as the now iconic cape and cowl. Yet, he decided to leave his lower face exposed for the sole reason of allowing his character to emote.


The Caped Crusader is a serious character with no fear. Furthermore, he also stands apart from the rest of the Justice League for being a complete human with no enhancements. Thus, in order to shine a light on that humane aspect, his exposed lower face allows Batman to be more expressive, which is essential for a detective. All of it, in turn, allows him to communicate and resonate with the audience, a large section of which believes him to be their favorite.


Written by Imteshal Karim

Articles Published: 120

Bearing a penchant for writing in multiple forms, I love telling a good story and hope to tell impactful ones about the fandom's side of the Entertainment industry. I found the movie of my life in Christopher Nolan's 2014' s Interstellar, which fascinated me with the perfect blend of science and cinema, leaving me curious about Hollywood. In my leisure time, you will find me indulging in photography, gardening, and cycling.