It has been almost three weeks since Henry Cavill has decidedly taken a gracious bow out of the long-debated and short-lived return as DC’s sole Superman. After the 14th of December announcement on the Man of Steel actor’s part, the DC universe fandom collapsed in on itself. In its aftermath, the shock and chaos that reigned supreme have been widely documented expansively over the media.
However, even as the fandom comes to terms with the fact that Cavill is gone (permanently), more urgent and relatively pertinent questions arise to take up the void left behind by the actor’s exit.
Will DCU Host Battinson Alongside James Gunn’s Superman?
For almost as long as James Gunn has sat in his newly furnished office, the mob frenzy surrounding DC’s development has taken center stage in all of the unfolding drama. Gunn, as usual, has been the epicenter of the shockwaves that follow the exit marks, out from DCHQ and into the public arena, every other week.
One of the latest and most divisive declarations that gripped the fandom has been about the new, young, and improved Superman storyline that Gunn has been planning for the DCU and its mainstream future. The announcement was received with equal parts enthusiasm and backlash for obvious reasons. And although the fandom understands the need for a younger Superman to carry forth the DCU a decade into the future, concerns still arise regarding the placement of this particular Clark Kent in the wider DC Multiverse and where exactly Robert Pattinson’s Batman would fit in this ever-expanding vision of James Gunn.
The Riddler Comic Brings Metropolis to Battinson’s Universe
Matt Reeves’s The Batman universe has given the DC universe its first formative Batman/Bruce Wayne in decades (since Christopher Nolan’s more nuanced take on the Dark Knight trilogy). The gritty depiction not only brought served to build its own faction of DCU fandom but also challenged the older Batfleck’s place within the mainstream universe. The question now remains whether Robert Pattinson’s Batman has been accepted into Gunn’s mainstream DCU, and the answer is unsurprisingly ambiguous.
The new The Riddler: Year One tie-in comics written by Paul Dano, who plays the primary villain in the Reeves film, on the origin arc of his character have seemingly established the presence of Metropolis and by extension, Superman, in The Batman universe.
In this comic strip, the train ticket that displays Metropolis is a direct indication of the formative Bat of Gotham existing within a realm that also harbors a young Clark Kent/Superman. Considering how Gunn has also been batting for a younger Superman story, it should be good news for the fandom to finally find Robert Pattinson bringing his moody, goth, emo Bat driving up in his sleek Batmobile and ready to dole out vengeance for the foreseeable future alongside the red-caped Kryptonian.
But the only qualm reserved in the entire chain of thought is about how easily James Gunn can refute Battinson and his younger Superman being cohorts within the same universe. Given that live-action DCU is a greater priority for the CEO moving ahead, at least for the time being, the stories being aligned remain entirely up in the air, and the only conclusive answer will need to come from the Chief himself.
Source: The Riddler: Year One [Paul Dano]