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CSBG Archive

The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So WHO Killed Batman’s Parents?!

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today, we examine how the killer of Batman’s parents have changed over the years…

Enjoy!

We first learn what happened to Batman’s parents in Detective Comics #33 in 1939 (just six months after his first appearance)…

Nine years later, in 1948′s Batman #47 we learn the name of their killers, Joe Chill…

Batman later confronts him in a brilliant scene by Bill Finger…

This was later confirmed to still be the case post-Crisis on Infinite Earths by Mike Barr in Detective Comics #578…

But first, in an Zero Hour tie-in issue of Detective Comics where Bruce travels to an alternate timeline where his parents lived and he died, he sees reason to disbelieve that Chill actually killed his parents in his timeline…

At the end of the issue, though, nothing is confirmed either way.

The next month, though, following Zero Hour, it was confirmed in Batman #0 by Doug Moench that the mruder was no longer solved…

Infinite Crisis appeared to reverse Zero Hour’s change, but apparently the current Batman titles are going under the Zero Hour change and the murder remains unsolved.

73 Comments

No, it has NOT been the standard ever since – “Infinite Crisis” saw to that. It was made clear that Batman’s killer WAS caught and brought to justice; subsequent retellings (including Neil Gaiman’s “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader”) made it clear that it was Joe Chill.

What Nick said. Morrison even rehashed the Golden Age confrontation during his run.

I would hardly count Whatever Happened to The Caped Crusader as “continuity”, but yeah, I agree—Infinite Crisis re-established Chill as the killer of the Waynes. I’d wager that when the time comes for them to tell it again, that’ll be the story in the New 52 as well.

I think Snyder has confirmed that the Waynes’ killer was never caught in New52 continuity.

I was just about to say it, Nick. Honestly, I think having the Waynes’ killer remain “faceless” is awesome because it brings this whole element of Batman wanting to avenge his parents’ death by bringing down ALL criminals since, technically, any of them could be the killer.

Plus, just having a throwaway story mentioning how Chill was caught a long time ago eliminates the possibility of writing awesome stories that give you pause and make you rethink everything you ever thought about the Waynes death.

the abandoned storyline would be NOT knowing who the killer is. the removal of chill as the killer.

Anyone notice how in the original story (and most retellings) the mugger shoots Martha but in Batman 47 she dies of a heart attack.

I think Snyder has confirmed that the Waynes’ killer was never caught in New52 continuity.

Correct. So I should have said “remains the standard,” and that’s what I’ve changed it to now.

They can retcon a whole lot of things… but as long as I’m alive Joe Chill will always be the killer of Bruce’s parents.

wasn’t there also an implication in Jeph Loeb’s Superman/Batman that John “Metallo” Corben did the deed?

No amount of continuity massaging can undo the “holy crap” awesomeness of that sequence from Batman #47.

wasn’t there also an implication in Jeph Loeb’s Superman/Batman that John “Metallo” Corben did the deed?

There was, but I don’t think it ever got past the implication stage.

No amount of continuity massaging can undo the “holy crap” awesomeness of that sequence from Batman #47.

It’s truly amazing, especially for the era when it was written.

“There was, but I don’t think it ever got past the implication stage. ”

And Thank GodJesus for that. It sounded like an incredibly contrived way to shoehorn more DCU connections into Batman’s backstory, for the sake of bolstering a rather awful team-up book.

It was always my belief (and made sense) that Batman couldn’t be aka “The World’s Greatest Detective” if he couldn’t solve the murder of his parents.

@ Neil Kapit
But I liked Superman/Batman…..
You had Ed McGuinness and Mike Turner (RIP) at their prime and some fun team-up stories that made pretty good use of their talents. Also, the way Jeph used narration boxes was kind of new and I liked his writing. Just cuz the guy made Ultimatum doesn’t mean his older stuff retroactively sucks, people.

What about the whole Lew Moxon deal?

I guess Lew Moxon’s hiring Joe Chill to kill Thomas Wayne is out? That’s undoubtedly for the best.

Some notes from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Chill

In Detective Comics #235 (1956), Batman learns that Chill was not a mere robber, but actually a hitman who murdered the Waynes on orders from a Mafia boss named Lew Moxon.

In the 1980 miniseries The Untold Legend of the Batman, Alfred Pennyworth reminisces that Joe Chill is the son of one Alice Chilton, Bruce Wayne’s one-time nanny.

In 2006′s Infinite Crisis #6, another cosmic crisis reestablishing that Chill murders Thomas and Martha Wayne and adding for the first time that he is later arrested on that same night for their murder.

In the 2008 Grant Morrison story, “Joe Chill in Hell” (featured in Batman #673), Chill is reinterpreted as a mid-level crime boss who builds the Land, Sea, Air Transport company from the ground up (most likely through illegal means). He blamed his crimes, including murdering the Waynes, on class warfare. In this story, Batman has visited and frightened Chill every night for a month. Chill is living as a shut-in, but his guards never see or catch Batman during the visits. On his final visit, Batman gives Chill the gun he used to kill the Waynes. There is one bullet left within it. Chill finally realizes who Batman is, and fears what his fellow gangsters would do to him if they found out. It is hinted that he commits suicide; considering the issue consists of Bruce’s flashbacks and hallucinations from an experiment he undergoes during his early career, however, it is left ambiguous whether the events of the issue are real.

In 2009′s Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? by Neil Gaiman, Joe Chill is seen as the bartender attending Batman’s funeral (the funeral itself being a near death experience). Batman, who is observing the event, as well as Catwoman, note that Joe Chill should be dead. Chill notes that he was there at the birth of Batman, and it is only fitting he should be there to witness the end.

Wasn’t Lew Moxon the crime boss that Thomas Wayne took down or something while dressed in a Batman costume for a Halloween party? So the set up was the Moxon hired Joe Chill to take out the Waynes and make it look like a robbery. Later, Batman finds out about all this and..stuff happens. (Memory’s hazy on this.) Bruce’s Batman outfit was damaged so he used his Dad’s Batman costume to confront Moxon who died of shock, thinking he was being confronted by Thomas Wayne returned from the grave. I think this served as a sort of sequel to Batman#47.

Later, the Moxon plot point was used in “To Kill a Legend” in Detective Comics#500 and Chill’s role as a stooge in a larger scheme was set up in Batman Begins.

But IIRC, for the most part, whenever the current continuity established Joe Chill as the murderer, the Lew Moxon plot point was ignored.

OK, while I was writing my stuff, so was Rob Schmidt…good work, Rob!

I’m not sure I like radical continuity-changing events like Crisis being allowed in this segment. If the criteria for “A&F” is 1) story element abandoned in later segment, and 2) explicitly explained away, then all Crisis-changes count. And that’s a bit too easy.

In any case: pre-Crisis the killer’s identity was known, post-Crisis too, not post-Zero Hour, and then known again post Infinite Crisis. (And now possibly not known in nDCU).

I’m not sure I like radical continuity-changing events like Crisis being allowed in this segment.

Reboots don’t apply (like Crisis on Infinite Earths and Flashpoint), but stuff like Zero Hour that made specifically targeted changes do. There’s a sizable difference between “everything starts from scratch” and “nothing’s changed…except this one thing.”

In fact, looking at my description of A&F, this fits pretty much exactly. Storyline abandoned? Check. Another story written to specifically overturn it (the key word is “specifically”)? Check.

I think Batman #0 was actually just a follow-up, or confirmation of the story that actually actively changed this continuity:
http://www.dcuguide.com/Bm/Tec_678.php

Detective Comics 678 was a Zero Hour issue by Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan. Batman finds himself out of time, tracks down Joe Chill on the night of the murder, minds inconsitancies in the investigation meaning that Joe Chill couldn’t have been in Crime Alley the night his parents were murdered.

This is the issue he discovers it may not have been Chill, it may have been anyone. From then on, I think they just kind of ignored Chill and had Batman update his thinking to comply with this investigation: I never found out who killed my parents.

Which, by the way, I like WAY more than Joe Chill.

Yeah, what Michael P. said. Where’s any mention of “The Untold Legend of the Batman”, from 1980?

Yeah, what Michael P. said. Where’s any mention of “The Untold Legend of the Batman”, from 1980?

This is not about who was behind Joe Chill’s murder of the Waynes. It is strictly about how we knew who shot the Waynes until a story abandoned and forsaked it. Thus, Untold Legend of the Batman has no impact upon that particular discussion.

I think Batman #0 was actually just a follow-up, or confirmation of the story that actually actively changed this continuity:

The Detective Comics issue definitely set it up, but Batman #0 made the actual official change to continuity, since the ‘Tec issue took place in an alternate timeline where Bruce was murdered but his parents survived. But sure, it is worth mentioning the ‘Tec issue! I’ll throw a mention into the piece. Thanks!

Just cuz the guy made Ultimatum doesn’t mean his older stuff retroactively sucks, people.

I agree that Ultimatum doesn’t make Jeph Loeb’s earlier work suck. Jeph Loeb’s earlier work sucks because it was badly done even when it was first released. Nothing retroactive about it.

Never liked the idea of “Joe Chill.” I think Batman works better when the killer is a nameless, faceless schmuck.

One interesting note from Wikipedia is all the mentions of Joe Chill in other venues: movies, cartoons, alternate universes, etc. Does one comic book wipe that out?

I don’t think so. It’s been Joe Chill for most of the 70-plus years of Batman’s history. Until “nameless” has a good long run of several decades, I think fans will remember Chill as the killer.

Which raises a larger question, at least in my mind. Does DC have a canon anymore? With all the reboots, who knows which “facts” are facts anymore?

Sure, Superman will always be rocketed from Krypton to Earth as a baby. But was his father headband-wearing Jor-El, robed Jor-El, or some other Jor-El? Was teenage Clark a bookworm or a big man on campus? Did he join the Legion of Super-Heroes and at what age? Etc.

Even if a comic addresses these questions, the “facts” are only facts until the next retcon or reboot. So the “canon” starts shifting from the most recent story to the preponderance of stories. Therefore, I’d say Joe Chill is semi-canonical at this point–even if the latest story denies his role.

I always thought it was a much stronger story to leave the Wayne murders unsolved. The notion that what happened to the Waynes could really, truly, happen to anybody — that all of the Wayne money and social connections couldn’t save them — is powerful and poignant.

Anything is better (for me) than it was the Joker (like the movie) pre-transformation.

was going to point out that in batman and super man that it was kind of hinted at that maybe Mettello was the kilelr of bruces parents. not joe chill though now given the total start from scratch of the dcu. maybe batmans parents killer will turn out to be some one new or joe chill again. though still take as cannon joe chill is the killer who made bruce become batman.

Did they get rid of the whole, ‘Thomas Wayne hired the shooter to kill his wife and son, and faked his own death’ thing? THAT was bad.

Did they get rid of the whole, ‘Thomas Wayne hired the shooter to kill his wife and son, and faked his own death’ thing? THAT was bad.

I don’t believe they ever actually did that. From RIP, right? That was a plot by a bad guy to mess with Batman.

Yeah, that was it: RIP. I remember being baffled, and then the comic just moved on. If they explained it as something different, they did it a while after the fact, not actually in the story.

I mean, the comic didn’t show any explicit proof that it was a lie, but Batman does say that it is a lie at the end of the story and seems confident in his belief (Later on in The Return of Bruce Wayne, they state it explicitly when they give the origin of Dr. Hurt).

Batman’s is the World’s Greatest Detective. Who am I to argue?

Hehe. He IS good at detecting stuff! :)

Don’t forget The Untold Legend of the Dark Knight by Byrne, where he rendered the story almost exaclty as to what it was prior.

I’m surprised nobody ever used the “L.A. Confidential” approach: where “Joe Chill” was just a name Wayne created to give substance to the never-identified murderer of his parents, ala Lieutenant Edmund Exley’s “Rollo Tomasi”. Somehow, having a faceless, almost elemental criminal to pursue makes Batman’s unending obsession more believable. Batman keeps going because he sees “Chill” in the face of every criminal he goes after, be that a mugger, or the Joker.

As Rob Schmidt pointed out, talking about DC’s and Marvel’s ‘canon’ is impossible nowadays. Not even they care about it much anymore (DC especially, now that they can mix and match “canon” as they see fit, as it”s all supposedly brand new). I see “canon” as something entirely personal and subject to each reader’s preferences. If you don’t want to count the Human Torch’s marriage to skrull Alicia Masters, or the “electric superman” period, then there’s no reason NOT to dismiss those stories altogether. Over the decades of these characters being continually published under hundreds of different writers across multiple books, it’s inevitable that too much continuity garbage would have accumulated, and trying to reconcile all the stories of ANY of these characters into a coherent lifetime narrative is downright insane.

It probably made sense to talk about “canon” in the 60s and 70s when there wasn’t as much continuity baggage and characters rarely appeared in multiple books, but in nowadays’s mainstream comics the word “Canon” has no meaning anymore. Comics continuity hould be like a big buffet – take what you like and dismiss what you dislike. If you didn’t like it when Dan Slott had Squirrel Girl beat Marvel’s top supervillains like chumps, then it never happened. Not even the actual writers respect each other’s ideas of what is “canon”, why should it be different for readers?

Right, HammerHeart. Truly bad ideas, like Northstar’s being an elf, are probably gone for good. But a semi-canonical idea like Joe Chill’s being the killer will keep coming back. Next time Chill may be Lew Moxon’s hired gun, or an alias for “nameless” or the Joker. But I doubt he’ll ever be completely “abandoned an’ forsaked.”

Billy Bissette

March 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm

FS7 said “Plus, just having a throwaway story mentioning how Chill was caught a long time ago eliminates the possibility of writing awesome stories that give you pause and make you rethink everything you ever thought about the Waynes death.”

Personally, I think that is a positive, because a lot of stories that “give you pause and make you rethink everything you ever thought” are not “awesome”. Even the good ones by nature tend to make history more convoluted. The middling ones just don’t serve a purpose at all. The bad ones can be downright destructive.

Just looking through the Abandoned An’ Forsaked archives gives a good number of pointless or even damaging changes that writers have made, in addition to the occasional good ones.

Marvel still publishes their Official Handbooks, pretty much every month. If you want to know what is canon and what isn’t, you should consult those.

They routinely explain things that you may have missed or help flesh out other elements.

Ty Templeton had an elegant solution to this question in the final issue of Batman Adventures. The reader learned that Joe Chill killed the Waynes, and Chill himself learned that Batman was Bruce, but Chill died before Batman realized who he was.

Ty Templeton really should be allowed to write a “regular” bat book…one they excise the stench of Morrison that is.

Brian writes: “Reboots don’t apply (like Crisis on Infinite Earths and Flashpoint), but stuff like Zero Hour that made specifically targeted changes do. There’s a sizable difference between “everything starts from scratch” and “nothing’s changed…except this one thing.’ In fact, looking at my description of A&F, this fits pretty much exactly. Storyline abandoned? Check. Another story written to specifically overturn it (the key word is “specifically”)? Check.”

But “Zero Hour” was a reboot. The DC universe blanked out and was rebooted at the end with a fade to white and a new big bang.

Yeah, it seems like a sliding scale. At least based on what we’ve seen of the New 52 so far (which doesn’t really seem like they’ve even really figured a lot of it out yet), Flashpoint was only a partial reboot, more than Zero Hour but less than Crisis on Infinite Earths. In all of those cases, some stuff continued more or less as it was while other stuff started over or was scrapped entirely; it was just a question of how much stuff and how much these disparate elements clashed with each other.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm

wasn’t there also an implication in Jeph Loeb’s Superman/Batman that John “Metallo” Corben did the deed?

There was, but I don’t think it ever got past the implication stage.

I think it was revealed in story that it was just fake evidence planted to distract Batman.

Inevitably it will be revealed that it was actually Booster Gold who killed Batman’s parents–but he only did it to preserve the timeline, and felt really bad about it.

BATMAN #47 is a great, great Batman story. It might be in the Top 10 all-time. There is something poetic about the final fate of Joe Chill that I have never seen matched.

I get the whole “faceless criminal becomes all criminals” idea, but it is not as interesting as the story it superseded.

Clay Eichelberger

March 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm

It’s always bothered me, this idea that Batman can’t have caught his parents’ murder and avenged their deaths, because then he’d have no reason to keep on being Batman. As nutso as he’s gone, Frank Miller had at least one thing *absolutely* right when it came to the character: Batman isn’t in this to avenge Thomas and Martha Wayne. It’s nobler and better than that: Bruce Wayne is the Batman so that NO ONE ELSE ever has to go through what *he* went through. He’s the Batman so that no one else has to die. Vengeance is indiscriminate (just ask the Spectre, or the Punisher for that matter). Batman (when he’s written right) should be at least as much about compassion as he is about anger. Did the young Bruce Wayne want to find his parents’ killer? Absolutely. Is there ever any indication given that this is ALL he wants, or even the greater part of what he wants?? None.

Scott Snyder’s a great Batman writer, one of the best the character has had since Steve Englehart and Denny O’Neil. But with all respect, I think he’s got this part wrong.

Ian – even the Official Handbook’s canonican status is sometimes questionable, or at least contradicts commonly-held ideas. For example, most Captain America fans believe that Cap is “peak human” and has no superhuman powers, but the Official Handbook says otherwise: according to that presumably canonical source, Cap has superhuman stamina and speed.

To be fair, even in Cap’s own book Brubaker occasionally shows him perform superhuman stunts, like that one WW2 flashback where Cap was tasked with delivering a message and did so running at clearly superhuman speed (not Flash-fast, but speeding-car-fast, which is still much more than “peak human”). So one could argue that Marvel’s actual stories portray at a Cap who’s more than just “peak human” – but most Cap fans seem to have a completely different take on it, for them the “peak human” thing is absolutely canonical period.

(I personally side with the Official Handbook and Brubaker on this one)

Lew Moxon can stay forgotten, as far as I’m concerned. Batman’s origin works better as a random act of violence, not as a murder-for-hire. And I’ll agree with Brian and the others who admire that Bill Finger scene; I think it’s my favorite in the “canon.”

That Detective 678 is a damn good issue, btw.

I do know that having reread a bunch of Zero Hour era stuff last year, one of the key things they wanted to do was to make the killer of the Waynes anonymous. Not sure why, really. As some people bring up, Batman being “world’s greatest detective” and all, he SHOULD be able to figure it out, eventually. And it’s a driving obsession with him as well. But he’s also driven enough that he’s not going to say, “hey, found my parents’ killer, guess I’ll quit now.”

Clay brings up a good point, that Batman works best when he’s “in it” to prevent what happened to him from happening to anyone else, and I’ve read a few good stories to that effect (the titles of which all slip my mind right now…). But was that an idea that originated with Frank Miller?

MRMIRACLE’s “LA Confidential” way of looking at it is pretty interesting.

The way I read the Morrison “Joe Chill in Hell” issue involved thinking that it was Batman’s secret wish, to terrorize his parents’ killer, and drive him to suicide, and provide the means. It’s not necessarily what “really” happened, though.

The implication of Morrison’s run and the Dr Hurt dressing as Thomas Wayne in the “proto-Batman” costume bit is that the Moxon story is canon too, right? Gangster is hurt, gets Wayne to heal him, then later has him killed, implicitly because Wayne might finger him as a bad guy.

In the original Moxon story, iirc, Moxon’s been hit on the head, and truly doesn’t remember Thomas Wayne, even passing a lie detector test. Batman shows up in his office, somewhat similarly to the Chill sequence shown here, dressed in the Thomas Wayne costume, which shocks Moxon into remembering, and he then runs into the street and gets run over by a truck.

And as much as I love RIP and the whole Morrison Bat run, a lot of the Thomas Wayne/Dr Hurt/stuff that ties into the origin (Zur en Arrh!!!!) IS really really confusing. Awesome at times, but REALLY confusing.

In the issue of the relaunched Batman where Bruce is talking about his investigation of the Court of Owls as a kid he says that he couldn’t believe some normal person, “some no name, some Joe Chill” could have just decided to kill his parents, so apparently Joe Chill is still the killer in the New 52.

I guess this also invalidates the Batman novel The Ultimate Evil, where Andrew Sacchs said that Joe Chill killed Thomas Wayne because Wayne was investigating a child sex ring.

I agree with HammerHeart.

Canonicity sort of went to hell in Marvel/DC around the 1990s. Some point after Marvel made multiple attempts to make their characters “kewler”, some point after DC rebooted their universe for the 357th time.

I suppose most fans treat as “canon” the status quo from when they started reading comics, plus any later storylines they approve of.

Adapted rather wonderfully by Paul Dini in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode “Chill of the Night”. (Which I also believe is the only time in that series that we see Batman take off his mask — flashbacks to his origin and alternate-reality stories like Bat-Manga and Knights of Tomorrow notwithstanding.)

Francis Dawson

March 26, 2012 at 9:01 am

Bill Finger sure could bring the German Expressionist/ noir style.

Batman’s origin has been altered many times. Depending on the story, Martha dies from a heart attack or is shot. I’m not sure which one it is now.

Slight typo error….

“The next month, though, following Zero Hour, it was confirmed in Batman #0 by Doug Moench that the mruder was no longer solved…”

Should be ‘murder’

Denny O’Neal was the one who always thought Batman finding his parents killers would end the motivation to fight crime-thus he had pushed for the mystery of the Wayne s killers to be unsolved. I was glad when they decided to un-do with Infinite Crisis. Batman Begins actually made a really good argument against a revenge driven Batman, and a more social good Batman

I always thought it was a much stronger story to leave the Wayne murders unsolved. The notion that what happened to the Waynes could really, truly, happen to anybody — that all of the Wayne money and social connections couldn’t save them — is powerful and poignant.

How exactly does that concept go away if we know the identity of the killer?

Yeah, I think HammerHeart’s idea of each reader believing in their own “canon” is nearly inarguable at this point, especially with the constantly updated, expanded, and rebooted Big Two. No matter what a writer does with a title, they will never change the image you have in your head when it comes to your favorite characters.

For me, Joe Chill will always have killed the Waynes, and Batman will always be a darkly altruistic hero who seeks to protect others from exeriencing what he had to, even though his parents’ murder is solved. And maybe I’m a bit biased from just reading Kelly’s Wonder Woman post, but the whole “Martha’s weak heart stops beating” thing seems a little bit old-school sexist. For my money, she was killed by the second shot.

I liked the Moxon expansion–it doesn’t change the actual events, but it did make for a good story. But it’s no loss to have that dropped from history.
But i think chill works better than some unknown person, just as Batman being more than revenge-driven works.
#47 is awesome. There’s also a great shot of Joe Chill by Aparo in the eighties UNTOLD LEGEND OF THE BATMAN where Batman unmasks and Chill realizes (as another blog put it) that Batman’s angrier at him than he’s ever been angry at anyone …

For the record, the Batman: the Ultimate Evil has the target of the assassination being MARTHA Wayne instead of Thomas. Her social work background was what was uncovering the child-sex ring. I actually kind of like that retcon, since we’ve always got to see how awesome Thomas Wayne is in these things, while Martha remains a cypher usually. Her death should MATTER too, and exploring that she was a decent person beforehand who may have gotten the Waynes killed by being a tenacious investigator willing to go to the wall for children makes her loss have more impact rather than be an afterthought to Thomas.

And then there’s “Batman Begins,” where the Wayne’s murder is part of some Master Plan by the Illuminati, along with the Great Fire of London, the cracking of the Liberty Bell, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and the invention of Cheez Whiz.

Zor-El of Argo

May 28, 2012 at 7:53 am

Wasn’t it once established that chill was actually hired to kill Thomas Wayne and make it look like a mugging? Thomas Wayne had pissed off a mob boss while dressed in a bat-costume for a costume party. When Bruce discovered this he wore his fathers old costume to chase down the mobster. When did this get retconned?

Lew Moxon was the guy behind the killing. That was canon as late as Det. 500, but wiped out with the Crisis where Chill is back to being a lone gunman.

You know, there’s also a very real chance that in the New 52, the Court of Owls will be directly connected to their deaths. Because in the beginning of this Batman series, there are a bunch of things Batman says are ‘impossible’, and all of them have proven to be true except for their involvement in his parent’s murder. Also, the back-up story that just started about Alfred Pennyworth’s father may very well be leading up to this.

Personally, i hope this doesn’t happen. A random guy like Joe makes Batman’s eventual progression to fighting all crime make more sense. Either way it’s not about revenge, but i feel it could feel more like it if there was some shadow-y group manipulating it all.

Gotta dig on that McFarlane-esque impractically huge cape.

Okay, I have to ask –

Am I the only one who can’t help thinking the answer was “Jack Napier?”

I mean, it’s probably because I was 11 years old in 1989 and didn’t really start reading comics until a couple of years later (and even then mostly just read Marvels for a long time), but that can’t be completely unique to me. Frankly, I’m guessing that if one did a general survey, a lot of people would suggest that the Joker killed Batman’s parents… and the goofy thing is, between all of DC’s retcons and reboots, it’s hard to say that answer would be any less legitimate than any other.

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