In DC’s Future State there’s a brand new Batman in town, it’s just too bad he handily messed up the most important part of being Batman to begin with.
Warning: Spoilers for Future State: Nightwing #1!
Batman is and always will be a staple in DC Comics regardless of who’s under the cape and cowl. Whether it be Bruce Wayne avenging his parents’ death, Dick Grayson taking over the mantle temporarily, Damian Wayne following in his father’s footsteps or the newest Batman, Tim Fox, striking fear into the heart of criminals and super villains alike, one thing that each and every Batman has in common is the iconic line uttered at the most perfect moment that sends chills up and down fans’ spines both new and old alike without fail.
Of course the line in question is none other than Batman’s “I am Batman!” a catchphrase that has permeated pop-culture and solidified The Dark Knight as one of the most popular heroes to hit the streets, bar none. But in Future State, things are a little different, and the new Tim Fox’s iteration of Batman is still learning the ropes of this crime fighting thing. And if his bungling of this iconic line is any indication, he’s still got a long way to go.
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First seen in action in Future State: The Next Batman #1 & #2 by John Ridley and Nick Derington, Tim Fox’s take on this legendary character is one that is still a little rough around the edges. Continuing to leave fans guessing as to exactly how he even came to be under the cowl in the first place, Tim is shown getting a feel for the job in both issues, his internal thoughts reflecting on the fact that while he is absolutely doubting himself in the role, he is Batman, and he needs to stop pretending he’s something less.
But it isn’t until Future State: Nightwing #1 that Tim truly gets the chance to prove to fans and fellow characters alike that he is, unequivocally, Batman, by introducing himself to Nightwing in a confident and cool way, the easy “I am Batman” introduction line being a no brainer. So, after sneaking into Nightwing’s Arkham Asylum hideout where Dick coordinates the members of his resistance against the fascist Magistrate forces occupying the city, Tim get the perfect chance to respond to Dick’s questioning “…and you are?” comment, but instead goes with the less than stellar “I am…people call me Batman.” Cue the laugh track.
Clearly still a bit unconfident in the role if this flub is any indication, Tim is shocked (literally) by Nightwing’s “Welcome Guest” protocol to find out that Dick is not only unfamiliar with who he is under the mask, but could care less about why Tim has sought him out in the first place. Yet after a quick conversation that shows that their interests are indeed aligned, the new Bat and former Robin decide to join forces to combat the evil that is The Magistrate, solidifying the idea that while Tim still has a lot to learn about being Batman, he’s doing well enough that a seasoned Bat-Family member is taking notice, and that’s saying something.
So with Tim Fox slowly but surely making good on the promise of filling the original Batman’s sizeable boots, he still needs to get Bats’ iconic line down pat before he can truly call himself the real Batman. But who knows, that perfect moment needed to recite this powerful catchphrase might still be coming, and fans can bet that Tim won’t be messing it up the second time around.
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