More Batman R.I.P. Speculation:
A Conversation

detective comics 851 cover variantJIM DOOM: People seem to be referencing solicitations as a reason why it can’t be Dick, but they’re assuming that solicitations will be honest, and they’re also forgetting that DC solicited fake issues of the Flash to surprise readers about Bart’s death.

DOOM DELUISE: The only two times Nightwing is referenced in the future solicitations is in regards to fighting Two-Face or trying to stop plots by Two-Face, but the entire second half of this final issue of Nightwing was Dick beating Two-Face up and conclusively finishing him off.

Reason #2 that Nightwing is the Black Glove: There’s no DC Nation page in the back of Nightwing #150, as there won’t be a #151.

JIM DOOM: That’s a good cue, but all the titles featured abbreviated teases of next week as DC Nation is “Under construction.” It’s entirely possible they just needed the page for an additional page of story. But that, combined with the “END” at the end, makes a good clue.

Reason #3: That cover of Dick with all the villains. It’s a clever cover, because it can mean one of two things: It’s now up to Dick to stand up to the Bat-villains, or Dick is now among the greatest Bat-villains.

DOOM DELUISE: Yeah, they also did a little foreshadowing in Nightwing this month. Babs says that Dick’s voice sounds gruffer, darker. She said it’s the first time it’s ever sounded like Bruce after Bruce puts on the cowl.

That could go either way. Either Dick’s getting rougher and tougher, meaning he’s going to be a bad guy, or his voice is getting more like Batman’s meaning he’ll be putting on the mask soon.

JIM DOOM: Yeah. It’s ambiguous.

Reason #4: All the other major suspects have become too obvious, either by being directly named as suspects or just being too dumb.

DOOM DELUISE: Reason #5: When you say that Bruce Wayne won’t be Batman anymore, every single comic book reader in the world naturally assumes that Dick will be the new Batman.

Grant Morrison doesn’t sound like he’s made an obvious choice in his life.

JIM DOOM: Or that he would take joy in turning the obvious on its head. And I’m not entirely convinced that Dick won’t still become Batman even if he’s the villain.

DOOM DELUISE: Like I said before, I wouldn’t be surprised if the readers are the only ones walking out of this thing knowing who the Black Glove is.

JIM DOOM: Totally. Reason #6: I can’t think of a bigger betrayal, but I just feel like Alfred has been too obvious of a suspect. Alfred might be the biggest betrayal, but it’s been done.

Reason #7: DC was going to kill off Dick in Infinite Crisis, and Dan DiDio supposedly hates the character. If you’re going to kill someone and have nothing planned for him, why not destroy him?

DOOM DELUISE: I don’t think turning Dick heel would destroy him at all.

JIM DOOM: Reason #8: The Tim Drake clues. The fact that Tim Drake has repeatedly been mentioned to be better than Dick, and then the fact that the Black Glove underestimated Tim’s abilities, is another hint that Dick is behind it.

DOOM DELUISE: Reason #9: It never showed the Club of Villains capture Dick. He was just admitted to Arkham under a false alias.

JIM DOOM: Not only that, but he’s been visibly incapacitated, so as to put him out of our minds. He was supposed to get a lobotomy but the Joker stopped it from happening.

Reason #10: A double turn. Fans will be upset if such a good guy turns bad, so a good way to balance that will be by having a bad guy turn good. Dick’s fall could be Jason’s redemption.

DOOM DELUISE: Ooh, that’d be neat.

Reason #11: The last line in Nightwing #150 is Dick saying, “Ok, now to reveal myself as the Black Glove and make Batman Rest in Peace”

JIM DOOM: Yeah, there’s that, but I think you might be reading too much into it.

DOOM DELUISE: It’s ambiguous.

JIM DOOM: Reason #12: Red and black only become deadly when combined. If it’s Dick, there’s got to be some kind of resentment for Batman taking Robin under his wing. That kind of revenge seems more appropriate for Jason, but I don’t think Jason’s involvement would seem like a betrayal at this point.

DOOM DELUISE: Reason #13: The real Nightwing is back, so why do we need Dick prancing around in satin tights on Saturday nights giving rimjobs to quite a few?

JIM DOOM: Well, I’m guessing the 100,000 Kryptonians aren’t around forever. But yeah, having two Nightwings would definitely be a problem. It’d be like having 5 Green Lanterns.

DOOM DELUISE: Dr. Hurt said that this would be, “the ultimate ignoble betrayal.”

JIM DOOM: On the other hand, that problem could just as easily be solved by making him Batman. And Dr. Hurt came into the picture in that 1950s story in which Batman went into some kind of trance or whatever it was. Robin was there. We don’t know what happened to Robin while Batman was out of commission, but we do know that Dr. Hurt was up to no good. I have a feeling that if it’s Dick, it’s not going to be that Dick was so much a mastermind as someone manipulated into betraying Bruce. It’s going to be pathetic.

DOOM DELUISE: Plus, if it’s going to be the ultimate surprise betrayal, that means we can rule out everybody who’s been mentioned before as a suspect, right? So that leaves us with who? Dick Grayson, James Gordon, Barbara Gordon (puh-leeze), and maybe. . . Azrael?

JIM DOOM: Has Tim been mentioned? I don’t see it being Tim, but to be fair we should put him on the list if he hasn’t.

DOOM DELUISE: No, you’re right. He hasn’t been mentioned. I can see it being Dick a lot easier than it being Tim, but I wouldn’t rule him out as a possibility.

JIM DOOM: Man, Jim Gordon — I hadn’t thought about that one. He would’ve been around when Jason died. And then that Robin girl died. And he was spared by the booby trap.

DOOM DELUISE: Jim Gordon’s a dumb cop who smokes dumb cigars. He couldn’t catch Batman in a trap this big. Hell, he couldn’t catch a cold. Plus, he doesn’t know Batman’s secrets.

JIM DOOM: Well, he’s a chess piece who has been moved into place as of the last issue.

I think what all of this speculating has made me realize more than anything is that I really don’t want Batman to die. I don’t think he’s a stale character in any way. I don’t have faith in DC to do something good with his removal. I don’t want Dick to be the villain. I don’t really see any problems solved by a huge betrayal that undoes Batman.

DOOM DELUISE: Yeah, if Detective Comics has shown us anything over the past two years, it’s that you can still make awesome stories with Batman as the main character, sometimes even in just one issue.

JIM DOOM: I was thinking about how cool Batman is while reading Detective #850, actually.

DOOM DELUISE: And, believe me, I don’t want Nightwing to be the villain. He’s my favorite superhero. I’ve said that before, and I’ll say it again.