Crisis Confirms Batman Is From Dark Knight Returns (NOT Kingdom Come)

Posted 2019/12/10 295 0

Warning: SPOILERS for Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part 2.

The second chapter of Arrowverse‘s Crisis on Infinite Earths disproved a fan theory that Kevin Conroy would be playing the Kingdom Come version of Batman opposite Ruby Rose’s Batwoman. Instead, Conroy portrayed a decidedly different version of the Dark Knight from a different alternate future.

First lending his voice to Bruce Wayne and Batman in Batman: The Animated series, Kevin Conroy quickly became the definitive voice of the Caped Crusader, portraying Batman in many different video games and cartoons. Fans were excited when it was announced that Conroy would be playing Bruce Wayne for the first time in a live-action production as part of the Arrowverse Crisis on Infinite Earths event and theories ran wild as to which version of Bruce Wayne Conroy would be playing. The early front-runner was an elderly Bruce Wayne, similar to the role Conroy played in Batman Beyond and there was some speculation that the future Batman Terry McGinnis might show up as well.

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Ultimately, the theories settled upon the idea of Conroy playing the Kingdom Come Batman. This was partly due to confirmation that Brandon Routh was playing the Kingdom Come Superman and partly due to advance photos showing Conroy wearing a protective exoskeleton similar to the one worn by Bruce Wayne in Kingdom Come. However, the second chapter of Crisis on Infinite Earths revealed that while Conroy was playing an older Batman from a dark future, he wasn’t from the reality of Kingdom Come. Instead, key details revealed in the episode – including part of Bruce’s exoskeleton – confirm that Conroy was playing Bruce Wayne from The Dark Knight Returns comic series. This version saw Batman fight Superman, not fight alongside him.

The events of Batwoman season 1, episode 9, “Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part 2,” saw Kate Kane and Kara Danvers traveling to the Gotham City of Earth-99 in search of a Paragon whom The Monitor had dubbed “the Bat of the future.” This led them to the Batman of this reality; an older, embittered Bruce Wayne who had long retired from his war on crime and was only able to walk with the aid of a special exoskeleton. As Bruce and Kate traded histories, Kara was escorted to the library where Bruce kept mementos of his battles with his greatest enemies. Upon examining the trophies, Kara realized to her horror that this Batman clearly did not share Kate’s code against using lethal force and one of the trophies was a pair of her cousin Clark’s glasses.

Kara quickly changed into her Supergirl costume and confronted Bruce and Kate with her discovery, at which point the Batman of Earth-99 revealed his true colors. Bruce spoke of Clark Kent mockingly, saying that he “always said yes to anyone with a badge or a flag” before going off on a tangent about how his parents taught him that “the world only makes sense when you force it to.” With that parting shot, the cuffs and shoulders of Bruce’s exoskeleton began to glow green, revealing the Kryptonite concealed within the special suit just before he punched Supergirl.

The quoted dialogue coupled with Kryponite-powered armor leads to one inescapable conclusion; Kevin Conroy was playing a twisted version of Frank Miller’s Batman from The Dark Knight Returns; one who abandoned his code against killing who clearly didn’t stop at just beating Superman when the Man of Steel was sent to end his reign of terror. It was a sobering battle for both Kara and Kate to endure, but one which ended with the new Batwoman revealed as the true Paragon and “the Bat of the future” as she passed the Monitor’s test of her resolve.

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