The DC universe is about to face a war which it certainly isn’t ready for just yet. That was the revelation that was spun out of DC Rebirth, as it was revealed that the entire fabric of reality had been restructured by the sole super-powered individual of the Watchmen universe, Doctor Manhattan. A godlike being who exerts precise control over the building blocks of reality and possesses an omniscient senses that stretch across all of time, the former hero has meddled with the timelines of DC’s greatest heroes, for reasons not yet known entirely.
But as always, Batman is preparing for the worst. Facing not only an upcoming battle against the Watchmen but also Lady Shiva and the League of Shadows, Batman has begun assembling an army of his own. Only these soldiers are somewhat broken. Which makes for an interesting dynamic says Detective Comics writer James Tynion IV. “When I was choosing the members for his team, I thought Batman was very much about choosing people who he sees elements of himself in,” Tynion said to CBR.
Those are the people that he trusts. Gotham is a dark place, and a lot of bad things have happened to a lot of these Gotham characters. Each one of them represents a different aspect of Batman, and there is no character that represents that more than the original Robin. They each have a core piece of tragedy or pathos in them that they share. That’s why they were able to form such a powerful relationship.
With Batwoman, Spoiler, Orphan, and even Azrael and Batwing, all of these characters have the drive that comes from overcompensating from a point, which is what Batman is. At the end of the day, Batman is an overcompensation. He’s what happens when the worst thing in the world happens to you. You can either collapse in the face of that, or you can build yourself into the perfect being in order to prevent that from ever happening again. Each of these people is doing that in different ways and is currently on different steps in the path.
When you look at a character like Clayface, he had something horrible happen to him and that horrible thing made everyone see him as a monster and then he allowed himself to become a monster. And Batman recognized this. At this moment, Batman is at an even higher point of awareness and he needs to see that people can overcome these parts of themselves for reasons… for reasons that I can’t share just yet.
The League of Shadows story arc begins this week as the infamous organisation seeks to leave a mark on the soul of Gotham City.