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  1. #1
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    Default Unmasking the Batman

    Here's a question, and an idea (perhaps a crazy idea).

    Has Batman ever been (or close to) unmasked in public?

    If no, tell me what you think of this as a basic plot for a Batman story.

    A new villain comes into town. He has studied Batman (not the way Bane did in Knightfall where he let all chaos loose), but by just using all information and data he could get access to. (How he manages to do that and with what resources is up to the writer I guess.) Then the villain finally strikes in a series of setups for the Batman. Leaving Batman gagdet-less and physically weak the two go at it.....and Batman does not come out on top. The villain has prepared to broadcast the demise of the Batman on air and promptly does so. The world now knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne. This would just be the lead in to a longer story which would hopefully answer some of the following questions:

    What effect does the unmasking of Batman have on Bruce Wayne/Batman?

    Does Batman continue to fight crime?

    How do the villains react to this? A lot of have gotten close, and a couple of them know, but villains like the Joker have always stopped short of taking off the mask because the like the mysterious element.

    How does this affect Wayne Corp?

    What happens to those close to Bruce Wayne? He doesn't have a great deal of people close to him I'd say, but the few he has he holds very dear.

    And what happens to guys like Commissioner Gordan? Does he continue to accept help from the Batman (assuming Bruce continues to keep Batman alive)?

    A bunch of other questions about the psychological effects on the characters would be answered I would hope.

    The biggest question would be I guess is how do you actually fix the unmasking?

    Does Batman reach out to someone who can wipe the minds of everyone in the world?

    Does Bruce Wayne use his money to fake his own death and use money to change his face? Would he still be the Batman if he did this only to try to convince the people that Batman and Bruce Wayne are/were not the same?

    Keep in mind that Batman's unmasking would not be voluntary like Spiderman's.

    What do you guys think? How would you handle a story like this?

  2. #2
    Gotham's Geek Kristofer's Avatar
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    There is a small side-story in Kingdom Come where Bruce Wayne tells Superman that the world knows he is Batman. He really doesn't tell how it happened, but he does bring up the mansion is destroyed and he lives down in the batcave.

  3. #3
    New Member comicvine's Avatar
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    I like the idea. I particularly like find it more interesting when characters live their real life as the Hero. Like the Fantastic Four or Hellboy.

  4. #4
    Renaissance Man Heltyr's Avatar
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    Actually, one of my favorite Batman Story arcs from the 1980s had Batman almost reveal his identity, in a semi-anticlimatic way, but it really demonstrated the quality of Batman's character.

    The story arc was "The Many Deaths of the Batman" I believe. Many of Batman's former mentors (people who taught him things about toxicology, gymnastics and even crossbow-shooting) were winding up dead (the Killer's MO was to costume the mentor in Batman's clothes as he killed them, almost as if he were killing a small part of Batman with every murder). Bruce Wayne was implicated as the next possible victim and Gordon and crew swarmed his place, placing guards everywhere.

    In order to solve the mystery, Bruce needed to head down to the Batcave and get busy, but he couldn't possibly do it with all of the police around. While talking to Alfred, Bruce simply said something along the lines of "Someone out there may die if I don't act soon. I don't care about my identity enough to sacrifice someone. The police guarding me can bloody well follow me down to the Batcave and have a tour if they want, because I'm going down there right NOW." Alfred, acting quickly, lured most of the guards with some of his cooking into the kitchen, letting Bruce sneak past everyone.

  5. #5
    New Member Gaspard's Avatar
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    I think Bruce would get like a hundred lawsuits from all the bad guys he's beat up in the alleys and streets of Gotham. He'd probably end up in jail for vigilantism. But honestly, even if he'd survive that, I don't think the whole Batman thing would work anymore. I don't think the whole comic book would work. There's no mystique or mystery in the character after being exposed. There's just no way to operate anymore.

    I remember that Kingdom Come bit someone mentioned. The Wayne Manor is pretty much torn to pieces, by supposedly Bane and Two-Face. Why the hell would Bane go medieval on Bruce's ass after his identity had been revealed? I mean, Bane already knew?

  6. #6
    Haughty & Naughty Mia's Avatar
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    I think if Batman was ever unmasked. Bruce would simply go into hiding. And believe me probably has enough powerful friends (or people he can blackmail) both in and out of costume to help him stay on the run. Of course he has plenty of money. As for Wayne Enterprise, Bruce would either sell off his shares. Or give controlling stock to Lucious Fox.

    However what I think would happen is this:

    1. Bruce would do something to prove that the man who set him up was a fraud or a crank. He would say that the guy had kidnapped/drugged/hyponotised him into making it seem that Bruce was indeed Batman.


    2. I think the same thing that is happening in SM would take place. There would suddenly pop up maybe four or five Batman. Dispersing confusion everywhere, and no one would believe that Bruce was Batman after all.
    "People who believe they are successful, carry themselves well."-Peggy Klaus

  7. #7
    Junior Member wes_rk's Avatar
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    in Murderer/Fugitive, he suddenly closes all of Bruce Wayne's accounts and the money is gone, just like that. He then decides he will live as Batman and that it is better that way, of course a lot has changed since that.

    I think in this situation he would do the same, go away with Alfred for sure, or maybe Alfred can play the "I had no idea" card. After that Bruce would come back in a different costume, and fight crime once again in Gotham.

    Of course if Batman's true identity is ever revealed, Nightwing and Robin go down with him as well, it doesn't take a genius to connect the dots between all three of them.

  8. #8
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    i think dick would take over. call bruce a fake or something. say he was caught up in some scheme involving robbing wayne's company. some fool with a hard on for batman lost his mind, made bruce dress up and cause havoc.
    dick probably wouldn't want to take away from bruce's legacy, but he knows that the myth surrounding batman is more important to bruce than special credit. superman and wonderwoman would have their private funeral on the moon or something, but the truth never comes out.

    edit: with the funeral thing, i was assuming the villian behind this would want to kill bruce wayne. but either way, dick would take over the mantle, and bruce would take on a more part oracle, but still active because he's too stubborn sort of thing. and the story would need to take place with them showing signs of bruce's age so that it feels like he's had a good run. we know he's been batman for 70 years, but for DC people, who knows how the timeline is gonna work?
    Last edited by mattx110; 12-30-2006 at 10:11 PM.

  9. #9
    Old member, rare poster gideon's Avatar
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    I think that it would forever destroy Batman. In the new Spectre mini-series, Crispus Allen followed Batman to the cave, and saw it was Bruce Wayne. He indicated that it destroyed the myth for him, for now, Batman was simply a man.

    Batman is the ultimate terror, the creature in the shadows, comforting, but still unerving for the good, and a nightmare for evil. As a man, he is just a guy in a suit, with a bad childhood.

  10. #10
    Fish Emerald Slicer Kara Zor El's Avatar
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    There is a way to conspire to make it seem like Bruce Wayne wasn't Batman after all. That the unmasking and revealing of Wayne as Batman was indeed a hoax. There are many elaborate plans to realize this. It could be faked that a villainous shapeshifer took on Bruce's shape to frame him for instance. Or as Lex Luthor did, somehow have it proved that an alternate reality version of Wayne had slipped through the Crisis and jealous of Wayne's fortune in this world, frames him as Batman.
    Bruce could even make out that he faked it that he was Batman to get the girls and respect etc, and then make loads of stupid mistakes as Batman, and operate in full view of the media but mess up bad, so everyone's like, that ain't the Batman I know. And then have Grayson turn up in the Batman costume and humiliate Bruce.

  11. #11
    Junior Member elias_A's Avatar
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    One of the very few things I liked of Willingham writing Batman/Robin was that Bruce told Tim he was prepared for a public outing and had new identities for them all already prepared.

    What I think could happen:

    Yes, he could use some of the ideas suggested here to make the public doubt the reveal (as was done in the Hugo Strange episode of BTAS, but not very convincing, I think);

    he could create a new ID;

    or he could give up any civilian ID and just live as Batman 24/7, like in Fugitive.

    Of course, criminals might loose some respect and call him "Brucie", but I guess he would not care and continue anyway.

  12. #12
    Fish Emerald Slicer Kara Zor El's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elias_A View Post

    Of course, criminals might loose some respect and call him "Brucie", but I guess he would not care and continue anyway.
    Thug: "Brucie, Brucie boy come and get it. Come to... (Batman starts squeezing thug's eyeballs)

  13. #13
    Super Amalgamated! Alan2099's Avatar
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    Why the hell would Bane go medieval on Bruce's ass after his identity had been revealed? I mean, Bane already knew?
    The big reason I can think of is that Bane viewed Batman and Bruce seperatley and was willing to play along out of some weird sense of honor. Once Batman was outted as Bruce, there was no reason not to go after Bruce like he did bats. It was fair game all the sudden.

  14. #14
    Fish Emerald Slicer Kara Zor El's Avatar
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    Quote:
    Why the hell would Bane go medieval on Bruce's ass after his identity had been revealed? I mean, Bane already knew?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    The big reason I can think of is that Bane viewed Batman and Bruce seperatley and was willing to play along out of some weird sense of honor. Once Batman was outted as Bruce, there was no reason not to go after Bruce like he did bats. It was fair game all the sudden.
    I always thought that Ross basically has his own continuity. In Ross's continuity things happened very different. So maybe there was no Knightfall because Ross might not like it and Bane only finds out who Bruce is much later and is just another villain. When Bruce is unmasked, Bane goes straight for him and trashes the cave and for some reason has Two-Face with him.

    I read somewhere that it was assumed that Bruce is in the exo suit because he never recovered from Bane's back breaking but I always saw it that the exo suit was worn because years of being Batman had resulted in an incredibly f*cked body. Arthritus and all that sort of thing.

  15. #15
    Gotham's Geek Kristofer's Avatar
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    There was an episode of Batman: TAS with Dr Hugo Strange using that device to find out that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Strange decided to profit off of this and auctioned off the secret to The Joker, Penguin, and Two-Face. Batman, of course, found a way to fake the "reading minds machine" and then had Dick dress up to look exactly like Bruce as Bruce was dressed as Batman to appear as two different people.....so, Im sure the same thing would be done to throw everyone off again. And, it could still work if Batman were unmasked before a large group of people, he could just come up with some excuse of dressing as Batman for some costume ball. Then "prove" they are different by Dick being Bruce

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