WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Batman: Creature of the Night #3
What if you wanted Batman to be real so badly, you created him out of thin air? That's the story being told in DC's Batman: Creature of the Night, a four-part series set outside of the comics universe, where the Dark Knight is simply the fictional superhero he's always been in real life. And as our exclusive preview of Batman: Creature of the Night #3 shows, the demonic vigilante of the series is getting harder and harder to control - and more people are starting to take notice.
It would be difficult to explain the premise to a casual comic fan, since writer Kurt Busiek has blurred the lines between fiction and fact intentionally (just as he did with Superman: Secret Identity before). But one thing is becoming perfectly clear: Bruce Wainwright's fantasy of changing the world with help from his personal Batman is falling apart. Especially now that he's having to convince those watching him that he's not in league with the savage monster... or possibly even guiding his bloody hand.
Busiek and artist John Paul Leon have done a stellar job of re-contextualizing the Bruce Wayne story, taking a step back to see how Batman the hero is used by an "actual" orphan as a symbol and, intentional or not, role model. Instead of becoming Batman, Bruce conjured him-- conjured it may be more accurate. After accidentally suggesting that he knows there's truth to the rumors of a vigilante bat-monster, Bruce landed himself on the Boston police's radar.
The third chapter takes that mistake and runs with it, leaping forward from Bruce's college days to the late 1980s (and the release of Tim Burton's "dark, gloomy movie"). Bruce must continue to conceal his link to the Batman... even if we, the reader, aren't exactly sure what to make of that link ourselves.
Take a look at the preview pages below:
The preview is a brutal tease, with the wish of Bruce Wainwright left dangling. But it does confirm that Robin Helgeland - another orphan rescued by Bruce's charity due in large part to her name - continued her employment with the Wainwright business. Robin's role is just one of several tantalizing threads being spun by Busiek and Leon, with this preview suggesting that this version of Bruce and Robin may finally create a relationship of their own.
Dont expect any more of a tease, since it's anyone's guess where Creature of the Night is headed in its penultimate chapter. One that fans thankfully won't have to wait for much longer. Check out a full synopsis for the issue:
BATMAN: CREATURE OF THE NIGHT #3
Published: April 18, 2018
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Art: John Paul Leon
Cover Artist: John Paul Leon
Bruce Wainwright isn’t a child anymore—but the trauma that shaped him, and the monster he created, is still with him! Has Bruce grown enough to deal with the shock when he learns that one of his most closely held beliefs was a lie?
BATMAN: CREATURE OF THE NIGHT #3 will be available from DC Comics on April 18, 2018.