Batman: Creature of the Night is one of the most unique and challenging Batman comics to come out in years. Exploring a version of Batman that's simultaneously more realistic and fantastical than almost any other, the upcoming final issue of Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon's miniseries would have been exciting even if fans hadn't already been waiting two years to see how everything plays out.
While its been a little while since the last issue of Batman: Creature of the Night was released, we're taking a look back at what's happened in the mini-series so far, before the final issue hits stands.
What Is Batman: Creature of the Night About?
Beginning in 2017, Batman: Creature of the Night was announced as a four-issue prestige miniseries by Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon. The story imagines a world where a young boy named Bruce lost his parents in 1968, but because he doesn't live in a world where superheroes are a reality, he has to learn to try and cope in more realistic ways. The comic goes to great lengths to portray Bruce and his traumas as human as possible so that the eventual breaks from reality have more impact, similar to how Busiek and Stuart Immonen's Superman: Secret Identity offered a new take on Superman in 2004.
This also means there are some implicit changes to the origins of this Bruce. Bruce Wainright grows up in Boston instead of Gotham City. Bruce grows up as a fan of Batman, who exists as a fictional superhero character in his world. His parents, while well-off thanks to his father's work with an insurance company, were nowhere near the wealthiest people in the city. Bruce doesn't have a butler, he's got a beloved Uncle Alton who, for his nephew's sake, allows himself to be called Alfred. Bruce loses his parents at a young age, but they die during a home invasion instead of an unlucky trek down Crime Alley.
What Happened In Batman: Creature of the Night?
Things take a turn on that night, as they do for all versions of Batman. While wearing a Batman Halloween costume, Bruce stares down the men who just killed his parents. One of them subverts expectations and actually shoots Bruce. While in the place between life and death, Bruce connects with some otherworldly force before being revived on the operating table. Trying to adjust to his new life at a boarding school proves difficult, and Bruce begins to have visions of an imposing black figure, shaped like Batman, flying through Gotham and attacking criminals.
Working with Officer Gordon Hoover, Bruce tries to investigate the murder of his parents himself but gets nowhere. Embracing the visions, the Batman attacks more and more criminals. But the actions of this Batman begin to have real-world ramifications, with the people it's been fighting being taken to police custody. One of the men captured by this Batman turns out to be the man that shot Bruce and his killed his parents, convincing Bruce to keep having Batman stalk the city.
Bruce eventually went to college and became a skilled business man. He'd even become a "Boy Wonder" in the world of finance by leading Wainwright Investments even while still just a student. But at night, the mysterious Batman he had a connection goes into the city and fought crime. But while Bruce's life continues to improve, the Batman becomes more and more willing to do unscrupulous things to keep him "safe." As police attention turns to Bruce and he strikes an uneasy alliance with them, Bruce begins to wonder about the origins of this supernatural Batman - and what they're connection really is.
When Is It Coming Back?
Fans have been forced to wait to see how things played out for this version of Batman. The first two issues of the miniseries were released in 2017, and the third issue, initially slated for February of 2018, was eventually pushed to April. After several additional delays, the he third issue was eventually get released in April of this year, but there was no news about the final part of the story.
After orders for the final part of the series were canceled, the comic was resolicited to be released this month, before being pushed back again to Nov. 27. A hardcover of the miniseries is currently scheduled for release in February 2020, which hints that Busiek and Paul Leon will finally complete their genuinely unique look at the concept of Batman in the near future.
Batman: Creature of the Night #4 is scheduled to be released by DC Comics on Nov. 27