SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe #2 by Tim Seeley, Freddie E. Williams II, Jeremy Colwell and Wes Abbott, on sale now.
No matter which heroes and villains have gone to war to determine the fate of the Injustice universe, things will always hinge on DC’s two most popular faces: Superman and Batman. Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe continues their feud, trailing off the Injustice 2 video game ending where the Man of Steel defeats Brainiac, only to then turn on Batman and company to reestablish his control of Earth.
It was a very dark but unsurprising finale, as Batman was clearly angling to imprison Superman once the job was done. Diving deeper into this crossover event, though, several questions have arisen as to the identity of the new Dark Knight who has emerged as the leader of Bruce Wayne’s Resistance against Kal-El and his lead general, an even more brutal Wonder Woman.
Some clarity’s gained, however, come Issue #2, in which it’s strongly hinted the new Batman is none other than Bruce’s son, Damian Wayne.
With Bruce kept prisoner by Superman, hooked up to Brainiac’s technology and turned into the Black Oracle, many were wondering who’s under the cowl recruiting Prince Adam of Eternia (aka He-Man) for the Resistance. Over the course of the two issues, the most telling sign is that Harley Quinn keeps referring to this new vigilante as “BabyBat.”
Whenever she referred to Damian’s tumultuous past with Bruce, she always called the former Robin “Baby,” something which often irked the father. However, given Harley’s daughter also got drawn into the war (being kidnapped and held hostage by Ra’s al Ghul), Bruce allowed her a lot of leeway, as they often engaged in intimate, vulnerable conversations revolving around parenthood and their possible failures.
It’s worth noting that Injustice has dealt with the multiverse so it could be an alternate reality Bruce, or maybe even this universe’s Bruce brought to this timeline through time-travel, but Harley’s “BabyBat” nickname really says otherwise. Not to mention He-Man tells Teela (his ally from Eternia) that he feels like this Batman just sees him as an “assassin,” which seems to be a nod to Damian’s upbringing with Ra’s League of Assassins.
With Bruce now being used to predict crimes in a project called ThoughtCrime, another possible candidate was Jason Todd, last seen in Injustice 2 renouncing his ways as Ra’s evil version of the Caped Crusader. Many thought he could be atoning for the past here with the Resistance, but Issue #2 shows him older and geared up as Red Hood, helping plot Superman’s downfall.
It can’t be Tim Drake because he died when Zod followed the Titans back from the Phantom Zone, so by process of elimination, it leaves Damian alone. Damian also has motive because he frequently hinted in the Injustice 2 comics that he has come to regret the way Superman rules as a dictator, which has claimed innocent lives in the process. In his talks with Supergirl, we’ve often read how sorry he was for what he did, not just turning on Bruce, but for accidentally killing Dick Grayson and taking on the Nightwing mantle, too.
What really points to Damian in this new role are his brief discussions with He-Man, which revolve around the maturity a leader requires, as well as whether or not someone can truly experience redemption while trying to free the oppressed. He’s clearly probing to find out more about leadership, more or less confirming he’s cutting his teeth as someone taking charge of a bigger movement.
What’s for certain is Damian has a lot to make up for, and if it’s really him under the cowl, by succeeding where Bruce failed it’s not just his relationship with his dad he’ll be saving, but a galaxy that’s already facing the dire threat of Darkseid. Taking on this mantle might not absolve him of his sins, but it’ll certainly go a long way.
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