Batman Gets a Militaristic Twist as Bruce Wayne Joins the Real-World Vietnam War

Warning! Contains potential spoilers for Batman: Dark Age #2!


Summary

  • Batman goes to prison and enlists in the army during the Vietnam War, leading to a different version of Batman.
  • Ra’s al Ghul is the sergeant Bruce serves under, potentially leading to a dark storyline.
  • This new origin could give fans a darker version of Batman.

Batman has an iconic origin that everyone knows, and over the years it’s been played with again and again by all kinds of creators. Now, Batman’s origin will be taken in a brand-new direction when he’s dropped in the middle of the Vietnam War. While everyone knows how Batman’s war on crime has gone, few readers have seen Batman in an actual war.

Recently, DC has been exploring different versions of their iconic characters and found great success with Superman: Space Age. Spinning out of this (and with the same creative team), Batman will get his own newly revamped origin in Batman: Dark Age. The second issue, which arrives in April, promises to follow an aimless and young Bruce Wayne as he lands himself in prison.

BATMAN: DARK AGE #2 (2024)

Release Date:

April 23rd 2024

Writers:

Mark Russell

Artists:

Mike Allred

Cover Artist:

Mike Allred

Variant Covers:

Dave Johnson, Paul Pope, Steve Pugh

Guilty as charged! When a young and aimless Bruce Wayne finds himself incarcerated, he looks for a way to shorten his sentence and return to his charmed lifestyle. Little does he know, signing up for a tour with the army in Vietnam will change him forever. Witness the birth of the Bat under the watchful eye of the one-and-only Sergeant Ra’s al Ghul!

Wanting to shorten his sentence, Bruce enlists in the army during the Vietnam War. Not only will pampered rich boy Bruce Wayne have to deal with the horrors of an actual war, but the solicitation reveals that the sergeant he’ll be serving under is none other than Ra’s al Ghul.

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A Young Bruce Wayne Finds Himself Enlisting in the Vietnam War

Batman Dark Age 2 Pugh Variant Cover Solicits: a Vietnam-like jungle with the impression of Batman's cowl painted into it.

To fight crime, Bruce Wayne traveled around the world learning from the most brutal fighters and masters he could. Batman’s training was so good that not only has it made him one of the best fighters in the world, but everyone that Bruce has trained is almost equally skilled. Batman: Dark Age is giving a twist on this classic story; instead of going on this fantastical journey to learn everything he needs, Bruce Wayne is being put in the middle of a very real and very brutal war with massive historical stakes. This different origin will surely result in a much different version of Batman as well.

The first issue of Batman: Dark Age is available March 26th from DC Comics.

Ra’s al Ghul is one of the most brutal enemies that Batman has ever gone up against. Unlike criminals like the Penguin or Two-Face, Ra’s isn’t motivated by riches or material desires. Ra’s already owns everything he could want. Instead, his desire has always been to save the planet by causing a genocide that would remove the majority of people on Earth. Incidentally, war is an excellent way to achieve this. While it’s not brought up often, Ra’s al Ghul was involved in World War II and helped cause the Holocaust — his involvement in the already disastrous Vietnam War could be equally dark.

A New Origin Could Give Fans a Darker Batman

Batman Dark Age 2 Johnson Variant Cover Solicits: Batman fighting criminals in a black, white, and red rendering.

Batman has one of the most iconic origin stories of any character in comics, but there’s still a lot of room to play around in it. Some creators have looked into the very night his parents died, and others have told stories about the time he was traveling the world training. For as many battles that Batman has been involved in, he’s never been in the middle of an actual real-life war. It will certainly be interesting to see a man who refuses to use guns trying to manage in Vietnam. This could very well be Batman’s most difficult origin so far.

Batman: Dark Age #2 is available April 23rd from DC Comics!