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10 Things We'd Love To See In The DCU's The Brave And The Bold

It's an exciting time to be a DC Comics fan. Since James Gunn and Peter Safran have taken over at DC Studios (per The Hollywood Reporter), they've been shaking up the entire DC Universe. Some of their changes have been met with high praise, including the announcement of a new slate of DC films and television set after the events of "The Flash." Others have inspired some criticism, such as the recasting of Henry Cavill as Superman. Whether you're a fan of these changes or an avowed critic, there's no denying that the DCU has a clear sense of direction as it heads into the future.

One of the fictional universe's many upcoming features is a Batman reboot centered around the Dark Knight's relationship with his teenage son, Damian Wayne, the current Robin (per Variety). Titled "The Brave and the Bold," this Batman feature will take place within the shared DCU, while Matt Reeves' "The Batman Part II" will tell its own out-of-DCU-continuity story. Despite Ben Affleck's anticipated return to the cowl for "The Flash" and "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" (per Deadline), it also seems like Batman will be recast going forward.

With new live-action Batman stories on the way featuring the Boy Wonder by his side — the first since the spectacular failure that was 1997's "Batman & Robin" — excitement is running high. There's a lot of potential for this updated version of the Dynamic Duo, and fans are keen to see it explored. So, break out your Grant Morrison-written comics and flip on the Bat-Signal, because we're listing the things we'd love to see most in the DCU's "The Brave and the Bold."

A seasoned, well-established Batman

Many recent live-action takes on Batman have been centered around a younger version of the character. Whether we're talking about the newbie Dark Knight seen in "Batman Begins," the even younger Robert Pattinson iteration from "The Batman," or the teenage Bruce Wayne who leads "Gotham," there are plenty of rookie Batman tales to go around. Though Christopher Nolan highlighted a well-established Batman in "The Dark Knight Rises," it wasn't until "Batman v Superman" that we saw a truly seasoned Caped Crusader on the modern silver screen.

While Matt Reeves will continue exploring the early years of Batman's crime-fighting career, the newly established DCU version will be a bit older, with years of superheroics under his belt. By skipping his origin story and shifting to his later years, this Batman will better resemble his comic book counterpart, complete with a well-equipped Batcave, a utility belt, and a host of super-powered allies.

Of course, we're not going full-on "The Dark Knight Returns" here. But following a Batman at the height of his abilities will be an undeniable treat. Moreover, his maturity is a sure thing: "The Brave and the Bold" has to feature an older Batman, given that the Caped Crusader's son, Damian Wayne, is set to be the current Robin. In the comics, Damian is conceived in the early years of Batman's career, and joins his father in late childhood. For this to work, the DCU's Batman has to be a middle-aged hero with years of experience to his name.

A history of Robins

The news that Damian Wayne would be joining his father in the upcoming DCU reboot was a bit of a shock to some. But in fact, new Robins are old hat in Batman's corner of the DC Comics universe. Damian is far from the first hero to don the Boy Wonder's title: That honor goes to Dick Grayson, who first appeared in 1940's "Detective Comics" #38. Grayson was Robin for many years, until Jason Todd took over in the 1980s. Todd was succeeded by Tim Drake by the decade's end. There were a few other Robins in the interim, some within the main continuity and some outside of it — Stephanie Brown is a particularly fun highlight. But Drake would remain the primary Boy Wonder until Damian took over in 2006

By introducing Damian as the primary Robin from the get-go, the DCU's "The Brave and the Bold" blazes an interesting trail. But we hope that other Robins will still predate the cinematic Damian — especially since Grayson, Todd, and Drake are all fan favorites. By maintaining Robin as a legacy title, the DCU could give Damian something to live up to beyond his father's expectations. Damian needs his own identity to lean into, and his own path to follow. The role of Robin provides these exact things. While the Boy Wonder has traditionally kept Batman grounded, the mantle itself may do just that for Batman's young son.

A robust rogues gallery

Of all the comic book superheroes in existence, none have a better rogues gallery than Batman. From homicidal clowns to crazed college professors to criminal emperors to secret society members, Batman's band of adversaries is always fascinating — and ever-growing. While the Joker holds the most prominent place within this group of ghouls, the Clown Prince of Crime isn't the only Batman villain out there. Many of Batman's other enemies have long histories with the Caped Crusader too, and not always as strict antagonists. In fact, Catwoman has switched sides more times than we can count.

Some of Batman's most iconic enemies are in serious need of an upgrade, and "The Brave and the Bold" might be the perfect time for it. The most obvious choices include the likes of Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy, both of whom have evolved into complex characters. But it would also be great to see lesser-known names like Solomon Grundy and Clayface, who have only a handful of non-comics appearances under their belts, get the live-action treatment. For that matter, it would be great to see entirely new rogues, currently known only to diehard comics fans. There are plenty of adversaries who haven't made a screen debut to choose from. Given that the movie will be inspired by Grant Morrison's take on Batman, the mysterious Black Glove, the deluded Professor Pyg, the ninja Man-Bats, and even Talia al Ghul's Leviathan are likely candidates. Whoever ends up helming the Dynamic Duo's next outing should remember how vast Batman's rogues gallery truly is, and avail themselves appropriately.

Questions of morality

Part of what makes Batman stand apart from countless other superheroes is the line he continues to walk between being a ruthless vigilante and a heroic inspiration. At times, Batman has been plunged deep into grief and despair, resulting in terrible violence. But more often, he's an example of true heroism, inspiring his fellow do-gooders to protect the innocent above all. While Batman's costume is meant to spark fear in the hearts of criminals, he's not just a figure out of a nightmare. His most famous vow — to never kill his foes — is a stirring example of this fact.

Whichever version of Batman you prefer, there's no doubt that his mythos often ignites questions of morality. Usually, they regard the Dark Knight's tactics against the superstitious and cowardly, and his refusal to kill. With the inclusion of Damian Wayne, this debate will likely be heightened, as the Boy Wonder is inclined towards violence — including lethal force. That's what you get when you're raised by the League of Assassins.

Many modern comics featuring Damian have explored this tension, including the 2011 "Batman and Robin" series. This run sees Bruce teach his son what it means to be a hero, which turns out to be a pretty complicated process. Though Grant Morrison's "Batman and Robin" run might be the primary inspiration behind "The Brave and the Bold," hopefully this take on the Dynamic Duo will influence it as well — especially its portrayal of Damian's struggle to shed his uber-violent behavior.

Comic book aesthetics

While many feature films and animated series have done marvelous work bringing the Dark Knight to life, there's an argument to be made that none of them have fully captured the comic book aesthetic of Batman's world. "Batman Begins" does a fantastic job retelling his origins, Tim Burton's "Batman" captures the gothic look and feel of Gotham City, and Ben Affleck's Batman can fight just like he does on paper (plus, teaming up with the Justice League is no mean feat). Even "The Batman" leans into the detective elements of the Dark Knight's saga in a way no other live-action adaptation ever had before.

But though many of these adaptations bring elements of Batman's vast comics history to life, none have combined them. With "The Brave and the Bold," each and every one of these vital pieces of Batman's character and world could end up on the big screen — including a more accurate depiction of Robin. No doubt, that's a lot of pressure, but it could be a huge step in the right direction. To accomplish it, "The Brave and the Bold" would do well to keep towards the comics' style. We're talking bright colors, domino masks, and well-stocked utility belts, combined with the thrillingly over-the-top drama of things like the League of Assassins and Gotham's multi-tiered criminal underbelly. "The Brave and the Bold" has the chance to make Batman and Robin as dynamic and exciting as possible without sacrificing some much-needed comic book accuracy.

International adventures

A huge element of Grant Morrison's long-term "Batman" run is the "Batman Incorporated" arc. This story sees Batman travel across the globe to kickstart different Batmen in every major city, so that the world will be protected in the event of his death. As Bruce establishes new vigilantes across the world, he also tackles the villainous Leviathan terrorist organization, which is led by Damian's mother, Talia al Ghul.

Leviathan has a global reach, which is partially why Batman founds Batman Incorporated in the first place: He's hoping to keep Leviathan and other groups like it accountable. Though we're unlikely to see the events of "Batman Incorporated" happen in "The Brave and the Bold" — which is probably for the best — that doesn't mean that elements of the story can't be included. Since Damian is raised by Talia in secret on the other side of the world, this Batman and Robin already have good reason to go beyond Gotham. International adventures would not only garner a passionate international audience, they might help teach Damian something new about the world — especially if Batman takes him to the same places he once trained. The young boy knows about the world's brutalities, but he doesn't know about its joys, its justice, or its beauty. Seeing Batman help him understand the globe in a whole new way could be an absolute delight.

A large supporting cast

Batman's strength doesn't just come from the years of experience under his belt or his role on the Justice League — it comes from the large team of allies, known to fans as the Batman Family, with whom he keeps Gotham safe. Besides his trusty surrogate father Alfred Pennyworth and best friend Jim Gordon, many of Batman's former Robins and Batgirls have graduated into identities of their own. The family has almost a dozen active members at any given time, each with their own skills and flair. Though we're unlikely to see that many characters in "The Brave and the Bold," it would be nice to see some of the most important make their way into the story. Characters like Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon, who have been part of the Batman story for decades, deserve proper DCU debuts alongside the likes of the current Batman and Robin team.

While recent Bat-flicks have successfully incorporated Alfred and Gordon into the story — and even a version of Robin, if you count John Blake from "The Dark Knight Rises" –  there's room for more. If James Gunn's vision for the DCU's future is any indication, he seems eager to embrace classic comic book stories and mythologies. Here's hoping that means we'll see more than just the famed Dynamic Duo in the coming films.

Superpowered threats

Most modern Batman movies (barring his appearances in the DCEU) have seen the Dark Knight go up against a non-powered nemesis. While there's nothing wrong with that — most of Batman's greatest adversaries don't have superpowers at their disposal — it fails to capture the full scope of the Caped Crusader's crime-fighting prowess. There are plenty of Batman villains out there with superpowers, and we'd love to see some of them in "The Brave and the Bold."

Part of what makes Ben Affleck's portrayal of Batman stand apart is his ability to go toe-to-toe with superpowered beings. This incarnation of the character faces Doomsday, Steppenwolf, bands of Parademons, and even Superman himself. He's the first live-action Batman to show us everything the character can do. Showcasing Batman and Robin's abilities in this manner would make "The Brave and the Bold" truly stand out. Superpowered foes are widely varied: They wield henchmen, elemental powers, futuristic technology, alien hordes, and even cosmic might. The sky is truly the limit here, as it would be just as amazing to watch Batman and Robin battle a host of Man-Bat mutated assassins or a freeze gun-powered Mr. Freeze. As long as they have superpowers, we'd be happy to see them.

Building a bigger universe

Upcoming DC movies like "Superman Legacy" and "Swamp Thing" promise to expand the live-action franchise in exciting new directions. As a key part of that plan, "The Brave and the Bold" will be responsible for not only rebooting Batman and introducing Robin, but exploring the newly-minted DCU through their eyes as well. Though "The Brave and the Bold" will undoubtedly be a Batman and Robin story first, like any tale set in a larger universe, it'll connect to the greater whole. While accomplishing this can be complicated, many films that operate within a shared canon manage to do it just fine. "The Brave and the Bold" could be another success in this regard — especially since it has an incredibly firm history of storytelling to build on.

Both Batman and Superman were instrumental to building the DCEU, which encompasses "Suicide Squad," "Justice League," "Wonder Woman," and other movies. The brand new DCU is poised to be no different, with the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader standing front and center. "The Brave and the Bold" could kick things off with a bang by using the Batfamily, Damian's past, or this seasoned Batman's experiences to explore the wider DCU. Far-off places and heroes could be key to the storyline, and introduce a huge variety of DC touchstones. The DCU promises to be big — it's only right that "The Brave and the Bold" should be as well.

It needs to live up to the name

With a title like "The Brave and the Bold," there's a lot for this movie to live up to. The original DC comic of the same name is a team-up book that unites different heroes against a common enemy. Batman is typically featured in these pairings, especially in later issues. For 30 years, "The Brave and the Bold" comic told some of the most random and entertaining tales of the Silver and Bronze Ages. It has enjoyed multiple revivals over the course of the ensuing decades.

The connection between this title and the Caped Crusader is further cemented by the 2008 animated series "Batman: The Brave and the Bold," which follows the same format as the original comic book, with Batman as the exclusive lead. This series sees the Dark Knight pair up with the likes of Blue Beetle, Green Arrow, Red Tornado, Aquaman, Black Canary, Green Lantern, the Outsiders, and many more, making it one of the most unique animated Batman projects ever made. 

Given the vast history behind this title, we're hoping that the DCU film of the same name can live up to the hype. Maybe, just maybe, we'll see Batman and Robin make some friends outside of Gotham City. Sure, it should be a Batman and Robin story first and foremost. But we'd love to see some other do-gooders thrown into the mix at some point too, even just as cameos.