The Batman is almost here, but if you can’t wait any longer, you can get a taste of Robert Pattinson’s new take on the DC hero in a prequel novel.
Before Batman is a canon story set before the events of the new film, and sees Bruce Wayne become a street racer in order to distract himself from the public’s obsession with him (via RBC).
During this time when he passes by “Paul”, he meets a runner named Dex whom he saves from an accident. They break up, but end up meeting years later, in Bruce’s debut as Batman.
He discovers that Dex is distributing an explosive gel to criminals, so works with her to uncover the supplier, who is linked to Penguin and Carmine Falcone. Batman captures the supplier, which frees Dex and his father, who had been framed to force Dex to work for them.
You might think this seems like a pretty standalone story, but when Bruce and Dex go their separate ways again, the novel reveals a connection to Superman. “My dad and I have to go. Maybe Metropolis,” she tells Bruce. “I heard that the LexCorp racing team is adopting new mechanics.”
Now, we’re not saying this connection means we can expect to see Lex Luthor or even Superman in The Batman. It could happen, but we think it’s further confirmation that while the new movie stands pretty much on its own within the larger DC Universe, the groundwork is there if Matt Reeves is to grow in the sequel.
What could be a more direct link with The Batman in the prequel novel comes with what we learn about the Riddler, which may tie into the fan theory that Riddler’s plan for Gotham involves the Wayne family.
Before Batman reveals that Riddler’s full name is Edward Nashton and that he actually went to high school with Bruce. Edward lived at the Wayne Orphanage and saw Bruce with his parents there before they died, which apparently led to Edward becoming jealous of Bruce (via RBC).
The novel also reveals that Edward “planned to study forensic accounting”, only for his obsession to change his career as he couldn’t stop “thinking about that lucky rich kid, Bruce Wayne”.
Will it play into The Batmanthe plot? Fan theories certainly assume that Riddler’s dark plan for Gotham and its most powerful residents is tied in some way to Bruce Wayne or the Wayne family in general.
The BatmanThe latest trailer for , released in December 2021, had Selina Kyle tell Batman that “the last of the Riddler, it’s all about the Waynes”, and we later saw Bruce confront Alfred and say that “you lied to me “.
We still don’t know what, but maybe there’s something dark about the Waynes’ past that he hid from Bruce?
Combined with what we find out about Riddler in the earlier novel about his obsession with Bruce, it could well be that whatever his grand scheme is, it just might involve Bruce in ways we didn’t expect.
At least we don’t have to wait too long to find out.
The Batman is relievedin theaters March 4.
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