He has been broken, slashed, beaten, hacked, punched to a pulp, poisoned, tortured and flayed alive. Yet he still makes sure to make his enemies bleed. Batman is the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight of Gotham City. He has gone toe to toe against so many opponents that punch way above his weight and lived to tell the tale. Though he is a human, he has ensured to never show a weakness to his enemies. He is just a normal human being with extraordinary conviction and talent. Or is he? Presenting – DC Comics Update – Batman’s one true Weakness has been finally revealed.
Spoiler Alert – The following paragraphs contain major spoilers for Detective Comics #984 by Bryan Hill on sale now. If you haven’t read it yet, we suggest you look away….
Batman hasn’t had a good week this time. The infighting within his team was recently at its peak. When a Dark Prophecy about the Bat Family threatened to break up the gang of protectors of Gotham City, Batman was unable to stop the Bat Family members – Red Robin, Batman, Orphan, Batwing, Azrael, and Clayface, from departing. Then when Batman finally had something to look forward to in the form of his own wedding, Catwoman left him at the altar with the reason that if Bruce Wayne finally attains happiness then Gotham will no longer have a Batman.
With this twisted form of events taking center stage, the troubles for the Dark Knight aren’t over. He is currently dealing with the aftermath of Catwoman leaving her at the altar. As Bruce tries to cope with the fallout of abandonment, a new villain is coming to Gotham City to wreak general havoc. Karma is a mysterious new villain with even more mysterious origins. He has come to provide Batman with a great revelation about himself. He claims he knows what Batman’s true Weakness is. And if you ask us, he might just be right.
According to Karma, the one thing that is holding Batman back and stopping him from achieving his true potential is – the Bat Family itself!!! Karma claims that Batman has become too prone to material belongings and relationships and that has made him vulnerable and weak. He says that he will cleanse Batman of that sin so he starts targeting the now disbanded Bat Family members.
Karma first targets Duke Thomas aka The Signal. He straps a Batman Superfan with a time bomb and leaves him at the center of the city for Duke to find. When Duke tries to save the innocent guy from harm, an already set trap is activated and seemingly kills the guy. The next in line is Cassandra Cain, the superhero known as Orphan.
Cassandra is seen running down an alleyway as a mysterious figure is chasing her. She finally meets a dead end with Karma staring at her, standing near the only way out. Karma calls Cassandra another of Batman’s “failures”. The long list of Robins that have served Batman have all had been unsuccessful and utter failures in Karma’s perception. He also believes that Cassandra deserves way more than he is willing to offer her as a member of the Bat Family.
Batman and Black Lightning soon appear in the next scene. The duo has heard Orphan’s distress call and decided to answer it to stop Karma from doing any more damage. But then comes the twist! Karma isn’t just an accomplished fighter but also a metahuman. Karma somehow manages to absorb Black Lightning’s powers and uses it to fight Batman. He eventually defeats him.
Karma’s origin story is then provided with a dim spotlight. It is not much but it is indeed a start. Karma is seen as an ordinary man buying a strange looking helmet from a black market site. The helmet is weird and has mysterious markings of technology all over it, confirming it to be from another planet. The prevailing theory is the Helmet gives Karma a host of abilities, including the power to absorb others’ abilities as well as read minds – a power he has probably used to know who Batman is. This could also explain how Karma knows about the fateful night when Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered.
Is it really Batman’s Kryptonite??
The introduction of Jefferson Pierce to Gotham’s band of Protectors has certainly brought in a new era for the Batman comics. Jefferson is not a mentor but a teacher. The members of the Bat Family are already so broken and disgruntled that they are only inches away from openly revolting against the Caped Crusader. So allowing Black Lightning into the fray will most certainly be a favorable option for Bruce Wayne to keep his sidekicks in check. So when Karma comes in to try and influence the kids to join the Dark Side, it is going to twist things into a knot for Batman. Can he stop Karma from doing the inevitable??
Black Lightning is a teacher and he knows how to keep the kids in check. His advice to Batman is to order them to stand down. The kids will only listen to him, according to Jefferson. But the thing is – He doesn’t want them to. He looks over the window and utters a single sentence – “They make me weaker.” Is he finally starting to understand that Karma is right and he needs to let his family go? Or is Karma finally gotten under the thick skin of Batman? Has the king of the board finally been checkmated?
Ain’t Karma a bitch!!!
Batman knows all about the pain of losing your family members right before his eyes over and over again. He has lost Stephanie Brown to the gangs of Gotham, Jason Todd to the Joker and Damian Wayne as well. After losing his parents, the feeling of loss still hasn’t left him yet. It still haunts him like the sword of Damocles hanging over his head, ready to strike over a moment’s notice. Is it the reason he has decided not to order his sidekicks to stand down? Because he wants them to step away so that Batman can become the lone wolf he is known to be infamous for? He certainly has a twisted way of doing things. Karma has managed to get into his head. And Batman has allowed this to happen.
The Bat Family is Batman’s, Achilles Heel. Having children on the frontline as vigilante side heroes is wrong. Black Lightning has explicitly mentioned it to Batman. And he has recommended it to Bruce Wayne to stop asking children to help him in his one-man fight against evil. But he is no stranger to this phenomenon too. He knows the risks of having a family. There are no active recruitments going on right now and he intends to keep it that way.
Tom King had already turned Batman’s life upside down. The Batman-Catwoman union almost happened. Catwoman backed out in the last second. Her argument was that he needs Gotham City as much as Gotham needs a Batman. Bruce Wayne wore the mask and became the Dark Knight because he wanted to become something else to fulfill his incomplete soul. If Catwoman married Bruce Wayne, Bruce Wayne will be happy, complete. And then Bruce will forego the mask and abandon the mantle of the Caped Crusader. That cannot happen. He is a symbol of hope and if that symbol is extinguished, the world will descend into chaos. Selina Kyle left Batman because of a truly selfless reason. But has that affected Bruce’s psyche the wrong way? Has he finally decided to go solo by claiming that Family is his greatest weakness??
Or maybe this is all a farce and Batman has already outwitted Karma. By staying aloof of his sidekicks, he might be playing the long game and trying to fool the guy into believing that he is ready to forsake the closest thing he has to family. Batman #985 is already on sale. The digital imprints will be out soon. Get ready to experience mayhem at its finest as Karma comes for the payback of a lifetime. This is going to be an epic adventure. Will Karma win or will Batman prevail again? Buckle Up fellow comic book fans!! Stay tuned for further updates.