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Batman Is Abandoning His Bruce Wayne Persona In A New DC Comics Series

Is Batman the mask? Or is Bruce Wayne the mask? For nearly a century, this question has been at the core of the Dark Knight mythos. But soon a new series from DC Black Label will add some clarity to the debate by exploring a twisted world where Batman has cast aside the Bruce Wayne half of his life, instead embracing his Caped Crusader persona fulltime. "Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham" is an upcoming four-issue series written and drawn by Eisner Award winner Rafael Grampá, set to launch Sept. 16.

The series' announcement from DC teases a "grim and terrifying vision of Batman and Gotham City." So grim, apparently, that Batman finally has to choose between the two oftentimes conflicting sides of his persona, electing to forgo civilian life and dedicate himself fully to vigilantism. Check out the official synopsis from DC (via AIPT): 

"In a Gotham City where every day feels darker and more irredeemable than the last, Batman makes a definitive choice — to kill off the Bruce Wayne identity for good and embrace the cape and cowl full-time. But though he knows the streets of Gotham, Batman will soon come to find that he hardly knows himself. A serial killer is on the loose, and while the murder victims seem random at first, every clue draws Batman closer to the terrifying truth — that they are all connected, not just to each other, but to him as well. When an all-new rogues gallery of utterly depraved villains begins to emerge from the depths of the city, Batman will have to contend with the very nature of evil — including that which lurks in the darkest corners of his own heart — to face what is coming for the city he has sworn to protect."

What Might A Batman Without Bruce Wayne Look Like?

If Batman essentially does "kill off" what's left of Bruce Wayne, he may simultaneously — whether he realizes it or not — be killing off what's left of his own humanity. Even though it may just be for appearances' sake, Bruce Wayne is still generally portrayed as a philanthropist when he's out of the cowl. He uses his boundless wealth to better Gotham during the day before taking to the streets at night. Without the Bruce side to even him out, Batman could find himself left with nothing but midnight fistfights and violence to protect Gotham. If he's not careful, it's possible Batman could end up in a more dire place than even he's ever been before.

With "Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham" coming from Black Label, DC's mature imprint, fans can expect things to get especially violent as the hero abandons the last of the man he once was. According to Rafael Grampá, "[The series] makes my dream of bringing my own interpretation of Batman to life a reality as I delve into the darkest corners of his essence." Considering the character was born out of tragedy, exploring Batman's most nightmarish recesses could result in the darkest Dark Knight to date. And without Bruce Wayne as a counterbalance, there's no telling what that means.