I was able to listen to The Batman Novel from audibles. The Batman novel is a prequel to Matt Reeve’s The Batman movie set to be released everywhere Friday March 4th 2022 in theaters everywhere. The novel is written by Random House. The novel is spolierish as it sets up a lot of backstory for Bruce Wayne and his journey to becoming Batman.
If you’re thinking of checking out the novel I recommend to pick up the audible version because it’s 2 hours short with a lot of good insights to what kind of Batman and world building of Gotham City we might see in the movie.
1. The Batman is heavily inspired by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Batman Earth One graphic novel series.
This Bruce Wayne did nit travel the world to learn different fighting styles and other fighting methods. Alfred Pennyworth who’s a former British Intelligence trains Bruce in martial arts, since he was kid sometime after his parents were murdered. Alfred has the title of Butler but he has a role in Wayne Enterprise while raising Bruce.
We learned Thomas Wayne was Mayor of Gotham City at some point. In Batman Earth One he was running for mayor but in the backstory to the movie he was the Mayor of Gotham City whom made an impact in Gotham City with his wife Martha Wayne.
Bruce’s relationship to Alfred is very similar to Earth One Batman graphic novels. This Alfred is in his late 40s by the time Bruce becomes Batman. He’s very young and capable of holding his own against Bruce who trained him in everything he knows. Alfred is like a protective dad who keeps tabs on his son especially his secrets he tries to keep from Alfred.
2. Oz “The Penquin” Cobblepot
We learned Oz is a lieutenant to Carmine Falcone along with Sal Maroni. Not a whole lot with Penquin from the novel but it’s clear he’s not his own boss yet as he’s another guy in Falcone’s mob.
3. Bruce Wayne is a Chemist, Mechanic, & Has a Thirst for Knowledge.
This Bruce Wayne is inspired by the Bill Finger version of the character, because Bruce Wayne spends a lot of his time learning variety of science. He studied heavily in chemist, biology, and in forensics. He’s big into chemistry which is how he developes his own gases, his weapons, upgrades to his batmobile, and a variety of cool Batman toys. He specializes in forensic science throughout his time in college. In the novel we see some of Bruce’s forensic on display when a friend of his name Dex, who’s car explodes was tampered with. I did get a little bit of a serious Adam West and Earth 2 detective vibes from this version of Bruce Wayne.
Bruce Wayne is a big car guy and loves muscle cars. He loves to race when he was 17 years old and did some street racing under a disguise named Paul. He finds a classic mustang that he designed a lot of upgrades and enhanced the speed and engine through chemistry at 17 years old. Bruce Wayne likes to think a head before acting which is a very Batman thing. He has a thirst for knowledge and transfered to different universities to learn a lot about science, forensic, and in engineering.
4. The Killer was Never Caught
Joe Chill or the unknown killer was never arrested for the Wayne’s murder. Bruce Wayne not getting the justice for his parents murder is where his anger roots from. It explains why he’s very brutal towards the criminals. He sees every criminal as potentially the one who may have killed his parents, which is why he doesn’t hold back in his brutality against them. His anger continues to grow when more wrong happens to people who don’t get the justice they deserve.
5. Edward Nashton
Edward crosses path a couple of times with Bruce. He was an orphan at the Wayne orphanage who met Bruce, when they were kids. No surprise he hates rich people because they have it easy and he has to work hard. He works as a credit fraud. The novel doesn’t do a great job bridging the gap to why he becomes the Riddler, his motivations, and what kind of dark secrets he discovered from Gotham City’s elite from the orphanage. The last detailed part of novel of Edward Nash, was when he was going to burned down the now broken down emptied orphanage. Whatever discovery he migt’ve found was at that point.
6. A Nod to Batman Begins
While Bruce is working on his upgrades to his suit and arsenal equipment. While writing ideas down to prepare to fight crime. He discovers a couple of bats in his cave hanging from the corner of the cave. It’s described similar to when Bruce from Batman Begins discovers bats in the corner of a room at Wayne Manor. This is where he gets his inspiration to become The Batman.
7. Bruce became Batman at 27 years old.
After Bruce saved his friend from her explosion car. Bruce found his calling to help and save the people of Gotham City who don’t get the justice they deserve. From ages 17 to 27 he spends ten years training and learning to prepare his vengeance against crime in Gotham City. His first night out as Batman was stopping bank Robbery that lead to a chemical weapon dealing he ended.
8. The Batcave is an Old Train Station Beneath Wayne Manner and entrance is from a Cemetery.
Bruce discovers what would be the batcave at 13 years old. The batcave is not connected to Wayne Manor but at his penthouse. At first he uses his secret lair as a place from solitude for his chemist experiments, and a mechanic garage for his classic mustang that will become the batmobile. Bruce was at awe when he discovered the secret cave that he would spend most of his time working on projects. Towards the end of the book we learn the entrance is from Gothams old Cemetery after Bruce redesign his motorcycle. This is no surprise since the trailers confirmed this. Bruce makes ten year updates and additions to the cave before his first night out as The Batman.
9. No Selina Kyle
There’s no mention of Selina Kyle or backstory. I’m guessing her backstory will be part of the Batman movie as she’s connected to Carmine Falcone since she has ties to him because of Jeoph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Batman graphic novel series.
10. Character Driven
The novel was very character driven for Bruce Wayne and Edward Nash. We learned a lot about the two character history from the novel before the movie comes less than 30 days. This version of Bruce Wayne sounds like blend of Michael Keaton, Christian Bale, and Adam West Bruce Wayne in one. He’s not the billionaire playboy like Keaton’s Bruce. He’s a Lone wolf, he’s driven and determined like Bales Bruce Wayne. His thirst for knowledge and problem solving comes from Adam West Bruce Wayne.
There’s not a whole lot of action until act three for Bruce as Batman. I like The Batman movie to be the same. Matt Reeves loves to do character driven stories over action packed movies. The novel presents a good look at what we are getting from The Batman movie less than a month from now.
The Batman Novel prequel is a very good read or listen through. It’s basically a sneak to what we might be getting next month.