There are tons of Dark Knight books on the shelves each week, but there’s one that might be more important than others right now. Batman: The Imposter by Mattson Tomlin, Andrea Sorrentino, and Jordie Bellaire could hold the secrets to what Matt Reeves’ The Batman will be all about.
What Batman: The Imposter is all about
Released under the DC Black Label imprint, Batman: The Imposter is a three-issue series that takes place in a darker, grittier Gotham City than expected. It follows the story of Bruce Wayne/Batman trying to figure out who is committing murders dressed up as the Bat, while also getting a glimpse into his fragile state of mind as he unpacks his trauma with Dr Leslie Thompkins.
The mere fact Batman: The Imposter is released through Black Label should indicate that this is more mature than the other books released by DC now. Not only is the story more violent, but it also deals with much deeper psychological issues. In fact, Tomlin revealed that he was inspired by Twitter posts that suggested Batman receive counselling instead of punching out his issues.
The ties to The Batman
Much like Reeves’ upcoming film, Batman: The Imposter takes place in Year Two of the Caped Crusader’s crimefighting career. He’s not quite a novice finding his feet, but he still makes critical mistakes as he tries to figure out which direction he’ll take as a crimefighter. Also, if you pay close attention to the Batsuit, you can see certain similarities between it and the one that Robert Pattinson wears in the film.
More importantly, Batman: The Imposter’s writer is the same person who co-penned The Batman’s script: Tomlin. “I had spent all this time professionally thinking about Batman, and I had all these ideas and nowhere to put them,” Tomlin told Inverse. He called up DC and pitched a comic book in the same vein as The Batman, and the execs accepted it.
What Batman: The Imposter suggests about the upcoming movie
Undoubtedly, Tomlin’s Caped Crusader is more about what’s happening inside the Dark Knight’s head than the traditional superhero hero fodder. That isn’t to say the action is lacking here; quite the contrary. However, Batman: The Imposter isn’t afraid to address the simple fact that Bruce Wayne is a damaged individual who needs help to overcome his trauma. He tries to appear like he has it all together, but that’s far from the truth.
With the rumours that The Batman might deal with issues of mental health or how the titular hero suffers from insomnia, there’s a chance that this version of the character won’t be as put together or clinical as others before. Tomlin himself hinted at it, saying, “He’s flawed, he’s weak, [and] he can make mistakes.” Whether it’s because he isn’t thinking clearly or letting emotion overcome him, it’s evident that both The Batman and Batman: The Imposter will be fascinating explorations of the hero’s psyche.