If comic book universes are the overcrowded public schools of narratives, Marvel is the perma-smiling teacher who organizes field trips but keeps everything right on schedule. Meanwhile, DC is the burned-out substitute who tells everyone to open whatever book on page 90-something and figure it out while they check their Tinder messages. This trend has continued into their cinematic universes as Henry Cavill's Superman may, or may not, be back, and Robert Pattinson's Batman may, or may not, be set in the same world. Speaking of Batman, Warner Bros. has decided to add to the confusion by adding another new (old) Batman into the mix. To quote Michael Keaton from every commencement speech he's allowed to give:
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the original cinema crusader is likely to re-don the Batmantle in the upcoming The Flash movie. That film will deal with the notorious Flashpoint storyline where Barry Allen travels through time and presses the big DC reboot button that starts blinking roughly once a decade because the comic writers have run out of red string. A good time then, DC figured, to take a page from the Marvel handbook, reduce their Good Will Hunting actor to an afterthought ...
... and make Keaton's Batman more akin to Samuel Jackson's Nick Fury -- a elder team leader played by an Oscar-nominated actor who can charismatically deliver clunky exposition.
But it's not just the fractured Justice League, but also a fractured universe that Keaton will be tasked with babysitting. His Batman will have to act as a crossover custodian cleaning up the confusing canon of upcoming DC standalones, including the potential Batgirl movie, his Bat dad bod giving audiences something to hold onto while they wrap their heads around two Flashes, two Jokers, two Batmen and a Wonder Woman bouncing up and down the timeline like a flashback in a flashback. And while it'll be great to see Keaton's Bats be a ray of neo-Gothic sunshine in the too gloomy DC universe, it's times like these that it hurts the most that we'll never get an Adam West crossover -- his Darkseid Repellent sure would come in handy for the next Justice League.
Cedric still thinks Kilmer is the best Batman. You can come fight him over on Twitter.
Top Image: Warner Bros., Blair-39/Wiki Commons