Major spoilers for Suicide Squad lie ahead (along with major hype for Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie). Read on at your own risk.
Batman is everywhere in this DCEU. It makes sense — he’s the greatest superhero DC has, a scarred, brooding billionaire with an enviable arsenal of weapons and a habit of making enemies. As the glue of this universe, it only makes sense that Suicide Squad should do a few things to set up Batman’s next solo movie…
1. The Constant Threat Of Amanda Waller
Even those who had nothing but bad things to say about Suicide Squad universally agreed that Viola Davis perfectly captured the ruthless, calculating, mean-spirited nature of Amanda Waller, the squad’s fearsome Svengali. Like her Marvel counterpart Nick Fury (but with a much more questionable sense of morality), Waller is somebody who knows how to play the game.
Traditionally in the comics her relationship with Bruce Wayne is one of mutual distrust, and the mid-credits scene of Suicide Squad gleefully suggested that this won’t be the last time the two come to blows — which is good, because Affleck and Davis have some serious chemistry. It would hardly be a surprise if the CIA agent had an antagonistic role to play in The Batman — and as Bruce’s behaviour in Batman v Superman clearly demonstrated, the Caped Crusader needs somebody to keep him in check. Here’s hoping these two titans of the DCEU both have plenty of fight in them.
2. Exploring The Bat Family
It could be argued that both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad were clumsy in their handling of Robin’s death, a major event in Batman’s life which probably deserved to be given more attention. The upside is that we know the Bat Family is a thing that existed once in the DCEU — and could exist again.
Every live-action interpretation of the Caped Crusader has had his own strengths (alright, maybe not George Clooney), but few have acknowledged that Batman generally isn’t someone who operates alone. He’s most human when working with a protege — and be it Robin, Batgirl or another young hero (perhaps Duke Thomas, if Affleck wanted to borrow from Tom King’s excellent new Batman Rebirth comic series), there’s a strong chance The Batman will recognize that.
3. The Joker Is On The Loose
It seems obvious, but Suicide Squad‘s exhilarating climax — the Joker blasting through the walls of Belle Reve and making a clean break with Harley Quinn on his arm — sets the scene for the Clown Prince to cross paths with his arch-nemesis again in the near future, especially if Mr. J and Harley embark on a crime spree in Gotham.
That said, there’s a whole rogues gallery of psychopaths ripe for exploration before we get a redux of Joker v Batman. Personally, I want to see Hugo Strange or The Riddler in The Batman. Maybe this is one enmity that should simmer in the shadows of the DCEU for a while.
4. Batman Has A Weakness…
Suicide Squad‘s confirmation that Harley was implicit in the Joker’s murder of Robin highlights that anybody who works directly with Batman, or knows about Bruce Wayne’s double-life, is immediately vulnerable. That provides the Joker or any other villain with a weakness to exploit, and puts a target on the head of anybody Bruce cares for — so far, that’s basically just Alfred (but we’ve also seen him getting on pretty well with Diana in the Justice League trailer).
Essentially, it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if a few of the Bat’s allies were to wind up six feet under in The Batman.
5. …And He Hasn’t Been Covering His Tracks
This is probably the juiciest teaser we got for the Batfleck solo adventure. Somehow, Amanda Waller knows what Bruce has a nocturnal alias. OK, so you could argue that being a government agent gives Waller access to intel which a regular criminal could never get their hands on, but it’s disturbing to think that Batman, a man of genius-level intelligence — allegedly — has left a trail of breadcrumbs.
That’s going to get you in trouble, Bruce.
There’s no date set yet for The Batman, but it’ll likely be either October 2018 or November 2019 (with Man of Steel 2 taking the other free slot). That day can’t come soon enough.
Will We Meet The Bat Family In Affleck’s The Batman?
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.