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‘Batman: Battle For The Cowl’: Who Will Take Up The Mantle?
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By Totally Bitchin’ (aka Eric Drumm)

Who is going inherit the Bat mantle?

With Batman RIP heading towards its dramatic (and long awaited for some!) conclusion, Bruce Wayne may be going bye bye. Is he gonna die? Is he gonna retire? Will he descend into madness, never to be heard from again? Grant Morrison knows, but he ain’t telling.

With all controversy going around, aren’t we forgetting one major dilemma? With the Bat mantle vacated, who is going to step up and take control of Gotham?

Following Batman RIP is the much hushed “Battle For the Cowl” arc. The title suggests that there is a slugfest on the horizon between the Bat boys to see who gets the cape. Who can even pretend they are qualified to replace the Dark Knight? A few are real contenders, but there are a few underdogs that could potentially take the title.

Here are a few of the folks we think just might take it. But don’t listen to us! Sound off with your own theories in the comments!

Dick Grayson/Nightwing

Dick Grayson/NightwingThe crimefighter and notorious ladies man is the most obvious choice to take up the mantle. Dick Grayson has been knocking out wise guys since he was a pre-teen, taking direction from the Dark Knight himself. Since he traded in the pixie boots for the Nightwing disco collar, Dick has been fighting to make a name for himself outside his Bat-past almost as hard as he fights bad guys. Nearly to the point of having a chip on his shoulder about it, Dick will have words with anyone who doesn’t think that he is his own man. He hates being associated with his “dad,” and this potentially poses a problem. After all this time, why would he go back on everything he has tried to build for himself? It took quite a bit of coaxing to get Dick into the cowl during “Prodigal.” With all the self doubt and whining about the hero life going on in his own title, is Nightwing even stable enough to be Batman? Not to mention that he is currently drooling on himself in a stupor in Arkham, so that doesn’t help much either. However, knowing Dick, his undying sense of responsibility may lure him into the Cave.

Tim Drake/Robin

Tim Drake/RobinBy far the most capable of all the Robins, Tim “Tim Wayne” Drake has the same problem that his “big brother” Nightwing suffers from — crippling self doubt. Tim figured out who Batman was, went on an international adventure, almost banged Lady Shiva, and fought the Joker all within a few weeks of becoming the third Robin. Not bad for a skinny 14-year-old. Robin isn’t taking this whole Batman RIP thing too well. Forced to protect Gotham on his own, he is in way over his head. As a result, his thinking doesn’t exactly speak “I’m awesome!” In fact, he is lower than he has been in a while. Keep in mind this is the kid who lost his girlfriend, his only parent, and his best friend all at the same time, and still soldiered on. Tim may not think he is ready for it, but even Batman has been quoted that Tim can do just about anything, so he may be able to pull it off. The costume won’t fit, but Alfred can help with that. “Titans Tomorrow” showed us a pistol packing Bat-Tim 10 years in the future, so it’s not impossible.

Jason Todd

Jason ToddThink what you like about ol’ JT, but he’s back. So the rest of us will just have to get used to it. Leaving a mountain of dead criminals in his wake, Jason killed the hell out of lot of dudes as the Red Hood, much to Batman’s dismay. Back from his adventure in the Multiverse (yeah, we know), Jason’s schedule is pretty open these days. He is currently organizing a gang war in the pages of ROBIN, but perhaps his plan is to sit on the underworld throne with a cape on. Despite his fleeting moments of redemption, Jason Todd is a smarmy violent jerk (and this is coming from someone that likes him!). Impulsive, murderous and recklessly irresponsible, Jason seems the least likely to take the title. However, Jason’s lack of morals may be his biggest strength in the battle for the cowl. Dick and Tim have rules they have to follow as do-gooders, Jason doesn’t. He can literally do whatever it takes to be Batman, included dusting anyone that gets in his way. That’s a very scary thought, but its one that could come true. The internet may explode with fan outcry if it comes to pass, but this is also the guy who was voted to die and then miraculously and ridiculously came back. So there ya go.

Tommy Elliot/Hush

Tommy Elliot/HushThis fella HATES Batman. Forget the Joker or Ra’s Al Ghul, Hush hates him with every cell in his body. He has nearly destroyed him a few times, but what if Batman really disappeared? What of Hush then? Would Hush even know what to do with himself if his nemesis suddenly kicked? Becoming what you hate the most and perverting it into something evil sounds like the perfect revenge, don’t it? Hush is more than a little cold blooded, so metaphorically peeing on the Dark Knight’s grave makes a lot of sense. The rest of the Bat family will probably take issue with this, the Bat-boys VS Hush could be the main event of “Battle For the Cowl.”

Damien Wayne

Damien WayneThe “son” of the Bat has been a first class a-hole since he showed up. Arrogant, snobbish and most of all murderous, lil’ Bats has already spilled enough blood and insults to wear out his welcome. With his actual parentage still in question, Damien could be just another ruse in a larger scheme to bring down Batman. However, the little bugger has had a few moments where he genuinely seemed like he wanted to follow his father’s path. If the kid can learn to play well with others and quit killing people, he just might make it. One small hurtle, though – he is only 10! BATMAN #666 told us that Damien does in fact take over for Bruce Wayne in the future, but was there an interim Bat?

As “Batman RIP” wraps up, it’s certain that there will be lots of questions. But what happens to the cape and cowl is up in the air. Will the man (or woman, or boy) behind the mask be the best choice are will it be an Azbats level crisis?

  • As dicked as this may sound, I expect that Jason Todd might pick the cowl in a redemption type of way.

    Ethier that, or jean Paul valley himself might be coming back. Frankly I put nothing past Morrison.

  • Jason Beaner

    LOL, no doubt about it dude, its gonna be a very close call!


  • ryan

    Eerily similar to a Captain America storyline from a year ago. Just sayin’.

  • Tyler

    Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley, Jean Paul Valley,

  • mo

    R.I.P. is really awful. i hope the upcoming Kevin Smith arc is a lot more interesting.

  • I’m putting my bet on Jason Todd as well, I think it will be perfect, I really hate that Azrael stuff.

  • Of course this will only be temporary anyway. DC wouldn’t let one of the biggest movie franchises in history mess with it’s main man.

  • I’m going for the wild card. Catwomen’s going to take the cowl.

  • LoneHeero

    I’ll take the Mr.Carl.Lee way and go with…

  • CyberSkull

    What about a Batwoman taking over? Either Cassandra Cain or a very convoluted plot that restores Barbara Gordon’s mobility could happen. What other DC women are qualified to wear the cowl? What about Selina Kyle? She could be Batwoman.

  • korollocke

    Bats does bite the dust, Kid eternity summoned him once along with several dead heroes and wondered “Whats he doing here? He’s not dead? and Boston Barn said “Well it’s complicated kid.”

  • I really don’t think there will be a single Batman after this; Dick, Jason and Hush may all put on the cowl, like the recent Batmen story arc. Though a new Batwoman in Selina would be more interesting…

  • Jason Todd would be excellent

  • Alfred

    Cassandra Cain will have a sex change operation and become the next Batman!

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  • Bobby

    If you’ve read the last issue to RIP you saw that 1 page spread of Dick Grayson aka Nightwing holding the cape and cowl. This could be a nod to the up coming story arch but at the same time it could just be to throw us all off considering Nightwing is the obvious choice. I think Hush will try to battle for the cowl to order to take down the Batman name like he tried to take down Bruce Wayne’s name in “Heart of Hush” (in detective Comics). But he wont get the Mantel. I believe in order to stop them the “bat boys” will band together (even Todd) to help bring an end to him, and realize that there needs to be a Batman…in which time I believe Nightwing will take the plunge and stand up and take the cowl. If you’ve read “Nightwing” (particulary issue 150) you will see another possible nod to battle for the cowl with Babs Gordon (first Bat-girl and ex girlfriend to nightwing) say “Do you hear yourself? you sound just like HIM (“him” being Bruce). Nightwing clearly is headed down a more Batman like path lately and he doesn’t seem to have much of a “chip” on his shoulder for Bruce anymore….they have a better father-son relationship now. And Jean Paul Valley? please. that’d be a joke to bring him back now.

  • NATO

    I believe in Harvey Dent!

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  • M

    Smells like a Death of Captain America replay to me. In that story line the only way to “save” Bucky from himself was to make him carry the weight of being Captain America. In one of the Under the Hood volumes Batman said something similarly to: “I failed in saving you then, but…I’m trying to save you now.”
    I follow you on the bat-fam taking down Hush together, but unless Bruce hand-picked a successor, it’s probably gonna be Dick or Jason, and I still vote Jason.
    Maybe they put cute little red outlines around Dick’s speech bubbles and put some bass in his voice, but if it came down to it neither Tim or Dick want to be the batman Bruce was. Jason on the otherhand is more than willing to do whatever it takes and doesn’t feel the need to be accepted; and will do so short of killing them. THAT is his intimidation factor, and it just doesnt seem like either one of them have that…

  • Greg Smith

    Okay, I say all batboys will hav a chance to be batman in the future. First Dick, after he gets a little more badass during the whole BATTLE FOR THE COWL, then Jason, maybe he and dick will be bats at the same time and fight. Dick will win(of course). Then ol Timmy’s turn comes up, see during his time with the Titans tim wil probably turn bad(jus like his future self said) and tim drake will forcibly take the bat title from dick. I hate to admit it but tim is way smarter than dick right now, but imagine him in a few years. He’ll own dick grayson in smarts and fighting skill. Then Damian will take out Tim(who he hates) and finally that little bastard will be the bat(So says the ominusly numbered Batman #666.) As a comic writer myself, that’s how i’d do it! Got beef!?

  • Enochi

    Hmmm with batman dead that really sets him up for being used in the Black Lantern saga doesnt it. As for my thoughts on who it will be most likely Tim drake with Damien the new robin or maybe steph will fill that role again I dunno. I would love to see Dick as the New bats but find him a unlikely choice. Todd is possible but….well It does seem like something they would do but I surely hope not.

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  • Ryuuk

    I gotta go with Jason Todd. Nightwing and Robin can hang on to their own mantles and Jason Todd takes over as Batman.

    Could go any way really but my money is on Jason Todd.

  • The Latin Batman

    I think Dick’s gona take it. I mean Hush? No frickin way ppl dea’s no way a villain could take up da cowl. jason’s too nutty and Damian is too young. Its gona b either Tim or Dick, I bet my money on Dick. Da first page of Batman #676 with Batman and robin, u can clearly c dat Robin’s too young 2 b anyone but Damian. And Tim’s recently taken da Red Robin mantle. DC’s also cancelling nightwing, robin and birds of prey so unless Oracle gets da use of her legs bak and SHE becomes da new Batman (wouldnt dat b trippy?, i think it’ll b Dick as the new Batman.

  • The Latin Batman

    Btw I really liked dat blackest night idea enochi! Brilliant! Wat would b really kool tho is if Bruce came bak and tried 2 kill anyone dats tryin 2 take his place. Unless he himself has left instructions behind as 2 who should b da new Batman. Knowin Batman he’s done dat. Also wif da jean paul valley thing, i think its totally possible. i mean it was a ridiculous idea 2 bring ole’ jason bak but dey did anyway! So go ahead DC bring bak jean paul and make him da (not so) new Batman! dat would make all us geeks and fanboys OH SO happy…

  • Evan

    I think they will all take up the cowl, something similar to when superman died, a bunch of different batmen/women fighting for the mantle

  • Jon

    I think Babs will be killed and after the Bat boys fight Hush, Grayson will finally become the Batman everyone knows he can be. My money rests on Grayson.

  • Jon

    Also Grayson was gonna be killed in Infinite Crisis-but DC hesitated, because he is beloved by generations of Bat fans. The heads at DC demanded a different direction for his character-and I believe becoming Batman is the correct solution that will please the fans and make the most sense after all these years. I expect Bruce will make a return ala-Clark, Barry, Hal and Ollie though.

  • Grayson Legend

    Dick’s the most capable of all the Robin’s…’s been aluded to that Tim’s a better detective…..and if that’s the case, it still doesn’t change anything…because even that is a close call…..and in my book it’s the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts…..and Grayson has excelled in all areas….to such a degree….that it was always concievable that he would one day be on par with his Mentor….(although, Dick would be the first to say that no one is better than Bruce… one…..Dick’s always had so much hero worship for mentor…that’s for sure…but that’s what I like about him). Now, I like Tim…..but he is no Dick Grayson. And Logically, Dick Grayson should be Batman’s successor…..but who knows where they will take the story……I just hope it’s a great story….and it respects all the characters. Of course, all this is just my honest opinion.

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  • frank

    I think Grayson is a lesser detective than Tim, but he has more physical and experience skills. Grayson will be a good and solid Batman, with weaknesses. Weaknesses that Tim will strengthen as Robin. I think this is about the dynamic duo becoming relevant again. I forsee a title called Batman and Robin to attest to this fact. Bruce outgrew a sidekick long ago, Grayson will need Tim to be the best Batman. I think this is cool of DC to understand this. Dick will be Batman and Tim will be Robin.

  • Jonathan

    I can see Hush assuming the mantle with Damien as Robin. This will be followed by Dick and Tim taking the evil duo down and replacing them as the new dynamic duo. Neither can ever replace Bruce-but together they can equal him. I agree this whole change is about making Batman and Robin relevant again.

  • Bluejay

    I have read many comments and articles concerning Who Will Be The Nexy Batman? Many down Garyson because they beleive it has already been done with Prodigal, I disagree…Prodigal was more or less a Nightwing Story with Nightwing just wearing different clothes..I loved the Prodigal story, but it was not really a Batman story, and just gave Dick a brief chance to rest a few demons and also sort somethings out with Bruce. Dick is a totally different person and hero now…it has been noted that he is a very important person in the DCU, which is the main reason he wasn’t killed in Infinite Crisis. With the distrust so many have had over the last few years concerning Bruce, I think Dick Grayson as Batmn will change that, as Bruce even noted “You put importance on relationships that I never did, People trust you.” I think Dick needs to take the cowl, and either Daimen or Tim be Robin, if Daimen becomes Robin, have Dick either pass the Nightwing Mantle to Tim, or…have Time become someone else entirely new…Tim being Batman, I think would work once Tim is a little older, right now he is still too young, and I think Dick and Barbara need to do something with their relationship, I mean they were engaged then all of a sudden, they weren’t together anymore…no explaination was ever made…anyway, tose are my thoughts for what they are worth…


    Are you all serious? they are going to kill off – retire – or limbo Bruce Wayne? If bruce Wayne isnt Batman then he really isnt Batman then is he? might as well just dress up the Joker in the costume or better yet introduce that kid from the future batman cartoon with the black and red suit and make lots and lots of comic books for collecting. well it’s been one hell of a good 70 year run, i guess nothing lasts forever.

  • Dc recently said that Catman was throwing his cowl into the ring. He feels he deserves to be the Bat. Heck maybe even Bane. My money is on Jason, remeber during Countdown they ran into a Batman tat was Todd.

  • ExiledWarMachine

    Who the hell is the guy on the teaser pic on the box with the guns… seriously wtf

  • Bluejay

    I say it again, it is goig to be Dick…and after some research, I think this predictio is going to be pretty close….
    Dick is going to become Batman, taking Daimen as his Robin, if anyone can straighten that little snot out it’s Dick, Bruce didn’t have the paitence…Tim will likely take on the role of Red Robin…why…not sure personally I’d give Tim an all new, orginal ID to call his own, instead of a left over Kingdom Come ID…Jason Todd, I don’t know what to think about him….I think if the right writer got a hold of him they could cool him down, but then, he’d just be a slightly younger clone of Dick….so Jason should just remain as the Red Hood…that is a good identity for him, or they could kill him again, and this time keep him dead…but I’m not holding my breath for that…he causes to much controversy and controversy, sells. So….
    Dick: Batman
    Tim: Red Robin
    Jason: Red Hood
    Daimen: Robin
    and everyone else…well they on their own…

  • Grayson Legend

    Quote: “Grayson will be a good and solid Batman, with weaknesses. Weaknesses that Tim will strengthen as Robin.”

    If Grayson has weaknesses, it’s on par with what Batman had when he was first a rookie at wearking the Cowl. And no one can say that Batman was never a rookie. Even as talented as the guy is…everybody has a beginning. And if Tim does strengthen Grayson, it is in exactly the same light that the original Boy Wonder & Oracle have strengthened Batman over the years. But in any event, both Bruce & Dick have survived on their own….with or without partners……although we all know that they have each saved each other on occasion.

    Just my opinion. But I will say this, the Dick Grayson character is what pulled me back into collecting comics….roughly a year ago… I hope that DC continues to do the character justice.

  • Robin

    This is how I would write it. Dick, Tim, Jason, Hush, Daimen, and Jean Paul Valley all don the cloak and battle it out royal rumble style for the title. #1 selling comic of all time. I’m a genius.

  • Churchdude

    They can’t replace Bruce Wayne. Thats like more than 50 years of history with the guy. Readers would be pissed. I know I would. Dick will probably get it until Bruce returns.

  • You forgot one…… Azrael.

  • Speedy

    Personally, i Think that no one could replace Bruce Wayne. He’s different than Dick and Tim. He has more passion for a job as Batman and has many resources that hepled him keep his life in balance. Well, If its gonna be a battle my money goes to Dick. He understood Bruce the most and the motives behing the role of Batman and in a way he deals with the same problem except he unlike Bruce let himself get close to poeple. I don’t think that Tim will get the Cape. He’s an emotional mess and he’s sucks at balancing his life outside the Batcave. When the time comes to see If he deserves to be Batman he won’t make it.

  • Robin

    Azrael = Jean Paul Valley

  • kobalt_blue

    It better not be Jean Paul Valley… We all remember what happened when they tried to pull that off last time, and hopefully so does everyone at DC. Dick Grayson’s too obvious (though by far the best choice), and I would have gone with Jason Todd until I saw the ad for Red Robin #1 (this HAS to be Todd, doesn’t it?). I think that Morrison’s set it up for Drake and Damien as Batman and Robin, which actually doesn’t sound too bad. Sure, Dick Grayson gets short shrift, but it sounds like he’s going to have his hands full pursuing Todd in RR#1 (hinted at in the description). I’m disappointed that Morrison’s going to be doing the new Batman and Robin series though, and you think DC would have know better than to give him another flagship shot after he came up with that travesty Final Crisis and made Batman RIP such a painful read – I’m really not looking forward to more of Morrison’s confusing simplicity (characters named something like Dr. Bad, Evil Man and Super Good Patriot who all happen to be three versions of Bathound back from the grave. Shudder).

  • Pavel

    Gee I’m having a feeling of deja vous! It seems that this was done already. Could it have been the whole Knighfall/Knightquest storyline again? DC could not have come up with some new ideas?

  • Joey

    Hands down I’m gonna go with Tim Drake!

  • eosguy

    i dont think that dick grayson can ever replace batman. they need to resurrect him from the dead somehow like what they did to superman, green arrow & the green lantern.

  • Tiberius183

    BLATANT rip-off of the Death of Captain America arc!

    Not too worried about it. In the DC universe, A-listers don’t stay gone for long. Hell, they brought back Hal Jordan, Connor Kent, AND Barry Allen.

    Bruce’ll be back. This is just a “stunt” arc to sell more issues, just like Death of Superman, and just like Death of Captain America.

  • dick grayson hands down hes the most qualified and he kicks major ass …….. but what about robin whos gunna fill those size 9s

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  • Giorgio

    Only A person can take the COWL….Dick Grayson !!!!!! Bruce trained him for this !!!! He’s his former Son……ONLY DICK CAN TAKE THE COWL !!!!

  • Judson Corbello

    One question came to my brother’s mind, about how there were others who would take on the mantle of the Batman, and how established heroes would do it. He asked; “why would someone who was already a hero in his own right(meaning they had their own identity as their own hero), take on the mantle of Batman?”. My guess is, because of all the heroes Gotham’s underworld has seen, they really only fear the Batman. They may have some respect for Nightwing, maybe Robin, the Red Hood might be feared for a whole other reason. But, and I could be wrong, none of them bring out the same kind of fear, and dare I say respect, as the Batman does. But his question did make me wonder, just exactly why, another established hero, would take on the mantle of Batman? Another question might be, why does Gotham need Batman specifically? It has the Red Hood, the Bat-ladies, the Robins, Nightwing, and some others, so why does Gotham need somebody to be Batman?

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