Surprise! DC Comics is getting ready to unveil its plans for Stage I of its Cinematic Continuum, and there's some interesting names in the mix. Looking at the list, there are heroes both familiar and alien (in all sense of the word) to audiences of the chief competitor to Marvel Studios. While their rival has a plan that stretches to 2028, DC is only reaching as far as 2018, at least for the time being. Bear in mind, they're still new to the model that Marvel has cemented into its business plan.

So what do movie and comic fans have to look forward to in the future of DC Comics? How does it all fit together? Is Joseph Gordon-Levitt going to play Nightwing? (NO, AND STOP ASKING!) These questions and more will be answered in our analysis of Stage I to DC's Cinematic Continuum. (We can't keep giving everything titles like "phase I" or "cinematic universe." Let's get creative, guys.)

The Bat Man
Year Introduced: 1939 (Detective Comics # 27)
Previous Movies: Batman (1943/1966/1989), Batman and Robin (1949/1997), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005 – 2012)
Stage I Entries: Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)
Stage I Actor: Ben Affleck
Special Abilities: Martial arts, theatricality, deception, advanced surveillance techniques, and corporate espionage.

General Background: Bruce Wayne was orphaned in one of the squalid back alleys of Gotham City. From that moment, he dedicated himself to bringing his parents' killer to justice, as well as cleaning up the corrupt streets of Gotham. Using his family's wealth and his status amongst the corporate elite, Mr. Wayne (with the help of his loyal butler, Alfred) adopted the visage of that which he feared, in hopes he could inspire the same sort of fear amongst those who would seek to poison the city he loves.

How He Might Be Used In Stage I: The Batman of Dawn Of Justice is a seasoned veteran, battle scarred and relying on drones to do his crime fighting. This is evident by his current build and costume, which are more reminiscent of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns era. Don't let that fool you, though, as Miller's Batman still kicked a lot of ass as an older man. My guess is it'll be a little while before we see Batman fly solo again, as someone else is being set up as the DC Continuum's equivalent to Iron Man. Still, Batman makes bank, and bank is what Warner Bros needs if they're going to continue playing in the comic sandbox.

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