With the exception of a few swerves into campy territory over the decades, Batman has always been one of the DC Comics' darkest superheroes, but Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice took this darkness to an especially high level. After fighting crime for over two decades, Ben Affleck's version had grown hardened and extra cynical after losing so many people close to him. By the end of the second DC Extended Universe entry, Bruce Wayne's faith in humanity seemed to have been restored, which will result in a slight personality shift when Justice League arrives next year.
During his recent Justice League visit set, Cinema Blend's own Sean O'Connell spoke with Ben Affleck about how in the 2017 blockbuster, Batman will not only be a little more optimistic, but also have an ironic sense of humor. He explained:
Yeah, he's a little bit more sardonic, humor, a little more irony. He's on a little more man on a mission this time. As opposed to like he was so full of anger because of what happened at the Black Zero Event. That kind of character, that sort of rage that possessed him. And now he's on a mission to get this group together. To constitute this League. But, more of his, that sort of Bruce Wayne, wry, ironic gallows humor comes out. He's not like a "haha" jokey, but that sort of stuff comes out a little bit. A bit of, his sort of darker humor stuff is present.
Past Batman movies have shown the Caped Crusader being a brooding vigilante, but Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice kicked things to a new level with how aggressive he was, like branding criminals with the bat symbol to straight up killing them (though not a first for a cinematic Batman). He was so filled with rage that he nearly killed Superman so that the Kryptonian couldn't potentially become a threat in the future, but he didn't follow through on this. Following Superman's death at the hands of Doomsday, Bruce had fully realized the error of his ways, and told Wonder Woman that he believes "man" is still good. It looks like this optimistic perspective will remain in Justice League, along with some ironic humor, though not at the cost of his usual M.O. while operating as a masked hero.
There are still many unanswered questions surrounding Justice League, but one of the many tidbits of information dropped this past week is that Batman and Wonder Woman will recruit Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash to recruit a league that will enforce justice and protect the world in Superman's absence. Despite largely operating as a loner in recent years, Batman will lead the team in their battle against Steppenwolf and his Parademon army. It's hard to imagine the Dark Knight at the beginning of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice accepting such a position, but he's grown since that movie, and with a new mission and wry comments, he's jumping to the next chapter of his life as Batman.
Batman can be seen next in Suicide Squad this August, but fans will have to wait until Justice League is released on November 17, 2017 for him to team up with his fellow superheroes.