10 Big Things The Novel Reveals Before The Batman Tie-In

The Batman does such a great job of building the world, as it introduces tons of new characters and sets up so many story arcs that fans will have to wait years to finally see it paid off. And while there’s so much story in this Gotham, there’s too much going on in the movie, which means some things don’t have a backstory no matter how much fans want them to.

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However, the related novel Before Batman answers a lot of audience questions, fills in a lot of gaps, and even has some huge reveals. Between Bruce being a street racer, the origin of the Batcave, and the relationship between Bruce and Edward going back further than fans know, the book is a must-read for viewers who want more of this rich world.


Bruce Wayne was a street racer

The Batmobile charging on the highways of Gotham City in The Batman

Batman not only looks like a demon lurking in the shadows, he’s also a speed demon. The book explains that before the vehicle was completely rigged as seen in the film, Bruce worked on the engine and body kit to make it as fast as possible, to the point of tearing up the interior.

The Batmobile in the new movie is unlike any other Batmobile that has come before it, and while others may be more battle-ready, there’s so much power under the car’s hood. And every night he would test the speed of the car by participating in illegal street races. With a car like this, it’s impossible not to flag down other racers and race from stoplight to stoplight.

Alfred taught Bruce all his fighting skills

It lasts three hours and The Batman handled its execution well, but because it’s so long and there are so many characters introduced creating this new world, Alfred (Andy Serkis) gets the end of the stick. As talented as Serkis is, he’s been unforgivably underused, but the book almost makes up for that, as it goes into more detail about his relationship with Bruce.

While it would have been great to see him in the movie, especially since Serkis is a much skinnier Alfred than fans have ever seen him, the book explains that Alfred taught Bruce everything he knows when it comes to hand-to-hand combat. They often went to Wayne Tower’s gym in the morning to train together, and Alfred called it “Brucejitsu”.

Bruce bounced between colleges

Bruce Wayne speaking with the mayoral candidate in The Batman

After graduating from boarding school, Bruce enrolled in the best colleges in the world, but he was quickly bored. The billionaire would change schools between semesters and change his studies. The book details that Bruce was a massive lab rat, as he was mostly interested in chemistry, physics, and biology.

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Although he quickly grew tired of colleges, he would continue his education by teaching himself in the Batcave. And that explains a lot of the gray areas in the film and lends credence to how Bruce is as smart as he is. At the start of the 2022 film, Bruce becomes something of a forensic scientist when he sees the mayor’s severed thumb.

Edward Nashton was a delivery man

Paul Dano as Riddler in The Batman

Long before Edward got a job as an accountant, he was delivering fast food to civilians in Gotham. And one thing the book does so well is that it details the harshness of Nashton’s life and upbringing. This sheds more light on why the future supervillain is so irritated with the people of Gotham.

Nashton had to deal with clients who treated him badly, and then he returned to the orphanage where he would continue to be bullied endlessly. Although that doesn’t try to humanize him, as he is shown to be just as bitter and jealous of Bruce Wayne in the novel as well.

Bruce’s first love interest was a street racer named Dex

Batman and Catwoman in Gotham

While some viewers think the romance in The Batman was unnecessary, it was a fresh take on the character, and it turns out Batman has a thing for adrenaline junkies who roam the night. When Bruce was cruising the streets of Gotham at night looking for drag races, he was stopped by another street racer named Dex.

Dex introduced Bruce to a world of street racing he could never have imagined, and the two bonded to pump up their cars. The novel paints Gotham as Fast and Furious: Tokyo Driftas it briefly turns into a story of rich teenagers with expensive cars risking their lives.

Bruce Wayne and Edward Nashton crossed paths before Batman

The Batman Wayne Family Riddler's Index

In The Batman, there is a newspaper clipping of a young Edward watching Bruce when the Wayne family is at the orphanage. It’s during Thomas Wayne’s announcement that he’s running for mayor, but it’s a shot and you’ll miss it. However, Before Batman details the moment. Edward is in the orphanage choir, and even at such a young age, Edward and Bruce harbor animosity for each other.

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And they hadn’t crossed paths once, but twice. Not only was there an awkward moment at the orphanage, but Nashton also blew up Dex’s car during a street race. Edward decided to sabotage a race when he saw how right rich boy racers were to cycle back to the orphanage one night. Bruce deduced that the explosion was not an accident and that something was stuck in the car’s exhaust pipe, but he never found out who did it.

The Batcave is a former train station

The scene where Bruce looks through the images of his contact lens is one of the The Batman scenes that we will not talk about enough. But before Bruce turned the dark, dusty cave into his office, it was nothing more than a hiding place for him to escape what was expected of him in Wayne Tower.

And even before that, it was a train station. Although it says “Wayne Terminus” on the wall of the Batcave in the movie, it’s not explained why, but Before Batman answer that. According to Comic Resourcesthe cave is based on actual secret underground railroads in New York.

Bruce’s first victim was a jewelry thief

Bruce's psyche in The Batman

When Bruce first decided to go out and fight crime, he didn’t have a Batsuit or any of his gadgets, just his brains and brawn. It didn’t take long to find his first criminal, as he quickly found a burglar in a jewelry store. And the large amounts of criminal activity taken are part of the reason why The Batman presents the best representation of Gotham.

Just like the movie, Before Batman is a very good crime novel. The jewelry store robbery led to an even bigger story, and it became the first of many levels of discovery of a much bigger crime syndicate. The thief was using an advanced military-grade explosive gel, and that first altercation sent Bruce on a path to finding the source of the gel.

Bruce was embarrassed every time someone recognized him

The Batman Bruce Wayne

There wasn’t a whole lot of Bruce Wayne in the movie, so it’s hard to figure out what Bruce really looks like to the public eye, because the only time he’s seen communicating with anyone outside of Alfred is is during the mayor’s memorial. However, the book sheds some light on this, and he’s not exactly the charming person as he’s portrayed in other films.

Bruce is extremely reclusive and he often tries to hide behind sunglasses and hats. He hates having the reputation of being, as Carmine Falcone puts it, “the prince of the town.” Every time someone recognizes him, they’re embarrassed and hate the special treatment they get, whether it’s police officers or race track owners.

Metropolis and LexCorp exist in the universe

This is the most shocking revelation of the entire novel, especially since The Batman is sold like this, a film that sets up a universe on the bat that is inherently gothic and dark. Metropolis and LexCorp aren’t just hinted at, but they’re mentioned by name, as the end of the book sees Dex going to town and trying to get a job at the company owned by Lex Luthor.

It’s hard to imagine Metropolis existing in the world, not to mention Lex Luthor and maybe even Superman, who is a much more positive hero and represents hope. But the revelation creates a huge question; will fans see Superman or even Clark Kent in an upcoming Batman movie in this universe?

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