The Batman is one of the most satisfying takes on the caped crusader, as we see him during his earlier years as Gotham’s vigilante of justice. However, the ending of The Batman might end up confusing a lot of people, and that’s why we are here to clear things up a bit for you by explaining the ending of The Batman and how it sets up the sequel.
How Does The Batman End?
The Batman did a great job at showing us a younger version of the masked vigilante as we got to see him solving a very big riddle in the form of the Riddler, who terrorized Gotham throughout much of the entire movie. Of course, like any good superhero movie, Batman ends up catching the bad guy. But the ending of The Batman is a bit more complex than that.
Near the end of the film, we saw the Gotham police catching the Riddler and putting him behind bars, where he was interrogated by both the police and Batman. However, it was only when he was alone with Batman that he actually started talking and revealing the motives behind his actions.
During the interrogation scene, the Riddler revealed to Batman that he wanted to cleanse the corruption out of Gotham because he himself was a victim of that corruption. He was actually one of the children who lived in the orphanage that should’ve gotten the billion-dollar donation from Thomas Wayne.
However, after Wayne died, the donation never happened. When he became an accountant, the Riddler discovered that the donation that should’ve gone to the orphanage was used as a fund by the mobsters and the different corrupt officials of the city in their corrupt activities. That was what set the Riddler off to his so-called just quest of cleansing the city.
As the interrogation continued, the Riddler made a crucial mistake when he revealed that he actually didn’t know who Batman was, and that was what allowed the masked hero to feel more relaxed while forcing the villain to talk about his plans. And it turned out that the Riddler wanted to get caught because he still had one more plan up his sleeves and that he was merely biding his time by distracting Batman and the police.
When Batman was able to get to the Gotham Square Garden to stop the henchmen that the Riddle had put in place there to fulfill his plan, he went toe-to-toe with the goons and ended up nearly getting killed until Selina Kyle came to his rescue. And when it was time for Selina to need his help, he was able to recover enough strength with the help of a green fluid that he injected into himself.
But when they thought that everything was over, the henchmen were able to blow up Gotham City’s levees to cause the entire city to flood. That was when Batman ultimately became a hero and not just a vigilante as he went on to help those who the Riddler were targeting all along, such as the politicians that he believed were part of the entire corrupt system of the city.
The flooding of Gotham was something that came straight from Batman: Zero Year, in which the Riddler flooded the city so that he could take it over while it was still in chaos. However, the difference here is that the Riddler was behind bars the entire time.
After the entire city got flooded, Batman volunteered to use his skills so that he could save all of the people who were involved in the flood. That was when Bruce Wayne began monologuing in the background while his character was helping people onscreen.
Throughout the entire movie, Batman was referred to as “Vengeance” just as much as he was referred to as Batman because he embodied Gotham’s vengeance. The younger version of Batman here was a vengeful spirit that attacked the criminals of Gotham City on behalf of the people who became their victims.
Of course, Batman became the spirit of vengeance because he himself wanted to avenge his parents’ death at the hands of Gotham criminals. And because he didn’t know who killed his parents, he decided to fight crime in the hopes of getting to the bottom of their murder while also making sure that no one else suffered the same fate as he did.
But at the end of the film, while Bruce was monologuing, he said that being the spirit of vengeance was not enough because it was that very vengeful spirit that inspired other people like the Riddler to use extreme measures to snuff the corruption out of Gotham. He realized that, instead of being a vengeful spirit, he needed to be Gotham’s symbol of hope because that was what the city needed.
This is an ode to the events of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, wherein Bruce Wayne thought of himself as a vengeful hero that fought the dark side of Gotham at night while also looking at Harvey Dent as the hero that the city needed instead of him because he was the city’s symbol of hope.
However, in The Batman, the encounter with the Riddler was the wake-up call that Bruce needed to realize that he didn’t need to be the spirit of vengeance because revenge wasn’t the answer. Instead, he needed to be the hope that the people needed. He even rejected Selina Kyle’s offer of coming with her because he knew that the city needed him around.
As the film ended, we saw a scene of the Riddler in his cell in Arkham talking to a mysterious prisoner who was never shown onscreen. They both had a small conversation that ended in the laughter of the two sinister characters.
Who Was At The End Of The Batman?
As mentioned, the ending of The Batman showed us the Riddler in his cell talking to another prisoner that was never revealed onscreen but had green hair and was seemingly wearing a grin on his face.
This prisoner was, in fact, the Joker, as Matt Reeves himself confirmed that the prisoner that Riddler was talking in Arkham was the Clown Prince of Crime played none other than Barry Keoghan.
The revelation of Keoghan as the Joker didn’t come as a surprise because there were already rumors of him appearing in the film as the iconic Batman villain. However, Reeves tried his best to hide this rumor by crediting Barry Keoghan’s character as a Gotham police officer in the official list of cast members.
But the cat is now out of the bag. That means that The Batman will soon feature the Joker as one of the villains that we will see in the future of this new film series.
How The Ending Sets Up The Batman 2?
Those who stayed during the post-credit scene would know that there is a URL given at the end. Logging in to that website will allow you to answer a series of riddles. And if you answer all of the riddles correctly, you will be rewarded with a video file that reveals that the next villain of The Batman is Hush. So, how does the ending of The Batman set us up for the sequel?
We aren’t exactly sure how The Batman’s sequel will turn out, especially considering that it appears that all of the villains that have made appearances in the movie are going to actually play a role in the next installment.
For instance, the Riddler is not dead and is simply in a correctional facility together with none other than the Joker himself. And we do know that Collin Farrell’s Penguin is going to be appearing in an HBO Max spin-off.
This makes us wonder how all of those villains will play a role in what will happen in the next Batman movie, considering that Hush might be the centerpiece of the rogues that the hero will face. The comics may allow us to get an idea of what’s going to happen next.
How The Comics Set Up The Batman 2?
In the Batman: Hush comic book story, Hush was initially introduced as Thomas Elliot, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne’s. However, throughout the story, Batman comes under attack from Hush himself with the help of the Riddler.
Elliot, in an attempt to throw Batman off his tracks, even faked his own death by using the Joker. As such, he was able to focus more on his plan of terrorizing Bruce Wayne, who he knows as Batman, through the help of Riddler, who was able to deduce the hero’s identity through his own means.
Considering that we already have a comic book story that includes Hush, we may be able to deduce how he will be written into the sequel of The Batman. Hush was portrayed to be someone who has a grudge against the Wayne family because of something that Thomas did in the past. This means that he and the Riddler, who also hates the Wayne family, now have something in common.
In that regard, the sequel may show us how the Riddler ends up working with Hush, who he may have been working with even throughout the first film. This will allow us to see the same dynamics between the two characters that we saw in the comics.
However, how does the Joker play a role in that dynamic? It would be a shame for DC to simply introduce talented actor Barry Keoghan as the Joker without giving him the spotlight that the villain deserves. In the comics, the Joker didn’t play much of a role because he was only there as a tool for Hush to use.
So, if Matt Reeves decides to take the same route, we already know what the Joker’s role will be, and that might disappoint fans of the most iconic comic book villain of all time. Still, considering that The Batman was able to give enough screen time and spotlight to Falcone, Penguin, and the Riddler in a film that is nearly three hours long, it might be possible for the Joker to have his own spotlight in a movie that will also explore Hush and, secondarily, the Riddler.