For The Last Time, Batman Is Not A Metahuman

Though he doesn't have traditional super powers like most of his friends, Batman's got a lot going for him. He's a handsome, rich, athletic white guy with virtually endless resources at his disposal. And yet, every so often, people come along who feel as if that's not enough to make Batman a real superhero.

Image: Warner Bros.

Batman has been temporarily imbued with all manner of superpowers for various stories over the years, but the character's always been defined by his ability to go toe to toe with heavy-hitting super people, despite his lack of natural super abilities. But that didn't stop this week's issue of Suicide Squad from wandering a little off the beaten track and once again suggesting that Batman might, just might be a meta human.

Suicide Squad #22 opens with Amanda Waller running away from a shadowy holding facility somewhere in Alaska's Denali National Park. Barefoot and terrified, Waller races through the forest in search of help until she find a highway and flags down a passing family in their car. The family stops to pick Waller up and give her a ride, and when they ask her what she's doing in the woods in the middle of the night, she explains to them that she's escaped from her kidnapper's clutches and that she needs to go to the nearby Fort Wainwright army base.

As she sits in the back seat, shaken and afraid, Waller recalls a conversation she had with her captor -- the Russian Direktor Karla, who's been secretly tracking the Waller's Task Force X from afar in preparation to take them down. Though he's taken her against his will, Karla says to Waller that, from his perspective, they both want the same thing: to protect humanity from whatever threats metahumans might bring.

Though we first saw her desperately trying to get away from Karla, when Waller is eventually reunited with the Suicide Squad, she informs them that they have a new mission which echoes Karla's feelings. The Squad is told that they all need to be prepared for the neutralization of two of the Justice League's metahuman members: Killer Frost and Batman.

The line comes quickly and goes unremarked upon, but it didn't take long for DC fans to understandably assume that this might be the beginning of a new canon for Batman that introduces him to actual superpowers.

But according to All Star Batman writer Scott Snyder, Waller's calling Batman a metahuman is incorrect. While his overall "awesomeness" might make him seem like a metahuman, Snyder reasoned, Bruce Wayne is still very much a baseline human who merely does a lot of CrossFit in his basement and dresses up like a bat.

As cool as Batman is, there's always something a little bothersome about people who argue that he's just an everyday human who works very, very hard to do the things he's able to do. His powers of deduction disappearing the moment people look away definitely seem like powers from time to time, and it stands to reason that Waller might honestly think that he's able to do all of those things because of a meta-gene. She knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne, but she doesn't necessarily know everything about Bruce's biology.

Regardless of what Waller does or doesn't know, we can say with confidence that, for the time being, Batman is still a regular flatscan.


    Bruce Wayne is basically the peak of human prowess. He's the strongest, smartest, most incredible person to ever live at this point in the DC universe, (he's also an asshole...) but, he's no metahuman, he's just the peak of physical and mental prowess who has an assload of money.

    He was never even a man.

    Fair to say that treating him like a human is an awful mistake though, given what he is ultimately capable of.

    I think above a certain threshold of wealth, it should count as a super power

      So Trump has superpowers??? :O

        He certainly has the power of telenausea with seemingly limitless reach. That is to say he can make me feel ill from across the other side of the world.

        The ability to harness the sub-mediocre stampede in the direction you want could be considered a superpower. Or a weapon of mass destruction.

    Lets be fair, Suicide Squad is a mish mash of plotlines that never lead anywhere and normally do a great job of contorting characters ridiculously far, almost to the point of making the comic seem like cheap fan fiction.

    Unlike the Marvel universe, the DC universe usually uses metahuman to cover anyone with abnormal abilities, whether brought about by mutation, alien/extradimensional source or technological advantage. Pretty sure Batman counts under that last category.

      That has changed recently. Metahuman now means 'metal' human. Humans that have Nth Metal in them, it being the source of pretty much all super powers in DC now. Having Nth Metal in you is the difference between dying in a chemical/lightning explosion and becoming The Flash.

        However Snyder himself (Scott not Zack) has come out and said Batman does not come under this category. So it's case closed officially.

        He's just that annoyingly OP character... that deus ex batchina one...

    This is DC, so give it a week and they'll reboot their entire comic line so he is.

      Where next week Marvel will simply make it so she is instead!

        Im a marvel fan but if this were marvel they'd reveal batman is metahuman in a 10 book cross over with the reveal happening in a totally different characters book as a throw away.

        Last edited 31/07/17 7:46 pm

    As much as I love Batman, he's getting a bit too ridiculous "because he's Batman".

    He's not meta-human, that's correct... but as it's already been suggested, he's at the natural peak that humanity can achieve in terms of physical strength, endurance, speed, agility, coordination, reflexes, intelligence and willpower (e.g. pain tolerance). A person like this very much likely does not exist in real life, so imagine if they did?

    Combine that with his essentially master-level skills in things like martial arts, acrobatics, stealth/espionage, investigation, computer and science skills, with a never ending source of money and advanced technology, that certainly puts him in the "OP" category, despite not actually having any super powers.

    What bothers me about Batman is despite being mortal, how much punishment he can take. I remember reading one comic where Batman fought Scarecrow and whilst under the influence of his fear toxin, Scarecrow absolutely messed him up. So much blood and the blades Scarecrow used went in deep.

    After the battle, Bruce gets stitched up and is all "Luckily my armor absorbed most of it", I dunno...

    I would not have taken that to be in anyway suggesting a change in cannon. It makes sense people assume he's meta.

    I remember an interview Grant Morrison gave when he was writing Batman. He'd recently come off All Star Superman and was comparing which of the two was more "superhuman", and he said it might actually be Batman. Superman is an alien that gets special powers from the sun, but consider some of the things Batman does. Batman's a genius detective, scientist and businessman. He's mastered multiple martial arts styles. He has expert knowledge in everything from computer science to poisons to languages. When you add up all the things he can do, he's at least as impossible an existence as Superman.

    Treating Batman as metahuman, regardless of his actual level of powers, would be a smart way for the Suicide Squad to proceed.

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