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The Batman Ending & Post-Credits Explained: What To Expect From A Sequel

Matt Reeves’ The Batman is finally here, and what a movie it is (check out our non-spoiler review here). A lot of stuff happens in the near 3-hour runtime of the film, but what’s next? What’s going to happen in The Batman 2? That’s what we’re here to discuss, so if you haven’t watched the movie or want to avoid spoilers, now’s the time to back out.

If not, let’s delve into it:

Batman Is No Longer A Symbol Of Vengeance, But A Symbol Of Hope

At the beginning of the movie when we first meet Robert Pattinson’s Batman, he introduces himself by saying: “I am Vengeance.” This aspect continues to be developed throughout the movie as Zoe Kravitz’s Selina Kyle also calls him “Vengeance” from time to time, and even the Riddler followers during the climax introduce themselves as “Vengeance”.

At the end of the movie, Batman makes the decision to start shedding his image of being the personification of “Vengeance”, knowing that it will only inspire more unstable copycats like Paul Dano’s Riddler and his followers. He chooses to start becoming a symbol of hope and starts helping the citizens of Gotham from the flood.

When he held the flare to lead the way for flood survivors to escape, he becomes a shining beacon of hope that cuts through the darkness. There’s also a touching moment when he reassures a girl who’s being evacuated by holding her hand as she’s being rescued.

The Penguin Takes Over The Gotham Underworld Now That Carmine Falcone Is Dead

The death of Carmine Falcone leaves behind a power vacuum. During the ending narration of the movie, the movie pans to Colin Farrell’s Penguin who looks towards the horizon, signifying that he will be the next mob boss and head of the Gotham underworld. Throughout the movie, he was playing second fiddle to Carmine Falcone, so it’ll be great to see the full potential of this version of the Penguin in a sequel.

According to director Matt Reeves (via Variety), the Penguin will be starring in his own HBO Max spinoff series, so at least we can look forward to that before any The Batman sequel arrives.

The Riddler Finds Himself In Arkham Next To A Cell Inhabited By THE JOKER

After the Riddler’s plans have been foiled by The Batman, we see Paul Dano’s Riddler weeping and wailing like a madman inside his cell at Arkham Asylum. Suddenly, a mysterious from the cell next to him tells Riddler to cheer up. When Riddler asks who this mystery person is, he only answers with a riddle, which went something like: the less you have of it, the more valuable it becomes.

The Riddler responds with the answer, which is a “friend”, before both of them starts laughing like maniacs in their respective cells.

Of course, who else could it be but the Joker? We only see a brief glimpse of this mystery person’s face and he does look a bit disfigured (or in heavy makeup), but it’s more likely to be the Joker rather than Two-Face, judging from the way he cackles. The cackling laugh of the Joker is pretty much unmistakable at this point.

Plus, Barry Keoghan was previously rumoured to be playing the Joker in The Batman, but in the credits, he’s only listed as “unseen Arkham prisoner”.

It’s interesting that Matt Reeves’ versions of Riddler and Joker are meeting this way. That’s because…

This Has Happened In The Comics

The Batman director Matt Reeves has previously mentioned several comics as the source of his inspiration; including iconic storylines such as The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Batman Year One by Frank Miller, as well as Batman Ego by Darwyn Cooke.

However, there are also other obvious influences, such as the idea of a flooded Gotham City caused by the Riddler, which comes from Batman Zero Year by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.

The main villain of Batman Zero Year comics was The Riddler and it also served as an origin story featuring a young and inexperienced Bruce Wayne as Batman.

In the Batman Year Zero comics, The Riddler causes a city-wide blackout and special device that would allow him to control any electronic device in Gotham City. After the GCPD turns the power back on, he detonates explosives at the city’s reservoirs which floods the city. He then triggers another blackout, thereby gaining control of dystopian Gotham City in which he controls all the power and resources,

The aftermath of the flood in Batman Zero Year.

Designed to tell a new origin for Batman in DC’s then-new New 52 canon, the story shares all the same broad strokes of The Batman: A flooded Gotham City, the Riddler as the major mastermind, Batman in his earlier years, and a power struggle amidst those seeking to take control of the city.

Some of the finer details are changed, of course. Batman Zero Year memorably introduced the character Duke Thomas, a young boy whose family aids Bruce Wayne in the immediate aftermath of the flood. Duke eventually grows up to become the Signal, another vigilante superhero and full-time member of the expansive Bat-Family. Sadly Duke isn’t anywhere seen in The Batman. Neither is the Red Hood Gang, a recurring set of minor villains in Batman Zero Year.

As for Riddler and the Joker…

Batman The War Of Jokes And Riddles by Tom King featured this similar premise. Happening early in Batman’s career, The War Of Jokes And Riddles is essentially the Joker and Riddler going to war with each other, with many other villains choosing a side in the conflict. It’s sort of like Marvel’s Civil War but with villains. Of course, it’s up to Batman to keep the peace and stop things from spiralling too far.

The story begins when the Riddler, after being released from prison, tries to cheer up a depressed Joker by offering to take down Batman as a team. However, the Joker takes offence at this, and almost beats Riddler to death. This sparks the War Of Jokes And Riddles. At one point, they even hire Deadshot and Deathstroke on opposing sides, along with many other villains.

Yes, I know that it seems like the Riddler and the Joker start out as friends in The Batman movie, but we only saw a few seconds of them together. Maybe Joker is just manipulating Riddler, and they get into a similar conflict to The War Of Jokes And Riddles?

If Matt Reeves does take certain elements from The War Of Jokes And Riddles, rest assured that it will be epic as heck.

Selina Kyle Heads To Bludhaven

Just last week, I wrote that the Bat-family deserves to be in the live-action feature films too. While I didn’t exactly get that in The Batman, at least we got a nice nod here.

At the end of the movie, Selina tells Batman that they could both run away to Bludhaven. However, she realises that Batman will never leave Gotham City, so they both part ways. What’s so interesting about Bludhaven? Well…

In the comics, when Dick Grayson (the first Robin) grew up, he wanted to move out from the shadow of Bruce Wayne and Batman. So, he moved to Bludhaven, which is a neighbouring city to Gotham. While it’s not exactly far away, he wanted to prove himself to be independent and capable of becoming his own hero; Nightwing.

Unfortunately, Robert Pattinson’s Batman is a young and inexperienced Batman, so it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing Nightwing anytime soon. Maybe we’ll see Matt Reeves introduce Dick Grayson in sequels?

The Batman Post-Credits Bonus: The Next Main Antagonist Might Be Hush

If you waited for a post-credits scene after The Batman, you might have been disappointed. It ends with a ‘Goodbye’ text and a question mark, before revealing a URL that leads to a tie-in website. However, if you go to that website, something very interesting awaits.

You’ll have to answer three riddles, the answers to which are “Mask”, “Renewal” and “Confusion”. Then, you can download a “What_Am_I” zip file but it’s password-protected. The password is “promise”. The zip file contains a brief clip titled “Thomas_Wayne_Lies”, featuring the same footage of Thomas Wayne’s mayoral campaign from the movie.

Analysing the video, one part of the video features the word “Hush!” scrawled across the screen. This, along with the fact that the last name of the man killed by Carmine Falcone to keep Martha Wayne’s mental illness history hidden was Edward Elliot. Since Edward Elliot was wrongly killed, his son Thomas Elliot could emerge as a villain in a sequel, becoming the new “Vengeance”.

In the comics, Hush is Thomas Elliot, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne who blames the Wayne family for saving the lives of his parents when he was actually trying to murder them to inherit their fortune. In Batman Hush, he works together with Riddler to concoct an intricate plan, which would be perfectly in tone with the vibe of Matt Reeves’ The Batman.

If you don’t want to visit the tie-in website, you can watch the clip in question below.

[videopress quRDIAru]

What’s Next?

As previously mentioned, there will be a Penguin spinoff TV series on HBO Max, but there will also be another spinoff TV series on the same streaming service that will focus on the Gotham City Police Department.

That’s already two spinoffs from The Batman in the works, so The Batman 2 is more than justified, especially with the strong reviews from both critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. There’s literally no way Warner Bros would miss out on a sequel unless the movie fails at the box office, which seems unlikely at this point.

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