Inspiration from this guy came from all over the place. First, I've really been digging the onslaught of John Blake customs that have been hitting the realm for the last few weeks, and I've been wanting to do my take on the character. Next, I was a huge fan of the idea that the "other" Batman (the one with the full face mask) in the Target exclusive 3.75" 5 pack was a spoiler, and that style of suit was going to be seen in the TDKR by way of Bruce Wayne being broken by Bane, and a new Batman "rising" in his absence. Finally, I've always loved the DC Superheroes Knight Shadow Batman, and wanted to see what it would've looked like in the Movie Masters style. I mixed all of those ideas together for this concept (based on what I thought was going to happen in TDKR). Thanks in advance for reading and viewing, and feel free to comment!
Fast-forward a year after the events of The Dark Knight. The Joker has been put away in the deepest confines of Arkham; a flicker of light for the citizens of Gotham, but overshadowed by the deaths Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes. Bruce Wayne has withdrawn further and further into his life as the Batman, and is burning himself out trying to contain the ever-present criminal element while at the same time being hunted by the newly-created Batman Task Force division of the Gotham PD.
Enter Bane, a man with seemingly one goal: bring down the Bat and let Gotham destroy itself. After ambushing Bruce in the Batcave, a brief scuffle ensues, but the conclusion is foregone: Bane breaks Batman's back, leaves him for dead, and sets Wayne Manor ablaze.
The flurry of news reports over the ensuing days are filled with speculation and offer a variety of insights as to what may have happened that night. Final reports conclude that Bruce Wayne was depressed mess after the death of his childhood friend Rachel Dawes, fell into an alcoholic nightmare, and accidentally set fire to his mansion, killing himself and his family's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, in the process.
Wayne Industries' various divisions are split apart, their research and development sold to the highest bidders. The name is sold to a man named Luthor from Metropolis. Batman is never seen again.
Eight years pass, and Gotham slides further into hell without the Batman as its guardian. Gangs have overrun Gotham; criminals with names like Black Mask, Harley Quinn, and the Red Hood, as well as something in the sewers called "the killer croc" ensure that the city stay blanketed in a never-ending rein of terror. A young police officer named John Blake is disgusted at what his birthplace has become since the death of Harvey Dent and the disappearance of the Batman, who inspired him as an orphaned teenager to turn away from an easy life of petty crime and to one of doing the right thing. He starts thinking of the simultaneous death and disappearance of Bruce Wayne and the Batman, and it hits him: the two were one and the same.
Blake drives out to the ruins of Wayne Manor, and after following a series of clues seemingly-intended for him or someone like him, he finds the Batcave. The sight is simultaneously astonishing and saddening. The husks and pieces of destroyed Tumblers, Bat Pods, gadgets, computers, and suits pepper the cave. A half-broken mask, tossed to the ground years ago after the man who wore it was broken, sits undisturbed.
After a couple hours of investigation and trying to piece together exactly what happened to the Bat, Blake finds a single intact case amongst the ruins labeled "Prototype: Shadow."
Within it lies a suit like nothing he's ever seen: lighter and sleeker than anything he ever saw the Batman wear in those grainy newspaper photos and YouTube videos, with a full face mask and built-in armor that seems to reflect darkness- in the shadows of the cave, it's near-invisible. In the box, he also finds a grapnel gun, a multitude of Batarangs, smoke bombs, explosives, and a utility belt.
Taking the Prototype: Shadow suit and other discovered Waynetech tools at his disposal, Blake picks up a tattered cape from the Batcave's floor and leaves the ruins of what was once Wayne Manor, never to return. There's nothing left for him there. He knows his mission:
Rise up as a symbol for Gotham as the new Batman and reclaim the city.