The Brave & The Bold’s Best Villains Repeat A Batman Begins Story

Split Image: Daiman Wayne swings a sword at Bruce's head; Batman Begins poster with Christian Bale's Batman

The DCU’s new Batman movie, The Brave and the Bold, has the perfect potential pair of villains who could repeat a story from the Dark Knight trilogy.

The Brave and the Bold already has a perfect set of villains to challenge the Dark Knight and his son, and, in so doing, can repeat a key storyline from Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. The upcoming DCU film will revolve around a slightly older version of Batman, who is in the midst of training his son, Damian Wayne, to be the new Robin. Aside from its title and dual protagonists, little is known about The Brave and the Bold, including its potential villains. However, James Gunn and his creative team could not possibly overlook a perfect pair of antagonists for Batman and Robin’s first adventure in the DCU.


The Brave and the Bold was one of the most exciting DCU announcements made by James Gunn in late January, in which he laid the foundation for the first chapter of the franchise, entitled “Gods and Monsters.” The film is set to introduce a brand-new version of the Dark Knight, who will exist alongside Robert Pattinson’s Batman, whose franchise has been confirmed to be an Elseworlds project moving forward. The Brave and the Bold will also act as Damian Wayne’s live-action debut, raising the stakes for the DCU to deliver on all of its promises regarding the character, who is sure to be a major presence in the ongoing franchise.

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The Brave & The Bold Can Make Batman Begins’ Villains Better

Ra's reveals his plan to attack Gotham in Batman Begins

Not only can The Brave and the Bold adapt Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows as its main villains, but the film can also improve on the version depicted in Batman Begins. The first film in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy included Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson) as its primary antagonist, pitting the master assassin and the League of Shadows against the rookie Batman (Christian Bale). Later, the final film in the trilogy, The Dark Knight Returns, introduced Talia (Marion Cotillard), the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, who followed in her father’s footsteps, albeit without the help of the assassins that made up the disbanded League of Shadows.

While the al Ghuls worked perfectly as the villains for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, the franchise never fully explored the intricacies of their characters. Other projects like Arrow and Batman: The Animated Series delved far deeper into the history of the al Ghuls than Batman Begins ever did. In fact, key elements of their comic book origins, including the immensely important Lazarus Pit, were completely absent in Nolan’s trilogy. The Brave and the Bold, however, could amend this oversight by delving deeper into Ra’s and Talia al Ghul, as well as the League of Shadows, showing off all the details that make them such great villains in the comics.

Damian Wayne Needs To Face The Al Ghuls In The Brave And The Bold

Damian Wayne in Batman DC comics

With the exciting announcement that Damian Wayne will be the DCU’s Robin, The Brave and the Bold has even greater reason to include Ra’s and Talia al Ghul as its main villains. in the comics, Talia is Damian’s mother, partially explaining the young boy’s more murderous tendencies when compared to his father. Much of Damian’s personality stems from the identity of his mother, leading him to often clash with Batman over the proper methods when it comes to crime fighting. It is in the dichotomy of Damian’s complex character that the presence of the al Ghuls and the League of Shadows would truly shine in The Brave and the Bold.

While citing the inspiration for the DCU’s Batman, James Gunn revealed the tension that would exist between Bruce Wayne and his son in The Brave and the Bold. Damian’s more lethal manner of crimefighting is something that Batman will likely spend much of the film attempting to quell. By including Damian’s murderous mother and grandfather, the film can provide a perfect mirror to the new Robin’s psyche, forcing him to choose between Batman and the League of Shadows. Using the al Ghuls as the villains of The Brave and the Bold would place Damian Wayne at the center of the story, left to make an important decision.

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How The Al Ghuls Can Set Up The DCU’s Bat Family

Batman's Family in DC Comics

The presence of the al Ghuls perfectly sets up the Bat Family for the DCU. From his early announcements, it appears that James Gunn is using Batman’s older age in the DCU as a means for setting up the Bat Family, a group of Batman’s sidekicks and allies, including Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing, and more. Although audiences aren’t likely to see multiple new members of the DCU’s Bat Family in The Brave and the Bold, the film can set the premise for such a group by centering its entire theme around family, exploring both the good and the bad that can come from one’s relationship with their relatives.

By pitting the father-son team of Batman and Robin against a father-daughter pair of villains, The Brave and the Bold can keep the subject of family relationships at the very forefront of its story while also differentiating itself from Robert Pattinson’s more solitary Batman. The film can then explore Damian and Bruce’s relationship juxtaposed with that of Talia and Ra’s, creating a very compelling mirror between the two groups. Assuming that Damian Wayne ultimately chooses his father’s way of life over that of the League of Shadows in The Brave and the Bold, the stage would therefore be perfectly set for the Bat Family to make its DCU debut.

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