The Next Batman: Is John Blake the New Bruce Wayne?

The end of Christopher Nolan's final Batman movie hints at a new protector of Gotham City, but who is John Blake, really? Be warned: spoilers ahead for those who haven't seen 'The Dark Knight Rises'

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Ron Phillips / Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

(Spoiler alert! Stop reading until you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises.)

For something as obsessed with masks and secret identities as it is, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that The Dark Knight Rises waits until its final moments to reveal the real name of one of its central characters. But, even as we discover that the birth name of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake was Robin — changed, presumably, for the purposes of dramatic effect and divorcing himself from his traumatic past — that doesn’t actually explain who he actually is.

The name Robin, of course, is a particularly loaded one in this specific context. The comic-book Batman, after all, has had one Robin or another almost continually by his side since the latter was first introduced on the cover of Detective Comics #38 as “The Sensational Character Find of 1940!” decades ago. None of them, though — and there have been six comic-book Robins in total — ever went by the name John Blake. For that matter, all six of the comic-book Robins joined the Batman’s war on crime as children, not as fully grown, if somewhat charmingly boyish, adults. So is the casual throwing out of Blake’s real name just a red herring, an Easter egg for longtime fans to cheer at as they move toward the movie’s final scenes? Is Blake actually a Robin, or one of the Robins? The answer is, somewhat fittingly considering the movie’s constant mentions of clean slates and hidden truths, somewhat more complicated than a simple yes or no.

On the face of it, Blake appears to be an original character to The Dark Knight Rises; there isn’t anyone named John Blake in any of the Batman comic books published across the Dark Knight’s seven decades–plus career of confronting evil. But that’s somewhat misleading; the same could be said of Miranda Tate. Yet any comic fan who has seen the final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy knows that — as Talia al Ghul, the identity she reveals in the movie’s climactic scenes — she is a very familiar character who not only has been part of the Batman mythos since 1971, but is also the mother of the current comic-book incarnation of Robin, Damian Wayne. (Bruce Wayne is the father, adding a delicious layer of soap operatics on top of the superhero struggle.) Similarly, anyone familiar enough with the careers of Batman’s many sidekicks will find more than a few commonalities between Blake and the various Boy Wonders who have served the greater good.

(MORE: Dark Knight Rises: Did Christopher Nolan Pave Way to Something More Cryptic?)

Take, for example, Blake’s introduction to Wayne, when he casually reveals that he knows about Wayne’s double identity; that scene echoes the entrance of the fourth Robin, Tim Drake, into the Batman world. Drake (should we take note of the rhyme between his name and Nolan’s heroic cop, or is that too desperate?) too had worked out Wayne’s double identity before he introduced himself to the millionaire playboy turned nighttime vigilante in 1989′s A Lonely Place of Dying story line. But if Blake has the introduction of Robin No. 4, he has the attitude, charm and even career of Robin No. 1, Dick Grayson. Grayson, who served as Robin for 43 years before retiring and taking on a second costumed identity as Nightwing — with a new look to accompany the new name, complete with upturned collar and David Cassidy hair (because it was 1984, and for comics running merely a decade behind fashion counts as contemporary). If you’re looking to stretch things, Blake’s implied past as a street rat echoes the unfortunate second Robin, Jason Todd (whose lack of popularity in 1987 led to his meeting a temporary end thanks to death by 1-800 reader phone poll, of all things).

Blake, then, is a patchwork Robin, made up of bits and pieces of his comic-book namesakes. True, he seems to have taken nothing from the two female Robins — Carrie Kelly from Frank Miller’s 1986 The Dark Knight Returns and Stephanie Brown, who served just a matter of months in the role back in 2004 before being killed by a supervillain — nor from Damian Wayne, the character who’s been working as the latest Boy Wonder since 2009. But in the grand scheme of things, all three are mere blips in the 72-year-long Robin mythology. Blake, instead, is made up of the three most “important” Robins: Grayson, the originator of the role who lasted more than four decades as a sidekick; Drake, who demonstrated his detective prowess early on and stayed for two decades; and Todd, the Robin who died in service to the Dark Knight. Just as The Dark Knight Rises offers us a Batman who repeatedly tries to make the case that the idea of a hero is as important as the reality, so too does it create a hero that distills the appeal of decades’ worth of other characters into one person, an über-Robin that’s as much the personification of an ideal as he is a person in his own right.

(This take on translating Robin from his comic-book origins to a live-action incarnation is infinitely preferable to the more literal attempts he’d suffered through earlier. Consider, for example, Burt Ward’s portrayal of the character in the 1960s Batman TV show. That particular Robin was a prudish killjoy who seemed to derive pleasure solely from socking crooks in the jaw and making terrible puns. He was merely a square stick-in-the-mud who couldn’t deal with Batman doing the Batusi or falling for the lures of Catwoman or whatever nubile mod temptress who was thrown in his path that week. As far as everyone involved with that hit show was concerned, it seemed, Robin just wasn’t as much fun as his crime-fighting mentor. Even so, Ward’s Robin was still far preferable to Chris O’Donnell’s take on the character in the two Joel Schumacher Batman movies, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. O’Donnell’s Robin wasn’t a killjoy, but the very opposite: a selfish, overconfident jerk who’d steal the Batmobile because he thought it’d be a hit with the chicks, and pout when he felt that Batman was holding him back from his true potential. Compared with those failed attempts, Blake is an even more charming alternative.)

(MORE: TIME’s Review of The Dark Knight Rises: To the Depths, to the Heights)

If you start thinking of Blake as some idealized ultimate Robin, taking all the appealing parts of the various comic-book incarnations and leaving out their missteps and growing pain — no one needs to see Gordon-Levitt in the mullet that Grayson sported for a decade, trust me — then suddenly Blake makes more sense within The Dark Knight Rises. No wonder he could stand above the moral quagmire that manages to suck in every other character in the movie, and no wonder that his absolute faith in Batman never wavers. That he can shift from being Batman’s booster to the outside world to becoming his conscience when talking to Wayne (as well as being able to follow orders, take action and even get out of Dodge when necessary) all seems to fit more comfortably together when you start thinking of Blake less as a random cop that you’ve never seen before, but an important part of the puzzle that’s been missing for the entire series up until this point.

In that sense, the final scene of the movie resonates even more. Of course, Blake will take Batman’s place. Various Robins have, historically, filled in for Batman during multiple absences, with Grayson even going so far as to take over the role of Batman during 1994′s Prodigal story line and 2009–10′s Batman Reborn epic, but there’s more to it than tradition. The entire notion of Robin implies, in some way, the idea that he will one day take over as Gotham City’s protector from the Dark Knight; why else even have an apprentice, if you’re not preparing him to take over your life’s work at some point in the future? Even further, it provides closure to Nolan’s fascination with Batman as mythical figure instead of man, and fulfills what Batman himself tells Commissioner Gordon before he flies out over the water with the unstable reactor: who Batman is isn’t important. Batman could be anybody. Or, at least, anybody with the right stuff, the same haunted look, painful past and righteous anger that Blake has already shared with Wayne earlier in the movie.

And so, then, who is John Blake? He’s someone who knows the same tragedies as Bruce Wayne, but didn’t learn the same life lessons afterward. He’s someone who finds it easier to be around other people and share himself with them. (Look at the way he can communicate with the kids in the shelter as proof.) He’s someone who believes in Batman (and isn’t scared of him) but, even more so, believes in justice and realizes that it’s not always the same thing as “the law.” Although he doesn’t share one specific secret identity with any of his comic-book forebears, Blake is Robin for all intents and purposes. By the end of The Dark Knight Rises, he just might be the new Batman as well. Pretty impressive, considering he didn’t even have to put on bright green shorts once throughout the entire movie.

PHOTOS: Behind the Scenes with Batman: The Making of Christopher Nolan’s Trilogy

141 comments
TimmySwenson
TimmySwenson

At the end of the movie there was cat woman, and Robin at them working with them. He's not going to be batman there will be 3 of them just like in the old movies.

JerodWilliams
JerodWilliams

LOL im surprised no one has caught on yet!! Batman is not dead and if you noticed at the end John Blake use the name "Robin" when he asked for the bag at the end So the next batman will have robin and batwoman in it! LOL DUH if you dnt believe it go back and play the end of the movie! 

CloudStrata
CloudStrata

before it hits me, yes, i know Batman is not dead, BUT, he has a tombstone and the company is pieced off. Bruce Wayne is dead. He's obviously got resources hidden away and he's off with Selena Kyle, but, he's out of the picture. The next move is Batman Beyond with Batgirl/Batwoman/PC Bat Female Character.

zackamack91202
zackamack91202

wait just a moment john cant be batman because Bruce has the batcave tumbler batpod and bat hook and everything else

CloudStrata
CloudStrata

I agree with most of the people here even if i'm late to the party. John Blake is Batman Beyond! Bruce fixed the Auto Pilot, but he's too beat up to function without cybernetics/bionics and is off with catwoman, rofl. John has the cave, he has the suits. Not sure what happens though with all of the assets sold off. Maybe this is why Nolan's done with the series and it will be reboot again.

uberathlete
uberathlete

Blake becomes Batman. He gets killed. Bruce Wayne comes back. The Justice League movie can then proceed. Simple.

See the problem is that Bruce Wayne is just as iconic as Batman. Bruce Wayne is Batman, and Batman is Bruce Wayne. You can't have it any other way. A Justice League without Bruce Wayne as Batman is unfathomable. 

Vip3r2011
Vip3r2011

I don't think there will be another Batman because Christian Bale doesn't want to be Batman anymore.. the fact at the end of Dark Knight Rises the detective called himself  'Robin' hints at another film, maybe this is where Batman ends and Robin begins? Who knows, in the future Chris Nolan might bring them together to start the Batman and Robin films.

JasonEscobarStewart
JasonEscobarStewart

ok to me what you said about blake being the personification of all 3 of the much wider known robins true. what i thought would of been better was to not call him robin but imply that he is robin in a better way, like when batman tells blake that if he is going to fight crime he should wear a mask, that in it self is a great hint without calling him robin. To call him robin is out of context to his age, what would of been smarter in my opinion was to some how incorporate the identity of Nightwing with blake seeing as nightwing is roughly the same age as blake. I seriously do hope that they continue the story some how and it would be amazing to keep Joseph Gordon-Levitt as nightwing or even future batman. 

coming a bit off the robin topic, im sure commission Gordon had a daughter not a son or if so both, but it would of been nicer if she was more talked about or explored due to her becoming the first batgirl and then going on to become oracle. Commission Gordon's son to my knowledge is never really mention in the comic books 

diracdeltafunction
diracdeltafunction

Er...there is at least one character named John Blake in the comicbooks, although he appears only briefly.

In the pre-IC event War Games, Batman takes control of the GCPD and issues orders to the cops to defuse the escalating gang-war. One of the officers who responds to his commands is named John Blake.

In War Games Batman recruits the GCPD as his army against the gangs, and in TDKR Blake helps him by 'providing him with an army'...as Batman himself acknowledges.

That said, it was probably a chance occurrence. Just wanted to state  the fact that John Blake exists within the DCU, if only as someone who appears on-panel very briefly.

EndoFlawless
EndoFlawless

The John Blake "Robin" or new Batman is a nod to the Animated Series Batman Beyond. In which Bruce Wayne is old and falling apart, take into account the doctor visit early on in The Dark Knight Rises, and you have an obvious pure nod to Batman Beyond. Further more the leg enhancement and new suit technology to cope w/ Wayne and his crippled state, poof you have the opening sequences of Batman Beyond.

RamyAbdulzaher
RamyAbdulzaher

next part will batmam catwomen Robin 

HIs team ready to lunch !! 

WRLExpendablel
WRLExpendablel

It's Nightwing now :) not a new batman. it cant ba a batman beyond story in a movie it is so complicated. +The joker and batman story is so disappointing leaving it hanging.. showing Bane is more stronger villain than the joker.. that sucks its been years since that rivalry was made and until now it is still hitting batman fans. Joker and batman :) hope soon Batman: Creation of Justice League XD

bashmohandes
bashmohandes

I think we might be seeing Batman Beyond :)

Shopping Directory
Shopping Directory

Batman didn't die, they found out that Bruce programed the plains to autopilot.

RedSoul
RedSoul

A great analysis of the potential future of the series. What got me though was that the mantle of 'Robin' was a little too much of a throwaway in this film. They seemed to shoe-horn his name in at the end as a way of raising alarm bells for people, but reaching for the lowest common denominator as far as batman fans are concerned.

Considering everything you said works for the film (That Blake potrays elements of all three major Robins) without having to actually personify them as an identity, I thought Nolan could have gone to a more creative direction with the character.

If shoe-horning in a hidden birth name was the twist Nolan wanted to use, and since he avoided making Blake an out-right 'Robin' throughout the film, then wouldn't just adding a more obscure reference to the series have been a nice closer for the film.

By which I don't mean calling Blake Grayson, Todd, or Drake. I would have much preferred them to actually have his real name be Jean-Paul Valley. For those of you who aren't familiar with him, he is Azreal who takes up the mantle of Batman following Bruce's back-breaking fight with Bane (...of all the convinent set-ups, eh?).

Obviously, Valley has a checkered history within the canon as his time as Batman was not a well celebrated one and he broke many of Bruce's rules during his reign. Also, his name comes with St. Dumas and even mentioning him would be enough to have the fanbase at large discuss the possiblity of their involvement in future releases, therefore there is plenty of argument against his inclusion at all. However, if Nolan disregarded the canon history of the Robin mantle (preferring to use it as a throwaway nod that even casual batman fans would get) then it wouldn't have been a stretch to name the next Batman as someone who has taken up the mantle in the comics?

James R Watson
James R Watson

no no blake is  Jean-Paul Valley the start of knight falls , but nolan fliped it when he was not going to do the next movies.

Ad Rater
Ad Rater

This is the best Batman article I've read in a while. What's more intriguing is when the Batman reboot happens will it start with Blake being Robin or the Batman or will they start over new leaving Nolan's trilogy hanging (like the Joker).

SpecialKRJ
SpecialKRJ

I think it's not so much that he's a Robin as he's the idea of Robin. The one who goes by Robin is Batman's sidekick, his partner. Blake is his first partner. I prefer to think that, rather than being some new Robin, he takes up the mantle of Batman and his first name is simply the source of inspiration for Batman's future protege. 

k273
k273

Tim Drake is the THIRD Robin, not fourth. After Dick Grayson's exit, Jason Todd's 'death', came he. Carrie IS Robin, just not in our Batverse. The Dark Knight Returns is not our Batman's end story, at least not yet until DC makes another shift or merge in the parallel universes. You may want think that they exists in another parallel Batman universe or reality, or in 'What If...?' story.

But by that notion, I agree that this Johnny Blake character is some kind of a patchwork Robin, just without the patchwork costume.

Why not take another angle at this? Batman is one of DC's grandest franchise, and seeing DC/Warner is a company that likes to capitalize, a Nightwing movie is not too far-fetched. It will even be welcome by Batverse fans, I think. If there will not be Batman in a Justice League movie, Nightwing is a similar replacement. It is one would do in the comics. And why not Robin movie, one might ask? For one thing, Gordon-Levitt is too mature for Robin character's age; and the character is too campy to exist in Nolan-like vision. Spare me the adult Robin storyline!

Another possibility: Batman Beyond? Is that possible? (I drool at the thought of this possibility.)

One way or another, in the long run, DC and the comics (and the fans) has always emphasize that Batman is only Bruce Wayne, only Bruce Wayne is Batman. Dick Grayson didn't work, Jean-Paul Valley didn't work, Batman's (repeated) death or near-death story didn't work (well it works but for the sake of 'the night is darkest when it's almost dawn' thing). I don't think DC will agree to make such a big, abrupt, change to the status quo. Afterall, DC (and Marvel) mainstream comics are about status quo; for a change, read something else.

Unless John Blake changes his name (again) to Bruce Wayne. Then again, Nolan's story does not happen in the main Batverse.

Lori James
Lori James

Also alot of people have been saying that John Blake can't be batman cause he doesn't have the training.....I think they are getting the comics and the movie both confused.Nolan bruce wayne started training in adulthood. Rachel was already a lawyer at that time if you watch the first batman. Blake looks young, he can get the same training from bruce that bruce got from Ra. And much  more. People said he has to be a  billionaire with a bunch of gizmos. But why wouldn't Bruce leave him with no weapons at all. Of course he'll probably have Fox to help him with the any weapons he needs. And!!!! All the money was donated to Alfred. He'll need a lot of convincing to help John but he'll do it. He can be the next batman, but I feel personally that batman is already been done. It'll be nice to have a him continue as Robin. Or night wing but more people are aware of robin then they are with the story of nightwing.  I think Nolan should make him Robin for atleast the starter of the movie then promote him to Batman once the JL movies comes out cause you know its gonna come out, but they still have a lot of hero movies to get out of the way first before they can do the Justice League giving John Blake time to play batman or robin, or maybe even both. Other then that I don't think Bale wants to play Batman that SOON! maybe later on.

'Rosalie Fillippleo
'Rosalie Fillippleo

I would love to see the dark knight rises again....along with Robin amp; Cat Woman......Bale is the best batman ever.......Ann Hatheway was an awesome cat woman.........i so loved the movie :)

howhmongare
howhmongare

Batman didn't die, they found out that Bruce programed the plains to autopilot.

Magaria Gragory Nyauchi
Magaria Gragory Nyauchi

really what the hell were you guys thinking putting a spoiler as your headline and then sticking it all over your website. i didn't even have to go to the entertainment page to have this movie spoiled for me, it was irresponsible as all hell. you have to remember that your audience goes beyond countries that get the movie on the premiere night and even if it didn't some people want to watch to know 

Ben R
Ben R

So how's an average cop with no training and no money and no connections to Batman's support network supposed to replace Batman?

He'd get his ass kicked.

 

Andre Samosir
Andre Samosir

Tim Drake is the THIRD Robin, not fourth. After Dick Grayson's exit, Jason Todd's 'death', came he. Carrie IS Robin, just not in our Batverse. The Dark Knight Returns is not our Batman's end story, at least not yet until DC makes another shift or merge in the parallel universes. You may want think that they exists in another parallel Batman universe or reality,  or in 'What If...?' story.But by that notion, I agree that this Johnny Blake character is some kind of a patchwork Robin, just without the patchwork costume.

Why not take another angle at this? Batman is one of DC's grandest franchise, and seeing DC/Warner is a company that likes to capitalize, a Nightwing movie is not too far-fetched. It will even be welcome by Batverse fans, I think. If there will not be Batman in a Justice League movie, Nightwing is a similar replacement. It is one would do in the comics. And why not Robin movie, one might ask? For one thing, Gordon-Levitt is too mature for Robin character's age; and the character is too campy to exist in Nolan-like vision. Spare me the adult Robin storyline!Another possibility: Batman Beyond? Is that possible? (I drool at the thought of this possibility.)

One way or another, in the long run, DC and the comics (and the fans) has always emphasize that Batman is only Bruce Wayne, only Bruce Wayne is Batman. Dick Grayson didn't work, Jean-Paul Valley didn't work, Batman's (repeated) death or near-death story didn't work (well it works but for the sake of 'the night is darkest when it's almost dawn' thing). I don't think DC will agree to make such a big, abrupt, change to the status quo. Afterall, DC (and Marvel) mainstream comics are about status quo; for a change, read something else.

Unless John Blake changes his name (again) to Bruce Wayne. Then again, Nolan's story does not happen in the main Batverse.

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

Good, thotful analysis, and excellent history. Thank you.

Jody Mullis
Jody Mullis

I disagree with "anybody can be Batman". John Blake is just a cop. He has not undergone the mental and physical training Bruce Wayne has. Blake is not a master martial artist, he is not in peak physical shape, he is not a genius.  He may have the conviction and drive, but that is just one part of the equation of taking up the mantle of Batman. It would have been more believable if Bruce agreed to train him at the end of the movie, instead of just leaving him the keys to the castle. 

Andy Cullen
Andy Cullen

Spoiler Warning//

I like what they did here, but I definitely do not think Blake should be

the next Batman.  If they do continue with these movies down the road,

the clear move to make here is to have Bruce return to Gotham in secret,

but have him as the Batman return to light.  He is not just a man, he

is a symbol, and as a symbol he is portrayed as immortal to the people. 

Either way, Bruce could never allow his city to be taken by a new foe,

much as he rose to the occasion in Rises.  Blake would be an aid to

Bruce, who will take him under his wing and train him to be more useful

in combat situations.  Eventually, Blake, who left his previous life as

an officer/detective, would clear his original identity in the same way

as Selina Kyle (with the "Clean Slate" device.)  He will invent a new

alias as "Dick Grayson" but will want to adopt the nickname "Robin" to

stay true to his previous identity.  That might not be a smart move, so

they might go with Nightwing?  Endless possibilities, but this one's my

favorite.

Guest
Guest

Dear Time, Please give some thought to

continuing to praise this horrible movie. TDKR has to be the worst superhero

script ever put on screen. From Batman swimming to shore with a fatal wound to

his abdomen amidst a nuclear fusion explosion (Fusion? Really? Morgan Freeman

already did that in "Chain Reaction"), to an entire police force

being trapped in a sewer system for months and coming out only like the

soldiers storming the beaches at Normandy, every major plot point in this film

is significantly flawed. Would Bruce Wayne really leave his Batman secrets to a

goofy cop with no training? Once audiences get over the glitz on screen, and

give this cheesy movie a second though, the legacy of Christopher Nolan’s last

Batman film will be that it is not much better that Joel Schumacher’s “Batman and Robin.”

zackamack91202
zackamack91202

John is not batman beyond Terry is batman beyond and he has the suit i can prove it red bat on his chest and suit all black and no cape and spikes on his wrists and John doesn't have a darkknight suit and nightwing should have bin in this movie

lifegazer
lifegazer

@Vip3r2011 Well now we know that Ben Affleck is going to be the next Batman. No sure yet if there will be a Robin.

FANATIC
FANATIC

@Vip3r2011 Actually I found out he wants to do it. The problem is Warner Bros. wants another Bruce Wayne

CloudStrata
CloudStrata

@WRLExpendablel Just remember, we are in the Nolanverse here. Batman Beyond is a title, the character was obviously still Batman but not the same guy. So, we DON'T advance to 2023 but we do have a new guy. Resources are diminished, check. We can probably get another character, i'm voting for Batgirl. It also lets us revive the Joker by moving slightly out of sync. I still vote for one like Ledger's take played by James Franco. 

EndoFlawless
EndoFlawless

@WRLExpendablel The joker in both batman beyond and dark knight are intense and cerebral. This is purely a nod to Batman Beyond, using the dread pirate claus.

CloudStrata
CloudStrata

@Edward Adam Jackson Burt Ward is totally not a failure, the image everyone has of  Robin. I hate when people piss on him and Adam West. 

Flashy_Coyote
Flashy_Coyote

I thought the movie felt a little bit like Batman: Dark knight returns and having one or a couple of movies not being about batman but Robin so that bale can come back as Batman later could be really good. Besides I´m pretty sure whatever happens there will be a new Robin because I think that might be the most logical thing, any thoughts?

Lincoln Maurice
Lincoln Maurice

Naming him Robin means it would be silly to have his vigilante identity as Robin, even if it's not a name he uses often, and Nightwing makes sense...

However, calling him Nightwing then implies that he's basically Dick Grayson, and that wouldn't sit well with me at all.

I quite liked that he's a different secret identity of Robin to what we've had in the comics, meanwhile his public person as Robin or whatever can be just as we've always known it to be.

Lincoln Maurice
Lincoln Maurice

That's an interesting take. Except that in no time in the comics when a Robin stepped up as Batman was there an extra Robin attached, so I don't think that works.

jscottu
jscottu

 "Training is NOTHING.  Will is everything". Ra's al Ghul

nextbatman
nextbatman

True but the Bruce Wayne we saw in the first film of the trilogy initially was a man who had not undergone the training necessary for him to become batman, at first he was just an angry boy who could barely defend himself let alone an entire city, he did not possess the skills and training that he did by the end of his service as batman, but he had the potential to be that man capable of defending a city, he eventually and rather quickly became that man.  Blake basically  has the same potential and in addition starts out ahead of the actual Bruce Wayne (when he first became Batman) for he has the already established and ever growing arsenal of Batman at his disposal. So, Blake is completely capable of becoming the next Batman, he just has a few things to learn and some training to do. And seriously where did you get the notion that Bruce Wayne is a Genius? If you are referring to his arsenal, he siphons it from a an off the books section of his company. He didn't  develop most of the pieces that make up Batman, he just put them together. 

Christopher John
Christopher John

I don't recall Bruce Wayne actually swimming.  That's more of an assumption.

Chris
Chris

I don't know about 'genius', but Bruce Wayne is definitely very intelligent. But, what's to say Blake isn't? We haven't seen enough of him to tell. He seemed fairly intelligent, but I imagine we'll see more of his intelligence.

Phantomonum
Phantomonum

i don't know about Nolan's take on Bruce's potential (it's not defined in the movie) but in comics it is confirmed that Batman is Genius

Andre Samosir
Andre Samosir

"... he just has a few things to learn and some training to do."

Becoming a cop, a soldier, an athlete, yeah, you could say that. But on becoming Batman, you say just that CASUALLY?NO. Not even Dick Grayson could cope with Batman's mantle, and he's been trained by the dark knight himself for the better part of time of Batman's existence, given insight into Batman's way of thinking, and having full access to Batman's properties and network of superheroes.Not anybody can be Batman. That message is pointed toward us, beseeching our best qualities and personalities we can give our society and country, without having to be a Batman. But in Batverse, not anybody can be Batman.

"... Bruce Wayne is a Genius?"He is. At least in the comics. He has been shown to modify or make his own stuff. Well, not Franklin Richards genius, but still. May be Forge genius.All in all, Jody Mullis had solid ground for the things he/she said.