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Depressing Future Versions Of Superheroes

Their stories don't always end well.

By Will JackPublished 10 months ago 4 min read

Batman – Batman The Animated Series

Though we don’t see Bruce die in the DCAU (at least not yet) we can see the person he becomes in his old age, which to a certain extent is simply alone. Once he’s given up being Batman his company is partly taken over and he’s pushed out and becomes a recluse, similar to how we see him in The Dark Knight Rises. At some point, Alfred must have died and as detailed in “Epilogue” Terry mentions how “Dick, Barbara, Tim, Selina they all loved you but eventually every single one of them left you” with Bruce’s response simply being that they didn’t have the “heart for the mission”. Although this shows Bruce’s true obsession with his mission, he’s a character that is also full of regret despite the good he's no doubt done.

During the Return of the Joker film Bruce explains to Terry that he had “no right to force this life on anyone” obviously being a direct comment to the fate of Tim but could also apply to others such as Dick, whose falling out with Bruce is partially shown in the New Batman Adventures episode “Old Wounds” and which is also expanded upon in the comics. But those comics contain certain continuity errors and so aren’t counted in this list. Plus, in the Batman Beyond episode “Out Of The Past” we see Bruce sitting alone at the Bat-Computer scrolling through old loves of his life obviously reminiscing on what could have been, these include Zatanna, Lois Lane, Selina Kyle and Barbara Gordon. With knowledge from the rest of the DCAU we know that this list would also include Talia Al Ghul, Andrea Beaumont and Wonder Woman. So many chances of happiness left untaken. Not to mention thanks to the events of “Epilogue” we find out that Amanda Waller had Warren McGinnis’ reproductive DNA changed with Bruce Wayne’s making Terry and in turn his brother Matt Bruce’s biological sons/partial clones. When Terry confronts Bruce of this, he just states that what Terry wanted he “couldn’t give” truly showing how distant and disconnected he had truly become.

Maestro Hulk – Future Imperfect

100 years into the Marvel Comics Future after a nuclear war we find a civilization known as Dystopia ran by a new version of the Hulk, Maestro. The radiation left over from the nukes amplified his already incredible strength.

The Maestro had already killed most of the heroes and villains in his timeline and created a pretty impressive trophy room to boot!

Superman – Batman Beyond

During Batman Beyond’s episode “The Call” a now older Superman asks Terry to help him investigate the Justice League as he believes one of them is a traitor. After an investigation, it is revealed that Superman was actually the traitor due to a parasite that escaped from the Fortress of Solitude and seized control over him. Once Batman, Terry, defeats Superman and the parasite it is revealed that he held sway over the Man of Steel for years! So, a character that we had followed since his initial first season eventually ended up being enslaved for years with none of his team members, friends, or family even noticing. It can also be assumed that his relationship with Lois also fell apart as it would be pretty noticeable something was wrong if she saw a star-like creature attached to his chest.

Dick Grayson – The Dark Knight Strikes Again

In “The Dark Knight Strikes Again” Frank Miller's sequel to “The Dark Knight Returns” A new Joker has risen after the death of the original. This new version murders Martian Manhunter, The Guardian and Creeper before the story reveals the identity of Batman’s new enemy to be none of than Dick Grayson, the first Robin.

After being fired by Batman Grayson genetically modified himself to be able to engage with Batman. These modifications made him almost indestructible but is eventually defeated when he is tossed into a lava pit, a sad end for the former Robin.

The Hulk – Old Man Logan

Old Man Logan is considered by fans to be one of the best alternate future storylines, and it serves as the inspiration to 2017’s movie Logan. Much of what is seen in the dystopian world of Old Man Logan is dark and disturbing, but nothing beats what has become of the Incredible Hulk.

With the villains now controlling the world and the majority of heroes dead, we find that the Hulk looks as if he’s lost his mind. Hulk forcibly marries She-Hulk, his cousin and spawn numerous hillbilly-like children that wreak havoc wherever they go. In their degenerate state they even like to indulge in cannibalism.


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