In the past, we’ve seen the Dark Knight take on murderous clowns, plant-controlling eco-warriors, and even a super-powered demi-god from Krypton. Despite everything, the Caped Crusader’s been through on the big screen, few films have ever tested Bruce Wayne quite like Matt Reeves’ brutal new action movie The Batman.
Set just a few years into Bruce’s (Robert Pattinson) vigilante career, this grounded take on the Gotham hero sees Batman go head to head with The Riddler (Paul Dano), a puzzle-obsessed serial killer. Unlike other big-screen Batman villains though, The Riddler isn’t just a physical threat. He’s also incredibly smart and pushes the world’s greatest detective to his limits.
In fact, The Riddler pushes Bruce to such extremes that we see Gotham’s most famous vigilante resort to something we’ve never seen before, performance-enhancing drugs. Or, what we think is a very specific drug that’s been a part of Batman canon for years now. So here’s what we think the green liquid Bruce injects himself is. Warning spoilers ahead.
What is the green liquid Batman injects himself with?
In the DC comics, there’s a substance known as Venom. This is a miraculous drug that bestows super strength on whoever uses it. The downside? Venom’s highly addictive and prolonged use will leave the user dependent on the drug.
It’s possible the drug we saw Bruce use in The Batman was Venom. After all, Bruce’s strength is clearly enhanced by whatever the substance he took was, and his heightened aggression definitely aligns with what we’ve seen in the comics.
The drug’s most famous user in the comics (and at least one big-screen version) is Bane, one of Batman’s deadliest enemies. The beastly villain uses Venom to enhance his already superhuman strength, making him more than a match for the Dark Knight. In his first appearance, Bane actually managed to defeat Bruce Wayne, breaking Batman’s back and leaving the vigilante in a paraplegic state.
Still, Bane isn’t the only one to dabble in Venom every now and again. In the storyline Batman: Venom, Bruce starts taking the drug after a hostage crisis goes wrong. Believing Batman needed to be stronger, he started taking Venom, which made him a more effective crimefighter, for a short time at least.
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Unfortunately, Batman quickly became hooked on the moreish green goo and became extremely violent. Disgusted by Bruce’s growing dependence on the drug, Alfred left the Wayne House, which served as a wake-up call for the masked hero. Locking himself in the Batcave for a month, Bruce went through a traumatic detox process – during which he experienced horrific hallucinations and withdrawal. Still, eventually, he recovered and swore never to take the dangerous drug again.
Could Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson be toying with an adaptation of Batman: Venom? We don’t know for sure, but The Batman references a lot of obscure Batman comics, so he may be drawing influence from this little-referenced story. Or maybe it’s just adrenaline? I guess we’ll have to wait for The Batman 2 to know for sure?
The Batman is in theatres now.