Bruce Wayne should have named himself Wolfman, the predator of Gotham’s underworld; rather than the bats that terrified him as a youngster; according to a flashback to Batman’s boyhood.
While much of the focus on Bruce’s childhood is on his parents’ murder, Bruce’s pursuit of Professor Pyg brings back a memory of his father telling the Three Little Pigs fairy tale. As the modern-day Batman pursues Pyg; the young Bruce explains that he not only sympathises with the Big Bad Wolf; but that he could have been just as terrible if he had taken on the Wolfman’s appearance.
In the narrative by Christian Ward (writer/artist) and Steve Wands (letterer), Batman hears that a little girl has been kidnapped by Professor Pyg; a crazy psychopath and surgeon who kidnaps individuals to transform them into “Dollotrons.” While Batman learns of three suspected Pyg hideouts from various Gotham underworld characters; his journey is recounted by Bruce’s memory of his father Thomas reading him the Three Little Pigs; and their problems with the story’s villain, the Big Bad Wolf.
After hearing how the Big Bad Wolf was defeated by the Three Little Pigs; falling down the chimney of the Third Pig’s house into a boiling pot where he was later eaten as dinner; young Bruce voices his criticism as Batman leaves a trail of injured; and unconscious collaborators meant to stall him while Pyg works on his latest victim. Bruce, the future master of infiltration, admits, “That was stupid. The wolf should have been better prepared. I’d have been better prepared.”
Bruce’s Life Appears To Be Stalked By Wolves
This unnerving resemblance to the Big Bad Wolf suggests a future in which Bruce continues to accomplish many of the same things he does as Batman; but under a different moniker. Wolves are symbolic loners who actually live in packs (much like Bruce has amassed a large “Bat-Family” around him); preying on vulnerable animals but also capable of challenging or dominating other predators; similar to Batman’s crusade against Gotham’s superstitious and cowardly criminals; while defending his territory from foes like Joker and Bane.
Wolves also like nocturnal activities, hunting prey, and are especially connected with the blazing light of the moon; suggesting that an artificial full moon gleaming over Gotham would be an even more fitting form of the Bat-Signal.
It’s ironic that Bruce Wayne could have become the Wolfman if he’d been inspired by this positive childhood memory; rather than the traumatic experience he had with the colony of bats beneath Wayne Manor; given that he’s currently battling the literal Big Bad Wolf in Batman vs. Bigby: A Wolf in Gotham, which stars an alternate-universe Bruce Wayne alongside Fables’ lupine hero. Bruce’s life appears to be stalked by wolves, who even serve as a link to his father, but he was never tempted to announce, “Yes, father, I shall become a wolf.”