Warning! Spoilers ahead for Batman: Killing Time #3
In the latest issue of Tom King's Batman: Killing Time, the Dark Knight is beaten by one of DC's most formidable, yet non-powered, fighters. Known only as The Help, this new character played a role in Batman's past during one of the first times Batman's more classic rogues teamed up for a major heist. While Batman is highly trained in multiple forms of combat, he's clearly met more than his match in this new issue.
Previously in DC's Batman: Killing Time from writer Tom King and artist David Marquez, Penguin, Catwoman, Riddler, and Killer Croc joined forces to steal from none other than Bruce Wayne, robbing a highly secure vault to obtain a very small box. While the exact contents were kept a mystery to readers, Batman became incredibly concerned once he learned what vault they hit, knowing exactly what they took. Furthermore, the item in question was apparently valuable and/or powerful enough to convince Riddler and Catwoman to betray Penguin (Killer Croc was already imprisoned as the fall guy who distracted Batman from the real crime).
Wanting revenge in the new Batman: Killing Time #3, Penguin hires The Help, an older and fashionably dressed hitman sporting a bowtie and lethal cane. After shooting Riddler with said cane, The Help is attacked by Batman in what the issue describes as "the first of many legendary battles." However, it quickly becomes apparent that Batman is way out of The Help's league as The Help has fought, trained, and/or defeated many of those who trained Bruce Wayne himself in his quest to become a vigilante.
Name-dropping his superiority over the likes of Ducard, Ra's al Ghul, David Cain, Wildcat, and even Black Canary, it's clear that Batman is in way over his head. Beating the Dark Knight nearly unconsciousness, The Help notes that Batman is "very close to being very good," seeing the potential of the Dark Knight early in his career. He even offers to train Batman and leaves his card. Given the nature of this previously unseen chapter in the Batman-mythos, the question has to be asked: did The Help help Batman become one of the greatest fighters of all time?
It should be noted that The Help is all business in this issue. Nothing is personal and he's actually quite cordial while he beats the crap out of Batman. As such, it's implied that his offer to train the Dark Knight is legitimate. At any rate, Batman fans will just have to wait and see if the Dark Knight can swallow his pride and take the brilliant fighter up on his offer to elevate his own abilities in the DC Universe.
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Batman: Killing Time #3 is available now from DC Comics.