Batman has trained many characters over all these years and they are generally on equal footing when it comes to fighting. But in Batman: Urban Legends #8, DC has revealed one of Batman’s wards is probably growing far more powerful than the rest.
And this ward is none other than Duke Thomas, The Signal!!!
In Batman: Urban Legends #8’s ‘The Outsiders: The Fearful’, it’s been 30 years since the events of Future State, and Gotham City is in an apocalyptic mess and is lorded over by Gothamites driven insane by Scarecrow. The Signal is one of the few survivors and embarks on a quest to fight his way to the ruins of Arkham Asylum.
Duke has now become a powerful mage and plans to use the site of Arkham Asylum to conduct a ritual to send the soul of Black Lightning back in time to prevent the creation of the Fearful; a metahuman who secretes potent fear gas from his pores and serves as an accelerant to Scarecrow’s plans to plunge Gotham into fear-driven anarchy.
The ritual was successful and Black Lightning traveled back in time to regroup with Outsider and convinced them to help him to alter the timeline. Duke’s powers have grown in all these years and he finally opens himself up to the mystic arts and thrives under pressure. In the dark future, Duke wields a soul-stealing blade containing the soul of his friend, Black Lightning, and managed to learn magic and even took on the powerful demon familiar Teekl as an ally.
Duke also is now in possession of the “Demon Arm” which has increased his magical capabilities. Black Lightning had himself stated when he explained his situation to the present-day Outsiders that Duke has become ” one of the world’s most powerful mages.”
The Signal is already being groomed by Batman to replace him as the head of the Justice League and all these events make it clear that Duke is one of the most powerful people Batman has trained. All the Robins did have their strengths and weaknesses but the Signal is the only one of Batman’s apprentices who has full-fledged metahuman abilities and in the future, it appears he will add magic to his fearsome arsenal!