Fans have watched The CW’s “Arrowverse” shows for years now, wondering where Batman is — and on tonight’s episode of “Elseworlds,” they got their answer.
Batman was indeed the first vigilante on Earth-1, as confirmed by the episode. However, he has been missing in action for three years.
Considering that a big part of the “Elseworlds” crossover was setting up the origin of Ruby Rose’s Batwoman, it must be noted that the first appearance of the modern era Batwoman came during New 52 — a story which had no Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman and the DC Universe had to make do without them.
Since Batman was not a publicly-known figure, it wasn’t too hard for him to go missing in the Arrowverse and he was widely dismissed as an urban legend. Green Arrow was among those who referred to him as such, although that may be due to the frustration of not being an “original vigilante,” something that he called himself in tonight’s episode.
Bruce Wayne was once referenced in the newspaper from the pilot episode of The Flash, where his company was reported to have merged with Queen Enterprises.
Oliver Queen even joked later saying that he was no more the Green Arrow than Bruce Wayne was, a line that blew up fans on the internet, giving them hopes of one day seeing a Batman.
In one of the earliest episodes of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Rip Hunter said that he had seen “Men of Steel die and Dark Knights fall.”
And there have been many other references to Batman, although they were never by name, and always oblique. And, yes, we have seen Gotham City being mentioned or named on a sign in at least one episode of each show.