Everyone's looking forward to Mark Millar's latest comic book sensation "Nemesis", and I am too for the most part. Collaborating with his longtime partner in comics Steve McNiven, this Marvel miniseries presents a story that begs the question - "what if Bruce Wayne was The Joker"? Basically, you have the biggest, baddest costumed individual of them all... and he's trying to make the lives of the police a living hell. This has gotta be one of the most intriguing stories coming up yet. But then again, this isn't the first time an "Anti-Batman" was made, and from the way the plot sounds, it's very much reminiscent of an old Bat-rogue's M.O and style, and The Dark Knight confronted his complete opposite many times before.
The character who is arguably the "direct opposite" of Batman is The Wrath, a vigilante who harbors a deep grudge for anyone siding with the law and justice. Like Bruce Wayne, he lost his parents at a young age, but they were burglars shot down by a police officer, who mistook them for finishing off a robbery when in fact they were simply skipping the rent. Filled with anger and looking for direction, he traveled the globe and honed his skills like Bruce did, and after learning all that he could, he set out on a one man crusade against those who called themselves agents of the law. Like Batman, he took up a costume, which was nearly identical to the Caped Crusader. He even had gadgets, vehicles, and a utility belt at his disposal. However, the one thing that he did that Batman would never do was adopt the use of firearms, which sealed his nature as The Dark Knight's complete opposite. Eventually, this maroon colored fiend was apprehended by Bats, after a failed attempt at assassinating Commissioner Gordon. Despite that, he even learned Batman's secret identity, and pursued to torture his loved ones. However, his final confrontation with Batman led to his demise, after The Wrath falls for one of his own traps and falls from the rooftop to the streets of Park Row.
However, that would not be the end of the Wrath's legacy. A successor rose up to take up the mantle, and his name was Elliot Caldwell. In a story depicted in Batman: Confidential, this Wrath reveals a dark secret that ties Commissioner Gordon to a crime many years ago on the same day Bruce's parents died - the gunning down of the original Wrath's parents. Gordon was shipped to Chicago to protect his mistake, while the newly orphaned boy was sent to an orphanage and never adopted, thus fueling the rage and passion inside him to eliminate any law enforcing agent. The new Wrath would also reveal that he was trained by the original to be his "Robin", inspired by Batman's admission of a sidekick to his crusade. After his mentor died, Elliot took up the mantle and attacked Batman and Nightwing (the former original Robin), but was defeated and sent to Blackgate Prison in the end.
Looking back at this, the comparisons between Nemesis and Wrath are strikingly similar, but I don't think Millar will tell things in the same manner once his new book gets rolling. Looking forward to the new "Anti-Batman" book soon!