Warning: spoilers for Future State: Dark Detective #3 are ahead.
Batman and Wolverine have been imposing figures in comics for a long time now. Towering over the rooftops of Gotham, Batman is one of the most recognizable superheroes of all time. Likewise, Wolverine from Marvel Comics is similarly unmistakable with his dramatic mask and claws. As fate would have it, these two iconic heroes have been brought together by a shared problem in DC’s current Future State storyline: their height.
In Future State: Dark Detective #3, Bruce Wayne comes across the new Batman, Tim Fox, on the job in Gotham’s back alleys (written by Mariko Tamaki, art by Dan Mora, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Aditya Bidikar). In the suit, Tim looms over Bruce, setting up a precedent where he is significantly taller than him. While Tim’s height in itself is not a problem, the precedent itself is cause for concern that Wolverine’s comics can attest to.
Against popular belief, Wolverine is actually five foot three but is rarely depicted with his true height in comics (or any media for that matter). This has created a continuity problem because he is usually drawn as the same height as much taller heroes. Still, it should be acknowledged that artists have drawn him with his correct height on the cover of Runaways #34 (written by Rainbow Rowell, art by Andres Genolet, cover art by Kris Anka) and in his team-up with Kamala Khan in Ms. Marvel #6-7 (written by G. Willow Wilson, art by Jake Wyatt, colors by Ian Herring, letters by Joe Caramagna).
With Bruce Wayne’s Batman being shown as shorter than Tim Fox’s in Future State, the future of this height ratio remains to be seen. Wolverine’s height adds an extra dimension to his character, with Sabretooth even referring to him as “runt.” Bruce being shorter than Tim could contribute to his aging characterization in Future State.
Bruce Wayne could be shorter in Future State in order to make a point about how estranged he feels from the Batman persona. For better or for worse, height in comics is often associated with heroism, and Bruce being smaller than the new Batman could act as a commentary on the changing nature of heroism in Gotham. Tim Fox’s taller stature is not just a physical one, but a psychological one, given that his appearance in the Batsuit gives Bruce an existential crisis.
Either way, Batman’s change of height in Future State brings up a question of what the lingering consequences of the story will be. Will it pave the way for an even more emotionally vulnerable version of his character? Or will his height continue to fluctuate like Wolverine? As a whole, the consequences of Future State remain up in the air at the moment, so it is only a matter of time before readers can see what will come out of all of this.