Batman’s Most Annoying Villain Joining The DCU?
James Gunn has mentioned he wants to bring Bat-Mite to DCU canon.
New DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn is interested in officially bringing Bat-Mite, Batman’s most legendarily annoying (kinda) villain to the DC Universe. According to a report from Deadline, a recent meeting between DC Studios heads Gunn and Peter Safran and Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav led to the Guardians of the Galaxy director mentioning the characters he would like to see introduced to the DCU, with Bat-Mite being right up front in line. While there are no announced projects involving the extradimensional imp as of yet, it would not at all be surprising to see Bat-Mite pop up somehow.
James Gunn has been vocal in the past that Bat-Mite was one of his favorite comic book characters ever and, now that he basically has creative control of the DCU, this could be the imp’s time to shine. Gunn already referenced the character in the acclaimed (and mega-popular) HBO Max series Peacemaker; in the second episode, Peacemaker’s handler John Economos (Steve Agee) mentioned he would rather be working with Bat-Mite than John Cena’s violent vigilante Christopher Smith. Most likely, this was a bit of a joke from Gunn (who wrote and directed Peacemaker), but for better or worse, it puts Bat-Mite in the DCU canon.
Of course, DC Universe canon is a pretty tricky thing at the moment, with the initial attempts by Zack Snyder to create a single cohesive shared universe having settled into a set of disparate films that do not quite match up either narratively or tonally. It can be assumed that one of the reasons why Bat-Mite fan James Gunn has been given the reins by David Zaslav is to tidy up the DCU, which certainly would give him the opportunity to slip the character in somewhere.
It is uncertain whether James Gunn is actually looking to codify all the existing DC Universe projects into a single narrative (those of them that remain uncanceled, that is) or whether DC Studios is going to be trying something else out. The initial Zack Snyder masterplan was generally regarded as an attempt to nakedly imitate the competing Marvel Cinematic Universe gameplan; it is entirely likely that rather than trying the same approach, Gunn will be steering into a more varied, multi-canon take on DC that also allows for different tones.
That could be important because Bat-Mite is a pretty goofy character. He was created by Batman co-creator Bill Finger and artist Sheldon Moldoff and first appeared in 1959, as a pretty open imitation of the Superman villain Mister Mxyzptlk (himself created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster). Both characters are immensely powerful entities from the fifth dimension who visit Earth to pester either Batman or Superman (respectively); however, while Mxyzptlk has been depicted as either a malicious pest or an outright villain, Bat-Mite generally presents as a fan of Batman who inevitably causes trouble for his idol while trying to help.
If there is anyone who could bring Bat-Mite into the DC Universe, it is likely the guy that made Groot and Rocket Raccoon emotionally developed, nuanced characters. Hopefully, he actually gets to.