Both Iron Man and Batman are getting similar reboots in the comics, one that does not emphasize technology and gadgets, but instead, relies on brains and less-technologically savvy methods. In short, both heroes are going “back to basics.” They have different motivations, however; Iron Man is driven by a need to reconnect with the people he is sworn to protect and Batman in response to a futuristic dystopian world.
Recent issues of Iron Man have seen him try to get back in touch with ordinary people. As Tony Stark, he has moved into a new smaller residence and has a much smaller company. Just exactly how Stark is handling this is up for debate – the most recent issue saw Tony give a disturbing monologue on how he sometimes views people, and it is clear it is taking its toll on Stark. Iron Man has a choice in this matter, Batman does not. Set during the events of DC’s upcoming Future State event, The Next Batman by writer John Ridley, shows a future Batman who must contend with a dystopian Gotham that uses advanced technology to identify and kill vigilantes. Much like Tony, this forces Batman to rethink his approach to fighting crime.
Both approaches are much more scaled back than before. In the past, Iron Man handled cosmic level threats, but as seen in Iron Man #3 by Chris Cantwell and C Cafu, he is now fighting street level crime – a far cry from Korvac or Kang. Iron Man is also trying to reconnect with people on a deeper level; in the same issue, he talks to a group of school children. For the Batman of Future State, this means he must rely on his brains, and the fact he is a creature of the night and can blend into the shadows.
The duo are also working with fewer people and resources – Iron Man has started a brand new company, with significantly less resources to work with. Batman will face the same dilemma as not only must he fight crime without his advanced technology, he must do it without the help of the Gotham City Police Department.
A hallmark of both Batman and Iron Man are their reliance on advanced technology in fighting evil, but now that time is over. Both Iron Man and Batman are being stripped down to their basics, to find out what makes them tick as heroes. In the process, readers get a new and fresh way of looking at the characters.