Back in 2011, DC Comics scrapped 70 years of continuity or thereabouts in an attempt to create more sales. They said a bunch of other things, but that's what they meant. They called this new continuity, which had attitude and realism and all kinds of things other than more than a handful of good stories, the "New 52."
It was, in my opinion, one of the dumber things my nostalgically-favorite narrative format has done in recent years, and there is quite a lot of competition for that title. A new entry in the race has arisen, as DC will once again remove the cape and cowl from Bruce Wayne and slap the ears and winged symbol on someone else. You can see who's supposed to be getting the new outfit at the link if you want; I'll keep this post spoiler-free. But trust me, even if you don't look. It's just stupid.
Bruce has been sidelined before. His back was broken by Bane back in 1993 and he sat out for a year recovering while Jean-Paul Valley, the mentally unstable Azrael, took on the role. Jean-Paul switched out the gray and the blue for armor and found the stress too much to be the obsessed yet controlled Caped Crusader that Gotham City needed. Dick Grayson, the first Robin, filled in as Batman after Bruce defeated Jean-Paul, and then again when Bruce was supposed to have been killed by Darkseid in 2009.
Although series writer Scott Snyder talks like the new Batman and the new-look manga-style armor will be a permanent change, that can be taken as seriously as any pro wrestling feud. Sales may take a curiosity jump for awhile, but eventually they'll settle back down to the current level or lower, and DC will be forced to acknowledge what we've seen in movies, comic books and elsewhere for years. Bottom line, only one person can say, "I'm Batman" and have it be true: Bruce Wayne.
(H/T Jonathan Last)