While I'm sure The Dark Knight Rises will not be a disappointment in the slightest sense, it is sad to know some of the more notable events in Knightfall and Knightquest will not be chronicled as they were in the comics.
While nothing so far has been confirmed about the condition of Batman throughout the film, I believe it is safe to say from the poster and comments from Christopher Nolan and Tom Hardy that our hero will be taking a brief siesta mid-film courtesy of an epic ass beating by Bane.
Home to nine crime families, twelve gangs, and hundreds of deranged miscellaneous supervillains, Gotham would cease to be a successful city without the watchful eye of The Batman. This is a fact Bruce Wayne acknowledged long before Bane broke his back and left him immobile for many months in the comics. Who could be great enough to take the throne as Gotham's purveyor of justice?
Wayne met Jean-Paul Valley on a trip to Switzerland and was actually rescued by Valley (then Azrael) through a long sequence of events that you can read here. Long story short he was strong, skilled, knew Batman's identity and perfect in Wayne's eyes to take on the role of The Batman should something become of him.
Many fights and a spine breaking later, Bruce Wayne is wheelchair bound and Valley is called upon to serve as Gotham's protector. He takes to the streets with the good intentions of stopping crime in Gotham and bringing the new criminal overlord Bane to justice.
With a new durable armor, clawed fists, bat shrunkens, flamethrower, and a new air of beating the truth out of villains, it doesn't take long for those close to Batman (from Commissioner Gordon to The Joker) to realize that this is not the Batman they know. Word spreads out around the criminal underworld of Gotham, this Batman kills. Crime plummets by 43%.
It is important to note at this point that this behavior is not Jean-Paul's nature, but instead a psyche implanted into his brain upon birth when he subconsciously learned all his skills to become the next Azrael (here's that link again if that made zero sense).
As the delusions of his dead father and hallucinations wear on, Jean-Paul becomes increasingly violent, crime scenes are littered with casualties and disfigured thugs as Valley searches for his father's killer (who is dead), and commissioner Gordon is shocked that the caped crusader no longer departs mid conversation (one of the more hilarious panels in the series).
Wayne, hearing of this and his diminishing credibility in Gotham goes to desperate measures to rehabilitate and stop the monster he created. The ending is awesome featuring the two grid locked in battle and cameo's from Nightwing, Robin, and Catwoman. I highly suggest you read it if you haven't, and celebrate one of the better installments in the Batman series.
By the way for those of you thinking this will actually be in the movie...keep holding your breath as further speculation reveals Gotham takes a different turn than the comic storyline...although some guy has been flaming the comment sections of geek sites showing his interest in the role.
DEAR CHRISTOPHER NOLAN,DARYL LENNY WOULD LOVE TO STAR ALONGSIDE CHRISTIAN BALE IN THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. I WILL PLAYED JEAN PAUL VALLEY WHO BECOMES THE CRIME FIGHTING VIGILANTE KNOWN TO THE CITIZENS OF GOTHAM CITY AS AZRAEL WITH AUTUMN REESER AS REPORTER AND JEAN PAUL VALLEY'S LOVE INTEREST VICKI VALE,DYLAN MCDERMOTT AS WAYLON JONES/KILLER CROC,ADAM BALDWIN AS DOCTOR ALUCARD/DRACULA,AMANDA RIGHETTI AS DOCTOR PAMELA ISLEY/POISON IVY,IAN SOMERHALDER AS DICK GRAYSON/NIGHTWING,EMMA ROBERTS AS BARBARA GORDON/BATGIRL,ALON ABOUTBOUL AS DOCTOR KIRK LANGSTROM/MAN BAT,MARION COTILLARD AS MIRANDA TATE/TALIA AL GHUL,LIAM NEESON AS HENRI DUCARD/RA'S AL GHUL,JOSH PENCE AS A YOUNG RA'S AL GHUL BUT APPEAR IN FLASHBACKS,JOSEPH GORDON LEVITT AS GOTHAM BEAT COP JOHN BLAKE,JOSEPH FECHTER (CAMEO) AS HUGO STRANGE.