'Dark Knight Rises' Joseph Gordon-Levitt Is John Blake... But Who Is John Blake In The Comics?

Could "John Blake" in The Dark Knight Rises be, in fact, Dick Grayson?

According to a report from MTV Splash Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is, in fact, playing a cop named John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises. But who is John Blake in the comics?

Unfortunately, nobody, which makes the part all the more suspicious – given the months of speculation that Gordon-Levitt would be playing anyone from the new Joker, to Robin. There’s been one appearance of a “John Blake” in the comics, but only as a kid who gets his report card stolen by the Joker (really) in an early Batman strip. The massive, world changing event was repeated later for a coloring book, but unless Nolan is going in some very, very weird directions we expect this John Blake is one of two things: an actually new character, or an alias.

Let’s get into the non-spoilery stuff first: there haven’t been a whole lot of original characters in the Nolan Batman films… He’s done some tweaks, but with the exception of the love interest Rachel Dawes, most major characters, from Ra’s al Ghul to Lucius Fox appear on the four-color page at some point. So would Nolan cast a major actor in a minor, totally original role? I mean, he can do whatever he wants, but given there’s been many, many young cops on the force from the comics (the list on Wikipedia runs several pages long) he could have used the name of, calling someone John Blake doesn’t make a lot of sense. Unless Gordon-Levitt is the new love interest.

"John Blake's" first encounter with the Joker, via Badass Digest

So let’s head a bit into spoiler territory, and look at the possibility that John Blake is an alias for someone else… Just like Henri Ducard was in Batman Begins (though Ducard was an actual character in the comics, with a similar arc; though he was never revealed to be Ra’s like in the movie):

Dick Grayson: Nolan has said he’d never bring Robin into the series, but he also said he wouldn’t give the third movie a stupid name, and that happened. Kidding. But Dick Grayson – the original Robin – was a member of the Bludhaven Police Department for a time, and has even had several aliases, including Robbie Malone, Freddy Lloyd, and Chester Honeywell. Working against this theory? Grayson’s parents were circus performers, killed by Tony Zucco, a gangster… And there’s no Zucco in the Nolan-verse (yet). Also? We’re not sure there’s room for a circus in this already over-stuffed movie.

The Riddler: Though the Dark Knight’s most infomercial-ready antagonist hasn’t strictly been a member of the Gotham PD, in recent years he’s worked closely with them as a freelance detective more interested in fame than solving mysteries. This one is a bit of a stretch, though, unless there’s some sort of set-up for a fourth movie.

Dusan al Ghul: Remember when we brought up the Henri Ducard thing? Well, in the comics, Ra’s al Ghul has a son named Dusan, also known as The White Ghost. We’re getting heavily into potential spoiler territory here, but with the similar rumors that Marion Cotillard plays Ra’s daughter Talia, while pretending to be on Bruce Wayne’s board of directors, and Gordon-Levitt potentially in a similar position protecting Wayne with the police, wouldn’t the al Ghul family all be in prime position to finish what their dear, departed Dad had started? Wouldn’t that be interesting?

What do you think, fans? Who is JGL playing the movie? And any comic based clues we've missed?

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