Ha ha, no, I'm just blowin' smoke up your ass. He's the villain.
But writer Loeb was not satisfied by the depth of ineptitude to which this "mystery," in introducing a brand new stupid-obvious character no one gives a tuppeny fuck about and then making him the big top-secret villain of the piece, has sunk--a depth which, I'm sure you'll agree, is already pretty fucking shockingly low.
Any mystery writer worth his salt will tell you that the reader must be thrown off the trail; Loeb, as a "mystery" "writer" who created a trail about as difficult to find as the Vegas Strip, had to go above and beyond the call of duty to throw us off of it. He therefore took the bold, clever, brilliant, not-at-all-cheating step of killing the brand new stupid-obvious character no one gives a tuppeny fuck about, but then--get this!--through a series of Batman-universe wonky sci-fi/fantasy plot devices, it turns out he wasn't dead at all! He was just hiding! Ha ha! Fooled you, stupid readers! I'm a genius, I tell you!
Fortunately for us, Loeb didn't blaze into this uncharted, not-an-enormous-gyp-at-all form of storytelling unprepared. Oh, heavens no. From what I'm told, this master storyteller actually honed this bold, daring, kill-the-villain-but-keep-your-fingers-crossed-when-you-do-it approach in not one, but two previous Batman projects. These projects, The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, are part of his long-time collaboration with (legitimately talented) artist Tim Sale, a collaboration which nine times out of ten yields paint-dryingly dull, consequence-free rehashes of early-years continuity in the lives of various superheroes created several decades ago.
Alas for me, I have not read either of these Batman books, and therefore cannot describe to you how Loeb refined this stunning, shocking, ground-breaking, not-an-humongous-motherfucking-lazyass-fraud-in-the-slightest method of funnybook magic from one to the other. But I'm quite sure that it's an inspiring journey to take.
And by "an inspiring journey" I mean "I wonder if there's a class-action lawsuit pending because centering your story around a completely unearned surprise twist that you have to cheat like a bat-corking home run king to arrive at should be grounds for legal action on behalf of all the people who paid money to have their shoes pissed on and then get informed by the pisser that no, in fact, it's Hurricane Isabel."