Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Batman has been subject to numerous alternate canon interpretations. Some depict him as a noble crusader against crime; others make him a borderline psychopath barely removed from the lunatics he spends his life fighting. And even if he's not as bad as the lunatics he fights there's still the question of whether or not Batman himself could be classified as legally insane or not.
His relationships have also come under examination; debates about his sexuality rage wildly. There are tons of easy targets for jokes about that last part.
Much like the dispute of who is the true persona, Clark Kent or Superman, one of the most raging questions about Batman concern civilian identity Bruce Wayne. Is he simply a mask that Batman wears during the day, a popular interpretion since The Dark Knight Returns? Or is Bruce a real person who's made the rational - within the DCU - decision to fight crime while dressed as a bat? The stories that most support the former view are those where Bruce most throws himself into the Rich Idiot with No Day Job act. When he tries to take an active role and takes up civic involvement in Gotham's problems, it shores up the latter interpretation.
There's also his culpability in the Batman Gambit of his that get hijacked, citing Tower of Babel and the Brother-Eye in particular. While a check-and-balance idea against supowerpowers is logical, Batman's methods of enforcing it and his continuing refusal to apologize are regarded by some as stemming from a mindset that is more self-righteous and dangerous than his Beware the Superman fears.
This is strongly lampshaded in short story "Viewpoint", where newspaper publisher hires bunch of writers to give him their own interpretations of Batman in hope to make their common element - truth about Batman - more clear. He's very disappointed to find out that their visions have nothing in common.
Through they all have one thing in common - in all the stories told Batman dies because he refuses to (or maybe cannot?) give up. When he finally dies for real, he is reborn on another Earth, as infant Bruce Wayne, to one day become Batman once again.
Does the Ventriloquist suffer a split personality, a dissociative disorder, or is he right in his belief that Scarface is possessed by the ghost of every murderer hung on the gallows he was carved from? There's evidence to support all these theories, and the one that Wesker knows exactly what he's doing and Scarface is just a gimmick.
This one is touched upon in a subplot during the Knightfall storyline, in which Wesker is trying to retrieve Scarface from police custody. He uses a sock puppet as a proxy during this time, as well as a variety of other hand puppets, nearly as psychotic, if not intimidating, as Scarface himself (assuming they do have a mind of their own, that is).
Alfred. Is he simply a devoted servant to his master, supporting his efforts to make Gotham a better place? Or is he guilty of severe child neglect, never thinking that the young Bruce maybe needed therapy to get over his parents death? By supporting Bruce in becoming Batman, does he act as an enabler, allowing Bruce to vent his near-psychotic rage out on the world's criminals? (Alfred himself actually did touch on this in one story when Commissioner Gordon had been injured and Batman refused to leave his bedside, Alfred, seeing this as the Dark Knight's obsessive quest gone too far, finally decided to resign from his service, saying "You are not a child, it is time you ceased acting like one. And it is time I stopped enabling you.")
Two-Face. Tradition states that the two halves of his face represent his split personality. Normally, they have the non-scarred side represent Harvey Dent and the scarred side represent Two-Face; they give us scenes where he has a perfectly reasonable dialogue shown only in his non-scarred profile, only to flip out into ultraviolence shot entirely from his scarred side. But some writers claim the opposite is true: the non-scarred side is Two-Face, the monster with a face of an angel. The scarred side represents Harvey Dent, the wounded hero who lies crushed beneath.
Supported in spirit by the non-canon Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, in which Harvey has his face restored to full normal- and proceeds to go completely evil; scratching both sides of his coins as if he has been "consumed by his dark side." At least both sides match.
Moreover, prior to the 1980s Two-Face was not portrayed as a man with multiple personalities, just as someone who rejected moral responsibility and let random chance in the form of his coin make his choices for him. The multiple personalities first showed up when he got a new Post-Crisis origin. The idea of Dent having two personalities caught on so well it's completely erased the character's first 40 years. Ironically, his appearance in The Dark Knight caused some protest when it was closer to his original portrayal.
The Riddler: Insufferable Genius who's obsessed with proving his superiority over Batman, or a seriously ill criminal whose compulsion to tell the truth is what drives him to leave riddles?
The Joker. Though he started off dark and creepy, he spent most of the '40s, '50s, and '60s as a mostly harmless lawbreaking jester. Then, after Batman was remade into the dark and brooding hero he was originally, the Joker returns to his homicidal maniac origins; then we get to "The Killing Joke," in which he shoots Barbara Gordon (formerly Batgirl) through the spine, and then kidnaps and tortures Commissioner Gordon more or less for the hell of it. And then there was "Death in the Family" and countless other stories in which the Joker gets crazier as time goes on. Even in the movies, he has changed from one appearance to the next. The Movie of the 1966 series portrayed him as the madman crook. Jack Nicholson, famous creepy maniac, portrayed him as a former gangster turned creepy maniac making the best of his deformities by incorporating them into a costume. The Dark Knight's Heath Ledger appeared to be a suicidal nihilist out for nothing more thought out than causing chaos.
Though he's traditionally portrayed as chaotic and capable of adapting on the fly to any situation, Grant Morrison's Batman & Robin run has suggested that, in fact, the opposite is true: as Ax-Crazy as he is, he's been able to survive confrontations with Batman for so long because he's Crazy-Prepared and already has a plan for everything. And the Monster Clown persona is a facade that lets him channel his homicidal urges. At heart, he's not a Monster Clown....he's just a monster.
Also, does the Joker break the fourth wall for comedic effect at the whim of the writers, in which case anything he says while Breaking the Fourth Wall is barely canon? Or is his suggested "super sanity" giving him canonical awareness of the reality of comic books? In either case, does this extend to the other adaptations? Did Nicholson's mobster-Joker go insane because of his accident causing deformity or because it let him know that we're watching his misery for entertainment?
If he knows that he's in a comic book, then his behavior might have been hand-waved in his own mind because his victims only exist to be his victims. Even the Gordon family and other named victims are not actual people in our level of reality. Maybe the only reason he keeps committing crimes and going up against Batman is because he doesn't want the comics to end. Because then it would be like he ceased to exist. And he doesn't want to die.
In fact, Joker might even be said to be committing horrible crimes to get Batman involved because otherwise the entire world he exists in would cease! Joker is forced to murder, rob and prank people to save the entire universe. He's not the hero Gotham wants, but he's the villain Gotham needs.
Does the Joker believe in the nihilist sayings he prattles on about every so often, or are they all meaningless words to him, another part of the joke intended solely to screw with the minds of the sane?
Batman: Black And White - Case Study by Paul Dini puts forth a particularly brilliant alternative; the Joker is completely sane. Back before the chemical vat incident, he was a crime boss who played his anonymity to the hilt in order to do whatever he wanted. Afterward, he knew that was no longer possible, so he created the "Clown Prince Of Crime" persona of Obfuscating Insanitysolely so he would be sent to Arkham whenever he was caught - he purposefully invented Joker Immunity! The doctors are ecstatic when they discover an old report claiming this - and then orderlies drag Harley Quinn past, and she comments that she wrote that report before she started counseling the Joker. The Joker drove Quinn insane to invalidate her findings once he realized that she had figured out his scheme. And he left the report where it would be found just so he could Yank the Dog's Chain.
Batman's refusal to kill the Joker despite all the horrible crimes he continues to commit and the Gotham City Police's apparent inability to contain and/or reform him - could it be that Batman is addicted to their conflict, the consequences be damned?
"Death Of The Family" puts forth an alternate take as part of a larger alternate interpretation of Gotham as a whole; namely that Batman doesn't just kill Joker because he sincerely believes that another, far more serious/competent villain would fill the void. This ties into Scott Snyder's larger idea that the ultimate Big Bad of Batman isn't any of the supervillains but rather Gotham City itself.
Dick too. Sometimes he's written as grimly as Bruce, but mostly he's generally happy and friendly. Essentially, he was the Fun Personified character before Steph took that role. Some fans have commented that its a shame the two don't get to interact much.
This was Tim Drake's characterization before the writers had his father killed off in Identity Crisis.
Archive Panic: Trying to figure out where to start reading Batman's adventures? You may as well just pick an issue and not worry about it. The character has been published monthly since 1939, often in multiple comics per month (to date, he has 19 ongoing series, which often intertwine with each other story wise, and often into other DC series as well). Archive collections from DC help, but even they haven't reprinted all 70+ years worth of comics.
The entire franchise is insanely prolific—besides the staggering amount of comic series he's starred in, there's also 22 oneshot comics, two literary books, two live action tv series, 30 movie serials, 8 live action movies (with a 9th one on the way) a cd album, 4 radio shows, 3 manga adaptations, 2 musicals, 3 pinball games, 44 video games (and 11 more with him in supporting or cameo roles), 2 web series, and he has starred in 11 animated series (7 of which give him top billing) and 17 animated movies (12 of which likewise giving him top billing) and enough misc. tie in toys and merchandise to fill the Batcave! All this, and the series has been going strong for 75 years, and is showing no signs of stopping. To say the least, Holy Archive Binging, Batman!
Base Breaker: Jason Todd was initially so controversial that DC allowed for a fan vote to determine whether he lived or died. Ironically there were just barely more votes for him to die. And years later, the editor would admit hundreds of votes in the "Jason Dies" line came from a single person, adding a large degree of uncertainty to the honesty of results regarding a poll designed to determine the character's popularity. And surely he's got plenty of fans after killing a rapist.
He actually is still a Base Breaker; fans either love him or wish there was a second phone-in vote to kill him off again. This isn't helped by his very inconsistent portrayals; some writers portray him as a very angry young man with a good reason to be furious at Bruce and who desperately wants to prove that he's a better hero than him, but has a seriously skewed moral compass and sense of what heroism actually is, while others portray him as a one-dimensional modern-day Nineties Anti-Hero with a side dose of Wangst.
Bat-Mite. To some, he exemplifies everything wrong with the Silver Age. To others, he exemplifies everything right.
The Robins in general. Either they're audience surrogates who provide an interesting insight to what it would be like to have Batman as a father, or they're useless and dated who only serve as to hold Batman back. Dick has, fortunately, managed to shake that off by becoming Nightwing, a much more well liked hero. Notably, the bulk of the former, 'Hold Batman Back' believers tend to be fans of the films rather than Comic Fans, where their only exposure to Robin is the Sixties show or the Shumacker films. So, them seeing them as dated is an understandable, if poorly sourced, opinion.
The first Black Mask, Roman Sionis, was a bored rich boy who grew to despise his social class, and then by extension, everyone else. Sionis murdered his parents when they disapproved of his fiancee and soon became the feared underworld kingpin Black Mask. His first victim was his ex-fiancee who he left hideously disfigured. Sionis makes a name for himself by being one of the most ruthless and evil of Gotham's crime lords, with a penchant for Cold-Blooded Torture. Two of his most noted victims were the first female Robin, Stephanie Brown, who Black Mask tortured with a power drill, among other implements in a brutal fashion that almost killed her. The second was to torture Selina Kyle's sister Maggie, as well as Maggie's husband. He did this by forcing Maggie to watch him dismember and butcher Maggie's husband, before forcing her to eat his eyes. With a black sense of humor, unbridled sadism and drive to destroy anything that even remotely stands in his way, Black Mask is one of Gotham's most evil denizens.
Victor Zsasz (more commonly known as Mr. Zsasz) is one of Gotham's most prolific and horrifying serial killers. A man who believes in nothing, Zsasz erases the emptiness in his own life by murdering others, recording every victim upon his flesh in a tally mark scar. Zsasz has killed hundreds of people: men, women and children. Only one victim, Alfred Pennyworth, survived his attacks, which brought him into conflict with the Batman who soon earned Zsasz's eternal loathing. Zsasz has continued his crusade to rid the world of life one human at a time, murdering those who cross his path to "liberate" them from the meaninglessness of life. At one point, Zsasz abducted runaways and forced them to fight to the death. The winner would be forced to fight Zsasz himself.
The son of Commissioner James Gordon, James Jr. distinguishes himself from his heroic relatives in the extreme. Ever since his youth, James Jr. was a vicious serial killer, always hoping the next person would pick on him so it would give him an excuse to torture and kill them. In one instance, he cruelly slashed a woman's face for calling him Four-Eyes years prior. In another, he gruesomely dismembered a man for stealing his glasses a decade prior. James Jr proceeded to torture his mother with the Joker's fear toxin, tortured his sister psychologically and physically and revealed his master plan: to destroy the morality of Gotham's children by injecting their food supply with a drug to destroy empathy which he views as a weakness. The worst part is he might well have succeeded. He tortured and murdered many people in the past for no reason beyond the power it gives him, even torturing his sister Barbara by driving a pair of knives into her paralyzed legs.
Copy Cat Sue/Overused Copycat Character: Hush is this, given that nothing about his character is particularly original within the context of the Batman mythos. Batman already had plenty of Shadow Archetype enemies, while the Wrath and Prometheus, and more subtly Black Mask, all whom came along before Hush had backstories made to explicitly mirror Bruce Wayne's. Was even subject to some (possibly unintentional) Lampshade Hanging by Batman, who drew parallels to his other villains when trying to deduce Hush's identity (associating him using Guns Akimbo to Deadshot and quoting Aristotle to Maxie Zeus). Hush also dresses up exactly like Darkman.
Damian Wayne was this for a while. At first fans couldn't stand his snide attitude, the massive amounts of lenience that he seemed to get for things that some fans found unforgivablenote beating up Tim Drake, and beheading a D-List villain to name a few but Grant Morrison kept using him in his stories. When he eventually became the Robin to Dick Grayson's Batman, many fans complained, but he mostly won naysayers over with him as the "dark, snarky" Robin that Jason Todd failed to be during his tenure (helped greatly by a massive amount of Character Development). Now, with his long-delayed death finally occurring, more fans are begging for him back than cheering with joy.
Jason Todd as well, and for many of the same reasons. His characterisation since coming back from the dead changes depending on the writer, which makes it seem like DC is just doing anything and seeing what works. The attempt at darkening him has him do things that no other Bat-character could get away with, such as casually killing (emphasis on the casual) and using guns (Peter Tomasi did however write him as going for leg shots in front of Batman), while having the negative personality aspects of Damian, but none of the charm, nor the excuse of being a child.
Inverted by Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, characters who are well-liked by the fandom, but whom DC editorial seems to want to have nothing to do with.
Part of the reason for this makes Barbara Gordon a Creator's pet. Barbara is a popular character, as Handicapped Badass Oracle. Crippled by The Joker in The Killing Joke when she was no longer Batgirl, there was backlash at being so cruelly sidelined. She was then given a second life as a hacker and proved to be both incredibly useful but an inspiration to people in real life. Returning her to being Batgirl in the New 52 at the expense of her popular successors of the Batgirl mantle, Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown sours many fans of her. It's the same situation as Barry Allen, since she is now back and those who took up her legacy as Batgirl have been swept under the rug.
When Scott Snyder was told he couldn't use Cassandra Cain in his Batman run, he created a character named Harper Row. Harper appeared in two issues of Batman (a split-second cameo and A Day in the Limelight) before being billed as a "fan-favorite" for her next appearance. While she was positively received, "fan-favorite" seems to be stretching it. When Damian Wayne died and left the Robin slot vacant, she was immediately pegged as the next choice to fill the slot— although this may end up going to Carrie Kelley, a female Robin from Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns... supposedly from Batman's future. Who is a much more likely candidate for the title "fan-favorite."
The "fan-favourite" line is considered possible trolling on DC's behalf, plus Snyder was adamant Harper was never intended to be Robin, which made the overzealous hand-wringing over the possibility an eventual case of Fan Dumb. Harper has since adopted the role of Bluebird - although the Nightwing-esque costume she wears was also considered possible trolling at first given the uncertain fate of Dick Grayson post-Forever Evil - and even slots comfortably into her own gimmick as a non-lethal weaponry user in the Bat-Family.
Similar to the example regarding Cass and Steph, Dick Grayson. Easily the most popular character to have been Robin, Dick is a HUGE fan-favourite, who Dan DiDio seems to hate with a passion, to the point where he wanted to kill him off in Infinite Crisis. Luckily, Geoff Johns stepped in with Superboy as his Sacrificial Lamb. Recent trends, however, seem to indicate that the DC editorial is interested in pushing Dick as a "A-list" superhero.
Hush. However, after the "Heart of Hush" storyline, reactions have been turning to more positive.
Draco in Leather Pants: Many of Batman's Rogues Gallery gets this, having sympathetic backstories or motivations. For example, Poison Ivy's fans often speak of her as a misguided and misunderstood force for good who only kills people because she has no other way of achieving justice for plant life—ignoring her sadism and that her stated goal in many works is to kill every human on the planet. Likewise, Mister Freeze's brutal and revenge minded behaviors are often downplayed as "he just wants to be with his wife." Some even go as far as to claim they wouldn't be villains in the first place if that Jerkass Batman would just give them a chance.
Jason Todd often gets portrayed by the fandom (and occasionally by the writers) as a Nice Guy who loves his family. Despite, you know, the various times he's attempted to murder them.
The "new direction" of the 1960s, with the blue cowl and wacky Silver Age sci-fi hijinx.
For Dick Grayson:
Devin Grayson's "Born Again" arc. Not only was it flawed from supposition one (Nightwing, one of the most well connected superheroes being alienated in an attempt to "rebuild him"), time constraints from the then-upcoming Infinite Crisis only made it worse. It's Canon Discontinuity now, thankfully.
There was almost certainly people who hoped that Robin would be a Dork Age for Batman when he first showed up (hint: it was actually the exact opposite), even with what little continuity there was back then.
For Cassandra Cain... boyhowdy. Adam Beechen wrote her from being near mute with deep psychological dyslexic issues into someone who monologued in Navajo Code. And she took personal pleasure in killing people.
For Tim, the time in between his life began to really suck to just recently, when it began to get better.
Dude, Not Funny!: Many stories have a moment where Batman alludes to his traumatic origin, and/or to the fact that he really is Darker and Edgier than most of his superhero friends. Maybe the best example was in an episode of Justice League Unlimited in which the League was reduced to children by magic. Throughout the episode, Batman remains composed and grim just like he normally is while most of the rest of the heroes are hyper, temperamental and dangers to themselves and others. This might look like him being his usual Crazy-Prepared self, until the Dénouement to the episode when Wonder Woman says in a light-hearted way that it was nice to be a kid again. His response? "I haven't been a kid since I was eight years old."
Cassandra Cain. Despite rarely appearing at all in crossovers and having her only media exposure being a one-second cameo in Justice League and a crappy video game, despite getting pushed around and trainwrecked by editorial a lot, despite vanishing entirely in recent days, she still has a dedicated fanbase, and it's not hard to find bits from her solo comic posted on the current Scans Daily to this day, four years after it ended. What's more, she's on par with Barbara Gordon in fanart and fanfiction, even though Barbara has gotten manytimes as muchexposure as her.
Damian Wayne, for newer readers who didn't get him when he was more of a jerkass until they backtracked.
Colin Wilkes. This kid seriously wins. He's only been in 6 issues (the first three of which are usually only read becuase the latter three mention them). In the latter three, he shows that he's become a vigilante and helps Damian break up a fight ring run by Zsasz, becoming sort-of friends with Damian. And knows that Damian is Robin. And is adorable (when not transformed into Abuse anyways).
And has more fanart/fanfiction than you would believe. Going by DeviantArt or Tumblr, one could be forgiven for not realizing Colin's a very minor character.
Seemingly has paid off in that he is a reguar character in the spin-off all-ages comic Lil Gotham.
Stephanie Brown. Despite having a lot of haters (mostly on sites like Bleeding Cool), for someone who was treated like crap by Batman and editors/writers alike, she has one very notable fanbase. While most people say Cass is their favorite Batgirl, Steph will usually be their second choice (mostly since everyone prefers Babs as Oracle), and if not they'll say Steph with Cass following. Their fans are something of a group of Vitriolic Best Buds and Heterosexual Life-Partners. Steph, however, speaks volumes though: Her series was a consistent financial success (every issue made it into the top 100 comics selling that month, including both Marvel and Indie titles) but also a constant critical darling. Her first Trade, Batgirl Rising was the only DC comic book set in the main universe to make it into USA Today's top ten comic books of 2010. Editors may hate her, but she's one popular bird.
Calvin Rose a.k.a. Talon has been gaining a great deal of popularity as well.
A lot of GCPD officers and detectives such as Renee Montoya, Harvey Bullock, Crispin Allen, and Jason Bard are extremely popular, sometimes even being considered part of the Batfamily.
A bunch of the more obscure Batman Inc./Club of Heroes members are really popular with fans such as Batwing, El Gaucho, Nightrunner, and Batcow.
Black Mask is frequently cited as an example of a great Batman villain who is woefully underused. Maybe it's his cool look or maybe it's his Xanatos-style intelligence, but in any case fans seem to really like the guy. Him getting Hijacked by Ganon in Arkham Origins just caused much of the fanbase to clamor even harder for him to get a day in the limelight.
Evil Is Cool: Hoo boy. Generally the only villains who aren't cool in some degree are purposefully done as Butt Monkeys. Notable mentions include Two-Face, Bane, Onomatopoeia, Ra's Al Ghul, and Scarecrow.
Fandom Berserk Button: Saying that Batman should kill villains. You can bring up questions of morality, discuss the reasons for Batman's 'no-killing' stance, and even point out the flaws in Batman's ideals but don't you dare even imply that Batman killing people would be a good thing.
Batman/Catwoman is as close to canon as any have ever been, but writers keep them apart based on the "she's a criminal, he's Batman" premise. They seemed to become Friends with Benefits before the events of Final Crisis.
Batman/Wonder Woman is a favorite ship of one third of comic fandom (that other two thirds preferring Superman/Wonder Woman and Superman/Batman). It's even suggested that she had an unrequited love for him during Blackest Night.
Batman/Talia too, considering their past affair and that Damian came from it. Downplayed since her Face-Heel Turn, in which they no longer have the close contact they had before.
Dick/Barbara too. Has gone back and forth between being canon or not, but usually the two are incredibly close. Almost all fans love them together, with Kori/Dick being the usual second while Babs is free to anyone she wants. Dick/Barbara is also an example of a pairing that is also loved by the DC writers themselves.
Following them is another Robin/Batgirl couple, Cass/Tim. The two have never been romantically connected In-Universe, in fact they're more like brother and sister. But, one or two Relationship Writing Fumble later, and the two are semi-popular fan pairings.
The once-canon Tim/Steph, which was the fan-preferred pairing during the Tim/Steph and Tim/Ariana love triangle back in the 90s Robin series. It was also so popular that DC had to bring Steph back from the dead because all of Tim's love subplots after her death (Zoanne, Cassie, etc) were poorly-received by fans. Though they were kept apart and did not get back together, DC had several times featured these two in teamup issues to spike up interest and sales for their respective solos. There's even a large portion of fans that claim that Steph was Tim's only convincing love interest. This has lead to a butt-load of Young Justice fanfics that expand on Steph's cameo in order to ship her with Tim.
Faux Symbolism: At the beginning of "The Joker Walks the Last Mile", the Joker discusses his master plan of putting his Joker Immunity to the test with his mooks to have them make sure they follow his instructions, exclaiming that "The Joker shall die so that he may live again!" Afterwards, being kind of Crazy-Prepared, he plays a villainous version of the Sacrificial Lion by turning himself in to the police and confessing to a long list of crimes (including robbery and murder), resulting in him being given a death sentence and in his execution by the electric chair at the midnight hour. Right after he is declared dead, his mooks quickly retrieve his body from the prison morgue and carry him to a nearby ambulance where they bring him Back from the Dead with some life serum; once he is revived, he becomes a free man and can no longer die for his same crimes. This is kind of similar to the same plot concerning Jesus' passion and resurrection, except that he had God the Father and his angels at his side in his moments of death.
Foe Yay: Catwoman. Talia Al Ghul, A little with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. An interesting interplay with the Joker (the scene where he holds him in his arms while telling Gordon he will not let him die) And he renews that offer of rehabilitation with regularity.
Harsher in Hindsight: Batman's entire origin story becomes significantly harsher after the events of the Aurora theater shooting.
In the 2001 crossover Jokers Last Laugh, the doctor tells the Joker that he has been diagnosed with cancer and that he would try and repent in the last weeks of his life. It turns out that the doctor had been pulling his leg all along and that the Clown Prince of Crime is going to live after all. Ten years later, there's Batman: Arkham City, whose prequel comic tells us that the Joker has been diagnosed with the Titan disease that he had inflicted upon himself six months ago and is told that he has only another six months to live. Six months later, and this time, he dies from Titan poisoning right at the end of the game itself.
Iron Woobie: Tim Drake isn't called "the saddest Robin" for nothing.
Everyone who you could call a woobie is this, since they're all badass vigilantes or Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. Reading the following Woobie entries, you'll be hard pressed not finding one who isn't this type of woobie.
The Pollyanna: Stephanie Brown is probably the biggest example. Death itself couldn't squash her spirits.
It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Thanks to all the publicity he and his cast have been receiving in recent years, Batman has grown a rather large Hatedom in the DC Comics community, just about everyone saying that they want other superheroes to receive some love and pop cultural attention.
Made all the more worse when compared to Marvel. What was their big non-comic project of 2014? Why it's Guardians of the Galaxy. Meanwhile, at DC, we've got Batman: Arkham Knight (Which would up getting pushed back to 2015). Though to be fair, those are entirely different formats of media. Marvel also had had a smash success with Captain America The Winter Soldier earlier in the year, which allowed them some breathing room to experiment. The last time WB were bold enough to experiment, we got Green Lantern. Plus, it's important to consider the fact that the situation for DC is different to Marvel; Marvel have their own studio backed with what appears to be little interference from Disney, whereas WB seem much more intent on treating DC Comics as just another subsidiary.
The ending of Battle for the Cowl, having Dick become the new Batman.
To be frank, it was blatantly obvious that Dick was going to become the new Batman based on the last pages of Batman RIP alone; Pretty much everyone knew it, and BFTC was just a cash-in to milk the 'death' of Batman some more.
Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Dick is probably the most used fandom bicycle, but Bruce himself isn't far behind. Other Bat family members such as Tim and Barbara are subject to this as well, often with Ho Yay.
Jerkass Woobie: Jason Todd, post-resurrection. Surely, he did a lot of awful things (as trying to kill Dick and Tim), but the guy is so screwed in the inside. His family is dead, his biological mother watched when was being tortured by the Joker and did nothing to stop it (in fact, she was helping the Joker), and was brought back to life with amnesia, suffered a lot more while trying to recover his identity and his life (as we can see on Red Hood: The Lost Days), and to this day, his life hasn't gotten any better.
Damian is a brat, no two ways about it. But he finally gets to be Robin only after his father vanishes from the face of the earth, of which the whole point of getting said role was to spend time with him, is prohibited from killing in this new role, a tad crippling since he now has to solely rely on his ten year old build to subdue the likes of Killer Croc and as a result gets kicked around by a lot of people good and bad, and to top it all off he's surrounded by what amount to the surrogate children of Bruce Wayne, a collection of people Bruce loved and trusted despite not being his biological family, who outright despise him. Plus how lonely his childhood probably was, and getting his spine blasted to pieces within the second arc of his flagship title. Kid's got it rough.
Most of Batman's villains, since an overriding theme of the franchise seems to be how mentally fucked up Gotham is. Notable examples include Killer Croc (deformed by a birth defect that makes him look like a monster and causes everyone to treat him like an animal), Two Face (got horribly scarred, utterly shattering his personality and idealism), Killer Moth (the Butt Monkey of Batman's Rogues Gallery who suffers constant abuse), and most famously Mr. Freeze (only a bad guy because of an accident suffered trying to save his wife).
On rare occasions the Joker can be this, most notably in The Killing Joke, but he usually performs another atrocity before the reader can feel too much sympathy for him.
Jerk Stu: Damian, though it's very arguable. It is hard to tell if it's being played straight or not.
When he's written well, Riddler also becomes this, given his high level of intelligence. Unfortunately, this really depends on the writer and a lot of his stories don't highlight his intelligence very much. The most notable instance of him being this is Hush, where he was The Chessmaster behind everything, having manipulated the whole situation along with most of his fellow villains and managed to figure out Batman's identity. And the reason he did so? He just wanted to show everyone (Batman especially) that he could still be a threat, thus stroking his ego yet again.
Black Mask is very often this, managing to be both extremely charismatic and incredibly terrifying on his good days. He's also often shown to be very Genre Savvy. He once managed to push Catwoman to the brink of insanity, working off the fact that she was too much of Jerk with a Heart of Gold to properly retaliate. This ended up backfiring on him when he pushed her too far, causing her to snap and blow his head off.
The Great White Shark puts out a pretty good show in this department to. In one story he actually manipulated a deal with demons so that when he dies, he'll get to spend eternity tormenting all the other villains who were bastards to him.
Also Bane, one of the few villains to actually defeat Batman through a mixture of sheer wits and raw power.
Marty Stu: Batman is so Crazy-Prepared that he can seem like this at times, though the fandom tends to exaggerate his prowess to the point where the lines between what he can really do and what the fans think he can do tends to blur slightly. And when written by his fanboys he shows traits of:
My Real Daddy: While Jeph Loeb created the character, a good amount of fans feel Hush did not get really interesting until Paul Dini started writing the character.
A variant with Batman himself: while Bob Kane is always credited as his creator, his original version of the character was much different from the published character. Most of his well-known traits were created by Bill Finger. This is an interesting example where it was done before the character's first appearance.
Nowadays, there's a big split between which current writer deserves credit for Batman as a whole finding his voice. Frank Miller is credited for reintroducing Batman to his dark noir routes and bringing them into importance, Paul Dini gets credit for many stories which 'personify' Batman's strongest points, then Chuck Dixon for Batman's supporting cast's personality, role, and themes.
Then there's that nasty little joke from Kevin Smith's run insinuating that Batman actually wet his pants in one of the most famous scenes from Year One where he confronts the mafia for the first time.
Killer Moth is such a Butt MonkeyIneffectual Sympathetic Villain that it can be surprising for readers to learn that back when he first appeared he was an actual threat. In fact he was one of Batman's deadliest enemies yet, filling the role of the Anti-Batman. This all started, both in and out of universe, after Batgirl effortlessly kicked his ass on her first night out as a vigilante. Back than it was a bit of The Worf Effect; now it's treated as just another example of how pathetic he is.
Also the whole thing about Bane's Breaking of the Bat. Writers seem to like going back to that, and pretty much every time he appears outside of the mais comics continuity, they have him do the exact move in some form.
Paranoia Fuel: Doesn't matter if you're a good guy or a bad guy... Batman is watching you. ALWAYS WATCHING YOU.
Mad Hatter's hats can create vivid delusions that are nearly seamless. One popular episode of the animated series has him trap Batman in a paradise world where everything in Gotham is perfect and the sole thing that allows Batman to even notice anything wrong is his innate paranoia. Everything seen during his appearances could just be a fake world he's made.
In "Cacophony" Onomatopoeia disguises himself as a rookie superhero. The disguise works so well that he manages to get Batman to invite him to the Batcave and is only caught when makes a distinctive sound effect, at which point turns around to see him jabbing a three-inch bowie knife into a woman's neck.
Periphery Demographic: Batman sure has his lady fans. And judging by the large amount of officially licensed plushies, babydoll tees, and jewelry, DC is aware of this.
Replacement Scrappy: Why'd you think the fans voted for Jason Todd to be killed off in the first place?
When Cassandra Cain first appeared as Batgirl, she seemed to be a cliche Anti-Hero Substitute, and had to face an uphill battle against being called a God-Mode Sue. Once it was clear that yes, she was as much The Cape as they come, and no, illiteracy is not an easily-excusable Mary SueFlaw, it rather deflated. Barbara-as-Batgirl fans can still be a bit sore about her, though.
The second Ventiloquist hasn't been very well-received so far, as the perception is that rather than try to make her appealing in her own right, much of the focus has been on running down her predecessor to say how much better she is.
The third one that replaced both in the New 52 isn't very liked either. Apparently the writers caught on since both her and the second are either dead or ignored while the original is back in action.
Jason Todd has gone back to being this in the New52. In the wake of Dick's faked death, writers have attempted to re-integrate Jason back into the Bat family. However, he comes across as a poorly-written anti-heroic Dick, and his interactions with Bat family members often require them to act wildly out of character.
Steph replacing Cassandra as Batgirl wasn't well-received by all. Before that, her replacing Tim as Robin wasn't, either.
Jason Todd, for a short while anyway. Whether or not this has happened since his resurrection, he helped save friggin' Superman in For the Man Who Has Everything.
In the mini-series "The Cult", he also saved Batman's life, shook him out of a major BSOD, restored his faith in himself, and provided the impetus to save Gotham when Batman was ready to give up on it. Oh, and saved Batman's life again.
Also the Direct to DVD movie Batman: Under the Red Hood fixed a lot of the problems with the original story in which he came back and made him more sympathetic, resulting in more fans warming up to him in the comics.
Accomplished to such a degree with Damian that many who hated him are both surprised terrified with the fact that they are starting to LIKE him.
Flamebird. Due to her early Valley Girl nature and incompetence Post-Crisis, her clingy obsessive attitude, as well as being a retool of an already-campy character, fans didn't take to her very well. Geoff Johns and Ben Raab fleshed her out more in Beast Boy mini-series.
The Penguin went from being arguably Batman's number 1 villain during the Silver Age to being widely derided in the Dark Age. So what did the writers do? Give him a quasi-Heel-Face Turn and make him a wealthy nightclub owner who played a neutral role in the Gotham underworld. The fandom seems to like him again.
When she first became Batgirl, Steph became a Replacement Scrappy for Cass. After the first two story arcs, however, this died down a lot.
Hush was hated as a Villain Sue in his first appearance but was redeemed into a fairly cool villain after he was taken out of Jeph Loeb's hands.
Post-Crisis Jason Todd was hated by quite a few readers, to the point that fans eventually voted for him to be killed by the Joker. While an almost equal number of people voted to spare him (and at least three hundred of the votes were from the same caller), a LOT of people thought that the vote was for the first Robin, Dick Grayson, who was excessively popular amongst a lot of fans.
Funnily enough, he was brought back to life due to Alas, Poor Scrappy status, where he became an anti-hero Jerk Ass Woobie who was centre stage to a very well received storyline. However, poor use led to him landing right back into Scrappydom. He still has some fans at least.
The Riddler. Not as bad as most others, but is generally labelled as the lamest of the big name rogues, with a mental disorder (OCD) that many find dull in comparison to the others. Emphasizing him as a "technically legal" villain has since quieted some of them down. Though back in the Golden Age and Silver Age, he actually was one of the most popular villains, since many of the other rogues who supplanted him hadn't been invented yet and he was generally more competent. This was lampshaded by Neil Gaiman in Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader; an aging Riddler comments on how back in the day he was the big threat that Batman faced, yet now he seems like small fry when you've got maniacs like the Joker around.
Tim's ENTIRE personality and backstory in the New 52. Instead of being a nerdy, non-athletic and all-round Nice Guy who started out as a Dick Grayson fanboy, he's now an arrogant, friendless Olympic-level gymnast whose last name may not even be 'Drake', which means that he might not even be the real Tim Drake. And they've taken away his role as the third Robin — he was never Robin in this universe, adopting the Red Robin name from the start instead. Not surprisingly (and justifiably), fans went into a huge outrage over this development.
A number of fans of Cass and Steph are unwilling to see them in the New 52 because of the risk of this happening. If you believe him, Dan DiDio is also scared of this, and refuses to let them be published until they have 'the right story' to avoid doing them wrong.
Strawman Has a Point: Jason Todd, the second Robin. After having been killed by the Joker, he came back and went on a violent killing spree against criminals; convinced it is the only way to stop crime for good. In the climax, he defends his stance to Batman by pointing out that in not killing the Joker, Batman essentially guarantees the Joker will claim more victims. Batman replies he will not kill the Joker because it would be too easy the next time. While Jason is a typical strawman of heroes willing to kill by being a total psychopath, his comments about the Joker were sound, even going as far as pointing out the slippery-slope fallacy of Batman's counterargument.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Most of the Club of Heroes members languished in obscurity for years despite the loads of potential they had. Grant Morrison made a point to bring them back in his Batman run and gave them a massive boost in popularity but for whatever reason few writers since have bothered to give them any acknowledgement.
Onomatopoeia hasn't been seen since "The Widening Gyre" despite being considered an awesome villain who's really popular with fans.
Unfortunate Implications: Concerning Cassandra Cain—A female character that's more skilled than Batman? Quick! Turn her into a one-dimensional villain, make her so weak that even Tim Drake can beat her and make her moody! And while we're at it, a popular Asian character? Quick, let's replace her with someone with Blond Hair and Blue Eyes.
Batman's two biological children, Helena and Damian, assert that being his real children make them more worthy of being Robin, Helena going so far as to say that her father would settle for nothing less. The unfortunate part comes in where nothing in the story or out seeks to contradict this; DC seems to implicitly agree that actually having Batman's DNA somehow makes them better than the other Bat characters, especially considering that Helena Wayne's existence relegated Helena Bertinelli to a dead stolen identity. Given how Damian's regular abuse towards Tim for being adopted also was never really stopped, it can lead to some hard feelings for children who're adopted.
The Batman sidekick or spinoff characters who survived the reboot: we have 4/4 male Robins, 1/3 Batgirls (2/4 if you count Bette Kane), and 1/2 Huntresses. Apparently, when it comes to the lady bats, There Can Be Only One!
Given that most of his enemies tend to be people suffering from mental illness, you can easily interpret a message saying 'everyone with mental issues is a psycho killer', along with the idea that psychological rehabilitation doesn't work and the only solution is to lock them up or people will die.
Well, it is "Arkham Asylum for the criminally insane"
Occasionally, they'll bring in the idea that the only reason crime is so bad is because of the poor economy, and most criminals on the streets besides the insane ones are motivated by their poor living conditions. Given that Jason and Stephanie, the only family members from a poor background, are often ignored in favour of the middle to upper class Bat Family, it essentially comes off as saying poor people WILL commit crime if the rich don't beat them and keep them in their place. Its definitely not the intention, but its easy to notice.
For the most part Jason's death is treated as if it's his fault. Even in his own comics, even he seems to believe this at times. Therefore "Victim Shaming" is in play. People still say he died because he "disobeyed orders" (which should be noted as something that ALL the Robins have done) and was reckless when really he had been trying to save his mother who then betrayed him to the Joker. Meanwhile Bruce had a gut feeling that he should have turned back and not leave Jason on his own but instead of following his instincts he ignored them and it prevented him from getting to Jason on time. Meaning pretty much nothing was actually his fault in terms of his death and makes the numerous times where the writer (and therefore the characters in-story) try to pass it off as if it is his fault relatively disturbing to anyone who knows, what "Victim Shaming" is or have experienced it themselves.
They try to victim shame him so much that they pretty much turn a blind eye to the canon A Death in the Family provides, often times to make Jason look bad and the other Robins look good.
This does a pretty damn good job at explaining it.
DC is so dedicated to victim shaming Jason that they actually claim he was responsible not only for his death in-universe, but in real life as well. In the forward to the trade paperback for A Death in the Family, Denny O'Neil writes that Jason, the fictional character, drove his own story. Not the fact that Jim Starlin, who hated the character, wrote him to be as obnoxious as possible, or even that the phone poll went that way. Jason the fictional character took control of his own destiny.
Its not just Jason, Stephanie also gets a lot of Victim Shaming for her death as well. While she did steal Batman's contingency plan and try to put it into place which kicked off the gang war that lead to her death, everything that lead to it only happened because Bruce didn't give her the basic information that he gave the other Robins. The plan failed because it required Matches Malone to be part of it, but Steph wasn't informed that Malone is a cover identity of Batmans, nor was she given other basic information like who Selina Kyle was, or many other details. This, despite the fact he apparently trusted her enough to use his computers and thus able to access his contingency plans, and that he fired her as Robin for not listening to one of his orders, even though doing so basically saved Batman's life, right after she spent two issues demonstrating her competence as Robin. Essentially, the whole Gang War started because Batman never gave Steph the same chance or trust he gave the others, yet its her fault for not just accepting his unfair dismissal.
In The New52, the Bat family consists of four white, black-haired, blue-eyed males, and one female. Three notable members/allies (Cassandra Cain, Helena Bertinelli, and Stephanie Brown) had been retconned out of existence, while Jason Todd, who had been a recurring villain, is now part of the "family". Furthermore, two of the male members (Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne) are mixed race by canon, but are frequently drawn as Caucasian.
Villain Sue: A common complaint about Hush from Jeph Loeb's "Hush" story arc. He comes out of nowhere, is said to be is an important childhood friend of Bruce's (despite never being previously mentioned) to the point where it's implied that something he said partly influenced Bruce's methods as Batman, one of the world's best surgeons (again, never mentioned before) and he is able to plant something in Bruce's head which is undetectable, which allows him to figure out that Bruce is Batman... Yeah... He got better under other writers though.
Ho Yay: Obvious. Three bachelors in one house, and two of them wear tights.
Also, in the pilot, the Riddler is really excited by seeing his assistant dress up as Robin and pose in a somewhat seductive fashion.
Ink Stain Adaptation: The 60s TV interpretation of Batman still lingers on as some people's view of the character, despite several adaptations and major character changes since. This has continued to the extent that Warner Bros. Consumer Products has approached Adam West and 20th Century Fox (producers of the TV show) in 2012 about producing merchandise based on the TV shows. (Also, greeting cards from Hallmark tend to follow the Adam West design, which most closely resembled the traditional comic book design.) The Jim Holmes incident may further encourage this revival of the West version. It should be noted that the TV series was a distillation of the very silliest of The Comics Code/Silver Age era Batman comics, roughly late '50s to mid '60s. In fact some say that the later (1970s-80s) portrayals of Batman were a backlash against the show. In Amazing Heroes#119 in 1987 (two years before the Michael Keaton film), Max Allan Collins had an interview. He said the following:
“I’m afraid what I’m running smack up into is the old Batman TV show controversy: the old business about, Gee that was a TV show that made fun of Batman and made fun of comic books, so we have to show people that Batman and comic books are serious and they’re adult and accordingly all the fun goes out of it. There was a reason why that TV show was played for laughs and that is when you put actual human beings in those costumes and act out those stories, it looks stupid. They betray their juvenile roots. It can’t be done straight. I defy them to do the movie straight”.
In some ways, Batman was an ink stain for the genre of Western superheroes. Until 2000 or so, when superhero movies started being huge, any outside journalism on the genre would feature "Biff! Pow!" in the headline, as if Adam West was the last word on the subject.
Notably, The Dark Age of Comic Books may have revitalized interest in the show as a backlash against all the grimdarkness. Batman: The Brave and the Bold was something of a love letter to both the show and Silver Age DC comics, and even included episodes written by Paul Dini, who had done plenty of serious work for the comparatively serious Batman: The Animated Series. Also, DC Comics debuted Batman '66, which treats the TV show as an alternate universe, in 2013 to modest success and critical praise.
Memetic Mutation: The aforementioned catch phrases of Robin and the announcer. (Notably, these became memetic long before the invention of the Internet.)
"Ualuealuealeuale!", a musical meme combining a loop of Batman bobbing his head like a drunkard while performing the Batusi dance with the incomprehensible hook of the El Chombo single "Chacarron Macarron." The Batusi itself is also a meme.
"Good thinking, Batman!" remains a popular response in the UK when someone suggests a Zany Scheme.
Narm: It's probably intentional, but Batman and Robin throw around anvils like there's no tomorrow in the narmiest way possible. They include Robin not being allowed to go into a bar because he is underage (even though he needs to go in there to catch a villain) and Batman being very adamant that someone who regularly pays their taxes can't possibly commit a crime.
Popularity Polynomial: The popularity, or lack thereof, of the show among "serious" comics fans definitely waxes and wanes.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: After Adam West was largely supplanted as the iconic Batman by darker versions, people seem generally more accepting of the series as an alternate take. It helps that fans finally figured out it was supposed to be funny.
Rooting for the Empire: One of the things the series was best known for was the large variety of colorful villains. In fact, some of them won Emmys.
Seasonal Rot: This series' first season had fairly good balance of drama and farce, but the subsequent seasons lost it; Season 2 became primarily ridiculous, and Season 3 was both embarrassingly cheap and ridiculous.
The often sexist way Batman would talk to Batgirl in the 3rd season,often telling her they can handle the caper themselves (sometimes after she rescued them), not thanking her sometimes when she did save them and instead commenting she should have gotten there quicker and the times Batman would say "she'd best leave crime fighting to the men. This kind of activity is not meant for women." Plus the episode: "Nora Clavicle and the Ladies' Crime Club." That episode would not fly today.
Weird Al Effect: The show was an (intentional) over-the-top satire of the comic book, but now people seem to think of the show as the 1960s serious representation of Batman.
What an Idiot: In "Flop Goes The Joker," Bruce Wayne talking to Robin about not wanting Joker's mooks or Joker to put two and two together by seeing Wayne and Robin together too much... within earshot of two mooks who were pinned to the wall with knives! Louder, Wayne! The Joker might have been eavesdropping!
Badass Decay: Despite having a minor role and being not as trim and fit as in the comics, Commisioner Gordon is perfectly competent in the Burton movies, but in the Shumacher films he's turned into a joke.
Base Breaker: Michael Keaton being cast as Batman was this back in 1989, and now after all these years fans still divided over him, perhaps even more so now thanks to the Christopher Nolan Batman films starring Christian Bale. Some fans still insist Keaton was, is and will always be the one true honest, most perfect definitive Batman and that no one else will ever surpass him and hate on Bale for not sounding like Kevin Conroy, while other fans still feel Keaton was miscast and will always feel he was miscast and prefer Bale for being a closer physical match to Batman's comic book self and for playing up both sides of the persona. And then there are fans who don't like either actor in the role, and there are fans who like both actors in the role, and others who feel Keaton did well enough with what he had.
The "mime assassins" at Ricorso's killing. They are never seen again after that scene, and are only vaguely referred to by Mayor Borg as "these gangsters." It was probably intended to be understood that these were the Joker's usual henchmen disguised as mimes, but the movie never makes that explicit.
The "Partyman" sequence in the museum could also qualify. Although it is indeed foreshadowed ("Daddy's going to make some art, darling") and serves a purpose in bringing the Joker and Vicki Vale together, it otherwise contributes nothing to the plot and is never mentioned again once Batman shows up. (Outside of the movie, this scene was just inserted to get one of the songs by pop star Prince incorporated into the movie's soundtrack.)
Complete Monster: Though The Joker/Jack Napier may not have been quite as gritty in his approach, the sheer scope of his reign of terror puts him on more or less the same level as his counterpart in The Dark Knight. Even before his transformation, Jack Napier was outright horrible: he was the one who murdered Bruce Wayne's parents, and if his accomplice hadn't yelled at Jack to get out of there, the psycho would have killed young Bruce as well. As The Joker, he intends to poison all the Gothamites with Smylex Gas for no other reason than his own amusement; has three mob bosses killed (with him even joking about their deaths, at least one of which he involved himself in by electrocuting a mob boss with enough voltage to turn him into a charred skeleton after claiming that shaking his hand will be the end of it if he refuses to agree with the Joker). He also disfigured and killed Alicia Hunt under the guise of suicide to free himself for Vicki Vale ("You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs."); gasses an art gallery full of people to death just to have some "alone time" with Vicki Vale; and puts the components of Smylex into different cosmetics to cause random city-wide deaths just to make the people panic. He even cold-bloodedly guns down his best and only friend, Bob the Goon, just to vent his anger over Batman ruining the above attempt to gas everyone at the parade.
Crosses the Line Twice/Nightmare Fuel: In what was perhaps the movie's most infamous scene, the Joker electrocutes Tony Rotelli with a "real" joybuzzer and then briefly chats with his burned, husked, and still-smoking corpse, acting as if the dead man is still alive. Kids in the audience couldn't watch that scene for years afterwards!
Fanon: While Jack Napier's partner who grabbed Mrs. Wayne's pearls is generally believed to be Bob, several fans assume him to be Joe Chill; not even the script names him.
Fountain of Memes: Aside from the catchphrases, the Joker's initial reaction to seeing his new face (smashing the mirror, giggling madly) became widely imitated. (Example: Lisa Simpson seeing her braces.)
"Ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight?"
Harsher in Hindsight: Batman's entire origin story becomes significantly harsher after the events of the Aurora theater shooting. It's even worse in this adaptation because of the fact that The Joker was responsible for creating Batman in the Burton/Schmaucher film continuity, since the madman who shot up the Aurora theater based his actions on The Joker.
It could be argued that, for the characters in the movie at least, the Joker at first appears to be a sort of Bully Hunter, since at first he stalks and murders only ruthless mobsters - guys whom all the decent people of Gotham want to see dead, but whom not even Batman will bring himself to kill (which, yes, in that context would make the Joker more heroic than Batman!). Only with his gassing of the news broadcast does the Joker move on to killing innocent people.
Narm: The Curb-Stomp Battle in the bell tower where Batman gets thoroughly and completely destroyed in the most humiliating fashion imaginable by the thug who looks like a fat Ray Charles is supposed to be powerful and intense and terrifying but comes off being more unintentionally funny due the poor staging and choreography - made even funnier by the fact that the thug really does look like a fat Ray Charles and considering that Batman is supposedly the greatest hand to hand combatant in town and he's getting beaten up by a guy who probably never made it to the fifth grade. The most he manages to do before ultimately killing the fat thug is kick him in the shoulder, only to have his attack bounce off, and then the rest is pretty much Batman getting smacked around like a 90 lbs weakling. (And while some deaths in Batman movies can be said to be Batman "not saving" people, him throwing this guy down the tower shaft is unquestionably a case of him simply killing someone.) And when you have Batman turning around a few seconds later and dealing out a major ass whooping to the Joker, then the Dark Knight's own defeat at the hands of the fat thug looks even more ridiculous. The fact that Batman is getting his ass handed to him while ballet music plays in the background doesn't help either. Also very Narm-worthy is a close up of Batman having a freaked out Oh, Crap look on his face when the thug has him in a headlock just before he really gets down to business - it's not pretty... nor is it as frightening as it's meant to be. Though it's hard to take the Ray Charles thug seriously when he's grunting and panting like a dog in heat.
Alfred leading Vicki into the Bat-Cave might be this as well.
In said Bat-Cave scene Vicki says to Bruce "I've loved you since I met you..." when their relationship seems based mostly on a one night stand. Seems Bruce must be great in bed...
The use of Prince songs was cringe-inducing enough at the time, and is now even worse as they instantly date the film every time they appear.
No Problem with Licensed Games: Most games based on the movie, either on consoles or computers, were actually quite well received. The NES, Sega Genesis and Amiga versions in particular are remembered by many retro gamers.
Romantic Plot Tumor: The amount of time focused on Bruce's relationship with Vicki - who is also desired by Knox and the Joker - makes this subplot come across as this to some viewers.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The first film was unique at the time. Comic book movies, and there weren't that many of them then, had never been so darkly elaborate before. It was also by far the darkest take on Batman beyond the actual comics. But after both the DCAU take on the characters and the Christopher Nolan reboot proved to be exceptional adaptations in their own right, and the lingering bad aftertaste of Schumacher's sequels tainted the series' reputation, it's harder to appreciate the Burton films for what they were/are.
What an Idiot: The first of the Joker's three goons at the top of the cathedral tries to take Batman down with a bunch of back flipping jump knife kick attack, but Batman calmly defeats him by just punching him in the crotch - as if such an over the top attack would work on Batman of all people.
The second of Joker's three goons at the top of the cathedral is a big fat guy who tries to jump down on him from a higher platform. And promptly falls through the floor before Batman even has time to turn around, since his weight is just too much for the old rotted wood to support when he lands. Also qualifies as a Funny Moment.
When Batman is fighting the third goon, the one who looks like a fat Ray Charles (see Narm above) at one point he actually tries what the second goon tried to do him - Batman actually tries jumping onto the guy, and not even having the good sense try jumping him from behind. What happens? The third goon simply grabs Batman in mid air and throws him into a rotted wooden staircase. And then he kicks Batman's ass in the most unintentionally hilarious way imaginable. And then Batman kills him.
The third goon himself engineers his own death right after he gets done kicking Batman's ass - after kneeing Batman in his crotch with enough force to send him into the bell and then down the tower shaft the goon is actually dumb enough to look down as if to make sure he's dead. And then Batman throws his legs around the goon's head, and for some strange reason the goon is suddenly too weak to pull Batman's legs off. Batman then very slowly pulls the goon forward, bangs his head into the bell - and the goon is actually whimpering like a little kid who just scraped his knee as he struggles to pull Batman's legs off - and then pulls him all the way down and sends him falling to his death. Granted, he had it coming...
WTH, Casting Agency?: Michael Keaton so thoroughly proved the naysayers wrong that, in hindsight, it's hard to remember just how bizarre casting a famously mild, unimposing comedic actor as a grim, Frank Miller-inspired version of Batman seemed at the time. Thousands of fans wrote letters to Warner Bros. protesting the choice before the movie's release, and Keaton himself initially thought that his being cast for the part meant that the film would be taking its cues from the TV series.
Cool as the Batsuit looks in the movie, it was so stiff that Michael Keaton could barely move. The first time he tried to turn his head he completely ripped the cowl in half, then he had to develop a movement style that didn't involve turning his head. To Keaton's credit, the lack of mobility wasn't terribly noticeable until the second Tim Burton film.
One moment has Batman turning to face The Joker - the 180 whiparound as to not damage the cowl made it look cool,.
The Problem with Licensed Games: In general, Bats has had more luck with this than most superheroes; his first NES outing by Sunsoft is considered one of the finest Nintendo Hard-in-a-good-way platformers, his 16-bit games tended to be at least okay (though this is the time period which The Angry Video Game Nerd found the most to object to), and the ArkhamSeries proved that licensed games don't have to be bad. He has still had some stinkers, though (like a few of the aforementioned 16-bit era games, or the Commodore 64 game, which looked cool but was a nightmare to actually play). Then there's Batman Dark Tomorrow, which is generally considered to be one of the worst DC Comics- inspired video games period. Other Bat-titles (Batman Begins, Batman Vengeance, and Rise of Sin Tzu) have fallen somewhere in the middle with mixed reception.