Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / Batman

Go To

New examples on the bottom.

    open/close all folders 

     Who are Flamebird's parents? 
  • I always assumed her father was Phillip Kane but he's apparently not. Who then who are her parents?
    • If it's not Phillip, then Nathan is the only other known possibility for her father.

     Batman using guns 
  • So, Batman Does Not Like Guns. Okay, fine. Yet he uses a harpoon GUN to help him fight crime. Okay, maybe he just has a thing against bullets maybe? Yet, he also has no problems attaching machine guns, rockets, and lasers to his various vehicles. I've even seen a Silver Age story with him using a gas gun!
    • His dislike of guns isn't some pathological hatred for anything that can possibly be described as one. It means he isn't going to use guns to shoot people. Simple as that.
      • I always assumed it was because any guns used in a crime, even in self-defense, get looked at by the cops and have to be registered. Since Bruce Wayne couldn't register guns to Batman, he just doesn't use them.
      • It varies Depending on the Writer. Sometimes he has an intense hatred of them (Batman: The Animated Series), sometimes he doesn't because he refuses to use lethal force (a fair amount of the comics) other times he uses them if they aren't used to kill people (the Nolan trilogy), other times he uses them against people with the intent to kill as long as he doesn't hold the gun himself (Tim Burton films).
      • He doesn't like guns...and yet his utility belt is full of pointy, bladed things and explosives. Oddly, he doesn't seem to have a problem throwing THEM at people.
      • Yes, because it's unbelievably difficult to kill someone with a throwing star if you're trying to, and his explosives are low-yield.
      • He typically uses those explosives on supervillains. Why would he bother with low yield?
      • Well, the "he doesn't want to kill anyone" point, but also, it's hard to control the effects of explosives, and the higher the yield, the higher the risk of people other than the target (including himself) getting caught up in the blast or ensuing shrapnel and possibly killed or seriously injured. Using a low-yield explosive ensures that the blast is smaller, there's less shrapnel, and consequently less chance that people will get hurt or killed.
    • He typically uses a harpoon gun to reach otherwise inaccessible locations or to transport himself quickly around the rooftops of Gotham City, it's not like he's shooting all his enemies with harpoons instead of bullets. There's a bit of a difference.

     Batman with a yellow ring 
  • What would happen if Batman got his hands on a yellow ring and was willing to use it? The man is already terrifying.
    • I recall in one Green Lantern story (maybe Sinestro Corps War?), a yellow ring tried to nab him, but he fought it off. But in answer to your question: assuming he accepted it, he'd become Batman...with a yellow power ring. Which sounds practically unstoppable, really.
      • That was in an issue leading up to Sinestro Corps War. The ring chose him and tried to welcome him to the Sinestro Corps, but Bruce fought it off and it went on its way, leaving him to wonder just what that thing had been.
      • The ring went straight for him, then veered off suddenly because Batman had absorbed too much willpower energy over the years from close proximity to Green Lantern rings. A yellow ring, later on, ended up choosing Jonathan "Scarecrow" Crane instead.
    • Batman has used a yellow ring—specifically one meant to be a fail-safe against Green Lantern. He makes fairly effective use of it considering its low charge, but according to Sinestro, he resists its power too much to tap into it fully.
    Sinestro: If you allowed yourself to fully embrace fear, you would have the power you desperately crave. Ironically, the power you're afraid of having. Mm. What a wonderful Yellow Lantern you would make.

     Ivy and kids 
  • Poison Ivy is always talking about how she wants kids. Why doesn't she simply adopt?
    • She kinda wouldn't be able to, seeing that most of her time outside of jail is spent as a wanted fugitive. Not that any sane adoption agency would deem her mentally fit to be a parent. If she tried any less-than-legal methods of adoption, it would be kidnapping, which would just lead to Batman catching her and throwing her in jail.
      • No sane American adoption agency. She could try a Russian one, front the twenty grand, and bam, kid. Or she could go down to Jamaica or Haiti and pay fifty bucks for a kid off the street. After that, stay out of Gotham, and Batman wouldn't do anything about it. Hell, if she took care of the kid properly, he might even approve.
      • Considering this is Poison Ivy we are talking about here, nobody would for a second think Ivy wouldn't turn the child into a plant person, which goes well beyond what Batman would approve of.
      • Batman has no jurisdiction.
      • No, but he does have priorities. I'm not saying Ivy taking a kid and mutating them wouldn't rank fairly highly on those priorities, but he obviously can't be everywhere at once and he can't keep tabs on all of his rogues all the time. His focus is Gotham and what goes on there. If Ivy slips down to Jamaica, off Batman's radar, grabs a kid(either by paying the $50 average they sell them for or by killing whoever's doing the selling), then runs off into the jungle to raise the little tyke in her new tropical paradise, Batman would be none the wiser.
      • Actually there's a comic I think from the No Man's Land series that shows Ivy caring for some abandoned street kids and Batman is actually ok with that as he realizes that she's doing a better job than just letting them be stray.
    • Maybe she just wants the kid to be her own flesh and blood, you know. Although if she really did want kids that much she would likely have found one way or another already.
      • I believe it's stated that she's sterile. So no, she couldn't have.
    • Maybe she's just accepted starting a family is unrealistic, even if she wants to.
    • This is also, to a degree, Depending on the Writer. Some writers stress Ivy's maternal instincts to provide an element of pathos and tragedy to the characters. Others downplay it in favor of, well, mass-murdering plant-themed sociopathic craziness. It's not like Ivy's desire for kids is a fundamental part of her character from the beginning, it's just one writer's take is all.

     Walking through alley in origin 
  • I love Batman but, why in God's name would you take your wife and son through a dark alley in a not-so-nice neighborhood?
    • Back then, Crime Alley wasn't as bad as it was during the Batman years, it was just Park Row. The Waynes just wanted to take a shortcut to get back to their car. And the odds of getting jumped in a dark alley in a major city are actually kinda low. And depending on the continuity, the mugger was sent to kill the Wayne family or the mugger just wanted to cover his tracks/get some extra cash.
      • Why a shortcut, they don't have a parked car they could have asked Alfred to drive in front of the theater to pick them up.
      • How? There were no cell phones back then. Although this is going to be an issue in some 30 years when Batman gets rebooted and the origin story is told again.
      • In some retellings, most notably Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Bruce was the one who (accidentally) led his family down the alley, because he was too busy play-acting Zorro to pay attention to where he was going.
      • This made more sense in the Golden Age. They were walking home from the movies along Park Row because that's where they lived. Bruce Wayne purchased Wayne Manor as an adult. Multiple retellings and retcons drain the sense of this origin story.
    • In Batman Begins, they're seeing an opera together when Bruce gets scared (remember he's like 8 years old), so he asks his parents to take him home. They take the first door they find, which unexpectedly leads to an alley.
    • Everybody calls the place CRIME ALLEY. I mean, there's your frickin' clue train pulled right up to the station. Even in the Batman Begins example, turning around and not going through it once you see that's where the door leads is an option. There's just no excuse.
    • In many continuities, "Crime Alley" only gets that name after the murder of the Waynes, to begin with (its official name is "Park Row"). To the Waynes, before Joe Chill shows up, it's just a shortcut on the way home. So yes, there is an excuse.

     Robin as Nightwing 
  • Here's something I've been thinking about for the last couple of years about Nightwing. We all know, and most of the hero population knows, that he was the original Robin. Does the general public know? I mean, not that he's Dick Grayson, but that he was the original Boy Wonder.
    • It's a complicated question. Before Zero Hour, yes. Robin/Nightwing was well known as the leader of the Teen Titans, which was reasonably well-respected as a superhero team. After Zero Hour, however, the entire Batman family was retconned into being—and always has been—thought of as an urban legend by the general populace, hotly debated as existing or not. That being the case, the answer is probably no, because people weren't even certain Robin existed until some time after Tim Drake took over the suit (during War Games, I believe). But since War Games, there's been Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis, which changed some history around.
    • In the Dead Robin storyline of Gotham Central set shortly before Infinite Crisis, it was not even widely known that there were multiple Robins (a Reporter goes on about how it's obvious given how Robin got shorter every few years, and he even saw a girl wonder briefly, but it was news to the detective he was talking to). So while it is widely known throughout the hero community and likely suspected by many civilians and villains, the wider DC Universe does not know.
    • On the other hand, while Dick was Batman, he interrogated Joker in GCPD headquarters (presumably recorded, though Barbara could have handled that), and taunted Joker that he had been fighting him since he was 10. Therefore, he made no great secret that the new Batman was once Robin. The subtle revelation was one of the tactics that he used to gain Gordon's trust (after failing to do so in Knightfall by pretending to be Bruce).
  • In the New 52 continuity Nightwing's identity was exposed during the Forever Evil event and Dick is no longer using that name. The general public does not know that Nightwing used to be Robin, as that would have exposed Batman's secret identity too.
    • Are you seriously telling me that nobody can put two and two together and go "Huh, Bruce Wayne's adopted son was a gadget-using superhero that fought crime in a method quite similar to Batman, both Grayson, and Batman would require massive amounts of money, and interestingly, the Batman gained a sidekick right after adopting Dick?" Yeah, no, exposed in any world where everyone isn't brain-damaged.
      • There's a very convincing fan theory that says that everyone (in Gotham at least) knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman, is just that no one really does anything about it. Normal people feel safe with Batman around, but the police can't really do anything about it (I mean even if they want and even if charges can be presented you would have to arrest Batman and/or face one of the richest men alive on trial), common criminals and supervillains can't really do much about it either, what are they gonna do? Kill Alfred and then face the possible wrath of a Batman that might decide to remove his no-killing rule. So basically is like an Ironman situation but more into "we play around and let you think we don't know".

     Batman as an Urban Legend 
  • The Urban legend thing caused a major headscratcher with Tim Drake's origin. Tim deduced that Batman and Robin were Bruce and Dick when he saw TV footage of them apprehending the Penguin and recognized the quadruple somersault that Robin did as one he saw Dick do at Haly's circus years earlier. Then with zero hours Batman had never been so much photographed, much less captured on video...
    • The whole "Bat-Family Urban Legend" thing was poorly implemented from the start. It's easy to see what they were trying to accomplish with it: make Batman more mysterious and dark by eliminating past events like Batman accepting the key to the city and being in parades. But they still tried to keep it up. War Games was the "end" of the urban legend thing, but that happened only a few (real-time) years before Infinite Crisis. Even if they tried to limit Batman's appearances in the first couple of Justice League teams, he was a well-known member of Justice League International. And during Grant Morrison's JLA days, he was prominently featured on posters with the rest of the League. With the post-Infinite Crisis continuity, the whole "urban legend" thing is forever gone, so to answer the original question: yes, people know that Nightwing was the first Robin in a new identity. He was Robin in the New Teen Titans and debuted as Nightwing, so the public would know that it's Robin in a new identity instead of allowing a new guy to lead the Titans.
    • Actually, I could've seen Batman as being thought of as an Urban Legend during the early days of his career (i.e., during Year One, The Long Halloween, etc). But at some point (Depending on the Writer), people eventually discover that he's real.
    • That's what I was trying to say: DC thought that a character like Batman should be dark and mysterious. But they had events in his past where he accepts keys to the city, participates in parades, hangs out in the open with Superman, and has posters of him which are all over every teenaged boy and girl across America to name such. Zero Hour could have (and very arguably, should have) gotten rid of that. It would have been easy to accept Batman being an urban legend at the start of his career; a good chunk of works covering his early years make it very important. But what Zero Hour tried to sell us was that after around... what 10 years?, no normal human in the world, including Gotham, believed that Batman existed. This meant that Batman was pretty much removed from the early incarnations of the JLA, but also that we were supposed to buy that no one was supposed to believe that Batman and the rest of the Bat Family existed, despite the Teen Titans, Young Justice, and the extremely media public Justice League International and JLA having at least one or more of the Bat-Family on any one of those various teams. So in short, making Batman's beginning years much more mysterious wasn't the problem, but trying to make the Bat Family an urban legend in the present when all the laws of causality state that people should accept the Bat Family exists, especially since multiple public Batman sightings was a major plot point during the No Man's Land arc, was.
    • If it counts, in Batman: Under the Red Hood, a random thug DOES know that Nightwing used to be Robin somehow and he explains it to his fellow-criminal buddy.
      • Well, let's face it, it's not that hard to figure out- Robin is obviously going to get older, and the moment he disappears a new crimefighter who looks just like him in a new costume (complete with Domino mask), has much the same attitude and fighting style, and still acts as Batman's partner appears out of the blue filling his role. Then some time later Robin shows up again but is obviously a new, younger Robin. All the major villains who fight them regularly will figure this out quickly, and it's not like any of the heroes are going to hide the fact, especially since Nightwing will probably make remarks to all the criminals he has beaten up before, including low-level mooks that he and Batman beat the crap out of every other day. You don't have to be a genius to realize they are the same person.
    • In "Batman Reborn", it is pretty strongly implied towards the end that Gordon realizes that the new Batman was Nightwing and Robin before that. In fact, throughout the Bat-Grayson era, there were repeated hints that Gordon knows Dick's (and therefore Bruce's) identity and has for a long time.
    • On the flip side, in Gotham Central's Dead Robin storyline, one of the main characters is surprised to learn that there had been multiple Robins. A reporter fills him in on the fact that there were at least three, and for a short time, there was "Robin the girl wonder".

    Batman's Nemesis is a Clown 
  • Batman is the greatest detective in the DCU. He's gone all over the world and trained his whole life to become the best at, well, everything. He's one of the top 30 martial artists, he's armed to the teeth with advanced technology and all the resources of a multi-billion-dollar corporation and fanatically devoted to stopping crime. So frankly, it's always bugged me that his main opponent is a clown... who likes to kill. And that's it. Sure, it's been turned around into some really good stories, but that's just writers fleshing it out, instead of the concept being that great itself. For ultimately, his nemesis is...a clown. Who likes to kill? Ra's al Ghul is a much, much better opposite number for Batman's main nemesis.
    • Because Batman is such a badass detective, all of the brilliant, sane, Moriarty-type foes were handled a long time ago. The ones left over are the crazy, unpredictable villains that normal detective work is useless against.
    • The thing that makes the Joker Batman's most dangerous foe is that all of the detective skills and whatnot you mentioned of Batman's are absolutely useless against him under most circumstances. The Joker has no psychology, in the same sense of the word that everyone else does. (This is explained, brilliantly, in more detail in the uber-classic graphic novel Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth.) You can't understand him; you can't predict him; you know nothing of his past; little about him gives you the leeway of consistency (except for his consistent inconsistency).
    • The Joker is supposed to symbolize the ridiculousness of a man dressing up as a bat and fighting crime. He points this out frequently. I find him to be the proper arch-nemesis to Batman; they're both equally crazy, except that one of them is functionally so.
    • That's because the Joker isn't just "a clown... who likes to kill." He is Batman's opposite. Batman is dark but good, the Joker is light but very, very bad. As has been noted, they're different sides to a similar mania.
    • Similarly, both of them had "one bad day" where they lost a family and were driven insane by the experience. The difference is what they did with it; Joker rejected any idea of morality and lives to prove no one is truly a decent person, Batman strives to bring justice to Gotham and believes Thou Shalt Not Kill above all else. Batman has to beat the Joker by his rules to prove they're absolute, Joker commits atrocity after atrocity to drag Batman down into abandoning his morals and killing him. They're on opposite sides of an ideological war, and each represents everything the other hates. The full story (ish)'s here.
    • Most supervillains tend to be very similar to their superhero in their origins but differ greatly in style. Nearly all of Batman's enemies are batshit insane: Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Hush, Two-Face, Clayface, and most of the others. It just works better because they make excellent foils to Batman's seriousness.
      • Lex Luthor is an incredibly rich genius who, in a world without Superman, would be the greatest Ubermensch humanity has ever seen. Most alternate continuities have Luthor as the world's greatest leader, without Superman's existence to hold him back. Some comics theorize that Luthor's entire problem with Superman is that Supes is a God and he, being born a man, can not possibly eclipse that— and it's friggin' unfair! Lex to Superman is Satan to God in "Paradise Lost".
      • There's also the fact that Superman is physically powerful, while Lex is intellectually and financially powerful. The maneuvering Lex does behind the scenes is what made it so that Superman couldn't truly beat him for a long time. He's like an evil Batman to some extent. Superman is more brawn than brain, and Lex is more brain than brawn, but neither is really lacking in their latter.
      • In some way LUTHOR is more the "opposite side" of Batman than the Joker. Ironic for Superman in that both his archenemy and his closest friend (at least in the superhero community) are both polymath geniuses with no superpowers and an unlimited line of credit.
      • I would just like to point out: Harleen Quinzel (Harley Quinn) is NOT insane, she's only in Arkham to keep tabs on Poison Ivy.
      • She went insane. Thanks to Puddin'.
      • I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but it's pretty easy to make a case for Harley's being insane...
      • Many of Batman's iconic villains, though, are either sane (Penguin, Catwoman, Bane) or high-functioning (Riddler). Many of them are dark reflections of Batman in other ways; Penguin envies Bruce Wayne, Bane envies Batman, Catwoman is a thief Batman, Riddler is the great mystery to oppose the great detective, etc.
      • It's pretty clear that the insanity plea works differently in Gotham. After all, our own real-life crazy that thought he was The Joker couldn't succeed with an insanity plea.
    • Please note that the Joker is also one of the extremely few people in the world who is as smart as Batman. Add in that he is absolutely unpredictable, and it's entirely reasonable that Batman sweats blood going up against him. Note that the main dramatic tension of a Joker storyline is hardly ever 'will Batman win the fight?', as it's a foregone conclusion that once Bruce gets in punching range the Joker's going to get his ass kicked into the next time zone. The main dramatic tension is figuring out what the hell the Joker is up to before he kills someone else.
      • It's important to note that the Joker scares the shit out of every other supervillain with only a few exceptions (like Lex Luthor). They all list the same reasons for fearing him too, namely his mania and unpredictability.
      • Even Luthor acknowledges that the Joker is a dangerous ally to have, and once gave his main reason for recruiting the Joker for his supervillain team-ups as that he'd rather have the Joker scheming how to torment his enemies than scheming how to get back at Luthor for the insult of not inviting him.
      • As shown by Trickster, in Underworld Unleashed, during those teamups of supervillains (Infinite Crisis, etc.), they would scare each other around the campfire by "telling Joker stories". The Joker is easily one of the most scary villains in the entire DCU, to the point where he frightens the crap out of bigger, badder villains. (I mean, street-level villains are afraid of him, not all super-villains. I doubt that Sinestro, Black Adam, or Darkseid is sitting around going "oh no, a guy with a skin condition and a handgun is gonna get me.")
    • The Joker is also one of the more realistic characters in Batman; his mundanity despite being horrific is what lends him so a menace, thus making him a threat due to simply being creeper. Also, the Joker, while not able to fight Batman hand to hand, is a chessmaster and a psycho at the same time, lending him potency.
    • Also important to note is that many of Batman's villains represent a little part of the Dark Knight. Scarecrow is how much he uses fear to his advantage. Riddler is for his critical thinking skills which make him the best detective in the DCU. Two-Face is his obsession with his dual identities, like how he says "There is no Bruce Wayne," and how he tries to put out a sense of order into the world. Mr. Freeze represents the tragic past of a loss of a loved one, how it can drive someone to a steely cold personality, and the theme of revenge. Hush and Black Mask are both "anti-Bruce Wayne's", with them killing their own parents and being very rich themselves. Ra's Al'Ghul carries a sympathetic crusade well past the point of sanity. The Joker is the only one who is the anti to everything Batman is, Comedy to Tragedy, Laughter to Gruffness, Evil to Good, Chaos to Order, etc. This shows just how similar they are as well, how both of them just had one bad day to make them who they are. This is what makes him his archenemy. Also, Ra's always seems "outside" the norm for Batman villains, for he never goes to Arkham.
      • I think Owlman (especially the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths version) is a good example of 'anti-Bruce Wayne'... he's Bruce Wayne if things turned out just a little differently. And if he was a sociopath.
      Batman: [to Owlman] There is a difference between you and me. We both looked into the abyss, but when it looked back, you blinked.
    • Batman once questioned himself, in TAS when Jim Gordon got shot, while Batman was visiting Crime Alley. He said that if you stare at the Abyss too long, it begin to stare back at you.
      • On a documentary on one of the DVDs, one of Batman's former writers made the observation that if you put Riddler and Two-Face together, you'd get Joker. I'd actually go so far as to say that if you put pretty much all of Batman's rogues gallery together, you'd get Batman or the Joker.
    • I'd hate to repeat others, but it's the truth: Joker is not just a clown who likes to kill. He stands for the opposite of what Batman stands for; Joker to cause chaos and Batman to keep order, etc. I like to put it this way, and Joker did too, somewhat; if Bruce had completely let himself sink into depression and found another way to deal with it instead of dressing as a bat with gadgets, Bruce could very well have become the Joker. To paraphrase:
      Joker: Everyone is just one bad day away from becoming like me.
  • Another thing is that, every other villain has some downfall that allows Batman to succeed, whether it be over strength, Batsy's will, his mind, but Joker... there's really nothing to prepare him to fight, he just has to go in.. That's what makes Joker so fitting of Batman's rival; his insanity AND his intelligence keep him level with Bruce, something other villains can't do!
  • Because the Joker was Batman's well-established nemesis practically from very early on. He was his most recognizable enemy from the golden and the silver ages of comic books. So, as long as he's so popular with the readers, it's sort of difficult to drop a bridge on him or demote him to lesser status within the rogues gallery.
  • Ultimately, for all the in-story explanations or fan justifications, it's just one of those things. Sometimes an unexpected idea clicks, or two characters work together well, or the audience just latches onto something and you find that it works well. Sometimes making your dark noir pulp hero's enemy a mad clown reaps an unexpected harvest. To take another perhaps unlikely example, I imagine few on the Doctor Who production team at the time thought that the weird egg-cup shaped wheelie-bins with plungers and egg-whisks for arms that were thrown together for one story would become the Doctor's most iconic and greatest foes either, and yet fifty-odd years later the Daleks are still a thing.

     Why isn't Cassandra in more things? 
  • Sort of a meta one: Cassandra Cain has been around for 10 years (well, as of this July according to Wikipedia). How come the closest thing she's gotten to an appearance outside the comics is a cameo for a few frames in the Season Finale of Justice League? Is there a copyright issue of some sort?
    • Naw it's nothing like that, one has to remember that The DCU and the DCAU are two completely different continuities. DCAU Barbara Gordon never got paralyzed by being shot by the Joker, Gotham never had an earthquake, Tim Drake is the second Robin (but has Jason Todd's backstory) and Jason and Azreal don't exist. It's a completely different artistic tangent.
    • It's primarily a timeframe issue: adaptations simply don't last long enough to go through a whole character arc and then bring in the Legacy Characters. The DCAU was the only one to even get to its second Robin and it ran for a decade, off and on. Given that you're only going to be able to introduce one Batgirl, which would you choose? Cassandra's an awesome character when done right, but she doesn't have preexisting ties to the 'core' cast and it's like she was designed to make studio execs antsy.
    • More importantly, Cassandra didn't even exist until the series finale of Batman: TAS was four years old, and didn't have a name until a year before Justice League started airing. By that point it was a little too late to start bringing in new members of the bat-family.
    • Plus, let's be fair; Cassandra Cain is a fantastic character but she doesn't exactly have an incredibly easy-to-work-with back-story or character — and if we're being honest, if they changed anything to try and simplify it they'd immediately call forth a deluge of fans whining about how They Changed It, Now It Sucks!. Let's face it, if you're looking for a simple, easy-to-work with candidate for Batgirl in a cartoon or TV series (primarily one aimed at kids) "Commissioner Gordon's spunky daughter is inspired by Batman to fight crime" is a bit more straight-forward and easier to work with than "daughter of the world's greatest assassins, who is raised in isolation to become the world's greatest assassin, who can read body language perfectly fluently but can't read or speak more than a few monosyllabic words, who spurns becoming the world's greatest assassin when she kills a man and understands from his body language what she's done... is inspired by Batman to fight crime".
    • Also, while she may be popular with readers of her comic stories, that doesn't necessarily mean that literally everyone in the world loves her and thinks she's the best thing since sliced bread. She just might not have been tremendously popular with the people who have so far been in a position to make Batman stories outside of the comics. It happens.
    • Also, just simple name recognition. Barbara Gordon was introduced in and well-known from the Batman TV series in the 1960s, and so already had a lot of name recognition and history built up since them; a fairly substantial amount of people would at least have heard of her in general terms, even if they were unable to recite her bibliography. Cassandra Cain, conversely, is probably known to a few thousand people who were reading comics in the late 1990s-early 2000s at most. Simply put: less people know or care about her, frankly.

    Legitimately Insane? 
  • Okay, we all know why The Joker isn't dead. What bugs me is how the hell he keeps getting declared legally insane. It's pretty clear he knows the difference between right and wrong. It's also equally clear he simply does not give a shit. Also, given the scope of some of his rampages, why is he not in Federal custody?
    • In a few storylines, he's become sane. Usually, this makes him turn good (until his insanity returns), which would indicate that even if he knows the difference, he can't help himself.
      • Being insane is more than knowing about the conventions of morality. To the Joker they're a bad joke waiting to be called out, and laughed down. He doesn't see people besides himself and possibly Batman as real, but more like targets in a game of Grand Theft Auto - something that also applies to a number of real sociopathic serial killers. His near-soplisist condition warrants the definition of insanity. Observing from a meta perspective, the Joker is actually right. The people he kills aren't real, and all his actions only exist to provide entertainment for the comic readers. Some scriptwriters have realized this, and call him super-sane, rather than insane. Inside the fictional universe the two are virtually identical, though.
      • Er, no- legally, insanity is about knowing whether or not you break the law ("right or wrong"), or some related matter. And the Joker knows full well what he is doing is illegal, and even boasts about it. In real life, they would fry his ass.
    • Also, note that in his earliest appearance, he actually wasn't considered insane, and went to a normal jail (he was even executed once, though his henchmen later revived him as part of a Batman Gambit). There was even a storyline where Batman managed to prove that he knew the difference between right and wrong.
      • Depending on the state, insanity defenses are not always predicated on "knowing the difference between good and evil". Some jurisdictions also allow for am "irresistable impulse" defense- that the defendent knew what he was doing was wrong, but couldn't help himself. It's also possible that the Joker might be found not competent to stand trial, and would be comitted to Arkham until he is competent.
    • The Joker is too dangerous to be kept in the same place as "sane" criminals. Keep in mind, one time he was detained with the general population. A guy was going to Prison Rape him. Joker pretended to go along with it, even offering to rim the guy. Instead, he shoves his arm up the man's ass, grabs a hold of his small intestines, and yanks them out.
      • What the hell issue was that!?
      • ...Scans or it didn't happen.
      • Well unfortunately there isn't a readily available link to a scan but as it actually happened, the Joker was finally tried as a sane criminal and put on death row (for a crime he didn't commit ironically enough) and one of the other inmates continuously played a harmonica, which annoyed the Joker to no end. He forces the guy to swallow it (off panel) and another much larger and stronger prisoner doesn't take to kindly to that as he liked the harmonica music. Later in the exercise yard this rather large prisoner confronts the Joker implying imminent bodily harm will occur. The Joker winds up beating the larger inmate rather brutally with his shoe.
      • Here we go! (get 'em before LJ suspends the account!). Now, will someone explain to me just where in these scans does Joker yank out a guy's intestine?
      • Wow, that third one is one of the most demonically evil depictions of the Joker I've seen. Art looks to be Jim Aparo, can anyone confirm?
      • Nah, it's Graham Nolan. The scans come from the graphic novel The Joker: Devil's Advocate, mentioned in just about every page on this site where the issue of Joker and execution come up. It's the one where Batman saves him from the death penalty.
      • That said, the above troper is most likely remembering Brian Azzarello's "Broken City" arc, where Joker somehow managed to get three of Arkham's inmates to literally shove their hands up their own asses and pull their intestines out. Without even leaving Arkham. All because he wanted to talk to Batman.
    • Can't people who are found to be legally insane still be executed?
      • It depends on the state. Gotham is occasionally suggested to be somewhere in New Jersey, but I don't know how they feel about it.
      • No, the legally insane cannot be executed, at least in the United States. The 8th amendment prohibits it. For more information, see Ford v. Wainwright.
    • For the record; in Azzarello's Joker he's sane and he's still criminal.
      • Well, in Joker he's somehow managed to convince the Arkham Asylum release panel that he's sane. It's implied that he was faking it ("Where's the best place for a lunatic to hide? In-sanity!") and plus, well, it's Arkham. They're not exactly exemplars of the psychiatric profession there.
    • Under most legal definitions, Joker is legally insane. He does not understand the nature and quality of his actions. He only understands the concepts of right and wrong on an intellectual level, they aren't internalised like they are with sane people which is why he laughs at the whole concept. Why he isn't in federal custody is anyone's guess though.
      • Actually, that is enough- psychopaths and people with certain personality disorders are in the same boat as they have a serious Lack of Empathy and little to no conscience (and the Joker is a man with quite a few personality disorders- though, so do most supervillains), but generally these are not considered sufficient grounds to not try them as sane, precisely because they can understand the concepts of right and wrong on an intellectual level (and by "right and wrong" we generally just mean "did you know it was illegal to do X", which the Joker always did). Most psychopaths in fact do not break the law, or at least do not break it in such serious ways as theft and murder and terrorism and whatever else the Joker has done. If a psychopath or a narcissist or a sociopath or whatever is arrested for a crime, they face jail and possibly the death sentence, and in fact putting them in an insane asylum is considered a bad idea because not only are they almost impossible to cure, they are manipulative and disrputive to other patients (and its not hard to see how the Joker makes Arkham Asylum crazier).
    • There's also the question of why Batman just doesn't cripple the super-villains. Look at some of the physical prowess he shows in Batman: Year One: with a bullet in a leg and arm, Bats moves a support pillar, punches a cop in SWAT gear hard enough to fly through a brick wall, and kicks out a major support column with his injured leg. Why can these guys even walk still?
      • Because Batman is not Judge Dredd or The Punisher. He has NO legal jurisdiction, the moment he starts placing himself in a position where he is delivering judgement and pronouncing sentences (or even looks like he might be doing that) he moves from (barely) tolerated vigilante to whom a blind eye is turned, to being no better than the insane, costumed-freaks he brawls with. Batman has to use minimum force, because its not just enough for to be clean, he must be seen to be clean. The "Caesar's wife must be above reproach" principle applies moreso to him than the regular cops and regular citizens.
      • Well for what it's worth, in Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman apparently beat Joker so badly at one point he was in a body cast for six months. It didn't really seem to help much.
    • Regardless of whether or not The Joker can be legally executed still doesn't explain that in the period of time that he's locked up, no one has just gone up and shot him while he was vulnerable. I know The Joker's crazy but even the crazies need to fall asleep at some point. Considering all of the people that The Joker has murdered over the years, I'd be really surprised if there is no employee at either Arkham or Black Gate that hasn't been personally affected by The Joker's actions who would pull the trigger.
      • Because what if you miss? Seriously, want to take out the Joker, fine plenty of reason to do that, you stand over his sleeping body and pause for moment and the horrible thought goes through your mind "what if I miss...?" and you realise just exactly what the Joker will do to you, your family, your friends, your friends' friends... And then you think "ah screw it, I'm doing it anyway", and you pause again and think "what about Harley, if you kill her 'Puddin'' she is gonna go nuts on you? What about the Joker's goons, some of them might genuinely be loyal/brainwashed into avenging him? What about the goddam Batman? He's locked in this eternal struggle with the Joker, and he seems just as nuts as the rest of them, what will he do?" you think "what about the next Gotham nutjob coming down the pike who wants the kudos of taking out the guy who took out the Joker?". There could be a lot of reason to just not try to kill the Joker, and most of them revolve around everyone else in the Joker's circle. Because anyone nuts enough to try and take out the Joker has already pulled on a costume and carved their way into the Gotham crime scene.
      • And right about now you realize the Joker was awake...
    • The Joker considers himself insane. Last I checked, the mad don't think they're insane.
  • One story shows that the Joker has a dream team of lawyers that argue in favor of his insanity. Whether or not he actually is insane doesn't matter so long as the courts can be convinced that he is
  • Even if the courts were to find the Joker perfectly sane and rendered a death sentence there is still the small matter of actually carrying out such a sentence. Namely holding the Joker long enough for it to be done, a difficult task considering that he has repeatedly shown the ability to break out of Arkham whenever he pleases. The judges may realize this and simply sentence him to Arkham where his escapes can be quickly responded to by the one man that has proven he can handle him.
  • In real life the Joker would be executed, and so would most of the supervillains of Gotham (they are mostly human or mutated human, and therefore applicable to the law). The Joker in general is at least definable as a terrorist, so his insanity plea would only hold up the first few times at most. But considering his intelligence and ability to plan complex schemes, no matter what his impulses are, he knows what he is doing. The clown look and persona just help sell the whole "I'm crazy crazy crazy!" thing. In our world, an American serial killer gets put on death row for killing a relatively small number of people, and the Joker has killed hundreds.
  • Also in Real Life, to answer the question of how to hold the Joker, if the Joker was found guilty of being a terrorist (which he is, no which way about it) that would most likely be a federal case, arguemnts could be made he would be moved to an actual federal prison awaiting execution, rather than the two obviously inept choices of Blackgate and Arkham, he definatly wouldn't be in Arkham as being convicted as a terrorist, not a loony.

    Arkham - Cardboard Asylum 
  • Really, the real question here is: WHY THE FRAG HAVE THE MORONS AT ARKHAM NOT BEEN SACKED?! The place is the worst kind of Cardboard Prison in existence! If Bruce simply purchased it and beefed up its security, he wouldn't have to worry about Joker escaping every other week!
    • Isn't it implied at one point that Arkham is cursed in some way and that's why it's so hard to cure anyone there?
    • I still fail to see why Bruce couldn't simply purchase it and amp up its security (and maybe hire a competent doctor or two, but still, I think of it as more of a prison than an asylum). And if he does run into the curse, and somehow isn't Crazy-Prepared for it, couldn't he just call in one of his 500 JLA teammates knowledgeable about magic?
    • One of the often-forgotten tropes of the Batman franchise is that corruption in Gotham City is through the roof. The city government is corrupt, most of the GCPD is corrupt, and it's likely the people who oversee Arkham Asylum are pretty corrupt.
      • True, take Batman: Arkham Asylum. Gordon bio explain that he has almost managed to completely clean the GCPD of crooks cops. Yet, who allow Mr Jay takeover? Boles, a corrupt guard in Arkham. Gotham is just that corrupted.
    • It wouldn't matter if Bruce bought Arkham, someone smart enough (i.e. Joker, Riddler, etc) would still find a way to escape. As we can see in Batman: Arkham Asylum, even with the best of Wayne Industries technology, the asylum can still be taken over.
      • I'd say especially because of the best of Wayne tech...because said best is actually quite low. I mean, in AA, a keycard? The one kind of thing that's easily stolen or pirated? Never heard of retinal scanner, a commonplace tech that only works if the subject is alive (big prob for Mr Jay)?
      • Actually, retinal scanners and other forms of biological id are notoriously inaccurate, AT BEST a 2% false positive rate and 5% false negative (one of the reasons why the DHS doesn't use them despite all the publicity about such technologies when it was formed). And retinal scanners can be fooled with a dead eye, just like fingerprint scanners.
      • And that is just what the Joker (or any other inmates for that matter) needs, extra incentives to rip out someone's eyes or chop fingers off.
    • Okay, I get if "Super" villains like Joker or Riddler can escape, but what about all the other homicidal maniacs? The Arkham Asylum: Living Hell mini-series has Jane Doe kill one of the doctors and use her skin as a disguise. FOR TWO MONTHS WITHOUT ANYONE NOTICING. Are you honestly telling me that Arkham can't even keep in run-of-the-mill killers?
      • She killed "one of the doctors and used her skin as a disguise"? Hardly a "run-of-the-mill" killer, if you ask me. She just doesn't have the sort of press agent the Joker and Riddler do.
    • This is Gotham City we're talking about! What makes you think the men in charge collectively care enough to put enough effort into Arkham Asylum.
  • On a related note, why are they still using Arkham if it is by its very nature less than conducive to improvements in mental health?
    • Good question! But that's one of the things I liked about the Return of the Joker movie: since the flashback to Batman's last fight with the Joker took place in the half-demolished ruins of Arkham, at least we know its days are numbered in the DCAU.
    • We don't know for sure that it isn't conducive to improvements in mental health. All we know for sure is that they've been unable to cure most of Batman's rogues gallery, and that certainly doesn't prove anything. Villains like the Joker or Two-Face have SEVERE mental illnesses. They may in fact be completely incurable. Just because Arkham wasn't able to help them doesn't mean Arkham isn't able to help others with less serious illnesses.
      • Have you read some of the miniseries, episodes, and issues focusing on it? The founder, Amadeus Arkham, himself went insane, and ended up an inmate- all the while carving symbols into the foundations to bind an evil spirit to the place (if he actually did or not is unknown). The head of security once went insane, and became an inmate by the name of "Lock-up". One of their staff psychiatrists? Harley Quinn. It is named after a city from a story by H. P. Lovecraft. It has a habit of declaring the big-name cases cured and letting them out. One inmate, Warren White, was sane when he went in, but came out as nutty as the rest of them. The staff that we've seen that hasn't gone mad yet are less than completely on-the-ball, to put it mildly. And so on.
      • A little Arbitrary Skepticism goes a long way. Admittedly, this Troper hasn't read some of the sensitive stories, but if the staff at Arkham writes everything off as superstition, the disturbing reality is that they refuse to acknowledge just what's wrong with the system.
      • Some of the stories, like Living Hell, are pretty explicit about the idea of a supernatural influence making it a breeding ground of madness. Others, like Serious House, leave it up to the reader, but even if it's just an atmosphere of despair hanging over the asylum, it does a good job of gradually driving inmates and staff alike around the bend. Even without a literal curse, Gotham's own corruption is more or less embodied by Arkham Asylum: graft and money laundering's probably bleeding the budget dry, bureaucratic incompetence and the asylum's bad reputation mean the doctors and staff aren't the best, and being surrounded every day by the most deranged lunatics in the whole DC 'verse, in a setting straight out of a Victorian horror story, would take its mental toll on anyone. I personally think there's a curse, in a vague, Lovecraftean aura of doom sense, but it has such a sordid history and self-defeating reputation that tearing it down and starting over is just a good idea either way.
      • "Have you read some of the miniseries, episodes, and issues focusing on it?" A few, but as I understand it not all of them are in the same continuity (and many are contradictory) so you're going to have to be more specific about WHICH miniseries, episodes, and issues you're talking about. Regardless, I find it highly implausible that Arkham isn't doing something right. Sure they've had more than their share of fuck-ups and there's obviously a lot of corruption going on, but you claimed that Arkham is "less than conducive to mental health" by its very nature. I took this to mean that Arkham creates more problems than it solves. I'm not convinced that's true. Any hospital with a 0% success rate would've been de-funded long ago.
      • Arkham can be successful. There are indeed regular mental patients there and presumably Arkham does wonders with them. It's just that people like the Joker and Harley get more attention. Even Two-Face can get better with therapy, he just relapses. And the real question is: Where would the criminals go? In a Justice League prison? Criminals or not, the Bat-Foes are still American citizens with rights.
      • Where would they go? Federal prison? Somewhere that doesn't have a well-earned reputation for institutional insanity and being a Cardboard Prison?
      • Seriously, why not at least try making a new prison for people like Joker? Maybe they could have one that would be staffed by the Justice League on shifts, or in a location that's hard to escape from (like in the middle of the ocean), or something. Not putting him in the same place over and over and expecting a different outcome each time; that's the definition of insanity.
      • They have made prisons specifically for the likes of the Joker and other supervillains. Examples include Iron Heights and Stryker's Island. And both of them have had just as many breakouts as Arkham. Besides, the Joker isn't just a criminal, he's a dangerous psychotic. A simple prison, even one outfitted for superhuman criminals, doesn't have the resources or the training to handle someone like him. EDIT: As for why they've never tried to build another super-human insane asylum, even building regular prisons is controversial enough. They're enormously expensive and just proposing to build a new prison brings out all the various special interest groups that complain about the state of the US prison system. Not to mention, where do you put it? I certainly wouldn't want a super-human prison in my backyard, and I definitely wouldn't want someone like the Joker within a ten mile radius of my friends and family. If they tried to open up a new prison in my home town and they announced they were going to be holding the likes of the Joker in it, personally I'd be out protesting in the streets to stop them.
      • The underwater idea has some merit, though. Make them Aquaman's problem, I say!
      • They've already even tried sending the most dangerous villains off to a supposedly deserted planet and all that happened is the various mad scientists collaborated and found a way back, so a change in location is not a guaranteed success.
      • They also specifically asked Aquaman if they could do just that in Kingdom Come, and he pointed out that he was one man protecting 70% of the world while they had dozens of more powerful people on land and they still couldn't handle it. Vetoed by the King of Atlantis in a big way.
    • Arkham may look like a stereotypic haunted house on the outside, but on the inside it's much more like a normal asylum. It's just that it's run by a man who is himself half mad and therefore has problems in how the show is run, and the place is supposedly cursed (though the staff doesn't believe it). The supervillains we see are only maybe one percent of the total patient population at the most. It's not like it's comprised entirely of people who constantly break out and are never cured. They're just a few bad apples.
    • An earlier troper stated Arkham Asylum can be successful at helping people. Now, I don't know much about the comics yet, but in BTAS, a therapist was able to mostly... sort of... help Ventriloquist. Admittedly, Scarface does come back, but eventually the combination of Ventriloquist's desire to get rid of Scarface, the help from the therapist, and Batman really pulling hard for helping him in virtually every way possible, resulted in Scarface dying for good.
    • Scarface was in fact only pretending to be gone during his stay at Arkham to get Wesker released and declared sane; he just didn't count on his absence causing the Character Development in Wesker to stand up to him for once. So in that case, it was Scarface who "cured" Wesker by not trying to assert control. For what it's worth, the actual Arkham staff are generally shown to be competent (if mediocre) at their jobs so they would have no trouble curing a patient like Wesker who wanted to be cured in the first place.
    • On that important note, the majority of prominent supervillains interred therein (Joker, Riddler, Scarecrow, maybe Two-Face, etc. etc.) all exhibit varying degrees of narcissism, which is notoriously difficult to cure, because of the simple that one of its symptoms is that the patient likes who they are and doesn't want to be cured, if they see themselves as crazy in the first place, and view attempts to help them as hostile and sinister attacks on their personal idenity. And all of the inmates are sociopaths which is even harder to cure, since it means they are manipulative and will likely just learn to hide their disorder better, pretending to get cured, if they are so inclined; and several are sadists, which in combination with the other two means they enjoy tormenting their own doctors and scaring the hell out of them, which won't help matters. Paranoiac and attention-seeking tendencies, as well as tendencies to violent mod swings, are not going to help matters. Basically, even the average supervillain has three of four personality disorders going on, so imagine how screwed up this lot are that are considered the craziest bunch of lunatics on the planet, and how difficult if not impossible it would be to cure them. Especially since most of them are several times smarter than you and have psychologically or physically scarred, tortured or killed dozens of psychologists before you and know every trick in the book (especially guys like Scarecrow who are, in fact, psychiatrists themselves).
    • To get back to the original question, they still use it because it's there. It's maybe not the best place to send Gotham's criminal elite, but it's probably just cheaper and easier to for the local civic authorities to keep Arkham around than building an entire new facility that was completely escape-proof to the standards required to keep them contained and encouraging better doctors / guards to work there.
    • Sad case of Truth in Television, most mental institutions for the criminally insane, in real life, rarely cure anyone.
  • There's a simple answer to all this: Bat-Mite. He loves seeing his hero in action so much, he stretches the boundaries of Cardboard Prison and Status Quo Is God to ridiculous lengths. He makes it easy to break out of Arkham, and keeps anyone from thinking of doing anything about it. Just watch the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Reign of Emperor Joker". That pretty much proves it.
  • Whatever the in-universe explanation, ultimately the simple answer to all of this, when you get down to it, is that... it's a comic book series. Arkham Asylum, in whatever format, is basically a device to enable the writer to have somewhere to 'store' Batman's Rogue's Gallery for when they're not being used in Batman stories. It's an insane asylum because, well, most of Batman's villains are utterly insane. It's easy to break out of because the villains have to be able to break out of it in order for the story to be told. No one just closes it down because the inhabitants of the Batman universe aren't aware they're operating in a Batman story. And even if it did, and they built a new prison with state-of-the-art facilities designed solely to house Batman's villains and ensure they would never break out... they'd still break out because most of them are popular Batman villains who people still want to read and tell stories about, and the exact same rules listed above that apply to Arkham would start to apply to the new place. It's one of the rules of the game, folks. At this stage, you either live with it if you want to keep reading stories about Batman fighting his rogues gallery, or you don't and move on to something else.

     Batman's ordinary tech 
  • With all the super genius, alien, an/or magical devices Batman is exposed to all the time, why does he stick with the relatively mundane stuff for his wonderful toys? True, teleport-to-Blackgate batarangs are a bit overkill for random thugs, but he could use much better gear than he has now and still be as much of a Badass Normal as ever.
    • Trust issues. Bruce hates magic, doesn't trust aliens, and won't use a super genius object unless he knows exactly how it works.
      • And given that Hal Jordan's alien weaponry turned out to have a brainwashing fear bug in it and Jaime Reyes' Blue Beetle suit was invented for the purpose of evil, it's understandable in many ways.
  • With all the martial arts weapons that Bruce shows himself to be proficient in, why does he not use them more? I mean, most incarnations of Robin use a collapsible staff pretty effectively, why can't he do the same with another weapon?
    • It's probably the fact that having to lug some extra weapons around would be a problem. Plus he seems to be sort of a minimalist. Sure he has most everything he could need in his utility belt and on his person but that's usually all he carries 90% of the time.
    • Personal preference. Same reason Nightwing only uses escrima sticks.
      • Yeah, but I'm sure he could invent a collapsible sword or staff. He pretty much always fights Ra's al Ghul with a sword, why not with other villains?
      • I think there's a few things going on with Batman's lack of weapons. One is that he's doing it for a psychological release as well as a sense of justice: he wants to beat criminals up with his bare hands and using a weapon just wouldn't be the same. Another factor is that Batman lives by a strict Thou Shalt Not Kill code, so relying on hand-to-hand combat to subdue criminals probably gives him more control over the fight and helps him restrain himself.
      • That... Makes sense. Seeing as Ra's comes back from the dead via the Lazarus Pits, and he is one of the Dark Knights greatest enemies in hand-to-hand combat...
      • With regards to the "fighting Ra's with a sword" thing, he usually ends up fighting Ra's with a sword both because Ra's is an old-fashioned sort who places a lot of value on sword-fighting as a thing that "civilised" foes do to settle their differences and, perhaps more crucially, because Ra's is a fanatic who usually ends up attacking Batman with a sword at some point, requiring Batman to also arm himself with one simply so that he doesn't get chopped to pieces. It's not like Batman keeps and carries around a special "Ra's-fighting sword" for those situations when he needs to fight Ra's and only Ra's; it's usually more that he's suddenly thrown into a situation where he needs to defend himself from the sword-wielding maniac attacking him with a sword and so grabs the nearest one to hand so that he can respond in kind. Plus, of course, Rule of Cool.
    • Once you get past the clicks and whistles, most of Batman's more common gadgets aren't especially hi-tech to begin with. His batarangs are basically a customised form of boomerang/shuriken. He uses a grappling-hook gun. He has a powerful computer in his cave. The Batmobile is basically a custom-job car, similarly the Batwing, Bat-copter, Bat-boat, Bat-[insert modified form of transport here] and so on. Really, most of the 'hi-tech' stuff about Batman is just things that the writers throw in as the plot demands; unlike Iron Man, he's not really a character who particularly demands a specifically futuristic tech-driven approach.
    • There is also a practical, Fridge Brilliance reason for a low-tech approach to Batman. One of the arguments that people sometimes bring up for how absurd the idea of no one figuring out that Bruce Wayne is Batman is how expensive the tech he uses is. For those versions of Batman who mainly stick to a low-fi low-tech approach, it is entirely plausible if not likely that a key reason he does so is to keep his secret identity concealed. A Batman who goes around using mecha-suits and hi-tech heat-seeking batarangs and x-ray insta-detect lenses and hypersonic jet-cars and the like is a man who can afford such things — a man such as Bruce Wayne, for example. Conversely, a Batman who sticks to some customised shuriken, a grappling rope and a simple black car with some modifications is a man who could theoretically be anyone, because those things are a lot cheaper.

     The Gotham curse 
  • I get that Arkham and Gotham are cursed and pretty much a lost cause. What I don't get is why the curse didn't kick in until Thomas and Martha were killed.
    • Because the curse was more of a Lampshade Hanging. Also, Gotham still was pretty depressing till they were killed, it was more of the straw that broke the camels back.
    • When a city as bad as Gotham loses it's biggest humanitarians, crime increase is to be expected. The city didn't get really bad until Batman started attracting criminals of high enough caliber to challenge him.
      • No, it was pretty damn bad. Muggers were everywhere, police comissioners had dinner with mobsters, the police department acted as muggers and assasins for the mob being able to do whatever they wanted, police commisioners were willing to kidnap an infant to get what they wanted, cops even helped transport cocaine, cops mugged people just for fun, and it was basically a horrible place.
      • Basically, just like Bludhaven was until Infinite Crisis, then.
      • Technically, that's true although Bludhaven was supposed to be worse. At least Gotham had a better honest cop to crooked cop ratio and criminals actually scared of the superhero (Nightwing can kick ass, but he lacked the HSQ that helped Batman out).
      • It was always that bad, but the reason that it really kicked in after Thomas and Martha Wayne were killed is because they were basically the icons of the effort to improve the city. They were these shining paragons of goodness in a city too grimy for it, but they still worked, somehow. Then they were gunned down in something as senseless as a mugging, in front of their child, and Gotham basically lost hope until Batman and Bruce Wayne came in.
    • Here's a somewhat related headscratcher. How does Gotham stay so awful? Are you really telling me that years of being protected by Batman and his allies haven't done the slightest bit of good? I can't believe that frigging Batman is that ineffectual.
      • At least part of this is the nature of comic book story telling and Comic-Book TimeStatus Quo Is God has been stressed for a good long time, and even if it wasn't then in many ways up to twenty years of comic book stories in the real world amount to maybe five or so years of in-universe stories; it's longer to the reader than the characters. In-universe, a common explanation for this, however, is is along the lines that Batman first started out, he was mainly dealing with corrupt cops and mobsters, and then when they started to go on the wane thanks to his influence and efforts suddenly a rash of garish psychotics started showing up. It's not so much that things stayed awful in the same way as the goalposts suddenly shifted and a new kind of ugliness started showing up.
  • as much as I love Batman, I started to question how useful he actually was, I read the Dark Knight Returns and also watching and reading Batman Beyond clearly show that beyond a shadow of a doubt that batman (and by and large the police department) do almost nothing to curb the rampant corruption and crime that Gotham is notorious for, curse or not. by the time bruce is an old man it has been shown that nothing changes.
    • I’ve read some comics (though I’m not a hardcore reader) and some of them do seem to imply that Batman does a difference and that things do have improve a lot. Now, Gotham has high crime rates like… all big cities, but some comics do show that Batman keeps things in order, and even when he’s missing someone has to impersonate him precisely for that. On the other hand if The Dark Knight Returns is canonical then we see how bad things get once Batman retires.
    • At least some of this is partly just down to basic Anthropic Principle: in a Batman story, the crime situation in Gotham will always be such that it requires Batman to solve it, because Batman is the main character. If the crime levels ever get down to the point where Commissioner Gordon and the police can handle it, and the system is sufficiently reformed that it is able to function with minimal corruption, and if the insane supervillains disappear to the point where rationality and order carry the day... then there's no need for Batman, and thus there's no Batman story. At the end of the day, you're expected to understand that you're entering into a polite gentleman's agreement with the creator that if you want to read or watch their Batman story, then you have to accept that Gotham will be fucked up enough to require Batman to be the one to step in to fix it. And that if you can't bring yourself to do this, then you should probably watch / read something else.

     Misunderstanding of Tourette's 
  • In Arkham Asylum: Serious House on a Serious Earth a doctor describes the Joker as having something similar to Tourette's syndrome. Now I don't claim to know a lot about psychiatry, but isn't Tourette's defined by uncontrollable tics? How is this similar to whatever the Joker has?
    • His uncontrollable tics involve manic laughter, acid, and killing. Most likely tic being "make person die smiling".
      • But this is not how she describes it, she says that he creates himself every day because he has something where he can't regulate the information he takes in (as in, he takes in everything) so he can't deal with the chaotic barrage of everyday life, ergo, he is completely random, not he has tics about laughter, acid etc... Maybe the author didn't really know what Tourette's is?
      • A Serious House On Serious Earth was written in 1989, so it could just be a case of psychiatry marching on. But I'm not sure I'd trust the Arkham doctors to even treat a fear of cats. Serious House showed us the bang-up job they did with Harvey, Maxie Zeus and the rest of the inmates; the place is cursed, and its curse seems to hit the staff as hard as the patients.
      • If I recall correctly, the line says that she suspects he isn't insane, but has a "neurological illness, similar to Tourette's syndrome". She may have simply been using Tourette's as an example, to distinguish between neurological problems and insanity, not implying that the Joker has Tourette's or anything related. (Or she could just be trying to shoehorn a diagnosis of any recognized illness because the Joker has them totally stumped.)
      • It's similar to Tourette's in that it involves unpredictable impulses in one's behavior.
    • You're not supposed to find anything the doctor says credible. She's a critique of pop psychology; her explanations of the Joker's behavior sound suspect at best and ridiculous at worst because she's in completely over her head. The big tip-off is when she postulates that the Joker might not be insane at all, which is the point at which the reader is supposed to lose confidence in her abilities. In fairness, though, something else she postulates on (the Joker re-inventing himself) acually became canon (Notably in "Going Sane", and "Ri P", the latter of which is also by Morrison), so the line between nonsense and actual knowledge is blurred for modern readers.

    The Joker Keeps Escaping 
  • Okay, I don't mean for this to sound like complaining about a work I didn't see, as most of what I've heard is secondhand information from other reviews, so maybe the question has a valid answer, does the Joker manage to keep getting out of Arkham Asylum over and over again? How many different ways can you come up with for a guy with no superpowers to somehow effortlessly defeat any and every conceivable security system mankind can devise? Do we even see how he does it, or is it just Hand Waved every time a writer wants to use him? And for that matter, some of his exploits seem really over the top-in Batman #663, for instance, did Grant Morrison even explain how he orchestrated the murders of all his old compatriots while still being interred in Arkham? How does he know that his victims will react a certain way when he does things-it's one thing if he can intuit how Batman or Commissioner Gordon will act, but it seems like he can somehow have a complete psychological knowledge of people he's met for all of thirty seconds. It seems like he's able to predict almost everything flawlessly, including Gambit Roulettes that he never should have seen coming. Is that really the case?
    • As a not-too-much-of-a-comic-book-reader myself, I can't provide a straight answer, but there's a lot of Memetic Badass that goes into the whole thing. As for the psychological profiles, I guess I don't have a specific context for it, but the implication seems to be he has a plan for any kind of reaction, making sure everything that ends up happening plays into some kind of plan.
    • It's unclear how many times the Joker actually has escaped from Arkham. It's possible he's only escaped a few times and spent extensive amounts of time as an underworld fugitive running his gang until being captured again. (Obviously this isn't counting the Silver Age when the "villain escapes from jail" plot happened every other day.)
    • Grant Morrison has established that the Silver Age stories happened in a sort of phantasmagoric way only, in Batman's mind, and not in actual fact.
    • Keeping a small (not close to half the times he's escaped) checklist of the times he's escaped:
      • Batman #1: Used chemicals hidden in two false teeth to create a bomb and blow his cell door open (officially ret-conned to Earth-Two)
      • Batman #25: Cooperating with Penguin, pestered the guard into giving him a broom to sweep the cell with. The pair proceeded to remove the wire binding the broom's whisks together, fashion it into a hook, slip it through the bars of the cell, and "fish" out the guard's ring of keys.
      • Batman #260: Somehow sneaked Joker Venom into the guards' coffee, and grabbed the keys when one stumbled too close to his cell laughing.
      • The Joker #1: Used a special balloon to float over Arkham's walls. Also somehow swapped all the guards' guns with pop guns.
      • The Joker #2: Used a Sleeping Dummy. Arkham's director actually calls out the guards on it, says it's the fifth time they've let him escape, and sacks them.
      • The Killing Joke: Got a guy to dress up as him and occupy his cell.
      • Batman #426: Mentioned to have mixed Joker Venom out of stuff in a janitor's closet.
      • Robin II: The Joker's Wild #1: Got a lawyer to smuggle in a bible that sprayed tear gas. Also swapped coats with said lawyer to aid in his getaway.
      • Detective Comics Annual #5: Busted out by Ventriloquist and Scarface and a whole bunch of armed thugs.
      • Batman #491: Busted out by Bane and his stooges, along with everyone else in Arkham.
      • Batman #544: Was allowed access to Arkham's laboratory for "good behavior". Mixed up Joker Venom in there.
      • Catwoman vol.1 #64: Mentioned to have wired the cafeteria sausage at Arkham into the security system's conducting wires.
      • Shadow of the Bat #82: Let out by Arkham's director after an earthquake has ravaged Gotham and the city is declared "No Man's Land", due to said director unable to stomach the thought of the inmates slowly starving to death while kept inside with the steel quake-proof shutters. He makes Joker and the inmates promise to not go to Gotham. Naturally, all of the inmates, including Joker (with the exception of Riddler) break the promise.
      • Gotham Adventures #10 (in DCAU continuity): Escaped by hijacking Poison Ivy's escape plan (seeds that made giant vines sprout from the ground within seconds of touching water).
      • Legends of the Dark Knight #142: Busted out by Talia al-Ghul and Ubu, posing as officials from the National Institute of Mental Health.
      • ...Pop guns? A hot air balloon? Wiring cafeteria sausage into the conducting wires? Okay, once again I hate for this to sound like complaining, but these are some of the most ridiculous and contrived methods I've ever heard of, even by comic book standards. To me, all this does is confirm that the Joker's Gambit Roulettes turn out almost flawlessly every single time. He never miscalculates, he always reads a situation perfectly, Contrived Coincidences always turn out in his favor, and his ridiculously circuitous plans are never derailed by some Spanner in the Works. I mean, at least with Batman we have some sort of explanation of Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?, and a background that confirms his training. But the Joker's exploits are far too much for me to accept from a guy with no discernible powers or resources. Granted, maybe I shouldn't be reading these comics, since I was left extremely annoyed by what seemed to me to be Gambit Pileups in stories like Hush and The Long Halloween, along with Headscratchers moments like how Calendar Man could possibly have known who the Holiday Killer was...
      • To be fair, the pop guns/hot air balloon thing was during the Silver Age. And it's not like Joker is the ONLY one to pull this off regularly. Two-Face, for instance, once waltzed out of Arkham by breaking a chair over a guard's head and stealing the guy's uniform. Hell, the Ventriloquist and Scarface once actually dug their way out with spoons. Way I see it, Arkham is just that damn leaky.
      • And no established resources? Gotham is practically a shopping mall for criminals. If you know the right people (Penguin, Black Mask, etc.) and have the right amounts of cash, you can get practically anything through Arkham's walls, up to and including explosives.
      • Yeah, it's not that the Joker is a Invincible Villain with the Gambit Roulettes and everything, but that every Batman villain is like that. And about The Long Halloween: IIRC, we never actually find if Calendar Man knew who Holiday was, or if he was just pretending.
      • The Joker never miscalculates because it's implied that he's superintelligent, maybe one of the smartest character in the DCU. Granted, that's not much of an excuse for why he never makes a bad judgement, but as a reader, would you really be satisfied with a story where he screws something up and doesn't get to escape in the end?
      • The Joker can't fail because every plan works like this: Step One, do evil. Step Two through X, ???. Step X+1, lulz. As long as he gets a kick out of it, he won.
      • I'm also a non-comic reader (still breaking into it), but I know it's been indicated that Joker has Medium Awareness - It's possible he knows everything/can break out of anywhere because he can literally manipulate the medium and characters to his advantage.
      • Also some of those escape attempts sound fairly plausable; real life escape attempts work on equal parts brilliance and Refuge in Audacity. Using either minimal resources in unexpected ways (the sausage) or resources they wouldn't believe you'd have (the hot air balloon). Not to mention the sheer impossibility of half of the shit Batman pulls would rank him up a dozen times on any mary sue test if it weren't for the fact that he's popular. And the fact that his enemies(especially the Joker) get the same exception because if his enemies didn't prove to be as capable or nearly as capable as he is, he'd be boring. Now, would anyone accept that Batman could be held in Arkam? No. He'd take apart the bedsheets and twine them into a baterang and carve through the cell walls with it.
    • Also, at the end of the day, these are still superhero comics. They're lurid adventure stories (initially) intended primarily for kids. The Joker uses outlandish and improbable-to-impossible methods to escape jail because he's a clown-themed supervillain in a cartoonish universe, and if you struggle to reconcile that with reality, well, that's probably more your problem than the source material's, and superhero comics simply aren't for you. If you're looking for a realistic depiction of prison life al la Oz or Orange Is the New Black or a grittily realistic depiction of the practicalities of prison escape, you're looking in the wrong place because that's not what Batman comics are set up to provide.

     Outdated naming for Arkham 
  • Why would people go around calling a modern mental health facility Arkham Asylum? I realize that in the then-future of The Dark Knight Returns, it's called "Arkham Home for the Emotionally Troubled" to be cartoonishly politically correct, but for the sake of professionalism, wouldn't someone have changed the name to something along the lines of "Arkham Psychiatric Hospital" by now?
    • It may be a Lampshade Hanging on their atrocious track record and tendency towards increasing insanity rather than decreasing it in both faculty and patients- people don't go there to be cured, they just go there to be given a place to be safe and cared and kept away from the real world.
    • Alternatively, its because it has been shown repeatedly that the faculty is completely nuts itself on numerous occasions, like whenever there's a series that focuses on the Asylum, and the nutso management isn't on-the-ball enough to handle something like that, as busy as they are with more pressing and less reasonable matters.
    • I don't know of any negative connotations to the literal meaning of "asylum": it's just archaic. Like everything else about the building. Real old-fashioned. You'd be surprised how long certain real place names can stick. For instance, take Stonehenge. Does anyone still living have the faintest idea what the holy hell a "henge" is?
    • I'd say the chaps at the Other Wiki know what a henge is.
    • It's probably just a old name that's stuck and is widely used in local conversation, regardless of how correct it is. Same way as, for example, almost everyone calls what is actually and officially Elizabeth Tower of the Palace of Westminster in London "Big Ben". That's not technically correct, and by now most people probably know it's not technically correct (if for no other reason than what would seem to be an army of pedants ready to swoop in and correct people who use it incorrectly at a moment's notice), but they still use it anyway because it's hung around and, even if it is technically incorrect, everyone knows what is being referred to anyway. It probably is or has been officially renamed to something like "The Amadeus Arkham Institute of Psychiatric Care" or something, but as far as everyone in Gotham is concerned, it's "Arkham Asylum" and that's all there is to it.

     Batman and limited tech part II 
  • Bruce Wayne is one of the wealthiest, intelligent and most tech savvy people in the DC Universe. He knows many people in possession of hypertechnology, from the Earth-born Steel to Superman and Mr. Miracle. He never shies from using gadgets and gear that are often just shy of techno-magic. So why does he restrain himself to Earth-manufactured polymer outfits and techno-ninja gadgets? Even if he doesn't want to go full Iron Man due to not wanting to rely on powered armor, that doesn't at all explain why he doesn't build suits from miracle materials that are impervious to normal weapons and energy blasts, and why he doesn't routinely carry advanced sensor arrays and ranged stun weapons. Or is Bruce Wayne's kung-fu egotism more important than being more effective at saving lives and the occasional Universe? If he's really that paranoid that he won't accept stuff from Scott Free and Superman then why not reverse engineer it and at least make some primitive copies? Given what run-of-the-mill scientists in poorly funded secret labs manage to pull off routinely, you think he could do better than a kevlar ninja outfit and smoke bombs.
    • Bruce is a genius, but he's not that much of a technological genius. He's exceptionally clever, and he has clever people working for him, but the reality is that he doesn't understand everything to do with, say, Steel's armor. He might be able to identify weaknesses, figure out how to use it, even agree to put it on in a pinch, but he's not going to regularly use anything that he doesn't understand inside and out. He does, on occasion, whip out the glider cape or the Bat-Jetpack or what have you, but he mostly holds those in reserve because either they have flaws that he doesn't want taken advantage of or because he doesn't really need them.
    • Actually, he built a flying strength-increasing batsuit sometime before the start of Batman Begins.
    • Um, most of the time he does use advanced sensors, ranged stun weapons, and suits built out of miracle materials. He just doesn't use the really flashy stuff that other tech-based heroes use. His hat is that he uses stealth and psychological warfare against criminals. Spamming repulsor rays and sonic blasts everywhere is counteractive towards that purpose.
    • Batman is also heavily into self-reliance. He doesn't like to rely on anything that he cannot fix by himself, if need be. So using hypertechnology created by other superheroes is never going to be on Bruce's game plan; if he did, he would then be dependent on that other superhero for tech support if the thing ever stopped working, was broken, or was sabotaged. Bruce hates being dependent on other people.
    • There's no real reason in universe that Bats can't have Superpowers, considering all the technological, mystical, and biological ways that he could gain superpowers. In fact, Batman could probably invent some himself for that matter, voiding the "Batman's obsessed with self-reliance" excuse. The real reason is that Batman being a badass normal and being mostly realistic is pretty much his entire allure. The idea that we could become Batman if we really tried hard enough is the draw of Batman, and doing the above would rob him of that.
      • During "JLA: Foreign Bodies", Bruce was temporarily mindswitched into Superman's body and had to handle some of Superman's work load. There is a scene during that sequence where Barbara asks Bruce how he's enjoying having superpowers, and Bruce's answer is summed up as 'Are you kidding? I can't wait to get back into my own body. I stay in Clark's too long and I might get into the habit of relying on raw power instead of skill and discipline, and no thank you.' Whether or not its actually true Batman certainly believes that having superpowers will make him end up falling into a When All You Have Is a Hammer… trap, and so he deliberately doesn't want any.
      • In a more recent World's Finest story, Batman got Superman's powers and it was shown that his physical limits were really the only thing holding him back. Rather than waiting around for the restoration of status quo, he went super scale with his somewhat brutal vengeful form of justice becoming the terror of criminals world wide. This would suggest that more recent portrayals of Batman should have no problem using super powers or super tech if available.
    • There's another possible reason. One of the frequent (meta-)comments about Batman is how no one figures out that he's Bruce Wayne, because only Bruce Wayne could afford to fund the Batman's operations. Perhaps one of the reasons why Batman tries to keep as low-tech and minimalist approach as possible is to keep doubt that Bruce Wayne and Batman are connected; the more overt and obvious tech he uses (particularly if said tech is something completely obviously massively expensive like a mech-suit), the more it becomes likely that he's a guy who is at the least funded by a billionaire as opposed to a guy who maybe just decided to throw on a bat costume and fight crime one day. Granted, this doesn't explain how people don't join the dots from all the other completely obviously massively expensive stuff he uses, but I suppose Willing Suspension of Disbelief has to kick in at some point.

     Supervillains without powers 
  • So, why are we calling Black Mask, Two-Face or Scarface "supervillain" anyway? I dont see any super-thing about them. Sure, they tough (well two of them.), but they're far to Badass Normal status. Actually I barely can accept Scarface as the real villain.
    • Well, probably for the same reason we call Batman a "superhero". There's nothing "super" about him. He's just a normal man who happens to make a hobby of punching bank robbers and purse snatchers in the face.
    • But, he fights real super villains from Poison Ivy and Mr Freeze to Grundy or Copperhead. Did these guys ever faced a super hero and stood a chance?
      • How does Mr. Freeze count as a supervillain? His only "power" is that he dies in warm temperatures. Sure, he can live in environments too cold for normal people, but seeing as how that restricts him to two locations on the planet as opposed to everywhere else that humans live, it hardly counts.
      • Mr. Freeze has a freezing ray.
    • My guess is that it's because they're out of the ordinary. Two-Face and Black Mask have their facial trauma, and Scarface is someone's split personality. That makes them more "super" than someone like Roland Dagget.
    • Black Mask, Two-Face, and Scarface are larger-than-life criminals, with weird psychoses and disfigurements who engage in cartoonishly complex and widespread acts of crime. If they're not super-villains, what are they?
    • You could make the case for Black Mask and Two-Face, but Scarface and the Ventriloquist have never really moved beyond ordinary crime. He/they started out dealing drugs, moved up to dealing arms, and... that's about it. No deathtraps. No henchmen in funny costumes.
      • There's still the rather larger-than-life element of a gangster ventriloquist's dummy controlling a criminal organisation, though.
    • To paraphrase Megamind, the difference between a villain and a supervillain isn't's presentation! And if there's one thing Bat-villains know how to do, it's present.
      • Basically. They follow all the genre conventions of superheroes except for having powers. Realistically, the stuff that Batman and his ilk does is superhuman anyway. Maybe a well trained human could perform some of his stunts but nobody could really be as good as Batman in all the ways Batman is and no one could continue performing the daredevil stunts he performs regularly without suffering a career ending injury or death. Same with the villains.

     Riddler and Two-Face compulsions 
  • Most of times Batman fights with Riddler he can find him, or beat him, because Riddler leaves clues and plays games, so Batman can cheat. Simillar if Two-face didn't throw his coin he would kill Batman ages ago. Is that mean that these two are more smart that all other villains Batman ever faced?
    • OCD is Batman's greatest ally.
    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the Riddler is a villan more for fun and less for profit.
      • Pretty much, he has the compulsive need to make riddles which is what fuels his crimes. Back to the original topic, Batman is hardly cheating with the Riddler because the latter leaves the clues so they can be solved. It'd be like saying solving a crossword puzzle using the descriptions for each of the numbers is cheating. As for Two-Face; if he didn't flip the coin he wouldn't be two-face and thus not a threat. And even in the cases where the coin landed scarred-side up Batman still beat him. So neither of them are smarter than the other villains, just crippled by their own insanity.
      • Or, more succinctly: The Riddler commits the crimes, but Edward Nygma leaves the clues out of guilt. In my eyes, the Riddler is more of a "flashy alter-ego" than a true villain, and is just doing this for his 15 minutes of fame.
      • Tell that to the hundreds of people he has tortured or killed over the decades. Or Green Arrow who caught him trying to set off a nuclear weapon in his city. The OCD thing isn't actually that big a part of his character- usually, he is written as a massive egomaniac and Attention Whore and is driven by a need to outsmart Batman by coming up with that one puzzle that Batman can't solve, and he doesn't see a problem with putting innocent people in mortal danger (or just flat-out killing them) to achieve that end- if they were smart, they would have been able to escape on their own (yes, this kind of thing predates the Arkham games). Even the Frank Gorshin Riddler from the Adam West show was a giggling sadistic psychopath who loved plotting horrible deaths for Batman and Robin. Quite simply, the Riddler is a bastard homicidal maniac and most stories portray him that way.
      • This is really depending on the writer. Riddler changes from crime-for-fun, to homicidal maniac on a fairly regular basis, as well as his status as a serious threat, or a b-list villain. I have an origin comic with him wherein, the person interviewing, wasn't even interested because he didn't think Riddler classed as a worthwhile villain. In the same comic, Riddler Laments about the Joker going around killing people.
    • Because they're insane, duh.
    • Well, Joker did imply once that he's been letting Batman win the whole time because Victory Is Boring.

     Why doesn't Batman make a prison? 
  • Batman's civilian identity is swimming in money. His company's R&D department develops all the neat little gadgets he uses on his war on crime. And most importantly: Batman has designed individualized traps and contingencies specifically designed to deal with his allies in the Justice League (to say nothing about the whole OMAC/Big Brother system), meaning despite their godlike powers, they have more to fear from him than he from them. It is not inconceivable, nay, it is entirely sensible, that Batman, if he put his mind to it, could construct and design the prison of prisons (or insane asylum of insane asylums) that was escape-proof and capable of holding his foes indefinitely, then use his company's connections to convince Gotham that his prison was a better alternative than Arkham, which has more holes than 50-cent's chest. If he can design contingencies against his metahuman allies, he should be perfectly capable of designing an Tailor-Made Prison to entrap his worst enemies (and before anyone responds listing the various ways it might possibly go wrong, remember that a) he is the Goddamed Batman, who has already gone through the hundreds of possibly worst case scenarios you can think of in the 10 seconds it took him to come up with the idea and has developed contingencies for those outcomes too, and b) with Bruce's money and connections, he could still support any number of other common-sense, long-term initiatives to improve Gotham's social services, modernize the police force and reduce crime in the long run).
    • I tried really, really hard to think of a reason why that wouldn't work...but I can't. I got nothing.
    • In some continuities, Bats, as Wayne, spends tons of cash every year on constantly improving Arkham's security. The trouble is, security means nothing when half the staff is easily threatened or bribed into letting villains just waltz out whenever they please.
      • ^Pretty much this. At the end of the day such a prison will always fail as long as their is so much corruption in Gotham. The only way around that is to make it run completely by machines, which can be hacked easily.
    • Also, all the talk on this page for the back up plans the man has; he's probably taken into consideration the possibility of one of his enemies somehow getting him locked up on Arkham or otherwise trapping him inside (like a certain video game...), and while he may invest in upgrading its systems, he'd never upgrade it to the point where he himself couldn't beat it, just in case he ever had to. And because some of his enemies are as smart, clever, and resourceful as he is, if he can beat it, so can they.
    • As for the notion of using Wayne money to clean up Gotham's corrupt system, wouldn't it be hypocritical to do so? Footing the bill for new social programs or applying leverage so they'll hire more cops wouldn't be making the government or cops less corrupt, it'd just shift the corruption from being paid off by mob money to being paid off by corporate money. He wants Gotham's dishonest authorities to be supplanted by people of integrity, not just to take their bribes from someone more presentable. He'll back clean politicians' campaigns, but he won't arbitrarily throw money at the incumbents.
    • As to why Batman doesn't just donate lots of money to the authorities so they can improve existing prisons — as outlined above, he already does and its still not working due to human element. As to why Batman doesn't make his own prison and throw the worst of his villains in there? Because he thinks it would be morally wrong. Batman sees his job as to help the authorities catch the bad guys they can't catch by themselves, not to set himself up as judge, jury, and executioner over the whole process. Remember, there was a Bat-Villain whose entire shtick was 'the prison system is not doing its job, I will make my own prison and kidnap these guys and put them away forever': Lyle Bolton, aka "Lock-Up". Bruce punched Lock-Up in the face a lot and tore his prison apart and shipped the bad guys kept in it back to regular jail, which kinda nails down what Bruce's opinion is about that type of thing.
    • You're all forgetting that it's America. We already have private, corporate-owned prisons. He wouldn't be doing something new, he'd be doing something that pretty much exists across the entire nation already.
      • See the above point about "he thinks it would be morally wrong", though. Just because private, corporate-owned prisons exist does not mean that everyone thinks they should exist.
    • It should be noted that Batman by and large considers himself a part of the legal system, just one that lacks official recognition. He sees his work as helping the police perform their duties where the criminals are involved and as such his involvement only goes as far as seeing the legal system to it's work rather than twist for his own ends.
    • Plus, lets think about this some more in two hypothetical scenarios: If Bruce Wayne tried to make a prison for all the supercriminals, he would have to deal with hundreds of politicians, moralizers, and pretty much everyone just to be able to gain the acceptance to build the prison, and be forced to come up with a good explanation because although he donates to helping the city, trying to build a full prison that's decked out to keep in the lunatics of Arkham and the guys Blackgate can't touch or whatever is a big deal, and most people would laugh and grumble how much of a waste of time, money and good property land it was. Then there's the whole part of how someone would probably ask: "Hey, how those Bruce Wayne know so much about Batman's villains so that he can make a cell designed to keep them in ?" After that, he would need to find a group of doctors and prison gaurds who won't be bribed, or be foolish enough to try and get revenge on the inmates (The guards), or lose it trying to "cure" the inmates (The doctors). For the next hypothetical scenario, if Batman tried to make a prison for his rouges, he would need to find a place to hold them (He can't use the Batcave), and a way to do it legally because lets face it, we're talking about one man who actively uses brutal vigilante justice on criminals, still has many people thinking he's a evil lunatic even though he saves them, who is barely tolerated by the police force ONLY because they require his help to fight off the super villains and EVEN THEN there are cops who think he's a menace, trying to build an unauthorized prison to keep in people with basic American rights (they are super villains, but still American citizens) because apparently he thinks that the current ones are crap (They kinda are, but still). This would never fly, he would lose all trust and respect Gotham has for him, and start up a whole lynch mob out for his head.
    • Also, this hits on another issue with a lot of complaints about Batman, which is that we're... kind of demanding that he do everything here. Yes, Bruce Wayne's a wealthy guy and could probably do (and, to be fair, does) a lot to improve Gotham by sharing the wealth around. But we complain that he doesn't personally fund the education and welfare system to improve the lot of Gothamites, doesn't give every single poor person in Gotham a job to prevent them from resorting to crime, doesn't personally fund the police department and ensure it's free from corruption, doesn't personally psychologically rehabilitate all his foes, and so on. And now we're demanding that he build his own personal prison and act as the warden and jailor as well to keep them from breaking out. Batman doesn't do all this because he hasn't trained himself to do all this, it's not all his job to do all this, and it's not his personal responsibility to do all this. Batman's already taken a lot on his shoulders here; at some point, the actual authorities, cops, prison officials, honest citizens etc. in Gotham have to start pulling their own weight as well.

     When technology marches on 
  • So, as technology in the real world gets better and better, what will Batman's new policy be? For example: there are, at the moment, actual prototype exoskeletons that give humans something approaching super-strength. Not widespread now, true, but if the world ever got to the point where every bank-robber around had one, what would Batman's policy be?
    • Two words: Batman Beyond.
    • The arms race mentioned in Batman Begins will invert itself. Instead of criminals advancing to match the Bat-tech, Bat-tech will advance to match the criminals.
    • Someone pointed that Batman is a minimalist. He prefers the harsher method; of course he is Crazy-Prepared, but his intent is to be always an optimal vigilante, who doesn't depends on anything beyond himself. No more batarangs? He'll improvise a javeline. Much stronger opponent? Aikido. Is he on his Bruce Wayne identity and without time to wear the bat-suit? He'll just start kicking asses and later will tell everyone that has been lucky. Probably he would even let himself to be hit a couple of times to make it plausible. Doesn't want advanced tech; he's the Goddamned Batman.
    • I would guess that Batman's new policy will be the same as his old policy: use standard tech that he can understand and maintain without having to rely on others. If personal exoskeletons get to that point, I don't see why he'd be any more reluctant to use one (while being ready to do without if the situation so dictates) than he is to drive around in the Batmobile instead of walking or rope-swinging everywhere he needs to go (with the same caveat about being prepared to fall back on the latter if the former is unavailable or contraindicated).
    • Doesn't Batman already have villains that have superstrong exoskeletons, like Mr. Freeze? That's less the world overtaking Batman era tech and more catching up to it.
    • In New-52, Batman occasionally pulls out the Power Armor that first featured in The Dark Knight Returns. However, it's done for special occasions such as the City of Owls crossover. Batman is apparently worried about getting too reliant on the suit.
    • It's already clear that the Batsuit IS powered armor, just not to Stark levels. The Arkham games make this much clearer due to consistent artistic design, but it's been canon for a while. He's not just running around in spandex and kevlar.
    • Batman's not really tech-dependent in the same way that, say, Iron Man is. Sure, a lot of versions of Batman have played up the tech angle as a tool to help him solve crimes, but it's still entirely possible to do a low-tech minimalistic version of the concept where he's just a guy in a costume with a few throwing weapons, a customised car and a grappling gun. Should real-life technology evolve to the point where it matches what Batman has access to in the comics, the options are basically either (a) try and speculate even further for cool gadgets to give Batman or (b) go the other way and make him rely on his wits and fists more than his gadgets.
    • Batman's villains also aren't, for the most part, massively technology-dependent. Some are, sure, like Mr. Freeze, but you don't really need a massive amount of technology to use the Joker, or Two-Face, or the Penguin, or the Riddler, or Poison Ivy, or the Scarecrow, or Ra's al Ghul, or a huge number of them. So really, an increase in tech probably won't massively affect Batman anyway, and to the degree that it does it actually plays into a core part of the fundamental appeal of Batman — a more-or-less ordinary man facing overwhelming adversity and finding a way to triumph over it.

     Alfred's negligence 
  • Alfred. He's Batman's only true friend (Nightwing, Batgirl,etc are co-workers)and he's essentially the only surviving parent that Batman has. Why isn't he trying to stop Bruce Wayne from wasting his entire life on a cause that can only end in frustration and disappointment? Even assuming that Batman wouldn't be killed, he would certainly suffer a serious mental and emotional toll when he finally realized that despite his best efforts, Gotham City is just going to get worse as time goes on. How can somebody that cares for someone stand around and let that happen?
    • Because when someone is hell bent on something you can't stop them, just mitigate the damage. Alfred is smart enough to know that. One of the few decent lines in Batman Forever was from Alfred to Bruce on this subject regarding Robin's own vengance quest and Bruce trying to stop him.
    • And he's not just standing around and letting it happen. If anything, Alfred is there to work against that "serious mental and emotional toll," by encouraging him to be human whenever he can. If it weren't for Alfred, Bruce would probably be Batman all the time, while Alfred provides him with human contact, and keeps nudging him toward a more normal life. In Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, for example, he seems to be encouraging him in his own subtle way to get with Andrea.
      • Look what happened in Batman Beyond once Alfred was out of the picture, even with the Batcave all shut up and the Batsuit back on the peg Bruce retreated into an increasingly bitter shell of being Batman without being able to be out there.
      • Plus, well...he's Batman. If he decides he's going to be Batman, then he's going to be Batman until he's physically unable to continue. Nothing short of Alfred knocking his ass out and dragging him to Arkham in a straightjacket would prevent it, and even if he did Bats is an escape artist and could probably break out of Arkham before his first psychiatric interview.
      • And he wouldn't put his escape on hold to mentally destroy any aspiring young doctors like someone else we know.
    • What are you expecting? Alfred to tell Bruce "Cut that shit out and move on!" or something? I doubt Bruce would respond well to that. He'd probably fire Alfred on the spot and slip further and further into his anti-social shell, ending in a nervous breakdown at best and a full psychotic break at worst. Also, two things: 1. Nightwing, Batgirl, etc. are much more than "co-workers" to Bruce. They may not be as close to him as Alfred but they're just as much a part of Bruce's surrogate family (especially Nightwing). 2. There's no reason to assume Gotham will inevitably get worse as time goes on despite Bruce's best efforts.
      • While the girls may be coworkers, especially Barbara now that she's become Oracle, Bruce considers Dick his son, and he officially adopted Tim. Then you have Damien, who literally is his biological son.
    • There's also the simple fact that Alfred, on some level, supports what Bruce is doing. I mean, we can go backwards and forwards on whether Bruce is actually insane, or merely dysfunctional, or whatever else — but the fact remains that whatever the cause and whatever the absurdity, Bruce Wayne risks his life on a near-nightly basis to protect the innocent from those who would prey on or harm them and to secure justice for them. That's pretty much what a cop does, with the added benefit that in doing so, he has also created a very powerful guardian angel and symbol of hope for the downtrodden people of Gotham City to gather around in times of need. That's nothing to be sniffed at. Is the complete abolition and eradication of crime a mere pipe-dream? Yes. Does Alfred worry about Bruce near-constantly? Almost certainly. Does the Batman even have unintended side-effects such as escalation and the inspiration of super-villains? Quite possibly. Would Alfred, all things being ideal, rather that Bruce wasn't being Batman? Yes. But all things considered, Bruce Wayne has devoted himself to a pretty good purpose for living his life, and while there might be genuine and valid issues about it on the whole it's probably something that Alfred, with reservations, can more or less get behind.
    • Also, Bruce Wayne is a grown adult by the time he starts up as Batman, with an independent source of wealth that is more or less his to do with as he sees fit and who, undeniable neuroses aside, is of sound mind and not legally insane. There is realistically only so much Alfred can do to stop him, however much or little he disapproves.
  • Several of the Young-Batman series have focused on this. Specifically, Batman Earth One and (from teasers) Arkham Origins centered around Alfred's initial attempts to stop Bruce from this Batman nonsense and his story continues with him accepting Bruce's quest by the end.

     All the villain bases 
  • Why does Gotham City have a never-ending supply of abandoned themeparks and toy and game factories? Are people starting up these businesses as tax shelters, then foreclosing them so they can resell them to supervillains?
    • Presumably this is the Broker's evil plan. The Carpenter also exists, and makes a living from renovating and designing deathtraps and lairs.
    • There are probably only four or five of each, and supervillains just keep renovating the things. The toys are easily explained by a thriving toy industry at some point in the past, and the theme parks were probably part of Wayne Foundation urban renewal projects that failed utterly.
    • Ultimately, the real answer is simply because it's a comic book. For all that it's based on a twentieth/twenty-first century American metropolis, Gotham City is ultimately just as much a fantasy world as, say, Middle Earth, meaning that like any fantasy world it runs heavily on Rule of Symbolism. Hence, just as Mordor is a blasted land of ruin devoid of life because it fits the nature of Sauron, there will always be a toy factory or abandoned amusement park for the Joker to set up shop in if needed — because it fits his theme.

     Sane villains in Arkham 
  • Why the heck do the writers insist on putting clearly SANE Batman villains in Arkham along with the loons? Fetishes and superpowers aside, people like Catwoman, Penguin, or the Hagen Clayface are in complete control of their faculties, so should go into regular prison (or a prison designed to contain superpowered crooks), not in among people like Harley Quinn (whose series demonstrated a rather severe disconnect from reality with Harley Vision), Wesker (who thinks his ventriloquist's dummy talks to him), or Two-Face (has displayed at various times, a distinct (and ironic) monomania concerning the number 2, a crippling obsession with chance, and MPD). People like Poison Ivy or Mr Freeze, who have clear and distinct obsessions, but don't seem pathological, at first blush, are a borderline, but the first handful are really undeniable.
    • Some writers seem to be unaware that Blackgate Prison exists, and so use Arkham as the default "supervillains go here" penalty box for Batman characters. It may also be that Arkham is better equipped to hold the characters with the weirder powers (Mr. Freeze, Clayface, Poison Ivy).
    • Plus, I'd argue that it's pretty difficult to get turned into a giant goop monster without some attendant mental trauma. Maybe not enough to be classified legally insane, but possibly enough that it'd be deemed preferable for them to end up somewhere with lots of psychiatric experts.
    • You don't really see Penguin and Catwoman in Arkham much, if at all, anymore to be fair. Clayface is another issue.
    • It's mostly because Arkham has much better security than Blackgate, so anyone with superpowers or special needs (like Mr. Freeze who needs to be kept in a subzero tempreture to survive) can't be held out Blackgate with the rest of the non-powered inmates.
    • Penguin and Catwoman's respective sanity varies Depending on the Writer. Penguin has a strange obsession with birds and an extreme Napoleon complex. Catwoman is a kleptomaniac who dresses up like a cat. (Batman's sanity has often been called into question for similar obvious reasons.)
    • Penguin is canny enough that he might well exaggerate his eccentricities in the event of his arrest, enough so he'll get tossed into Arkham to get "cured" rather than into Blackgate until Hell freezes over.
    • Regarding villains with special containment needs like Freeze or Clayface - Arkham is probably either a private facility or at the very least less regulated than a federal prison. It's likely a lot easier from a legal and financial standpoint to make arrangements for the conditions of their cells than it would be a strict government institution.

     Why don't bystanders kill Joker? 
  • Yet again a JBM with the Joker. While we fans know why he'll never die, and that Batman won't kill him why do the characters in-universe never try anything to rid themselves of Mister Giggles? There are super-vigilantes in the D Cverse, after all. Heck, given how corrupt and brutal the Gotham PD is, why do you never see half a dozen PO'ed cops go down to holding and unload their guns into the Joker because he was "attempting escape" or whatever excuse they could come up with?
    • They're scared shitless of him?
      • To expand on this: why do people persist in abusive relationships? Why do larger, stronger people sometimes submit themselves to verbal abuse to smaller people or spouses? Why did Green Bay continually pine for Brett Favre? Why won't some normal person kill the Joker? I'd say the entirety of Gotham is like the Joker's abused spouse.
    • Alternatively, they're scared shitless of Batman. Think about it. Any super-vigilante with half a brain knows that if they go onto Batman's home turf looking to gun someone down he will find them and break them. And if they run across the Joker outside of Gotham City they know Batman isn't going to be far behind, which puts them in the same situation. Even if they manage to kill the Joker they've now got The Goddamn Batman on their tails. That scares me just thinking about it.
    • If they have Batman on their tails for killing the Joker, all they would have to do is surrender to the police. As rough as Batman is, to my knowledge he never went after anyone already in lawful police custody.
    • Or if you go in, blast at the Joker...and he somehow survives? Your family is going to be hamburger on his next escape attempt, even if it's six months from now.
      • Yeah, would you want to run the risk of suddenly being the focus of Mistah Jay's complete and undivided attention? There isn't enough money on the planet to make someone risk that.
    • While the Joker is personally formidable enough that nobody who isn't a very skilled opponent has any hope of killing him instead of dying at the Joker's hands in the attempt, that still doesn't explain why none of the friends or relatives of the Joker's endless parade of victims hasn't been rich enough to simply hand a couple million bucks to Deadshot or Lady Shiva or David Cain and say 'Go kill that guy'. There are mercenary assassins available who will gladly go head-to-head with Batman, and are either crazy enough to not care or just that damn good enough to not be afraid of the Joker. And yes, while my hired assassin will just want to take their paycheck and leave, Batman won't just go after them but also come after me for hiring them. Here's the plan. As soon as the Joker is dead, I'll just go straight to the police station and turn myself in to the GCPD. No jury in Gotham City will ever convict me.
    • In the Elseworld comic Batman-Lobo, Scarface hire Lobo to kill the Joker, but he manages to manipulate everyone to be the only survivor (along Batman) of the story.
      • For all we know, they have tried it before, it's just that nobody bothers anymore because he won't stay dead.
      • There actually was a Batman comic (or Animated Series tie-in comic, possibly) about a rich guy who actually did do this. Batman's response when he found out was to get the Joker, lug him around to protect him, and then dump him at the rich guy's feet, telling him that he wasn't going to let the rich guy buy himself a murder and keep his hands clean; if he wanted the Joker dead, he was going to have to do it his own damn self. Yeah, Batman still isn't going to let you get away with pulling that kind of shit.
    • A cop DID shoot the Joker once, right in the head. Well, a cop who thought he was Batman, but still. The thing is, the Joker survived, it's kind of his thing.
    • Who's to say he hasn't been shot at plenty of times? It's just never worked because:
      • They aren't good enough for a fatal shot, and may just fail hitting him all together
      • The Joker's smart enough to wear a bullet-proof vest
      • He's immortal
      • What happens when you shoot the Devil in the back and he doesn't die?
    • Also, even if you do manage to kill the Joker, then retaliation can come from Harley Quinn or some of his goons. People tend to forget that the Joker is not just a Psycho Killer Clown he's also a mafia boss, it will be like asking why no one kills Falcone or Thorne.

     Scarecrow profile? 
  • It bugs me that Scarecrow doesn't have a profile page. What happened to it?
    • Profile pages are restricted to villains that have outgrown their hero- gotten their own miniseries or series, menaced the DCU as a whole on a semi-regular basis and became a fixture in several unrelated storylines, etc. Scarecrow rarely if ever appears outside of Bat-family books.
    • Damn. Then it bugs me that he's only a minor character.

     Batman's Jason Todd hallucination 

     Batman's injuries 
  • I can accept the Lazarus Pit being a human-body reset clock, as Batman has been tossed into it a few times. But...Batman routinely receives injuries that should if not kill him, leave him unable to stand. But many times he takes a huge blade (Superman/Batman, Batman:Cacophony) continues fighting. And of course, if he's supposed to be such a huge badass, he'd never let those blades or beatings happen in the first place.
    • It's called dramatic license... The same excuse that allows film noir detectives to take repeated blows to the head without developing brain damage.

     Superhero disguises 
  • This isn't strictly a Batman criticism, but it bugs me when a superhero/villain doesn't wear a sufficient disguise. Robin, in some incarnations, wears something around his eyes and his costume; most people who had seen him out of costume wouldn't have any trouble recongising him in it. In some incarnations, Catwoman also wears just an eye mask. Superman takes off his glasses and wears a costume. Most of the time, his glasses are normal and non-distinctive (if the glasses are unusual, seeing a person out of them sometimes makes the person almost unrecognisable), and I doubt he's never taken them off in public around other people. Wonder Woman has no mask, but I'm not sure she has a non-super alias, so, perhaps, in her case, it's forgivable. Even in one episode where Lois got powers, her mask consisted of the eye thing. Now, Batgirl, at least in the 1960s series, wore a fuller mask and the wig, the latter of which wasn't necessary but was smart in throwing off anyone who was looking for women matching her physical characteristics.
    • There's a whole trope for this, Clark Kenting, which discusses exactly this and the various justifications for why it actually works in pretty much all the cases you mentioned.
    • In regards to Robin in particular: How many people have actually seen both Robin and his alter-ego? If they haven't seen both and gotten a chance to compare and contrast, they can't exactly recognize him out of costume, now can they? For that matter, how many people who have seen Robin got a good look at him in the first place? Most of the time he's tackling muggers and drug dealers in the middle of the night. Between the darkness and getting punched in the skull by Batman and Robin, how many people who see him could actually remember his face?
      • Again in regards to Robin - I admit I'm not much of a comic book reader, but I can barely tell the difference between Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damien Al Ghul even without the costume one. Most superheros tend to have fairly vague facial characteristics - and recognizing a person is difficult enough even WITHOUT a disguise or costume.
      • Bruce Wayne and his gaggle of orphans are public figures. Google in the DCU should have a trillion images of all of them. There's no excuse. Hell, Bruce Wayne's Wikipedia page should have pictures of all of them.
    • Regarding Catwoman, in a lot of modern comics at least Selina Kyle is actually a known criminal. For the most part, her "disguise" is mainly a bit of a kink.
  • I realise that not many people had time to take a good long look at Batman's chin, and compare it to that of a Bruce Wayne but...

     Bruce's legal guardian 
  • Who was Bruce's legal guardian after his parents died? Whenever we see glimpses into this period of his life, it seems like he's running his own life from age ten, living in a big empty manor house with nobody but the butler. Has it been formally established that Alfred was Bruce's guardian? And if so, doesn't make their formal master/servant employer/employee thing kind of dysfunctional?
    • Batman Begins does say that Alfred became Bruce's legal guardian after his parents were murdered. Beyond that, I have no idea.
    • Yeah, it was Alfred. Remember that Bruce started at an early age training for his quest for justice (the exact date I don't know), so Alfred didn't see him all that often.
      • It's typically said that Bruce lost his parents at age ten and went training abroad after dropping out of college. That leaves a big enough gap to make Alfred and Bruce's relationship flat-out weird. Are there any comics, canon or not, that cover that period of time? Or does Batman geniunely have "lost years", like Jesus?
    • This probably wasn't as easily explained in the Golden Age comics, where Alfred had never even been to Gotham or met Bruce until a few years after he had been Batman.
    • Pre-Crisis Bruce's legal guardian was his uncle Philip Wayne, and he was mostly raised by the housekeeper, Mrs. Chilton, who was also Joe Chill's mother. There are some weird things hanging out in the backwaters of continuity...
    • And also, now that I'm thinking about it... how exactly would Alfred have wound up with custody of Bruce Wayne in the first place? The Waynes were supposed to be one of the most influential and socially prominant families in Gotham, as were the Kanes, right? So where did all of his other relatives go? Would any court really grant guardianship of a child worth billions to a non-relative with so much to gain by feigning interest in the kid? Wouldn't the kind of legal battle you'd inevitably have to go through to gain custody of a famous billionare 10-year-old be cost-prohibitive for someone on a butler's salary? Help me out, tropers. I'm losing sleep. Someone out there must have a juicy rationalizaton for this, right?
      • It's not like Alfred came out of nowhere. He had been the Waynes' butler for years before Thomas and Martha were shot. It's perfectly possible, even likely, that he was explicitly named as Bruce's guardian in their Will if anything should happen to them. It is a stretch that they didn't have any other suitable relatives willing or able to take care of Bruce, but it's still possible.
      • I think it's the term "butler" that throws people off. When people think of a "butler" they think of a low-status, low-paid servant. But historically a butler could also be the head manager of all the household servants, or even the entire household itself. In addition to sweeping the floors and making dinner for the Wayne family, Alfred may also have been the equivalent of the majordomo of the Wayne household. Not an insignificant title.
      • Actually butler in Spanish is “mayordomo”, and though for Eagleland Osmosis often has the same cultural meaning in media that in English, yes the official meaning of the world in most Latin languages is that of some sort of manager of a mansion, something like the boss of all the servants, the “major domus” in Latin (major boss). And yes, is very unlikely that Alfred could he, alone, serve the Waynes and clean an entire mansion everyday, he had to have underlings and not be just like Miles in The Nanny or Mr. Belvedere. So, that said, is not that unlikely that the general manager of the Wayne estate and a very close friend of the parents to be in the Will as the legal guardian in case of death of both parents.
      • Guardianship provisions in the wills of Thomas and Martha Wayne naming Alfred as guardian if something should happen to both of them. This is implied in multiple continuities and explicitly stated in Batman Earth 1.
    • I think I just get now why Alfred got a special British force record added to his background, he was Batman's first mentor.
    • Maybe the Wayne family tree has a lot of one-child families and such, thinning out the supply of living relatives. And maybe Bruce hardly ever talked to his relatives and didn't like them very much, but felt much more comfortable with Alfred, so Thomas and Martha decided that Alfred should be his guardian in the (highly unlikely) event that they both died. (This could actually prompt some interesting storylines, like maybe Bruce Wayne has a bunch of cousins or something but that branch of the family had a huge fight with Thomas and/or Martha and they never really spoke to each other again, etc..)

     Batman is Sinestro 
  • A character that uses violence and fear to defeat his chaotic enemies. Wait, we're talking about Batman? I thought we were talking about Sinestro. The core of Batman is the same as Sinestro, but Batman's use of it is generally appreciated, whilst Sinestro is demeaned for it. Christ, the reason why Batman hates Hal and the other G Ls is the same reason that the Sinestro Corps hates them: they oppose Fear. It's touched on a few times (Batman tries a GL ring and can't use it because he can't get over his parent's death, Batman gets a Sinestro Ring, Parallax sees Batman as his Disciple and takes him over), but not enough for my taste.
    • Yes, they both use fear, but they don't use it to the same ends or for the same purposes. Batman uses fear to protect innocent people and to take down criminals. Sinestro uses fear to rule, take over, and generally do bad things. The core of Batman isn't the same as Sinestro, just one of Batman's methodologies is similar to Sinestro's modus operandi.
    • I would disagree, and say your analysis of how the two characters use Fear is exactly the hypocrisy I'm talking about. Sinestro still considers himself the Greatest Green Lantern, and his Corps is merely an extension of that: protect the innocents by scaring the bejesus out of the criminal element. Batman is one Power Ring away from ruling / taking over Gotham.
    • Except Sinestro doesn't want the criminal element to fear the Green Lanterns. He wants everyone to fear the Green Lanterns. It's a subtle but crucial difference.
    • Also, you're still disregarding the respective reasons why Batman and Sinestro each want people to fear them. Again, Batman inspires fear so he can fight for justice. Sinestro inspires fear so he can maintain power and control. He may claim, he may even believe that he's doing it for the greater good, but Hitler probably thought the same thing.
    • It could be argued that Batman frequently uses fear to inspire hope - his ability to "scare the bejesus" out of criminals creates hope in the rest of the populace that Gotham could, one day, maybe, become good again. Sinestro is just fear, pure fear, and EVERYONE is supposed to fear him.
    • If you really want to draw parallels like that between two characters, this troper would say Sinestro and Owlman are the same. As a Green Lantern Sinestro deemed that the best way to protect his home planet was to rule it with an iron fist. Owlman deemed the best way to deal with crime was to take over organized crime.
    • Fear is just a weapon, like a gun or a sword. Both bad guys and good guys can use them. Just because you use the same weapon as a villain doesn't make you a villain.
      • So is napalm pretty sure people would take issue if Batman use it as often as he uses fear.
      • Proof of this argument can be found right in Batman's own Rogues Gallery. Jonathan Crane, Scarecrow, uses fear as a weapon just as much, if not more, as Batman does. One's a hero, the other's a Mad Scientist doing it For Science!/For the Evulz.
    • Well, Batman was a candidate for the Sinestro Corps. But more to the point, the difference is what they use that tactic for. Bats uses it to try and make Gotham safer. Sinestro pretty much does it For the Evulz.
    • The "Emotional Spectrum" that equates a yellow ring to fear is a relatively new development, only since Green Lantern: Rebirth in 2005-2006. Before that, the yellow ring (and there was only one) was a deliberate copy of Green Lantern rings, and it also operated on willpower. Sinestro was also unequivocally a villain until the whole Sinestro Corps thing. Batman, on the other hand, has been about scaring criminals ("a superstitious and cowardly lot") since he was created in the 1930s. So, if anything, Sinestro is copying Batman's tactics, not the other way around.
      • Sinestro was already using fear tactics to make his homeworld a dictatorship as a Green Lantern too, it's just that now they blatantly said it was fear.
    • The big difference is that with Batman you'll only fear corporal punishment, with Sinestro you can fear death of you and your loved ones.
    • Another crucial difference: Batman only wants criminals (i.e. people who actually and actively break the law) to fear him. In other words, he targets (or at least tries to target) that fear to a specific part of the population, one who are already breaking the law, and would rather the rest of the population ideally didn't fear him. Sinestro wants everyone to fear him, regardless of whether they abide by the law or not, because he feels it makes them easier to control. As an example, there's a scene in The New Frontier when Batman (in his Golden-Age dark-pulp-noir hero look) helps rescue a kidnapped child. The child, on being approached by Batman, bursts into tears and cowers away from him out of fear. The next time we see Batman, he's adopted a softer, gentler look (his Silver-Age appearance) and has taken on a young sidekick (Robin). The implication is clearly that Batman did not feel great about scaring the piss out of a child and has decided to change his image a bit to try and prevent that. Can we really imagine Sinestro even considering doing such a thing, even for a moment? Essentially, Batman uses (or at least tries to use) fear discriminately to make his desires to altruistically help people easier; Sinestro uses fear indiscriminately to make fulfilling his selfish craving for power easier.

     Two-Face's binary thing 
  • Enough with the mature and thoughtful questions. Is Two-Face bisexual, or what?
    • Well, given that we've never once seen him show any sort of attraction towards another man (that I know of), probably not. Though I would not be surprised if he prefers to have sex with two women at the same time.
      • That would just make him a standard heterosexual male, wouldn't it? (Yes, yes, crap and obvious joke, but someone had to do it, and I couldn't resist.}
    • Third Batman film played with Two women part.
      • Okay, but considering his pathological obsession with the number two seems to be thing on which he bases all his decisions, it's got to have at least occurred to him. Why would he sleep with only one gender when he could sleep with two? Obviously, his sexuality is what it is and he can't change that, but he certainly he could sleep with people he's not really attracted to as a heterosexual just to fulfill the requirements of his villain theme. It would be crazy, natch, but Two-Face is crazy, and it certainly wouldn't be the craziest thing he's done in the name of his obsessions. Since we're generally led to believe that this brand of psychosis carries over to all aspects of his life, sexuality would be an odd omission.
      • His pathological obsession is with having/getting/doing things in twos, not in exploring every option. Two-Face is fueled, in essence, by the conflicting urges of Harvey Dent and Big Bad Harv, and if neither of them are gay or bisexual, there's no reason for him to sleep with a man.
    • He is if the coin tells him that he is.
    • Shemales maybe? Or you know Futanaries, being best of both worlds and all that (but i don't think DCU have any).
    • Since gender is not strictly binary, the issue probably doesn't come up in Two-Face's pathology anyway.

     Ra's and Ivy 
  • Why have Ra's Al-Ghul and Poison Ivy never teamed up? They have extremely similar goals and a comparable hatred of mankind. And don't even get me started on the things Ivy could do with the Lazarus Pits . . .
    • Ivy is nuttier than a peanut factory. Ra's Al-Ghul would probably consider her an unreliable teammate.
    • Maybe I just haven't read enough of the comics but she never seems insane in anything else. All of her Animated personas have some anger issues but aside from that she's usually rather calm. A damn good planner, she doesn't have a case of back stab fever. She can be a bit immature at times which might be part of the reason. Ra's is a very somber fellow. Still it's odd that considering their similar goals that they've never so much as accidently ended up working on the same project to prevent some bit of rain forest from being plowed or that it never occured to him to guide her to things she might not have noticed but that he wanted done.
    • I'm not entirely certain if this is generally the case, and I'm sure it varies heavily between canons, but I think it's how far they're willing to go in their goals - Ra's would want to cut down on the human population by a significant amount, while still leaving people alive. Meanwhile, Ivy's only concern is the plants - to use Arkham City as an example, upon finding out that one of her plants was destroyed, she threatened to go on a homicidal rampage and destroy Gotham. For one flower. She'd probably be too volatile for Ra's to work with, is my thinking.
      • Also, Ra's motivation is to restore and protect the Earth's ecosystem from the damage caused by humanity. Poison Ivy would radically alter the balance of nature if she were able to fully indulge her plant obsession. Their goals aren't really "extremely similar" at all.
    • Neither's exactly a team-player type. They just might not particularly care to team up with each other.
  • On a tangent from the above why has it never occured to say ANYBODY to perhaps see what Ivy would do if she had money and could pursue her goals by purchasing the land legally or transplanting the exotic plants to locations that weren't about to be developed? I understand why it's never occured to HER that she could make a fortune just growing food for people. It just hasn't and a lot of times that's a good enough answer for why someone hasn't done something but Bruce could easily annoymously open the Pamela Isley Foundation throw a million bucks at it and when it turns out to be a wast of a million bucks he can shrug and remember he's got at least nine hundred ninety nine more where that one came from.
    • It might be a bit of a cop-out answer by this point but, well, cop-out or not Ivy's fucking insane. She's an unstable psychotic maniac who believes (in most depictions that is) that she's essentially a plant made human (or even an Earth Goddess) come to Earth to liberate plant-life, and doesn't give a toss about anything else; give her millions of dollars for a scheme like this, that's millions of dollars you've given her that she'll most likely end up using for some kind of mad plant-themed genocide attempt because that's who she is and what she does, and she's done it countless times before. You'd do more good if you just threw it out the window to the streets below. She doesn't think about using sane and rational means such as this because she's not a sane and rational person, and it would just as insane and irrational to give her money like this knowing full well that she's probably not suddenly going to turn around and do something sane and rational with it.
    • She hates people, but that doesn't mean she's willing to commit genocide on humanity.
    • Except for, well, all those times she's tried to commit genocide on humanity. How many times has she tried to mutate the inhabitants of Gotham City into plants or otherwise kill large numbers of people with various forms of fauna now?
      • Killing the people of a city is bad, a massacre, but is still not genocide on humanity.
      • Oh come on; not only did you appear to overlook the "kill large numbers of people" bit (which is part of the definition of 'genocide', city or no), but we're starting to quibble a bit here. Ivy means to start with Gotham City, but she's never been shy about admitting that she's perfectly content and willing to wipe out all of humanity if it fulfils her goals of protecting plant-life. The fact is Poison Ivy's schemes have never managed to get beyond wiping out large numbers of Gothamites (though not through lack of trying and largely due to the intervention of Batman) doesn't change the fact that she's clearly been demonstrated on numerous occasions to have more enthusiasm for the idea of committing actual genocide on humanity than a sane person should, and frankly suggesting otherwise on the grounds that she's only managed to kill the inhabitants of one city so far is getting a bit pedantic.
      • The definition of genocide is, according to the United Nations and the Geneva Convention, and I quote: "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group" not "kill large numbers of people" (that's the definition of massacre), again, killing large numbers of people is bad, but is not genocide. Genocide is the intend of elimination of an specific ethnic group. Just because someone uses a juridic term correctl doesn't mean is overlooking anything.
      • Very well, I will rephrase. Despite her many massacres Poison Ivy has not, to date, successfully managed to specifically commit an act of genocide, especially not as defined by the UN Convention on Human Rights. However, what this debate does seem to be getting a bit side-tracked from is the fact that Poison Ivy has at several points expressed an interest and desire to eradicate the entirety of humanity and has attempted to do on numerous occasions (even if she has not succeeded). In which case, unless you have a better word to describe it, I think it is reasonably fair to describe her intentions (if not necessarily her specific actions in practice) as 'genocidal' even if it does not strictly adhere to the UN definition or is not a strictly judicial use of the term (especially since, come on, we're not in a courtroom here). While she might not be targeting a specific ethnic, religious, national, racial etc. group, she nevertheless does target her actions against a specific group — humanity itself. Poison Ivy has expressed a desire to eradicate humanity as a whole on numerous occasions and has planned and committed several acts which have been intended to further that goal. While my use of the term might not be correct in a strictly legalistic sense, frankly it does seem a little bit like quibbling to argue over whether the actions and/or motivations of someone who has specifically expressed a desire and intention to wipe out all of humanity can be called 'genocide' simply because she is not targeting a specific national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Because frankly, when you get to the point where someone is ultimately targeting every national, ethnic, racial or religious group simply because they are part of the same species, 'massacre' doesn't seem like a strong enough word.
      • My problem was more with the incorrect usage of genocide as destruction of a city or killing of lots of unrelated people. Obviously destroying humanity will qualify as genocide. But on the other hand, Ivy is considered offically insane, and insane people is normally not considered responsible for their actions nor even "evil" by the moral definition as you need to be in full control of your mental faculties and decisions in order to choose to do harm (this is kind of philosophical though). That's why she's send to Arkham. Her attempts to erase humanity might be mostly delusional ideas from a sick mind.
      • Fair enough, but when you're aiming to wipe out even 'just' an entire city (and a city apparently comparable to New York in size and population, no less) then even if your actions don't technically fall into the part of the definition about targeting specific racial, ethnic etc. groups then IMO 'genocide' still does inch a bit closer towards being an appropriate term to use to describe your intentions, informally if not legally. And that Poison Ivy is insane is pretty much undeniable, but that doesn't mean that her delusions aren't still genocidal in nature or aren't driving her to try and commit acts that could result in genocide.

     Freeze escaping Arkham 
  • How does Mr Freeze ever break out of Arkham? His cell is kept cold so he can survive in it, so presumably they don't let him keep his special suit. So how does he escape without dying from the heat?
    • Some comics depict Freeze as having a gang of minions. They could bring his freeze suit along with them when he breaks out. Alternatively, they can't keep him in one room forever. They have to let him out from time to time so he can eat and exercise and all the other things human rights groups would complain about if they didn't let him do. And in order to let him out of his cell they have to have a way for him to walk around without dying. A low-grade freeze suit kept near his cell would work for that.
      • Supported by Young Justice (2010), where Freeze is given a prison version of his containment suit in Belle Reve.
    • Or he could just watch the weather forecasts and break out every time a blizzard hits Gotham.

     Why the Batmobile? 
  • Setting aside the Rule of Cool for a minute... has the Batmobile ever made any sense? What keeps criminals from just following it to determine Batman's identity? Shouldn't Gothamites have noticed by now that it routinely passes through certain neighborhoods nearish to Wayne Manor, even if they don't suspect Wayne specifically? It seems like it'd be much safer to drive into town in a relatively inconspicuous car and then change in the field, Clark Kent style. If you don't want anyone to know you're Batman, what advantage is there in driving directly from your home address to the scene of the crime in a custom bat-themed car?
    • I know it's an Audience-Coloring Adaptation for most people, but the 60's TV series actually handled this one. The Batmobile comes up through a tunnel (with a flip-down construction barricade) on a remote county road (Gotta figure that not all of the Batcave's tunnels are close to Stately Wayne Manor).
      • But doesn't that just delay the issue? What happens when someone follows him to the entrance of the tunnel? Presumably, the tunnel would have to lead directly to the Batcave, otherwise Batman would be pretty inefficient in an emergency.
      • The Batmobile is a high performance car with a rocket engine, and enough sensor equipment to make the CIA jealous, and it's driven by the most paranoid person on the face of the planet. "Just following it" wouldn't be nearly as simple as you make it sound. And how, exactly, would changing "in the field" with potentially thousands more witnesses, be a better way to hide his identity than always appearing in the Batmobile?
      • Okay, so that means tailing the Batmobile wouldn't get you anywhere. But if a villain with enough resources really wanted to know, I'm not sure what would keep them from just putting pins in a map everytime there's a Batmobile sighting , posting lookouts all over the city, or even staging a series of crimes solely with the intent of observing which direction he arrives from or departs in. Eventually, it would become clear that the Batmobile spends a disproportionate amount of time either (a) in the upscale area of Gotham where Wayne Manor is located or (b) near the "remote, out of the way" tunnel entrances. (As for changing in the field, Batman is a ninja. I find it more plausible that he could steal away to some dark corner of the city and pull off a quick change than drive a similar route every night in a large, conspicuous car without anyone ever making a note of where he turns off. But conceding that Batman's large amount of gear would make this tricky in most incarnations, I instead submit the idea of merely driving a different ordinary-looking car from Wayne Manor to the city every night. Heck, as things stand now, even a poorly-timed Google Earth photo could screw things up for Batman.
      • In fairness, the Batmobile originally essentially was just a slightly customized and souped-up but otherwise fairly regular sports car; not something that everyone owned, perhaps, but reasonably unremarkable. It's only over time that it's become the highly customized and unique motor vehicle we now think of. However, the above point about Bruce Wayne being one of the most hugely paranoid people known to humanity still applies; several comics show that he keeps several different Batmobiles in the cave alone, so it's not unreasonable to suggest he has a few stashed around the city in hidden locations under highly-concealed dummy identities to avert precisely this problem and make it unclear as to where the Batmobile usually appears from (and also because he doesn't necessarily know where he's going to be when Batman needs the Batmobile, so it's a good idea to keep one close to hand wherever he is in Gotham), so even if you did do this kind of study all you would get is that it looks like it could theoretically appear from anywhere.
      • There's also possibly more than one tunnel.
    • I always wondered that too. It would make sense for Batman to have some sort of vehicle, but doesn't making it huge and adding Bat-decor clash with the whole "stealth" thing? Any villain, police officer, or regular citizen with enough resources could just shoot a tracking device or something onto it, since it stands out so much in traffic. It would make more sense for the Batmobile to be a simple black sports car with tinted windows and weapons that open out whenever they need to. He could drive to wherever he's needed at night, park it in an alleyway somewhere, get his job done, and drive back arousing less suspicion. The entire car chase in Batman Begins would have been avoided.
      • Point of fact, the original Batmobiles were just high-end sports cars. It wasn't until around the 60s that they started getting the prominent bat motifs, and the 1989 movie is where it really took off.
    • "Certain neighborhoods nearish to Wayne Manor"? Wayne Manor isn't a McMansion, it's almost always a stately home surrounded by open land built miles away from the urban / suburban development of the city. It's very remoteness is the whole point; it gives Wayne the privacy he needs to come and go as he needs as Batman, because it's in an area where few people will be hanging around without reason or without being detected by his security systems.
  • One also has to remember that the Batmobile doesn't exist for stealth. Hell, Batman's only uses stealth as a weapon while he's fighting or sneaking into a building. He generally wants people to know he's out there somewhere.

     Scarecrow's legal culpability 
  • I know this sounds really lawyery, can Scarecrow be charged with any kind of crime? I can't think of any.
    • It's probably a crime to expose people to mind-altering drugs without their consent, there's attempted murder, and all his helping of other Gotham criminals is probably a few felonies in itself.
    • Kidnapping: he gets tests subjects someway; murder: said test subjects don't always make it. Theft: chemicals are expensive.
    • Torture. He's all about explicitly tormenting people with their fears, after all, so psychological torture is definitely involved. There's usually an element of physical torture involved as well.
    • He's also straight-up killed quite a few people. It's not his main thing but when he first appeared as a villain he went and killed a bunch of people who wronged him ... including pretty much most of the female members of his family, most of whom deserved it. It's a messed-up family. He also apparently killed his first person when he was seventeen.
    • Possession, maybe? I'm sure at least some the chemicals he uses to cook up his fear gas must be kind of sketchy.
    • This troper is now deeply disturbed by the fact that someone seriously can't tell that there's something wrong with what the Scarecrow does. Let's keep an eye out for murder by deadly chemicals wherever that guy lives, shall we?
      • This probably shouldn't disturb you any more than any other case of Draco in Leather Pants. It's actually not quite as bad as DILP-ing the Joker.
      • That seems a bit unfair to this troper. I'm not the OP, but perhaps the question may have arisen less from Draco in Leather Pants and more from serious, genuine curiosity. From what I understand, the legal system can be quite confusing, and it can be difficult even for those involved in it to identify and judge specific crimes, especially with all the Inaccuracies in media that writers tend to have. So while it's obvious that Scarecrow is breaking the law, I can comprehend someone Being confused what specific crimes he's committing.
    • Scarecrow overthrew the city twice. That's gotta count for law breaking. Also he does murder people the old way to instill fear.
    • This should help a bit. The answer is apparently a combination of “Consumption By Fraudulent Means” (since he’s not giving his victims a choice when he gasses them) and “Second Degree Assault” (he’s attacking people in way that, while not always lethal, does cause them harm).

     Keeny family names 
  • Family names pass from father to child. So what the hell happened with the Keeny family. The name is passing from mothers to daughters. Where are the dads? Are they used for sex then killed? Do they keep sons around to ......Squick...never mind. Maybe that's why Scarecrow is so messed up.
    • Family names passing from father to child is not some immutable law of nature that, when not followed, means something is horribly wrong. It's a societal custom that some people just ignore. There are matrilineal societies out there, and it's entirely possible that the Keeny family custom was the woman kept her name.
      • ....Eh, alright. I'll buy that. Doesn't make their family any less fucked up though.
      • That's kind of the point. Scarecrow is arguably the least screwed up member of the family, and that is incredibly terrifying.
      • You're preaching to the choir friend. Anyone who responds to the birth of their illegitimate grandson with "Let's bury it alive" has some issues. The fact that Jonathan even lived into adulthood is an accomplishment.

     Harley's doctorate 
  • Given the usual Dumb Blonde portrayal of Harley Quinn, how on earth did she ever manage to become a psychiatrist? The less-than-stringent hiring practices of Arkham Asylum are one thing, but what about the years of studies and research required to get a doctorate?
    • I think one comic not so subtlely inplied she slept her way through college. Or, she's faking the Dumb Blonde act.
      • Said portrayal tends to be after the Joker has driven her mad. That might have something to do with it.
      • Exactly. Harley Quinn isn't stupid — she's crazy. Harleen was presumably an intelligent, promising young doctor before the Joker broke her with his mind games. Being very smart is no protection against being mentally fragile. Also, there's definitely some Obfuscating Stupidity going on: whenever she comes up with an idea that's better than the Joker's, he flies into a rage.
      • Note on intelligence not affecting mental stability; case in point, most of Batman's rogues seem to have what appears to be genius level intellects and yet have all managed to have completely lost it at some point in their lives.
      • Obfuscating Stupidity did cross my mind as well. I can buy going insane radically changing a person's behaviour, but having one's IQ drop 50 points and forgetting years of scientific expertise less so. Compare her to other Batman villains who are insane scientific geniuses, such as Scarecrow or Mr. Freeze; clearly they still retain their scientific knowledge and the intelligence to apply it, twisted as it may be. On the other hand, has Harley ever shown the kind of medical knowledge or insight to the workings of a person's mind you would expect from a psychiatrist? I admit I am not well-read on her and would love to read stories where she does that.
      • She did manage to trick and capture Batman in Mad Love.
      • Yeah, as Batman said to the Joker afterward, "I have to admit, she came a lot closer to killing me than you ever did." Batman only escaped by exploiting her insanity (her desperate need for the Joker's approval), though the Joker throwing a temper tantrum over Harley's success is probably why she took to mostly playing dumb. And though it's a different continuity than the comics, she was heavily involved in torturing and brainwashing Tim Drake in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, and there's a subtle, Fridge Horror hint that her role in the process (probably that of giving some twisted form of comfort, given that we heard her singing lullabies) may have had more to do with breaking him than the Joker. Tim was able to resist and turn on the Joker, but he obeyed Harley without hesitation.
      • The original "Mad Love" comic book made it pretty clear that Harley traded sexual favors for grades and suggested that she wasn't interested in actually learning, just "getting her ticket punched" with a degree so she could become a pop-psychiatry author and/or media celebrity. Those elements were left out of the animated series adaptation. That said, she's clearly smarter than she looks, but (usually) knows better than to anger Mistah J by showing him up.
    • Speaking of her being a psychiatrist, how come she did not expect the Joker to have an abusive father? Isn't that the first thing she should have expected? Or did she mean that she didn't expect he'd tell her so readily?
      • Nah, you generally don't go into it assuming, because that's just a bad idea. Your assumptions could be wrong, could actually make things worse, or just lead you down the wrong path. If you've got a patient, you don't assume. Furthermore, with the Joker, even if you were going to assume, what the hell would you assume? There's too many options for what the hell's wrong with him. Hell, one could make a fairly good argument for "Escaped victim of John Wayne Gacy".
    • The above is probably it, but Love Makes You Stupid is also an option.
    • Not all blondes are dumb.

     Dick's adoption 
  • Let me just say that I don't exactly know everything that's happened in the Batman universe, having only been alive for 19 years. But Dick Grayson was a "ward of the state" to Bruce, and that means he basically let the kid live with him and paid for him to go to school and made him his sidekick and whatnot, right? But, at least in all the modern adaptations I've seen, Bruce and Dick (and usually all the other Robins, too, but I'm sticking with him here) seem to have a father/son thing going on (again, I don't know if their relationship was like this in the beginning, but that's usually how it's portrayed these days). So my question is, why exactly does Bruce NOT adopt him? I mean, it just seems like the obvious thing to do. Have they ever discussed why Bruce doesn't want to adopt Dick? At least in the more recent adaptations I've seen (like Young Justice), Dick seems to basically think of Bruce as a father figure, and since he's a troubled kid and all, you'd think adopting him would sort of give the message that Bruce does actually care about the kid, which he isn't great at expressing most of the time.
    • The current canon is that Bruce has, in fact, legally adopted both Dick Grayson and Tim Drake.
      • Cassandra Cain, too. One wonders how these serial adoptions look to the rest of Gotham.
      • "Gee, its kinda sad how rich orphan over there keeps adopting every other orphan he meets for no reason. I guess its some psychological thing, but he's rich, so its not crazy, only eccentric."
      • I'm fairly certain there are real-life celebrities who adopt multiple kids, and no one bats an eye except to make the odd joke about it.
      • Oooh, okay! Thanks for answering my question.
    • The adoption thing was actually a point of conflict between Dick and Bruce as early as the introduction of Jason Todd. Jason was the first to be legally adopted by Bruce and Dick wondered why Bruce never asked him.
    • He didn't want to replace Dick's real father. Said so in a DC Encyclopedia.

     Mob soldiers with steel masks 
  • In Batman #3 (New 52), the Ukraniane mob solders steel masks over the lower jaws of recruits as part of their training. Batman notes that they cannot remove these masks for at least a year. How do they eat?
    • Feeding tubes, maybe.
    • Intravenously.
    • Liquid diets. Lots of foods or similar sources of nutrients either are liquid-based to begin with (soups, protein shakes, fruit juices, etc) or can be pureed so that they essentially become mush, so I assume they mainly rely on that. Heck, even baby food could probably do. Probably not the most exciting or tasty diet you'll ever have, but you can survive on it, and given that it's a mob initiation ritual the hardship is probably partly the point.

     Why don't the police kill supervillains? 
  • Why isn't there an Omega Directive in place for every law enforcement body in Gotham to kill super-villains on sight? You would think after all the trouble the Gotham police and citizenry would be itching to get rid of them, even to the detriment of whatever hostages they have. If they were truly serious about stopping them for good they would throw everything they have and kill them at all costs. We all know the city is corrupt, so it's not like they really care about the constitution. Furthermore, why do they let them just chill in Arkham until they escape? The national security apparatus of DCU America should be taking a special interest in these guys and want to destroy them ASAP. I understand why DC wouldn't want to kill the Joker, but there's no reason why every resident of Gotham isn't taking pot shots at the clown every chance they get.
    • I think the question of why private citizens aren't itching to take on a man who has killed scores of innocents and evaded justice countless times speaks for itself. But as for why they don't bend the laws to permit the slaying of supervillains — I have a hard time imagining how that could get through the courts. Just what, under the law, is a supervillain?
    • In addition to the above, giving a police force with a notorious reputation for corruption like GPD — or indeed, giving anyone — what effectively amounts to a license-to-kill-undesirables with the easy potential for abuse is just asking for trouble. If a cop was so inclined, what's to stop them from from murdering whoever they want and claiming that they were a supervillain in order to get away with it? You might solve one problem, but at the expense of making another problem potentially just as bad if not worse. Put bluntly, it's a fucking terrible idea.
    • Eh, you probably wouldn't have to legally define a supervillain- you would probably just have to say "okay, if you have killed this many people and keep getting away with it, you get the chair". Also, it probably isn't that hard to come up with a definition, and if you are going to frame somebody as one you will probably need to have a bunch of gimmicky gadgets at least on hand to make it convincing, and pray to God that Batman doesn't find you (he will). Given the massive amount of death and destruction supervillains are responsible for, I doubt there would be that much resistance if I'm being honest, or at least a law that makes it easier to execute them. The problem with the OP is that the police don't actually need such a law, since if you come across a supervillain in the DCU odds are they are in the middle of committing a felony or are attacking you- seriously, its simply that comic book cops are worse aims than Stormtroopers; they constantly find themselves in situations where killing the bastard is okay (hell, even the rules), but they never, ever seem to hit them (assuming they fire in the first place). Usually, this is when the villain starts piling up cop corpses.
    • "You probably wouldn't have to legally define a supervillain" — um, yeah, you really would if you wanted to give the police what basically amounts to a license to kill supervillains. Otherwise, that whole "shooting whoever the cop feels like and calling them a supervillain" issue mentioned above? Is gonna become a problem.
    • There's a big difference between corruption (which happens behind the scenes) and a police department declaring open season on somebody. The latter would have to be public knowledge, and that would attract attention from, umm, state and federal authorities.
    • The real reason is Jim Gordon's personality. He believes in due process and rule of law all the way. Even after the Joker paralyses his daughter, he is determined to arrest the Joker unharmed to "show him that our way works".
      • But Joker always get harmed, Batman's beating would be considered police brutality.
    • Okay, but after the PATRIOT Act passed, why the hell aren't they all in Gitmo? That's something you can't explain. Bombings, mass murder, gas attacks, poisoning the water supply, and more.
    • The Gotham police are the main supervillain(s) in Gotham. Corruption ≠ police state. Their only real job is being a protection racket. Who do you think is paying off the police in the first place? The Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Scarecrow, etc. Thanks to the corrupt structure already in place, they don't need a syndicate either. As long as Catwoman gives the police a cut of her jobs, the only one who can nab her is Batman. One of Bats' advantages being incorruptible. Azzarello’s Joker had Two-Face practically running a second (corrupt) police force, which makes sense. Why would they shoot the guy who’s putting their kids through college? It neatly underlines not only the evil of corruption, but the stupid short-sightedness. Sure you have an in-ground pool and nice car and a wad of cash on your hip, but you have to ignore that your colleagues (criminal or police) might kill you at any moment. In Real Life actual gangsters and corrupt cops live those kinds of lives. But no one gets the chance to hunt down the Joker, the police stop them. And even then there's the attention of the (current) gang. Corrupt ≠ lazy either.
    • The above paragraph is completely inaccurate. None of those villains pay off the cops. The corruption in the police force is from the Mafia that was in town before the supervillains came in.
      • Of course, that doesn’t take into account targets of opportunity. There was a recent spate of “scary clowns” in many towns in the U.S. and, because they were approaching children with what appeared to be machetes, police warnings included a warning to the clowns that it was dangerous for them exactly because someone might panic and shoot them. Which makes total sense. Depending on the gun laws in Gotham (or not, but I can’t imagine living there and not being strapped. And how hard would it be to buy an illegal gun in Gotham?) someone who sighted the Joker would probably open fire immediately. Because why not? Odds are he’s released a poison cloud, or firebomb, or crazy fish or he’s about to so taking a pot shot at him makes complete sense. OTOH he has bodyguards on top of the police. And he doesn’t seem to try to kill anyone with enough intelligence on him to get a lead on him. He kills the henchmen who might leak such intelligence first (there’s a method to his madness, like Keyser Söze, you can’t be betrayed if you have no people, and thanks to the corrupt cops, he needs them even less). On top of that the Joker has no attachments. He doesn't want an in-ground pool or car or wad of cash so it's nearly impossible to track him.
      • Plus the Joker is probably hiding and planning most of the time. The only time anyone would see him is “on-stage.” He wouldn’t be high profile and in public unless he’s holding all the cards and has accounted for the odd-panicked shooter. A shame really.
    • Thanks to a lot of high-profile shootings that are morally and ethically a bit questionable at least, American police in recent years haven't exactly nurtured a great reputation with large stretches of the public when it comes to responsible use of their firearms, and that's in a world which doesn't contain the Joker. So basically giving cops licenses to kill probably wouldn't help much with that particular problem.
      • This just raises the question of why, given that police officers are able to get away with morally and ethically questionable high-profile shootings, more of them don't engage in the moral and ethical shooting of supervillains when the villain's mere presence means they have legitimate fear for their lives. Maybe not a thief like Riddler or Catwoman, but some like Joker, Two-Face or, dear God, Killer Croc. It's hard to imagine anyone with a loaded firearm in hand could run into an instantly recognizable serial killer and try to hold them at gunpoint instead of either filling them full of lead or screaming and running away. And any district attorney who tried to actually prosecute the cop who killed, say, Victor Zsasz would be committing career suicide.
      • They're not exactly "getting away with it" in reality, though; granted, officers responsible for dubiously legitimate shootings might not have gone to prison, but that's arguably come at the cost of a drastic decline in public trust and faith in the police. Since those are two things the police arguably need to continue to do their jobs and maintain their authority, that's still a bit of a problem, and one that — as stated — issuing a blanket "license to kill" still isn't really going to help with. Admittedly, a cop less-than-ethically blowing away, say, Mr. Zsasz probably isn't face the same issue in the Batman universe, but there I think we have to chalk it up to the fact that Mr. Zsasz, being a reasonably popular recurring villain, has a certain amount of Plot Armor when it comes to being capped by some random police officer.

     Batman's training 
  • Where did Batman begin his training at?
    • Which Batman in which continuity? That said, there probably isn't a straight answer to this, because unless I'm mistaken there hasn't been much written about that part of Bruce's life.
  • Wildcat, personal trainers, Richard Dragon and sometime the League of Shadow. Before meeting other people Batman was just a good boxer and judoka.

     Robin doesn't fit the theme 
  • Why Robin? I mean, we've got the Batmobiles and Batarangs and the Batjet, Batman and Batwoman and Batgirl and Robin. What does Robin have to do with bats? Hell, I could understand if they went with moths or owls or something because Batboy is sort of generic, but Robin? Not only that but besides the copious amounts of red and the feathered glider I've seen him with recently, Robin's costume doesn't match that theme well either.
    • I think Dick Grayson picked his own name and costume(the colors were the same as his parent's trapeze act). Every Robin after him was a Legacy Character.
    • Also, he isn't named for the bird but for Robin Hood. It's the reason for the colors and medieval style of the original costume. One of the creators was drawing it from memory of a book of illustrations about Robin Hood.
    • Robin is the nickname his mother used to call him. (The Robin Hood inspiration is only in the All Stars Batman and Robin.)
    • No, Jerry Robinson, Robin's co-creator, explicitly said he was based on Robin Hood: ("I came up with Robin because the adventures of Robin Hood were boyhood favorites of mine. I had been given a Robin Hood book illustrated by N. C. Wyeth — I think it was a 10th or 12th birthday present. It was a big, very handsome book for the time, very elaborate because it had full-color illustrations, maybe a dozen throughout the book. It was the full text with full-plate tip-ins. I remembered those because I had pored over them so many times as a kid. I had a vision of Robin Hood just as Wyeth drew him in his costume, and that’s what I quickly sketched out when I suggested [the name] Robin, which they seemed to like, and then showed them the costume. And if you look at it, it’s Wyeth’s costume, from my memory, because I didn’t have the book to look at.")

     New 52 timeline 
  • The New 52 continuity confuses me a bit. So, Damien is still Robin, right? But Batman has only been Batman for about 5 years or so. Damien is older than that. Did teenage Bruce have a fling with Talia, or what? I know the Bat-titles didn't get as rebooted as the rest of the line, but that just doesn't add up
    • I took it to mean that Batman's only been publicly known for around 5 years(working with the Justice League and having the bat-signal up at the police station) but has been around longer, everyone just thought he was an urban legend before he went public.
    • FWIW the rebooted Justice League has several of the other superheroes express astonishment that Batman even exists, suggesting that he's generally been considered a rumour or an urban myth up until that point.

     Barbara's paralysis 
  • I'm surprised to see this isn't here already, and I know that it's been retconned out, but what's keeping Barbara Gordan paralyzed? There's the Lazaris Pits that can apparently cure just about anything, Sci-fi level medical technologies all over the DCU that can cure just about anything, and failing all those numerous types of Ironman-like suits used by both heroes and villains that could give her the ability to walk again. Why did it take a retcon for Barbara to walk again?
    • Barbara Gordon stayed paralyzed because she's unwilling to get special treatment that isn't available to everyone else.
    • Which is just an asspull by the writers to keep Barbara crippled.
    • And now she can walk again.
    • Nature is a mad scientist. Remember the guy who got the large nail in his head, and didn't feel a thing, and there was no damage? What about people who are in comas, but all of a suddenly come out of it?
    • Ultimately, this is another question that's ultimately only really answerable with a meta answer, and that is simply that the writers of the time thought that she was more interesting as Oracle than as Batgirl. And since as the Oracle's whole deal was that she was required to use a wheelchair, so she stayed in the wheelchair. Then, when the reboot happened, the writers at that point changed their minds and decided that actually, they could tell some interesting stories with her as Batgirl after all — hence, she was no longer in the wheelchair. Depending on the Writer, basically.

     Why don't the rich run? 
  • Why are there so many upper crust types still living in Gotham when (non-criminal) millionares seem very nearly as vunerable to supervillains as the destitute who presumably can't afford to leave? Even aside from Bruce's parents I've lost track of the number of industrialists or tycoons who get targeted and at least one (Una Nemo/The Absence) turned to crime herself after being shot. Yet Gotham still seems full of socialites.
    • People still drive cars even though auto accidents happen everyday. In a city with a population of millions the chances of meeting a supervillain are lower than they seem.
    • Many tycoons see the advantages of living in a city where the authorities are so easily corruptible...
    • Why should they? It's their city. Not the criminals!
    • In "Batman/Superman Vol 2 #9", Batman claims that every time there's a major disaster in Gotham, professionals predict that there will be some mass exodus where citizens will suddenly decide to flee, and they're always wrong. The people of Gotham are too stubborn and determined to leave their home. If anything, all the supervillains and problems that come with them cause more people to move to the city—people who have a desire to prove that they're tough enough to live in Gotham. "Because if you can survive in Gotham... you can survive anywhere."

     Joker and the death penalty 
  • Okay, we established that the Joker will escape any place you put him and has(possibly)the highest body count in the strip and Batman goes by Thou Shalt Not Kill but the people of Gotham are held to no such vow. So why on Earth are those people not getting together to make the death penalty legal?... Besides Joker Immunity of course...
    • Given the Joker's record of surviving fatal accidents, would YOU want to be on the jury that condemned him to death? Supposing he survived - they YOU AND YOUR FAMILY would be the next one on his "To Torture, Maim, Break and Kill" list. People are far, far too scared of what the Joker might do to them to condemn him.
    • Gotham State does have the Death Penalty. The Joker just isn't deemed eligible because he is believed to be criminally insane.
      • On that note, has anyone ever tried to determine if Joker's insanity is the result of whatever chemicals bleached his body instead of any psychological trauma he may or may not have suffered?
      • I don't know if they ever looked into it, but they did feature Batman visiting the factory where the Joker's accident occurred in The Man Who Laughs. He meets someone who has been partially splashed by the same chemicals and has permanent white stains on his skin now; he discusses similar accidents happening to other co-workers and does not appear to be crazy.
      • Michael Green's "Lovers and Madmen" retconned his origins so that the chemicals in question were primarily anti-psychotic drugs - too much of those could easily throw a man's brain out of whack. Meanwhile, Chuck Dixon's Joker: Last Laugh, several years earlier, had a pair of doctors note that the CAT scan of Joker's brain was a "road map of lesions" or some such (of course, since the CAT scan in question was forged, who can say?).

     Two-Face's two sides 
  • Two-Face is supposed to have a good side and an evil side, and he is supposed to flip his coin in order to decide whether to do good or evil. But most writers replace his 'do good vs. do evil' debate with 'do evil vs. don't do evil'. In his Golden Age appearances, he really did good when the good side of the coin came up (e.g. donating to the charity), but nowadays if the good side comes up, he simply does nothing. I know Golden Age Two-Face is a different character, but why do people still say he has a good side and an evil side, when he actually has an evil side and a lazy side.
    • Fridge Brilliance: The good side just can't fight him like that anymore, which is why Two-Face never stays cured. Its possible that Harvey Dent just thinks its easier to surrender to the madness since, if he ever conquers his demons, then he has to face up to the reality that he is one of the worst and most dangerous madmen in the whole of Gotham City, so he only puts up token resistance. There is no longer a good side and a bad side; there is a bad side and a weak, horrified side.
    • Alternatively, Dent might not be evil, but he is practical. The Harvey side knows that Two-Face has crossed too many lines too far and that there's no going back. For example, in Arkham City, the internal debate was between torturing Catwoman for pleasure and shooting her quickly to gain respect and fear (and thus, security from the other gang lords).
    • There was a storyline during Batman: No Man's Land where he had string of good tosses and wound up helping Renee Montoya pick up after the disaster.

     Ivy eating plants 
  • David Hayter asked this one. Is Poison Ivy a vegetarian, or is that hypocrisy to her, since she'd have to hurt plants to eat them? Or if she is, does that make her a cannibal? But then, if she eats only meat, that can't be healthy.
    • Tissue/food can be harvested from plants in a way that doesn't really harm them, like leaves, and seed-based foods are specifically meant for consumption, fruits, nuts, beans, etc. She's probably vegetarian and just keeps away from the "kills the plant to harvest" stuff. Also, she's probably at least partially photosynthetic.
    • Judicious pruning can actually be beneficial to plants, directing their growth so that they become healthier and more sturdy. Ivy may trim edible bits off plants in a way that helps them grow, and reassure herself that they're grateful for her attentions, same as a cow with an over-full udder would appreciate being milked.
    • It's possible that she's fully photosynthetic, too. I mean, in a lot of universes, she's green. Plants are green because of chlorophyll, which is what allows them to do photosynthesis.
    • If Ivy doesn't want to harm a plant from which she's obtaining food, she can use her powers to make the plant in question grow a few extra parts - fruits, seeds, leaves, tubers, whatever - and then harvest half those extras. Ivy gets a meal and the plant ends up thriving more than it would have been without her. Plus, she could make the plant shed those edible parts she needs painlessly, like a tree shedding a leaf in autumn.
    • And of course, Poison Ivy is a delusional psychotic who thinks she's a plant goddess. Any inconsistencies in her worldview can be easily explained with the simple explanation that her worldview is fundamentally inconsistent because it is based on her insane delusions rather than logical rationality. For all we know, Poison Ivy justifies eating veggies because in her mind they're sacrificing themselves to their goddess to power her divinity.

     Batcave cleanliness 
  • An odd one, but: how does the Batcave stay so clean? For a cave, anyway.
    • Alfred.
  • For that matter, why isn't Batman's equipment constantly being ruined by bat shit? At least, for versions of the Batcave that have the actual flying mammals living and freely flying around in them.
    • Alfred.

     Batman's costume 
  • Why, in some continuities besides the Silver Age, does Batman wear blue? I know the Real Life reason is that the comic artists felt blue highlights flowed better or something like that but in-universe? What does blue have to do with bats? Batman's black and grey costume makes sense because bats can be black and grey but they cannot be blue. Dumb little nitpick but why does he wear blue? It makes no sense.
    • Dark blue is actually a better color for night camouflage than black. Nights are rarely perfectly dark so the black tends to create too much contrast. Blue dulls the surrounding light better.
    • That's the best explanation I've heard of. I'm assuming Batman knew what color was best in night time work so he chose that.
    • And to expand on the Doylist explanation you've alluded to, the Batsuit was often colored blue in some comics because in the early days of comics, it was far more difficult to color something completely black without some issues due to printing limitations. As the Batsuit was meant to be black and grey, artists would use blue highlights on the black areas to suggest the appearance of a glossy black material while circumventing the problems that would come from coloring them completely black. Over time, artists began coloring more and more of the cape and cowl blue until they became completely blue and it became normal for it to be so.

     Batman's vehicles 
  • Why does Batman have more than one vehicle at all? Seems to me it would be way more practical for him to just utilize his Bat-Cycle or his Bat-Copter. These would be the most maneuverable and useful in an urban setting, yet these are rarely used in place of the Batmobile and Bat-Plane. The Batmobile is so useless, I'm surprised Batman even has one, let alone multiple. What good can a car do in a city? Batman would be stuck in traffic constantly and if a villain goes off-road, Bats can't follow. Then there's the Bat-Plane. What can the Bat-Plane do that the Bat-Copter can't? It's redundant and it would be a nightmare trying to store and maintain that in the Batcave. Then there's the Bat-Boat. Oh, goodness, the Bat-Boat. Why? How many villains does Batman fight over water? Why can't he just land his Bat-Copter on the larger boats he's pursuing or use his re-breather to swim to smaller ones?
    • Moichendizing.
    • I know that's the real reason, but why, in-universe, does he use all these redundant and ridiculous vehicles?
      • Moichendizing on the part of Batman Incorporated for purposes of raising funds for the other batmen?
    • The Batmobile can stuff in more gadgets and provide more protection than a motorcycle. And it's a stretch but traffic may be less in Gotham at night.
    • Okay, that explains the Batmobile but what about the Bat-Boat? And why does he need both a helicopter and a plane?
      • To adjust to different situations. A plane is faster than a helicopter. A boat can stand idle in the water while he dives off.
    • Batman's all about being Crazy-Prepared. A motorcycle might allow for greater mobility in an urban environment, but a car allows for greater armour (not something to sniff at if your enemies are going to be frequently shooting machine guns at you); ergo, he has both depending on what he might need in a given situation. He's also depicted as customizing his cars in order to overcome a lot of the issues identified above, or having multiple variants if necessary to address them. A plane or a helicopter is kind of useless if he needs to be actually on the water (and the Bat-Boat often is depicted as being capable of converting into a submarine for when he needs to go under water, something a helicopter probably wouldn't be able to do); ergo, he has a boat as well.
    • Batman's methods sometimes require him to haul an unconscious Mook to a suitable site for interrogation, to rush a rescued captive or injured bystander to safety, or to dump a bound-and-gagged villain on the doorstep of a police station in the middle of the night. A motorcycle can't safely carry passengers who are knocked out, injured or restrained, but a car can.
    • Why do people have two or three cars when only one will suffice? Why do people who have cars want to buy motorcycles?

     Bruce has no domestic skills 
  • Something always bugged me about Batman's backstory. It's been established that Bruce Wayne, for all his super detective skills and martial arts prowess, is completely useless for simple domestic tasks. All his life Alfred has taken care of the cooking and the cleaning and everything else, and on his own Bruce can't even make a sandwich. Of course, that's part of the joke: Batman is basically what happens when you sacrifice a normal human life to be a Vigilante Man crimefighter. But something about that doesn't jibe. Before he became Batman, Bruce Wayne spent the bulk of his youth traveling the world, improving his mind and training his body to their peak performances. Surely, at some point during all that, he must have had to make his own dinner or do a frigging load of laundry! Alfred didn't come with him on his entire journey. Did he just forget how to take care of himself once he got back to Gotham?
    • Forgive my skepticism, but you'll have to cite a canon example of what you're talking about (preferably scans). Bruce is probably not the greatest cook in the world, but I daresay he could figure out how to put meat and cheese between two slices of bread without Alfred's assistance.
    • I could imagine that such skills likely deteriorated after a while, in a way. I mean, I'm not sure how old Bruce is or how long he's actually been doing this (though, since he raised Dick from childhood up, I'd assume he's been doing it for roughly ten years at the very least), but assume that he spends all his time either prowling the night, working on a case, or making appearances as Bruce Wayne, and the only time he eats is when Alfred takes food down to him, then it's possible he'd be so out of practice he'd screw up. Not to mention that, while traveling, he either still had access to his fortune (and therefore could afford to pay for meals every day) or he made the food via traditional means (IE, cooked over an open fire, skills that are useless in the art of sandwich making). As for laundry, probably the same; he either paid for new clothes/to have the clothes washed, or possibly he learned to wash them via traditional means, such as dunking them in a lake.
    • He has a butler. Why should he have to fix things for himself?
    • I can attest to this. It's not the lack of skills, it's the lack of habit. You can cook. You can do laundry. But it's low priority and it's one of those mindless habits, necessary, but you can do it without thinking hard. Deliberate/mindful practice OTOH is systematic and highly structured. So 2 hours of exercise/rehab, 2 hours for detective skill updates, 2 hours martial arts practice, 1 hour (or more, depending on priority) each for assorted other skills (technology updates, engineering, research, communication, intelligence, equipment practice (throwing guy lines and swinging on them, customizing the utility belt, etc) updating undercover persona(s) including Matches Malone and Bruce Wayne (parties and dealing with his business as CEO) both networking, keeping tabs on his contacts, and keeping his secrets. At least 4 hours (aggregate) for sleep/meditation. At least 6 hours for crimefighting (not just punching bad guys, but examining trends, economic changes, city landscape changes, tactical information, other things a computer can’t do).
      • Add that up, that’s more than 24 hours. So he has to have slack time to do low-priority, non-mindful habits like laundry, feeding himself, taking a shower, etc. And he doesn’t cut himself slack.
    • Plus Bruce trained himself in combat and survival. He understands medical things like stitching up wounds, and cooking food to survive. It's like comparing a caveman to a celebrity chef, they both know how to heat some food, what's lacking from the former is the nuance of the process. Bruce Wayne is the type that, if he lived alone, he would survive on tinned food and not worry over it. Alfred, on the other hand, is the one who cooks things like lobster and steak, since that's what he does for a career, takes care of the disgustingly rich and famous. Bruce would wash his clothes in the washing machine, practical and simple, but Alfred would insist on steaming them and pressing them appropriately.
  • You may be a poor cook or bad at housekeeping or any other domestic chores; that still doesn't mean you don't do it if absolutely necessary. If Bruce Wayne is in some isolated spot in the Andes or something and he has to make his own supper or wash his own socks, even if he does a bad job at it, he has no other choice and it's better than nothing.

     Batman's relatability 
  • This is more directed at, not so much Batman and such itself, but to the general fandom and critical standpoint on something: Why is the fact that Batman has no powers seen as a reason he's relatable? For that matter, why does merely not-having superpowers make a character relatable at all since Batman isn't the only one who gets this, but for some reason, a lot of the time when people describe Batman, they mention the fact that, as he lacks powers, he's more realistic (not really, but I can see why people get this) and relatable, especially when compared to the unrealistic (I'll give that) and 'unrelatable' Superman. But, frankly, that's bullcrap. The guy was emotionally killed when he was eight years old, he spent the rest of his life studying how to become a weapon against crime, and spends all his time either beating up criminals, training youngsters, hanging out with the Justice League, or pretending to be a rich guy. Absolutely nothing about Bruce is relatable to any normal person. I mean, even if he doesn't have powers, he still has a load of training, Charles Atlas Superpower training I might add, a shit ton of gadgets, he's filthy rich, he's a genius, and his best friends include gods, cyborgs, and aliens. Meanwhile, Superman, whose godlike power makes him 'unrelatable', is a humble farmboy who grew up with two parents who couldn't give him everything he needed, he worked hard to get where he is financial, he's a Nice Guy who gets by in the world by being as nice as he can, he's dealt with bullies, and he's a massive dork. That all sounds pettily relatable to me. Why does the fact that one has powers and the other doesn't retards the fact that the powered one is a hard-working everyman while the other is a super-rich guy with no identifiable characteristics?
    • Because Superman can still fly, can still melt things with his eyes and freeze things with his breath, and (without Kryptonite) is still invulnerable to 99% of the things that would kill or seriously maim his readers. Superman is nicer than Batman, certainly, but we don't just relate to fictional characters based on how nice they are — we relate to them based on how whether or not we can share their experiences, and fact is that no matter how personally nice Superman is, none of us will ever fly under our own power, melt things with our eyes, freeze things with our breath or be completely invulnerable to bullets. This is not to say that Superman is completely unrelatable, but on some fundamental level, the reader will never experience the world the way Superman experiences it and vice versa, no matter how nice and pleasant he is, and no matter how hard he works at his job. Conversely, to say that Batman has 'no identifiable characteristics' or that 'absolutely nothing about Batman is relatable to a normal person'? Frankly, that's bullcrap; there are plenty of people in the world who have lost their loved ones to crime (even at a young age), people who have emotionally closed themselves off to trauma, people who are geniuses, people who tinker with gadgets and invent things, people who train themselves to peak physical and athletic perfection in a particular field (athletes anyone?), people who fight crime (police officers anyone?), people who are wealthy, or some combination thereof. Even if the reader doesn't themselves meet these characteristics, they probably know of someone directly or indirectly who does. Batman is exaggerated, certainly, and there are probably very few people who meet all these characteristics, but theoretically if you trained long and hard enough you could become a martial arts expert or a brilliant detective or a world-class athlete, theoretically you could lose your loved ones to violent crime or invent something quite clever. Unlikely, perhaps, but a lot more likely than you developing the ability to fly unaided or to melt things with your eyes. Also unlike Superman, Batman possesses our weaknesses; to see Superman breaking a sweat or bleeding or injured is a sign of extreme circumstances for him, to see Batman doing so is just another night in Gotham. Batman is relatable and (for want of a better term) more 'realistic' not because he's a nicer guy, but because he experiences the world around him in the same or a similar way as his reader does / would.
      (And on a final point, trying to use the fact that he hangs around with godlike aliens as a reason why Batman is less relatable than Superman is a bit of a double standard considering that Superman is one of those godlike aliens; if hanging around with godlike aliens makes it impossible for the reader to identify with you, then wouldn't being one of those godlike aliens make it more so?)
      • Two things: 1) It's subjective... and situational There's no scientific formula as to why someone's easy to relate to or not, and sometimes when I'm feeling really obsessive, I can relate to Batman. When I'm trying to help someone, I relate more to Superman. These examples aren't great, but you see what I'm saying? 2) The gold standard of "relatable superhero" used to be Spider-Man because of his personality. It didn't matter that he could lift ten tons or stick to walls. Bad stuff kept happening to him, he couldn't resist making little jokes, and he has lots of errors in judgement. Now, again, not everyone's going to relate to him, but magazines like Wizarduse to hammer people over the head with "Spider-Man is so relatable! Spider-Man is so relatable!" and Batman was awesome more because of his intensity.
      • And then Spider-Man sold his marriage to the devil to keep Aunt May alive when she told him to let her die. Not relatable.
      • (Original poster here, forgot about this) I didn't mean Batman was completely unrelatable at all, I meant to the average person, he's not nearly as relatable as many of his fans and creators make him out to be. I mean, being emotionally closed off, losing loved ones at a young age, dedicating yourself to training a particular skill, and obsessing over certain details, those are things that are relatable to a specific type of person, not the average person. While there's probably many fans who do identify with certain aspects of Batman, for the most part he's very different from the average person. As with Superman, I didn't mean he was super-relatable either, just that, when you take into account his background, personality, and civilian life, he's a far more relatable person than Batman is; not just that he's nice, but also that he's a hard worker who tries to do the right thing where he can and grew up in a modest family upbringing. Essentially, 'Clark Kent' is a much more along the lines of what a normal person would be like than 'Bruce Wayne' is, and I would assume that the average DC fan would be such as well. I just find it strange that people use the fact Superman has superpowers as a sign he's 'unrelatable' when ignoring Batman's Charles Atlas Superpower and preach about him being more relatable when, most likely, there's very little in common they share with him.
      • You really don't get the average person these days, and you really don't get the average nerd, like, ever. Superman is nice, happy and loved. Nerds have had our interests mocked, called "Satanic", blamed for school shootings, have been insulted and persecuted for decades, and are generally treated like shit from the day they begin school. How the fuck could they relate to Superman? Additionally, the "average person" these days is a neurotic, depressed mess who is likely using or abusing some sort of substance to get through the day, whether a prescribed drug to deal with their depression, pot, alcohol, or hard drugs. Nobody can relate to Superman because he's this incorruptible pure idiot who only creates more problems when you realize that every minute that he's Clark Kent, he's letting thousands of people die. He's a happy moron, neither of which are relatable to most people.
      • Leaving aside the huge unsubstantiated (and rather angrily cynical) generalisations going on here, while Superman might be widely loved and adored, Clark Kent knows exactly what it's like to be insulted, mocked and bullied by the world. Average nerd? In many depictions of Clark Kent, he's pretty much the stereotypical nerd. He's bumbling, socially awkward, looked down on and disdained by almost everyone, can't get the woman he likes to give him the time of day and oh, wears huge glasses. In that sense, I'd suggest that Clark Kent possibly reflects more people's experiences of how they think the world treats them than handsome playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne who's fawned over by everyone and has to brush beautiful women away from him with a big stick. Besides which, Batman's not exactly a depressed bullied drug addict either.
      • FWIW, going on a total tangent here but "nerds have been persecuted"? We can definitely dial this down a bit. Okay, on the Venn diagram of "being a nerd" and "being a target for bullies" there's definitely an overlap, I won't say that nerds all have it easy by any means. But "persecution" is a very loaded term there; when nerds are targets for pogroms, lynch mobs, or concentration camps, then we can maybe talk about them in the same terms as an oppressed class. Especially since we're currently living in an age where many stereotypical nerd interests are a dominating aspect of modern popular culture.
    • Let's say that both of them are at about the same level of relatability. Superman is relatable in personality, and Batman in his "human-ness". Neither of them are really meant to be examples of the common person—Batman is obsessed, extremely wealthy, and supposedly trained to the peak of mental and physical perfection. Superman is a god-like alien (country boy origins aside). They both fight unrealistic villains, whether it's other, superpowerful aliens or psychopaths defined by poorly understood, outdated psychiatric ideas. To answer the original question, the reason why Batfans continually praise Batman's "relatability" over Superman's is because they're fans of Batman, they don't like Superman, and people see how well you can identify with a character as being a more positive trait (alongside being "realistic") which they can apply to their favorite series. Simply put, I don't think most of the people who say it actually think about whether it applies or not. It's just another way of saying they prefer one character over the other.
    • Also, while rationally speaking you have just as lousy odds of becoming as badass as Bruce Wayne as you do having Kryptonian powers like Superman it's still a lot easier to fool yourself into believing it's theoretically possible because in Batman's case you at least don't have to break any actual laws of physics. Or, as Neal Stephenson put it in Snow Crash:
      Neal Stephenson: Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied really hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.
    • Look, there's no way to really answer this question or win this debate because ultimately no one's right or wrong. "Relatable" depends entirely on which character you think reflects your personal values, experiences, identity, and perspective on the world. Some people see themselves more in Batman, others in Superman, and others yet in both to varying degrees. Neither of them is completely universal because no one will ever completely see themselves in either or experience the world exactly as they do, but neither is entirely unrelatable because everyone at some point has probably identified with either in some way, shape, or form, no matter how small. That's why they've lasted so long. Like the person above said, anything else is just yelling about which character you like more than the other.

     Where did Bruce go? 
  • Ever notice how they never tell you anything about what happened between that night when he was 8 and when he was training around the world? I know in at least one version states he was at least in high school when he left. Actually, they never even show you how the training starts. They always just bring us to midway through. What's up with that?
    • One reason is that, simply, this isn't the story that most people are interested in; most people are more interested in what Batman does once he's actually Batman rather than watching the entire process of how he comes to be Batman. It's why movies have Training Montages that quickly show the process of how the hero becomes the hero rather than films that are entirely about the protagonist training to be a hero before they actually do anything heroic (and why one of the relatively few complaints about Batman Begins is that Batman didn't actually show up for an hour into the film); because ultimately for most people the process of how the hero becomes the hero isn't as interesting as what the hero actually does when he's the hero. We arguably already know the important details about how Batman came to be Batman (the death of his parents, swearing a vow to avenge them, etc) — the rest is just filling in details we can pretty much surmise. Most people ultimately would rather watch Bruce Wayne in the cape and cowl foiling the Joker's dastardly plot rather than watching him arduously learn forensic science or increasing how much weight he can bench press, so these details can be dealt with fairly quickly (or explored in a bit more depth if the plot calls for it) so we can get to the interesting stuff.
    • Plus, one of the important aspects of his character is his Crazy-Prepared nature. To make him that way, the writers must keep that part of his past vague, so that his intelligence is kept flexible. This way, Batman can know anything he needs to fit the situation he's in. For example, if a situation in the comics came up that required him to create/disable an atomic bomb, he'd be an expert on doing so, and we assume that he learned to do that as part of his education during his training. If the writers came along and said, "This is what he learned, this is what he did." then they have to either adhere to the rules they've come up with or retcon it. So, there's no point.
    • Isn't that why they made ''Gotham?

     Bruce is obviously Batman 
  • How has no one noticed Bruce Wayne is Batman? He has the money, the right age, and the physique, but he always disappears right before Batman shows up, (in a much more obvious way than most superheroes) he sleeps all day, and, worst of all, he vanishes off the face of the Earth for about twelve years for reasons unknown then Batman shows up only a few months after he gets back. At least Green Arrow was smart enough to think of that.
    • Because there's a grand total of maybe six people who know all of that about Batman, and five of them are his sidekicks. Bruce Wayne's whole deal is that he doesn't let anyone get close enough to him to put those things together. We know it because we see him all the time. 99.9999999% of Gotham only sees Bruce when he shows up for some big gala event. He's a public figure, but one that's rarely seen in public.
      • (Original poster:) That doesn't answer the last one. Everyone knew Bruce was gone for a long time. (Batman: Year One and Penguin's interview tapes in Batman: Arkham City confirm this) Nobody knew why or where he went. Again, at least Green Arrow was smart enough to notice.
      • Without knowing the other details, that last one isn't enough to amount to anything at all. It only means something if you know to look for it. If it were that Batman showed up the night Bruce publicly announced he was back, that might be something, but Batman showing up months afterward? Why would anyone link the two at all?
      • I would bet that nine out of ten people, upon learning the news that Bruce Wayne is back in town after a long absence, would most likely think "Huh, that rich guy's back in town? Bet he enjoyed himself lying around on all those beaches with his billions. Lucky SOB." and then return to their lives and forget all about it. Because really, when you get down to it most people don't really care that much outside of the gossip columns, and even they'd move on soon enough once the story stopped being new. The guy's richer than God, doesn't really have any responsibilities he can't hire other people to deal with and wanted to get out of Gotham — the place where his parents were brutally murdered — for a few years? Who can blame him, really? They probably assumed he spent a lot of time lying on beaches or dabbling in exotic religions or 'finding himself' or doing whatever rich people do when they've got plenty of time on their hands and money to waste, then got bored or homesick for his mansion and came home. Then, when Batman turns up, no one really makes the connection because people have moved on.
      • To illustrate the principle: tell me exactly what Kim Kardashian was doing between the ages of eight and twenty-three, in complete detail, without looking it up. Then tell me exactly what she was doing every day this month ten years ago, again in detail and again without looking it up. Even if you're super into Kim Kardashian and watch all her shows and follow all the gossip news about her religiously, I bet that nine times out of ten you'd find it a bit hard, if not impossible. Because even for the people who are interested in that stuff, celebrity news and gossip are ephemeral. It's designed to be the biggest thing ever for like a week and then disappear and be forgotten in favor of the next big thing. Heck, for all most of us know, between the ages of eight and twenty-three Kim Kardashian could have been in training to become a vigilante (which would be a great story, BTW, but that's neither here nor there). And this is for a woman who has made herself the center of a media empire and exposed practically every detail of her personal life for over a decade to the public eye. For someone who generally shies away from the spotlight and keeps himself a bit mysterious, like Bruce Wayne is often suggested to do, it's probably even harder.
      • As for Batman, for most people Batman's a shadowy figure who appears out of the darkness for brief moments then disappears just as quickly; they don't have time to really notice his age or his physique, and in most of the circumstances they're likely to encounter him they're more likely to be thinking either "Holy shit Batman's turned up to stop me mugging this guy!" or "Holy shit Batman's turned up to stop this guy mugging me!" to really stop and make comparisons to Bruce Wayne.
      • Several people, most notably Lex Luthor, had deducted that Wayne is the money behind Batman even before Bruce announced it in the Batman Inc launch. However, Bruce's playboy persona is significant enough that no one thinks that he's Batman himself. If you look at The Dark Knight's blackmail scene, the accusation should logically be "You and Wayne are bankrolling and outfitting Batman", not "Wayne is Batman". He had proof of the former, but no reason to believe the latter. And, in fact, the accountant isn't even the one to suggest Wayne is Batman — Lucius is, because he already knows.
    • To emphasize the above point, from the perspective of Gothamites, it would be like suggesting Paris Hilton was Batman/Batgirl. You'd just laugh in the face of someone who suggested that such a lazy, entitled, vapid rich idiot was a terrifying vigilante.
    • To answer this question, tell me exactly what Kim Kardashian was doing ten years ago without looking it up on the Internet.
    • Bruce Wayne is just a man. But Batman can fly, is bulletproof, can turn invisible, is a vampire, and is 12 feet tall...Whereas Kim Kardashian is obviously Richard Machowiz because you’ve never seen them in the same place at the same time.
  • Batman wears a cape and cowl. Bruce Wayne doesn't wear a cape and cowl.

     Why is Robin there? 
  • How does Robin help Batman at all? His costume provides no protection value, destroys any chance of stealth, and Robin himself is just a kid. A well-trained kid but still just a twelve-year-old. Seems like in a combat situation, Robin would just get in the way and Batman would have to stop crimefighting and rescue him. So why did Batman think it a good idea to send him out fighting crime?
    • Depends on the Robin, but for some he has the Boy Wonder go crime-fighting with him so that the kid doesn't go crime-fighting by himself and get in trouble.
    • Because generally, Robin proves himself to be invaluable in aiding Batman? Because there's never been a single time in all of comic history when Robin's regular costume is depicted as being less armored than Batman's? Because at the end of the day, Robin could kick your ass. Because the only Robin who was taken in with the specific purpose of being a crime fighter was Jason? All the others started doing it so Batman decided they were better off with him than on their own.
    • Those criticisms of Robin can be solved by taking several tropes into account:
      • Charles Atlas Superpower: Robin may be a teenager, but he's a teenager trained to fight by Batman, which would make him a dangerous combatant. As such, he'd be the single most dangerous teenager ever (in other words, the Boy Wonder).
      • Waif-Fu: He's also a natural acrobat who's been training since he was a kid to be quick and swift on his feet; it doesn't matter how small he is, he's fast enough to do enough damage and not get hurt. If he copies Batman's techniques and hits fast and with surprise, he'd be able to take them down before they know he's there.
      • Highly-Visible Ninja: While the classic suit may not provide leg protection or arm protection, it's no worse than what many female characters wear, while the later Tim Drake costume would provide just as much protection as Green Arrow's duds. And while it may be brightly colored, that doesn't completely eliminate stealth, just require him to stay out of sight, just like Batman does when he's wearing his blue cape rather than his black cape (and while he generally wears black now, Robin now generally wears darker colors too).
      • Continuity Snarl: While he usually starts off at 12, depending on the Robin and the continuity, he's oftentimes older than that when he starts, sometimes up to 16 years old or even college age. Even in continuities where he is twelve, it tends to depend on the writer how much time it took to train Robin, so he could have been at least 14 when he'd finished his training and was ready to fight.
    • He's there to tell the audience how Batman solved the crime. He's Batman's Watson. Watson is there to ask, "Good golly, Holmes! How did you figure it out Mrs. Balsam murdered her husband when he was locked in the bedroom all by himself." And Holmes is supposed to go, "I tell you—you stupid oaf!" Except it's Robin asking Batman how he knew that Mrs. Balsam killed her husband.
    • Other reasons include: being the funny counterpart to Batman's grim and brooding act, and keeping Bruce "grounded" (stopping him from going too far, reminding him of his humanity, being an intermediary between Batman and the public, etc).

     Damian breaking Bruce's cover 
  • How did Damien not break Bruce's cover as Batman? Sure, the fact that Billionaire Playboy has a child out of wedlock isn't exactly shocking anybody. But nobody managed to find out that Bruce's baby mama was Talia al Ghul. Damien the spoiled raised-to-be-an-assassin-in-the-shadows-and-nothing-else never accidentally let something due to sudden mass spotlight?
    • This would involve A) them knowing who Talia was B) Figuring out Talia was part of the League of Assassins, and C) still requiring a leap of logic to figure out he's Batman. I know Talia isn't exactly a common name, but Bruce could easily pass it off as an 'exotic chick he had a fling with in the Middle East.'

     Penguin's umbrellas 
  • The Penguin uses a lot of trick umbrellas but the most common one is the umbrella that doubles as a machine gun. It's cool and all but where are they fitting the magazine on that thing? It still looks like a regular umbrella with no extra attachments or anything. And wouldn't that thing be a pain in the ass to aim with its umbrella shape and automatic rate of fire? Seems to me, Cobblepot should have converted his umbrella to a one-shot rifle or something. That way, at least you could fit the one bullet in there.

     Batman's arsenal 
  • How in the name of all that is holy according to Burt Ward is Batman able to carry an arsenal of weapons in his effing belt!?! I could see it with the ninja stars in the tool belt, but that's about it. From the late '30s to the mid-'90s, his belt had these tiny capsules in which to store things. Things that, we're supposed to believe, include batarangs (presumably the size of a regular boomerang), a "rebreather", a torch, an infer-red flashlight, smoke, and tear gas pellets, and a "batline reel" that's apparently long enough and sturdy enough to support a 210ish lbs man swinging from one skyscraper to another.
    • I think it's been established by now that not all of Batman's gadgets are carried on his belt. I distinctly recall some issues where he pulled a gadget out of his glove or his boot. There's no telling how many other secret compartments he might have in that suit.
    • Batman invented capsule technology. Duh.
    • He may not have all his gadgets on him at a time. If he knows who he's going after, he'll pick the gear best suited for his opponent and the circumstances.

     Why doesn't Joker murder every super villain in Gotham 
  • If he doesn't want the other criminals to kill Batman, why does he allow Scarecrow, Riddler, Penguin, and Two-face to run around and cause havoc? Was he counting on Batman to survive their attacks? Why not burn Arkham Asylum to the ground(with them in it) if he wants Batsy all to himself?
    • Maybe they're too much fun.
    • Joker wants someone to gloat to when he kills Batman. Also, he wants to prove he's the best out of everyone, not the best by default because everyone else is gone.
    • If other supervillains didn't exist in Gotham, Batman would be free to hunt the Joker 24-and-7. The man does like to sleep every now and then.
    • Death of The Family shows that Joker sees the other villains as useful for keeping Bats sharp because they constantly push him to his limit in various ways, so he likely lets them live because they make his game with Batman so much more fun.
    • Can he even do that? A madman with Batarang is different than a madman with a gun and a bunch of goons ready to stomp you. Joker is Batman's greatest foe but Clayface and Croc could eat Joker for breakfast if he tries pissing them off. Joker's main advantage is that if heroes go too hard on him and he dies it's a moral victory, villains don't have that problem.
    • In conclusion: The Joker is crazy but is not that crazy, he knows he can't survive a war against all the other super-criminals, some of them as crazy and sadistic as he is.

     There will always be a Batman and Joker 
  • So if you go back in time and alter history, there will still be a Batman and Joker in the present, right? If that's true, then wouldn't it make the original Batman and Joker less unique? They would be just another Batman and Joker. Even if time travel was possible, there's no way your father or anyone else would come up with the same persona and gimmick. People have different brains, wouldn't matter if they are father and son. That's like having Uncle Ben become Spider-man after Peter died in a robbery attempt.
    • To some degree, this is just because Elseworld stories and Alternate Universes are really more just putting a new spin on familiar concepts (What if Batman was around in the Victorian era? What if Batman was a pirate captain? What if Batman IN SPAAAAAAAACE?) rather than being sober explorations of counterfactuals in the strictly academic sense. In a truly metaphysical sense, there are probably infinite possible fictional realities where Batman, the Joker, and both do not exist in any meaningful form; DC Comics just does not tell stories about them because that would defeat the purpose of seeing Batman and the Joker in new contexts. The "there will always be a Batman and a Joker" is just a slightly portentous Hand Wave to explain why every one of these stories features Batman and the Joker, it is not necessarily intended as an undeniable literal foundational truth of the universe. As to the metaphysical underpinning of the question, I guess that it means that Batman and the Joker technically are not one-of-a-kind unique — but on the other hand, has anyone ever suggested that they were?

     Tim Drake and the New 52 
  • Are we to assume New 52 Tim Drake and Pre 52 Tim are the same person? In the New 52, "Tim Drake" is a pseudonym used while Red Robin's family is in witness protection. So, in order to properly believe this Tim and old Tim are the same person, I have to assume Barry Allen's trip through time SOMEHOW altered the last name of a family that probably dated back centuries, and yet by sheer chance Red Robin STILL gets the name, Tim Drake... See what my problem is here?
    • That's just a ubiquitous trope of Time Travel and In Spite of a Nail stories; no matter what was changed in the past, the alternate present is going to be very similar to the one we're used to.

     Harvey must have a damn good optometrist 
I can believe that maybe he applies some kind of ointment to prevent infection, but Two-Face doesn't have a left eyelid. How come his eye hasn't dried up and fallen out of his head yet?
  • Eye drops twice a day. Same thing Chase No-Face the cat uses (not posting a link because his pics are kinda gruesome.)
  • This is another example of how a character varies depending on who's drawing him. Sometimes he still has an eyelid. Hell, sometimes he doesn't even HAVE a left eye to get infected.

     Did the Robins ever attend school back in the old days? 
I'm assuming Dick, Tim, and Jason ran around the city with Batman after midnight dozens of times. Wouldn't the teachers and staff have questioned the kids on their injuries and tiredness? I'm surprised Bruce didn't get in serious trouble. How did he get out of that? Okay, I can see the 1960s campy Batman giving them a curfew, but not the modern-day Batman, the man who is obsessed with crime fighting.
  • There have been entire issues of the ROBIN solo title driven by Tim dealing with just these kinds of problems in high school. And IIRC there was at least one late Silver Age arc with school authorities noticing that Dick kept showing up with occasional bruises (received during fights as Robin, natch) and Bruce having to defuse suspicions before Child Services got on his case.
  • There's also that Bruce can just say he's home-schooling them if it ever becomes necessary to pull them out of the school system for a semester or so. Nobody's going to seriously question the richest man in town if he wants to 'hire private tutors' for his kids, and all of the Robins have really high IQs and could pass any standard high school assessment test ever made with no teaching and just a couple weeks of cramming. And given Bruce Wayne's reputation for being a rich idiot subject to lots of whims, it's not going to raise too many eyebrows if he keeps going 'Home-school! No, prep school! No, ordinary high school! No... what was I saying again?'

     Why does Batman still look young? 
Jason Todd and Dick are grown up, but Batman still looks like he's in his mid-30s. Shouldn't he be in his late 40s or early 50s?
  • Maybe he just has one of those facial bone structures that keeps youthful good looks even well into late middle age, and we already know he's got the world's best workout program and won the jackpot in the genetic lottery.
  • Batman also got an involuntary Lazarus Pit dip during The Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul arc, although that may not be in continuity for nu52.
  • Batman got water from the Holy Grail poured over him when he had a bullet wound.
    • Lack of sleep can affect your look and make you look older than you really are though, doesn’t he sleeps less than normal?
  • There's no in-universe reason for it, but I think it has more to do with the artists not being able to draw middle-aged characters. They either draw characters to look like young adults or elderly adults. Look at Thomas Wayne in the Earth 2 comic, he looks like Bruce normally does, just with gray hair and he's supposed to be 65. In, at least, one issue of the World's End storyline shows him as looking old (and elderly to boot), only for him to look like he normally does only two issues later.

     Joker Fish: how is that even possible? 
Fish poisoned to look like the Joker's face? Do fish even have the required facial muscles? Or teeth?
  • Yes. Just try getting bit by a catfish or piranha. Not fun.

     The "useless" riddle? 
  • In one of the storylines, the Riddler managed to figure out (by some means) that Batman was Bruce Wayne. Batman cut off his gloating by telling him that he wouldn't be able to tell anyone because it would make that knowledge useless. Why?
    • It wouldn't make the knowledge useless. It would make it a pointless riddle. A riddle is a puzzle, and Riddler in particular takes the most pride in having a riddle that only he knows. A riddle that everyone knows, therefore, is worthless to him. He's insane and his insane mind won't let him just give away information.
      • I haven't read the story, but what stopped Riddler from going into Bruce's mansion and putting a bullet in his head?
      • Well, there's the fact that killing Batman isn't really Riddler's main objective. He just wants to lord his knowledge over everyone. And even knowing Bruce is Batman doesn't make him any easier to kill, or Wayne Manor any easier to attack. I mean, he's still Batman. The guy that dozens of people with superpowers have been trying to kill for years without success.
      • Who would believe a murderous villain in the first place? Bruce Wayne? That idiot playboy? "I saw him at the charity ball three weeks, and when he was dancing with Vicki Vale, he tripped over his own foot and broke his nose. Batman? I don't think so!"
      • "What stopped Riddler from going into Bruce's mansion and putting a bullet in his head?" Leaving aside the fact that the Riddler is the kind of Complexity Addict who would never just go with the simple solution, one thing that presumably stopped the Riddler from doing this was a simple fact that Bruce Wayne is still Batman. The Riddler figuring out what Bruce Wayne does with his evenings doesn't magically render him powerless and, say, unable to put a security system into Wayne Manor or beat the everloving shit out of the Riddler if he broke in looking to start a rumble.
    • There was a Joker's Asylum story where Riddler fell in love with a girl, because she didn't return his affections. The twist ending is that he only loved her because he saw her as a puzzle, and once she finally broke down and admitted she loved him back, he lost interest. Because the answer to the question is not as fulfilling as the SEARCH for the answer. It's the same here, having the answer to a riddle makes the riddle defunct and useless.

     Gotham villains sometimes hide in obvious places 
  • In the animated shows, The Joker hangs out in old abandoned amusement parks and candy factories. In the DCAU, Two-face lived in a half-burned apartment. Ivy had a greenhouse for a lair. This troper is pretty sure Catwoman had an old tuna factory as a hideout at some point. Sometimes the hideouts match their theme. How did/do the cops not figure this out? If you see a green apartment in Gotham with question marks painted on it, wouldn't you think Riddler is chilling in there? Were the villains this dumb in the comics?
    • Everybody is dumb in that sort of way in the Bat-Universe. Under this theme-matches-the-hideout assumption, you'd think that to find the Bat Cave you only have to catch several bats every week, tag them with satellite GPS and trace their patterns.
      • Wait, how does anyone outside the Bat-family know the Batcave even exists in the first place?
    • It's just a stylistic quirk of comics that meets rather obvious Rule of Symbolism; each villain has a theme, so their hideout matches the theme. It's not realistic in the slightest, but welcome to superhero comic books; that's pretty much the slogan.

     What's to stop Batman from just permanently crippling The Joker? 
  • Why doesn't Batman just beat the shit out of the Joker to the point that The Joker's left in a permanent vegetative state, to the point where the Joker can't even use his mind to manipulate others to do his bidding? Thus, Batman cured the Joker's problem while not breaking his "no killing" clause.
    • He isn't that kind of Rules Lawyer. Batman sees his job as to prevent specific acts of crime, and then render the perps (yes, even the ones like the Joker) to the correct authorities. He then uses his Bruce Wayne persona to try and get Gotham's judicial and medical/psychiatric institutions to do their part in keeping people safe. He's a man very much aware of how slippery the slope is from vigilante to super-villain, and he's not going to be the one who decides and doles out punishment. If Gotham's judicial and psychiatric/medical institutions don't do their part and actually keep the Joker in a cell or send in psychiatrists who aren't so narcissistic that The Joker winds them around his finger, that is on them, not Bruce. Every state-sanctioned judge and jury that has let the Joker et al go free, are the ones to blame and not Batman. batman has done his part in making the night safer, night by night, criminal by criminal, but he is not a replacement for the police and justice system and he carries no guilt for their failures. The vigilante that takes the law into their own hands and beats someone into a coma for "the greater good", is the guy Batman hands over to the cops, not the guy he thinks he should be.
      • Okay, how about this...use magic to turn the Joker into a nice guy. No more killing. No more violence. Don't tell me Joker's evil is so strong that he can fight off the strongest of magic.
      • The Joker's madness might just be able to shrug off magic, or some other villain could short-circuit it, or Harley could undo it, or one of the random magical bits of rubbish that litter the DC-verse could have negative interactions. Any number of reasons why that might not work or be a permanent option. In addition, as Identity Crisis proved, Bruce is wary of mind-changing magics because they tend to be chancy things at best of times. However, that doesn't hit the real reason: Batman has a psychological need to prove that the system can work. It might not have worked so far, but he believes it can and should be able to either incarcerate or reform. Until Gotham puts magic on the statute books, Bruce is not going to use it because it is not part of the system. Hell, even if Gotham puts magic on the statute books Bruce probably wouldn't use it but would deliver the Joker to the system for it to use the magic.
      • That road leads to being the kind of supervillain who uses mind control to enslave the human race.
      • Batman is part of the larger DC Universe, but his stories are generally more confined to him and his 'family' than most other DC heroes. Factor in the influence of all of Batman's famous adaptations into other media - none of which have magic in them except for stuff like the later DCAU - and it's easy to see why magic wouldn't be a widely used story point.
      • Additionally, look at this quote from Discworld/Thud, from Discworld's closest equivalent to Batman, Cmdr. Sam Vimes:
    -"Surely the wizards could..."
    -"... Magic them into the cells? Magic men good? The innocent would have nothing to fear, d'you think? I wouldn't bet tuppence. Magic's a little bit alive, a little bit tricky. Just when you think you've got it by the throat it bites you in the arse. No magic in my Watch. We use good old-fashioned policing.'
    • Something similar to this was tried in an issue of JLA where the Martian Manhunter attempted to literally reorganize the Joker's mind through telepathy in an attempt to make him sane. But the Joker's mind was so disordered that it took all of J'onn's strength just to keep his insanity at bay for a few minutes before he gave out.
    • Because he loves him.
    • Can the Joker be crippled? He takes the punch of a guy above his weight category regularly to the face, falls from great heights, has a bunch of chemicals in his blood, and gets beaten near death almost every time a Robin gets shanked. I think his body is too sturdy for Batman to break.
    • Even leaving aside the incredibly questionable moral and ethical questions of beating the Joker almost to death, because of the simple fact that beating someone into a permanent vegetative state without killing them is really bloody hard. Like insanely, impossibly hard. It's not like there's a little indicator that goes 'ding!' to let you know to stop when you've reached the point where you've beaten someone sufficiently to render them permanently comatose but where they are still alive. People in such states are usually lucky (for a given value of luck) to not be outright dead; in other words, they would have died if not for an incredible, percentage-breaking piece of good fortune (again for a given value of 'good'). It would take such an insane amount of planning, an insane amount of precision, and an insane amount of luck on Batman's part to achieve this outcome and really, if his ethical stance has sufficiently shifted to allow him to be okay with beating the Joker to such a vicious degree that he's in a permanent, irreversible coma, he might as well just go all the way and outright beat the Joker to death. It'd be literally easier.

     Joker's past 
  • This makes more sense in canons where Batman's the only hero or one of the few heroes, but with all of the magic users in the DC canon such as Dr. Fate or Zatanna, how does Joker still have his "multiple-choice" past? Shouldn't his body have been scryed or something to the point that he's positively ID'd?
    • Why would they bother? Whatever his past was is largely irrelevant to what he's doing now.
      • Part of what makes Joker so dangerous is the inability to identify him. Harley Quinn, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, The Dark Knight, Batman: Endgame, are all examples of Joker manipulating people because he can't be identified and thus can make up any story he wants. Take that away from him, and he's much less dangerous because now you know his identity, history, family, etc.
    • Batman doesn't like other heroes meddling with his business plus Joker is even more dangerous if you remind him of his past since he goes ballistic.

     Why doesn't Batman wear a human mask under his cowl 
  • Seriously, why don't Batman and other DC heroes wear a fake human mask under their masks, or at least wear contact lenses and fake hair? They wouldn't have to worry about villains and crooks trying to unmask them.
    • There's at least one BtAS cartoon that reveals that Batman actually does wear a partial Zorro-style mask under his cowl for just this kind of situation. In any case, though, if a villain has managed to overpower Batman (or any other superhero for that matter) enough to be able to unmask him, a second mask or a wig isn't going to be any more difficult to remove if the said villain is really determined to find out who Batman is. Plus, there really are only so many masks you actually can wear before it starts to get incredibly uncomfortable, impractical and/or ridiculous.
      • That and why would Bruce want to put anyone else in danger because villains think the second mask is Batman?
      • In the 1960s TV series, Barbara Gordon was brunette. But when she changed into Batgirl, she wore a red wig.

     Promise that Bruce Wayne made 
  • Something that I can't either recall or find. It was brought up several times that Bruce made a promise (to his parents). But what exactly did he promise? I remember in Mask of Phantasm, Bruce is crying in the cemetery, saying something about how he can't keep his promise. Then in Road to Arkham Knight - Alfred said that he held onto a promise he made as a "naive 8 years old boy" and "kept it longer than any other sane person should". What promise was that? To make them proud or something?
    • I don't think it's ever specifically worded, but he promises to clean up Gotham, bring criminals to justice, etc. It's really not that hard to figure out from the context of, well, everything Bruce has done since he was 8.]
    • From Detective Comics #33, where Batman's origin story is first told: "And I swear by the spirits of my parents to avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals."
      • This sure sounds like the Phantom, only without the skull. But Thank you for clearing it up.

     Freeze's lack of feelings and disregard for human life 
  • Is this the result of the chemicals in the lab accident, or is he like this because of his frozen wife?
    • It's Depending on the Writer. Basically Freeze can feel, as shown in the animated movie. But since he is usually committing crimes, he acts like a heartless monster to silence his own consciousness and strike fear into the hearts of mortal men. But later (as his body began to break down) he really did become cold and heartless (physically).

     In-universe, how do other villains view Scarface? 
  • Do the villains think Arnold Wesker is the brains, or do they treat Scarface like a real person?
    • I guess that most of them apart from the truly credulous/moronic know full well that it's actually Wesker who's the real brains, but they humor the whole Scarface thing because Wesker is, well, absolutely crazy, and it's easier/safer to just act like Scarface is the one in charge.
    • I think some thugs believe Scarface is actually some kind of Chucky-Esque possessed dummy.
    • Well in the animated series one of Wesker’s minions forgets the rule of speaking to the dummy and asks a question directly to Wesker, causing "Scarface" to enrage, and Rhino to calm him down with "he’s new and doesn’t know the rules", so this seems to imply (in the TAS) that they do know he’s just crazy, but a criminal mastermind so is better to follow his lead.

     Batman and Gordon insist that "the system works..." 
  • But the problem is, it doesn't work! Ever! Joker and the other rouges are still getting in and out of Arkam with sheer abandon, crime rates are still ridiculously high, and the Gotham PD is as corrupt as it ever was. I'm not asking them to go the other way, shooting people on sight and becoming evil themselves, but you'd think they'd of figured out by now that the way they are doing things is not helping. At all.
    • In-universe, because it's what they believe; the system might be broken in Gotham, but they believe there's a chance it can be fixed and made better, and are willing to fight no matter how hard it gets (it's just that unfortunately they live in an ongoing comic book universe where fixing the system would essentially mean no more stories that could be told with them). In any case, what's the alternative? Accepting that the system is irreparably broken presumably means giving up on it and fighting crime outside the system, which presumably would require killing criminals Vigilante Man-style, but you don't want them to go around killing criminals... so what else should they do? Just give up entirely and not do anything at all? That's not exactly the makings of an exciting action-adventure comic book.
      • Replace the prison's walls with concrete instead of cardboard. Just use one of those nanomachines gadgets that Batman always has when he wants to hurt his friends in the league in case they go rogue and use something that can stop people that are rogues. They'll still break out since it's a comic but give at least the illusion that they are trying to keep the Joker in an asylum instead of "oh look Joker converted Arkham into his base of operation again, and it took two days". Arkham City was not a good solution but at least someone tried something new.
      • That's not changing the fundamental system, though. That's just redecorating Arkham Asylum to make it a bit stronger (which they probably could and should try, yes, but see your own point of "they'd break out anyway" for a Doylist answer there — there probably have been stories where that's been tried and the Joker's gotten out anyway). The 'system' that Batman and Gordon are talking about and are invested in is the nature of the American criminal justice system, wherein even known criminals have certain fundamental rights and the possibility of rehabilitation. I dunno what the nanomachines stuff is about (obviously I haven't read that story), but that sounds more like a device more suited to prevent, say, a rampaging guy who can punch through walls and melt things with his eyes from hurting people while temporarily insane; it might be a bit of overkill for dealing with, say, a scarred lawyer with a split personality and a coin fixation.
    • To be fair most of Batman's media outside the comics does show an improvement in Gotham after a while. In Nolan's film he retires after the third movie, in the animated series he has an existential crisis in one episode (after Penguin is given parole) precisely by thinking that he's not doing anything useful, yet at the end of the episode is convince otherwise, in Batman Beyond we do see that future Gotham seems to be a much better place than the old Gotham (yes, it still has crime, like any big city, but it doesn't look like the hellhole that is presented in some comics), and so on. The comics may have never got to the timeline when things get better because of their nature.
    • This is also, again in all fairness, partially an effect of Comic-Book Time. Sure, if you read ten years of comics, it seems like Gotham never really seems to change... but those ten years of comics are coming out one issue a month at a time, are usually set more-or-less contemporaneously, and composed of multi-issue arcs which usually take place over a matter of weeks at most (so in a year's worth of comics, in practical terms we only really see about three-six months of Batman's life at most). Gotham doesn't really change because the nature of comic books keeps it in a kind of stasis to facilitate more stories; if Gotham was a real city and we saw what happened to it over a more realistic period, Batman would probably have a more visibly positive impact.

     Was Bruce's Parents' Death a Good Thing? 
  • Think about it... if Thomas Wayne had stopped Joe Chill from killing them, Bruce would have grown up to be a normal kid. Without a Batman, Gotham (and possibly the planet) would fall victim to criminals and costume maniacs. Most likely the Waynes would have been killed by some madman.
    • ...which would have resulted in Batman.
    • There's a pre-Crisis story where Batman visits a parallel universe that's twenty years behind his and saves that universe's Thomas and Martha Wayne; young Bruce is inspired by Batman's heroism and dedicates his life to becoming a superhero. If Thomas (or Martha) had stopped Joe Chill, maybe Bruce would have grown up to fight crime as the Philanthropist or something.
    • Even if we accept this, it still takes a certain amount of moral relativism and cold-heartedness to describe a boy witnessing his parents being murdered in front of him as a 'good' thing. By any standards which aren't completely unfeeling, it's quite clearly a bad thing which has had some unexpected positive consequences.
    • Batman Beyond actually takes this idea and runs with it. It turns out that Amanda Waller decided that the world needs a Batman, but since the original Batman is getting old, we need to create a new Batman. To do this, she decides to get Bruce's DNA, use that to create a child, then intentionally set it up so that the kid's parents will be murdered right in front of him thus inspiring him to become Batman!
    • Maybe if Bruce hadn't become Batman, Dick Grayson would've done so a generation later.

     Batman and Joker need each other? 
  • I hear some fans say that Batman and Joker need each other. Why is that? I understand Joker needing Batman, but Batman needing Joker?! Batman has a LOT of villains in Gotham City, some are just as vile and crazy as Joker. If Joker were to die one day, I don't think Batman would be mopey about it. Joker is a great villain, but he's not the only homicidal maniac on earth.
    • Two reasons. First, Batman's 'need' for the Joker is more akin to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, namely esteem. It has been shown that Batman takes pride in doing his job his way, having an antagonistic relationship with people who have the same goal but use different methods [Lock-up, for example]. The Joker causes a lot of problems for Batman to fix, and whether he knows it or not, Batman would lose a large contributor to his hero complex. Second; Batman might not even know it himself, but The Joker is essentially Batman with a different choice. If Batman were to kill the Joker, he'd effectively be killing himself. Both outcomes will lead to a feeling of emptiness [remember, the Joker went catatonic when he believed Batman was dead/gone, only snapping out of it when hearing Batman was back. What's stopping Batman from doing the same if Joker died?]
    • Batman doesn't mind if the Joker died but he knows better that it will never happened, Joker just go away and come back to ruin things or some other lunatic will take his place (there is really nothing that special with the Joker that another serial killer with delusions can't do).
    • I assume that many of these fans are not necessarily speaking in a literal sense in-universe, but in the meta-sense that both characters work as an effective Foil for each other (some of them, of course, might be — but that's usually down to shipping, so is a matter of personal taste rather than being a headscratcher). I'm quite confident to believe that in-universe Batman himself would not personally find it a particular burden if the Joker just died or disappeared or decided to stay in prison since it would make his life about a billion times easier than it currently is. But as a reader, his adventures would be a bit less interesting if this happened since the Joker acts as such a narratively and symbolically effective counterpart to Batman.

    The Joker's Perpetual Grin 
  • How much of the Joker's Slasher Smile is a physical deformity vs. makeup vs. conscious/semiconscious decision to find everything funny?
    • Depends on the continuity. In each, it's different.

    Mooks with Two Dimensional Thinking 
  • Why don't the bad guys ever think to look up? Batman likes to take them out from above in almost every Bat property I've seen.
    • Sometimes they do. In the Arkham games, the mooks even start putting bombs in the ceilings and using IR goggles to look into the shadows above them. The main difference it makes is that Batman sneaks around and pops up from under their feet instead. Alternately, looking up just means Batman hits you in the nose instead of on top of the head.

    Why so brutal, Batman? 
  • For a guy with a no-killing policy, the modern Batman sure likes to break bones and hit hard. Some of his attacks could kill a guy in real life. He is really brutal in the Batman Arkham Knight game. It's a miracle the thugs survived getting their faces bashed in. Whatever happened to using your brain to take out crooks instead of putting them in a coma? He doesn't use knock-out pellets anymore?
    • This may be a little bit hard to believe, but it turns out that Bruce has the tiniest bit of anger management issues.
      • Thing is, he didn't do any of that stuff in the old days. Seems like writers make him brutal to be "hardcore and cool" for the new generation. The Batman from the DCAU would shake his head at the modern Batman.
      • How far back are we talking when we say "the old days"? Even ignoring the earliest "pre-no-kill-code" Bat stories, Golden Age Batman would still employ joint locks, ground-and-pound, and other fairly brutal techniques. DCAU Batman (taking a lot of cues from the '40s-'70s versions of the character) tended to knock thugs out with a simple right hook to the jaw by default. This is actually far more brutal than many of the techniques used by Arkham-verse Batman. Knocking someone unconscious with a punch inflicts significant trauma on the brain, potentially resulting in crippling-brain injury and death. In contrast, the joint locks, bone breaks, and choke-holds Arkham-verse Batman uses, while looking more brutal than boxing-style knockouts, are far more likely to incapacitate non-lethally than kill. While breaking a guy's arm in three places might look more brutal and sadistic than a knock-out punch, it's actually a far-less lethal technique.
    • To send a message to every idiot who still thinks working for Joker or Two-Face is a good idea, seriously he wouldn't have to cut the deal with Penguin if his enforcers stopped.
    • It should perhaps also be noted, in Batman's defense at least, that Batman usually only applies brutal force to criminals who are themselves trying to kill or seriously injure him or other people. It's as much making sure that they stop trying to kill or seriously injure him or other people as much as anything else; in other words, in about 99% of cases, he can reasonably argue either self-defence or defence of others. Criminals who give themselves up or who are otherwise harmless, he rarely seems to treat with disproportionate force; in at least one comic, when low-rent d-list hoodlum the Carpenter realizes that she's completely outmatched and surrenders without a fight all we see him do is tie her hands behind her back and leave her for the police to collect.
    • Also, because he's an action hero. It's the same reason that in Arnold Schwarzenegger movies the hero tends to solve his problems by firing massive guns at them rather than diplomacy and negotiation; because it's what the paying audience wants to see. Most people read a Batman comic or watch a Batman movie because they enjoy seeing Batman kick ass, which tends to involve violence that, in a strictly realistic setting, would be disproportionately brutal and crippling. You're just supposed to overlook that as part of the exaggerated, heightened, and cartoony nature of the world he lives in.

     Batman's legal-ness 
  • So, Batman knocks out/ties up thugs, the police arrive.... and? The thugs could have pretended to just mind their own business when a madman attacked them and tied them up for no reason. Would the GCPD have to let them go?
    • Some of them, yeah. Others, there'll be witnesses to testify about what they were doing, or they would have evidence of the crime on them. In any case, even if they don't go to prison, per se, getting your teeth kicked in by Batman and/or spending a few weeks in traction is a pretty decent deterrent and punishment in itself. Would you go back to mugging people if the last time you did it ended with you tied up with a broken arm?
      • Well with the hospital bills and the time you spent not working you don't really have a choice to get back to mugging, it's just that this time you'll start shooting every shadow you see in the street.
    • Remember in Batman Begins when Batman ties Falcone to the spotlight? Note that he also leaves the drugs Falcone was smuggling prominently and carefully arranged all around him. So Falcone not only has to explain who attacked him, but also what he's doing in a suspicious location with a massive quantity of illegal narcotics (far more than anyone would realistically bring along to plant on someone else) that he has no reason to have if he's there on legitimate business. Batman doesn't just beat up on criminals whenever; he waits until they're actually committing or have just committed a crime, and so have evidence that he can leave behind for the police. And if there's no evidence, he doesn't just beat them up for the hell of it; he either investigates to find the evidence or waits until a point where they can be exposed before he intervenes.
  • Here's another question: to have a trial, there must be an impartial jury. Given the scale of some villain attacks, aren't there some of his Rogues Gallery that Batman could kill off because no one in Gotham would qualify? If Death in the Family is still canon, then Joker tried to gas the UN Security Council, so it'd be virtually impossible to form a jury then.
    • The Joker is considered legally insane, he doesn't get trials.
      • That's not the question. The question is, given the scale of some attacks on Gotham, could Batman get away with killing some of his enemies because there would be no one in Gotham who wouldn't be biased? Since Nu 52, Riddler and Joker have made attacks that would've destroyed Gotham and killed the entire populace if not for Batman. If some of Joker's pre-52 schemes are still canon, such as Death in the Family and Joker's Last Laugh Joker would probably be the one enemy that Batman can't be arrested for killing because there's literally no one on earth that can form a jury.
    • It is possible in just these circumstances (namely, if local opinion against a defendant is so widespread that the chances of finding a reasonably impartial jury are remote) for counsel to move for a trial to be held in another jurisdiction. And "literally no one on Earth that can form a jury" is more than a bit of an exaggeration. For all the Flanderization that Joker's experienced into a bit of a God-mode villain over the years, really most of his schemes have only impacted Gotham City, and the exceptions noted above are rare at most. For citizens of Gotham City, the Joker is a nightmare in human form, but that's because they experience him and his atrocities regularly. Even in the DC Universe, however, most of the world — heck, most of the United States, even — doesn't have that same experience with him, so probably just think of him as that nutcase from Gotham with a weird clown gimmick if they even think of him at all. So while it might still be hard, it wouldn't necessarily be impossible.

     The batmobile vs a normal looking vehicle 
  • The batmobile is cool and awesome, but wouldn't it be smarter to use a regular car (with a fake license plate)? That way you won't draw attention to yourself on the road. Batman in his 1939 debut drove in a red car. Having a car with your face on it doesn't seem like a good idea if you're a wanted man.
    • Batman wants to inspire fear, not get around inconspicuously.
    • If Batman needs to get around inconspicuously, he simply changes to being Bruce Wayne and takes one of the many, many normal (if more conspicuously ostentatious) cars he owns. If he needs a less obvious car than that, then he buys one or just uses something from the Wayne Industries corporate fleet. He is very rich.
    • Batman is Crazy-Prepared and rich. It is almost beyond any doubt whatsoever that he has a whole bunch of anonymous inexpensive cars stashed in garages all around Gotham City for those occasions when the Batmobile is too unnecessarily ostentatious.

     Why would thugs work for the Joker? 
  • I know times are hard, but would you work for an unpredictable madman who would murder you if you look at him, or his girlfriend, funny? Joker doesn't mind gassing his own men for laughs and giggles. Also, if Joker doesn't kill you, Batman will send you to the hospital. Batman and Joker are 2 people you don't want to anger.
    • A few reasons — sometimes Joker's goons are themselves, lunatics. Poverty and desperation also help — if someone's offering you money and steady employment, and you don't have any other legitimate (or illegitimate) options, you don't necessarily have the luxury of turning it down. Reputation also might play a part — the Joker's pretty much the number one villain in Gotham, so if you're in his gang — and you haven't been killed or busted — then that probably comes with a certain amount of street cred, and reputation by itself. Also, fear; how'd you know that the Joker isn't just gonna kill you anyway if you try to politely refuse to join his gang? Criminals are just as scared of pissing off Joker as everyone else, and they might not really feel like they have much of a choice. As for Batman, to be honest, if you're a crook in Gotham City then he's probably gonna come after you whether you work for the Joker or not, so it's not like that's really gonna be a dealbreaker.
    • Apparently working with Joker is like playing Russian Roulette for a million, he might kill you but he might also throw a big bag of money in the air and you can run off with him since he is too busy with Batman to care. The other bosses might be saner but they must be cheapskates.
    • Also, Joker’s behavior varies from writer to writer, one of the most popular representations is that of a purely chaotic madman, but some representations show him as a highly functional pretty competent mafia boss, albeit with a clown-theme motif.

     Catwoman's fighting ability 
  • It varies Depending on the Writer (though it should be mentioned that in the very beginning Bob Kane depicted her as being Batman's equal in combat), but exactly how does Catwoman manage to stay toned enough to go toe to toe with Batman? We never, ever see her training or working out at a gym. Where did she acquire those martial-arts skills? Also, she often appears to be rail-thin. (On that note, what's holding up those gigantic breasts the artists often give her?)
    • We don't see the vast majority of superheroes go to the gym or train, and how does any of that not apply to every single other female superhero?
    • The fact that Catwoman can hold her own against Batman and is fairly trim, agile, and athletic itself suggests she trains and works out at some point. We just don't see it because there are very few occasions where it would actually be relevant to the story and/or interesting to watch. At some point, you do have to start accepting some things as implicit rather than demanding that the storytellers explain and show every single little thing that happens to these people in excruciating detail. As for Catwoman's physique, while there may be a valid complaint there it can be leveled at pretty much every female depiction in comic book art; it's a cultural thing that has to be addressed there, not something that specifically affects Catwoman and only Catwoman.
    • She's constantly scrambling up the sides of buildings and doing flips and stuff so she can steal things. That's a pretty strenuous workout all by itself!

     The Bat Signal 
  • How does the bat signal work on a clear night? It's always portrayed as shined on the clouds, so when there's a clear night, Batman won't know if a crime is happening.
    • The Bat Signal isn't the only way Batman knows if a crime is happening. It's not even the primary way. The Bat Signal's purpose isn't to let Batman know a crime's happening, it's to let criminals know that Batman is happening.
    • Some comics depict the Bat Signal as being shone onto the sides of nearby tall buildings. It's a spotlight, so presumably, it can be moved around.
    • In real life, the city of Buffalo, NY averages 311 days of cloud cover each year. Gotham isn't that sunny.
    • In many adaptations, Gotham City has loads of blimps floating around the place. If needs must, pilot one of those over police headquarters and shine the signal onto it.
    • Cloud cover might be necessary to see the bat emblem, but a million-candela searchlight beam would be visible in clear weather.

     A brilliant detective like Batman can't figure out Joker's identity 
  • Wasn't Pre-Joker a bumbling guy with low confidence? Surely a guy like that would be sloppy enough to leave clues behind. If the "red hood" origin is true, then all Batman has to do is check out reports of people who went missing on the night of Joker's birth.
    • If the Red Hood origin is true. The operative word being if. Not even the Joker knows whether it's really true or not ("I like to think they're multiple choice!"), so it's not like Batman can know with any degree of certainty.
    • Apparently he did figure it out in Death of the Family but we didn't hear it, plus the Red Hood backstory was partially debunked as the acid he was dropped in should have killed him if it was true.
    • If "Three Jokers" is to be accepted as canon, apparently this is not the case; it turns out that Batman knows full well who the Joker is, or at least who one of the titular Jokers is, but deliberately keeps the secret because to reveal it would be to bring damaging public attention, and potentially the Joker's wrath, on his innocent family.

     Batman fighting in broad daylight 
  • Why do some people have a problem with Batman fighting during the day? Don't people realize that crime doesn't have a timer? There are times Batman will have to operate during the day.
    • In-universe, Batman is an Urban Legend, a Boogeyman that comes out at night and terrorizes criminals. To your average Gotham City criminal, he's a supernatural monster that emerges from the shadows and brutally and efficiently foils them. He can't be defeated. He can't be escaped. The only sensible option is to surrender and hope he's in a merciful mood. It's an image that Bruce has carefully crafted, what with criminals being a superstitious and cowardly lot and all. If they saw him in broad daylight and realized that he was just a man in a costume, it would severely diminish his effectiveness. Because, really, what's scarier: a tough guy in a bat costume who will beat you to a pulp? Or an incomprehensible shadow demon that could be hiding in the dark RIGHT BEHIND YOU RIGHT NOW?
    • They had a fight with him every once in a while and they know what real monsters are (Killer Croc seems like a fun drinking buddy) his legend should be gone by now.
    • I suppose it's mainly just because it's part of his overall motif. Bats are typically creatures associated with shadows and darkness. Batman, correspondingly, is a dark, noirish character who tends to lurk in the shadows. Shadows and darkness are generally more plentiful at night; hence, Batman tends to work at night. Putting him in the daytime isn't physically impossible (I'm sure there've been plenty of stories involving Batman at work during the day), but it just feels... wrong, somehow. Also, I'm willing to bet that statistically, most crimes tend to happen at night or during the hours when it's dark, so he'd be doing more of his kind of thing during those hours anyway, so he assumes the police can handle things during the day.

     About Batman/Bruce Wayne being soooo distrustful 
  • Batman is supposed to distrust everyone. So why has he allowed so many people to know he's really Bruce Wayne? There's Alfred, Bat-Girl, Superman, etc... PLUS he's already adopted several Robins who are also in the loop (and he kept at it even after one of these Robins turned rogue). Not only that, he even gives them access to the Bat Cave.
    • Eh, I think you're overemphasizing that aspect of him. Doesn't the fact that he's let so many people in outright disprove he's completely distrustful? Besides, you can always chalk it up to Depending on the Writer.
    • Batman isn't "supposed to distrust everyone." That has never been part of his character. The guys you name are either A. his family (Alfred, the Robins), partners he's been working closely with for years (Batgirl, Gordon), or have powers such that Bruce couldn't hide who he was if he wanted to (Superman).

     How come no one has ever suspected Batman of being an ex-soldier or a cop? 
  • Why are some fans worried about Bruce getting caught? In-universe and real life, can you really see a playboy millionaire risking his life to save the little people? The idea would seem absurd, right? Wouldn't you think a discharged US soldier is using stolen military tech to help people? How do they know this soldier didn't steal weapons and tech from the army and customized them to make them bat-theme? For all they know, this soldier could have gotten the idea of a bat persona by stepping inside a bat cave during a rescue mission.
    • There are probably some people who might think such, but none of that would matter if Bruce gets caught. Nobody's going to say, "It can't be Bruce Wayne!" if someone catches Bruce Wayne in costume acting as Batman.
    • Because unless he steals weapons routinely that doesn't make much sense. How can a soldier maintain a car and a jet like that without funds and how come the gadgets look like some of Wayne Tech's prototypes? Plus the playboy millionaire is surprisingly recluse and invests in gargoyles all over Gotham.
    • In The Batman, one of Riddler's key questions in attempting to determine Batman's identity through yes-no questions using a polygraph was whether or not he was affiliated with the police department, so some people clearly consider the possibility. That said, in addition to the financial flaws in the theory hashed out above, Batman is infinitely better than any soldier or cop, who is trained to work in groups and rely on guns and knives, even in the DC universe.
    • Incidentally, Batwoman actually is an ex-soldier (at least in the comics I've read).

     Why is Gotham a Hotspot for criminals? 
  • Although my question might sound weird to those who are well-read on the story, but for a person who has only seen the animated cartoons, this has always been in my head. Why is Gotham soooo corruption-heavy when there's Batman there to scare them away? Even when a supervillain comes and claims their turf, Batman can always call the Justice League when the trouble escalates. Shouldn't they move to a place where there are no costumed heroes? I mean I'm sure there are illegal activities underground but wouldn't it dwindle once its members keep getting threatened since the police have a costumed vigilante on their side?
    • A costumed vigilante is better than a superhuman or a non-corrupt police force to regular criminals, also I'm pretty sure even his enemies know Batman is too prideful to call for help (otherwise Joker wouldn't have gotten away with so much stuff).
  • Original poster here. So reforms have never been introduced? Has anybody even thought of screening out psychos and lowly corrupt officials from the inside?? Do actual citizens even care about the competence of the police? So in a way, Batman never did make a difference, as Gotham is perpetually the same.
    • The problem as mentioned somewhere else is that Gotham is always the same due to Comic-Book Time. In other media things in Gotham do improve (as much as can be better in a big city with the implicit Lovecraftian curse on it) but due to the nature of comic books, we never get to see it because the universe gets rebooted every once in a while. But a big city would always have high crime rates even with superheroes in it, we can ask the same about Metropolis and how, although not as much as Gotham, it still has crime.
    • Gotham literally had a demon bound into its foundations since around the War of Independence up until some time in the Nineties. That probably explains most questions about the city.
    • There was this one time when they tried to fix corruption by electing an anti-corruption crusader as the new District Attorney. His name was Harvey Dent. It didn't work out...

     If Batman changes his name and costume, would Joker continue to terrorize people? 
  • Remember the else-world story where Joker starts a normal life when he thought Batman was dead? In the end, Mr. "Joseph Kerr" becomes The Joker after reading a newspaper about Batman returning. If Batman had left the Joker alone, and wore a different costume, would Joker have remained as "Joseph Kerr" and lived a happy and peaceful life?
    • Depends on the story, Joker has a life outside of Batman and he probably would have fallen back because he is a psychotic clown at heart.
    • Plus there's the fact that the Joker has a very intimate knowledge of Batman's mind and his methods. Odds are if Bruce had simply changed his costume and superhero name, the Joker would still have recognized that it was him and would have returned. Bruce would probably have to completely change the way he operates as a superhero, which would be difficult since it would require rethinking everything he'd come up with for Batman.

     Having a secret lair under your house 
  • Isn't it risky? What if cops raid Bruce's mansion one day? Isn't he worried that someone will find the cave after he dies of old age? Even if you tear down the mansion, people will still know it used to be there if they do some research.
    • Why would the cops raid his place and why would it matter if it's found after his death?
      • Sorry, maybe raid isn't the word I should be using. More like a swat team surrounding your house, barging in, arresting you and your butler, and then searching your house for bat gear...if they have enough evidence of you being the famous masked vigilante.
      • Again: Why would they go in the first place? If the point comes that a SWAT team is already going into Wayne Manner, then it's way too late to worry about them finding things.
      • And the Batcave, where Bruce is careful to keep all his bat gear, is hardly easy to find. It's not just in a secret room in his house- it's underneath it, underground, accessible only by several extremely well-hidden, complicated secret entrances (the most often used one in the comics, for example, is kept safe by a mechanism where you have to change the grandfather clock's hands to the exact time of his parent's deaths). It's fairly clear that there's not much chance of anyone finding the Batcave unless they know what they're looking for.
    • Also, if Bruce has died of old age (or even just died in general) by the time that someone discovers the Batcave, then that's well beyond the point where it's a matter of concern for him.
    • At least the comic story does involve the scenario of the police, given information that Bruce Wayne is Batman, storming Wayne Manor and discovering an underground tunnel... and discovering that it leads to some kind of safe room or man cave. The implication is that either Batman has some kind of "special mechanism" that manages to divert anyone who is not recognized or authorized to be there into a different location or, perhaps more realistically, that the tunnels underneath the manor are so labyrinthian and twisting that if you don't know specifically where you're headed for it's easy to get misdirected to somewhere else.
    • That's right. It's "All-Star Batman Vol 1 #5". The police bust down the grandfather clock's secret entrance and go down it expecting to find the Batcave, only to find a seemingly ordinary room that could be a man cave or a panic room. Gordon himself seems to believe—and suggests in a sarcastic tone—that it's a mechanism Bruce keeps for just this sort of scenario that sends you down the wrong stairwell if you enter without his permission, and even Alfred has no idea about it.

     Did Bruce covered up his parents' death? 
  • I was reading the Entertainingly Wrong section where a bunch of stories is about no one being able to think the rich Gothamite to be Batman (Batman is rich and from the city thanks to investigations) and they never include Bruce. But Bruce losing his parents to a mugger and being one of the most influential people in the city should be some good clues to at least include him in the suspect list. Is the Wayne's murder taboo to the press or something?
    • In a similar way how no one suspects Superman is Clark Kent because Clark is shy and nerdy, no one suspects Wayne is Batman because he acts as if Bruce Wayne is an irresponsible and lazy playboy. Christian Bale does a very good performance there, in a similar way how Reeves does the same with Superman, if you see someone acting like Bale's version of Wayne you hardly would suspect that the guy going around to parties with two drunken supermodels is going to be a crime-fighting vigilante. Most people just assume Wayne's behavior is because of his parents' murder. It will be like thinking that Paris Hilton is fighting crime when no one sees her and her public image is just a facade.
    • Even if someone deduced that Bruce has a long-standing motivation to want criminals trounced, he'd more likely be suspected of financing Batman's activities on the sly than actually being Batman. Few people would expect a billionaire to get his hands dirty or risk his own skin when he could (theoretically) pay someone to do it for him.

     Slitting Jason's Throat 
  • So I was just rereading the Under The Red Hood story, and this just occurred to me. Why did Batman not let Jason kill the Joker, or slit his throat? I mean, he just gave this whole speech about how he can't kill the Joker because "he'd be just like him then"(Which doesn't make any sense at all, but anyway) to which then, when Jason goes to kill the Joker, he just...goes and gambles with Jason's life, slitting his throat to make him not kill Joker. WHAT? Doesn't that just go against almost everything you just said? At least in Batman: Under the Red Hood, he had the justification of Jason shooting at him, and EVEN THEN he didn't slit his throat. I mean, he won't kill the Joker, so wouldn't it just be easier if he just let Jason? Jason already had a body count and had literally done everything just to get this chance and Bruce was saying how he loved Jason like a son, so... what? Can somebody please explain this to me?
    • Contrary to popular belief, Batman's philosophy is not "you should not kill", is "you should not make extra judiciary executions". Killing in self-defense or defense of a third party is still something he allows (and he does, rarely, but he does). The point is, is not the same to shoot someone who is about to break someone else's neck as to take someone, tie him up, bring him to some abandoned warehouse, and shoot him (is an example, not that this is the exact situation).
    • Okay fine, I can accept it. But two more things, one slightly off-topic: 1. How does killing the Joker make Batman just like him? I mean, there's even an entry under Strawman Has a Point about this. To quote(copy-and-paste): "When Jason Todd, the second Robin returned in the "Under the Hood" series, his primary goal was to take down the Joker. Towards the end of the mini-series, Batman tries to justify the Joker's continued survival by revealing he fears that his killing Joker would make for a line that he can never uncross, leading him to become nothing more than a Serial-Killer Killer. Jason, who has been set up as a murdering maniac now little different from the Joker himself, immediately shoots back a rebuttal about the Strawman Fallacy of this particular argument, asking why taking exceptional actions to deal with an exceptional individual, a monster whose list of crimes should have earned him the death sentence a dozen times over or more, would lead to those actions becoming the new default. As he points out, he's not saying that Batman should start killing crooks at random, or even that he should start lethally pruning his Rogues Gallery in general. Just that Batman should do what the legal justice system fails to do, and put the mass-murdering, psychotic, irredeemably evil monster that is The Joker to an end. It's telling that all Batman can muster in response is an empty apology and an insistence that he can't do that."
      • And the second question: why did he have to slit Jason's throat? A huge gamble with his life? I mean, I once read this really good fanfiction on Deviantart where Jason pointed this out to him, and Bruce more or less admitted to it (Sorry about the huge post above).
    • There is a comic that has Batman actually defending the Joker in court arguing that the Joker is crazy and can not be held criminally responsible for his actions. Which I think is the issue, he honestly thinks that a crazy person is not really guilty and applies the same with other crazy criminals like Poison Ivy. He is not as "nice" as non-crazy criminals like the Penguin and Ra's al Ghul. If I recall correctly in some comics he causes directly or indirectly the death of Ra's al Ghul during the final fight ala James Bond. On the second thing, you have a point.
    • Real talk, Joker isn't that special in the Rogue gallery to have Batman remove his one-kill rule for him. Penguin, Scarecrow, and even Zsasz killed as many innocents as Joker and aren't redeemable (Batman working with Penguin as an intel broker must be a slap to the face of every life he ruined and took because he has money and keeps it sporadic compared to Joker). If Batman kills Joker there is no reason why the other mass murderers get a pass. So Batman would end up killing so many of them he will snap, it's not a slippery slope to think killing one psycho in clown makeup is different from killing another psycho covered in scars. When Batman removes his rule for Darkseid, now that makes sense since he isn't human and nothing short of lethal force can stop him while Joker can be punched in the face and restrained.
    • I recommend this video which shows all the time's Batman was killed, especially during the Silver Age, which is very clarifying. For a time Batman was more like James Bond and had no quarrels in causing deaths, the idea that he does not kills is a modern construct, but even in modern comics the idea is more like the one shown in the Nolan films: "I'm not going to be judge, jury, and executioner" but sometimes may apply the "I don't have to save you either".

     Why is 3 Jokers such a big deal? 
  • I don't get the hype. We've seen Jokers from alternate universes in the past. We know about the whole multiverse thing. The Killing Joke Joker, 1940s Joker, and current Joker being different people shouldn't be a surprise to us.
    • Because it's not about the multiverse. It's the idea that the Joker in the main continuity is three people when it's always been assumed that there was only one.
    • Also, this simple fact: one Joker is a mass-murdering lunatic whose antics frequently result in a body count in the hundreds to thousands and Batman driven to the edge of his tether. Three Jokers is that multiplied by three.

     Batman and Catwoman's relationship 
  • I know opposites attract, but why would Batman, someone who works on the side of good, want to be with a jewel thief? Depending on the writer, she is a loose cannon. Sure she has a gentle side, and she is not a real villain, but could you trust her not to steal a valuable item from a foreign country if she goes on a business trip?
    • I don't think anyone has seriously suggested that Batman trusts Catwoman not to be a criminal; he generally trusts her not to be an Ax-Crazy psychopath who is going to try and murder him gruesomely at the first given opportunity. Compared to most of the crimes Batman spends his time dealing with, larceny and burglary are decidedly more on the 'harmless' side of the scale, so he presumably feels he can overlook them to a point when it comes to Catwoman. Besides this, the heart wants what the heart wants, and some guys have a thing for bad girls.

     The Al Ghul Heir issue 
  • Why is Ra's Al Ghul so determined to have Batman as the next Demons Head? it's clear that the League isn't Heir Club for Men, and he has a legitimate daughter who is competent enough to take over, hell, Talia seems to be the de facto leader when Ra's is "dead", take Arkham Knight as an example (not gospel, but an example) when Ra's is dying his other daughter, Nyssa, takes over, with only the ones who want to just grab Ra's and dip him in a pit, even though it's clear it wouldn't work out very well.
    • Because he thinks Batman is a worthy heir. It has nothing to do with the rules of the League or that he has a legitimate heir already — he thinks Batman would be better, so he picked Batman.

     Why couldn't orphan Bruce live with one of his uncles or aunts? 
  • The Golden Age and Silver Age versions didn't have this problem, people had shorter lifespans back then, but the thought that Bruce was all alone with no family after his parents' murder is strange in modern times.
    • Given the social services most likely to be available in Gotham, this could actually have been for the best.
    • I had always assumed that they had named Alfred as his legal guardian if they died. His grandparents on both sides could have already passed and Thomas and Martha can have both been only children. And if there were some slightly distant members of the Wayne family, here's always the possibility that they may have looked at the Wayne fortune and well... it brings to mind the plot of a certain book series. Of course, this is partially WMG, but still possible.
      • It has been stated in canon several times that Alfred was named as Bruce's legal guardian, though whether it is still canon is another question.
      • I assume they left Alfred as Bruce's legal guardian in their will to prevent all sorts of relatives and people from trying to get control of Bruce to get control of the Wayne fortune. Otherwise, anyone who was Bruce's legal guardian in case of their deaths could just kill them, take custody of Bruce and use him to get to the money. By leaving Bruce to Alfred whom they trusted they circumvented Bruce being used this way and protected themselves from foul play.
      • Martha Wayne (nee Kane) did have siblings. However, one of them (Philip) chose Edward Nigma to help him run Wayne Enterprises and joined the Red Hood gang, another (Jacob) was very busy with the military, another (Nathan) died, and another (Bette's father) has yet to even be named, so she probably looked ahead and figured that Alfred would be a better guardian.
  • During the Golden Age and Silver Age, Bruce lived with his uncle, Philip Wayne, with Alfred only coming into his life when he was an adult. It wasn't until Frank Miller wrote Dark Knight Returns, where it was implied that Alfred raised Bruce, that Miller decided to cut out Philip and make Alfred Bruce's guardian following his parents' death when he wrote Batman: Year One.

     The Joker Venom's physical effects 
  • How does the Joker's laughter toxin cause people to transform to look like him? As in white skin, green hair, red lips?
    • Since no known compound causes both clown transformation and death by laughter, the real answer is simply It's Comic Book Fantasy Science, Just Go With It. In-universe, however, the chemicals in the toxin presumably just react in such a way with hair and skin, and there are real chemicals that can do such things separately (for example, mercury and hydroquinone are known skin-bleachers, chlorine reacting with oxidized copper is known to dye hair green). The Joker's usually established to be a skilled chemist, he presumably just mixed stuff together until it got the reaction he was looking for.
    • Also, this is to some degree Depending on the Writer. Some versions just have the Joker's toxin be a laughing gas that causes people to laugh uncontrollably, others amp it up until the laughter kills them, and still, others have the toxin contort the victim's face into a grin but otherwise cause no other transformations.