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Headscratchers / The Dark Knight Trilogy

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"You see, it's all part of the plan."
The Joker

New entries go on the bottom of each section. The individual films' Headscratchers can be found at Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises.

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    People and Bruce Wayne 
  • How do you think the people of Gotham view Bruce Wayne in universe? On the one hand in Batman Begins you have him jumping into fountains with supermodels and giving his car as a gift to the valet, then apparently insulting and pissing off some of the richest and most influential people in the city before drunkenly burning down his own home. That screams Upper-Class Twit. But the very next day he pulls off a plot to purchase the majority share in his company while pulling the wool over the eyes of every major business and financial expert around. Does that make him an Obfuscating Stupidity Magnificent Bastard, or maybe a Bunny-Ears Lawyer? Considering his behavior in The Dark Knight with stuff like falling asleep in business meetings and randomly taking an entire ballet troupe out on a cruise, do people think that Wayne really is that much of an idiot, and is just a pawn for The Man Behind the Man: Lucius Fox?
    • Perhaps not Lucius Fox specifically, but they probably assume he's an Upper-Class Twit who just has the best team of business gurus money can buy running the show for him.
    • They probably view him they way society currently view Richard Branson. As an eccentric weirdo we all secretly envy.
    • The only smart thing they saw him do is buy up Wayne Enterprises. He did this via phone while the extremely intelligent, disgruntled former employee who had been friends with the Waynes for years was standing in the board room. Oh,... and it just so happens that he is in charge now. The obvious connection would be that he was pulling Bruce's strings. Even in the second movie, Reese comments about Bruce acting in an embarrassing manner despite the fact that he was simply hired from a firm and not an employee. If he's openly critical of Bruce, then everyone in the company probably thinks he's an absolute idiot. The public just sees him as a playboy.

    Gordon's ranks 
  • In Begins, Gordon is a normal Detective Sergeant. Nothing particularly special about him. Except for the fact that he is one of the few honest cops in Gotham City. Perhaps this is the reason he's still a lowly detective after 20+ years of service. In TDK he is a Lieutenant in charge of the Major Crimes Unit. Then he gets promoted to Commissioner. Okay, two things: 1) Why is a Lieutenant placed in charge a major police unit, while in most departments, a captain would only run a precinct? And why is said Lieutenant promoted straight to Commissioner? Gotham PD is seriously screwed up. You know, besides the corruption and all.
    • The guy captured the freaking Joker. That deserves a promotion.
    • A police commissioner is usually a political appointment, not a promotion. New York had at least one commissioner who had retired as a captain.
    • It's probably also easier to move up the ranks when the last person was killed. And by Dark Knight, it was implied he was on the fast track, with his predecessor grudgingly acknowledging it.
    • He was promoted back in the first movie too.
    • In The Wire, which is a pretty realistic show, Baltimore's Major Crimes Unit was consistently commanded by a Lieutenant throughout the show's run.

    Cops on the payroll 
  • Gotham City is portrayed as a pretty big city. Lucius Fox says there are "30 million people" in (presumably) the metro area. That would mean that Gotham has around the population of New York City within its borders. NYPD has almost 40,000 cops on its payroll. Let's presume Gotham has a similar amount, probably less (let's say 30,000). How can most of those cops be on the mob's payroll? It's understandable paying off certain parts of the force (Narcotics and Vice detectives, beat cops who patrol areas where the mob deals usually take place, etc.) but the majority of the force is portrayed to be corrupt. The mob can't afford to pay all these cops without bankrupting themselves.
    • They don't need to corrupt everyone, just enough to ruin the Gotham PD's efforts at investigation. Claims that the entire PD are corrupt are probably just overblown; the majority of the cops in TDK, for example, seem perfectly upstanding.
    • Also, there's not just one "mob" in Gotham, there's multiple mobs who were competing with each other until Batman showed up. And even in real life, it doesn't take much to corrupt a police department. Generally powerful gangs have a few patrol cops directly on their payroll, a few investigators in divisions like burglary, homicide and narcotics, someone in the evidence room and maybe someone in Records. And then they regularly try to suborn judges and city officials on top of that. Spread that out over multiple precincts and turn it up to eleven, and you have Gotham City.
    • They don't have to actually keep them all on salary. If the mob knows that most cops will change testimony or destroy evidence for an envelope full of cash, then it has the same effect. And its demoralizing to the remaining cops.
    • There's also the fact that once they get a cop to look the other way once, they have 'em for life. They can use it to blackmail them, sink their careers, and likely get them sent to jail themselves. This is why Gordon's partner in Begins mentions that Gordon not taking a slice makes them nervous; they have nothing to hold over his head. On top of that, if the police department is as corrupted as we are lead to believe, they're likely investing their bribe money right back into the mob one way or another. They're drinking away at mob-owned bars, slipping it into the g-strings of mob-employed strippers and hookers, and snorting mob-supplied cocaine through it. Hell, the mob likely supplies a few of these services (hookers and blow) to the cops at cost in lieu of actual payment in exchange for a few favors, not to mention, additional blackmail material.

    Getting into the Batsuit 
  • The new Batsuit is composed of 110 individual pieces. How does Bruce get into it so fast? It took him like 3 minutes after the Joker appeared at the part. Does he have a bunch of robot helpers like Stark?
    • 110 individual pieces doesn't mean they're all separate all the time. He was probably referring to 110 different panels of armor in the suit.

    Hair under the helmet 
  • Bruce Wayne's hair. He's got this thick, slicked-back business hairdo, but that's gotta be annoying under his helmet/mask. Why doesn't he have something more practical? Not an army-issue buzzcut, just something that would work in both Bruce-mode and Bat-mode.
    • Hair is pretty flexible. People with thicker heads of hair have worn just as—if not more—restrictive headware (football helmets, hockey helmets) without problems.

    Body armor and armor-piercing 
  • Batman would need to wear body armor rather than just "dodge bullets." Why haven't the crooks in Gotham figured that out and started using armor-piercing rounds? Also why doesn't Batman suffer most of his injuries from the kinetic impacts from the bullets that hit him? And really, even if Batman's armor could stop armor-piercing rounds, why wouldn't Wayne Industries patent and sell that type of anti-ballistic armor and make even more money than they have?
    • Batman does take the kinetic impact of being shot; watch the end of The Dark Knight, where he falls to the ground and is visibly injured after it. And the armor is a failsafe; Batman does depend on not being shot, and while he might not dodge bullets, he does everything in his power to avoid his enemies getting good aim on him (sticking to the shadows, taking them by surprise, in close, and scaring the shit out of them). The armor is just in case one of them happens to get in a lucky shot.
    • And really, even if Batman's armor could stop armor-piercing rounds, why wouldn't Wayne Industries patent and sell that type of anti-ballistic armor and make even more money than they have? Who said they haven't?
    • Also, the batsuit is stupidly expensive.
    • Yeah, Fox points this out directly when they introduce the bat-armor. It was too expensive for the US Army, so Batman's got the only prototype. Lucius rattles off the figure at around $300,000 per suit. Whether that's the prototype cost or production unit cost...
    • That's actually a pretty common problem for the US military. They keep having companies develop or bid on replacements for their stuff, but can't come up with the money to pay to equip every soldier with new gear. One can assume this sort of thing is where a lot of WE's RND stuff comes from.
    • It was established that the Tumbler (Batmobile) was fully functional. It's just that it was designed as a river-jumping vehicle, and that the bridge it was supposed to be able to deploy didn't work.
    • The idea that crooks might upgrade to armor-piercing rounds was discussed explicitly at the end of Batman Begins. Presumably some criminals have done exactly that, but most haven't, because armor-piercing rounds are expensive and most criminals never fight Batman face to face.

    Publicly traded 
  • Here's what bugs me: Why is Wayne Industries a publicly traded company? ONE accountant is shown discovering Batman's identity by looking closely at the books. Wouldn't the dozens (if not hundreds) of people working in finance at a publicly-traded company have discovered the same irregularities? Or their auditors? Or the government? This wouldn't be as big an issue if Batman's identity was already public knowledge. It seems to be one considering that it is not. Why not say it's a privately-held company and move on from there?
    • It was privately held. Part of the first movie is how the board decides to make it publicly traded. The one accountant figured it out because Lucius essentially made him go over it again as busywork; the first film goes over how Bruce would get the equipment through dummy companies to avoid that thing. What really tipped Reese off was things like the Tumbler, which isn't disguised in the least aside from being painted black, being used by Batman, not necessarily irregularities in the bookkeeping.
      • Expanding on that, Wayne Industries was privately held, then the board took it public and Bruce was "handsomely rewarded" for his "majority shareholdings". Bruce then concocted a scheme to essentially buy his own company back by purchasing stock through a variety of shell companies and trusts. Once he regained control, there was nothing to stop him from taking the company private again by buying up all the remaining shares. So that's what he did.
    • He might well have been looking for something completely different to blackmail them with. Like embezzling.
    • Not to mention the only reason Reese could find any irregularities was because Bruce have little time to plan the whole Radar thing while hiding it from Fox.
    • Reese found the irregularities through recognizing RND equipment from the news. He explicitly points this out to Lucius. At no point is it suggested that Bruce was simply too busy to cover his tracks.

    League of Shadows 
  • It's hard to believe League of Shadows has been wiped out. If Ra's claims that they secretly run governments is true then they should still be in heavy operation. If not, they still proved to be an ominous, international terrorist group. It was obviously designed to continue functioning after its leader died so Ra's death should not be a problem. They should still be out there and they should be pretty interested in visiting Gotham again.
    • From what has been released, Bane is likely working for or possibly running the League now. A "young" Ra's Al Ghul has been cast for "flashbacks" also.
    • As The Dark Knight Rises reveals, yep, The League of Shadows is back, with Bane, as well as Talia, as its leader, with the goal of finishing what Ra's started in the first film.

    Shooting in the mouth 
  • Why doesn't anyone aim for Batman's mouth?
    • Hitting a target that small is nowhere near as easy as most people think. Especially if you're in the middle of fighting someone.
    • Yeah, you might as well ask why criminals don't do that now. Even a SWAT cop in full body armor has no armor over his face, yet you never hear about SWAT teams routinely getting their faces blown off in busts.
    • SWAT teams typically wear helmets with visors that are more than likely bullet resistant, so they're still protected there.
    • Not all the time they don't. And those visors are really only good for protection against ricochets and shrapnel from explosions. A direct hit from a bullet will rip right through them.
    • Its a small target that is difficult to hit at any range past point-blank, and that's if the target is perfectly still. Batman doesn't stand perfectly still, and is constantly moving. He rarely gives his opponents time or a target to even shoot, let alone enough time to draw a bead on his mouth.
    • First off, hitting is in reality much harder than movies present. This is why body shots are more common than headshots. Add to that that mouth area is much more smaller.
    • Why doesn't anyone shoot him in the chest until he falls over, and THEN shoot him in the face?
    • You don't think they're trying to already? Batman only works because he avoids situations where his enemies have a clear shot at him. The armor's for the off chance that his stealthing and close-quarters training fails and he ends up getting shot.
    • More Dakka, then. Doesn't matter how badass he is, nobody can stand against 10 guys with FN Minimis.
    • Like the above troper said, Batman is careful to avoid that kind of situation.
    • No amount of dakka will allow you to take down a target you can't find.
      • Imagine trying to shoot every single shadow in Gotham all at the same time. Now imagine running out of bullets because of that. Now imagine Batman sneaking up behind you while you're out of ammo.
    • Yeah, despite what the US military may tell you, having a shitload of guns firing at once will not solve all your problems or kill all your enemies.
    • FN Minimis are probably incredibly heavy and awkward to carry around and use (there's a reason you only ever see soldiers using them when they're lying down). If you're in a face-to-face combat situation with someone, or if you're in a situation where swift and efficient movements are essential (as most criminal activities tend to be), then 'heavy' and 'awkward to use' aren't exactly advantages when it comes to weapons. Especially if it's all to deal with just one person.

    Gotham in different movies 
  • In Begins Gotham was grimy, cramped and dirty looking. In Dark Knight it was modern day Chicago. Batman and Dent helped clean up the place, but the geography seems entirely different.
    • Gotham is a very large city and is comprised of districts varying in economic growth, etc. Begins focused on the poverty stricken slum areas and Dark Knight seems to keep us in richer company (the banking, wealthy mobster districts). Many cities in the world have sections that seem incredibly different from each other in their architecture and such, which will be what's happening here. Hopefully Dark Knight Rises will somewhat link these two styles together in some way, to help the audience feel a continuity in Gotham locations across the trilogy.
    • You also have to consider the type of person he was fighting in either film. In "Begins," he is fighting a mobster who preys on the poorest and most desperate people in Gotham. The scenery reflects that. In "Dark Knight," the Joker is going up against the Gotham elite, so the scenery reflects this as well.

    Coleman Reese making the connection 
  • Why would Coleman Reese be the only person who figured out that Bruce Wayne or someone affiliated with Wayne Industries is Batman? Considering the fact that most of Batman's tech was contracted by the military, shouldn't some general see the Tumbler on the news and say "Hey, isn't that the tank we contracted Wayne Enterprises to build for us?"
    • Knowing the Batmobile is the Tumbler wasn't the same as knowing Bruce Wayne is Batman. If you look closer at the exchange between Reese and Fox, you'll see that at first Reese didn't know Bruce Wayne was in fact Batman, only that Wayne Enterprises might have connections with the vigilante (that was why he confronted Fox, not Bruce). It was actually Fox who cued him in.
    • The Microwave Emitter was Wayne Tech as well, Wayne Enterprises must be on League of Shadows payroll!
    • The Tumbler is a military prototype that was never put into operation. There are thousands of those that never see the light of day. Nobody knows about the Tumbler. Reese only discovered the Tumbler because he Fox had him recounting their numbers over and over.

    Skin around eyes 
  • Simple one, why does the skin around Batman's eyes appear to be black to match the suit? Is there some sort of felt padding or is it makeup? Either way, it's not addressed and when he takes the cowl off his face appear clear. Why do we never see him put it on, or, more tellingly, why when he takes the cowl off is there nothing on his face (see the scene Batman Begins after he gives Rachel the antidote).
    • It's make-up, same as with the Burton/Schumacher Batmen. Batman Begins originally had a bit where Alfred stopped to remind Bruce to take the makeup off before going into his birthday party.
    • Besides, the film never shows his clean face after he took the cowl off. There was a reason his back was turned to us in that scene.
    • Now that The Dark Knight Rises is out, there is indeed a scene with Bruce's cowl off while he's still in the Batsuit. And... no makeup.

    Threatening to kill 
  • Batman will not kill. However, it's addressed in The Dark Knight that the criminals have caught on to this and no longer fear Bats anymore, since they know he just won't go that far. Is there anything about this particular version of Batman that would prevent him from successfully pulling off the trick he does in the comics? The one where he takes care to mention that if he ever DID kill, there wouldn't be any evidence of it? Because he's just that good?
    • This version of Batman is not real talkative. It's not like there's anyone he could mention it to that would spread it all over the city. Secondly, not all criminals knew he didn't kill as most of them seemed still very scared of him. The only one who seemed to know for sure was Joker who happened to be very smart and quite probably good at guessing.
    • There's an easy answer. Unless he actually kills someone, the threat is worthless. The criminals have "compared notes" and realized that he isn't killing anybody. Nobody is suddenly going missing because of the Bat. Therefore, they have nothing to fear. Part of the reason for throwing the blame for Two-Face's murders on Batman was to help reinforce fear among criminals. Now, they'll think the Bat is willing to kill.
    • Was it ever a big problem that he doesn't kill? The Joker is the only one that uses this rule to his advantage. The rest of the movie demonstrates quite clearly that the criminals are afraid of him. That's why the Joker was able to enter the plot in the first place. Blaming Dent's death on Batman just ensures that no one will ever be able to use that argument again, and allows Harvey Dent to die with a clean reputation.
    • It doesn't really make that much of a difference if he kills or not. Maybe the high level guys who can make bail don't need to worry, but the lower level criminals still don't want to go to jail. And they also don't want to get the shit beaten out of them. Batman, even if he doesn't kill, can do both of those things. Therefore, they are still afraid of him. Maybe not as much as they would be if they were willing to kill, but they're afraid enough.
    • For any criminal, having Batman constantly up your ass every night, getting you arrested (and putting you in the hospital) has got to be a pretty horrible thing to look forward to for the rest of your criminal life. You can only be killed once, but being persecuted and forced to live in fear for the rest of your life might be considered worse.
    • Whether or not they consider Batman a killer, the criminal community has no doubt whatsoever that their caped-crusader nemesis is freakin' insane. Sane people don't dress up like giant bats to kick the crap out of thugs. For all they know, he's been teetering on the brink of committing a vigilante-style mass murder, all this time, and none of them want to be the one he's pounding on when he finally cracks completely. More likely, it's the existence of Bat-wannabes who aren't competent enough to kill, even if willing, that's diminished the real Batman's intimidation-factor: unless and until he proves he's the genuine article by whipping out some serious tech and/or ninja moves, they probably assume they're facing just another copycat.
    • There's at least one comic where the criminal nutcase of the week that Batman's just captured is mocking him by pointing out that he's borderline insane and is bound to snap and go psycho at any moment, only for Batman to interrupt by pointing out that a likely trigger for him to snap and go psycho is some criminal nutcase he's just arrested mocking him and calling him insane. The criminal nutcase decides to shut up at that point. Yeah, you don't have to actually kill anyone to give off the impression that you're dangerously insane and ready to snap.

    Building/stocking the Batcave 
  • How did the stuff in the batcave get installed, and how is it cleaned?
    • Guess: private contractors excavate the area and then build the tech into the cave up to the point just before it's clear that it will be used as the batcave. From there, their contract is finished for the reason of secrecy. From then on, Bruce and Alfred install the remainder of the equipment themselves and clean it as best they can. What do you think it would need cleaning from? Guano? Batman showed he's capable of controlling his bat population and, presumably, making them excrete waste outside of the cave.
    • IIRC in Begins Alfred notes that a lot of what becomes the Batcave is infrastructure that was already there from when the house was used as a station on the Underground Railroad, and had just been ignored or abandoned over the years. Presumably there was enough already there that was serviceable for Bruce's purposes, and any subsequent additions or alterations were small and easy enough to be handled by Bruce and Alfred themselves.

    Gotham vs the League 
  • What did Gotham City ever do to the League of Shadows? They want to cleanse the "corrupt" and all but Gotham is hardly the only "corrupt" city in the world. Why travel all the way around the world when they can target another "corrupt" city closer to home? It just doesn't seem very practical. Or maybe they do? Is the league wiping out other cities the viewers don't care about off-screen? Or do those other cities have their own superheroes stopping them in order to maintain the status quo in which case does the League ever succeed at all?
    • Maybe Ra's just got short-changed one time when he was doing mercenary work in New York?
    • Because Gotham City is a big, well known city—it would serve as a bigger example than some place that was equally corrupt but not as well known. Same reason the NCAA recently smacked down Penn State over the Sandusky scandal and they've done nothing while a nearly identical situation happened with Montana's football team—Penn State is one of the biggest, most well-known schools in the world, and Montana...isn't.
    • Except - what's the point? Unless the League of Shadows issue a press release saying "We burnt down Gotham as it was corrupt and other cities better watch out!" which seems unlikely (OK, Liam Neeson's Ra's died before he could claim responsibility for anything, but he didn't seem to have any plan to do so), it seems highly doubtful anyone's behavior will change as a result of their actions (at least, not for the better). The likely result of the League's actions isn't to end corruption but to increase regulation of new chemicals & technology.
    • You're missing the point. It's supposed to look like Gotham just became that bad that it tore itself apart, not that the League of Shadows is going to come and get you like the bogeyman if you don't shape up. The idea is that cities will see Gotham fall apart, think it happened because the city just was that corrupt, and the citizens would then be spurred to clean up their own cities.

    Only use it once 
  • In Batman Begins, Batman uses the sonic bat attraction signal in his boot to attract the horde of bats only once. Why didn't he ever use it again? There would've been plenty of uses for it, like in the final battle against Bane. Imagine the police charging Bane's men, with an enormous cloud of bats overhead, attacking the terrorists and Batman swooping in and delivering his boots right into Bane's face. That would've been an awesome opener for the fight.
    • First, the attack took place in what seemed like the middle of the day, when bats usually sleep. Second, even if it was night, when Bruce pulled that trick in the first movie, it was in a cramped building that officers were going INTO; the final battle with Bane takes place in the open streets. Third, ignoring that, Bane still had a few tumblers with weapons that could've most likely included flares or flash bang grenades, dismissing the bats quickly. And fourth, as said before, this is a fight in the OPEN STREETS in the DAYLIGHT; odds are, Bruce's stealth tactics wouldn't be as effective.
    • The face-off with Bane happened in the wintertime. Temperate-zone bats hibernate in winter.

    Time passing 
  • How much time passes between Bruce returning to Gotham (around age 30) in Batman Begins, and the end of The Dark Knight? From those two points (the return to Gotham and the deaths of Harvey and Rachel), did only about a year pass? Two years? Five years? Is there a canon answer to this?
    • If it's only a year, it sort of become a statement that Bruce just doesn't have the endurance to be Batman, as if he drastically fell short of achieving what he wanted. If it's somewhere in the range of five years, it's a huge testament to Alfred's commitment to, and Rachel's trust in, Bruce during that time. It also might make a bit more sense regarding Bruce's physical condition in The Dark Knight Rises, as he could be anywhere from his late 30s to his late 40s.
    • It seems that a year had passed and as a result in TDKR Bruce is around 38-39.
    • At the parole hearing in Begins, it's stated that Joe Chill had already served 14 years. In the Nolanverse Bruce was 10 when his parents were shot, which makes him 24 when he left Gotham. In TDKR, when talking about his fantasy Alfred explicitly states that Bruce was gone 7 years. That means that Bruce was 31 when he first became Batman. One year passes between Begins and The Dark Knight, based the Joker's comments when he crashes the mob meeting. TDKR explicitly states that 8 years have passed since Harvey Dent's death, which means that Bruce is 40 in the third movie.
    • In Batman Begins, he is canonically 29 when he first starts as Batman. Source: the decorations at his birthday party show him to be turning 30. So if he starts at 29, turns 30 during the first film, then if the Dark Knight is 1 year later he is 38-39 in the Dark Knight Rises.
    • Did it explicitly state that there is only a one year gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight? The Joker says that the mob wasn't all that scared of anyone a year prior to TDK, but that could just mean Batman was busy trying to get the fallout from the Narrows going to hell under control for a while before targeting organized crime became a reasonable goal. Is there a point where the film (or the top guys working on the film) unambiguously state its only been a year like they did with eight years in The Dark Knight Rises?
    • Yes, it was explicitly stated. The Joker's line when he crashes the Mob meeting is this: "A year ago these cops and lawyers wouldn't dare cross any of you. What changed?"

    Nostril holes 
  • Did Batman spend his entire career breathing through his mouth, with his mask covering his nostrils?
    • Possibly the mask had air-channels built into its cheeks? It's certainly thicker than cloth.
    • His mouth is never hanging open in any of the dialogue scenes in suit. He's probably nostril breathing somehow.
    • Looking closely at Batman's mask during the scene where Joker's pinned him down, and noticed there are indeed two nostrils poked in the mask's nose. You can see them here when he says "But I know how you got these!"

    Tumbler weapons 
  • Thorough the movies we have seen that the Tumbler (both the one Batman uses, and later others that Bane stole) is armed with some SERIOUS firepower: high caliber machine guns, rocket launchers, auto cannons, missile pods, and the vehicle even had mine-laying capabilities. But in the first movie it's established that the tumbler was created with one purpose, to quickly lay out mobile bridges for the military. Why would they arm such specialized vehicle with much more firepower than most actual fighting light armored vehicles posses?
    • There's a couple explanations. If it is meant as a bridging vehicle, it may find itself physically cut off from the rest of the force and need to defend itself until it can complete the bridging mission and be reinforced. Another possibility is that those weapons were meant to destroy obstacles in or around the river that would block the bridge. Another possibility is that when they couldn't get the bridge function to work, they tried adding guns to it to sell it as a LAV, and either failed to secure a contract or were shut down by Wayne Enterprises' Board.
    • It could have been a The Pentagon Wars mission-creep style thing where it was designed by committee of different members, each of whom keep adding different things and weapons to it to try and make it serve their particular purposes to the point where it ended up serving none of them.
    • Third possibility: It is a bridging vehicle meant to be used in more dangerous situations than normal, no doubt more reliable/efficient bridging vehicles might be. Which would explain why it is faster than expected, and why it would need a riskier method of deploying a bridge. In this scenario, fighting is likely and weapons are useful. Lucius and Bruce may have enhanced it a bit as well.

    US government and Batman 
  • How does the US government view Batman in the Nolan universe? In Man of Steel, they are paranoid and afraid of Superman. How would/do they view an ordinary human running around in a mask, taking matters in his own hands?
    • In the latter, the government are paranoid about Superman because Superman's a Physical God who could theoretically take over the world if he so wished. Conversely, Batman's basically just a guy running around dressed up as a bat beating up criminals and doesn't really do much outside of Gotham City (in this universe at least). The US government's position on Batman is most likely that it doesn't really have one for the most part outside of "well, this is probably a matter for the local authorities".

  • This is just nitpicking, but, the GCPD is clearly based on the NYPD. That is obvious if you know where the paint design used on their patrol cars comes from. But in the NYPD, SWAT teams don't exist but rather are just one function of many performed by the Emergency Services Units. Why doesn't the GCPD refer to its SWAT units as the "ESU"? That would make it even more like the NYPD.
    • Because viewers know what a SWAT team is but wouldn't know what the hell ESU means. Taking some visual cues from something doesn't mean you're trying to copy it down to every last detail.
    • Also, because Gotham's a fictional city with a fictional police department, which means they can call it whatever they want. If they wanted to completely mirror New York City, they'd just set the film in New York City.

    Spotting vehicles 
  • The Tumbler and The Bat look cool and all, but how the heck doesn't Batman get caught using those huge things? You have a weird looking bat-shaped jet flying around the city, and no one decides to follow it? As a citizen, wouldn't you find it odd that a strange jet is flying so close to the buildings? Because of the tumbler's size, it's a miracle he doesn't get caught.
    • The Tumbler has a cloaking function which is capable of turning off street lights in the surrounding area among other things. It's very likely that The Bat has a similar functionality. And even if the police are able to maintain pursuit regardless, he can rely on superior horsepower and/or brute force regardless to evade or disable their cars. It's easily capable of driving along building rooftops to traverse the city as a parkour runner would, something cop cars clearly can't hope to match. With the perfect trifecta of speed, stealth and strength, they don't have a chance. And a citizen of Gotham would assume that it's Batman's personal jet flying around, and whatever their opinion of him they would just leave him to it. There's no method or reason they would have for intervening, much less pursuing him.

    Offscreen teleportation 
  • How is it that Batman can teleport to where ever the plot conjures drama for him to be involved in? Usually this isn't a problem because he's got both a lead and a vehicle to travel with. But in TDK, the very next scene after he breaks Maroni's legs is the one with Dent interrogating the Arkham Joker recruit, just in time to prevent the coin toss no less. How can he know to be there, even if it's just two blocks away? And "he's the goddamn Batman!" is not a valid explanation particularly as Nolan strived to make his films realistic.
    • Rule of Drama. Like any story, the narrative is arranged so that the most relevant bits are presented to us in the clearest and most efficient fashion possible, which doesn't necessarily mean the events are taking place in strict Real Time. We're meant to assume that events took place in such a way that there was a sufficient amount of time and distance to enable Batman to go from dealing with Maroni to finding and stopping Dent. Willing Suspension of Disbelief, deal with it and move on.
    • That would be more acceptable if it didn't seem that the events were intercut (with an implication of Real Time indeed) so that Batman probably wouldn't have time to get there.
    • Maybe, but almost every movie probably has these little knots of linear passage of time if you look close enough. Again, it's where Rule of Drama meets Rule-Of-Making-The-Movie-Interesting-To-Watch, and an implication of real time isn't the same as a 100% concrete confirmation of real time. If it's otherwise impossible, then clearly despite what it looked like it wasn't actually in real time, since movie editing isn't the gospel truth delivered under oath in a court of law testifying as to what actually occurred, and it's not like there were shots of clocks that showed that the two scenes were occurring at the exact same time. Ultimately, the only real answer you're ever going to get to this conundrum boils down to "obviously there actually was a sufficient amount of time and means for Batman to get from Maroni to Dent, because he did", and you can accept that or not, but it's what there is.
    • Furthermore, intercutting events in a feature film is often as much about establishing a dramatic and / or symbolic relationship between them rather than just as temporal one. Intercutting Batman roughing up Maroni and Dent roughing up the Joker henchman is there as much to establish a commonality with Batman and Dent, and to suggest that Dent is not quite the white knight Batman thinks he is, not just to indicate that the two events are taking place exactly simultaneously.

    Fox and Thomas 
  • How close were Lucius Fox and Thomas Wayne? They had to be pretty close for Fox to risk his life, career, and freedom to help Thomas's son. If Bruce gets killed and unmasked, the FBI would most likely go after Lucius for supplying him the gadgets and weapons. Why take that risk for a guy's son he barely knows?
    • Fox mentioned that he helped Thomas build his train and he's on first name basis with Alfred so he and the Waynes probably go way back. He might be helping Bruce out of respect for his friend's memory.

    Fox and Bruce and Batman 
  • How did Fox find out that Bruce Wayne is Batman? In Batman Begins, he suspects that there's more to Bruce's requests than he's letting on, but he says he won't pry into them as long as Bruce doesn't take him for a fool. Then in the Dark Knight, he suddenly knows and is an active participant in Batman's operations. What happened between movies that causes the secret to come out?
    • It's implied that Fox knew all along. In Begins, he clearly suspects that there's more to Bruce's requests than just rich-guy goofing off, and when Batman shows up he's clearly smart enough to join the dots together. The reason he doesn't pry further is for reasons of plausible deniability (so if Bruce gets caught and someone comes around asking questions he can honestly say he didn't know anything for definite). Even in The Dark Knight, for most of the movie Fox is clearly acting in a nod-and-wink "we both know what's really going on but I don't want the full details" sense. He only becomes an active participant at the end of The Dark Knight when Bruce shows up in full costume to seek his help in dealing with the Joker, and that's only because the situation is bleak enough to warrant it.
    • While it was suggested that he knew in Batman Begins, even before the climax in the Dark Knight, there was no hiding of anything by Bruce and Fox actively assisted him in taking down Lau. How did the relationship go from "I know what you're really doing but I won't say anything" to "I'm going to go to Hong Kong to set up your capture of this mob accountant."
    • That's still done in a fairly nod-nod-wink-wink fashion, though; it's not like Bruce is calling Lucius up on a bright red phone and giving him instructions in full Batman costume. Lucius, after all, has a valid (if flimsy) business reason to be at that location. Just assume that Lucius decided to help out more actively at some point between the movies; we don't need to see every step in the working relationship between these two guys.
    • Fair point, it just seems odd to go from Fox suspecting but not knowing for sure and Bruce remaining cryptic about his activities in one movie to Fox being officially in the know and Bruce opening making clear what he's doing in the next without explantation for how the dynamic changed.

    Lighter armor 

  • The Nomex survival suit Batman used in the first film was capable of stopping a knife attack and a glancing hit from a bullet. Batman eschews it in favor of lighter armor that makes him more vulnerable to both. In The Dark Knight, Batman suffers a glancing gut shot and in The Dark Knight Rises, he gets a knife in the kidneys. How easily he could have turned the tables if he'd kept the tougher armor...
    • The new armor being lighter than the first one is exactly the point in changing the armor. Batman traded protection for mobility. In his original armor, he couldn't even turn his head.
    • Taking that painful gut shot was also actually a good thing. It caused him to fall to the ground in apparent death, which dropped Dent's guard and allowed Batman to ambush him before he could hurt Gordon's family. If he had shrugged off the shot like nothing as he might have with the original suit, Dent might have tried to kill Gordon's son before he could intervene in time.

     Voice modulator, or just an affect? 
  • The consensus on this wiki seems to be that Baleman is not using a voice modulator (unlike Batfleck who unambiguously does have an artificial, robotic-sounding vocal tone in his batsuits) but the jury may be out here. If he was just putting on a growly tone all the time, he could hurt his vocal cords (the fact that apparently Christian Bale himself had training to do this safely for the portrayal notwithstanding; further, he likely did a good amount of this as overdubbing from the comfort of the voice over booth, rather than in the heat of the moment of a scene take) and it's like one more thing he shouldn't need to concern himself with actively putting on when an autonomous voice modulator could take care of that for him. Why not use a modulator to distort the voice, masking him to everyone he interacts with for security and also creating an intimidation factor, rather than making an active effort and risking screwing it up? People may bring up the fact that he sometimes speaks in a normal tone (e.g. when he's being choked by Ra's Al Guhl in Begins, or when he's stabbed in Rises) as evidence against a modulator. But it may be both that he has some control to adjust the modulator (maybe his suit's gloves can be flexed in a certain way to turn it on or off) as he sees fit, and also that the modulator is programmed to adjust when the user's base voice is strained (as it would be when he is choked or stabbed. If he's shocked and high pitched after a stab in the ribs, the modulator will pitch shift this to what sounds like Bruce's normal speaking voice, but it still coming across as strained). So, is it possible that he does in fact have a modulator in this movie trilogy and it's supplemental works? If so, then therefore, other articles on the wiki would have to be adjusted to account for the possibility.
    • It's not really a "consensus" about what's happening, as if there's some element of debate, it's just an outright statement of what actually is happening, really; Bale didn't use a voice modulator for his Batman and his voice just doesn't sound electronically modified, it just sounds like someone putting on a voice. It is, of course, perfectly fine to speculate that in-character he might be using one anyway, but that's a WMG, and and one that, really, there's not a heck of lot of evidence to support (for one, the Batman voice in these movies is clearly not electronically modified). As for why Batman doesn't use a voice modulator in these movies, he just might not have been able to fit one in the mask; it's clearly somewhat specialised and streamlined in this version.
    • That's fair enough for the most part. However, the statement "the Batman voice in these movies is clearly not electronically modified" seems to miss the point a little. Not all electronically modified voices need to sound explicitly electronic/artificial/robotic (though Batfleck's does). Some artificial voices would benefit from a very realistic imitation of a target voice, for example (e.g. in the Scream series). If Baleman wants it to sound like he's actively growling in his normal voice, but it's really just the modulator doing it for him, that would suit his purposes just fine.
      • We're kind of getting into the weeds a little bit here; whether or not it could have been useful is pretty much irrelevant, because it's clear that for whatever meta- or in-universe reason it simply wasn't done. If Batman had wanted to use a voice modulator to emulate the growl he uses, he almost certainly wouldn't bother to electronically distort it in such a way while also cleaning up the distortion so that it sounded almost natural, because there'd be no point; his voice would be distorted anyway, so it would be a waste of time and effort. If he wanted to disguise his voice with a modulator while making it sound natural, he'd set it so that he sounded like someone else completely, not just so that he sounded like someone growling in their natural voice. Plus, electronic voice modification hasn't yet reached a point where it's possible to completely distort your voice in such a way that it sounds completely and undetectably natural, especially if you're just going for "distorting growl". Batman's voice in these films contains no hint of electronic modification; ergo, he's almost certainly not using an electronic modifier. Furthermore, had the filmmakers wanted to suggest that Batman was using a voice modifier, they would have included it in the fiction to establish this, in dialogue and/or certainly in actually modifying his voice in some way that made it clear to the viewer; again, they didn't, so the default assumption is that he's not using one. Whether one could be useful is another question, but that brings us back to the fact that the filmmakers not choosing to give him one and the character not choosing to use one isn't really a headscratcher, since it's not a plot-hole.

     Where exactly is Gotham located geographically? 
  • In Begins, Alfred says that Bruce's ancestors once used the caves under the mansion to transport escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad, but Gotham is an island city that gets winters so harsh they cause the massive rivers surrounding it to freeze (the real-life city used for landscape shots is Manhattan, located in one of the farthest-north states in the country). Where could it be located such that it makes for a reasonable stop for slaves escaping to above the Mason-Dixon that is also far-north enough to receive such extreme cold during the winter?
    • The Underground Railroad ran all the way to Canada, so being about New York-ish is perfectly fine.
    • Following from the above, the "railroad" was illegal throughout the country. The constitution specifically has a clause that says escaping slaves have to be captured and sent back to their owners, even if their owners live in a Slave State and the slave was captured in a Free State. So if you really wanted to be safe, you had to stay hidden until you left the U.S. entirely and reached Canada. (Though of course there were escaped slaves who decided to just take their chances and live out their lives in a Free State.)