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  • Accidental Innuendo:
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: When Jason Todd was first killed off by the Joker. Even many of the people who voted for him to die were saddened by his death.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Batman has been subject to numerous alternate canon interpretations. Some depict him as a noble crusader against crime; others make him a borderline psychopath barely removed from the lunatics he spends his life fighting. And even if he's not as bad as the lunatics he fights there's still the question of whether or not Batman himself could be classified as legally insane or not.
    • One of the core issues, which underlies many of the more specific questions below, is the entire nature of his motivation. His parents were killed by a criminal, but is he more interested in getting vengeance on law-breakers, or in protecting the innocent to make sure they don't suffer the same way?
    • His relationships have also come under examination; debates about his sexuality rage wildly. There are tons of easy targets for jokes about that last part.
    • The various interpretations of Batman are the inspiration behind this image merging Batman with Dungeons & Dragons Character Alignment.
    • Batman's infamous One Rule. Is it for idealism that he'll always spare villains on the chance they'll reform; is it arrogant self-entitlement because he thinks himself better than criminals and won't stoop to their level; is it conscious restraint for fear of crossing a line he can't come back from; or is it stubborn pride that he won't let one of his enemies push him that far and so get a moral victory in death? That's not even getting into the debate if he should kill the Joker or not.
    • Much like the dispute of who is the true persona, Clark Kent or Superman, one of the most raging questions about Batman concern civilian identity Bruce Wayne. Is he simply a mask that Batman wears during the day, a popular interpretation since Batman: The Dark Knight Returns? Or is Bruce a real person who's made the rational - within the DCU - decision to fight crime while dressed as a bat? The stories that most support the former view are those where Bruce most throws himself into the Rich Idiot With No Day Job act. When he tries to take an active role and takes up civic involvement in Gotham's problems, it shores up the latter interpretation.
    • There's also his culpability if a Batman Gambit he prepared gets hijacked by villains, citing Tower of Babel and the Brother-Eye in particular. While a check-and-balance idea against superpowers is logical, Batman's methods of enforcing it and his continuing refusal to apologize are regarded by some as stemming from a mindset that is more self-righteous and dangerous than his Beware the Superman fears.
    • This is strongly lampshaded in short story "Viewpoint", where newspaper publisher hires bunch of writers to give him their own interpretations of Batman in hope to make their common element - truth about Batman - more clear. He's very disappointed to find out that their visions have nothing in common.
    • This is also played with in Neil Gaiman's Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? in which different characters tell stories that show their contradictory interpretations of Batman.
      • Through they all have one thing in common - in all the stories told Batman dies because he refuses to (or maybe cannot?) give up. When he finally dies for real, he is reborn on another Earth, as infant Bruce Wayne, to one day become Batman once again.
    • Another big argument about Batman is the common negative interpretation among left-wing critics (for a particularly clear and aggressive example, see the Marshal Law story "Kingdom of the Blind") of the character as a "rich guy who gets his kicks beating up poor people" who does nothing to use his wealth and social power to actually improve society. This is Depending on the Writer, as some writers don't include anything in their works to challenge this while others depict Bruce as quietly doing a lot of charitable and political activity behind his playboy persona. Some writers just make the Big Bad of the story just as rich (at least initially), or part of an Ancient Conspiracy, which does at least deal with the "poor" part of the criticism.
    • This is Lampshaded in an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold that was directed at the show's Hatedom. In it, Bat-Mite lectures a group of fanboys about how many character shifts Batman has gone through since the Golden Age, and sums it all up by saying a Batman who goes on sci-fi adventures and cracks jokes is just as valid and true to the source material as a Batman who's a grim vigilante that slinks through alleyways while angrily screaming into the night.
    • Does the Ventriloquist suffer a split personality, a dissociative disorder, or is he right in his belief that Scarface is possessed by the ghost of every murderer hung on the gallows he was carved from? There's evidence to support all these theories, and the one that Wesker knows exactly what he's doing and Scarface is just a gimmick.
      • This one is touched upon in a subplot during the Knightfall storyline, in which Wesker is trying to retrieve Scarface from police custody. He uses a sock puppet as a proxy during this time, as well as a variety of other hand puppets, nearly as psychotic, if not intimidating, as Scarface himself (assuming they do have a mind of their own, that is).
    • Alfred. Is he simply a devoted servant to his master, supporting his efforts to make Gotham a better place? Or is he guilty of severe child neglect, never thinking that the young Bruce maybe needed therapy to get over his parents death? By supporting Bruce in becoming Batman, does he act as an enabler, allowing Bruce to vent his near-psychotic rage out on the world's criminals? (Alfred himself actually did touch on this in one story when Commissioner Gordon had been injured and Batman refused to leave his bedside, Alfred, seeing this as the Dark Knight's obsessive quest gone too far, finally decided to resign from his service, saying "You are not a child, it is time you ceased acting like one. And it is time I stopped enabling you.")
    • Two-Face. Tradition states that the two halves of his face represent his split personality. Normally, they have the non-scarred side represent Harvey Dent and the scarred side represent Two-Face; they give us scenes where he has a perfectly reasonable dialogue shown only in his non-scarred profile, only to flip out into ultraviolence shot entirely from his scarred side. But some writers claim the opposite is true: the non-scarred side is Two-Face, the monster with a face of an angel. The scarred side represents Harvey Dent, the wounded hero who lies crushed beneath.
      • Supported in spirit by the non-canon Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, in which Harvey has his face restored to full normal- and proceeds to go completely evil; scratching both sides of his coins as if he has been "consumed by his dark side." At least both sides match.
      • Moreover, prior to the 1980s Two-Face was not portrayed as a man with multiple personalities, just as someone who rejected moral responsibility and let random chance in the form of his coin make his choices for him. The multiple personalities first showed up when he got a new Post-Crisis origin. The idea of Dent having two personalities caught on so well it's completely erased the character's first 40 years. Ironically, his appearance in The Dark Knight caused some protest when it was closer to his original portrayal.
    • The Riddler: Insufferable Genius who's obsessed with proving his superiority over Batman, or a seriously ill criminal whose compulsion to tell the truth is what drives him to leave riddles?
    • The Joker. Though he started off dark and creepy, he spent most of the '40s, '50s, and '60s as a mostly harmless lawbreaking jester. Then, after Batman was remade into the dark and brooding hero he was originally, the Joker returns to his homicidal maniac origins; then we get to "The Killing Joke," in which he shoots Barbara Gordon (formerly Batgirl) through the spine, and then kidnaps and tortures Commissioner Gordon more or less for the hell of it. And then there was "Death in the Family" and countless other stories in which the Joker gets crazier as time goes on. Even in the movies, he has changed from one appearance to the next. The Movie of the 1966 series portrayed him as the madman crook. Jack Nicholson, famous creepy maniac, portrayed him as a former gangster turned creepy maniac making the best of his deformities by incorporating them into a costume. The Dark Knight's Heath Ledger appeared to be a suicidal nihilist out for nothing more thought out than causing chaos.
      • Though he's traditionally portrayed as chaotic and capable of adapting on the fly to any situation, Grant Morrison's Batman & Robin run has suggested that, in fact, the opposite is true: as Ax-Crazy as he is, he's been able to survive confrontations with Batman for so long because he's Crazy-Prepared and already has a plan for everything. And the Monster Clown persona is a façade that lets him channel his homicidal urges. At heart, he's not a Monster Clown....he's just a monster.
      • Also, does the Joker break the fourth wall for comedic effect at the whim of the writers, in which case anything he says while Breaking the Fourth Wall is barely canon? Or is his suggested "super sanity" giving him canonical awareness of the reality of comic books? In either case, does this extend to the other adaptations? Did Nicholson's mobster-Joker go insane because of his accident causing deformity or because it let him know that we're watching his misery for entertainment?
      • If he knows that he's in a comic book, then his behavior might have been hand-waved in his own mind because his victims only exist to be his victims. Even the Gordon family and other named victims are not actual people in our level of reality. Maybe the only reason he keeps committing crimes and going up against Batman is because he doesn't want the comics to end. Because then it would be like he ceased to exist. And he doesn't want to die.
      • In fact, Joker might even be said to be committing horrible crimes to get Batman involved because otherwise the entire world he exists in would cease! Joker is forced to murder, rob and prank people to save the entire universe. He's not the hero Gotham wants, but he's the villain Gotham needs.
      • Does the Joker believe in the nihilist sayings he prattles on about every so often, or are they all meaningless words to him, another part of the joke intended solely to screw with the minds of the sane?
      • Batman: Black And White - Case Study by Paul Dini puts forth a particularly brilliant alternative; the Joker is completely sane. Back before the chemical vat incident, he was a crime boss who played his anonymity to the hilt in order to do whatever he wanted. Afterward, he knew that was no longer possible, so he created the "Clown Prince Of Crime" persona of Obfuscating Insanity solely so he would be sent to Arkham whenever he was caught - he purposefully invented Joker Immunity! The doctors are ecstatic when they discover an old report claiming this - and then orderlies drag Harley Quinn past, and she comments that she wrote that report before she started counseling the Joker. The Joker drove Quinn insane to invalidate her findings once he realized that she had figured out his scheme. And he left the report where it would be found just so he could Yank the Dog's Chain.
      • Speaking of Harley, it's been suggested that their relationship isn't actually an abusive one, but a consensual dom/sub dynamic.
    • Batman's refusal to kill the Joker despite all the horrible crimes he continues to commit and the Gotham City Police's apparent inability to contain and/or reform him - could it be that Batman is addicted to their conflict, the consequences be damned?
      • "Death Of The Family" puts forth an alternate take as part of a larger alternate interpretation of Gotham as a whole; namely that Batman doesn't just kill Joker because he sincerely believes that another, far more serious/competent villain would fill the void. This ties into Scott Snyder's larger idea that the ultimate Big Bad of Batman isn't any of the supervillains but rather Gotham City itself.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Stephanie Brown as Batgirl. Not that we're complaining...
    • Dick too. Sometimes he's written as grimly as Bruce, but mostly he's generally happy and friendly. Essentially, he was the Fun Personified character before Steph took that role. Some fans have commented that its a shame the two don't get to interact much.
    • This was Tim Drake's characterization before the writers had his father killed off in Identity Crisis.
  • Archive Panic: Trying to figure out where to start reading Batman's adventures? You may as well just pick an issue and not worry about it. The character has been published monthly since 1939, often in multiple comics per month (to date, he has 19 ongoing series, which often intertwine with each other story wise, and often into other DC series as well). Archive collections from DC help, but even they haven't reprinted all 80 years worth of comics.
    • The entire franchise is insanely prolific—besides the staggering amount of comic series he's starred in, there's also 22 one-shot comics, two literary books, two live action TV series, 30 movie serials, 8 live action movies (with a 9th one on the way) a cd album, 4 radio shows, 3 manga adaptations, 2 musicals, 3 pinball games, 44 video games (and 11 more with him in supporting or cameo roles), 2 web series, and he has starred in 11 animated series (7 of which give him top billing) and 17 animated movies (12 of which likewise giving him top billing) and enough misc. tie in toys and merchandise to fill the Batcave! All this, and the series has been going strong for 80 years, and is showing no signs of stopping. To say the least, Holy Archive Binging!
  • Author's Saving Throw: As it eventually turned out, Deathstroke was feeding Cassandra mind-control drugs.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Jason Todd was initially so controversial that DC allowed for a fan vote to determine whether he lived or died. Ironically there were just barely more votes for him to die. There's also the rumor floating around that hundreds of votes in the "Jason Dies" line came from a single person, adding a large degree of uncertainty to the honesty of results regarding a poll designed to determine the character's popularity (and other claims that some voted for him to live only because they thought he was Dick Grayson). And surely he's got plenty of fans after killing a rapist.
      • He actually is still this; fans either love him or wish there was a second phone-in vote to kill him off again. This isn't helped by his very inconsistent portrayals; some writers portray him as a very angry young man with a good reason to be furious at Bruce and who desperately wants to prove that he's a better hero than him, but has a seriously skewed moral compass and sense of what heroism actually is, while others portray him as a one-dimensional modern-day '90s Anti-Hero with a side dose of Wangst. This has gotten worse ever since the New 52 began and the comics started portraying him in a more consistently sympathetic light with a closer (though still a bit strained) relationship with the Batfamily: Some like the idea of Jason getting some positive character development and healing from his trauma, others think that the new direction does nothing but make him a Karma Houdini and a canon example of Draco in Leather Pants and a third group likes the concept but finds the execution rushed and forced more than anything.
      • It should be noted that even Frank Miller, the guy who introduced the idea of Jason Todd dying with Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, felt that it was a poor decision on DC's part.
    • Bat-Mite. To some, he exemplifies everything wrong with the Silver Age. To others, he exemplifies everything right.
    • The Robins in general. Either they're audience surrogates who provide an interesting insight to what it would be like to have Batman as a father, or they're useless and dated who only serve as to hold Batman back. Dick has, fortunately, managed to shake that off by becoming Nightwing, a much more well liked hero. Notably, the bulk of the former, 'Hold Batman Back' believers tend to be fans of the films rather than Comic Fans, where their only exposure to Robin is the Sixties show or the Shumacher films. So, them seeing them as dated is an understandable, if poorly sourced, opinion.
    • Stephanie Brown/Spoiler/Robin IV/ Batgirl III, unfortunately, gets quite a lot of hate. Despite having a large fanbase, there's just enough people who hate her for her to qualify for this. Replacement Scrappy status aside, people either love her for being hope-filled, angstless, idealistic and generally happy, while others hate her for all these things since they don't feel it 'fits' with the rest of Gotham's protectors. Apparently, some people only like angsty and brooding heroes. There are also those who dislike her for her "incompetence" in crime-fighting prior to her becoming Batgirl (specifically during her Robin phase), but to be fair to her, this is a result of how several writers portrayed her even though she was actually perfectly capable in her initial appearances by Chuck Dixon. There's also the fact that both Bruce and Cass, and to a lesser extent Tim, possess Charles Atlas Superpower level abilities, while Steph is a realistic depiction of a Badass Normal hero. So, she's either beloved for being unique and relateable, or bashed for being weak, stupid, incompetent, or accused of being The Load.
    • Even The Joker has become this. He's either a freakishly awesome and funny villain as the Arch-Enemy, or he's overused and too competent to the point of being predictable. Writers who use a Dark Knight-esque Joker will either have people applauding it for the same reasons as Heath Ledger's interpretation, or lambasting it for mimicking something that was never supposed to fit into mainstream comics. The New 52 version of The Joker in particular is rather polarizing as either he provides a very creepy and fascinating look into Batman or is a childishly edgy villain
    • The Riddler. Some fans find him the lamest of the big name rogues, with a mental disorder (OCD) that many find dull in comparison to the others. Emphasizing him as a "technically legal" villain has since quieted some of them down. Though back in the Golden Age and Silver Age, he actually was one of the most popular villains, since many of the other rogues who supplanted him hadn't been invented yet and he was generally more competent. This was lampshaded by Neil Gaiman in Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader; an aging Riddler comments on how back in the day he was the big threat that Batman faced, yet now he seems like small fry when you've got maniacs like the Joker around.
    • Even Batman isn't inescapable of this status. Some people are sick to death of team-up stories where he's the Badass Normal who's the only one who can take down major villains while equally competent heroes he works with are taken out with little difficulty. It doesn't help under the hands of some writers he becomes a massive jerk, often acting like a gigantic dick to both friends and family alike but constantly portrayed as being in the right, and common reactions to stories like these are fans either cheering since well, it's Batman, or groaning and outright begging to have him get taken down a peg afterwards. This has even made some fans prefer members of his supporting cast both for being more likable, or at least less moody, and more fallible than him.
      • Even among his fandom you can see a clear divide, often lining up closely with Alternative Character Interpretation and which stories fans grew up with. There is a large number of Batman fans who only know him through his darkest stories and see him as a brooding loner who should never work with other heroes at all and want his tales to dig into darkest aspects of crime and human nature. Then there are fans who enjoy the "found family" aspect of Batman and like him as a center of the rich cast of personalities that is the Batfamily and want nothing but to see this utilized to full extend and are sick of demands for constant darkness, wanting more balance and variety. Neither group really gets that well with people nostalgic for the good old days when Batman was a goofy Silver Age character, who consider darker stories an abomination and all members of Batfamily except Dick and Barbara to "not count".
    • The characterization of Harley Quinn in the New 52 is very divisive, especially because of her tendency to fall under Depending on the Writer. Harley giving explosive presents to children and killing them vs. the very clear attempt at Adaptational Heroism that her series fell under are the major extremes of her portrayals. The former's detractors feeling it was so darkly out of character it should be Fanon Discontinuity while detractors of the latter feel that it's Draco in Leather Pants given canonicity. The more heroic portrayal is being applied more consistently as the series continues and fans are divided between it being a good way to make the character more sympathetic and likable or a bad direction that wasted a good villain.
    • Joe Chill is another character fans can be divided on, especially when it comes to whether or not Batman should ever confront him. Some people feel he's an important Token Motivational Nemesis whose motives should be explored and whom Batman needs to confront sooner or later in order to get closure and/or test the boundaries of how far he's willing to go for the sake of vengeance and determine once and for all whether or not he's willing to maintain his code of non-killing when confronted with his parents' murderer. On the other hand, there are many other fans who feel that the murderer of the Waynes is best left as a dark, shadowy anonymous figure whose identity is better left as a secret and that trying to humanize the character and give him a name actually diminishes him. Also, the people who are against giving the Wayne murderer an actual identity are of the opinion that if Batman does finally confront the murderer of his parents and either kills him or puts him away, then Batman's motivation and drive to fight crime will be diminished or disappear altogether since he'll have come full circle in avenging his parents' murder.
  • Cant Unhear It: Fans, particularly the ones who grew up with Batman: The Animated Series as their first exposure to Batman, consider Kevin Conroy's interpretation of Batman to be the voice of the character, and hear just about any dialogue from Batman in Conroy's voice.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Jason/crowbar. It's gotten to the point that Jason is usually associated with a crowbar in the fandom.
    • There's also Tim/coffee. It's gotten fairly ridiculous at this point.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Common Knowledge:
    • While Batman was certainly a more ruthless crimefighter at the start, the aspect that he kills criminals and used guns tends to get overplayed. Besides being limited to only the earliest batches of stories, Batman only sporadically took a life and usually only did when the situation demanded it—and in one case, his victim was a vampire, who was undead to begin with. And the times he used a gun in them can be counted on one hand and still have fingers to count—as early as Detective Comics #38 (Batman having first appeared in #26), both of these aspects of the character were abandoned in order to make the character more noble.
    • Also, while the comics may have had a more dark and down to earth tone at the start, it wasnt always hidebound to reality either; the series quickly abandoned any notion of hard realism as early as a few issues in, featuring stories where Batman dealt with a vampire and a mad scientist who looks like Napoleon uses a dirigible armed with a Death Ray to assault New York, as well as crooks dressed up in gorilla suits. As early as issue 38 of Detective Comics, the tone of the comics was already getting Lighter and Softer due to the introduction of lighthearted characters like Robin. In short, the Batman series has had fantastic or goofy elements present from the start.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Batman himself frequently is accused of being this. Not only does DC favor him in regards to non-comic adaptations such as movies and animated shows, a disturbing amount of DC writers favor him to the point of derailing all other characters to make him look better, such as Frank Miller, Doug Moench and the writers for the new animated movies. These displays are generally hated by fans, to much mockery and portrayal of Batman as a corporate sell-out.
    • Inverted by Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, characters who are well-liked by the fandom, but whom DC editorial seems to want to have nothing to do with.
    • When Scott Snyder was told he couldn't use Cassandra Cain in his Batman run, he created a character named Harper Row. Harper appeared in two issues of Batman (a split-second cameo and A Day in the Limelight) before being billed as a "fan-favorite" for her next appearance. While she was positively received, "fan-favorite" seems to be stretching it. When Damian Wayne died and left the Robin slot vacant, she was immediately pegged as the next choice to fill the slot— although this may end up going to Carrie Kelley, a female Robin from Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns... supposedly from Batman's future. Who is a much more likely candidate for the title "fan-favorite."
      • While she was initially a replacement for Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown during the post-New 52 veto on the characters since they've come back she's been shilled as basically better than either of them as well as the 'uber Robin'. This includes things like being more determined than Steph (who's famously the biggest Determinator in the franchise in terms of never quitting despite horrible odds) and central to every part of Cass' character development to the point where her whole motivation is now based on Harper. We're frequently told how great she is without any evidence and nobody ever calls her out on any of her frequent Jerkass-ness. And she's also an uber tech genius that surpasses Tim Drake (the tech guy in the Bat-fam) somehow despite debuting with basic skills based on electronics. Oh, and she becomes an Instant Expert and is able to pull of advanced acrobatics and fighting despite barely being trained. Even in Detective Comics (Rebirth), a series that's basically the Batman Ensemble Darkhorses in a team book, Harper got more focus than Cassandra Cain for the first two story arcs, and Harper's not even in the main cast.
      • There's also the amount of focus she gets. Batman Eternal and Batman and Robin Eternal were both advertised to feature the return of Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain, respectively (the second was also about the Robins). While they do get their origins and appear, Harper also gets extensive focus, even overshadowing the two in many people's eyes. It's basically advertising that your comic will feature the return of a fan-favourite character... and it does, but more heavily features your own original character that people don't like.
  • Designated Hero: Bruce can dip into this a lot, mostly in regards to his abusive treatment of his sons. While it's probably the most prominent in his treatment of Jason, especially in the New 52 and Rebirth, his treatment of Dick, his 'favorite' son is hardly any better at times (which makes Jason's jealousy and resentment of Dick painfully ironic). While with Tim, it usually never gets physical like it does with his older brothers, the emotional manipulation is just as damaging. Damian is the one best off — he usually only has to deal with Parental Neglect. This has been a major point of contention for fans in recent years, especially in the age of social media where child abuse is a hot button topic that has an increasing amount of awareness. As a result of that, it becomes very hard to root for Bruce knowing he never really apologizes or admits that he's wrong for what he's been doing to all of them.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Many of Batman's Rogues Gallery gets this, having sympathetic backstories or motivations. For example, Poison Ivy's fans often speak of her as a misguided and misunderstood force for good who only kills people because she has no other way of achieving justice for plant life—ignoring her sadism and that her stated goal in many works is to kill every human on the planet. Likewise, Mister Freeze's brutal and revenge minded behaviors are often downplayed as "he just wants to be with his wife." Some even go as far as to claim they wouldn't be villains in the first place if that Jerkass Batman would just give them a chance.
    • Jason Todd often gets portrayed by the fandom (and occasionally by the writers) as a Nice Guy who loves his family. Despite, you know, the various times he's attempted to murder them.
  • Dork Age:
    • For Bruce Wayne:
      • The "new direction" of the 1960s, with the blue cowl and wacky Silver Age sci-fi hijinx.
    • For Dick Grayson:
      • Devin Grayson's "Born Again" arc. Not only was it flawed from supposition one (Nightwing, one of the most well connected superheroes being alienated in an attempt to "rebuild him"), time constraints from the then-upcoming Infinite Crisis only made it worse. It's Canon Discontinuity now, thankfully.
      • There was almost certainly people who hoped that Robin would be a Dork Age for Batman when he first showed up (hint: it was actually the exact opposite), even with what little continuity there was back then.
      • And Bruce Jones' "Nightwing: One Year Later" storyline. With its tentacle monsters and Dick modelling Nightwing suits. Yeah, there are reasons people don't like to talk about "Nightwing: One Year Later".
      • Nightwing as Renegade AKA Deathstroke's apprentice. Thanks again for this, Ms. Grayson!
    • For Cassandra Cain... boyhowdy. Adam Beechen wrote her from being near mute with deep psychological dyslexic issues into someone who monologued in Navajo Code. And she took personal pleasure in killing people.
    • For Tim, the time in between his life began to really suck to just recently, when it began to get better.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • It's not uncommon for people to name Tim as their favorite and most relatable character as unlike Dick or Jason, he had the most "normal" life prior to putting on the mask, which means he often reacts the same way the reader would in a situation.
    • Cassandra Cain. Despite rarely appearing at all in crossovers and having her only media exposure being a one-second cameo in Justice League and a crappy video game, despite getting pushed around and trainwrecked by editorial a lot and vanishing entirely in recent days, she still has a dedicated fanbase, and it's not hard to find bits from her solo comic posted on the current Scans Daily to this day, four years after it ended. What's more, she's on par with Barbara Gordon in fanart and fanfiction, even though Barbara has gotten many times as much exposure as her.
    • Damian Wayne, Batman's son, was initially intended to die after his first storyline, and was widely disliked by fans for his bad attitude and violent behavior. He was then made into the new Robin, and became the co-headliner of the immensely popular Batman and Robin series. He has since developed a sizable fanbase, and Batman and Robin continues to be a strong seller. He was even briefly added to the Teen Titans as part of a stunt to raise the title's sagging sales. This still didn't stop his creator from going through with his original plans and finally killed him. He does shown the ramifications this though, as Batman goes through an even more brutal and perhaps even psychotic phase that only improves after Damian is brought back, which took a year in real life.
    • Colin Wilkes. This kid seriously wins. He's only been in 6 issues (the first three of which are usually only read because the latter three mention them). In the latter three, he shows that he's become a vigilante and helps Damian break up a fight ring run by Zsasz, becoming sort-of friends with Damian. And knows that Damian is Robin. And is adorable (when not transformed into Abuse anyways).
      • And has more fanart/fanfiction than you would believe. Going by DeviantArt or Tumblr, one could be forgiven for not realizing Colin's a very minor character.
      • Seemingly has paid off in that he is a regular character in the spin-off all-ages comic Lil Gotham.
    • Stephanie Brown. Despite having a lot of haters (mostly on sites like Bleeding Cool), for someone who was treated like crap by Batman and editors/writers alike, she has one very notable fanbase. While most people say Cass is their favorite Batgirl, Steph will usually be their second choice (mostly since everyone prefers Babs as Oracle), and if not they'll say Steph with Cass following. Their fans are something of a group of Vitriolic Best Buds and Heterosexual Life-Partners. Steph, however, speaks volumes though: Her series was a consistent financial success (every issue made it into the top 100 comics selling that month, including both Marvel and Indie titles) but also a constant critical darling. Her first Trade, Batgirl Rising was the only DC comic book set in the main universe to make it into USA Today's top ten comic books of 2010. Editors may hate her, but she's one popular bird.
    • Calvin Rose a.k.a. Talon has been gaining a great deal of popularity as well.
    • Harley Quinn. If you can believe it, she's only been an official part of the DC Universe since 1999, but she has arguably the biggest fan following of any Bat-mythos character other than Batman or The Joker (and possibly Catwoman). Since joining the comic continuity, she's had her own starring series, numerous major appearances in spin-offs like Injustice: Gods Among Us, and frequent reappearances in adaptations and Bat Family Crossovers. Not bad for a character who started out as the female counterpart of The Joker in a TV show.
    • Onomatopoeia, a villain introduced by Kevin Smith, is immensely popular with fans even though he's yet to make an appearance since "The Widening Gyre". He's basically a superhero Serial Killer who only speaks in sound effects and is a total mental and physical match for Batman. Doubles as They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character since many feel that he'd make an awesome archenemy/Evil Counterpart for Batman.
    • A lot of GCPD officers and detectives such as Renee Montoya, Harvey Bullock, Crispus Allen, Jason Bard' Marcus Driver, Sarge Davies, Josie Macdonald" Vincent Del Arrazio, Joely Bartlett and Tommy Burke (particularly the first four) are extremely popular, with several of them sometimes even being considered part of the Batfamily.
    • A bunch of the more obscure Batman Inc./Club of Heroes members are really popular with fans such as Batwing, El Gaucho, Nightrunner, and Batcow.
    • Black Mask is frequently cited as an example of a great Batman villain who is woefully underused. Maybe it's his cool look or maybe it's his Xanatos-style intelligence, but in any case fans seem to really like the guy. Him getting Hijacked by Ganon in Arkham Origins just caused much of the fanbase to clamor even harder for him to get a day in the limelight.
    • Despite being a very new character Mr. Bloom has managed to become very popular, with many people praising his unique design, powers, and general style.
    • Kite Man in Tom King's run on the Rebirth series partially due to how ridiculously petty his crimes are, coupled with just how proud of himself he is while he uses his suit for petty theft. King has noticed this and made his appearances something of a running gag.
  • Escapist Character: Batman himself is one. Grant Morrison actually talked about this and claims that for all the talk about how much of a fantasy Superman is, Batman is even more so:
    "Batman is obviously much cooler, but that’s because he’s a very energetic and adolescent fantasy character: a handsome billionaire playboy in black leather with a butler at his beck and call, better cars and gadgetry than James Bond, a horde of fetish femme fatales baying around his heels and no boss. That guy's Superman day and night. Superman grew up baling hay on a farm. He goes to work, for a boss, in an office. He pines after a hard–working gal. Only when he tears off his shirt does that heroic, ideal inner self come to life. That's actually a much more adult fantasy than the one Batman’s peddling but it also makes Superman a little harder to sell. He's much more of a working class superhero, which is why we ended the whole book with the image of a laboring Superman."
    • Or as a comedian put it: "I wish I was Batman; not so much the fighting crime, I just wish I was rich and my parents were dead."
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Probably the one thing we can all agree with Joel Schumacher on.
  • Evil Is Cool: Hoo boy. Generally the only villains who aren't cool in some degree are purposefully done as Butt Monkeys. Notable mentions include The Joker, Two-Face, Bane, Onomatopoeia, Ra's Al Ghul, and Scarecrow.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Catwoman. Though she's not exactly evil.
    • Harley Quinn. Happy to murder henchmen at the drop of a hat and always drawn in a painted-on harlequin jester's outfit that frequently got 'upgraded' to a latex version, and later got replaced with a skimpy corset and microshorts.
    • And Poison Ivy. Good lord, Poison Ivy.
  • Fan Nickname
    • Fans often call the trio consisting of The Riddler, Scarecrow, and Mad Hatter as "The Dork Squad".
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: As a longtime confirmed bachelor, there are tons of Batman ships:
    • Batman/Catwoman is as close to canon as any have ever been, but writers keep them apart based on the "she's a criminal, he's Batman" premise. They seemed to become Friends with Benefits before the events of Final Crisis. They even almost got married, and fans were not happy when they didn't go through with it.
    • Batman/Wonder Woman is a favorite ship of one third of Trinity fandom (that other two thirds preferring Superman/Wonder Woman and Superman/Batman). It's even suggested that she had an unrequited love for him during Blackest Night.
    • Batman/Talia too, considering their past affair and that Damian came from it. Downplayed since her Face–Heel Turn, in which they no longer have the close contact they had before.
    • Dick/Barbara too, at least among the Batman subsection of the DC fandom. Has gone back and forth between being canon or not, but usually the two are at least very close friends. A lot of Batman fans love them together, with Kory/Dick and Dinah/Babs being the usual alternative—though it's not unusual for fandoms to combine the pairings. Dick/Barbara is also an example of a pairing that is also loved by the Batman writers themselves.
    • Following them is another Robin/Batgirl couple, Cass/Tim. The two have never been romantically connected In-Universe, in fact they're more like brother and sister. But, one or two Relationship Writing Fumble later, and the two are semi-popular fan pairings.
    • The once-canon Tim/Steph, which was the fan-preferred pairing during the Tim/Steph and Tim/Ariana love triangle back in the 90s Robin series. It was also so popular that DC had to bring Steph back from the dead because all of Tim's love subplots after her death (Zoanne, Cassie, etc.) were poorly-received by fans. Though they were kept apart and did not get back together, DC had several times featured these two in teamup issues to spike up interest and sales for their respective solos. There's even a large portion of fans that claim that Steph was Tim's only convincing love interest. This has lead to a butt-load of Young Justice fanfics that expand on Steph's cameo in order to ship her with Tim.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With the Teen Titans fandom, largely over both books' claims to Dick Grayson. The Dick/Kory vs. Dick/Babs ship war is generally seen as a microcosm for this.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Killer Moth. Good lord.
  • Faux Symbolism: At the beginning of "The Joker Walks the Last Mile", the Joker discusses his master plan of putting his Joker Immunity to the test with his mooks to have them make sure they follow his instructions, exclaiming that "The Joker shall die so that he may live again!" Afterwards, being kind of Crazy-Prepared, he plays a villainous version of the Sacrificial Lion by turning himself in to the police and confessing to a long list of crimes (including robbery and murder), resulting in him being given a death sentence and in his execution by the electric chair at the midnight hour. Right after he is declared dead, his mooks quickly retrieve his body from the prison morgue and carry him to a nearby ambulance where they bring him Back from the Dead with some life serum; once he is revived, he becomes a free man and can no longer die for his same crimes. This is kind of similar to the same plot concerning Jesus' passion and resurrection, except that he had God the Father and his angels at his side in his moments of death.
  • Foe Yay: Catwoman. Talia Al Ghul, A little with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. An interesting interplay with the Joker (the scene where he holds him in his arms while telling Gordon he will not let him die) And he renews that offer of rehabilitation with regularity.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • Batman has always been called "the world's greatest detective", but to prevent his crossovers with superhuman heroes becoming Story Breaker Team Ups, the writers inflated his intelligence and preparation abilities to help keep up. While it was odd for essentially a street vigilante to take on Persons Of Mass Destruction, the idea that a Badass Normal could take on much more powerful opponents was very appealing to read plus helped justify Batman's place in the Justice League of America despite his low level of power. However, these match ups became common enough to reach memetic levels, making it seem like he can defeat anyone because "I'm the goddamned Batman". Now what is odd is why he ever has trouble on his home turf, which has supervillains low on the power scale at worst, let alone why his preparation abilities have not taken Gotham City out of being a Wretched Hive with repeat offenders.
    • The Joker becoming more bloodthirsty in The '70s was a refreshing change of pace and justified how one who was once written as a goofy prankster could be Batman's Arch-Enemy. It did leave a question of Batman's (and Gotham's law enforcement in general) inability to permanently deal with the threatening clown, but this could be raised to the rest of Batman's Rogues Gallery, and moments where he did something genuinely monstrous were mostly outnumbered by times where he was a capering loon, which made the genuinely horrible stuff all the more surprising. However, the Joker's bloodthirsty side started to stand out a bit too much, with the actions of brutally murdering Jason Todd and crippling Barbara Gordon, pushing him into Complete Monster territory. Worse, stories involving him murdering people for no reason, working in the shadows of the above two, increasingly became the norm for him, causing him to lose the Wild Card excuse and a lot of his charm. Compare "The Laughing Fish", often seen as a pivotal 70s Joker story, which shows him start out with a completely absurd plan (attempting to copyright poisoned fish) and only killing people when he's angry that they don't take him seriously, with many modern stories where his entire modus operandi seems random murder from square one. As a result, a character whose gimmick was meant to be unpredictability has become notorious for his predictable stories, and a lot of fans believe that making him an exception to Batman's strict refusal to kill would be the more heroic stance for the Dark Knight to take.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Batman's entire origin story became significantly harsher after the events of the Aurora theater shooting.
    • In the 2001 crossover Joker's Last Laugh, the doctor tells the Joker that he has been diagnosed with cancer and that he would try and repent in the last weeks of his life. It turns out that the doctor had been pulling his leg all along and that the Clown Prince of Crime is going to live after all. Ten years later, there's Batman: Arkham City, whose prequel comic tells us that the Joker has been diagnosed with the Titan disease that he had inflicted upon himself six months ago and is told that he has only another six months to live. Six months later, and this time, he dies from Titan poisoning right at the end of the game itself.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In Batman #19 from the New 52 series, Clayface disguises himself as Bruce Wayne and takes a woman hostage, asking for her name. When she says it's Martha, Clayface!Bruce comments on how amusing it is that she just so happens to have the same name as Wayne's mom. Three years later...
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Tim Drake isn't called "the saddest Robin" for nothing.
    • Batman himself. He may suffer through the death of various friends and allies and take a lot of crap in the line of duty, but he refuses to give up.
    • Stephanie Brown is probably the biggest example. Death itself couldn't squash her spirits.
    • Most characters who you could call a woobie are this, since they're usually badass vigilantes or Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. Reading the following Woobie entries, you'll be hard pressed not finding one who isn't this type of woobie.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: Thanks to all the publicity he and his cast have been receiving in recent years, Batman has grown a rather large Hatedom in the DC Comics community, just about everyone saying that they want other superheroes to receive some love and pop cultural attention. Notably, this example isn't so much complaining about the popularity itself as it is that the popularity makes Batman a more consistent best-seller than the rest of the superhero line, and so others are less likely to get a turn in the spotlight in the interest of maximizing profits.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • The identity of the new Red Hood as Jason Todd.
    • The ending of Battle for the Cowl, having Dick become the new Batman, although to most fans this was something they saw coming in Batman RIP.
    • Hush's identity as Bruce's childhood acquaintance Tommy Elliot.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Dick is probably the most used fandom bicycle, but Bruce himself isn't far behind. Other Bat family members such as Tim and Barbara are subject to this as well, often with Ho Yay.
  • LGBT Fanbase: See Even the Guys Want Him. Not to mention the franchise has several notable, stereotype-free gay characters like Batwoman and Renee Montoya.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Jason Todd, post-resurrection. Surely, he did a lot of awful things (as trying to kill Dick and Tim), but the guy is so screwed in the inside. His family is dead, his biological mother watched when was being tortured by the Joker and did nothing to stop it (in fact, she was helping the Joker), and was brought back to life with amnesia, suffered a lot more while trying to recover his identity and his life (as we can see on Red Hood: The Lost Days), and to this day, his life hasn't gotten any better.
    • Damian is a brat, no two ways about it. But he finally gets to be Robin only after his father vanishes from the face of the earth, of which the whole point of getting said role was to spend time with him, is prohibited from killing in this new role, a tad crippling since he now has to solely rely on his ten year old build to subdue the likes of Killer Croc and as a result gets kicked around by a lot of people good and bad, and to top it all off he's surrounded by what amount to the surrogate children of Bruce Wayne, a collection of people Bruce loved and trusted despite not being his biological family, who at first greatly dislike him because of his behavior. Plus how lonely his childhood probably was, and getting his spine blasted to pieces within the second arc of his flagship title. Kid's got it rough.
    • Most of Batman's villains, since an overriding theme of the franchise seems to be how mentally fucked up Gotham is. Notable examples include Killer Croc (deformed by a birth defect that makes him look like a monster and causes everyone to treat him like an animal), Two Face (got horribly scarred, utterly shattering his personality and idealism), Killer Moth (the Butt-Monkey of Batman's Rogues Gallery who suffers constant abuse), and most famously Mr. Freeze (only a bad guy because of an accident suffered trying to save his wife).
    • On rare occasions the Joker can be this, most notably in The Killing Joke, but he usually performs another atrocity before the reader can feel too much sympathy for him.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Once a hopeless street orphan, Selina Kyle built herself into the charming, wealthy, brilliant cat burglar Catwoman, who pulls off daring heists as much for kicks as for money. Constantly matching wits with Batman and forming a lasting mutual attraction, Selina also proves to be one of the most intelligent individuals in Gotham, even outwitting Bane to betray him to Azrael and frequently using others for her schemes. Also defined by her love for those close to her, Selina even brought down and killed Roman Sionis when he targeted her loved ones.
    • Ra's Al-Ghul is Batman's most powerful foe, and the only one to be his intellectual peer. Having lived for centuries, Ra's and the secret societies he controls have accumulated wealth to rival nations, and can purchase influence accordingly. Never short on hidden bases and armies of henchmen, Ra's has brought Gotham City to its knees, and has even challenged the Justice League of America, incorporating Batman's own failsafes into his plot to destroy the JLA. A master planner who pays attention to every little detail, Ra's exemplifies the fact that time is less meaningful when you can afford to wait—and Ra's can afford to wait a long, long time.
    • Coming into her own after her father's death, Talia Al-Ghul is one of the few to ever pull one over on Lex Luthor, exposing his crimes to the public and transferring his assets way. Talia later takes over the League of Assassins and upon Batman's death, she purges the remnants of the Black Glove, revealing she has installed a device within her own son to allow herself to control him when needed. After Bruce Wayne's reemergence, Talia masterminds 'Leviathan' to wage war against him, bringing Gotham to the brink of destruction, even resulting in Damian's death and Bruce's near demise as well, with Talia being one of the few to ever push him to the brink, showing herself as truly her father's daughter.
    • Bane appears to be a hulking brute, but is in reality far craftier than he appears. In his first appearance in the Knightfall storyline, Bane achieved fame by psychologically manipulating Batman to drive him to the mental and physical brink before revealing Bane had deduced his secret identity. Ambushing Batman, Bane snapped his back over Bane's knee and proceeded to reign over Gotham until his defeat. Since then, Bane has been acknowledged by even Ra's Al-Ghul as one of the few men worthy to succeed him and has learned from every defeat to rise stronger than before. As a member of the Secret Six, Bane displays a deep affection for his surrogate daughter Scandal Savage and shows a deep sense of honor and loyalty to his team until the end when realizing his potential again, Bane manipulates them into one grand battle and defeat to shed all attachments and emerge stronger than before. Of all Batman's foes, only Bane has the distinction of being the man who once broke the bat himself.
  • Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.": Many people attribute Batman's ability to glide with his cape to The Dark Knight Trilogy when it's actually been around since the forties.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Batman is one of the more notable ones. Give him enough prep, and he can beat God! "Batman can defeat anyone, given enough prep time," is practically Fanon in this regard. There's a reason we mentioned that Batman could pull out a lightsaber with no explanation in the first paragraph on the main page.
    • Swamp Thing, Wildcat, Spider-Man and Superman have beaten him on occasion, though, and he has admitted that a fight between him and Captain America could go either way with him completely unsure who would have the greater chance of winning.
    • Another memetic badass is Alfred Pennyworth, Battle Butler extraordinaire. Beware The Batman seems to have caught on to this, turning Alfred into a Jason Statham expy.
  • Memetic Loser: Killer Moth. Seriously, this guy could rival Aquaman for Trope Codifier.
  • Memetic Molester: People will not stop insisting that Batman is gay with Robin. The idea seems to originate from Seduction of the Innocent, where Wertham claimed that gay boys found Batman attractive and viewed Robin as a self-insert, and since then, DC's made countless attempts to give Batman some kind of love interest. None of them have lasted, however.
  • Memetic Mutation: Batman is probably the most memetic superhero of all time, mostly because of his Crazy-Prepared Badass Normal Iron Woobie status. You can find his memes here.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Batman gets this alot, especially with Super Dickery
  • Mind Game Ship: Hush with Batman, maybe even more so with Bruce.
  • My Real Daddy: Starting right at the beginning, Bill Finger actually did far more to create Batman himself than his more famous boss, Bob Kane. It was Finger, the writer, who came up with the idea of Batman being a detective, of him wearing a black cape and cowl instead of a red cape and Domino Mask, the Bruce Wayne secret identity, his origin story, Robin, Catwoman, Two-Face, the Joker and the name "Gotham City". Without such contributions, "the Bat-Man" most likely would be long forgotten by now, yet Kane was given sole credit for the character until late 2015 because he undermined Finger's contribution for his entire life, as well as contractually ensuring only he could be credited for creating Batman.
    • There's a long-running discussion over which writer deserves credit for Batman as a whole finding his voice. Denny O'Neil brought back the "dark detective" street-level superheroics aspect of the character in the early 70s. Steve Englehart further cemented this take while delving further into Batman's character; began the renaissance of Batman's Rogues Gallery which had, aside from the occasional return appearance and new villain, taken much of the 70's off; and finished what O'Niel started with the Joker by fully defining him as the crazy nutter we know today. Frank Miller deconstructed Batman and embraced his Grimdark noir side. Paul Dini gets credit for many stories which 'personify' Batman's strongest points, and Chuck Dixon gets a lot of respect for fleshing out Batman's supporting cast's personality, role, and themes.
    • While Jeph Loeb created the character, a good amount of fans feel Hush did not get really interesting until Paul Dini started writing the character.
  • Narm Charm: The sheer existence of Bat-Cow is so stupidly hilarious it's awesome.
  • Never Live It Down: The ice cream incident is often taken out of context.
    • Then there's that nasty little joke from Kevin Smith's run insinuating that Batman actually wet his pants in one of the most famous scenes from Year One where he confronts the mafia for the first time.
    • Killer Moth is such a Butt-Monkey Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain that it can be surprising for readers to learn that back when he first appeared he was an actual threat. In fact he was one of Batman's deadliest enemies yet, filling the role of the Anti-Batman. This all started, both in and out of universe, after Batgirl effortlessly kicked his ass on her first night out as a vigilante. Back than it was a bit of The Worf Effect; now it's treated as just another example of how pathetic he is.
    • Surprisingly the "Batman used to use a gun" tidbit is approaching this; Batman did use a gun in his first few appearances during the Golden Age, but the gun only lasted about two or three stories before Batman ditched it and cemented his rule of Thou Shalt Not Kill. Despite this a lot of people like to joke that Golden Age Batman was a murderous psycho.
    • Also the whole thing about Bane's Breaking of the Bat. Writers seem to like going back to that, and pretty much every time he appears outside of the main comics continuity, they have him do the exact move or attack Batman in some form, despite there being much more to his character than that.
  • Newer Than They Think: Though it's now his signature gimmick, the Scarecrow didn't use fear gas until over twenty years after his debut. In fact, in the 1940s he didn't use any artificial methods at all, and terrified people using only his wits and conventional weaponry.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Scarecrow, didn't create the Fear Gas, it was originally created by Hugo Strange.
    • A newspaper comic strip arc had Batman getting his back broken and having a temporary replacement wearing the cowl (Superman no less!) over two decades before it happened in Knightfall.
  • One True Threesome: There are a few notable ones...
    • There's Bruce/Clark/Diana, which stems from the Ship-to-Ship Combat between Bruce/Clark, Bruce/Diana, and Clark/Diana.
    • Dick/Barbara appears to be the basis for a number of these (or more), the most popular of which seem to include Kory and/or Dinah.
    • And there's Tim/Steph/Cass, from fans who interpret both the Tim/Cass and Steph/Cass dynamics as more than just platonic friendship.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Doesn't matter if you're a good guy or a bad guy... Batman is watching you. ALWAYS WATCHING YOU.
    • Mad Hatter's hats can create vivid delusions that are nearly seamless. One popular episode of the animated series has him trap Batman in a paradise world where everything in Gotham is perfect and the sole thing that allows Batman to even notice anything wrong is his innate paranoia. Everything seen during his appearances could just be a fake world he's made.
    • In "The Widening Gyre" Onomatopoeia disguises himself as a rookie superhero. The disguise works so well that he manages to get Batman to invite him to the Batcave and is only caught when makes a distinctive sound effect, at which point turns around to see him jabbing a three-inch bowie knife into a woman's neck.
  • Periphery Demographic: Batman sure has his lady fans. And judging by the large amount of officially licensed plushies, babydoll tees, and jewelry, DC is aware of this.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Why'd you think the fans voted for Jason Todd to be killed off in the first place?
    • Barbara-as-Batgirl has become this with a lot of fans, as many saw Cassandra Cain as superior or felt that Barbara was more interesting as Oracle.
    • The second Ventiloquist hasn't been very well-received so far, as the perception is that rather than try to make her appealing in her own right, much of the focus has been on running down her predecessor to say how much better she is.
      • The third one that replaced both in the New 52 isn't very liked either. Apparently the writers caught on since both her and the second are either dead or ignored while the original is back in action.
    • Jason Todd has gone back to being this in the New 52. In the wake of Dick's faked death, writers have attempted to re-integrate Jason back into the Bat family. However, he comes across as a poorly-written anti-heroic Dick, and his interactions with Bat family members often require them to act wildly out of character.
    • Steph replacing Cassandra as Batgirl wasn't well-received by all. Before that, her replacing Tim as Robin wasn't, either.
    • The post-Batman: Endgame Batman, James Gordon, is starting to become this, following in the footsteps of the other armor-wearing Replacement Scrappy, Jean-Paul Valley. This is mostly due to the fact that he's seen taking a Never My Fault attitude and attacking Batman's old supporting cast and allies. This is easily shown in Superman: Truth where he accidentally nearly causes a war with a subterranean race, then proceeds to tell Superman that it was his fault and to piss off.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Jason Todd has been in and out of the scrappy heap:
      • He helped save friggin' Superman in For the Man Who Has Everything.
      • In the mini-series "The Cult", he saved Batman's life, shook him out of a major BSOD, restored his faith in himself, and provided the impetus to save Gotham when Batman was ready to give up on it.
      • The Direct-to-DVD movie Batman: Under the Red Hood fixed a lot of the problems with the original story in which he came back and made him more sympathetic, resulting in more fans warming up to him in the comics.
      • However, in the New 52, he went back to being The Scrappy of the Bat family. See Replacement Scrappy above.
    • Accomplished to such a degree with Damian that many who hated him are both surprised terrified with the fact that they are starting to LIKE him.
    • Flamebird. Due to her early Valley Girl nature and incompetence Post-Crisis, her clingy obsessive attitude, as well as being a retool of an already-campy character, fans didn't take to her very well. Geoff Johns and Ben Raab fleshed her out more in Beast Boy mini-series.
    • The Penguin went from being arguably Batman's number 1 villain during the Silver Age to being widely derided in the Dark Age. So what did the writers do? Give him a quasi-Heel–Face Turn and make him a wealthy nightclub owner who played a neutral role in the Gotham underworld. The fandom seems to like him again.
    • When she first became Batgirl, Steph became a Replacement Scrappy for Cass. After the first two story arcs, however, this died down a lot.
    • Hush was hated in his first appearance but was redeemed into a fairly cool villain after he was taken out of Jeph Loeb's hands.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Post-Crisis Jason Todd was hated by quite a few readers, to the point that fans eventually voted for him to be killed by the Joker. While an almost equal number of people voted to spare him, a LOT of people thought that the vote was for the first Robin, Dick Grayson, who was excessively popular amongst a lot of fans.
      • Funnily enough, he was brought back to life due to Alas, Poor Scrappy status, where he became an anti-hero Jerk Ass Woobie who was centre stage to a very well received storyline. However, poor use led to him landing right back into Scrappydom. He still has some fans at least.
    • Damian Wayne was this at first, being seen as a snotty, bratty jerk who got away with a lot of crap that other characters wouldn't. While the character has been more or less fixed since than, there are a few who won't forget his controversial introduction.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: For a brief time, Flamebird was looking to be linked with Beast Boy.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: With a huge cast of characters, there are quite a few of these:
    • Bruce/Selina vs Bruce/Talia is a major point of contention. Not helping is Grant Morrison's characterization of Talia as a full-on villain. Then there's also the fanbase who prefers Bruce with Wonder Woman.
    • Dick/Babs vs Dick/Kory vs Dick/Helena. Oh god. Not helping matters were the writers who participated. Chuck Dixon, in his Nightwing run, was rather dismissive of the Dick/Kory relationship in order to favor Dick and Barbara, the latter of whom starred in his Birds of Prey run. But then there was Devin Grayson who wrote a romantic encounter between Dick and Helena in the Nightwing/Huntress mini-series.
    • Tim and Steph may be an Official Couple, but there are plenty who prefer Tim with Kon (Superboy), and Steph with Cass (Batgirl).
  • Strawman Has a Point: Jason Todd, the second Robin. After having been killed by the Joker, he came back and went on a violent killing spree against criminals; convinced it is the only way to stop crime for good. In the climax, he defends his stance to Batman by pointing out that in not killing the Joker, Batman essentially guarantees the Joker will claim more victims. Batman replies he will not kill the Joker because it would be too easy the next time. While Jason is a typical strawman of heroes willing to kill by being a total psychopath, his comments about the Joker were sound, even going as far as pointing out the slippery-slope fallacy of Batman's counterargument.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Tim's ENTIRE personality and backstory in the New 52. Instead of being a nerdy, non-athletic and all-round Nice Guy who started out as a Dick Grayson fanboy, he's now an arrogant, friendless Olympic-level gymnast whose last name may not even be 'Drake', which means that he might not even be the real Tim Drake. And they've taken away his role as the third Robin — he was never Robin in this universe, adopting the Red Robin name from the start instead. Not surprisingly (and justifiably), fans went into a huge outrage over this development.
    • A number of fans of Cass and Steph are unwilling to see them in the New 52 because of the risk of this happening. If you believe him, Dan DiDio is also scared of this, and refuses to let them be published until they have 'the right story' to avoid doing them wrong.
    • The Joker wearing his face for a while and becoming absurdly competent was a huge offender.
    • For the fans that love the classic Harley Quinn and hate the New 52 version. It certainly doesn't help that her characterization can change drastically between different books.
    • Mr. Freeze's changed origin in the New 52, changing him from a man desperately trying to save his terminally ill wife to... a guy who has a sick obsession with a frozen woman he doesn't know. Taking the poster boy for Even Evil Has Loved Ones and turning him into just another crazy person in a Rogues Gallery full of crazy people has not been well-received, and it's mocked for how "edgy" the writers wanted to be. Noticeably, Freeze wasn't used much in the New 52, and by the time he got a bit of a spotlight in DC Rebirth, it seemed like the New 52 change was undone, as Batman mentions Nora being Victor's wife (in a way that didn't come off like he was humouring Freeze, which he had no reason to do)... before Detective Comics outright thawed her out and had the two very clearly be husband and wife, putting the New 52 origin into completely into Canon Discontinuity.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Most of the Club of Heroes members languished in obscurity for years despite the loads of potential they had. Grant Morrison made a point to bring them back in his Batman run and gave them a massive boost in popularity but for whatever reason few writers since have bothered to give them any acknowledgement.
    • Onomatopoeia hasn't been seen since "The Widening Gyre" despite being considered an awesome villain who's really popular with fans.
  • Unfortunate Implications: For the most part Jason's death is treated as if it's his fault. Even in his own comics, even he seems to believe this at times. This site goes into detail on the issue.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Bruce got hit with this hard during Batman (Rebirth). Yes, it sucks that Selina left him at the altar. No, it does not give him the excuse to neglect, abuse, and more-or-less alienate his family, especially when each and every single one of them have already got a laundry list of grievances against him. It eventually got so bad that fans outright disowned Tom King's Batman, because he was that unsympathetic.
  • Wangst: Exactly how strongly this is portrayed falls squarely into Depending on the Writer.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: When you hear the word "Arkham" you're probably thinking about the asylum rather then the fictional city of Massachusetts it's named after.
  • The Woobie:
    • Cassandra Cain was raised as a Tyke Bomb under traumatic circumstances. Her first normal friends die in the Blüdhaven disaster, has to fight both of her parents a lot, is at one point branded as a murderer by others in the Bat Family and is lured into brainwashing on one ocassion by Deathrstroke, playing on how she misses having a father figure.
    • Stephanie Brown grew up with an absent super villain as a dad, has been a rape victim, had a bad break up with Tim Drake at one point, has to give up her daughter for adoption due to fears her hero activities will ruin her life, inadvertently causes a lot of chaos during her time as Robin and is tortured and nearly killed, and has to spend a while letting the others think she's dead. And that's not even considering her D.C. rebirth counterpart having her father trying to kill her and her mother not moving to interfere.
    • The Ventriloquist. How can you not feel for the guy? It ain't his fault that he has to share his brain with a ruthless, abusive gangster.
    • Let's face it; Commissioner Gordon's life sucks.
    • Killer Moth, especially when writers play up his Butt-Monkey traits. The poor guy just wants to be remembered/respected.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Seems to be a recurring pattern for Live-Action Adaptations of the character. Every new actor announced to play the role has been met with initial backlash from the fans. Each time, however, said actor promptly shuts them up and becomes the Batman.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: The armor worn by James Gordon in DC YOU, with its Chappie ears. It was even mocked in-universe.

Examples from Batman, the 1966 TV Series

Examples from Batman in film

1989-1997 film series

Other films


Examples from Batman in Western Animation

Examples from Batman in Video Games

    Trans-Franchise VG Tropes 
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: In general, Bats has had more luck with this than most superheroes; his first NES outing by Sunsoft is considered one of the finest Nintendo Hard-in-a-good-way platformers, his 16-bit games tended to be at least okay (though this is the time period which The Angry Video Game Nerd found the most to object to), and the Batman: Arkham Series proved that licensed games don't have to be bad. He has still had some stinkers, though (like a few of the aforementioned 16-bit era games, or the Commodore 64 game, which looked cool but was a nightmare to actually play). Then there's Batman: Dark Tomorrow, which is generally considered to be one of the worst DC Comics-inspired video games period. Other Bat-titles (Batman Begins, Batman: Vengeance, and Rise of Sin Tzu) have fallen somewhere in the middle with mixed reception.


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