No More Bruce Wayne

Batman is an iconic hero for very good reasons. Bruce’s origin is tragic, but his ascent into becoming the Dark Knight is full of hope and is a great representation of how any regular person can achieve their full potential. However, in the years since he first came onto the scene, the man under the mask has proven to not be flawless. Bruce Wayne has failed to properly adapt and become the real hero that Gotham deserves.

The reason why I say this is because time and time again, Bruce has constantly made the same mistakes that prevent him from recognizing all the good he could be doing. But let’s back up to his origin for a moment and really examine his life. Bruce was born to wealthy parents, living in a giant mansion outside of the city. He was a part of the wealthy elite since birth and he views all the problems around him in an often frustratingly straightforward way. He sees a criminal kill his parents right in front of him and his solution is to learn skills and abilities that will be the most useful in inflicting damage on criminals. The story of Batman is one of a person who is seeking to control everything he can in an attempt to prevent a tragedy from ever happening again. While noble, the methodology and philosophy the mission statement is based on is flawed.

I know some people are saying I shouldn’t be judging Batman with real-world standards. And I get that argument. Superheroes in general are meant to be fantastical. But a lot of superheroes have moved in an overall more grounded direction in recent decades, especially in the case of someone like The Caped Crusader. And considering the comics themselves have been regularly pointing out more realistic ways Batman can help, it seems only fair to take these criticisms seriously. While it’s unfair to say that the existence of Batman has caused the creation of all of his supervillains, he hasn’t done anything to help them after making sure they are apprehended. Bruce’s financial resources and strengths could turn Arkham from a laughing stock into a reputable institution. Instead it’s a revolving door for all the criminals he apprehends. There are a lot of regular citizens who have been let down by the public and private sectors and often have no choice but to turn to a life of crime. That’s why so many of them become robbers, thieves, or work as henchmen for the supervillains - a sense of stability and a source of income to get by and support their loved ones.

I’ve been doing some reading regarding how corporations in the real world use motivational speakers and acts of philanthropy to make themselves look good while also disguising the fact that they are the reasons so many social problems are prevalent and growing worse. Bruce Wayne is not a corrupt businessman - but Wayne Enterprises isn’t the only game in town. There have been numerous examples of businessmen and politicians in Gotham who have either intentionally or unintentionally made things worse. I will give Bruce some credit, every once in a while, we do see him try to use his money to fix social problems. But his attempts either die out or are sabotaged. Like in the beginning of James Tynion’s Batman run, when the Joker steals all of Bruce’s money and puts an indefinite stop to his plans of rebuilding Gotham after Bane’s rule. At this point, Bruce is only focused on fighting the symptoms of Gotham’s problems, not able or worse not willing to address the true causes.
It also doesn’t help he regularly pushes his allies away. If they don’t stick to his rules, he judges them and shuns them. This often means he is unwilling to adapt to various situations he goes up against, barely managing to come out victorious half of the time.

I know all of this seems harsh. And I don’t doubt you could find examples of him doing things differently for a specific case, or find him cooperating with others in a team setting just fine. But I’m also pointing out that the instances of Bruce Wayne confronting his own shortcomings are happening more frequently. Doesn’t matter if it’s Joker War or Fear State or Gotham War. It’s always something chomping on the heels of the most recent life-changing and city-wide catastrophic event. Always drowning in the symptoms and never able to see the bigger picture. His act of coming off more as a myth than as someone real is another example of him not reaching out to the real people and inspiring them to change the city themselves.

To clear up what I’m trying to say, let’s go over two people who have proven to be better heroes in the long run for Gotham - Dick Grayson & Barbara Gordon.

Dick Grayson had similarities to Bruce’s origin. He saw his parents killed in front of him while in Gotham. But his upbringing before that is vastly different. The Graysons were part of a circus and lived with people whom mainstream society considered freaks and outcasts. Dick already had connections with people who have faced struggles in their lives and had a base understanding of the nuances of everyday life. He learned all of Bruce’s skills and went through his training, but he ultimately rejected his borderline nihilistic philosophy on other people. Dick went on to become friends with various other young heroes and formed the Teen Titans. A team where the heroes treat each other as friends and family, showing they outshine the Justice League in that aspect. And when Dick Grayson earned a substantial inheritance from Alfred Pennyworth, he decided to create a foundation meant to help the children and poor of Bludhaven. An action that leads him to confront the corrupting influence of Blockbuster who held a chokehold on the local government and the local police department. Dick’s personality and life philosophy help him stand apart from Bruce and his actions as his hero are already showing he will overshadow his predecessor.

And now Barbara Gordon. Bruce was born in Gotham but raised in the outskirts of the city in a secluded mansion. Babs stayed within the city as the daughter of a police detective/commissioner. She sees the worst that happens to Gotham day after day with her own eyes and was raised to approach things from an analytical perspective. Similar to Bruce, but Babs was aware from the start of the failures of certain governmental institutions as well as the shortcomings of corporate efforts to give back to their community. Instead of adopting a cynical approach, she works hard to find ways of helping others in a way that is the most efficient and practical. She may have adopted Bruce’s symbol but she made sure to make it her own. And let’s not forget how she handled being paralyzed. A similar thing happened to Bruce when Bane broke his back. While Bruce tried to find ways to fix his back, Babs acquired new skills to become Oracle and become the go-to person many superheroes rely on. She volunteers, is engaged with the political scene of her home city, and she mentors others to become both better vigilantes AND people (just see how many times she called out Bruce for not giving Cass the support she needs). While Stephanie Brown and Harper Row are arguably better representations of the average Gotham citizen - one is the daughter of a criminal at odds with the rest of his family and the other struggled to support herself and her brother at an early age - both of these women went down paths more reflective of Babs’s influence.

The True Dynamic Duo here is Nightwing and Barbara Gordon. They fight crime AND constantly put in the effort to change the various institutions and restructure them in ways that can better help the larger community. They believe in the better nature of people.

I just want to clarify - Batman is still iconic to me. There is a lot I admire and so many stories I still re-read that feature him. I’ve just grown tired of Bruce doing the same thing over and over again. Tired of his methodology and frustrated with how he treats those who are supposed to be his friends. Bruce has made a lot of mistakes. But he has done a lot of good. I just think it’s time for us to recognize that Dick and Babs have now become the heroes that Gotham truly need in order to evolve.

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Great topic @EDT

Wow so much to talk about. Ringing up another Batman fan @storyteller91 to check it out.

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i hope no batfans get mad at this but bruce would want exactly this
(not for himself to fail) but for nightwing to succeed
nightwing being a better batman is what bruce wants (i know nightwing isnt batman but he was so lemme use my words the way i do)
while im betting its editorial thats really not letting batman truly help gotham or be happy with his family
at least his first son can do what he cannot

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there are whole x threads based on how much bruce has given to gotham over the years including arkham also when something goes wrong he has been known to commet himself to arkham to see whats going wrong. Its a bad idea and its bound to go wrong at some point
Here is a comic with one such story. there are others but I’ve read so many I can’t keep up with all the names.

Go right ahead it is a common thing for people who don’t like batman to bring up see also why doesn’t he just kill the joker or why doesn’t he just become a cop.
I’ve seen it many times before and I’m sure I will see it again.
edit to add many people have done hours of videos and writer going over many comics showing that this stuff is untrue I just to feel like posting whole list of stuff at the moment.

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As much as I personally would like Joker dead, Batman shouldn’t kill him. Plus a lot of the blame can just be put on the writers trying to outdo each other

Considering Bruce’s history, he might use methods similar to police protocols, he wouldn’t want to be an official cop

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Sooo many in the fandom don’t understand this profound, fundamental element of BG.

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I agree I only posted those because there often brought up on such topics I forget what the x thread is called but it’s devoted to batman giving to all of gotham including the bad guys
the years it most have taken to do all of it makes me tried just thinking of it. but it was made because of topics like this.
also someone should really stop bruce from putting himself in arkham its a bad idea he’s
it I think six times.

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I love your rant! I agree almost completely (I still like Bruce as Batman).

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As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been doing some reading regarding how a lot of philanthropic efforts from corporations or wealthy elite individuals are often used to distract from the fact that said donors are trying to distract others from the fact they have played a big role in the problems they are now donating money to help fight

Not exactly a direct translation for this since we are talking about a fictional character. But how many times has Arkham been taken over by their own patients or been thrown into chaos? No amount of money can cover the fact that place is poorly run - both in terms of proper resources and who they allow to join as staff

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But how is that batmans issue he has never owned Arkham?

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They’ve done exactly what good apprentices are supposed to do- master all the lessons their teacher has for them AND learned how not to make the teacher’s same mistakes. Also- any job is much less complicated with two sets of hands rather than just one.
:smiley: :0_batgirl: :0_nightwing:

Also- Cass NEEDS to become lead Bat when Bruce finally hangs it all up. Damian will still be too young by then to take it on and frankly, that kid’s gonna’ need to deal with some of his preprogramming from absentee mama Talia before he dons the mantle. We’re just 5 years out from Golden Age era Batman’s transition to the public domain so hopefully we’ll see Cass burgeon as a character between now and then.

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Not the best example admittedly. Just want to point out that sometimes Bruce just writing a check and doing donations isn’t the most effective course of reform if he isn’t using his influence to push lawmakers to actually restructure their healthcare system or rehabilition programs

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This^^^ :raised_hands:

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It is hard saying a fictional character should do this or that based on real-worls reasoning when a lot of that character’s world is exagerrated. But Batman is often regarded as one of the most grounded and “realistic” superheroes. There are ways for them to achieve actual realistic solutions for large scale problems while still working within the setting of their world

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I can’t remember any comic names but I’m pretty sure he has done that more then once.
but to be honest when I read a comic it’s not the politics that stick in my mind.

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Agreed. Bruce Wayne wields the same level of influence as Bill Gates, Albert Bourla, Jamie Dimon, Safra Catz, and Sundar Pichai (upside here- Bruce isn’t evil like the rest of these ghouls I just listed :+1:). He could very easily be affecting more needed change in Gotham’s infrastructure and investing more heavily in legit pathways for Gotham’s working poor to transition up the class ranks.

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its a fundamental element of multiple batgirls

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These issues that Bruce can help change aren’t political in nature for the most part. These are local sociological constructs that Bruce’s wealth allows him the opportunity to address directly, many of which he can do while avoiding the Gotham political scene altogether.

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cass really should become the lead bat but shes sadly not marketable enough in dc’s eyes
whenever they use her shes almost always in someone elses book or needlessly attached to steph despite steph kinda fitting in as a younger hero that should be on a teen titans lineup or something
(if shes gonna be attached to anyone it needs to be babs
barbara gordon is basically her mother in comparison to the real one she has not a younger hero because cass will then get confused for being a younger hero)

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:raised_hands: :smiley:

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