Batman may have first appeared in the pages of the comic books way back in the 1930s, but it's fair to say that The Dark Knight has never been more popular. Possibly one of the most famous and popular superheroes of all time, Batman has been consistently at the top of everyone's favorite hero list for decades. Not only has Batman been going for so long but the core of the character hasn't really changed much either.
His tragic backstory, the iconic costume, his mission statement, and pretty much everything about him has not only added to Batman's popularity but has pushed The Dark Knight into a cultural icon as he has passed from a simple comic book character into a legend. Whether it's in the comic books, on TV, or on the big screen, Batman has been a huge part of our culture for generations. However, even with his popularity and god-like status, there are a few things that seem a little too far fetched even for a comic book character, and yet we all choose to ignore it. Here are 15 problems with The Dark Knight that none of us like to admit but we just can't ignore anymore.
15 Too Many Gadgets
We start our list with an entry that has become a real annoyance. When The Dark Knight first started out, he wasn't just a great physical specimen but he also had one of the greatest minds of the DC world. Often being referred to as "The Great Detective," Batman didn't just go around the world learning how to fight, he also used that time to work on his mind. Building up his tactical mind as well as honing his analytical eye and deduction skills.
However, in recent years, both in the comic books and on the movie screens, Batman has relied far too much on his gadgets. Yes, his alter ego is Bruce Wayne, who has a billion dollar company at his disposal and all the toys he could want to fight crime, but the gadgets were never meant to be the point of Batman, they were only there to aid him, not to define him. Nowadays Batman seems to be a lot lazier in his crime fighting and whenever anything becomes too difficult for him, he just pulls out a gadget.
14 Batman In The Movies
For this entry we are talking about Batman in the movies before the DCEU and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, that's a whole separate entry. Given the fact that the character has been so popular for so many years, it's not surprising that Batman has been the subject of many movies over the years. The thing that really doesn't work in the movies is that with each director, and each actor, they don't really know who or what Batman is.
Every single movie has a different Batman that doesn't fit in with any other Batman on screen. Tim Burton and Michael Keaton did a great job, but then that got undermined and destroyed by the movies that followed. Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale revitalized the Batman name in the movies, but then that has completely been undone by the DCEU. If there is one thing we have to give Marvel and the MCU credit for, they do know how to treat their characters on screen and they know how to be consistent. DC should take note.
13 What's The Point Of The Batcave?
Ok, so our next entry is a bit of a silly one on our part, but it's still something that really doesn't make any sense for Batman to have. We all know that the Batcave is cool and all of us desperately want one, just like any child wants a den or a treehouse, and the Batcave is the best den there has ever been. But within the story and character of Batman, the Batcave is not only pointless but it's also a huge security risk when it comes to keeping Batman's secret identity.
Firstly, Bruce Wayne has a mansion where he lives all by himself and surely one of those rooms, or wings, in the mansion could be used as a place to fight crime? Secondly, Batman spends far too much time and resources on his cave that he would be better off using that time to actually be on the streets fighting crime. Then there is the security risk in which if, and when, the bad guys find the cave, not only do they know his identity but they also have access to all of Batman's stuff. When you really think about it, the Batcave is pretty stupid.
12 Batman And Robin
Now we come to the slightly weird and strange world of Batman and his young sidekicks. Once upon a time, a young, rich man would take on a ward, this was someone who didn't have a home so the rich guy would take them in and give them a home and support, which is how the very first Robin came around many, many years ago.
However, over the years Bruce Wayne has had a lot of "wards" and each one seems to get younger. Ignoring the obvious, in which Bruce Wayne is always hanging around with young boys and no one ever asks him about it, Batman, however, is a lot worse. He not only takes these youngsters in, usually because they've suffered a similar loss like himself, but he also forces them to live his life and even gives them a costume and he is constantly putting their lives at risk. In all the years that Batman has been doing this, and all the other superheroes he hangs around with, why has no one ever brought Bruce Wayne up on this?
11 Unrealistic Physical Prowess
The one thing about Batman that everyone knows, and possibly the reason why he's such a popular character, is that he is just a man. Yes, he is at the peak of human condition, his mind is one of the best in the DC universe and he has plenty of toys and gadgets to play with, but essentially he is just a man that wanted to stop crime in his city and to make a difference. This makes Batman endearing as he doesn't have anything special or super about him, he just wants to see justice win and he'll do his part to see that happen.
However, over the years, Batman seems to be getting stronger and stronger, and he is also able to withstand some serious punishment and injuries. Not only can he easily throw full grown men around as if they were stuffed toys, but he can leap from tall buildings better than Superman can. Not only that, but Batman never sleeps and yet he is always on his best form without getting tired, fatigued, or even slow.
10 Bruce Wayne's Psychological State
It's fair to say that Batman has some very serious psychological problems. Having your parents killed in front of you as a young child is not a great start in life to becoming a well adjusted adult. If we ignore the fact that he dresses up as a bat in order to fight crime, Batman, and Bruce Wayne, have even bigger issues that never really get brought up.
As well as not truly connecting with anyone, either professionally or personally, if Batman does make any connections, he will do everything he can to either distance himself from them or even put them in harm's way. Jason Todd is a great example of this. Not only that, but the matter of Bruce Wayne and Batman has been a subject of much discussion over the years; is Batman the mask or is it Bruce Wayne? The answer is probably they both are masks as young Bruce Wayne never dealt with his grief rationally and therefore adopted both the Batman and Bruce Wayne personas in order to get through life.
9 Batman Lasts Forever
It's fair to say that over the years Batman has been through a lot, done a lot, and suffered even more. He famously had his back broken by Bane, he's had to dig himself out of his own grave, he's supposedly "died" several times and he's also faced off against some of the most powerful people in the entire DC universe, like Superman and Darkseid to name the most famous. However, throughout all those incidents, Batman not only always recovers, but he never seems to show any signs of those battles affecting him.
We know that this is the world of comic books and therefore anything is possible and Batman could seemingly live through anything, but Batman is supposed to be a man, not a super being or an alien or enhanced with anything special, just a normal man. Other DC characters, The Flash is a good example, either die or get replaced over time but Batman remains constant. Even in Marvel, the likes of Thor and Iron Man move on or grow old, but not Batman. Nothing seems to stop him, not even death or time.
8 Do You Want To Know My Secret Identity?
Our next entry has two points that make the "secret identity" really ridiculous. Firstly, the very notion of having an alter ego or secret identity doesn't work, especially in the real world. When you look at Batman, and Superman as well, it wouldn't take people very long to work out who they are. Back in the 1930s, a secret identity could have worked, but nowadays, it would take anyone under ten minutes to piece together Bruce Wayne and Batman. This is probably one of the reasons why Marvel gave up on the secret identity thing, except with the likes of Spider-Man, because they knew it was silly in this day and age.
The other point is that if Batman could keep his identity from the world, he constantly undermines that by telling or showing everyone who he is, especially when there's a woman involved. Batman would be better suited to being the Bat full-time and letting go of his Bruce Wayne persona. After all, it's not as if he's protecting anyone, like Spider-Man is. Wayne doesn't really have any friends or family so it's time to ditch the secret identity.
7 He Really Can be The Worst
Over the years Batman has done some pretty heroic things. Whether it's with common criminals or when the world is in danger, Batman will throw himself in to save the day, no matter what the cost to his own life. He's ethical and only wants to see justice given to those who deserve it.
However, over those same years, Batman has also done some terrible things, and more often than not he does it to the people closest to him and those who love him. His treatment of his Robins and fellow Bat Family has been borderline abusive over the years as he's been cruel to each and every one of them. Not only that, but within The Justice League, Batman hangs in the shadows waiting for the heroes to slip up so he can beat down on them and put them in their place. We know that Batman always has a backup plan in case things go wrong, but his treatment of his so-called friends is worse than how he treats the criminals of Gotham City.
6 Breaking His Number One Rule
We all know that Batman is driven by one thing: the death of his parents. That single act drove a young Bruce Wayne to want to spend his life hiding in the shadows of Gotham City in order to rid it of crime, which he has been doing for many years. We also know that Batman has a rule: he won't use guns and he doesn't kill, ever! For someone who spends his life with the worst that humanity has to offer, this a very noble rule and one that connects with fans. The simple reason for his rule is that he doesn't want to become like the criminals he fights, it's his line in order to keep him on the side of good.
That is unless he feels like it or the movie producers do. It's fair to say that Batman has broken his rule a few times, which in itself is very un Batman-like, but even if that act fits the story, why doesn't he ever do it to The Joker? He's had plenty of chances and he's also broken his rule, so why hasn't this happened? Especially after everything The Joker has done to Batman?
5 Why Batman?
So, we know that after little Bruce Wayne witnessed his parents getting murdered, he wanted to grow up and stop the criminals. Once he was back from his world trip and learned plenty of martial arts and how the criminal mind works, he was ready to come back to Gotham City and start kicking some butt. But how should he do this?
There have been a few versions of this in both comic books and the movies; some have him falling down a well and stumbling into a bat cave as a child, which gives him a phobia of bats, others have him sitting in his mansion as an adult as a bat flies in through the window and Wayne thinks "that's it, a bat!" Whichever version you read, having a 6-foot man dressed as a bat running around Gotham wouldn't strike fear into anyone's heart or minds, it would actually make them wet themselves with laughter. If you really think about it, the very idea of Batman is silly and he would have been better off just dressing in black rather than picking an animal.
4 Batman In The DC Universe
We really are taking a step out of the comic book world with this entry, and applying a tiny bit of real world logic. Batman may be one of the greatest crime fighters there has ever been, and when it comes to taking out normal scum, then Batman is the greatest and the best. We're not denying or disputing that. However, when you actually put Batman into the wider DC universe, then he looks a bit stupid and even silly.
We know that Batman is one of the most intelligent characters within the DC universe, but that just doesn't cut it when you have a universe filled with beings like Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Green Lantern. These beings have the powers of gods and any criminal or crime that Batman can stop, they can do it a lot faster and a lot more effectively than he could ever dream of. Batman may be an icon among fans, but making him the centre of the DC universe just doesn't make any sense at all.
3 The DCEU
Since Marvel exploded on the big screen with their MCU, it has shown to the world that not only can comic book movies work and be successful, but it's possible to have a vast universe that works together and spans both the big and small screen without over-complicating or over-saturating the medium. Although DC have been very slow on this notion, they eventually caught up with Marvel and have given us the DCEU.
There are many problems with the DCEU and unfortunately one of the main reasons is Batman himself. This has nothing to do with Ben Affleck, we actually think he's a great fit for Batman in the DCEU, but the character of Batman has been truly messed up. Not only is he happy to kill people, but there's too much complication surrounding Batman that it makes it impossible for the fans to engage with him. We know that the DCEU wanted Batman to be their linchpin in their universe, but in one movie, they've pretty much taken everything from Batman that made him great. We'll just have to see how it all works out in the upcoming Justice League movie, although we're not very hopeful that the problems will be fixed.
2 Will It End?
We've already mentioned on this list that Batman will last forever and no battles, injuries, death, or amount of time will stop him. On one hand, this makes him an icon because he will always be a constant in the DC universe, but on the other hand it never really gives his story any closure or completion. One of the great things about Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy is that it gave the character of Batman an ending. He'd given most of his adult life to crime fighting and now it was time for him to pass the torch to someone else and to enjoy some of his life. To be fair, if anyone deserves to have some relaxation time, it's Batman.
In the comic books however, Batman is one of the few characters that they will never give an ending to, or at least rest for a while. In our opinion, this is becoming a real problem with comic book heroes, especially Batman. His journey and mission will never end as he will always be popular, so he will always continue on through rewrite and reboot, retcon and revamp. The Dark Knight will never get to rest.
1 "Because I'm Batman"
The number one entry on our list of problems with Batman, has got to be one of the most annoying trends in comic book history. In recent times, Batman has become such an iconic figure that he can seemingly do anything. He's put into situations that a man like Batman should never be in, and more than that, he always comes out on top. That in itself is annoying but the character of Batman is never given any explanation for the things he does, the only thing that we get is a shrug and "because he's Batman."
That phrase alone has become an unofficial catchphrase of The Dark Knight and anytime anything happens that is seemingly impossible, the fans and the writers just put it down to him being Batman, as if that's an answer. Well, it's not. In fact, that catchphrase has gotten so big and so ridiculous that Batman himself, in Lego form, even mocks it. It's fair to say that Batman needs to take a step down from his "god-like" status and start keeping his feet on the ground and go back to realistic crime fighting.