“Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
Yes, Alfred, you’re absolutely correct. However, you’re also old, senile and willingly aiding a masked vigilante who suffers from the lack of regular sleeping patterns and has experienced numerous head traumas – so perhaps your words of wisdom are actually more reflective truths about your Master Wayne? The DC Universe got it all wrong, because, in actual fact, the Batman is loopier than the Joker.
- He Doesn’t Take Vacations
Burnout is serious. If you don’t take proper precautions and a bit of downtime, you might start losing your rag and lash out at the people who don’t deserve it. Sometimes, you might just take out all your frustration on a harmless drug peddler, beating him black and blue out of sheer frustration and anger. Ahem. Sound familiar, Batman?
Our friend the Joker often takes time for some R&R – even if he is just laying low at his little villa in Arkham, playing cards and sipping beers with his broskis Penguin and the Riddler. He understands the importance of rejuvenating the mind, body and soul.
- He Solves All His Problems with Violence
Batman is a serious psychopath! How often does he just swoop in, drop smoke pellets and roundhouse kick everyone to Hell without even saying, “Hey, dudes, I think we should all chill and just take five here”? What if it is all just a giant misunderstanding and he has gone and made the situation worse? The Joker doesn’t use excessive violence, unless it’s completely necessary – in fact, he hates fighting and gets others to do it for him instead.
Much like the wife-beating uncle, who starts throwing fists before communicating what is really in his heart, Batman believes that violence is a solution to all problems. Dreadful.
- 8. He Trusts a Cop from a Corrupt Department
Isn’t it ironic how all the corrupt cops seem to come from Jim Gordon’s force? No, seriously. For such a supposed stand-up guy, he consistently attracts scum, such as Arnold Flass and Anna Ramirez, into his life. Maybe Jim’s just a poor judge of character, or maybe he’s just a sly, old fox paddling in the corruption pool, trying to look all innocent… What if Commissioner Gordon hasn’t always been outright forthcoming about the extra cash for that nice, big plasma screen at home?
Yet, Batman trusts him with his life. He even gives him a giant Bat-Signal, with probably a Wayne Corp logo at the bottom, so that Jim can summon him whenever he needs him. Heck, seeing how gullible Brucey is, Gordon probably has Batman on Whatsapp, too. I’d imagine a conversation to go something like this:
Gordon: “Hey Batz, 2 Face says he’s gonna getcha!”
Batman: “ROFLMAO. Harvey is such a kidder!”
So, let’s get this straight: Batman trusts someone who can arrest him for breaking the law and also runs the second most corrupt organisation in the world (you can figure out the first one for yourself). Yeah, somehow this doesn’t sound legit.
- He Encourages Other People to Lie For Him
And it isn’t even little white lies! Look what he has made Lucius Fox do. The poor man, who is obviously just following his employer’s instructions and worried for his livelihood, has to hide and shift around money at Wayne Corp for Bruce’s private projects – sorry, folks, but that’s illegal and a criminal offence. If it was any other member of the Forbes 500, we’d be watching them being dragged over the coals on Fox News.
On a personal level, Alfred is often instructed to lie about Bruce’s secret whereabouts, so that he can have an alibi. For someone who is supposedly fearless, he is scared of facing the truth.
- He Spends His Evenings with a Teenage Boy
No. Just no. This is an advert for all the wrong sort of things. A grown man, dressed in rubber or leather, should not be spending evenings alone with a young, scantily dressed teenage boy in his car; it is just wrong and sends out a bad message to all the weirdos out there. If you have to ask why it’s a bad idea, you should hand yourself over to the police immediately.
Look at the Joker’s example; he is a clown and he hates teenagers just as much as any respectable adult. Sounds like a functional member of society to me.
- He Reveals His Identity Way Too Easily
How many people know that Bruce Wayne is Batman? Robin, Alfred, Batgirl, Talia al Ghul, Ra’s al Ghul, Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher, Christopher Nolan… Man, this list is already too long for someone who is so intent on protecting their identity. Let’s face the reality here: Bruce is terrible at keeping the Batman gig a secret and is subsequently endangering the lives of so many people for whom he cares for (Joel Schumacher being the notable exception here).
Look at the Joker: How many people actually know his real identity or where he comes from? (Ignore Tim Burton’s Batman; that Hollywood origin doesn’t count.) NO ONE! Not even his fellow co-workers/henchmen are able to lay a complaint of unfair labour practice against him, because he keeps his identity and personal home address hush-hush. In Batman’s case, if he slips up paying Alfred’s wages, don’t be surprised if Mr Pennyworth appears on Oprah with a story to tell.
Make no mistake: The Joker knows how to keep a secret. He’s so good at it that you can’t even send him a birthday card, because his date-of-birth is a total mystery to even his mom. I don’t know about you, but if I needed to confide in someone and tell them a dirty little secret, I’d seek out the Joker before Batman, because Bats just comes across as a blabbermouth.
- His Partners Are Underage
You do know it’s illegal for underage children to be put to work? Gotham is not a shoe factory in Indonesia – it’s is supposedly a first world city – so, tell me, why is Robin up way past his bedtime and doing work for Batman when he should be sleeping, doing homework, or smoking pot like every other teenage boy his age?
Also, have you noticed how once Batman’s partners reach the legal age, Bruce shoves them to the curb (or, in the case of Jason Todd, “accidents happen”)? Something smells real fishy and points to Bruce not wanting to register them as official employees. Hmm…
- He Is Emotionally Unavailable/Has Daddy and Mommy Issues
The Joker isn’t spending Valentine’s Day alone; he’s got Harley Quinn at his side and seems to be able to handle the ups and downs of a serious long-term relationship. Bruce, on the other hand, usually spends V-Day with, well, Alfred.
Even Bruce’s legal ward, Dick Grayson, is all suited-up for the day and charming the pants off Batgirl and/or the Huntress. And, just like Bruce Wayne, he’s an orphan, too? But you don’t hear him whine and sulk over his parents’ death 24/7; he has dealt with life’s cruel blow and is now out there in the dating game like any ordinary single man. Whereas Bruce just seems like the guy who’ll burst into tears after a one-night-stand.
- He Splurges Money like a Rapper
Bruce is a billionaire. A BILLIONAIRE! Which means one thing: the IRS is watching him like a hawk and noticing where all of his money is going. However, Bruce doesn’t seem to worry, spending carelessly like he’s Coco with Ice-T’s credit card. Not only does he have a Batmobile, but he has a Batpod and Batplane, too (none of these items are tax-deductible, by the way) – plus all the latest technologies, including the iPhone 6s, and the water and lights bill for his secret Batcave, which is unlikely to be powered by solar energy or a generator.
Come on! Why doesn’t he just send a card to the Department of Treasury saying “Come at me, bro”?!
On the other side of the coin, there’s the Joker, who has a little nest-egg that he keeps stashed away for rainy days, only occasionally using some funds to purchase the odd illegal weapon and the Twilight Blu-ray boxset for Harley – but you don’t see him waving around his money, so that the biggest evil known to mankind, i.e. revenue collection services, will be hunting him down! He’s far more sensible with his cash and not all gangsta like his splurging homie Bruce Wayne.
- He Was Portrayed by George Clooney
The biggest tragedy of the Batman universe is that Bruce Wayne/Batman was portrayed by George Clooney in Batman and Robin (arguably, the second worst film of all-time, just behind Mariah Carey’s Glitter). Batman probably wasn’t able to go out for weeks, due to the fear of being laughed at for the Batsuit nipples and bulging crotch. Heck, he must’ve felt the same way as Brandon Routh since Superman Returns…
At least the Joker has been portrayed by 2 Academy Award-winning actors… That’s all I’m saying.