- Bruce Wayne's billionaire status has crumbled in the latest DC comics, leading to a drastic transformation for Batman.
- Batman's wealth and playboy persona have been a perfect cover for his crime-fighting activities, but now that he is broke, it raises questions about his identity as Batman.
- Batman's legacy includes iconic stories in films and comic books, with his public and secret personas being a core reason for his popularity.
In DC’s latest comics, Bruce Wayne’s billionaire status has crumbled. As his fortune dwindles to nothing, our hero continues to undergo a drastic transformation. However, can we truly call him Batman when he’s broke, lacks Alfred’s support, and remains detached from the Bat Family?
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‘Playboy’, ‘business tycoon’, and ‘vigilante’ are some of the words to describe one of the comic book’s most enduring characters. The Caped Crusader has been a staple in pop culture for so long now that it’s hard to imagine a time when Batman wasn’t plastered on posters, featured on television, movies and filling up the pages of the most successful comic books.
Batman has garnered an impressive legacy of fascinating stories in films like the Dark Knight trilogy and famous comic book stories such as The Long Halloween, Batman: Year One, A Death in the Family and more. Bruce Wayne’s wealth and playboy escapades are a perfect foil and cover for his antics as a crime-fighting crusader. This contrast between his public and secret persona is one of the core reasons he has lasted so long as a popular character.
As well as the excitement of seeing Bruce become a dark knight and fighting crime, it is the thrill of seeing him and his Bat Family work together to stop Gotham’s worst criminals, such as Joker, Bane, and the Riddler. On his own, Batman is more than sufficient to engross any reader in whichever book her appears in. Still, with the addition of fabulous sidekicks like Robin, Damien, Nightwing, Alfred, and the rest, readers have a glut of fantastic characters supporting Bruce to make his story one of the most pre-eminent, a consistent top pick for legions of comic book readers.
Tinkering Too Much With The Formula
With the constant release of bi-weekly and monthly comics, there is bound to be a constant need to find a new and fresh angle for Batman or any other famous figure within comics. Sometimes, however, evolving the character and his storylines can go too far, where someone like Batman can lose the elements and features which set them apart and make them compelling.
In these last years in storylines, such as the City of Bane, The Joker War, and The Gotham War, Batman has been stripped of much of what made him compelling. In reading these stories, the character is portrayed as a husk of his former self. Alfred’s death in the pages of 2019’s City of Bane was shocking, but many readers have been taken aback that Alfred has still not been resurrected somehow, even after such a long time.
Without Alfred’s moral support and guidance, Bruce has become too isolated despite having Selena and others to talk to. His private and personal engagements with Alfred are when the character is at some of his most exciting and compelling. Without this mirror provided by Alfred, Batman is a diminished figure on the page.
When Days Are Dark, Friends Are Few
The drama within the Bat Family is another tangent that has left some readers scratching their heads. There was always tension within the family, but recently, in Catwoman and The Gothan War, relations hit a breaking point with the team divided and split apart, warring against one another.
Without his team and family surrounding him, Batman could be okay, but Alfred’s absence and theirs combined is a bridge too far, too bleak as Batman’s journey becomes. Vandal Savage added salt to Bruce’s wounds when he took ownership of Wayne Enterprises and bought Wayne Manor. Our beloved hero, Batman, is now a pauper, broke and without his close friends and family.
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Batman must keep evolving, and his stories must stay relevant and exciting. Still, with all these radical changes, the character and what makes him compelling have drifted too far from crucial elements which have made him enjoyable. These alterations to the lore are acceptable in the short term and with small amounts, but tinker too much and for too long, and the character we all know and love disappears.
Has Batman become a shadow of what he used to be? What are your your thoughts on Batman being broke?