Despite not having any superpowers, Batman is one of the most popular superheroes in the world. For more than 75 years, Batman has dashed across rooftops and chased down some of the toughest criminals inside the DC Universe. Not only does he take on street level criminals like Firefly or Kite Man, but he also helps the Justice League take on universal threats like Darkseid and Barbatos.
No matter how many good deeds Bruce Wayne performs as a philanthropist or as a vigilante, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Batman has done quite a few sketchy things over the years. In addition to doing sketchy things, he is able to get away with a lot of things, even some illegal activity, simply because of his reputation in the superhero community. The character is clearly a hero, but that doesn’t mean he should be immune from repercussions whenever he breaks the law. If any one of our readers did half of the things Batman has done on this list, they would likely be stuck in jail for a very long time. Stop looking behind you and come learn about sketchy things Batman can get away with because he’s Batman.
KEEPS A HUNCHBACK IN THE CAVE
Despite the fact that Batman has a huge, costumed family that helps him wage his war on crime, he has a reputation of being somewhat of a loner. A full grown man who dresses around like a bat and punches people to get his anger out, Bruce Wayne certainly acts like someone who doesn’t have a big support system around him. It turns out, Batman has more people supporting him than many fans may be aware of.
Harold Allnut is a genius engineer who knows how to develop advance tech and electronics. Unfortunately, Harold suffers from a physical deformity that is very similar to a hunchback. As if that’s not sad enough, Harold is also mute and unable to voice his frustration with the world. After rescuing Harold from the Penguin, Batman invites the mute to live in his basement and serve as his personal mechanic. Harold is excited about the opportunity and aids the Bat-family on their mission by designing new costumes and making batarangs. It sure is nice that Batman saved Harold’s life and inspired him to sacrifice his own time to fight for good, but it’s still pretty sketchy that Batman just lets this guy live in the batcave year-round.
DEVELOPS PLANS TO TAKE DOWN THE JLA
Batman may be a cold, distant guy, but he truly cares for his teammates on the Justice League and considers most of them to be his friends. Each and every one of them have put their lives on the line to save one another and it’s clear they all share a deep bond. Unfortunately, no matter how close Batman is with the people around him, he’s still a deep cynic who can’t help but prepare for the worst.
The master tactician he is, Batman has laid out strategies and methods for how he would take down any member on the Justice League in case they turn evil or are being controlled by a dark influence. While this is a smart thing for the logical hero to do, it’s also kind of a bad move. His plans ended up getting into the wrong hands during the “Tower of Babel” storyline and Ra’s Al Ghul was able to defeat the Justice League one member at a time. His teammates may have forgiven him, but it’s unlikely anyone forgot the torture they had to endure because of Batman’s twisted plans. If any other member of the Justice League had developed these plans, they would have likely been kicked off the team, but since Batman is such an essential member the rest of the superhero community just swept this incident under the rug.
SITTING ON THE MOBIUS CHAIR
During Geoff Johns’ epic storyline “Darkseid War” that saw two of the strongest villains in the DC Universe, Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor, fight every member of the Justice League was impacted. Batman himself ends up sitting in the Mobius Chair, an artifact that once allowed the New God Metron to access every piece of information in the universe. Since Batman is such a naturally inquisitive person, he lets the power and influence of the chair’s secrets get to his head. Instead of heeding the advice of his friends to give up the chair, Batman lets the influx of information go straight to his head.
Instead of relying on his old codes of justice, Batman completely changes the way he looks at the world. Now that he has the power to see when people will commit crimes in the future, he starts stacking the Gotham prisons full of people who haven’t done anything. Gordon confronts the hero and says that he has to keep letting all of these prisoners out, but their relationship remains intact moving forward. Ultimately, the information gets to Batman when he starts learning the answers to questions he should have never asked, but he finishes leaves the whole situation without even a slap on the wrist.
ENGAGED TO ONE OF HIS OLDEST FOES
Batman may look like a young man, but he’s been fighting crime for nearly 70 years. Over his long career, Batman has faced numerous villains, many of whom have come back to Gotham to repeatedly challenge the Caped Crusader. After clashing so many times, most of his foes resent Batman because he constantly foils their plots and sends them back to Arkham Asylum. Despite the fact that they have fought countless times, Batman and Catwoman have always had a special relationship.
Under the direction of writer Tom King, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle finally took their relationship to the next level. Instead of simply hooking up and then ditching each other for months at a time, the two of them finally admit to being in love with one another. Catwoman assists Batman on his mission to stop Bane and the hero even lets Catwoman in on one of his most shameful secrets in the “War of Jokes and Riddles” storyline. As it currently stands, the love birds are currently engaged to be wed, but it’s shocking that the rest of the superhero community is just okay with one of the leaders of the Justice League marrying a villain who has fought the team in the past.
ALWAYS KEEPS KRYPTONITE ON HIM
Batman and Robin may be the dynamic duo, but Batman and Superman have likely saved the Earth more than any other two-person team in the DC Universe. Two key members of the Justice League, Batman and Superman, may have different personalities, but they have total respect for each other and both have similar views on justice. Everyone knows Batman is a distrusting guy, but he has faith in his friend to do the right thing and help him out when he is in a jam.
Despite the fact that Batman loves and trusts Superman, he always keeps a kryptonite ring on him in his lead-laced utility belt. Sure, there is a chance Superman may temporarily be mind-controlled by a villain and put Batman or innocent civilians in harm, but this seems like an extreme measure. Since Batman has a reputation of being a cold warrior who relies on logic more than emotion, it makes sense that the Caped Crusader would take any precaution he feels is necessary. But, if anyone else on the Justice League felt that they had the right to keep kryptonite on them at all times, the issue would likely be addressed in the next League meeting because it makes Superman uncomfortable.
LAUNCHING VILLAINS INTO SPACE
Over the course of Grant Morrison’s epic-Batman saga, he repeatedly reintroduced and upgraded villains from the Golden and Siver Ages to create the illusion that all of Batman’s career existed on a single timeline. Originally, Death Man was just a goofy villain who used specific yoga poses to fake his own death and create the illusion of resurrecting himself, but in Batman Incorporated Morrison retooled him as Lord Death Man, an immortal villain who is a much deadlier threat than his campy predecessor.
Batman may say he’s against killing people due to the traumatic death of his parents, but he has no problem torturing his opponents. Instead of putting the immortal villain in the ground, Batman ties Lord Death Man to a rocket and sends him flying off into space. The Caped Crusader tells the foe that he is sentencing him to a “fate worse than death,” signaling that he’s being as malicious as possible. If a cop was caught tying a gang member to a rocket and sending him into space, he would likely have charges brought against him or be released from the force, so Batman shouldn’t be able to do it either, no matter how evil Lord Death Man is.
MAKING AN AI SATELLITE
After Batman realizes he had his mind wiped by his fellow Justice League members in Identity Crisis, the Caped Crusader isolates himself from the outside world. Alone in the batcave, Batman begins to think that he can only trust himself and starts developing a device that will allow him to monitor events around the world. Since he no longer trusts his teammates, Batman plans on using the machine to monitor both superheroes and villains. To make sure things are always fair and objective, he even develops an AI system that will operate the satellite called Brother Eye. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned for Batman because the system is taken over and starts working to advance someone else’s agenda. To make matters worse, the satellite starts turning random people around the world into emotionless, fighting machines who even target Nightwing, Batman’s former sidekick.
Since the satellite system is ultimately corrupted by Alexander Luthor in the lead up to Infinite Crisis, Batman’s guilt is essentially swept under the rug. The superhero community is understandably more focused on dealing with Brother Eye’s army of O.M.A.C.S. then calling out Batman, but even after the story line ends Batman pretty much gets no grief from his fellow superheroes and still has a spot on the Justice League.
CONVINCE HIS WARD TO FAKE HIS DEATH
Out of Batman’s huge list of teammates and former sidekicks, he and Dick Grayson have the deepest bond. Dick is Bruce’s ward and spent years fighting alongside Batman as the first Robin. After spending so much time together, their relationship starts to sour and Dick ultimately creates his own superhero identity to act more independently. Having a little bit of distance works wonders for their relationship, and the two of them are able to overcome their difficulties. When the world believes Bruce Wayne is dead, Dick stands up and takes over the mantle because he feels it is the right thing to do out of respect for his mentor.
During “Forever Evil”, Nightwing is kidnapped by the Crime Syndicate and has his identity broadcast to the entire world. Dick is tied to a murder machine bomb that can only be dismantled if the hero’s heartbeat disappears, so Lex Luthor seemingly kills the hero, sending Batman into a fit of rage. What the Caped Crusdaer doesn’t realize is that Lex is actually able to bring Dick back and diffuse the bomb. Batman ultimately persuades his former hero to pretend being dead and to join the spy group Spyral as Batman’s eyes-and-ears within the organization. Not only does Batman drag Nightwing back into his orbit, stripping him of his independence, but he keeps the secret from everyone else in the bat-family and lets them go on thinking that Dick is dead.
RAMPAGE THROUGH THE CITY IN A CAR
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD, is a real-world organization that has successfully lobbied the government at various levels to make the punishment for drunk driving more severe. Drunk drivers endanger everyone on the road and very often cause destructive accidents. Batman may not be drunk when he’s operating the batmobile, but the level of destruction he causes on the road is just as scary. Somehow, citizens of Gotham are still okay with Batman driving the massive machine around the city, but if he were a real world vigilante the Caped Crusader would have been called out for how frequently he breaks the rules of the road.
In Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the batmobile might as well be a tank. With a massive gun on the top, Batman shoots down bridges and obstacles when they are in his way without any remorse for the law. During one famous scene in The Dark Knight, Batman even blows up a whole lot full of cars just to clear a path for himself. The movie never mentions whether or not he knew all those cars were empty, the audience even sees a few children sitting alone in another car, so there’s a chance Batman’s need to get somewhere quicker could have resulted in a few unnecessary deaths.
PUNCHING GREEN LANTERN IN THE FACE
Batman may prefer working alone or in small groups, but his experience leading numerous Justice League squads and the Outsiders proves he knows how to operate in teams. In order for a team to thrive over the long-term, the members need to all respect one another so there’s no tension or friction that tears them apart when things get tough.
On the Justice League International team, Batman was essentially the top dog, Martian Manhunter was there, but Superman and Wonder Woman both sat out of this Justice League iteration. Instead of having Hal Jordan or John Stewart, the team got stuck with Guy Gardner, Earth’s attitude filled Green Lantern. Gardner may be good in a fight, but whenever the team is just hanging out he has a knack for getting on people’s nerves. On one such occasion, Batman runs out of patience with his teammate and punches him in the face. Since Guy was caught unaware, he went down after the single blow, something his teammates laughed about. Guy may be a bit of a schmuck, but that still doesn’t mean Batman can just punch him in the face because he feels like it. If another member of the team assaulted a teammate, odds are some kind of meeting or reprimanding would take place.
INVASION OF PRIVACY
In order to keep Gotham City safe from murderous criminals, Batman has a a number of methods that one could describe as illegal. He spends his nights jumping off buildings and punching people in the streets, but his tactics in The Dark Knight may be one of the worst things he’s ever done. To take down the Joker, Batman essentially creates a spy network connected to everyone’s cellphone in Gotham. This technology enables him to hear and see anything near certain cell phones and allows him track down the Joker as he holds the two boats hostage in the harbor.
While it’s definitely a good thing that Batman was able to take down the Joker and save the lives of innocent citizens, he broke the constitutional rights of every single person whose phone he hacked into. As American citizens, every single one of them have a right to privacy, and since Batman didn’t have them download an app and agree to share their data he is breaking the law. Lucius Fox threatens to leave Batman’s side if he doesn’t destroy the machine, but the Caped Crusader doesn’t get in any trouble despite the fact he committed a serious crime that impacts thousands of people.
HAVING A KID WITH A VILLAIN
For a hero who’s dedicated to upholding the law and preserving justice, Batman sure has a thing for bad girls. Not only is he engaged to Catwoman, one of his oldest foes, but he is also the baby-daddy for one of his deadliest rivals. Talia Al Ghul, the daughter of the immortal Ra’s Al Ghul, is just as dangerous and shrewd as her father. A trained killer who cares more about her position in the world than anything else, Talia and Batman once shared a night together while Batman was pursuing her father. For years, Batman thought nothing ever came of their singular affair, but it turns out Talia actually gave birth to a son and raised him in secret.
During Grant Morrison’s first arc on Batman, he introduced the world to Damian Wayne. Damian was raised since birth to be the perfect killing machine and the future leader of the League of Assassins. Eventually, Damian comes to live with his father and try his hand at the heroic lifestyle, but it takes a long time for him to be culled from his killer instincts and learn adapt to Batman’s more merciful style. Batman can do anything he wants, but it’s pretty weird that no one called him out for being with an evil woman whose father has been trying to take over the world for centuries.
BREAKING INTO PRISON
Over the last few years, Tom King has been making a huge splash with his handling of Batman. During the “I Am Suicide” storyline, Batman has to break into Santa Prisca, one of the toughest and most isolated prisons in the world to kidnap the Pyscho Pirate. The Psycho Pirate has the ability to control and manipulate people’s emotions and Batman believes he can help Gotham Girl recover from her emotional trauma (some of which was actually caused by Pyscho Pirate himself). In order to break into the prison, Batman works with Amanda Waller and assembles his own Suicide Squad that he specifically designs to tackle certain threats on the island. Instead of relying on typical team members like Deadshot, Batman turns to his own former rivals like the Ventriloquist and Catwoman to help him accomplish his goal.
While it’s certainly a noble mission, Batman breaks numerous laws just because he wants to help his friends. If a villain broke into a prison to help his friends escape, Batman or another member of the superhero community would view that action as a crime and try their best to stop it. But, since Batman is Batman, he is able to get away with things like this and even has the government turn a blind eye thanks to Amanda Waller’s involvement.
LYING TO EVERYONE
Even though all the members aren’t blood related, every member of the bat-family truly loves each other. After fighting back-to-back over countless missions, everyone has developed a deep sense of trust in the group and looks to Batman to lead them all forward. Sure, Batman may keep things to himself sometime because he’s such a secretive person, but no one in the bat-family expects him to withhold valuable information that jeopardizes any of their safety.
Well, that’s exactly what happened in the “Endgame” storyline written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Greg Capullo. The Joker is back in Gotham City, but this time he’s targeting the members of the Bat-Family in an effort to throw Batman off guard. As the Bat-family talks about the situation and how they will defeat the Clown Prince of Crime, Batman unveils a dark secret that stretches all the way back to his earliest days putting on the cowl. After one of Batman’s first confrontations with the Joker, he discovered a floating Joker card inside the Batcave. This means that not only did the Joker know where Batman was hiding, he also could return whenever he wants. Bruce tells his family that he goes to Arkham without the cowl and confronts the Joker about the card. While he says the Joker didn’t care about his secret identity and only cares about Batman as a symbol, Bruce still revealed deeply personal information that put him and everyone he loved at risk.
DITCHING GOTHAM AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE
Bruce Wayne wears a lot of masks. At times, he’s a pretty-boy bachelor who can call any woman in the city and know he will get a call back. He’s also a business man who runs one of the most successful companies in the world. While he may enjoy both of those labels at times, Bruce considers himself the champion of Gotham City above everything else.
A true hero, Batman has fought countless villains and defended Gotham from all kinds of threats. Despite his positive track record saving the city, Batman decides to completely walk away from his heroic career after a major earthquake hits the city. More than just a slight tremor, the earthquake completely destroys the city and turns it into a chaotic environment. During the earthquake, Arkham Asylum is destroyed and all of the inmates run loose. To make the destroyed city even more uninhabitable, the villains start warring with each other to take control of the area. Instead of helping the police calm things down after the government deems the city a no mans land, Batman decides to stay away from the city. Once he finally returns, Commissioner Gordon confronts the vigilante for staying away so long.
TAKES AND FAILS TO SAVE A LOT OF LIVES
For a superhero who pledged his life to defending the innocent, Batman sure kills or lets a lot of people die. The Caped Crusader supposedly has a self-imposed rule against killing, but he’s been shown killing or allowing multiple people to die. In the Golden Age, the character carried around a gun and even murdered certain villains. Since those comics were heavily influenced by Pulp Heroes who often did kill people it makes sense for the time, but that doesn’t mean other superheroes should have been okay with it. Before the Justice League brought the heroes together, there’s no reason Superman wouldn’t take action after hearing about a strange man dressed in a bat-costume killing criminals.
In the character’s last few movie appearances, he’s also depicted as someone more comfortable with taking that extra step. Instead of saving Ra’s Al Ghul at the end of Batman Begins, Bruce abandons his former mentor on an out of control train, essentially murdering him. Ben Affleck’s version of the character killed so many people that YouTuber Mr.Sunday created a kill-count compilation just to highlight how destructive the Caped Crusader was in Batman v. Superman. Killing people is bad, but that’s not even why Superman tries to stop Batman in the movie. It seems as long as you wear a giant bat-costume, superheroes and local law enforcement will turn a blind eye to your murderous activity.
HIS TOY COLLECTION
Bruce Wayne had a very traumatic childhood. After seeing his parents shot down in front of him at just ten years old, Bruce essentially grows up over night. No longer was he an optimistic, wide-eyed youth, instead he was a cynical individual who put it upon himself to rid the world of darkness. Even as a teenager, Bruce acted like a hard adult who was constantly weary about the world and people around him.
Despite the character’s grim attitude, Batman sure is a big toy collector. Bruce Wayne is a millionaire who can afford to buy himself anything, so if he wants to have a room full of Funko POP!s, no one can judge him. Anyone who’s stepped foot inside the batcave knows that Batman definitely took his toy collection a little far. Instead of having a small room in his house or a minor portion of the batcave house all his toys, the entire cave looks like a museum of random sci-fi objects that ten-year old Bruce would have loved. He’s certainly not breaking the law by having so many toys, but it is a little weird that a man who dresses up like a bat and beats people up at night thinks he needs to have a massive toy collection in his basement.
MAKE ROBIN EAT RATS
The outside world may view Bruce Wayne as a cheery-eyed bachelor with a big heart due to his philanthropic endeavors, but he’s actually a rather grim individual. After seeing Dick Grayson’s parents killed mid-performance at Haley’s Circus, Bruce decides to take the young boy into his home. In All-Star Batman and Robin, Batman essentially kidnaps Dick after the accident and tells him that he’s been “drafted into a war.” To make things even worse for the traumatized kid, Batman constantly insults the boy and locks him in the batcave, forcing him to eat rats to survive. When Batman catches Alfred sneaking the young boy food and clothes, he’s angry that his life-long butler would provide a warm environment for another young boy in need of help.
Sure, Frank Miller’s version of Batman in All-Star Batman and Robin is a tad more brash and misbehaved than other iterations of the character, but still, no one stops the Caped Crusader from essentially physically and emotionally abusing this vulnerable child. The whole world sees Batman swoop out of nowhere and take Dick away from police custody, and yet no tries to take the boy away from him because he’s “the god damned Batman.”
HANGING WITH KIDS
Bruce Wayne is a sharp business man who spends his days arguing in the board room at Wayne Enterprise before getting into his costume to defend Gotham at night as Batman. After the death of Bruce’s parents, the ten year old had a few friends, but he spent more time with his butler Alfred than anyone else. Perhaps it was this overexposure to someone of a different age that made Bruce think it was acceptable for him as a full-grown man to spend so much time with kids.
Every single person who has put on the Robin costume who has been a minor who legally can not make decisions for themselves. These kids aren’t even allowed to go on a field trip to the museum without their parents signing a permission slip for them, and yet they are out fighting crime in Gotham City every night. As if putting kids in danger isn’t bad enough, Batman also has his young partners parade around town in some gaudy, bright costumes. Instead of giving the boys a cool costume that covers their entire body like Bruce’s own suit, he has them run around in an outfit that leaves the young sidekicks exposed to danger.
LOITERING ON PUBLIC PROPERTY
Bruce Wayne’s whole crime-fighting career started because one desperate man broke the law and killed his parents. This traumatic event sent the young Bruce on a life-long journey to train his body and mind so he can best take down anyone who would harm others or break the law for selfish reasons. Ironically, Batman himself breaks numerous laws when he’s out defending Gotham City. Not only does he brutally assault people, something any one of us would be sued and likely arrested for, but he spends countless hours loitering on public and private property.
High above the city, Batman spends his nights perched on gargoyles so he can observe the city and quickly move across town if he spots trouble. This may be a convenient tactic for the crafty hero, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is loitering on property that doesn’t belong to him. Sure, the few times he’s perched on a Wayne owned building it’s okay, but he’s still breaking the law whenever he’s chilling atop a building. If some random person was on top of Wayne Tower or any other skyscraper in Gotham City, the police would be called and the individual would swiftly be confronted for his presence.
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