Comic strip critiques Batman’s odd logic


#1

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#2

You just had to spoil it for everybody, didn’t you?


#3

It’s not like Batman really goes after muggers or, for that matter, small time crooks. Not regularly, anyway. He goes after people who are outside the system, not a product of a bad economic system that creates disparities. He goes after after people who wouldn’t be helped by an improved education system, better infrastructure, and more equal wealth distribution. He goes after real criminals.


#4

Although Batman revisionists argue that the insane costumed criminals of Gotham are more often than not created indirectly by the Batman.

In a normal city, someone with a severe mental illness might seek treatment or become a recluse or turn to drugs for self-medication. In Gotham, constantly seeing a man dressed like a bat swinging from the rooftops, they invent their own equally crazed personas.


#5

Batman kind of makes me angry.

You’re a charismtic zillionaire, Bruce, you could enter government, win elections, and do the hard work of changing Gotham so that crime is cut off at its source - prevent other kids from suffering the same fate that you suffered by removing the need for the poor to try and mug the rich, to level the clearly insane wealth disparity there.

And Gotham - and Batman himself - is in desperate need of actual qualified mental health professionals. Again, charismatic zillionaires could EASILY create a functional mental hospital not run by incompetently evil boobs (Arkham) and Bruce should seek services himself, he’s clearly not beyond this childhood trauma.

But no, instead you want to play out this crime-fighting fantasy of yourself being the sole savior of a city that you deliberately keep terrorized, using your gobsmacking wealth to fuel the violence that never actually fulfills you, in a chaotic death spiral that leaves no one any safer and just prolongs the suffering of this dying city. You don’t want to save Gotham, you just want accolades for living in a power-fantasy alternate version of the past where you save your parents and yourself, but they are dead and a great way to honor their memory would be to do things that actually change the city for the better, you knob.

Though I guess most superhero logic is dumb when examined in depth. :slight_smile:


#6

Gotham never gets better for long - crime is not actually caused by evil.


#7

I thought part of Batman’s schtick was that his parents already tried to fix Gotham “the right way” by using their company and money to help the poor.

So their son figured that was a waste of time, and decided to try punching things.

If Batman ever has a child, I wonder what their take on the situation will be.


#8

Batman did target key individuals in an attempt to disrupt organized crime in the Nolanverse movies, with pretty big success - if the Joker or Bane hadn’t shown up in the 2nd and 3rd movies, he and Gotham PD would have essentially wiped the streets clean of its endemic gangs (and it’s implied they did, with a peaceful 8 years between Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises). He’s not just wasting his time on random criminals.

On a side-note, but we need to clear up the whole “root causes of crime”. People often conflate poverty with causing crime, but the actual connection upon close examination is weak. The booming 1920s and late 1960s/early 1970s were periods of high and increasing crime, while crime rates actually dropped significantly in the Great Depression. And crime has consistently dropped since the early 1990s in the US despite economic conditions and poverty rates. But even if Bruce getting involved could cause fewer kids to go into crime, that doesn’t help you with the criminals you have now. They need to be deterred, detained, and if possible rehabilitated.


#9

Gotham seems to differ from the real world in a variety of ways, all of them resulting in a more dramatic variety of crime and punishment. I don’t think that it’s necessarily so much that Batman created these villians per-se, but instead that both Batman and the Batman villians are the result of a society in which those who rebel against the system do so while wearing bright green tights and masks.

Keep in mind that, depending upon which continuity you’re talking about, Batman didn’t create the Joker. A lot of these enemies ended up dressing and acting flamboyantly on their own. All of them have enough money to produce strange super-weapons and elaborate traps. Every major player in a Batman story is a mentally ill billionaire with a strange obsession and an axe to grind.


#10

He did, and his son was insane.


#11

Link to comic: http://wondermark.com/939/


#12

One word: Prohibition. 1st alcohol, and later recreational drugs. We create our own crime waves.


#13

Hey, who says comic books aren’t realistic? Change it to millionaires with a few billionaires thrown in and that sounds like the GOP!


#14

Batman certainly has an odd sense of logic, but it works out surprisingly well in solving crimes.

Who can forget the scene from Batman: The Movie when he and Robin brilliantly (and accurately) deduced that Catwoman was involved in the exploding shark trap because it happened at “sea” and “C is for Cat! Catwoman!”


#15

Its comics boys and girls. In the real worlds we fight crime with ever-increasingly militarized police forces and burgeoning bureaucracies…

Maybe a bat suit or two would help.


#16

It may be worth noting that in the comics, the Wayne Foundation is a major charitable institution, and Wayne Enterprises is a major employer with very good wages and benefits, including lots of things like scholarships for employee dependents.

This usually only gets brought up when one of those two entities intersects a villainous plan, of course, but it is a well-established background element…probably because this is an issue that’s concerned some writers in the past.


#17

Exactly.

While this is kind of an odd interpretation, I view the most important thing about Gotham, culturally, to be that it leans more libertarian than reality. The police forces are ineffectual not because the criminals are many in number or particularly clever, but because every notable criminal has significantly greater personal wealth and resources than the entire police force. Vigilantes pop up on both sides of the fence, none of them worried about exposure, because none of them can reasonably expect to be apprehended by police. Gotham is a city with twenty or thirty Bruce Waynes, and a million people getting the equivalent of a meter maid’s pay.

(For the other side, look at Metropolis. Superman was originally a socialist superhero, and I feel like despite the many years of retcons and changing social mores, Metropolis is still more equitable.)


#18

Wondermark is a truly splendid thing.


#19

That’s not completely Batman’s fault, IMO. Bruce’s son is named Damian Wayne, and Damian’s mother’s and her family aren’t exactly normal. Damian’s grandfather on his mother’s side, Ra’s al Ghul (“The Demon’s Head”), is the leader of the League of Assassins and has been for a couple centuries thanks to the Lazarus Pits.


#20

Wait. Wut.

TALIA IS BATMAN’S AUNT?!