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7/15 – Curious Cat Asks…

A CBR thread inspired me – we all know that Batman can be kind of cold-blooded at times, so I ask – what is the worst thing that Batman has ever done?

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70 Comments

Appeared in a Joel Schumacher movie

I thought not springing Sasha Bordeaux out of prison at the beginning of “Bruce Wayne: Fugitive” was pretty harsh.

Enticed a small child into his home and indoctrinated him in his beliefs, grooming him to one day replace himself as a self appointed judge of the people. If he was a mormon the FBI woulda been all over his ass years ago.

Well, there’s the obvious “allowed the Joker to keep living” answer. [One can probably find more than one instance of him actively saving the Joker’s life, in fact.] But by his own bizarre code, leaving the KGBeast to die would probably be the top problem.

Splint Chesthair

July 15, 2009 at 11:36 am

Spending a lot of his free time coming up with ways to kill his best friends and closest compatriots.

Allowing Kelly Jones to draw him for years.

Keeping files on how to take down his JLA teammates and then actually implementing his plans against his trusty cohorts when Ras Al Gul kidnapped his parents corpses and threatened to dip Bruce’s mommy and Daddy in the Lazarus Pit.

one punch.

Cheers,

B

@Brian – This is the worst thing he’s ever done, not the best.

Second Prize: Bat Dance
First Prize: Nipples on the batsuit.

Neglecting the whole Brother Eye/Maxwell Lord issue (as well as refusing to let other superheroes help him with it) until it exploded into Infinite Crisis. I’m pretty sure the number of people who were forceably turned into Omacs is an order of magnitude greater than the number of people the Joker killed.

Talia al Ghul

There’s worse examples, but since no one’s mentioned it yet:

Telling Superman that the last time he inspired the world was when he died.

“am

Keeping files on how to take down his JLA teammates and then actually implementing his plans against his trusty cohorts when Ras Al Gul kidnapped his parents corpses and threatened to dip Bruce’s mommy and Daddy in the Lazarus Pit.”

That’s not what happened. Ra’s stole the plans and implemented them himself.

But Batman did shoot a guy who was sleeping once.

Curious Cat, you munificent mog, might I add a qualifier:

“What is the worst thing that Batman has ever done in a goodcomic?”

And I answer! Almost Giving People Rabies (Batman: Year One, Miller/Mazzuchelli).

(somebody think of a better one, stat!)

//\Oo/\\

Are we talking mainstream Batman, or can we add stuff like TDKR?

Kirk, thanks for the chuckle!

Cheers,

B

His behavior in “All-Star Batman & Robin” is pretty despicable. Not a hero by any stretch of the imagination, IMO.

Leaving the KGBeast to die was pretty bad.

The OMACs were idiotic.

I can believe that Batman would have plans to take out his fellow JLAers, but not that his plans would be torture his friends. Waid should’ve specified that Ra’s Al Ghul made modifications to the plans to make them more vicious.

Not wearing a condom when he slept with Talia wasn’t one of his shinning moments.

Probably your mom.

I feel like Batman calling a a ten year old boy a retard after he just saw both his parents murdered is pretty high up there.

The Joker has killed way fewer people than Victor Zsasz. Zsasz has carved a tally into his skin and is always shown with the marks covering his skin.

On that note, I’d say the worst thing he’s done is end up in the hands of writers who turn Batman’s villains into a mass-murderers, making us think that Batman is doing something wrong by not executing said villain without due process.

that would be a tall order from letting the joker keep on living to keeping plans like a gang war and ways to take down his comrads not to mention the Omac’s plus being intimate with Talia with his mask on. but the topper leaving the kgbeast to die in his prison

Letting that crazy guy “masquerading” as a terrorist in the UN shoot himself in the head in Justice League International #1

The Joker has killed way fewer people than Victor Zsasz. Zsasz has carved a tally into his skin and is always shown with the marks covering his skin.

That’s what, maybe a thousand marks if we’re being generous (which would make him the most successful serial killer of all time by roughly an order of magnitude and ignores the fact that at least one issue implies that he includes dead animals in his marks)? Given that the Joker kills hundreds of people at a time at his most gruesome, it’s not hard to imagine him having more kills than Zsasz.

Leaving the KGBeast to die was pretty bad.

Actively rescuing the Joker is worse.

Not wearing a condom when he slept with Talia wasn’t one of his shinning moments.

Are you kidding, that’s one of his best! Condoms are for chumps and sex tourists.

Besides, she looked clean!

Condoms are for chumps and sex tourists.

Besides, she looked clean!

I’m sure you’re at least partially kidding, but still, fucking ew.

Along the lines of “Tower of Babel”, developing plans for “War Games” and leaving them around for any random sidekick to put into motion wasn’t his most shining moment. For that matter, the whole master tactician thing seemed to really bite him in the ass with those two events and OMAC.

And leaving the cowl to the brainwashed avatar of a cult’s holy figure wasn’t the brightest move, especially when his grown up sidekick was available. I’m sure Superman would have covered him for a smoke break if he’d asked nicely…

As I recall, he and Talia were married when they slept together(Son Of The Demon). I mean, who wears a condom on thier wedding night?

The OMAC situation is FAR worse than Tower Of Babel if for no other reason then HE SHOULD HAVE LEARNED HIS DAMN FOOL LESSON THE FIRST TIME!

And by the way, the child he and Talia made was not Damien. She made him in a lab. The child they made by “conventional methods” was given up for adoption without Bruce’s knowledge. It’s about time someone dug him out. Perhaps he was named Terry and raised by the McGuiness’?

As I recall, he and Talia were married when they slept together(Son Of The Demon). I mean, who wears a condom on thier wedding night?

Wait…he got married?

Okay, that’s the worst thing he ever did. Did he at least get a prenup?

Perhaps he was named Terry and raised by the McGuiness’?

Oh God no. Nothing is worse than when subpar fanfiction story ideas make it into canon.

The wedding was without his consent and only bound by law in a country that Ra’s ruled at the time. Even still…

@T

Why would he get a prenup? Talia Al Ghul probably has more money than him.

Why would he get a prenup? Talia Al Ghul probably has more money than him.

No her dad does. And thanks to that Lazarus pit she’ll probably never inherit it!

Breaking like five dudes’ necks in the first year he ever appeared in comics and then saying shit like “A FITTING END FOR THAT GUY”

When did it become the norm for Joker to kill someone in every single storyline he appears? Just curious.

If we can wrap up Batman’s entire involvement with the Robin/Spoiler relationship into one deed, then that’s one’s the worst.

-Revealing Tim’s identity to her without his consent
-Making her the new Robin in some sitcom-esque plan to make Tim (who had quit) come back
-Firing her after her first mistake (or something…I don’t remember it well, but it was fairly harsh)
-Going to her deathbed without informing Tim that she was even dying
-“Suspecting” she was alive the whole time and never telling Tim

” Telling Superman that the last time he inspired the world was when he died. ”

But isn’t honesty, in fact, the best policy?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm

And that’s not mentioning the time he drank a little too much Bat-juice and got a little overly familiar with her…

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 15, 2009 at 4:33 pm

(The above was at Sean, but Nitz rudely jumped in before I hit send!)

Bernard the Poet

July 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm

For (at least) the last forty years, every single Batman story has started the same way: Batman swings down to Commissioner Gordon. He receives some plot exposition and disappears. Gordons shakes his head and says, ‘Damn, I’m never going to get use to him doing that’.

Now would it kill him to say, ‘Bye, Jim’. Good manners cost nothing.

Hugging an underage female Robin while he was naked(TDKR).

Morisson had him abandon the “Shaggy Man” (general Eiling) on a tiny rock in space.

I remember a Batman annual in which some dude in a wheelchair was systematically knocking off members of a racist cult responsible for his mother’s murder. When all was done and said, Bat’s mentor, detective Harvey Harris, wound up killed in the crossfire. Our vengeful perp left no evidence linking him to the aformentioned crime, thus avoiding prosecution. But that didn’t stop Batman from busting into his house in the middle of the night annually, throwing him into his chair, wheeling him out to Harris’ gravesite, and making listen to all the gory details.
Again, probably not the WORST thing he’s ever done, but maybe the worst thing that no one has mentioned so far?

Worst thing he has done? Not kill that little f&&& who claims to be his son.

And after pulling all that Spoiler-related crap with Tim, then going ahead and ADOPTING HIM!

Were there some plans to turn Batman into a Shakespearean tragedy?

Which, by the way, Tim’s what, 16? Isn’t it a bit…weird…adopting a teenager who had a (sometimes distant, but hardly deadbeat) dad up until two years before he’s legally an adult? I mean, I can see the legal sense it might make – Tim would have access to Bruce/Batman’s resources if Bruce ever died (like that would ever happen – wait, whaaa?), but now even Tim’s arguing with himself over whether he should be called Tim Wayne, and arguing with Damien over who Bruce’s “true” son is?

Now that I look at it, I’m impressed by how well Dick is handling all this!

So yes, let’s add “Needlessly screwing with orphaned teens over who gets to be heir to the Wayne family” to the list of Bat-grievances.

Also, @Bob: “The OMAC situation is FAR worse than Tower Of Babel if for no other reason then HE SHOULD HAVE LEARNED HIS DAMN FOOL LESSON THE FIRST TIME!”

I know, right? If Superman had just found it in himself to say this, Batman would never have gotten off that “only time you inspired people’s when you died” crack. Stupid farmboy politeness!

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 15, 2009 at 8:06 pm

The VERY worst thing that Batman has ever done was to disappear after the FINAL CRISIS, allow the world to think he’s dead and let other do the work he’s supposed to be doing in his name.

Just a theory.

;-)

Ninjagodzilla

July 15, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Good thread.
Theres a book called The Philosophy of Batman including debates about whether he is responsible for the murders of the JOker ect.

“Hugging an underage female Robin while he was naked(TDKR).”

I’m surprised DC hasn’t made a statue of that yet.

(Bernard the Poet wrote:

For (at least) the last forty years, every single Batman story has started the same way: Batman swings down to Commissioner Gordon. He receives some plot exposition and disappears. Gordons shakes his head and says, ‘Damn, I’m never going to get use to him doing that’.

Now would it kill him to say, ‘Bye, Jim’. Good manners cost nothing.)

Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap.

” Which, by the way, Tim’s what, 16? Isn’t it a bit…weird…adopting a teenager who had a (sometimes distant, but hardly deadbeat) dad up until two years before he’s legally an adult? I mean, I can see the legal sense it might make – Tim would have access to Bruce/Batman’s resources if Bruce ever died (like that would ever happen – wait, whaaa?), but now even Tim’s arguing with himself over whether he should be called Tim Wayne, and arguing with Damien over who Bruce’s “true” son is? ”

Bruce did it for emotional reasons, to give Tim a sense of security after the deaths of his Dad and best friend. Probably not the best idea now that Bruce is an Ex-Bat ( ” he has ceased to be! ” ), but at the time he did it because the laws changed so he couldn’t have Tim as a ward like he did with Dick.

Oh, and replacing the Bat-Arangs with ninja stars in DKR. Those looked like they really frickin’ hurt.

Killing off Jack Drake was unbelievably stupid.

And lazy.

And creatively bankrupt.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 15, 2009 at 9:21 pm

What?
You want to read about a Robin who’s not an orphan?
What kind of fan are you?

“Killing off Jack Drake was unbelievably stupid.

And lazy.

And creatively bankrupt.”

Yeah, but this is about the worst things Batman’s ever done, not Brad Meltzer.

Hugging an underage female Robin while he was naked(TDKR).

Naked from the waist up. Only your filthy imagination makes him naked all over.

I remember a Batman annual in which some dude in a wheelchair was systematically knocking off members of a racist cult responsible for his mother’s murder. When all was done and said, Bat’s mentor, detective Harvey Harris, wound up killed in the crossfire. Our vengeful perp left no evidence linking him to the aformentioned crime, thus avoiding prosecution. But that didn’t stop Batman from busting into his house in the middle of the night annually, throwing him into his chair, wheeling him out to Harris’ gravesite, and making listen to all the gory details.
Again, probably not the WORST thing he’s ever done, but maybe the worst thing that no one has mentioned so far?

And that’s a bad thing why exactly?

Great list here, but I’m still voting for Brother Eye. Whereas War Games and Tower of Babel featured abstract terror (“Oh no, this hospital doesn’t have power!” and “Gee whiz, there’s a gangwar breaking out!”), the Brother Eye debacle led to us seeing normal human beings turned into OMACs in order to fight various heroes throughout the DCU. Superman’s on a mission and gets sidetracked? Now there’s a double whammy of blood on Batman’s hands.

…and how in the bluest of blue hells is Brother Eye a good plan, even when it doesn’t backfire?

Not another bad thing, but related: after Batman *finally* admitted how much of a dick he’d become, he goes away *for a whole year* to “cleanse” himself, and how does he do it? Does he track down everyone he wronged and get them to forgive him? No, he visit strange cults, fights imaginary versions of himself, and seals himself in a cave, then marches out and say, “Done! I’m OK now!” Riiiiight…

becoming a real dick in the 90’s

Citizen Scribbler

July 16, 2009 at 10:42 am

Yeah, put down another vote for Brother Eye. And here’s the kicker for me:

The Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) starts putting the pieces together and Batman tell him to F-off and that he’s taking care of it. Then, BB solves the mystery, uncovers the lair of Max Lord and Brother Eye, calls the JLA switchboard for backup- and Batman puts him on hold… … … … effectively leading to BB’s death.

Then Superman prevents Booster from giving Bats the laser shot up the backside he so truly deserved.

-Citizen Scribbler

“Naked from the waist up. Only your filthy imagination makes him naked all over”

Chect out Batman: The Dark Knight Triumphant. Despite the various “covers” used he was clearly naked when hugging Robin. The only thing he was wearing was the sling for his broken right arm.

Disturbing.

He killed a dog in an early ’90s Riddler arc (“Dark Knight, Dark City”?). As a child I found that very disturbing.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm

And that’s a bad thing why exactly?

What form of justice does that fit?

To what end does it serve but to make Batman feel better?

The concept of prison is punishment and rehabilitation – that’s just constant punishment.
It’s taking his vigilantism beyond catching the crooks the cops can’t get, to the level of deciding their punishment as well.

I have to agree with Matthew Craig. It doesn’t seem fair to judge Batman for what he does in shitty comics.

Since it ain’t been mentioned so far, the Super-Sons story by Bob Haney in which Bruce Wayne fakes his own death to fool Dick Grayson, his wife, and his son. Why? Because he wanted to lure a villain out by leaving him a few million dollars as an inheritance.

It’s pretty hard to top Brother Eye, but at least there’s the slightly mitigating factor that all the horrible nonsesne that resulted from that was completely apart from his intentions when building the thing (although the fact that he always seems to be the first and harshest critic of any OTHER hero who screws up but seemed to instantly absolve himself of any guilt over his creation going haywire – unless he beat himself up over that in a storyline I didn’t read – does come across as massively hypocritical).

The worst thing he’s INTENTIONALLY done that I can think of that I haven’t seen mentioned so far was insisting the rest of the JLA stay out of Gotham during No Man’s Land, rather than letting people like Superman and the Green Lantern help, you know, rebuild the city or something.

[…] 7/15 – Curious Cat Asks… (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) […]

Vincent Paul Bartilucci

July 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Guest-starring with Spawn. Twice.

[…] Item 5: Comics Should Be Good asked the fairly simple question, “What’s the worst thing Batman has done?” Currently 66 comments in. Top contenders seem to be “Building a spy satellite to stalk superhero activities, then not feeling all that bad when it goes berserk,” “Telling Superman the last time he inspired anyone was when he died” (which, yeah, harsh, Batman), and a great many variations on the “Toying with the emotional states of teenagers.” http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2009/07/15/715-curious-cat-asks-2 […]

I’d have to agree with joshschr that Azrael’s abrupt ascension to Batman (I didn’t mean to be so alliterative but it is what it is) has to at least be in the top five. All the crazy s**t that AzBats did could have EASILY been not only avoided, but PREDICTED as well. At least with Tower of Babel/Brother Eye you could argue that a control freak like Bruce always thinks he has matters in hand.

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