The Bat-Family’s Most Important Member Isn’t Batman, It’s Bruce Wayne

July 19, 2022 0 Comments

Spoiler warning for Batman #125!,There has often been a conception that Batman’s real “mask” isn’t that of his cowl, but that of Bruce Wayne. He’s not a billionaire playboy who plays dress-up as this brooding, stoic, terrifying presence that evokes fear within the streets of Gotham. Batman, the product of a man still traumatized from watching his parents shot dead in front of him as a child, is his true personality. Bruce Wayne is the real character he plays.,More recently, Bruce Wayne has taken a backseat in Batman’s life ever since losing his fortunes as a result of the Joker War. In that arc, the central villain had stolen $100 billion worth of the Wayne funds for himself. By the story’s end, Catwoman was able to steal it back and give it to Lucius Fox, but Fox was never able to return it to his friend out of fear of a suspicious government. Without the funds that made the Wayne family name into a household name in Gotham, Bruce is broke and, therefore, largely ostracized from the bulk of the billionaire world.,Related: Batman’s Father Is Secretly the Biggest Threat to All of DC’s Realities ,Readers get to see the ramifications of the Joker War on Batman’s social life and, most importantly, his psyche in Batman #125 by Chip Zdarsky and Jorge Jiménez. Losing his friends and social life offers Batman more time to be Batman, growing much colder and harsher in the process without much time away from the mantle anymore. “It’s amazing how quickly social invitations dry up when your bank account loses a few zeroes,” Batman scoffs, showcasing his bitterness. “It’s freed up time to do the job.” The Bat Family grows concerned and Tim Drake’s Robin takes notice. “Ever since you lost your fortune, it feels like you’re never just…Bruce Wayne, you know?” It comes off as the story saying that as much as being Bruce Wayne presented a public image for Batman, it at least gave him a break from being Batman. Being Bruce Wayne was the only thing keeping Batman from losing his humanity and fully committing to his war on crime. Not being Bruce Wayne has left some negative effects on both himself and his relationship with his family.,After Robin is shot in the line of duty, Oracle expresses in a conversation that Bruce still hasn’t visited Tim in the hospital. Batman is lost and he knows it, but he can’t even communicate that to his loved ones. When asked about how he feels about being framed for The Penguin’s death, Batman shrugs it off as if he’s fine, but expresses in an inner monologue that he isn’t. He’s grown completely detached. Perhaps he wouldn’t be so detached if he wasn’t so far removed from being Bruce Wayne now. Being Bruce Wayne was always more than just his birth name or a cover-up for his nightlife. It’s a reminder of who he is behind the cowl: human, first and foremost. It is through Bruce Wayne that Batman recognizes his limitations and recognizes when he needs help or guidance from his family.,Without that reminder and with more time instead to moonlight as The Dark Knight, Batman is forcing himself to carry weight by himself as if he’s working all alone all over again. As a result, he’s visibly pushing his loved ones away. Perhaps he feels compelled to salvage something in himself now that he’s lost Alfred, his money, and his reputation all in a short span of time. Perhaps he doesn’t want to lose those who are still left in his life. In any case, the further Batman pushes away from Bruce Wayne, the further it’s pushing the entire Bat Family apart., Next: Batman’s New Writer Unleashes The Dark Knight’s Greatest Weapon,Batman #125 is available now from DC Comics!