Now, when it comes to being a dark, shadowy and all-around mysterious hero, there's really no one better than Batman. After all, Bruce Wayne has long since taken being a curmudgeonly, martial-arts trained billionaire orphan and turned it into an art-form.
For many fans, though, the distinctly straight-laced Batman's mysterious side also provides an intriguing - and effectively unlimited - supply of opportunities for speculation. In other words, there're few better sources of fan theories than Batman, short of Area 51 and the Moon Landing.
Here, then, are six of the best we've come across as they floated around the internet.
1. It Turns Out Batman's Voice Is Like That for a Reason
Y'know, like this:
Otherwise known as 'husky to the point of sheer insanity,' as it has been in pretty much every movie appearance so far, but especially in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy.
The thing is though, if one particular fan theory is correct, that isn't just the result of Bruce Wayne having a thing for silly voices - it's a means of protection.
Y'see, rather than Bruce putting the voice on at all, that gravelly voice could well be the work of a voice-modulator, built into his suit. As a result, anyone listening to Batman speak would hear only a distorted version of his voice.
Which, hey, works for Stephen Amell's Arrow...
2. Bane Was on Batman's Side in The Dark Knight Rises
Now this one's a little too lengthy to explain in full - you can read more about it right here - but the general gist of it is this:
Bane wasn't actually a villain - and was instead working against the League of Shadows the whole time, as part of his elaborate plan to give Batman a reason to be once more. So, all of his slightly ineffective attempts at killing Batman - including leaving him unguarded, and allowing him to escape? That was all part of the plan...
Which kind of makes his death at the end a monumental screw up on Batman's part, when you think about it.
Speaking of which:
3. Bruce Wayne Dies at the End of Nolan's Trilogy
That's right - remember that whole sequence at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, where Alfred runs into Bruce Wayne and Seline Kyle hanging out in Italy?
Well, according to one fan theory, that's all in Bruce's long-time butler and confidante's head. Instead of surviving the explosion at the movie's conclusion, y'see, Bruce actually dies - as seems far and away the most likely outcome - and Alfred simply imagines seeing him, as a way of softening the pain, and making his (earlier-mentioned) dream come true.
After all, how else would anyone have ever been able to keep Bruce from putting the Bat-Suit on again? I mean, he's Batman, for crying out loud.
Heading back to The Dark Knight, for a second, though:
4. The Joker Knows He's in a Movie
Or, at least, that's one popular theory as to why the villain is able to survive (and thrive) so improbably.
Y'see, so the theory goes, when The Joker says things like:
He's not actually just being kind of a weird dude, he's actually revealing that - like the audience - he knows exactly how things are supposed to go.
Similarly, there's a reason why he's always talking about there being a plan:
It's because he already knows what it is - because he's seen this movie before.
He even goes so far as to all-but tell Batman:
Not that, y'know, Bruce listens. He's great at fighting crime and all, but listening? Not really his strong suit...
In the animated series though:
5. None of Batman's Villains Actually Exist at All
Instead, as one theory puts it, each member of Batman's Rogue's Gallery is actually just a different facet of Bruce Wayne's disturbed imagination, presumably dreamed up in a psychiatric ward somewhere, after he failed to get over the deaths of his parents.
The Penguin represents the dangers of wealth, Two-Face his desire for (but lack of belief in the existence of) justice , Mr. Freeze his cold, orphaned heart, and The Joker the complete insanity - and, crucially, chaotic nature - of his new-found, post-parental world.
Or, in other words? It was all a dream...
Finally, though, and my personal favorite:
6. Robin Is an Assassin...Trained to Kill Batman
Yup. That Robin.
This one's more of a comic-book-themed one - since it relies on the comic-book canon notion that Batman has come up with ways of defeating all of the Justice League, including himself.
The contents of that box, though, according to this theory?
A picture of this guy:
Who, the logic goes, has been specially trained by Bruce to take him down should the need arise. After all, why else would the naturally un-trusting Bruce Wayne keep a succession of small children around as sidekick's, sending them on their way when they reach adult-hood?
Rather than sidekicks, then, Batman's Robins have been emergency safeguards - a last line of defense should Batman go rogue, or off the deep end. Whether they knew it or not, they weren't there to help him fight crime (which, let's be honest, he could - and later did - train grown adults to do) but to learn Bruce's weak points, and become his executioner should he ever go too far.
Which...kind of puts the movie Robin in a whole new light too, huh?
Maybe we shouldn't have made fun of the guy so much after Batman & Robin...