ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, when it comes to world-famous wisdom and intellect, superheroes don't come much more well-stocked than Bruce 'Batman' Wayne. The untimely deaths of his parents may have caused him decades of trauma, but they also prompted decades of ceaseless study, and a lifelong determination to be the smartest man in every room. In other words? Batman is a very, very smart guy.

That, though, doesn't mean he doesn't - on occasion - make absolutely terrible decisions. He is, after all, only human - and more than seventy-five years of comic-book and on-screen action have given him plenty of opportunities to do some incredible unwise things.

Here, then, are...

10 of the Worst Decisions That Batman Has Ever Made

Not including that suit.
Not including that suit.

Starting with (and in no particular order):

10. He Became Best Friends With Superman

Now, on the surface of it, the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader make a perfect team - with the ever-optimistic Superman providing a perfect foil to the eternally cynical Batman.

That being said, there's absolutely no way that - by the time the Dark Knight is an old, curmudgeonly man - that friendship isn't going to come back to bite Bruce in the butt somehow. After all, nothing says 'bad idea' quite like having an essentially immortal and indestructible best friend who disapproves of almost all of your methods and life choices.

Plus, there was that whole time where Superman basically made Bruce watch weird tentacle aliens have sex. In fact:

9. He Let Superman Talk Him Into Watching Weird Tentacle Aliens Have Sex

It's...just...really not a good call.

It's like Superman is that friend who's always sending you videos of dead animals, and won't stop despite the fact that you don't want to see videos of dead animals, because of course you don't, KEVIN.

Next up?

8. He Routinely Dates Women Who Want to Kill Him

It's a long list, and one that would likely be a whole lot longer if most of the women he's dated over the years didn't die horribly.

Though, on the plus side, he and Talia al Ghul did wind up with an incredibly talented kid. Except, of course:

7. He Made His Own Son into a Child Soldier

Which, in theory, was a...sweet gesture, I guess? It's a funny kind of father-son bonding, but it still probably beats ice fishing or visiting the world's largest ball of yarn. Plus, it was technically Dick Grayson's fault - with Bruce only really rubber-stamping the whole thing. The only problem, then?

As it turns out, allowing your pre-pubescent son to fight crime sometimes results in him being brutally murdered. Now, sure, he eventually got better, but even so: bad call, Bruce.

Then again, it's not all that surprising, seeing as...

6. He Made His Own Army of Child Soldiers

Most of whom have, over the years, grown to resent the fact that Bruce turned them into soldiers of justice at an age where doing so is probably a war crime.

Now, I'm not saying that going against the Geneva Convention is inherently a bad decision,, wait, I am explicitly saying that.

Meanwhile, away from the War Crimes Tribunal:

5. He Allowed Arkham Asylum to Continue Operating

In fact, this technically counts as a multitude of terrible decisions, seeing as pretty much every time Bruce helps to lock away a bad guy - whether in Arkham, or one of the DC universe's multitude of poorly designed prisons for super-villains - they end up escaping, and usually killing a whole bunch of innocents as they do so.

Now, I'm very much not saying he should have killed them - but it might have been worth spending a little less time designing Bat-Boats and Bat-Planes, and a little more designing security systems actually capable of keeping the likes of Scarecrow locked up for more than a long weekend.


4. He Invented Shark Repellent Spray

And, for that matter, an entire range of oceanic repellent sprays, just on the off chance that he was attacked by a whale.

Now, sure, this was 60's Batman we're talking about here - and he wasn't exactly the sharpest Bat-tool in the Bat-shed, but even so: any crime-fighter capable of inventing a full range of ocean-dwelling animal repellents should probably find something more useful to do with their spare time.

I know that crime killed your parents, Bruce, but maybe take a crack at Cancer when you have some spare time, rather than developing new and improved ways to irritate sea-life?

3. He Came Up With a Specific Way For Superman to Kill Him

Which, a) is a bad idea, seeing as Bruce knows there's a kind of Kryptonite that turns Superman evil (not to mention ones that strip him of his memories or inhibitions), making any long-term trust being placed in the hero kind of short-sighted, and b) faintly ridiculous, seeing as Superman will almost certainly throw it straight into the trash while muttering something about being able to lift a quintillion or so tons.

Plus, he came up with plans for how to kill his friends, which is...OK, that's actually smart, seeing as there's a pretty good chance one of them is eventually going to try to take him down on behalf of a United Nations Child Soldiers Taskforce.

Some things are a little more fundamental, though:

2. He Named Himself Batman

With, mind you, the explicit intention of striking fear into the hearts of criminals everywhere.

Which he did by...dressing up as the animal he was most afraid of. Unless Gotham's criminal element were known for their fear of small fuzzy winged mammals, then that logic is really only going to lead to one thing: emotional trauma for Bruce Wayne.

And, of course...

1. He Developed Bat Nipples

After all, let's not fool ourselves - Batman either designed that outfit himself, or approved it when Alfred sketched it as part of a fever dream. Whichever way you look at it, though, Bruce is ultimately responsible for adding Bat-Nipples to his own - specifically designed to be intimidating - Batsuit.

And there is no more poorly thought out decision than that.

What do you reckon, though?


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