Fans know Batman is the coolest hero. But even The Dark Knight can make some really bad calls -- especially throughout his movie career.
As great as his recent run of films starring Christian Bale and helmed by director Christopher Nolan were, the hero we need and deserve right now could do with mastering some better decision-making skills.
From leaving a kid to care for a very traceable piece of tech, to breaking Alfred's heart by faking his death, here are nine of the Caped Crusader's most notable face-palms.
Leaving a Piece of Easily-Traceable Tech With Joffrey
Maybe if Batman knew that the kid he gave his telescope/binocular gadget to would one day grow up to be "Game of Thrones'" Joffrey, he would have thought twice before handing over his tech.
Sure, Bruce Wayne was just starting out as the Caped Crusader, but he should have been smart enough to see how bad of an idea this is. This kid lives in The Narrows, of all places -- Gotham's equivalent to "Slumdog Millionaire" territory. That kid's story plays out like this: Runaway-turned-hood who makes his living ripping off Flass' falafel vendor. And when that already-shallow well dries up, he's gonna run to eBay and turn Batman's present into easy money.
The Dark Knight is just one "Buy It Now!" sale and serial number away from blowing his secret identity.
Totally Not "Looking Into" The Joker's Calling Card
Roughly six months transpires between "Begins" and "Dark Knight," and despite Batman's promise to Gordon about looking into the man who leaves playing cards at crime scenes, Bats totally dropped the ball on that.
You'd think he could have found some sort of lead on a guy who sports war paint and facial scars, with a penchant for explosives and outfitting his crew with clown masks. At least Google him or something...
THE DARK KNIGHT
Hiring Coleman Reese
It's confounding how Wayne failed to smell the high-level of douche-ocity on this guy. You'd believe a man could dress up as a Bat and fight crime before you'd ever believe Reese would get past the phone interview process.
As Lucius Fox pointed out to the greedy attorney, blackmail was the wrong way to go after learning your boss moonlights as a face-pummeling vigilante dressed as a bat. Maybe Wayne's next step after firing Reese should be overhauling Wayne Industries' HR department.
Hosting Harvey Dent's Fundraiser
If you ever receive an invite to a shindig hosted by Wayne -- just kill it with fire.
After assembling Gotham's elite for a champagne and hors d'oeuvres fest at his penthouse, Bruce left them at the mercy of Joker -- only to return (somehow unseen) dressed as Batman.
Then he decided to pull a Peter Pan onto a taxi cab with Rachel -- and presumably move on with his day, as we never see him return to his pad to make sure Joker didn't turn his guests into chalk outlines.
Less learning the ways of the League of Shadows, Bruce, more eHow-ing basic party etiquette.
Bat Sonar, Round 2
"Batman Forever" is the last experience one should want to replicate. Yet, Bats decided to reunion tour with that film's signature tech: Bat Sonar.
Sure, he was able to save innocent lives in the process, but not before enduring repeated blows to the head from Joker. What kind of tech is worth becoming a CAT Scan technician's nightmare?
At least he avoided a repeat of the Bat Nipples...
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
Leaving His Batsuit to Someone For Whom It Doesn't Fit
Bruce Wayne may say that Batman is meant to be a symbol, that anyone -- in theory -- can be Batman. Nevermind that he spent most of the first film in the trilogy, and some of the second, proving that, nope, that just ain't true. Just ask the hockey pad-wearing Brian Douglas, a seemingly former shift lead at Sbarro-turned-masked avenger who learned that lesson the hard way.
If anyone can be Batman, why did Wayne have to travel to a training center attached to the side of a snowy mountain, and fight Liam Neeson on a frozen lake?
And last time we checked, Wayne's heir to the Bat-pod is a beat cop half his size, with no distinct technical know-how or great detective skills. He just has a really cool pad, complete with concealed work stations and a plastic closet for the suit that doesn't fit him, and the gadgets he doesn't know how to use.
Gotham might be more secure if Paul Blart was on the case.
Inventing an EMP Gun... That's a Bust After One-Shot
If Batman's shiny new EMP weapon did any less work, it would be the triangle player in your high school marching band.
Apparently Bats got the memo about this gun's limited use, too, as it fails to make a return appearance for the rest of the movie.
Worst. Parties. Ever.
Who is in charge of security at Wayne Manor? They need fired and put on a no-hire list.
This is a trend that started in "Batman Begins," which saw a guy named Ra's Al Ghul somehow gang entry to Bruce's birthday with a half-dozen incognito ninjas in tow. ("Incognito Ninjas" is the name of my new speed metal band, FYI.)
The same "security experts" were seemingly brought back for the fundraiser Wayne threw for Harvey Dent in "TDK," which they protected none-percent of. They were then retained for the party that kicks of "Dark Knight Rises," the one with the most lax screening process ever if Selina Kyle can get a gig as a member of the serving staff.
If Wayne wanted to figuratively set fire to his money like this, he'd be better off having Joker literally do it.
Tricking Alfred Into Believing Bruce is Dead
If you didn't cry while Alfred sobbed at Bruce's grave, grieving aloud about how much he failed his charge, then you're some kind of wrong person.
After pulling a "Batman '66" and flying a bomb out to sea before it detonated, Bruce Wayne faked his death and left poor Alfred a tearful mess. The only thing worse? Showing up to the one café in Europe the former butler goes to for peace and quiet to pour salt on the wound.
Alfred seemingly took it all in stride, nodding and toasting with his glass as if to say "no biggie." When in reality, you know the real reason Alfred was cool with it was because, in that moment, he realized the joke was on Wayne.
Because the best karma for the guy is spending the rest of his days Lonely Planet-ing around Europe with the woman who stole from him, then betrayed him to a back-breaking, 'roided-out asthmatic. That fate makes death seem like a Golden Age.