Batman needs no introduction. He's one of the best-written heroes of his generation and savior of Gotham City. Batman is not only a superhero in his own right, but is also a founding member of the Justice League. In the comics and the movies, the cult of Batman slowly developed. From Playboy by day and a vigilante by the night, Batman became the Caped Crusader.
Batman is not just a superhero but is a larger-than-life icon. However, that is not to say that the superhero hasn't failed his fans. Throughout his career, Batman has done things that very well qualify as failures. More often than not, Batman's failures involve the Joker or one of his Robins.
9 Gets Barbara Gordon Pregnant
In Batman Beyond 2.0, Bruce sleeps with the Batgirl, Barbara Gordon. This is absolutely fine until you learn that Barbara Gordon is seeing Batman's foster son, Dick Grayson. And, to top it all, Batman gets Barbara Gordon pregnant!
As the patriarch of the Bat-family and Dick Grayson's foster father, Bruce should have known better. Not only does he engage in a promiscuous relationship, but he also chooses to confront Dick himself. Enraged, Barbara Gordon takes to fighting a thug on the street and loses the baby. From that day on, Dick and Bruce could never be the same again.
8 Spanks Dick Greyson On Every Birthday
Spanking a foster child on their birthday? Not so Batman-ish. If one had a nickel for every time Bruce Wayne spanked Dick Grayson. On every birthday, Bruce Wayne would spank young Robin. One could argue this was done to discipline the child (back then), but there has to be no reason to do that on every birthday.
In Batman #10, "a strong hand slaps sharply against yielding flesh," are the words. To make matters worse, Bruce does it in the middle of the night, while the boy is asleep: "One for good measure and one to grow." To which the poor boy protests, "what are you spanking me for? I didn't do anything bad?" It is hardly a good measure but a sign of Batman's sadism and masochism. More so, it reflects the absolute failure of the patriarchal Batman.
7 Loses Classified Blueprints
Batman is a man with a plan. The Superhero is blessed with a great intellect that helps him strategize things accordingly. It only helps that Batman, the CEO of Wayne Enterprises has a ton of money at his disposal. Combine the two of these, and you get a pretty damn efficient superhero. However, Batman's paranoia from his experiences in the past leads him to mistrust, quite often.
In this particular instance, Batman's mistrust forces him to devise plans to take down the Justice League, his friends. In the event of League acquiring God-like dark powers, Batman is forced to take this precaution. Batman doesn't implement these plans but locks them in his Batcave, only to be stolen by Ra's Al Ghul. Without further ado, Ghul unsuccessfully executes these plans. Batman losing the plans will always be a self-goal. As the Green Lantern says, "pretty damn dumb."
6 Fails To Save Barbara Gordon
Barbara Gordon, the ex-Batgirl and police commissioner James Gordon's daughter, was shot in the 1988 comic The Killing Joke. She is shot in the spine by the Clown Prince of Crime.
In The Killing Joke, Joker shows up at her house, shoots her in the spine, and renders her paralyzed. Joker removes Barb out of the way to kidnap the prominent Jim Gordon. Although Batman saves Jim at a later stage, he fails to protect Barbara. Her status as a crippled member of Bat-family didn't bode well with many fans and to this day Batman hasn't been forgiven.
5 Fails To Save Jim Gordon
Many would argue that Barb's paralysis and Jim Gordon's torture wasn't Batman's fault. But, come to think of it, Batman had one job—to keep the villains at bay. Batman left his Bat-family without any security after they retired. Knowing very well they could become soft targets, Batman should have acted better.
The Joker didn't attack Gordons because he knew Barb was a Batgirl. He attacked them to torture Jim into losing his senses, to seek Batman's attention. And sometimes being naturally suspicious for Batman fails to work.
4 Loses Damian Wayne
Batman and Talia al Ghul's son, Damian Wayne was raised by the League of Assasins. Damian was the only child of his Batman, the heir to his legacy, if you will. Losing Damian is the single greatest failure of Batman.
Damian was raised with the sole objective to bring Batman down. In Batman Incorporated (2012), Damian comes-of-age, despite his upbringing and decides to follow his father's footsteps. Talia, unable to come to grips with the reality, creates a clone of Damian. This full-grown adult is called Heretic. He despises Damian since the very beginning.
As Heretic imprisons Batman, Damian leaves the Batcave to save his father. In a fight, Damian who is unable to match Heretic's might is pierced in the heart with a sword. Ouch.
3 Fails To Save Jason Todd
Remember the (in)famous time when Joker beat Jason Todd to death with a crowbar? In A Death In The Family 1988, fans voted for Jason Todd to die. So, DC chose to plan it the traditional way—Batman's failure.
In a one on one with Batman, Joker abducted Jason Todd and beat him to death. As if that weren't enough, Joker bombarded the building where he left Jason to die. Batman himself admits to his failure in protecting Todd.
2 Fails To Save Tim Drake
In the broader picture, Batman has constantly failed to protect his Bat-family. In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, the canonical timeline has fast-forwarded. Bruce Wayne is shown as an old and frail man, aided by his new Batman, Terry McGinnis. As Joker is reborn in the story, fans get a horrific flashback of Tim Drake.
It is revealed that the Joker put Tim Drake through prolonged torture that killed his soul and turned him into another Joker. He then asks Tim Drake to kill Batman at gunpoint. As diabolical as that sounds, poor Tim Drake is left to decide between the devil and the deep-sea. Although he flexes his gun at the Joker, he breaks down while doing so. In the usual 'despicable-me' tone, Bruce blames himself and calls it quits.
1 Created The Monster In The First Place
The Killing Joke and Joker's account of the past are enough references to prove the point. An average guy dresses up in the red hood, who is willing to fight the mob, which is reason enough for Batman to confront people on the bridge. As Batman walks up to the guy, he falls down into a vat full of chemicals. And voila! The Joker is born.
Joker had to be born at Batman's hands because he is Batman's antithesis, and that is why almost all of Batman's grave mistakes involve the Joker.