Batman is one of the world’s most famous superheroes. However, maybe "superhero" isn’t really the right word to describe him. After all, Bruce Wayne is just a man. Regardless of what Suicide Squad #22 implied, Bruce Wayne isn’t a meta-human. He does have control and access to a very large company with vast resources though. Wayne Enterprises has a finger in every single major industry that you can think of. There’s even a Wayne Entertainment Division creating music, TV shows and movies. Perhaps somewhere in the DC Universe there’s a movie about Bruce Wayne? It’s likely. And this Entertainment Division is actually where Lois and Clark’s pay checks come from, since Wayne Entertainment actually owns The Daily Planet.
But with all those resources, Batman has a tendency to overspend. His gadgets and suits are always the highest quality and made with the latest (and sometimes futuristic) technology. Across the movies, TV shows and comics Batman has had some incredible inventions in his utility belt. But they will really take a chunk out of his bank account. He’s wasted a lot of money through his adventures. We’ve delved into Bruce’s spending during his career as a vigilante and a playboy, and we’ve found 15 times that Batman has wasted millions.
15 SHARK REPELLENT
Yes, shark repellent is our first gripe with Batman’s spending problem. We first saw Batman make use of his shark repellent in 1958's Batman #117, as he uses it to scare an underwater alien beast away. Adam West then used it in the 1966 Batman movie to see off a shark that was about to explode. And even though they came in handy, knowing Bruce Wayne, he’ll have spent a lot of money funding the production of Bat-Shark-Repellent.
He’s not used it in any major stories since then. That’s a lot of time and money spent on a spray to only use it twice. Plus, since he usually hunts criminals and evil-doers in Gotham City, when did Bats even think he’d need to use it? King Shark might occasionally cause him a few problems, but shark repellent would probably just annoy the giant villain instead.
14 BAT-SCUBA SUIT
Everyone knows that Batman has had plenty of costume changes over the years. Some suits he wears again, some never get a second fight. One of those is the Bat-Scuba Suit. Wouldn’t it be easier just to buy scuba gear? Not when Bruce has to fight Orca (a woman crossed with a whale… don’t laugh). The black and white suit allows him to use his full strength to fight her underwater after she attacks a billionaire’s yacht looking for a priceless jewel.
The kicker is, even after their fight, Batman lets Orca escape. She ingests the full formula that turns her from a woman to an orca to stop her dying from a gunshot wound. But Batman lets her escape and then in a later story she turns up murdered. Looks like he won’t be using the Bat-Scuba Suit any time soon.
13 WAYNE-POWERS ENTERPRISES
In the future, Bruce Wayne fails to stop a takeover of his company by Powers International and Wayne-Powers Enterprises is born. Whilst it helped Gotham transform into the futuristic Neo-Gotham in Batman Beyond, Derek Powers used the company to create illegal weapons and sold them to terrorists and other villains in the DC Universe. Powers passed on the role of running the company after he had emerged as a radioactive supervillain.
Even then, his son followed in the criminal’s footsteps, even trying to have Bruce killed. Bruce eventually managed to get control of his company back. But the biological weapons were already in the hands of questionable people. The damage had already been done -- illegal weapons sure are a waste of company funds, Mr. Wayne.
12 TELESCOPIC MISTAKE
Oh Batman & Robin. It’s a piece of cinematic history because it’s so infamous for being terrible. Whilst it’s a little sillier than the most recent versions of the Dark Knight, it saw Bruce really cause problems for himself. Wayne Enterprises are technically responsible for Mr. Freeze’s short-lived reign of icy terror over Gotham when they present a huge telescope that catches the villain’s attention.
Victor Fries transforms the giant object into a freezing device that turns Gotham white over. This is the worst case scenario of how a press conference can turn out. A supervillain takes over and makes everything really cold. Maybe Bruce should make Wayne Enterprises think forward a bit more, since they get attacked by supervillains with an evil plot every other week.
11 KRYPTONITE SPEAR
Yes, it killed Doomsday. Yes, Batman and Superman effectively saved the day together by using it. But the creation of the spear seemed completely over the top. The gigantic laser used by Bruce to carve the weapon could’ve probably been quite useful in fighting Superman AND Doomsday if Bruce had thought that through. But even Bruce making the spear seemed odd.
Instead of using the priceless kryptonite to make one spear, why not lace his plated armor with it, meaning his fight with Superman might’ve been a little easier. It seems like a waste of a priceless alien mineral to make just one weapon. Knives maybe? Batarangs? Kryptonite-tipped Bat-Ears? Nope. Bruce should’ve done some concept ideas first. Then again, the spear isn’t really the biggest problem in Batman v Superman.
10 THE HOTEL
During Christopher Nolan’s highly praised Batman trilogy, Batman Begins saw Bruce attempt to balance each of his identities. Spending more time in the public spotlight as the billionaire playboy the media loves, but also relentlessly going after the criminal underworld of Gotham. At one point, he takes a couple of models out for a meal, both the women decide to start swimming in the pool.
When a manager attempts to ask them to leave, Bruce simply buys the hotel and says there are ‘some new rules’. It’s a funny scene, but a waste of his bank account. Really, he’s only doing it to annoy the manager, rather than for any gain. Although he instantly regrets it when Rachel Dawes walks in and sees him with the two models. Silly Bruce.
9 PARTNERING WITH LEX LUTHOR
A Wayne/LexCorp partnership? That’s something we never thought we’d ever see. The two businessmen are so similar, and yet so radically different at the same time. During the animated Batman & Superman: World’s Finest movie -- Bruce partners with Lex on a drone project. The drones were supposed to just be used for scouting and surveillance purposes.
Until Lex created military versions of them on a huge scale, intending to sell them to the highest bidder. The heroes face off against some of these giant drones as they cause havoc. That’s millions of dollars that were poured into research and creation wasted because Bruce didn’t investigate Lex a little more first. Luckily, Luthor gets what’s coming to him. Should’ve done your research before getting into bed with a supervillain, Bruce.
8 NOT REINFORCING ARKHAM
It’s a little general, but why doesn’t Bruce put more money into securing Arkham Asylum? After the numerous breakouts, riots, deaths and even destruction at some points -- surely the thought has crossed his mind. Simply look at how many times The Joker has escaped. It just seems unrealistic (in a world where a man fights crime dressed as a Bat) that Bruce wouldn’t use some of his near-unlimited funds to help actually keep the criminals locked up.
The damage they’ve all caused across the years either directly or through masterminding others is astronomical. Arkham should really be a fortified castle given some of the criminals it houses. In some of the more recent versions, it’s a modern prison but it’s lack of security has been the cause behind plenty of breakouts.
7 FIGHTING THE JOKER
Think of how many plots The Joker (and sometimes Harley) has come up with to cause a headache for the Dark Knight since his creation. He’s featured in hundreds of stories, and has become a pop culture icon in his own right. But, the amount of resources Bruce will have had to use to constantly keep foiling his schemes must be astronomical.
The gadgets he’s created, the suits, the vehicles, the cures for Joker Venom and flights to various countries alone must have hit a huge dent in the Wayne funds. Logically, Bats should’ve put him down. We don’t mean kill him, but incapacitate him in such a way where The Joker could no longer cause mayhem, or maybe *ahem* reinforce Arkham. Although then we wouldn’t have been given classic storylines like “Death in the Family”, “The Killing Joke” and The Dark Knight film.
6 NOT SECURING WAYNETECH
The last film in Christopher Nolan’s incredible trilogy of Batman films pitted the Caped Crusader up against Bane. Tom Hardy showed us the villain wasn’t just all braun and no brains in The Dark Knight Rises. The masked brute hit Bruce at every vulnerable spot, his heart, his city, his arsenal and most importantly, his wallet, as part of his scheme involved leaving Wayne Enterprises in a physical and financial wreck.
When the company is taken over by John Daggett, Bane steals all the Tumbler vehicles and all the weapons from Applied Sciences use against Gotham. With the soldiers now running Gotham and patrolling the streets with Tumblers, they cause mayhem and destruction that will surely leave the city in dire financial position when it gets back on its feet. If Bruce hadn’t kept most of his toys in one place, the problem might not have been as bad.
5 WAYNE ENTERPRISES RUN BY THE COURT OF OWLS
Bruce really needs to keep an eye on his company a little more than he does. During the Gotham TV series, Bruce uncovers a conspiracy behind the doors of his own company. It turns out that a division of Wayne Enterprises has been experimenting on people to see what powers they can create and if they can raise the dead.
When Bruce digs even further, he discovers that his father was aware of all this going on, and that that company is being run by the Court of Owls. Bruce Wayne can’t even keep control of his own income. All the villainy done by the Court has been done under his name. Although to give him credit, he is a teenager in the series, and isn’t exactly Batman-level yet, but that's still his money.
4 CELL PHONE SONAR
Batman seems to have a habit of creating gadgets for a singular purpose and then completely getting rid of them. Well, in The Dark Knight, the cell phone sonar is no different. He’s secretly created software that turns every single phone in Gotham into a radar that he can use as a visual tool to find The Joker. It’s all well and good until he lets Lucius Fox destroy it in the interest of privacy.
You know, the program might’ve found Commissioner Gordon a little faster in The Dark Knight Rises. Or it could’ve been vital in finding the nuclear bomb at the end of the trilogy. But no, Bruce lets it get destroyed because Lucius was worried what else it might be used for. We’re not mad Bruce. We’re just disappointed.
3 THE KNIGHTFALL PROTOCOL
Okay, spoilers for those who haven’t played through the entire story of Arkham Knight. But it has been out for a few years now, and it pulls various ideas from Batman’s long history together. At the end of the game, Batman is unmasked for all of Gotham to see, and after he defeats Scarecrow, Bruce returns home. However, he uses the ‘Knightfall Protocol’ after he’s saved Gotham.
When Bruce and Alfred walk through the mansion doors, the entire building erupts in a giant fireball. We don’t properly see the pair after that, so it’s implied they’re killed. (Although we do see a bat-like figure attack two muggers in an alleyway.) That’s an entire mansion and possibly the Bat-Cave destroyed. How many dollars had Bruce poured into building his base of operations? Easily a few hundred millions.
2 CLEAN ENERGY REACTOR
Remember that time that Batman made a nuclear bomb? In The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce creates a clean energy reactor that Bane steals and repurposes into a nuclear bomb. This allows him to hold Gotham hostage, and can do what he likes. The entire thing is Bruce’s fault. If he hadn’t been so ambitious with saving the world, his city might not have been ransacked by Bane, his soldiers and its own citizens.
The ending of the film might have been completely different. Bruce wasted his company’s resources and money with good intentions but just ended up creating a giant mess of things. Plus, it’s almost comical, seeing Bruce’s flying vehicle ‘The Bat’ carry the bomb out of the city. Maybe he gave it a name, Bat-Nuke anyone?
1 JUST BY BEING BATMAN
Don’t get us wrong, Batman is a fantastic character. He’s provided some of the most intelligent and thought-provoking stories in comic books for a long time. The name, the origin, the mythos and the villains are all so famous across the globe. It would be hard to find someone who didn’t know how Batman came to be. But, he sure does rack up some expenses in his crimefighting ways.
Author Thaddeus Howze worked out that the total cost of being Batman comes up to $682,450,750. That’s just to buy everything, the training, the building of his mansion/apartments, paying Alfred and so on. Can you imagine the size of his electric bills? It’s a good job that Wayne Enterprises has a dozen different offshoots, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to afford the vigilante lifestyle for very long. Although we’re not complaining, much.
Can you think of any other instances in which Bruce Wayne wastes money? Let us know in the comments section!