Batman has been known as a symbol of justice in Gotham city and the surrounding DC landscape over the course of his many years as a costumed vigilante. Still, there have been times since his first appearance over eighty years ago that Batman was significantly less than heroic.
Batman may have become a symbol that criminals have learned to fear, but Bruce Wayne has remained as fallible as any other human being in the DC multiverse. He may have become the hero that Gotham needed, but his personal life is almost as big a mess as the streets of Gotham. This article will exclude all versions of Bruce that were introduced alongside the dark multiverse because those evil deeds are simply too numerous.
10 He Almost Killed Alfred
Throughout the course of his eighty years spent under the cowl, Bruce has pushed towards the edge time and time again. However, during the events of The Batman Who Laughs mini-series, Bruce is, perhaps, pushed to the furthest point in his career. Not only does Bruce eventually purposefully allow himself to succumb to the effects of the Joker toxin, but he loses control to such a degree that he nearly strangles Alfred to death when he won’t give him back his new toy (a visor made from Nth metal just like the Batman Who Laughs).
9 Abused His Fiance
While Bruce Wayne has made a name for himself as one of Gotham’s most eligible bachelors and playboys he finally gets engaged to the lovely Silver St. Cloud. However, like most things with a man that dresses up as a bat at night to beat up people, things just aren’t that simple.
Not only does Bruce become extremely paranoid, but he also accuses his fiance of being a robot(?) and after becoming increasingly unhinged he grabs her by her hair and yanks out a strand in order to test his theory. Yikes. Bruce, buddy, pal, compadre….do everyone a favor and just go see a therapist, dude.
8 Hanged A Dude From The Batplane
Batman has been serving Gotham (and the world at large) for over eight decades now. And while he has more recently become a hero associated with never picking up a gun and never killing anyone, the beginning of his hero career isn’t so squeaky clean. In fact, some of it is downright awful. During the events of Batman #1, Hugo Strange escapes from prison and injects some “escaped lunatics” with a drug that essentially turns them into giants. These mentally ill giants are harder to take down that Batman expects, so in order to put a stop to one of them he hangs the dude from the Batplane. Cold-blooded, Bats. Cold-blooded.
7 Uploaded A Virus Into Cyborg’s System
Batman has abused the trust of his teammates on the Justice League time and time again. However, in the Injustice timeline, Bruce singles out Cyborg specifically.
Though Cyborg makes it clear that it would have been impossible for Bruce to crack his latest firewall updates, that’s when Cyborg finally understands just how devious and insidious Batman really is. Batman may not have been able to crack the latest firewalls, but he wouldn’t have needed to if the virus had been installed when they first met. Yikes.
6 Left KGBeast To Starve To Death In A Sewer
KGBeast is one of Batman’s more impressive foes. Not only had KGBeast been able to give Batman one of the greatest beatings of his lifetime, but more recently he’s also been able to shed Dick Grayson of most of his pesky memories by using a bullet-lobotomy. From the way that he’s put a thrashing on the Bat and the Bat-family, one might think that he had a grudge or something. Well, anyone thinking that would be correct. Unwilling to deal with KGBeast, Batman once left him locked up in a sewer and seemingly left him to starve to death in filth.
5 Brother Eye
After discovering that Zatana and several other heroes have been wiping the minds of villains in order to reprogram them as more agreeable members of society, Batman’s mind is wiped so that they may continue. However, after the group comes clean to Batman about what they’ve done, the ever-suspicious Bat does what any endlessly paranoid Bat-themed hero would do and build himself a giant sentient spy satellite to aim at the various members of the Justice League.
While it does work for a while, the system is not as safe as Bats would have liked to think and it is eventually taken over by Maxwell Lord who uses the tech for his own insidious plans.
4 Impregnates Batgirl
In the Batman Beyond timeline, after Dick leaves for Bludhaven, Batman and Batgirl get a little too friendly on a rooftop and Batgirl ends up pregnant. What’s more messed up about the whole situation is that not only is Batman in a position where he could easily take advantage of the young Batgirl, but he does so knowing full-well that Dick and Barbara were in a relationship at the time. When Dick finds out what Batman has done, they inevitably have a horrible falling out and don’t speak to each other for a very long time.
3 Lord Death Man’s Exile
During the events of Batman Incorporated #2, Batman, Catwoman and a young man named Jiro Osamu are on the quest to avenge the Japanese superhero, Mr. Unknown. Their journey leads them to the elusive and immortal Lord Death Man.
Though Batman is typically against killing, that shouldn’t be a problem considering that Lord Death Man is incapable of actually dying. The Bat has an equally permanent solution for the immortal villain. Instead of locking him up in prison or Arkham or wherever immortal criminals go, Batman locks him in a spaceship and blasts that bad boy into the infinite abyss of space, leaving Lord Death Man in a permanent time out.
2 Got Stephanie Brown Killed
Batman has done some pretty petty things over the course of his eight decades of service under the cowl, but one of the pettiest things involves Tim Drake and his girlfriend, Stephanie Brown. After Tim decides that he needs a break from Batman and being Robin, Bruce decides to take Stephanie under his wing as the new Robin (mostly to make Tim jealous). Through this action, Bruce sets off a series of events that led to Stephanie’s death at the hands of Black Mask. Though she is eventually revealed to have faked her death, Bruce didn’t even bother to tell Tim that he suspected that may have been the case.
1 The Tower Of Babel Incident
It’s no secret that Batman has some major, MAJOR trust issues. Not only is Batman endlessly suspicious of the villains and civilians of Gotham (and the world at large), but he’s also endlessly suspicious of his own teammates on the Justice League. So, like any good hero with severe paranoia, Batman crafts plans that are capable of taking down each and every member of the Justice League should any of them ever decide to square up against Batman...or justice. While Batman had these files encrypted and hidden in his files, they were apparently not as safe as he had imagined, because these plans end up being stolen by Ra’s al Ghul and used against the Justice League.