Fortress of Fandom: Batman vs. Bruce Wayne

Story By: Lauren Baker, Arts & Entertainment Editor

It should be a known rule by now, that any argument that pairs anything against Batman is automatically moot, because nothing and no one can compare to Batman. It may as well be called the “Batman-Coefficient” because it’s that concrete a principle. It never fails. But what if he’s compared to..dare we say…Bruce Wayne? Will the coefficient still stand as one man against himself? I say it can.

You see, Batman is more than just a character, he is an image. The embodiment of a principle that Bruce aspired to be in the name of justice, because he knew he couldn’t accomplish all that he wanted to do as merely himself. Granted, he isn’t helpless by any means as simply billionaire “Bruce Wayne”. But how could anyone take him seriously as a major business tycoon if they knew that most of that money was going towards various Batmobile models and the latest spyware technology? You wouldn’t have to flip a coin to bet that there would be no more Wayne Corp. funding if they knew the boss was zipping around the city dressed as a bat.

But back to the main point: Bruce knew that the image he had created as the embodiment of heroism, justice, and moral duty was bigger than himself. He identified more as a dark knight than that of a billionaire playboy. But he didn’t keep it all to himself either.

In Christopher Nolan’s film depictions, Wayne made a point of saying that “A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders to let him know the world hadn’t ended.” And it’s absolutely true, but that’s what makes Batman all the more special. He could be the average, every day Gothamite. But instead, it is a man who has completely dedicated his entire wealth to the protection of the innocent and keeping the wicked at bay when he easily could live a selfish life in luxury.

While Batman and Bruce Wayne are physically the same person, they are in completely different planes mentally. In actuality, one could argue that there isn’t really a Bruce Wayne at all. It could easily be a Superman-Clark Kent situation where Bruce Wayne is truly the alter-ego for Batman.

He works to fund the resources he needs to be Batman. You never see Batman taking a sick day because Bruce Wayne is needed at Wayne Corp. All we ever see is a signal in the sky, and a cool, calm, collected Bruce exiting a board meeting before it’s over to “attend urgent business”.

Anyone within Bruce Wayne’s intimate circle knows that he lives to be Batman. Being Batman, is a fate that both chose Bruce, and Bruce chose to do. He did not go to Crime Alley that fateful night looking for Joe Chill to shoot his parents Thomas and Martha Wayne, leaving him orphaned and vastly wealthy with only his faithful butler Alfred for company. It happened as so many horrific nights do, simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But it was that night and that raw primal fear that a child should never have to endure that shaped and molded Bruce into Batman. Some would say that Bruce Wayne died alongside his parents that night in Crime Alley, and that Batman was resonating within him ever since, waiting to birthed.

So the question remains: between Batman and Bruce Wayne, who is more valiant? It will always be Batman, because Batman is the life within the shell of Bruce Wayne. Batman is the one that’s alive and fighting the fight for those who cannot.