Batman Knows Everything


I generally like Batman, though occasionally the absurdity of his existence, and his entire broody-guy know-it-all shtick are hard to ignore. 

I was playing playing Batman: Arkham Knight and something started to bug me. The Arkham game series gives you a grim-dark "mature" version of Batman, growl-speaking words like "Batcomputer" with a straight face. That in itself is enough to break the whole thing into ridiculous pieces. But what really got under my skin was the way it casts Bats as a complete know it all. He literally knows everything about everything and not a single person--not Alfred, or Robin, or the Penguin, or anyone--calls him out on his bullshit. 

No one ever says, "How do you know that?" Or, "No Batman, I can't do that for you, creating a cure for a genetic disability takes more than two hours." How is he an expert detective, a super black belt ninja, a software developer, an engineer, an architect, and also built like a linebacker? If Batman were software, he'd be suffering from some major feature creep. He can do it all! 

I think I can buy Sherlock Holmes knowing everything because every take on the character spends significant time on the things he actually doesn't know. They show you the downsides of his hyper intellect, and make a great case for having Watson around. But Batman knows everything and needs no one. He's kind of a douchebag. So I made some comics about that in my spare time, then slapped them all together in the above image. Enjoy!

How does he do it?

I'm working on a comic right now with a friend and I realized as I sat down to draw the first page, that I've never drawn a proper comic before. Nervous about making the first page of this project my first page ever, I decided to make a practice page:

This little gag has been in my head forever. I've always wondered what kind of things Batman (or Arrow, as he pulls the same thing on that show constantly) overhears. Because you know this is how it works. The person he is talking to looks down for ONE SECOND, and we're supposed to believe Batman is long gone. Really? He's a dude in body armor and a cape, you'd hear him sprinting away, huffing it down the alley, or at least catch a glimpse of his backside as he zips off on his grappling hook. 

My favorite version of Batman is the mentally unstable version (like Miller's Dark Knight Returns). A dude with an unbreakable moral code for not killing people (intentionally, he will definitely ruin lives via broken bones and/or repeated concussions) who also dresses like a bat, and knows all of the karate would probably get a kick out of doing this to people. That, or just think he's awesome every time he does it. 

Anyway, I learned a lot putting this together. I'm nowhere near ready to start this actual comic, but from what I've heard, comics are all about learning by doing. Hooray learning!