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Old January 22 2011, 07:57 PM   #1
the G-man
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the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

Batman, Inc. is the most recent (and some might say the most blatant) example of how Bruce Wayne has gotten more and more like Tony Stark (and vice versa). However, it's not the only one.

There's the similarities between Civil War and the Omac project too.

In addition, there's the ongoing tendency to make Batman not just a good detective with a high tech crime lab. Now he's an inventor who can make nearly anything. And instead of a fairly uniform set of tools in a utility belt and a couple of high tech vehicles, which supplement his natural gifts as an athlete and detective, he has a weapon in his suit and/or a special suit for anything that comes his way.

So how did this happen? When did Bruce Wayne go from the world's greatest detective to corporate super scientist? And why? And does it take away from Batman's unique persona to make him so much like Marvel's billionaire playboy?
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Old January 22 2011, 08:06 PM   #2
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

^ That was not the intention of Batman, Inc at all. I think the answer is easy...Grant Morrison. This is the direction that Morrison wanted to take Bruce in. DC has given Morrison carte blanch over all creative decisions with regards to Batman until he decides he doesn't want to write the character. I guess there are similarities between Tony and Bruce, quite frankly there have always been. I've been enjoying the hell out of Batman, Inc and Morrison's run in general. The Batman purists though have detested it and for good reason I suppose...Morrison has taken Bruce out of his comfort zone and more traditional role and made him global now.
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Old January 22 2011, 08:11 PM   #3
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
^ That was not the intention of Batman, Inc at all.
Note that I commented on the increasing similarities but did not state they were intentional. I have no idea if its an intentional rip off (hardly the first in comic book history if true) or simply a product of too many creators [especially ones who bounce back and forth between the big two] who can't write a variety of characters without making them all kind of alike.
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Old January 22 2011, 08:33 PM   #4
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

^ Ah sorry...I misread that lol. Batman, Inc is a response to a plot that Morrison has been slowly seeding throughout his run. Particularly the return of Bruce Wayne, where Bruce now has told his intimates that he has seen something BIG on the horizon something so devastating that he has felt the need to change his modus operandi and go global. We don't know what he saw yet. We're supposed to get a glimpse of it at the end of the first year of Morrison's run supposedly.
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Old January 22 2011, 09:25 PM   #5
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

The press conference at the end of Batman and Robin was very reminiscent of the ending of the Iron Man movie where Tony announces he's bankrolling Iron Man.
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Old January 22 2011, 09:43 PM   #6
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

^ Yep. That was probably the most obvious comparison.
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Old January 23 2011, 02:31 AM   #7
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
^ Yep. That was probably the most obvious comparison.
Yeah. That's why I led with that. That was the moment where it really started to hit me just how much Bruce had become like Stark over the years. After that I started noticing more and more similarities.
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Old January 23 2011, 02:35 AM   #8
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

I think detective work is just more difficult to write compelingly than big world-ending crises or badass fight scenes. So instead of even trying, most writers generally just skip the legwork and try to show his intellect in an indirect way with gadget and surprise twists where Batman was always a step ahead after all.

I'm a fan of the barebones Batman concept where it is just him (or just him and Robin) actually being a detective rather than reacting to the immediate needs. Arguably, that concept of Batman has never really existed in practice other than in one-offs or short runs though.
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Old January 23 2011, 02:58 AM   #9
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

Batmans been alot of things over the decades. He was a the playboy billionaire before Tony was a gleam in Stan Lee's eye. He's was known for having special suits for specials occasions Including space suits, snow suits and a closet full of others. He was shown to be an inventor early on as well. Though at times he farmed that stuff out. ( If there was a story in it). The 60s TV show ingrained the Bat-(insert name here) weapons and gadgets into our cultural subconscious. ( Bat Shark repelant, anyone?) And of course Batman Inc is spun out of the Batmen of Many Nations stories from the 50s. Batman as James Bond is something Denny O'Neil played with in the 70s. Morrison himself used that idea in JLA and played up the man who always has a plan version of Batman in JLA as well. ( including a plan to take out every JLA member) well before "Civil War". .A lot of that stuff fell by the wayside as the "New Look", "Back to Basics" and "Dark Knight" versions came along. Morrison likes to bring that stuff back in since he has a "everything counts" view of continuity.
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Old January 23 2011, 06:53 PM   #10
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

Venardhi wrote: View Post
I think detective work is just more difficult to write compelingly than big world-ending crises or badass fight scenes. So instead of even trying, most writers generally just skip the legwork and try to show his intellect in an indirect way with gadget and surprise twists where Batman was always a step ahead after all.

I'm a fan of the barebones Batman concept where it is just him (or just him and Robin) actually being a detective rather than reacting to the immediate needs. Arguably, that concept of Batman has never really existed in practice other than in one-offs or short runs though.
I disagree. I think the late 60s to late 70s Batman was very much the detective. Back then the stories were often as much about how Batman would solve the crime as who he'd hit once he did.
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Old January 23 2011, 08:40 PM   #11
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

It truly bothers me how much Bruce Wayne has stolen from his company's shareholders over the course of Batman's existence. Brother Mark I? Let's say, $10 billion. Batmobiles and Batplanes, Batlabs and Bat Shark Repellants? Let's say another $10 billion. Then opening up himself and possibly Wayne Enterprises to staggering tort liability for the operations of the Batman? I doubt WE stock is worth much anymore.

So, yeah, he's pretty much always been like Tony Stark: a Goddamn thief. In that regard, Wayne and Stark are also basically Lex Luthor with better justifications for how they waste other people's money.
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Old January 23 2011, 09:48 PM   #12
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

Brother Eye Mark I probably cost in excess of twenty million dollars. Not to mention the funding that Bruce put into the Justice League's various headquarters over the years. One thing that I hope Morrison touches on as part of the consequences of Batman, Inc is pissed off board members. Bruce can do what he wants since he's the controlling share holder and what not but if I was one of them and found out that they've been secretly funding Batman all these years I'd be pissed. I'd like to have been consulted about that. Lucius at the very least should confront Bruce...instead he's gone along with it. See guys? I can be critical of Morrison
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Old January 23 2011, 10:00 PM   #13
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

The tech developed for his purposes is probably reused for a lot of their military contracts and other profitable ventures. Just like all the tech they had to develop for the space program has been used in one form or another in just about everything since the 60s. He might keep a few key bits to himself, but most of it would be nondescript enough that in a non-bat-themed version no one would link it to his extra-curricular activities.
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Old January 27 2011, 01:09 AM   #14
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

Myasishchev wrote: View Post
It truly bothers me how much Bruce Wayne has stolen from his company's shareholders over the course of Batman's existence. Brother Mark I? Let's say, $10 billion. Batmobiles and Batplanes, Batlabs and Bat Shark Repellants? Let's say another $10 billion. Then opening up himself and possibly Wayne Enterprises to staggering tort liability for the operations of the Batman? I doubt WE stock is worth much anymore.

So, yeah, he's pretty much always been like Tony Stark: a Goddamn thief. In that regard, Wayne and Stark are also basically Lex Luthor with better justifications for how they waste other people's money.
This is one of the things that bugs the hell out of me with Batman, Inc.

Tony has never lied about using his tech for Iron Man. He might have lied about who was in the suit but at least the stockholders (and SEC) knew what tech was out there.

Bruce, on the other hand, would just steal what he needed. And, so far, he was never caught.

However, now that he's admitted to covertly funding Batman all these years, every Wayne stockholder now KNOWS that he or she has a HUGE lawsuit against him personally for stealing company assets all the years before he made the big announcement.

And not just stockholders. He just made himself a target for every trial lawyer in Gotham. "Batman" bitch slaps a criminal? Sue Bruce Wayne for funding him and assisting in a violation of said criminal's civil rights, under the doctrine of "respondeat superior." The Black Mask goes on trial? Conduct a lengthy cross-examination or deposition of "Bruce Wayne" and subpoena the financial records of the company.

Then there's the government. Remember that scene in IM2 where Garry Shandling calls Tony before congress to demand the Iron Man tech? Same thing happens to Bruce now. Forget the Batmobile. You really think the feds aren't going to want to have a little "chat" with Bruce about, I dunno, Omac? There's also tons of issues related to corporate fraud, obstruction of justice, etc.

And, putting aside lawyers and bureaucrats, he just made himself a target for every super-criminal in Gotham. What makes him think that the residents of Arkham--you know, the guys who regularly escape and kill dozens all in an attempt to get Batman's attention--won't just show up at the door of Wayne Manor? Or grab Alfred while he's out buying groceries? Or, hell I dunno, drop a huge fucking bomb on the Wayne Office building.

The minute Bruce told everyone "I bankroll Batman," he might as well have just told them he IS Batman. Either way, should be toast.
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Old January 27 2011, 01:22 AM   #15
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Re: the Starkification of Bruce Wayne

^ This has already been addressed. Babs brought this up in an issue of Birds of Prey I think and Bruce replied to let them come.
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