Batman is undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous and beloved superheroes. But of course no good hero is complete without a secret identity, and Batman’s secret identity is every bit as intriguing as his superhero alter ego. Bruce Wayne is known in Gotham as being a billionaire playboy, and known among fans for being a vengeful orphan.
But there is much more to the man behind the mask than his bank account or tragic backstory. We’ve dug deep to find you some interesting pieces of trivia about him. Some of it is dark, some of it is cool, and some of it is just plain bizarre. One thing we can guarantee though, is that regardless of his superhero side, Bruce Wayne is still a very intriguing character. So jump in the Batmobile, and let us take you on a Gotham’s finest tour of Bruce Wayne trivia. Here are Batman: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Bruce Wayne,
15. His creators named him after two historical figures
It is no accident that the name Bruce Wayne has become so iconic. It was very carefully and deliberately planned to be so. In fact, the name was borrowed from not one, but two historical figures to ensure that it was as memorable as it could possibly be. And as you can probably guess, these historical figures were known for being righteous heroes who were famously fierce in battle.
The name Bruce was taken from none other than the Scottish Patriot, King Bruce I of Scotland, who led the wars of the Scottish independence. The surname Wayne is also taken from a figure from history, having been inspired by the name of brigadier general Anthony Wayne, who is considered a hero of the American revolutionary war. It was also eventually revealed in the comics that Anthony Wayne is canonically added to part of the continuity as one of Bruce’s ancestors.
14. He began training at age 14
Being Batman takes a lot of hard work, a lot of money, and it would seem a lot of time on your hands (especially for someone who owns a business). So to become Batman, it’s a fair assumption that Bruce Wayne put in the time and hard work necessary to be one of the world’s greatest heroes. While many superhero films will reduce the superhero training down to a three minute montage featuring a generic mid-2000s rock song, it’s important to remember all the hard work it really takes to become a hero like Batman.
Since age fourteen, Bruce has had training in all sorts of subjects in all sorts of places. His years of hard work have included training in the likes of chemistry, criminology, gymnastics, martial arts, and forensics. His training pushed him to the limit, both mentally and physically, in order to make him into the superhero we all know and love.
13. His favorite food is Mulligatawny soup
Many things remain a mystery about Bruce Wayne, but one thing we do know is what his favorite food is. If you took one look at the rich, luxurious life of Bruce Wayne you may have guessed he would be having steak dinners every night or that his favourite food is lobster. As it turns out, Gotham’s biggest superhero’s actual favorite thing to eat is something a bit less gourmet: soup.
In the comic Batman Vol 1 #701 we find out that Bruce’s favourite food is mulligatawny soup, courtesy of his butler Alfred. For those of you that don’t know, mulligatawny soup is a spicy soup usually made with meat, vegetables, rice, and curry spices.
However, there is also some evidence to suggest that his favourite food could also be French onion soup. In the episode “Vendetta” in Batman the Animated Series, his butler Alfred says that it is Bruce’s favourite food. French onion soup is usually caramelized onion soup with meat and sherry. Either way, one thing we know for certain is that Bruce loves nothing more than a big, hot bowl soup.
12. He had an older brother
Bruce Wayne is widely known for his tragic back story which saw him lose his parents as a young child. But did you know that he also had a brother, Thomas Wayne Jr? Well if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be alone. Even Bruce Wayne didn’t know for a long time, and while he was growing up his parents kept it a secret for him.
The dark story behind it all is that his brother (who was three years older than him) sustained brain injuries after a nasty car accident as a child. These permanent brain injuries caused him to become mentally unstable and dangerous, and his parents felt they were left with no choice but to put him into a mental institution for the rest of his life. He then lived in Willowood Asylum and changed his surname to Willowood. Eventually, Thomas escaped the institution and was coerced into becoming an assassin known as the Boomerang Killer. Thomas later went on to take a bullet for his brother, saving Bruce’s life and forfeiting his own.
11. His parents named him after a detective
We’ve already seen how cool Bruce Wayne’s name is, and how the comic book creators combined the names of two kickass historical figures to make the name Bruce Wayne. But it doesn’t stop there, as the reason his parents gave him the name Bruce Wayne is every bit as cool and his parents also named him after someone pretty awesome.
It seems that, even based on his name alone, Bruce Wayne was destined to be a great crime fighter. His parents, Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne, named him after Thomas’ cousin. This cousin, Bruce N. Wayne, also just so happens to be a notorious private detective. And unlike his parents, Bruce N. Wayne managed to live to see Batman in action. He has even showed up in the comics before and stayed in Wayne Manor while he helped out the Gotham City Police department. It seems his detective skills were quite sharp, as he suspected Bruce Wayne of being Batman.
10. He used to be pen pals with the Penguin
The life of Bruce Wayne is far from being a simple one. If it isn’t hard enough that he has to maintain a secret identity and fight crime without being unmasked, than his personal life certainly makes it harder. It’s fairly safe to say his personal life can get pretty messy, and that it’s filled with twists and turns that constantly shock and intrigue us all. It seems when you are Bruce Wayne, even a game of chess can’t be simple.
As a child, Bruce Wayne had a long distance pen pal with whom he played a long-term game of chess through their letters. Other than the fact that this is a very complicated and roundabout way of playing chess, this game wasn’t as good as it seemed. One of the few good parts of Bruce’s childhood was ruined when he discovered the person that he played this anonymous game of chess with grew up to be one of his sworn enemies, the Penguin. Still, it’s nice to know that there was a time when they got along.
9. Bruce Wayne speaks over 40 languages
Every great hero has a few language tricks up their sleeve, as it often gives them the secret advantage of listening in on their enemies. So while you’d expect someone like Captain America to know some German, what’s surprising about Bruce Wayne is just how many languages he speaks. In all estimates, that number comes in at around 40.
Further illustrating Bruce Wayne’s intelligence and his total commitment to being the most effective hero he can be, this fact is amazing simply because… who even knew there were 40 languages? While Wayne can speak the usual languages that you’d expect– Spanish, Italian, Russian, etc.– he’s also adept at computer programming languages that help him further round out this incredible skill that we all wish we had. After all, who wouldn’t love hearing what people are saying about them, only to have a comeback ready to go in their native tongue?
8. He rarely drinks alcohol
There are endless comparisons to be made between Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne, but for every drink that Stark famously consumes (to the point of addiction), Wayne on the opposite end of the spectrum, sitting sober. Though he was shown as a raging alcoholic in (who else but) Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns— a storyline that imagined Wayne as a bitter, old, retired hero– throughout his comic book run, Bruce Wayne has been the poster-boy of sobriety.
It’s believed that he doesn’t drink in order to ensure that he always keeps his intelligent and physical edge. Always one to push his body and health beyond reasonable limits, Wayne adheres to a strong diet and no-alcohol regimen that he started at age 15. While he sometimes drinks at parties in order to throw off those that may think of him as Batman, he does this by consuming mass amounts of ginger ale; the only liquid he may consume more than soup.
7. Superman’s and Bruce’s fathers were in contact
Batman and Superman are without a doubt DC’s two biggest names, and have been for many decades. Over the years, we’ve seen them have what could be described, at certain points, as a complicated relationship, to say the least. This was perfectly illustrated in 2016 with the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which divided superheroes and film critics alike. It seems, though, that the two have even more of a history than initially thought, as their dads were once in contact with each other too.
In the DC comic series Superman/Batman, Superman’s father got talking to Bruce Wayne’s father and eventually decided to send Supes to Earth after this contact. Bruce Wayne’s father, Thomas Wayne, then used this to his advantage and used the technology from Krypton to revitalize Wayne Enterprises and avoid going bankrupt. It seems, though, that neither of them told their children to play nice and share their toys.
6. He has had a wife and children
Alternate realities in comic books are a tricky thing, so if your head hurts from finding out this fact then it’s best to simply ignore it– although ignoring it won’t make it go away. So brace yourselves, because it turns out that Bruce has had seven children over the years, plus two adopted kids. While many of these came out of one-off storylines that play no part in Bruce Wayne’s main continuity, others have played a big part in shaping Bruce Wayne and making him the man we all know him to be.
First up in Bruce’s long history of confusing children, there’s the creatively named Bruce Wayne Jr., the son of Wayne and his unnamed wife whom he married in 1949. Bruce Jr. had a long history of wanting to become Robin, and eventually he did, working with Superman’s daughter Kara (whom we know as Supergirl) and falling in love. Other children of Wayne’s include Ibn al Xu’ffasch/Damian Wayne– the illegitimate son of Batman and Talia al Ghul– as well as Terry McGinnis (the result of a DNA experiment), Helena Wayne (who became the Huntress), and Tallant Wayne.
5. He’s afraid of bats
Bruce Wayne is known for being Batman, living in a property shaped like a bat, driving a Batmobile, and having a lair called the Batcave. You’d think that the guy was crazily obsessed with bats and loved them considering that, you know, he builds his entire image and alter ego around them. Well, it seems his relationship with bats has been somewhat of a rocky one. In certain interpretations of Batman, he’s been portrayed as having a phobia of bats. It seems that even Batman is scared of some things.
One of the most famous examples of Bruce Wayne’s phobia of bats is in Batman Begins, in which he falls down a well full of bats as a child. We later see him at the opera, where he becomes terrified by some bat-like performers. This leads to his parent’s death, and so it doesn’t take a psychologist to work out that he’s going to have some negative associations with bats. In fact, some have gone on to suggest that Bruce Wayne may even suffer from PTSD rather than just a phobia.
4. He has been on the Forbes Fictional 15 since 1939
Batman’s legacy is scattered throughout pop culture and has been a constant of the entertainment world for many decades. And the man behind the mask, Bruce Wayne, has made quite an impact too. Billionaire Bruce has proved both his immense wealth and influence by being a consistent feature in Forbes Fictional 15 since way back in 1939–that’s over 75 years now! There are very few characters in history that have stayed both famous and rich long enough to stay on Forbes Fictional 15 for so long.
His most recent ranking was at number 6, with his net worth being totalled at an impressive estimation of $9.2 billion. This put him ahead of characters like The Simpsons‘ Mr Burns and the ladies man Christian Grey, but it also meant he was pushed behind Tony Stark from DC’s rival company Marvel. Now all we can hope for is that Iron Man and Batman will meet up and fight; hurling rockets, homemade weapons, and insults regarding financial security at each other.
3. He’s had some impersonators
If you find someone who says they don’t want to be Batman, then you’ve found yourself a liar. Who wouldn’t want to be a world famous superhero who is also a billionaire? We certainly wouldn’t say no to that, and we’re betting that you wouldn’t either. Over the long history of Batman, Bruce Wayne has had his fair share of impersonators and has also passed the responsibility of being Batman onto others.
But approved Batmans aside, Bruce Wayne’s copycats and impersonators have done some pretty strange stuff over the years. We’ve all seen The Dark Knight, in which some amateurs made attempts to take on Batman’s duties and completely failed. However, he’s also had people try and impersonate him with much darker intentions. The likes of Hugo Strange and Black Mask have both impersonated him with the intention of trying to ruin him. Hugo Strange definitely took it a step too far when he left Bruce Wayne homeless and broke, not to mention putting Alfred in a coma. With all these crazy impersonators around, it seems the life of a Batman isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
2. To access the Batcave, Bruce turns the time to 10:47
The Batcave is known as one of the coolest superhero hideouts of all time, and there’s not a kid in the history of Batman fandom who hasn’t wished for their own Batcave. In these fantasies we always turn to the secret entrances and hidden corridors of the hideout and imagine ourselves pressing a hidden button and entering into the subterranean lair. While the Batcave may look different depending on the iteration of Batman we’re watching (or reading), one thing that is often consistent is the way in which Batman enters his Batcave.
The way he enters may seem super cool to begin with, but when you look deeper into it, there is a dark twist. The Batcave is entered by turning the handles of the grandfather clock to a certain time, which is the passcode to open up the entrance. And the time he uses as the pass code is 10:47, which is the exact time at which his parents died. Dark stuff, but perhaps it serves as a reminder of what made him become Batman in the first place.
1. Bruce Wayne is part owner of the Daily Planet
One of the biggest differences about the secret identities of Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne has always been their class divide. Bruce Wayne is known for being a billionaire playboy who has a butler, a mansion, and one of Gotham’s biggest businesses. On the other hand, Clark Kent has an office job, some cheap specs, and a farmhouse. The poor guy– literally.
But that’s not all that divides two of the biggest superhero alter egos of all time. As it turns out there’s more crossover between the two of them than Batman V Superman may have you believe. Just in case their class differences and opposing views on how to be a superhero didn’t pit them against each other enough, Wayne is technically the owner of the newspaper that Clark Kent works at. That newspaper is, of course, the Daily Planet and in the Batman: Hush storyline, it was named as a daughter company of Wayne Entertainments.
Do you know any cool Bruce Wayne facts we missed out on? Let us know in the comments.