It's no secret that Batman is a withdrawn person. He's made a whole career out of hiding in the shadows and secretly obtaining information. Batman himself is a secret. Most people in Gotham City didn't even believe he was a real figure in the past and only when verifiable proof started creeping out did citizens start thinking he was a real person. More myth than man at this point, Batman has a list of secrets that can fill up the Batcave.
Even though he's on the good side, Batman's obsession with secrets translates to his own teammates. Batman may seem like a solitary, lonely fighter, but he truly is at his best as part of a team. But whether it's the extended Bat-Family or the Justice League fighting beside him, Batman has no problem keeping information to himself. It's not that he thinks his allies will spread the information around; he simply believes he is the only one equipped to process most information.
Despite the fact that there have been numerous Batman stories that all prove he is better when he works on a team, he continually chooses to keep his friends in the dark. Everyone has secrets, but Batman's secrets have the potential to threaten the whole world
Here are 15 Dark Secrets Batman Keeps From His Allies!
15 Plans to Take Them All Down
Batman is a world-class fighter, but his biggest asset may be his mind. Capable of developing multiple plans at once, Batman always seems to know exactly what to do, no matter the variables.
Revealed in Mark Waid's Tower of Babel arc, Batman has plans for how to take down every member of the Justice League if he needed to. In case any member of the League turned evil, or they all ganged up to stop him from acting, Batman is ready to fight.
Since he has fought alongside these heroes for years, he has precious insight into their weaknesses and the way they think in the heat of a battle. Taking advantage of that knowledge, Batman develops a serum to make Aquaman aquaphobic and a bullet that causes the Flash to experience seizures at light speed.
While the plans may be developed by Batman, the arc sees Ra's al Ghul put them into effect as he strikes the Justice League simultaneously to distract the team from his latest attempts at population control. After this, the team dynamic is never the same.
14 He Tried Killing The Riddler
At the end of the day, Batman has one simple rule: no killing. After being forced to watch his parents gunned down in front of him as a child, Bruce Wayne vowed to make the world a better place. Even though he's broken a lot of bones, Batman steadfastly believes that since he doesn't kill people he is better than the criminals he fights.
Revealed in the recent War of Jokes and Riddles arc, Bruce Wayne revealed to Selina Kyle that that wasn't always the case. After being forced to deal with the intense battle between the Riddler and the Joker, Batman is at a breaking point. Alone in a room with the both of them, Batman snaps and tries to murder the Riddler. He grabs a knife and nearly stabs the Riddler in the face, but something stops the blow.
The Joker thrusts his hand in front of the blade and saves Riddler's life as a sick form of punishment for Batman. If it weren't for the Joker, Batman would have been a murderer a long time ago.
13 Joker Knows Everything
The Joker is a lot more than Batman's fiercest rival. In a lot of ways, Joker is Batman's own personal Boogeyman. Always creeping in the corner and waiting for his opportunity to strike, Joker knows a lot more than he lets on.
During the Death of the Family arc, Bruce revealed to his allies that after one of their early battles, Batman found a Joker Card in the Batcave. Convinced he could get Joker to spill something, Batman went to Arkham Asylum as Bruce Wayne and showed him the card. The Joker barely even noticed Wayne, and didn't respond to the allegations.
While that means Joker learned who Batman was early on in their career, the scene also highlights the fact that Joker doesn't care who Batman is underneath the mask, he only cares about tarnishing the symbol of the bat. Once you know who Batman is, it's pretty easy to figure out the identity of all the Robins and his other partners. So, at the end of the day, Joker knows everything.
12 Who is Mother?
Batman and Robin Eternal, a weekly series from 2015, had story threads that dated all the way back to Dick Grayson's first outing as Robin. While chasing the Scarecrow to Prague, Batman learns about Mother, a premiere human trafficker with the ability to manipulate people's minds. Instead of sharing this information, he lies to Robin and says that the mission only has to do with Scarecrow. The series takes place after Death of the Family, so Bruce Wayne is alive but he has no memory of his past life as Batman, forcing Dick to take the lead as Mother reveals herself to the world.
Keeping the identity of Mother secret from Dick as well as the Justice League resulted in a massive battle that almost cost Batman everyone he cares for. Audiences are even shown a scene of Batman putting information on a flashdrive in order to properly hide it from Dick and the Batcomputer.
There's no way of knowing whether or not Batman and Nightwing could have stopped Mother if he had told Dick, but it's likely that the threat would have been greatly reduced had the two of them been thinking about the problem together.
11 He Tried Killing Himself at 10 Years Old
More than anything else, Batman is a character about the power of resilience. No matter how many times he falls down, he constantly picks himself up to prepare for the next threat.
That inner strength wasn't always a factor for Bruce Wayne though. In the recent I Am Suicide arc by Tom King, Batman revealed one of his darkest secrets. After his parents were murdered right in front of him, the ten year old orphan wasn't sure how to cope with the pain. Before he decided to dedicate himself on a righteous path for justice, he was just a hurt, lonely child.
In his desperation, Bruce attempted suicide while looking up at his parent's portrait in Wayne Manor. It was this act of release, of completely giving up, that ultimately pushed Bruce into gear and gave him the inspiration to become something more. The world he knew had died; now it was up to him to make a better one.
10 His Identity
Readers and movie-goers know that the billionaire, playboy Bruce Wayne is Batman, but most of his allies don't. Obviously everyone in the Bat-Family and core members of the Justice League - like Superman, Wonder Womangrimes, Flash, Zatanna, and Green Lantern - know his secret identity, but the world's greatest detective chooses to keep this information to himself for the most part.
In a world where people can read minds or even switch bodies with people, Batman can never be too safe with how he chooses to guard his identity. If the information were to get out into the real world, there's a big chance that his ability to serve as Gotham's defender would fade away. If everyone on the Justice League knew who Batman really was, his ability to scare his teammates into action would likely dissolve as well.
The closest Bruce Wayne came to revealing himself as Batman was with the introduction of Batman Incorporated, a Wayne Industries venture that was designed to specifically build weaponry and tech for Batman and his new global team of allies.
9 Creation of Brother Eye
Brother Eye is essentially the DC Comics version of Skynet. Originally, an AI satellite that was designed to monitor supervillains and stop crime, Brother Eye ultimately took on a mind of its own. Instead of just targeting villains, the program rewrote itself to target everyone with metahuman abilities or anyone associated with superheroes (like Nightwing and Robin).
Brother Eye had the ability to transform people into O.M.A.C.s (Observational Metahuman Activity Construct), extremely powerful cybernetic fighters who know exactly how to counter different heroes and villains' abilities.
While the rest of the superhero community learned that Batman developed Brother Eye during Infinite Crisis, it was only after the satellite became a major threat. If he had informed others of his decision to make the satellite, and even consulted with other geniuses like Mr. Terrific, maybe the AI would have never been corrupted and turned into a giant, murdering weapon.
8 Privacy violations
Instead of developing a satellite capable of watching everyone, Bruce Wayne did something a little different in The Dark Knight. In his quest to hunt down the Joker before he hurts anyone else, Batman developed a sonar-based technology that allowed him to spy on the entire city through people's phones.
The technology is too much for Lucius Fox to handle and he quickly voices his dissatisfaction with Bruce for developing it. While the end of the movie features the machine shutting itself down, thanks to Batman's own design, it doesn't change the fact that he was willing to break everyone's fourth amendment right to stop the bad guy.
Every citizen in the U.S. is guaranteed the right to privacy, but Batman violated that in order to catch the bad guy. That may seem okay because it's Batman doing something cool in a movie, but if this principle were extended to the real world there's no knowing how far governments may go to learn some information or stop a bad guy.
7 Keeping Joker in the Batcave
The Batcave is full of various trophies. Everything from a giant penny to old versions of the Bat-Family's costumes are in there. But, in the build up to the on-going Metal event, Hal Jordan and Duke Thomas discover a secret in the heart of the cave: The Joker.
Batman has isolated himself from his friends and teammates as he dives headfirst into a mystery unlike anything he's ever solved. It seems like reality is ripping itself apart and it all has to do with various metals secretly planted around the DCU. In a misguided effort to contain the mystery, Batman locks Joker in a cell deep within the Batcave.
Joker, who was brought back to life thanks to the metal Dionesium, is connected to the mystery in the same way as Batman. While Batman is confused and panicked, the Joker seems comfortable in the maddening knowledge that the world is ripping itself apart.
6 Venom Junkie
Batman is an incredibly strong fighter who has pushed his body to their upper limits in order to become a living, breathing weapon. But, what if there was something he could do to make himself even stronger that needed barely any effort? Essentially, what if Batman took steroids?
Well, that very premise took place in the Batman: Venom story line. Venom is most commonly associated with Bane, but readers saw Bruce Wayne experiment with the drug long before Bane ever did.
After Batman was unable to save a young girl, he searched for anything to increase his upper limits. Eventually, he discovers and settles upon venom, an experimental drug that was designed by the girl's father. While he feels great at first, Bruce Wayne slowly starts to give into aggression and anger as the toxic drug courses through his veins.
His addiction and subsequent withdraws from the drug were never mentioned by the Justice League, so it's likely he kept dark time a secret from his friends.
5 Slept With a God
Batman is a bit of a ladies' man, but it's hard to imagine that the brooding detective can win over the New God of Love.
Well, that's exactly what he did. Bekka, who grew up in the slums of Apokolips, is the daughter of Himon, the God of Science who developed the Motherbox technology that is so important in the DCU today. Born with the ability to make people fall in love with her, but only if she falls in love with them too, Bekka has some of the tamest superpowers in comics. She participated in a few riots to try and stop Darkseid alongside her once lover Orion, the God of War, but ultimately those missions were unsuccessful.
Years later, Batman forms an alliance with her to rescue Scarecrow from Darkseid's goons. Batman can typically resist charming effects, but Bekka's abilities are too powerful. Before they can even finish their mission, the two of them give in to their urges.
4 American Idol
Crime fighter. Master detective. Blues singer?
On a mission to save Wonder Woman from the evil goddess Circe, Batman is forced to make a choice. He can either continue fighting a horde of seemingly never-ending opponents, or he can give in and reveal one of his darkest secrets to please Circe. Ultimately, the fighter gives in and chooses to reveal his painful secret... that he is an excellent singer.
Voice actor Kevin Conroy does a great job performing "Am I Blue" as Zatanna and Circe both break down into tears. At one point, Circe even gives in, saying she's ready to revert Wonder Woman out of the pig form she trapped her in, but Zatanna makes her wait a moment so Batman can finish the song.
Batman tries to keep the performance a secret from the recovered Wonder Woman and the rest of the team, but she slyly hums the song and reveals that she did hear him sing.
3 Batman of Zur-En-Arrh
Batman, the mater tactician, has a plan ready for anything. Even if Batman is drugged or has his mind wiped, Bruce Wayne always knows how to persevere.
During the Batman R.I.P. storyline, Batman finds himself pushed to his limits. Fighting a global criminal conspiracy whose leader knows Batman's darkest secrets, Bruce Wayne is drugged and left on the streets. Unfortunately for Dr. Hurt and the Black Glove, they didn't know about the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, a sort of backup personality Wayne developed in case he ever needed it.
Originally Zur-En-Arrh referenced an alternate dimension, but as the Silver Age came to a close this concept was left in the dust. Fortunately, when Grant Morrison took over Batman in 2006, he started dropping in little Easter eggs to connect his stories with the character's past. One of the things he brought back was the whole idea of Zur-En-Arrh, and he even gave it a tragic, symbolic place in Bruce's life. Instead of a random phrase, it's a shorter way to say "Zorro in Arkham," a reference to a conversation Bruce and his mother had after they watched Zorro together on the night of her death.
2 His Role in Creating the Joker
The Joker is Batman's arch-rival. But more than that, the Joker is Batman's biggest mistake.
While the character's true identity has never been confirmed, Batman has learned a few things about the Clown Prince of Crime's past. On one of Batman's earlier missions he fought a masked adversary called The Red Hood. While Batman was chasing him through a chemical factory, Red Hood slipped and fell into a vat of chemicals. Batman tried to catch and save the man, but there was nothing he could do. Batman might not have known it then, but his failure resulted in the creation of his greatest enemy.
In the Zero Year story line, writer Scott Snyder flipped the premise a little bit. The Joker still used to be the Red Hood, but instead of being used by other criminals, he was the head of his own gang. On Batman's first ever night on duty, he came across the gang in the chemical factory. Instead of failing to save the falling villain, this time Red Hood refused help and fell into the chemicals with a smile on his face.
1 Bad Girl Addict
Batman may be a fighting machine, but it seems his biggest weaknesses is bad girls. There are numerous superheroes in the DCU with a long list of female enemies, but Batman seems to be the only hero hooking up with them.
Bruce Wayne, eternal goth kid, likes bad girls that dress up in leather. When it's laid out like that it makes sense, but considering the fact that he lives for justice, it is a bit strange.
He's had an off-and-on relationship with Catwoman that stretches back decades. The two of them have been married in the past and alternate timelines, but it seems like history is repeating itself in Tom King's current run on Batman as the two are newly engaged. Batman's own son, Damian Wayne, comes from an affair Bruce had with Talia al Ghul, the daughter of one of his greatest rivals and an evil mastermind in her own right. Even though he claims he's the world's greatest detective, he couldn't even see through Jezabel Jet's ruse to get close to him as the Black Glove prepared to strike in Batman R.I.P.
Do you know any of Batman's other dark secrets? Share them in the comments!