June 1st, 2017

cass, can you not

This is both hilarious and deeply sad

I don't really follow the Injustice comics, but according to posted pages I've seen around, it's canonical that grown-up Bruce Wayne still doesn't know

  • In which refrigerator they keep the milk.

  • How many times he ate today.

  • How many hours he slept.

  • Where his wallet is.

  • How to even pretend to face the concept of mortality when it comes to a parental figure.

He deals with these issues through

  • Alfred takes care of it.

  • Alfred takes care of it.

  • Alfred takes care of it.

  • Alfred takes care of it.

  • I'll either die before Alfred or keep him alive indefinitely through Batman money and trickery.

I don't think it's an analytical stretch to suggest that Bruce — world-class genius polymath that he is — avoids knowing how to deal with domestic issues not because it frees up time for the Mission (although that's perhaps how he justifies it to himself) but as a childish attempt to force Alfred to stay alive by making himself depend on him. Being able to fully function without Alfred would be to acknowledge that he might one day have to, and that's not something Bruce is ready to face.

And speaking of refusing to accept the mortality of parental figures and Alfred's long and mostly fruitless attempt to get Bruce to own it, there's that famous dialogue between them in front of Jim Gordon's hospital bed that time he was nearly killed:

Batman: Jim Gordon will pull through.
Alfred: Or what, Master Bruce? You'll dress up like a giant bat and haunt the night for the rest of your life?

Frankly, I don't know why so many writers try to find new and flashier psychological issues for Bruce. He's a mostly sane mostly adult person with a psychological trauma that makes him obsessed with preventing death, particularly violent death. He knows it's impossible to save everybody, he knows it's not very healthy to even try, and yet he has shaped his entire life around this obsession with practically monomaniac intensity. You'd think that's psychological distress enough.

Being Batman is crazy enough, there's no need to pile stuff on top of it.