Bleeding Cool ran a little coverage of the currently unpublished Batman #92 and Batman #93 by James Tynion IV and Guillem March. We were careful not to run any major spoilers, but included a couple of teasers. These were enough to get some people rather animated over what it means for Bruce Wayne. Now, this is still not a major spoiler piece, but will contain minor spoilers for the sake of this discussion. Stop now if that is an anathema to you.
In Batman #91, we learned about the original plans of The Designer, to make each of the main Batman rogue gallery to be major power players on the Gotham scene. Catwoman's instructions would have seen her wipe out Bruce Wayne's entire fortune, and become one of the richest people in Gotham. In Batman #92 and #93 we learn how each of their plans would have also served The Designer in some way, linking together in a byzantine Machiavellian fashion – that was until the Joker revealed his true colours and killed The Designer outright – or did he? Because The Designer is back, and those plans are being played out, one rogue at a time. And that includes Catwoman – now Batman's romantic and vigilante partner.
Is Bruce Wayne upfront about his finances?
But while doing so, we get the confirmation that Bruce Wayne hasn't been entirely upfront about his finances. I originally wrote that he "is a tax cheating offshore shell account wielding benefit scrounger". I then added "we all knew his details would be all over the DC equivalent of the Paradise Papers." Then concluded "but will Selina Kyle's discovery that Bruce is a bigger thief than she ever was, change their relationship for good?"
There was more of a reaction to this that I anticipated, with people asking if I was serious about Batman being a thief, or a tax cheat, as if that would morally destroy the character. I pointed out that Bruce Wayne was a man who dressed in leather and went around Gotham beating up people as a vigilante, as well as engaging in privacy-breaking surveillance and repeatedly putting children in mortal danger, with two dead Robins so far. So when it came to breaking the law, that this batship had sailed. However, some clarity was demanded, so I went back to the original text, you decide if I got it right.
Is Bruce Wayne a tax cheat?
The plan is described in Batman #93, thus, talking about Selina Kyle, "She'd hacking her way into the accounts of the wealthiest man in Gotham City. She would have learned that the Wayne Foundation is funded by off-shore accounts. With the account numbers to hand, she is able to drain their full assets and redistribute them as she sees fit. She becomes the richest woman in Gotham overnight and becomes—"
I'll stop to avoid bigger spoilers there. But Selina then picks up the thread describing the "Wayne Foundation is a front. It holds the Wayne fortune outside of all regulatory bodies in a constellation of untraceable shell companies. Which in turn own and operate Wayne Enterprises. Bruce Wayne the person doesn't own much of anything. don't think he even owns the manor. Bruce Wayne the shadowy configuration of shell corporations is one of the richest people on the planet. Nobody with that kind of money wants the world to kn0w how they spend it."
Is Bruce Wayne honest?
And if someone stole from it, that would protect the crime rather than Bruce Wayne having to expose his finances to the authorities. We know that Bruce Wayne used his money to fund his Batman operation. Keeping that money private, keeps that funding private as well. And also means that he doesn't have to pay taxes. So less of his money funds corrupt cops, politicians and judges and more funds Batman. Batmobiles, Batcycles, Batplanes, Bathelicopters, Bat-trains and the like. This is what Bruce Wayne keeps telling himself. We also discover, for the first time, just how wealthy Bruce Wayne is, putting a dollar amount on his entire, locked away, secret wealth. It's more than you thought. And clearly should be spent on the latest Batmobile rather than curing Gotham's poverty overnight.
Batman #93 by James Tynion IV, Guillem March, Javier Fernandez, Tomeu Morey, David Baron and Clayton Cowles0 from DC Comics is intended to be published on April 15th but will now most likely be delayed.
(W) James Tynion IV (A) Guillem March (CA) Tony S. Daniel
And it's more than Punchline punching and Harley Quinn pounding back! Batman faces off with the Designer as 'Their Dark Designs' reaches its epic climax! Batman faces off with the Designer as "Their Dark Designs" reaches its epic climax! In the last year, Batman has lost more than he could have imagined, and now he faces a cost so dear it will change the course of his life. And there is worse on the horizon. In the midst of all the horror, he can feel the drumbeat of battle. "Joker War" is coming, and Gotham City will never be the same. In Shops: Apr 15, 2020 SRP: $3.99