Featured Commentary: Is Batman Bigoted Against Metahumans?

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I know your instant answer to that question is, “No! Of course not!” but consider the possibility with me for just a few minutes. We know that Batman is willing to fight by the side of any hero when push comes to shove. He is a prominent member of the Justice League which is filled with supernatural heroes, yet when it comes to Bruce's inner circle, there is a mysterious lack of superpowered beings. Batman has adopted five children, yet none of them possess any powers. Almost all Bruce's closest allies are powerless. Bruce zealously guards Gotham from unapproved vigilantes, and almost every hero he allows to operate in Gotham is unpowered. Even when he offered the support of Batman to the whole world through Batman Incorporated, Bruce basically put a sign on his club house door that said, “No Metahumans Allowed.”

With all this in mind, I think it is fair to consider the question. I mean, aren't there any young, vengeful, orphans with superpowers that Batman could lead into a life of violence and vigilantism?

Exceptions

Again, the vast majority of Batman's allies are humans, but with a rolodex as full as Batman's, we can find all kinds of characters. All of the Robins and Batgirls are unpowered, but Catwoman is suspected to have an empathic affinity for cats. Azrael (Valley) had superhuman strength due to his line of strong genetic forefathers. The Birds of Prey operates under tacit approval of Batman, yet it is led by Black Canary who possesses a skull shattering canary cry. Even though these are exceptions to the no power rule, these are still relatively minor powers considering the amped up power houses that live in the DC universe.

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Speaking of amped up powerhouses, Superman causes a significant chink in the theory that Batman is bigoted. After all, Batman considers a mighty alien to be his best friend, and Bruce often teams up with Clark even outside of their work with the Justice League. However, Batman is famed for his suspicious nature, and you could easily conclude that Bruce is only close to Superman so that he can be there to take him out should the need arise. Sure, Batman calls Clark friend, but Bruce is hardly above lying.

Batman Incorporated also has some exceptions. There is an entire unit of Batman Incorporated called the Dead Heroes Club that includes heroes with super powers. Also, Squire has the ability to interpret information by touch. Still, it remains true that not a single superpowered being is allowed to be “Batman.” Batman Incorporated's limited inclusion of metahumans might seem to disprove the idea of Bruce's bigotry at first, but if you apply Bruce's decisions to the real world, it makes them appear even worse. Can you imagine if the military created a separate branch for black soldiers or if women were prohibited from attaining a certain rank?

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