Among the real-world issues that are frequent topics of conversation, wealth inequality is one that comes up more than others. Particularly with the coronavirus pandemic having had massive economic implications, the wealth gap is an especially hot topic and on Monday, it spilled over from real life to the discussion of comics. Specifically, Bruce Wayne began trending on Twitter as Batman fans discussed the fictional character's wealth, leading to some very interesting and sometimes heated debates on if Batman can truly be a hero as a billionaire or if there is more that Bruce Wayne the man could do outside of his vigilante alter ego in order to make the world a better place.
There's actually quite a bit to unpack about the discussion and it's honestly not the first time this has come up. Bruce Wayne's wealth versus Batman's efforts to save Gotham City come up fairly often with many fans wondering why Bruce doesn't just use his wealth to make the changes in Gotham needed to stop the issues he suits up as Batman to fight. If crime is so bad, why not look into the source of the crime from a social standpoint? If people need jobs, create jobs. If other resources are few, create those resources. Surely a billionaire has the ability to do so, one side argues. Others argue that Bruce Wayne does do those things, but simply throwing money at the situation doesn't solve it, meaning that Batman is still needed, not to mention that Gotham's problems aren't always the sort of things real-world problem-solving can sort out.
With the topic trending, a lot of Batman fans weighed in with their own thoughts. Some found themselves conflicted, some pointed out that versions of the character have done great things with their money -- including walking away from the fortune (specifically referencing The Dark Knight Rises), while others simply insist that the character needs to be rewritten to be more realistic in terms of his money. There are even some that point out that the real issue isn't Bruce Wayne, but Marvel's Tony Stark who is both a billionaire and a war criminal.
Whatever your stance on Bruce Wayne, here is a selection of the discourse that sent him trending on Twitter. You can read them below and then let us know your thoughts in the comment section.
I thought Bruce Wayne was a philanthropist.
Like, I know real-world philanthropists don't do as much as you'd hope, but neither do real-world vigilantes, so I assume *fictional* philanthropy counts.— Johnalogue (@TheJohnologue) May 31, 2021
But what about Tony Stark?
i find it so funny that bruce wayne is always the billionaire of comics that gets attacked for the way he uses his money when tony stark is a literal fkn war criminal but go off i guess pic.twitter.com/3SwlaXKzTg— dimitri (@dianaTHEEprince) May 31, 2021
Not how the world works
Billionaires should be vilified, not glamorized, and him being the richest man in the world shouldn't be seen as a positive. I get the whole "but he uses his riches to make Gotham better" thing, but that's just not how the world works.— Ky (@KyranSawhill) May 30, 2021
Someone actually did the math
Reminder that I actually did brief math to show why Bruce Wayne can't just give up his fortune https://t.co/5vaocNBfO5— Motato (@SugaryMiyamoto) May 31, 2021
The Dark Knight Rises version
My favorite Bruce Wayne used his wealth to fight climate change and provide for the whole city. And then gave everything to Alfred and the city to help orphans. pic.twitter.com/W8SIp0ZagN— Chett Manley (Dave Plunk when not on dry land) (@ChettManley) May 31, 2021
I... sympathize with a lot of the Batman discourse, tbh.
It's hard to reconcile a love of superheroes with "There Should Be No Billionaires."— Philby (@fiddlersgreen92) May 31, 2021
Bruce Wayne is capitalism personified. pic.twitter.com/RarFUbXZTk— Johnny Neat (@JohnnyNeat) June 1, 2021
He shouldn't be a billionaire.
The biggest thing Bruce Wayne could do to help society is not be a billionaire anymore. It doesn't matter what he does with the money, the fact remains that he MAKES that money by exploiting the poor and working-class people of society.— AVagabond (@JRutterbush) May 31, 2021
He can do both
I swear people complaining about Batman and how he uses his money have to be willingly ignoring the fact that Bruce Wayne helps Gotham during the day, and helps during the night as Batman. pic.twitter.com/5kZ0S9HcIr— DC Chambers (@dceu_chambers) May 31, 2021
But seriously, what about Tony Stark?
Bruce Wayne is trending and getting attacked for the way he uses his money while the Marvel billionaire Tony Stark is a literal war criminal pic.twitter.com/dXk8Mfu2Nc— 🌿Sage🌿 (@PlantPupper) May 31, 2021