It’s been a long time since we covered some fan theories about Batman on this blog. In fact, the last time I talked about him, it was back in may last year, when I talked about a fan theory based on The Dark Knight. So in celebration that spring is on the horizon, let’s revisit the topic of the caped crusader, and some of the madness he has inspired. Dave?
Dave: Alright. I have two theories today. The first one is that the Joker in The Dark Knight is actually Bruce Waynes brother.
Aha, I see. Elaborate.
Dave: Well, in the movie, the Joker crashes a party and notes that one of the guests, who stand up to him, reminds him of his father, who he hated. The last person who stood up to a thug in the Nolan movies was Thomas Wayne.
Dave: He later mentions how peoples morals are shallow and temporary, and how they will cast out freaks like him and batman like lepers, if given a chance. This hints at him being abandoned, perhaps by his father.
Dave: And where did the Joker meet the insane people that work for him? We know one of them, Thomas Schiff, was an imate at Arkham. If the Joker was also locked up in Arkham, they could have met there, and both broken out during the events of Batman Begins. And the Joker doesn’t want to kill Batman. He tries to protect him! Maybe that’s out of brotherly love?
Ok, let’s break this down, shall we. First of all, you say that the last person to stand up against a thug in the nolan movies was Thomas Wayne? What about Batman?
Dave: He doesn’t count.
What?! Why not? Alright, what about the guy in the bank, who pulled a FUCKING SHOTGUN on the bankrobbers? Doesn’t that count as “standing up to a thug”?
Also, Thomas Wayne didn’t “stand up” to Joe Chill. On the contrary, he was calm and cooperative, willingly handing over his wallet when told to. He only acted when Joe aimed his gun at Martha, at which point he jumped between the two, and got shot.
That is not “standing up to a thug”. So that argument doesn’t work.
Then, there’s the interrogation scene, when the Joker notes how both he and Batman are outcasts. You conveniently left out that the Joker makes it clear that they will “cast Batman out as a leper” when they no longer NEED him. That’s not really pointing to being abandoned by your family, but rather by society.
You know, his entire point in that scene? How all the “civilized” people will turn on each other and abandon their morals, when push comes to shove.
And as for Thomas Schiff, who says he and the Joker met in Arkham?
Dave: Well, where else would they meet?
Oh, I don’t know. Fucking ANYWHERE, after Schiff broke out of Arkham?! Batman even notes that people like Schiff are exactly the type of people the Joker attracts.
And this theory only really works, if the Joker knows who Batman really is. But it’s clear in the movie that he doesn’t know! He actually remarks, during that interrogation scene we talked about earlier, on how he thought Batman was really Harvey Dent for a while, given how eager he was to save Rachel.
He does draw similarities between himself and Batman, but he also has no qualms about killing him. Or did you forget how he was arrested moments before STICKING A KNIFE IN BATMANS FACE?!
And isn’t the Joker and Bruce of a comparable age? It’s hard to say for certain, but Bruce was the only child of Thomas and Martha. We never see or hear of any other kids, so if the Joker was his brother, he must be older. And he has to be older by several years, since he must have been abandoned before Bruce was born, since Alfred doesn’t remember him.
But the Joker doesn’t look that much older than Bruce. In fact, if the actors age is to go by, he is actually several years YOUNGER than Batman. Heath Ledger was 29, and Bruce Wayne is most commonly in his mid 30’s in canon.
But even ignoring that, let’s not forget that this idea also hinges on Thomas Wayne abandoning his son. Here’s my question. Why?
Dave: Well, maybe because he was deformed at birth, which explains those scars and-
Firstly, Thomas Wayne doesn’t seem like the kind of person to abandon his son because of birth deformities. Secondly, those are not birth defects. Those are scars caused by physical trauma, like getting a knife shoved through your mouth. After all, you notice how, every time the Joker explains how he got his scars, it’s always by mutilation? If it was birth related, he would probably mention that.
Dave: Well, maybe it was because of mental reasons? Maybe Thomas put him in Arkham and-
Arkham Asylum is a home for the criminally insane. And yet, there is no criminal record of the Joker. In fact, that is a point. Part of this theory argues that it’s weird that the police can’t find a criminal record of the Joker, which supposedly only makes sense if he was sentenced as a minor, thus suggesting he was abandoned by Thomas Wayne.
First of all, yes, if you commit a crime that places you in a home for the criminally insane, that would still be put on your criminal record, and you would still appear on the patients list even if you are a minor…
Secondly and more importantly, that argument only makes sense if we first assume the Joker was in Arkham before the events of The Dark Knight. Which is an assumption that this argument is supposed to justify! This is fucking circular logic!
There is no evidence that the Joker was in Arkham, and they even specify in the movie there is no record of him being in Arkham, and this theory uses this as an argument that he was in Arkham!
Wasn’t that some kind of red flag to you that this theory might not hold up, Dave?
It’s so willfully idiotic, it’s almost painful!
Now, what was the second theory? And it had better be a bit less stupid.
Dave: Ok, so the second theory is that Alfred is Bruce Waynes father.
Yes, he is. And…?
Dave: See, it makes sense in a way, if… wait, what did you say?
I said yes. Alfred is definitely Bruce Waynes father. I don’t see where the fan theory is, here.
Dave: So… I’m actually right? You’re not kidding me here, are you? April 1’st isn’t for another two weeks, you know.
I could say the same thing, Dave. If this is all from this theory, then yes, you are absolutely right, for once. I’m genuinly astounded.
Dave: Wow, I’m… not really sure what to do at this point. I mean, I was expecting you to be opposed to this theory.
Not at all. I am all for it. I don’t see how… Wait a minute, do you mean his biological father?
Ah, now I get it. Yeah, that’s fucking stupid. But please, explain the theory.
Dave: But… you just said…
I know what I said. Explain the arguments.
Dave: Well, Alfred is way too protective, faithful and snarky towards Bruce to just be a simple butler, but not to be his real father.
Right. I see what has gone wrong here. It’s a bit of a rare situation, this. You’ve somehow picked up on all the clues, and got them absolutely right… but drawn the wrong conclusion based on them. I could be wrong, but I don’t think this has ever happened on this blog before.
Because you are right. Alfred isn’t just a simple butler. He is, without a doubt, Bruce Waynes father.
Dave: Then what is the problem?
The problem is, he doesn’t have to be Bruce’s biological father to be his dad! This is the man who raised him, guided him, assisted him and has done his damnedest to protect Bruce ever since he became an orphan. Hell, even BEFORE that, Alfred has been a part of Bruce’s life. He is Bruce’s closest confidant and ally, throughout pretty much all incarnations.
Dave: But what if Alfred and Martha Wayne had an affair and-
And what evidence is there to support that?
Dave: Well… uhm… Ok, but why has Alfred stuck around for so long to help someone he’s not related to, then?
Because he is a good man who, like I said, has been a part of Bruce’s family since before the kid was born! Would it really be so irrational that he recognised that he was the last family Bruce had!?
This has to be some kind of record, Dave. With the first theory, pretty much every single thing you said was wrong, and it even imploded in on itself without you noticing, and with the second you got every single argument correct, and STILL managed to be wrong!
I don’t know if I’m more impressed or sad for you, Dave.