The real reason why no one wants to be Batman

It's popular to encourage someone to be themselves, no matter how difficult that could be … unless they could be Batman. If that's an option, then always be Batman. But is this really a good idea? Yes, Batman has been around for over 75 years and has become DC's coolest, most idolized character. The dude is so beloved, he straight-up stole top billing in Superman's own sequel. Superman! But the question remains — would it really be that awesome to be Gotham's billionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne, and his nocturnal alter ego? On closer inspection, it seems that being the hero that Gotham deserves would suck … a lot.

Being Batman is illegal

You think running around the city dressed as a flying rodent is all fun and games? (Well, yeah, obviously.) But here's the thing: being a superhero for real is actually illegal. Think about it: how would people react if you went out tomorrow and started beating up random people? Even if they were drug dealers, or cop killers, or kidnappers, the actions that you specifically are doing are totes illegal. Do you think that the rules somehow don't apply if you dress like a six-foot-bat? Nah ah.

If you actually went out and attempted to become Batman, the police (who aren't nearly as incompetent and bone-stupid as the Gotham force) would hone in on you in record time, because you'd literally be just another criminal to them. What you're doing has a real-world term: being a vigilante. There're other terms for it too: assault, battery, attempted murder, and actual murder if you accidentally punch a burglar so hard they whap their skull on the pavement and drown their brain in their own blood. Guess what? All those are illegal as a hundred Jokers. So that Batsignal on top of the Gotham police building? It wouldn't exist. Or, if it did, it would just be there to lure you in so a bunch of police could surround you and cuffs you. We don't think your, "I AM THE NIGHT" speech will do you much good then.

Being Batman isn't cheap

There's a reason only Bruce Wayne, playboy billionaire, could be Batman, and that's because his stuff is expensive as hell. He has a super tank car, a super motorcycle, a flying jet plane, and those are just his methods of transportation. We're not even getting into the super-complicated-and-expensive tech he uses — the total bill for being Batman would run hundreds of millions of dollars — if not billions – in the real world. (Also, he's technically skimming this dough from his company — isn't that embezzling? Is there anything Batman does that's legal?)

Worse yet, he breaks his stuff all the time. Whether it's by villains coming into his lair and messing it all up (as in the scene above) or him just dropping it into the sea with a nuke (like in The Dark Knight Rises) all of his lovely toys are going to cost a dang fortune. Remember in Batman Begins, how Alfred tells him that the Batpiece they ordered needed to be bought "ten thousand" at a time to avoid suspicion? Multiply that by, well, infinity. Even billionaires can go broke, and a billionaire like Batman would be broke within a year.

You would be ridiculed endlessly

We live in a mockery-happy, cruel world, full of people ready to tear down anyone and everyone simply for the lulz. So how do you think some guy punching people at night while dressed as a flying mammal is going to come across to such people? Not well — Movie Gotham dedicates statues to him and spray-paints his symbol all across town, but that's not how it would work in real life.

Imagine, tomorrow, you read about a guy who runs around the city on weekends dressed as a giant mouse, calling himself Cheeseman, punching the mentally ill for breaking minor rules. You would either hate him for his skewed sense of justice, or laugh your face off at a guy dressed as a mouse. Later, you learn that Cheeseman was Bill Gates, and then you realize that, instead of doing this Cheeseman crap, he could be actually helping people instead. There is literally no one on Earth that wouldn't hate him … and laugh at him even harder. Because Cheeseman.

So, whenever Wayne bites the dust and it comes out that Bats was actually a billionaire playing dress-up, he won't be immortalized in song and love — he'll be laughed into oscurity while we laugh ourselves to death. And thus, the Joker wins.

Your hidden identity wouldn't stay hidden for long

Here's a complete collection of who knows that Batman is actually Bruce Wayne: literally everyone who lives in Gotham. Okay, that's not accurate. It's more like the Joker. The Riddler. Some random poor kid. Jim Gordon. Batgirl (who figured out his identity). Tim Drake (same). An entire group of evil rich people who like to dress as owls because the Gotham version of Eyes Wide Shut is creepier than you can imagine. We're going to stop here because we don't have enough space to name the entire list of people. But here's the thing — even though the comics assert that the list is huge, a real-world list of people who knows Batman's identity would be so much bigger.

Think about it: being Batman takes a lot of money — there aren't too many super-duper rich people on the world, so that automatically narrows the list down to a few hundred. Plus, whenever Bruce Wayne leaves Gotham, Batman mysteriously does too. You don't need a private investigator to piece this preschooler's puzzle together. Listen — we're so conspiracy-minded, we're convinced Alex Jones is secretly Bill Hicks because they kinda look alike. You don't think we'd piece this actual identity issue together in a half-instant? The National Enquirer would have pics of the Batcave the week after he debuted.

Your diet would make you miserable

Okay, so Batman represents the peak of human physical perfection, right? Well, how do you think he maintains that physique? Batman has probably never eaten funnel cake. Or had dessert. Or drank wine (most likely only water, and ginger ale when cutting loose).

Think about that. No wonder he's always in a bad mood — he's probably annoyed that Superman or Flash can eat literally anything they want and burn it off in seconds. Batman, as a mere human, has to constantly deny himself the joy of snacks if he wants to be able to fit into his suit and punch crime all night. He might have the greatest rogues' gallery of all time, but Batman's true enemy is carbs.

The amount of gym time would be astronomical

Dieting is only half the fitness battle, as the number of hours he would have to put in at his subterranean gym would be staggering. Do you think Batman has ever seen a movie? It seems likely that he would have the same general knowledge about American society as someone living in … well, a cave their whole lives. To be Gotham's Dark Knight, you have to believe that his regimen would include muscle training, aerobics, gymnastics, mixed martial arts, and weapons training, and it would never, ever stop. That's why he can only Bat-usi when he shows up to Superhero Prom. It's the only move he's ever had time to learn! The only time he wouldn't be training is when he was either actually fighting crime, or sleeping. Someone with that level of obsession would be the absolute worst person to spend literally any time with.

Your secret identity would be boring as hell

The other side of Batman is, of course, his public identity as Bruce Wayne. You'd think Bruce's billionaire-playboy side of the equation would make this whole Bat-situation suck a whole lot less. Perhaps this would be true, if not for the more recent interpretations of the character that suggest that Bruce Wayne is actually the mask that Batman wears, and Batman is the default personality. The argument basically goes that "Bruce" died in that alley alongside his parents, and Batman was born as a way to protect himself and, eventually, the city he lives in, as he devotes his life to a war on crime. In other words, Batman could exist without Bruce Wayne, but Bruce Wayne could never exist without Batman.

Consequently, Bruce Wayne must be most boring billionaire ever. He makes Mark Zuckerberg look like a rockstar by comparison. This realization is better understood when you compare Wayne to other billionaire superheroes. Ted Kord, Oliver Queen, and Tony Stark all have a way better time fighting their personal demons, and their enemies, than Batman.

You'd suffer from a major inferiority complex

Unless Batman is running with the Justice League B-Team, any one of his superfriends could kill him in an instant. Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Martian Manhunter … even Aquaman, all have power sets that could inadvertently kill Batman, or at least severely maim him. Half of that crew can fly, one can breathe underwater, and another can run so fast that he skips across the surface. Batman, meanwhile, has got a cool car, a helicopter, and a utility belt. That totally puts him on equal ground with a guy who can punch planets out of orbit, or a woman who can bench press a small island nation. The only thing that gets bruised more than Batman's face is his ego.

None of your friends would want you to be Batman

Have you ever done something that's somewhat dumb and all of your friends go along with it, but super hesitantly? You can tell that none of them actually want you to go through with it. In fact, some of them take you aside and tell you that what you're doing is dumb, dangerous and pointless. In fact, some friends aren't even that civil. Some of them actively tell you you're an idiot, that what you're doing is going to get your dumb a killed.

Well, guess what being Batman would be like. All of that! In fact, that's basically what being Batman already is! The people who know his identity — Alfred, Nightwing, Dr. Leslie Thompkins, his own mother — almost universally disapprove of what he does and how he does it. And that's another rub: the people who are telling you to stop are the only friends you have. When literally everyone you surround yourself with is telling you that what you're doing is really dumb and unnecessary, maybe … listen to them?

We get it: jumping off rooftops is fun, but also maybe don't? Just donate to charity, Bruce. If you really want to jump off roofs, take up parkour in your spare time. It's safer and more acceptable.

You'd have hideout envy, compared to all your super-friends

Batman is, if anything, committed to his brand. The dude slaps his name and logo on everything he uses in his never-ending war on crime: the Batmobile, Batarang, Batcopter, Batpod, Batplane, and so on and so forth. If you somehow still weren't clued in that the dude digs little flying rodents, one visit to his headquarters would educate you for sure. While Superman has a Fortress of Solitude, the X-Men have the Xavier School, the Fantastic Four have the Baxter Building, and the Justice League has the Watchtower, Batman hangs his cowl in the … Bat Cave. Dear Bruce: we get it.

Oh, and it absolutely is a cave, or better or for … well, mostly worse. Drippy, wet walls, all kinds of creepy crawlies, deep crevices, and other assorted unpleasantries — this is where Gotham's hero chooses to work, rather than the opulent, luxurious mansion that sits on the surface just above, and that he owns. Apparently, even the World's Greatest Detective can't solve the mystery of just, why.

Gotham's just not worth it

In Batman Begins, Ra's Al Ghul tries to sway Bruce Wayne into letting Gotham burn by arguing that, since the League of Shadows could infiltrate every level of the city's administration, it proves that Gotham is so corrupt, it isn't worth saving in the first place. Although he's a villain, Al Ghul has a damn good point. Given all of the awful catastrophes and plots that Batman has to avert, overcome, and defeat, plus the overwhelming frequency with which they take place, you'd have to be out of your mind to live in Gotham. And you'd have to be even crazier to think that you'd ever be able to save it with naught but growls, punches, and nightly creep-jaunts atop the city's rooftops.