Top 10 Worst Decisions Batman Ever Made

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Top 10 Worst Decisions Batman Ever Made

VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild WRITTEN BY: Timothy MacAusland
For a character commonly referred to as the world's greatest detective, Batman sure makes a lot of mistakes. For this list, we'll be looking at the Dark Knight's most dubious decisions over a variety of media. Our countdown includes Trusting Catwoman, Fighting Superman, Not Killing the Joker, and more!
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Top 10 Worst Decisions Batman Ever Made


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Decisions Batman Ever Made.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the Dark Knight’s most dubious decisions over a variety of media. We’ll be judging his calls based on their severe repercussions, and not simply their moral haziness, as those already have a list of their own.

Anything we missed? Leave a Batcomment below!

#10: Trusting Catwoman

“The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)
The Bat and the Cat is a tale as old as time, filled with romantic tension and double-crosses. But seldom has Batman gotten the raw end of the deal like in “The Dark Knight Rises.” In the film, Batman enlists Catwoman’s help to track down Bane, but ever the opportunist, she leads Batman into his trap. Though Batman is commendable for seeing the good in people, it leads to Bane breaking his back in a crippling display of power. Bruce then has to rehabilitate for months as he watches Gotham fall apart and practically climb his way out of Hell. Batman’s faith is ultimately rewarded as he and Catwoman end Bane’s tyranny, but there’s no question he had to suffer beforehand.

#9: Giving a Kid Traceable Tech

“Batman Begins” (2005)
This is on the surface a nice moment as a passing Batman gives a downtrodden kid a keepsake, but a decision that’s probably ill-advised considering all the circumstances. For starters, is it even safe for the kid to have? What’s to say what’ll happen when he brings it to school? Could it be traced back to Batman if fallen into the wrong hands? In any case, it sure doesn’t improve the kid’s lot in life when the city is plunged into fear, nor does it come in handy when he and Rachel are confronted by nightmare Scarecrow. We know it’s not the same continuity, but we also shudder to think of anyone looking like Joffrey Baratheon getting a dangerous piece of technology.


#8: Manipulating Stephanie Brown

“Robin Vol. 2 #128” (2004)
After spending time as the vigilante Spoiler, Stephanie Brown manages to persuade Batman into letting her be Robin after her boyfriend Tim Drake is forced to hang it up at the behest of his father. Batman reluctantly takes her on - without even informing Tim - only to fire her shortly afterwards over a single mistake. Stephanie goes out desperate to prove herself, only to find herself mortally wounded by Black Mask. Later on, it turns out she faked her own death to return fighting as Spoiler, but the initial lack of a memorial in the Batcave alongside Jason Todd’s speaks volumes. Even Alfred speculates that it was all a ruse to get Tim to suit back up. Honestly, we wouldn’t put it past Batman’s intellect.

#7: Letting Alfred Think He’s Dead

“The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)
Speaking of Alfred, his and Bruce’s relationship gets severely strained in the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy. The combination of hiding secrets from Bruce and trying to dissuade him from confronting Bane sees our favorite butler packing up his things. After Bruce is ostensibly killed saving Gotham from a neutron bomb, Alfred inexplicably sees him alive at a restaurant in Florence to end the movie. This thematically ties back into Alfred’s fantasy earlier in the film, but if it was always Bruce’s plan to let him know, he really could’ve saved him a lot of suffering immediately with a simple note. After all, the man fully grieved at the loss of his surrogate son, entirely believing it was all his fault.

#6: Falling for Talia al Ghul

“Batman: Son of the Demon” (1987)
Batman really doesn’t have the best taste when it comes to love. Still, many fans will contend that his ultimate romantic interest is Talia al Ghul. The catch? She’s the daughter of one of his arch-nemeses, Ra’s al Ghul. This naturally leads to a lot of friction, especially when Ra’s has the two of them wed without Batman’s knowledge in a bid to pacify him. Complicating things even further is the birth of their son, Damien Wayne, who eventually becomes Robin and causes even more strife in both households. It just goes to show that even when you’re the world’s greatest detective, you can’t escape from baby mama drama.


#5: Fighting Superman

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)
Obviously, with the fight being in the title, we knew Batman was gonna fight Superman. Though he really shouldn’t have. Bruce is understandably shaken in the aftermath of Superman’s fight with Zod in “Man of Steel,” convinced the red-and-blue boy scout is a threat that needs to be eliminated. Enter Act III, however, when Lex Luthor has essentially pitted the two against each other by kidnapping Martha Kent. Superman tries to tell Batman this, but the latter’s resolve is so strong it takes a shared maternal name to get him to back down. Had Batman not gone about weakening Superman, it’s possible they would’ve been more prepared to handle Doomsday. However, Superman dies in the fight, leading to Bruce’s guilt.

#4: Letting Azrael Be Batman

“Batman: Knightfall” (1993)
We all know the infamous comics storyline wherein Bane breaks Batman’s back, but it’s a follow-up storyline that merits inclusion on this list. While recovering, Bruce entrusts the Batman identity to Jean-Paul Valley, better known as “Azrael.” Shocked, Tim Drake advocates for former Robin, Dick Grayson, to take the mantle, but Bruce persists, much to Dick’s chagrin. This backfires, as Jean-Paul’s unhinged nature leads him to be an incredibly brutal Batman, especially so after the Scarecrow reactivates his original conditioning. It turns out Bruce was merely trying to keep Dick from going after Bane, but he learns the error of his ways when he’s forced to take the mantle back.


#3: Recruiting Children

Various
It’s no secret that the various Robins and other members of the Bat Family have had it rough over the years. But what makes that even tougher to swallow is the general inexperience they have at crime fighting, let alone being alive. Indeed, several Robins weren’t even old enough to vote by the time they took up the mantle, with some of them even being preteens. In addition to Stephanie Brown, the other Robins who were definitely on the younger side were Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Damien Wayne, and Jason Todd, who too goes through a brutal death before being brought back. We don’t mind Batman being a mentor figure, but he could probably keep his adoptees off the streets a little longer.

#2: Justice League Contingency Plans

“JLA: Tower of Babel” (2000)
One of the best aspects of Batman’s character is his uncanny ability to plan for every outcome meticulously. However, this has definitely gotten him into trouble on more than one occasion. Most infamously, Batman drew up a series of strategies for how to deal with each member of the Justice League should they go rogue. Unfortunately, these plans are discovered by Ra’s al Ghul, who promptly puts them into action, nearly taking out the JLA once and for all. Something similar happens in the “Infinite Crisis” storyline when Batman’s satellite designed to monitor metahumans gains sentience before trying to kill them. If we’ve learned anything today, it’s that Batman could learn to trust a little more.


#1: Not Killing the Joker

Various
This one is definitely contentious, both within and outside the DC Universe. But the fact that it’s so heavily debated earns it the top spot. Though Batman has killed his quintessential enemy the Joker in some incarnations, the hero has largely abstained from doing so, either refusing to stoop to his level or preserve what sanity he has left. It’s a commendable effort either way, but it can’t be denied that Batman would prevent a lot of pain and suffering by taking the Joker out once and for all every time he gets the chance. Then again, it’s their fascinating dynamic that keeps their stories so interesting, as this and Batman’s other questionable calls has us coming back to the character again and again.
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