Forget your Superman's, your Spider-Man's and your Aquaman's (we wish we could), Batman is THE coolest comic book hero of all time. The scowl, the cape, the gadgets, the gravelly voice – he makes all other heroes look like nothing more than drunk lunatics running around wearing their underwear on the outside of their trousers.
But even though he's unequivocally badass, we still wouldn't really want to be him. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. Everyone Around Him Dies
Bruce Wayne is proof that money cannot buy you happiness. Although he is the billionaire owner of Wayne Enterprises, his vast wealth still cannot help carve a smile onto that chiseled face of his. The Johnny Cash of comic book heroes, Batman's story begins when he witnesses his beloved parents shot dead in an alleyway and then continues through to the deaths of the second Robin Jason Todd, the (mysterious) death of love interest Talia al Ghul in Arkham City, the deaths of Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight and Alfred's death in the 60s to name but a few – of course, many of these deaths were later retconned, but the fact remains; Bruce Wayne has been through a lot of unenviable emotional trauma.
As previously mentioned, Batman is cool. As Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze would say, he is as "cool as ice". But as The Caped Crusader stands atop one of Gotham's signature gargoyle statues throwing a menacing five-mile stare to the City below, the li'l dick in the bright green shorts and pixie shoes pirouetting around him doesn't exactly lend himself well to the whole gothic vibe Batsy has going on. Some heroes work better alone.
3. He has No Superpowers
When you strip away all the money, the gadgetry, the vehicles and the costume, Batman is essentially just a billionaire who is very good at punching people in the face. While that may sound like fun, it must make him feel pretty incompotent when standing next to the rest of the Justice League.
4. His Enemies are Terrifying
Batman is cursed with perhaps the most terrifying enemies in any comic book series; from Killer Croc to The Joker, from Scarecrow to Bane, each villain seems specifically designed to emotionally and physically torment the Bat in new and horrifying ways. The Riddler puts Batman at the centre of mind-bending puzzles he must solve in order to save innocent lives, Mad Hatter uses mind-control and hypnosis to put him in disorienting situations, while The Jokes infamously toys with his morality and sense of right and wrong. Each enemy chips away at Batman's sturdy, defiant frame, drawing him closer to their own insanity and testing both his body and his mind.
5. He Can't Quit
Batman has had successors in the past, but there will only ever truly be one Bruce Wayne, and that is what keeps Batman tethered to his duties as Gotham's saviour despite age and physical capabilities. We've seen Dick Grayson/Nightwing put on the cape in Batman: Reborn and Jean-Paul Valley/Azrael take on the role in Knightfall following Wayne's paralysation at the hands of Bane. However, Wayne has always returned to reclaim his title, even coming out of retirement at the age of 55 to restore order in a crumbling Gotham in The Dark Knight Returns. It's this unwillingness to give up that makes Batman such a good character, even though we would personally much prefer chilling in our mansion and having a nice cup of tea.
6. He's Burdened with Responsibility
A lot of heroes quite enjoy being heroes. Take Spider-Man for example: although he is ultimately spurred on by the death of Uncle Ben, he still seems to enjoy his role as vigilante and has often used it to his advantage when not wearing the mask. He swings about New York, cavorts with women using his webbing (not a euphemism) and gets to snog Emma Stone. Not bad. On the other hand, Batman is buried under the weight of guilt and feels it is his duty to act selflessly in every aspect of his life. Never does he use the words "I'm Batman" to impress a woman, nor does he get to carry Lois Lane in his arms while he flies around Gotham. Batman is cool, yes, but is also a bit of a buzzkill.
7. It's Difficult to Forget 60s Batman
As Christopher Nolan has brought the brooding Dark Knight we know and love to the big screen, it just makes 60s Batman even more unbearably funny to watch. While Adam West's portrayal of Batman certainly has its nostalgic charm, it would be difficult to don the signature cape and half-mask without the words "some days you just can't get rid of a bomb" swirling around in our heads.
8. He Doesn't Know How to be Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne's a made man. Sure, he's had to deal with a few major upsets along the way to his billion dollar fortune, but whereas most would continue their father's legacy by – y'know – continuing to run the business that he'd spent so long working on, li'l Brucey instead decides to dress up as a bat and kick bad guys in the face. We're not entirely sure how he made that connection, but between being a philantropic billionaire playboy and a miserable anonymous crime fighter, we know which one we'd rather be – and it's not the one that forces us to wear pointy ears.