9 Times Batman Was A Complete Jerk In The Comics, Ranked

That Time Batman Used Robin as Bait

Batman: dark protector of Gotham City. The Dark Knight is a hero, mentor, and philanthropist. Yet, sometimes, he can be kind of a dick. Superheroes can’t be super 24/7, and few of them prove this more often than Batman. When has Batman been downright rude and an all-around not nice guy?

This list includes the many occasions when Batman was a total jerk to both his allies and his enemies. There’s everything from mistreating people who trusted him to straight up murder. Surely the pressures of being one of the most popular superheroes ever can be daunting and, sure, no one is perfect – but no one lets the jerk flag fly like Batman. Maybe he’s just getting cranky after 75+ years of existence?

Take a look below to read about the many times Batman was a dick and remember that it isn’t always saving lives and fighting crime with this superhero. These jerk Batman moments were voted on by comic lovers on Ranker, so enjoy this list as a countdown with the #1 voted moment last.

9. That Time Batman Used Robin as Bait

That Time Batman Used Robin as Bait

Quick, Robin! Put on this leotard and wait for that panther to attack!” Good ol’ Golden Age Batman, always putting Robin in peril – especially in Batman #72. Seriously, it’s bad enough that Batman is letting Robin hang out and wait for that giant cat to maul him, but the lack of dignity Robin has to endure in that leopard print loincloth while his father figure stands in the background in a full, svelte, black one-piece number.

8. That Time He Dragged a Mental Patient from a Plane

That Time He Dragged a Mental Patient from a Plane

There’s a fine line between vigilantism and heroism. It’s obvious which side of the line hanging someone from your batplane lies on, and it’s definitely the Batman-is-a-dick side. This poor guy (who is also a mental patient) is just some low-level thug who was transformed into a hulking monster by Hugo Strange. In Batman #1, the Caped Crusader fights it out with him then just up and kills the guy, but hey it was “probably better this way.”

7. When He Painted Himself Yellow to Bully Green Lantern

When He Painted Himself Yellow to Bully Green Lantern

This is like the superhero equivalent of adding insult to injury. Green Lantern has a strange weakness, just as green gives him power (the color of will) yellow weakens him (the color of fear). In All Star Batman and Robin #9, Bats decides to paint both himself and the Boy Wonder. They then proceed to kick the ever loving crap out of Green Lantern just because GL questioned their lifestyle.It’s like Green Lantern digging up Bruce Wayne’s parents and beating him with the corpses.

6. Forever Torturing Lord Death Man

Forever Torturing Lord Death Man

Lord Death Man is quite the stretch even by comic book standards. He’s a man who cannot die but still feels all the pain inflicted on him. Basically the perfect punching bag for a vengeful and malicious Batman. So in Batman Inc., after tossing the guy around, shooting him in the eyes, and burning him alive, Batman then sends him to “a fate worse than death.” His words. He throws him into a locked safe to rot away in claustrophobia/suffocation forever.

5. When He Tried Out All Those Kids To Be The New Robin

When He Tried out All Those Kids to Be the New Robin

It would be a pretty dick move if, when you came into work tomorrow, your boss had new people interviewing for your job at your desk. It’d be even worse if then your boss made you stand there and watch. Oh, and he or she isn’t just your boss, he or she is your legal guardian who took you in after your parents were murdered in front of you. Also, you’re 10 years old. Fun, right? The best part of the cover of Detective Comics #237 isn’t that Batman is trying out these kids to take Dick Grayson’s spot (while wearing his clothes, no less) but that Batman doesn’t seem too happy with their results. Bruce must have some high standards for his child partner in his insane war on crime. 

4. That Time He Made Robin Dig His Own Grave

That Time He Made Robin Dig His Own Grave

Wait, doesn’t Batman have a butler who can dig these graves?World’s Finest #195 features not one, but two superheroes forcing these young boys to dig their own graves before they will kill them. This is something that even the worst mobsters don’t do.

3. That Time He Knocked Nightwing’s Tooth out

That Time He Knocked Nightwing's Tooth out

So apparently Batman never studied denistry?

In Batman #7, Batman is hot on the heels of The Court of Owl’s assassins, the Talons, when he uncovers a secret tying them to Haly’s Circus. Suspecting that his former ward, Dick Grayson, might have been selected to join the Talons, Bruce decides that he needs to see if their seal is hidden in one of his molars. Does he ask politely to look in his mouth? Does he explain any of this to Dick first? 

Nope. That’s not how Batman operates. He just hauls off and punches his friend in the face so hard that it knocks to tooth loose and it rattles on the floor. There had to be a nicer way to get that tooth out, Bruce.

2. Pretty Much Everything in All Star Batman

Pretty Much Everything in All Star Batman

Frank Miller’s take on the Dark Knight has always been that he is a little rough around the edges. However, when the writer teamed up with Jim Lee for this limited series, Batman just went off the rails.

First was his extremely un-P.C. language with the newly orphaned Dick Grayson. This pretty much lasted through the whole series and spawned the popular “I’m the goddamn Batman” line. He then leaves Dick to eat rats or starve in the Batcave. Yes, the same Batcave that is below a plush estate equipped with kitchen and butler. Then he paints an entire room yellow so that Green Lantern can’t use his powers. At first, it seems pretty brilliant! Just keep in mind, this is Batman – the guy is always ten steps ahead of everything. He really didn’t have a way to stop GL outside of having Robin paint the furniture and make lemonade?

1. That Time He Pushed Robin to His Death

That Time He Pushed Robin to His Death

So is there is no Bat-severance package?

Bruce Wayne is usually depicted more as a figure head at Wayne Industries instead of a day-to-day guy. This means he probably doesn’t have a lot of experience in letting people go. However, this is no way to fire someone. Batman, you cannot lead your young apprentice to the top of a tower, shove him to his death AND THEN say they’re fired. Robin probably assumed as much all the way down. Ever wonder why Dick Grayson left to become Nightwing? Detective Comics #381 is probably exhibit one.