Why Is Batman Called Batman? Bruce Wayne’s Alter Ego Name Explained

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We all know that the iconic black-clad superhero that looks like a bat is called Batman, as this vigilante has become one of the most popular figures in the world of comic books. Of course, we know that the man behind the cowl is Bruce Wayne, a billionaire playboy during the day but secretly a crime-fighting costumed hero at night. But why is it that Bruce Wayne chose to call himself “Batman?”

Bruce Wayne chose to call himself “Batman” because he was afraid of bats. He thought that choosing a figure he was afraid of would also allow the criminals of Gotham City to fear him. Essentially, he used his greatest fears against his enemies to represent the fear of the city’s criminals.

The thing about Batman is that he was always such a psychologically interesting character that operates on a different level in how he uses different psychological advantages to defeat his opponents. Of course, his entire persona as a hero symbolizes how he wants the enemies of Gotham City to see him whenever he is busting up their butts during the night.

Bruce Wayne is afraid of bats

Hardly anyone in the world has never heard the name “Batman” because this superhero has always been ranked at the top of the list of some of the most notable and popular comic book characters ever. We know that Batman is the vigilante that stalks the streets of Gotham City to hunt down criminals and beat them up without killing them. And he can be quite brutal in handling his business, but he makes sure that he doesn’t use lethal force when enforcing his own brand of the law.

Of course, Batman is Bruce Wayne, a billionaire playboy that people hardly ever see in public. Bruce had a sad childhood because he saw how a criminal gunned down his parents in cold blood right before his eyes. This experience scarred him for decades as he eventually decided to be the one to solve criminality in Gotham, which is the most crime-infested city in the world of DC.

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Batman made a name for himself as the symbol of Gotham’s revenge against the city’s criminal underworld. In fact, in ‘The Batman,’ Robert Pattinson’s version of the Caped Crusader called himself “Vengeance” whenever he was introducing himself to the criminals of Gotham as it was clear that he wanted them to see him as the symbol of the city’s vengeance against those that preyed on the innocent people of Gotham.

But the thing about Batman is that he chose the name “Batman” for a very good reason. There wasn’t a point in the comics where he called himself “Vengeance” as it was clear from the start what he wanted to be in the eyes of the criminals of the city. Bruce Wayne was afraid of bats back when he was still a child, and the underground caverns of Wayne Manor are full of bats. While he may have conquered his fear of bats upon reaching adulthood, he still knew that he used to be very afraid of these creatures.

bruce fears bats

Bruce understood how bats made him feel back when he was still just a child. He knew what kind of fear he felt whenever he saw bats, and that was the kind of fear that he wanted to instill into the hearts of the villains of Gotham. As such, he chose to be called “Batman” because he wanted to make the criminals of his city fear him just as much as he feared bats back when he was still just a child.

This is one of the most amazing parts of Bruce Wayne’s persona because he could take one of his biggest fears and weaknesses and use it against his enemies. He knew and understood his own fears, and he decided to try to overcome them by becoming the thing he feared the most in the hopes that the evil-doers of Gotham would also see him as the one thing they should fear the most in the city.

The “Bat-Man” was a feared person in Gotham

While it may be true that Bruce Wayne chose to be called “Batman” because he wanted to represent the fears of the criminals of Gotham City, there is a deeper detail to this name. And it goes all the way back to the older times of Gotham and before Bruce was even born.

In the comics, ‘Gotham City: Year One #1’ allowed us to see Gotham City early in the 20th century. Tom King and Phil Hester wrote the storyline, as they were able to tell the story of a man named Slam Bradley, who was aiding the different people of Gotham as a private detective.

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Helen Wayne, the daughter of the Wayne Family’s scion at that time, was kidnapped from the Wayne estate. Slam found himself as the one that had to deliver the letter to the Wayne family, as he ended up getting involved in the entire kidnapping case when they thought that he was one of the people that kidnapped Helen because he was the one that delivered the letter to the Wayne estate. 

Constance Wayne told Slam the story of her daughter’s disappearance, and the only clue the kidnapper left was a note inside Helen’s bedroom. The note had no identifying marks that would have allowed Slam to track down the perpetrator. However, the note had a bat symbol. Helen’s father, Richard Wayne, started calling the kidnapper “Bat-Man.”

batman ransom letter

Of course, this happened way before Batman was even born, which means it would have been impossible for him to kidnap Helen, who happened to be his father’s sister. As such, the kidnapping was the work of an entirely different man that Richard started calling “Bat-Man” due to the symbol on the note that he left.

But there’s a good chance that Bruce knows the story behind the “Bat-Man” that kidnapped his Aunt Helen, and that’s why he knows that this entity was someone that the city feared because he was skilled enough to break into the Wayne family estate and kidnap the daughter of the Wayne family. As such, he might have also chosen the “Batman” name because he knows the fear associated with the “Bat-Man” that became prominent in the early 20th century.

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