Can a Billionaire be the Hero in 2020?

I’m still waiting for someone to set the test footage of Robert Pattinson in the new Batman costume to the refrain from Roxanne. In short, I’m excited at Pattinson’s turn as the billionaire vigilante, and I’m looking forward to this reboot of the character.

This in spite of the fact that cynical takedowns of Batman abound. A billionaire with nigh unlimited wealth and resources decides the best course of action to save his city is by dressing up in a million dollar military grade suit and beat up citizens who are turning to crime due to poverty? It’s one of my favorite observations about Gotham City that more than half of Batman’s rogues gallery has PhDs- Harley, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy; notably, Victor Fries is humble enough to go by Mr. in his moniker. Apparently it simply lacks jobs for its overeducated denizens which seems like the kind of thing say, a multi-billionaire could help with?

In the past couple weeks though, the pendulum has swung back and I’m thinking: maybe Bruce Wayne is better off putting on the batsuit than mucking around in politics. Andrew Yang suspended his campaign for President, and we got to witness Michael Bloomberg get shellacked on the debate stage this past week. As much of an Ayn Rand wet dream of intelligence and charisma Bruce Wayne is supposed to be, maybe politics aren’t the best place for a billionaire?

It may be asking too much of the new film, but there’s a lot of potential in the current climate and view on wealth and how plutocrats should/could improve society that a modern Batman can explore, and also hold him accountable for. The new batsuit has been criticized for an overtly industrial look- we’re a long way from vulcanized rubber. This take on Bruce Wayne is investing serious capital and research into his crime fighting tech. So what is it about Gotham city that is reflective of our actual cities that makes this to choice for a billionaire who could buy his way into a Party Primary? (Bruce Wayne’s fictional net worth is only 1/5 Bloomberg’s, but still.)

Is he beset and impeded by a cabal of other Gotham City scions that could combine forces and resources to out buy him? Is the system and mass population so cynical and crying out “eat the rich” that Wayne’s efforts are ineffectual and halted on all sides? I don’t know, but there’s a very interesting potential there I hope Reeve’s and the team are exploring in light of the present climate. Suffice it to say, Wednesday night’s debate showed us that it’s entirely believable once more that if Wayne really wants to fix things, he’s not wrong to think it’s not something he can do on a political platform or a board room.

Author: Y. Balloo

Amateur novelist / Work in progress.

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