These 8 moments are the most tragic things to happen in Batman and Bruce Wayne’s life.
Bruce Wayne has been going through hell throughout most of his life. If this writer is being honest, some of the things the iconic DC Comics character endures are of his own doing. Others, however, happen because he’s trying to do what’s right as Gotham City’s (and sometimes the world’s) protector.
Nevertheless, there are tragedies in The Batman‘s lore that have to be mentioned. Here are the eight worst things to happen to the Dark Knight and Bruce Wayne throughout his life.
8. Batman fights his father
Comic book: Batman No. 74, Batman No. 85
This version of Thomas Wayne may not have been the exact version of the man that actually raised Bruce Wayne, but fighting him still hurt. This Thomas became Batman in the Flashpoint universe after his son died instead of him and Martha. Because of what he went through as Batman, he didn’t want his son to suffer the same fate.
As a result, Thomas went as far as to team with Bane to deter his son from being a hero and avoid him ever having to live a life like his. The duo broke him emotionally and physically. Too bad Thomas didn’t count on Bruce’s resolve. Bruce may have been broken, but, with the help of Catwoman, he was mended.
7. The Joker kidnaps the Bat-Family
Comic book: Death of the Family
The Joker does whatever he can to make Batman’s life miserable. He takes joy in it. This particular time, the Clown Prince of Crime made it more personal than normal. He kidnapped the Bat-family, including Alfred, and made it look like he ripped their faces off. To add to the fear, he showed Bruce by putting their faces on a plate. In actuality, Joker gave the Bat-Family a drug that gave them the Joker’s pale white face and trademark smile. Bruce could only sit and watch as the people he loved look like the person he hates more than anything.
6. Bane breaks Batman’s back
Comic book: Batman: Knightfall
To many, Batman is unbeatable and unbreakable. But to Bane, the Dark Knight is just another rich kid. It’s almost like Bruce’s existence offends him. While the supervillain had to almost drown every night as a kid, Bruce grew up in a life of luxury.
Eventually, the two met and, at the time, the unthinkable happened: Bane broke Batman’s back with a vicious back-breaker. A move that Bane became known for. No one since has physically hurt Batman like this. To add insult to injury, he did it again in Batman No. 72.
5. Catwoman leaves Batman
Comic book: Batman No. 50
The DC Comics website teased Batman No. 50 with a description that read as “It’s the wedding you never thought you’d see!” In hindsight, they were more right than we knew. It actually never happened. After going to an illegal country to clear Selina Kyle’s name, telling Superman and Lois about the engagement, dealing with the scrutiny of the Bat-Family, Batman was still dealt an unexpected blow: The wedding never happened.
Catwoman left him at the “altar.” She felt that Bruce wouldn’t be an effective Batman if he was happy. And, since she made him happy, she felt she shouldn’t be around him. This was the first step in Bane and Thomas Wayne’s plan to break the Bat. A genius play since it actually did break him.
4. Jason Todd’s death and rebirth
Comic book: A Death in the Family, Batman Under the Red Hood
Jason Todd’s death was the first time a Robin died in costume. It was a truly traumatic moment for The Dark Knight and readers, but Joker being the murderer just made it worse. Jason had always been impulsive and rebellious, but Bruce couldn’t help but blame himself for his death. The image of him holding Jason’s dead body is among the saddest in comic book history.
Another traumatic experience for Bruce was Jason’s resurrection. His wayward ward came back as Red Hood. Taking on Joker’s former name, Jason became a crime kingpin of sorts, and a murderer. Jason only killed people that he thought deserved it but it didn’t matter to Bruce. Murder is murder. On top of that, Bruce had to severely wound Jason so he didn’t kill The Joker.
3. Batman almost kills The Riddler
Comic book: The War of Jokes and Riddles
Before Bruce could marry Selina, he had to tell her about his worst shame. It came during The War of Jokes and Riddles. A battle between Joker and Riddler, it lasted months and involved most of Batman’s worst enemies. It got so bad that Batman had to join one side to stop the murder.
In the end, we found out that The Riddler set the entire thing up to make The Joker laugh. However, it didn’t work. The joke was that the former would be beaten by a ridiculous criminal (Kite Man) that he created.
When Bruce found this out, he lost it. He grabbed a knife and attempted to attack Riddler in the face. The only thing that stopped him was The Joker, who put his hand up before Batman could kill. That made Joker laugh. Batman’s worst enemy and a serial killer is the one thing that stopped Bruce from breaking his major rule. Bruce will never live that down.
2. The death of Batman’s parents
Comic book: Detective Comics No. 33
This was the moment that started it all. The day that Thomas and Martha Wayne died, an oath was made. A young Bruce Wayne said, “by the spirits of my parents I will avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals.” He has made good on that promise.
Bruce may have become a hero who’s helped save the universe, but this was one of the worst days of his life. It has since cost him loving relationships and his own health. However, he’s gained a lot as well. If Bruce had to do it again, he would still become the Dark Knight to protect those in Gotham City.
1. Alfred’s death
Comic book: City of Bane
Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s father and the person he cares about more than anything. His death was the worst thing that’s ever happened to him. Waking up and seeing the man who raised him dead, with a broken neck was tragic. It should have destroyed him. Yet, he sucked it up and fought his father from another world and Bane. He knew he had to fight now and mourn later.
Bruce hasn’t been the same since Alfred died. He lost his fortune, he’s not the hero he once was, and he seems to make mistakes he normally wouldn’t.
This writer thought that Alfred would be back from the dead by now but he was wrong. Hopefully the faithful Bat-family member comes back soon. Batman comic books aren’t the same without him.
What do you think? What other moments should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below.