Despite his status as a vigilante who hunts down criminals from the shadows, Batman has one of the strongest moral compasses of any hero. For instance, while a hero like Captain America may outwardly look more like a typical hero, Cap is perfectly willing to kill his enemies if he has to (he did fight in a World War, after all), whereas Batman has a strict no-kill policy as a means of distancing himself from the corrupt individuals he encounters on a nightly basis. Still, even though he’s forged an uneasy partnership with law enforcement, Batman is breaking the law by taking the law into his own hands and over the years, he’s definitely done some things that hurt his reputation as a hero standing up for justice.
With over 75 years of comic book history, there have been many instances of Batman making some serious mistakes and the following represent some of his worst offenses.
15. Firing Dick Grayson as Robin
As every Batman fan knows, Dick Grayson was the first incarnation of Robin and was just as much an ally to Batman as he was an adopted son. Unfortunately, the shared mentor/student and father/son dynamic caused a lot of tension between the two over the years, with Dick seemingly unable to live up to Bruce’s impossible standards. As dick got older, he began to pursue other interests, such as school and the Teen Titans, a superhero team comprised of young crimefighters such as himself. Eventually, Batman finds out about Robin’s membership in the Teen Titans and in Nightwing: Year One, confronts his protege and reprimands him for it, leading to this memorable quote:
“This is a war, Dick. Robin is my second… my lieutenant. Anything less than total devotion to this cause is simply wasting my time. I’ll say it again… you’re fired, Dick. Get out of my cave.”
Yes, Batman fires Dick Grayson on the spot and strips him of the Robin title. Thankfully for all involved, Dick would go on to become Nightwing (essentially the cooler version of Robin) and the pair eventually reconnect and even forge a stronger bond than before. Still, Batman arguably goes a bit too far with his display of tough love and it’s hard not to view him as a petty jerk in this scenario.