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Opening the MAILBAT: Volume 1

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We took your questions about Batman and gave you the answers you deserve, even if they’re not the ones you need right now.

2014 New York Comic Con - Day 1 Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

As the stewards of the most prolific collective of Batman scholarship in recorded human history, we receive frequent inquiries from the common man regarding various Batmatters. From time to time, we collect these queries, along with our replies, and publish them for the edification of the general public. All answers are canon. You are welcome.

How complicated are Batman’s taxes? – Glenn W.

Ryan: Batman might well have a series of shell companies to hide his Bat-spenses, but it’s likely not for tax purposes thanks to one simple truth: Being Batman is not a moneymaker. There’s no river of crimefighting income to hide from the IRS, and, as a superwealthy white dude, Bruce Wayne has plenty of other ways to avoid his tax obligations that don’t intermingle with his crimefighting side gig. Though it would be very funny if Alfred just got forgetful one year and accidentally amortized the Batboat.

Batman is allowed to join the Gotham football team for a season to compensate for Bane killing most of them. What position does he play? – Brett B.

Godfrey: Trick question. Dennis Quaid’s character in Any Given Sunday is actually a Batman: broken, bitter man forced to train arrogant children as his replacements for a war that shouldn’t be waged.

Based on his history of drafting unpaid teenagers into his war on crime, is it fair to assume that Bruce Wayne is a major booster for Gotham University Athletics and that he regularly scouts the football program for future Robins? – Matt K.

Holly: Not to go all Killing Joke on an otherwise perfectly pleasant Friday afternoon, but if Batman wasn’t so hung up on hanging out (bat term) on one side of the gender binary, and slightly less obsessed with orphans as a status object, he COULD be recruiting emotionally well-balanced acrobats from the many fine women’s gymnastics programs of the SEC and Pac-12 to assist him. What can Robin do that a poised, athletic, and underpaid student-athlete from UCLA or Georgia or LSU couldn’t do better, and in a better leotard?

Which Batman character is the most Michigan? Key aspects of a Michigan person include World War 2, Rule-Following, and Books (among others). – Jacob T.

Godfrey: Edward Nygma has spent an entire criminal career obsessed not with any measurable success (wealth, power), only with getting Batman to admit he’s not as smart as The Riddler. Every time Batman matches Riddler’s acumen (usually built more on cleverness than actual intellect), Nygma whines that he cheated. The man may look like a Notre Dame mascot, but that insecurity too is bone-deep to be anything other than Go Blue.

What real life super rich person (or coach, I guess? Jimbo will come up either way) would make the best vigilante? – Hoku B.

Holly: You’re going to want to look for a coach’s son, for that key blend of generational wealth and zero accountability. I’d say Kendal Briles is semantically already this person, but I have it on good authority that he can’t aim for shit. The Bowdens are widely considered to be buffoons up and down the generational ladder; Derek Dooley’s too timid by half, and none of the Stoops boys have the requisite conditioning (although I would never count out Mark in any close-quarters combat situation). Frank Beamer probably was a great vigilante in his day IRL, so let’s keep an eye on young Shane down in Columbia and watch what develops, shall we?

Please assess the logistical challenges of Batman getting drive thru, as mentioned in the opening credits to Batman Forever, and which chains’ drive thru lines are best and worst suited for accommodating a Batmobile. – Matt B.

Holly: As a frequent resident of cities with thriving car cultures and relaxed approaches to surface maintenance, I can tell you right now that Batman’s greatest hurdle between him and road food is going to consist, quite literally, of mean streets. He’s maybe the only guy in the city actually equipped to drive over as many bolted-down metal plates as Gotham’s lesser avenues can provide. (He’s also maybe the only guy equipped financially to do anything about it, but no, he’d rather spend his energy beating up petty criminals and the mentally ill.)

Anyway, my answer is “all of them”; if Gotham’s home to any of the typical American urban drive-thru experiences, those lines are going to have plenty of speed bumps. Blasting over them at high speed is one thing, but beaching one’s ride long enough to visibly hold up one side of the double Cook-Out queue is a look our batty boy just can’t risk. You know where I’m heading with this: Batman parks at the back of the lot and walks, somewhat sheepishly, in for take-out. Every time.

Is Batman hoggin’ or is the money and flash just to compensate? – Andrew H.

Godfrey: I’m terrified enough of this question, please don’t bring Barry Allen into it.

Why’s Batman so whiny? That’s it. That’s the whole question. Go drive your cool cars and live in your mansion you big whiny baby. – Kevin G.

Ryan: Is Batman whiny? I never really think of him that way. He’s moody, sure, and melodramatic in that “nothing you can say can bother me because my soul is FULL OF PAIN ALREADY” style. Can we settle on mopey? Batman is definitely one mopey asshole, and while I get that’s part of the mystique, he really should do as you’ve suggested if he can’t have fun being the Caped Crusader. You’re already operating outside of the law. There’s no need to make it seem like a chore.

Which former US president (living or dead) is the most Batman? Which is the most Alfred? – Mark C.

Ryan: As the only lifelong bachelor to hold the Presidency, James Buchanan is the most Batman. Nobody is the most Alfred because what President could buttle?

You may submit your own questions on the Bat arcana topic of your choice, to be published in a future edition of MAILBAT, at