Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bruce Wayne...Not A Billionaire?!?

We all remember that, in The Dark Knight Rises, our bad guys brought Bruce Wayne to bankruptcy as part of their plan to get the Batman.

Well, as with so many (every?) idea in a comic book or comic book movie, Bob Haney did it first!!

Let us journey back to 1974, as...

Yes, that is the actual design of Bruce's tie. It's not a stain.

Anyhoo, Batman has been forcibly retired by Gotham City--the mayor ordered him to retire, and got a court injunction forbidding him from ever fighting crime again!! (Haney!) So this crook (who is never named in the story--HANEY!!), who wanted vengeance on Batman, decides to get revenge on "Batman's rich friend" instead.

And the point of "skyscraper-jacking" (HANEY!!!!) Wayne Enterprises?

$27,400,000?! That's kind of...a specific sum. Oddly specific...

Well, since he's nothing if not cooperative with criminals, Bruce hops on the line to his financial guy, with the oddly specific ransom request:

So wait just one dang minute--Bruce Wayne's "exact worth" is $27,400,000?!? I thought he was a billionaire?!?

Oh, yeah, inflation, right?!? Well, whipping out our handy inflation calculator, the 2012 value of $27,400,000 is approximately $127,331,634.80.

$127 million ain't chump change, but it's not Bill Gates money, either. Not only would that
not crack the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America, but Bruce's "fortune" is only 1/10th the net worth of 400th place!!

And in terms of his corporation?? Let's look at the 1974 Fortune 500 (bless you, internet!), so we don't have to worry about pesky inflation variables. At $27.4 million, Wayne Enterprises wouldn't be in the Fortune 500 at all, trailing such luminaries as Idle Wild Foods, Flavorland Industries, and Rath Packing.

Yes, yes, there might be some confusion between Bruce's personal fortune and the worth of his company. But our unnamed kidnapper insists he's done his homework, and Wayne's own financial guy says this will leave him a "pauper." And, given the unlikelihood that Bob Haney could have made mistake (never!!) or just pulled a random number out of his ass (unthinkable!!), we're left with the inescapable conclusion that Bruce Wayne just wasn't that rich.

Poor guy...laughed at by other industrialists; mocked by Dan Snyder and Mark Cuban; can barely afford all that expensive bat-equipment. No wonder he's broody all the time!!

So remember...whatever brilliant idea you have for your comic story...BOB HANEY DID IT FIRST!!

From Brave And The Bold # 113 (1974)


Jeff Faria said...

Those Haney/Neal Adams collaborations in the B&B WERE brilliant. Thanks for reminding me of them!

snell said...

Actually, this issue was Jim Aparo, but yeah, it's kinda brilliant, too.