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Off My Mind: Should Batman Be Promoting Vigilantism?
by Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero on
Is Batman Inc creating an army of vigilantes?
In the recent Detective Comics Annual #12, Bruce Wayne goes to Paris, France and informs the head of the Police Nationale that he is expanding his Batman Inc franchise into their country. He doesn't ask for permission but simply tells him this is what he's doing.
When questioned about setting up a franchise of masked vigilantes, Bruce replies that their representatives are strictly regulated from their central office but will also be answerable to the head of the French police force.
Batman isn't one to make brash decisions but is he out of line in thrusting his Batman Inc idea on other nations?
== TEASER ==
Bruce refers to Batman Inc as a peace keeping agency but that's just fancy talk for the way he bullied his way on the French. Even if they are answerable to the head of police, the Batman Inc operatives are still operating outside the law.
If people are willing to accept an American peace keeping agency into their country, what's to prevent others (with ulterior motives) in trying to set up similar groups? This could inspire even more vigilantism by individuals not trained or approved by Batman.
There's also the possibility of random people dressing up in homemade Bat-costumes and trying to operate under the Batman Inc umbrella. How will the authorities tell one Batman representative from another? We have Bruce and Dick dressed as Batman. We know the difference is in the costume and Bat-symbol but others won't necessarily know that.
There's also the question of accountability. Is Wayne Enterprises responsible for any actions or damage caused by a Batman? Perhaps that should be a discussion for another day.
Batman is breaking the law. He has the best intentions but he's now encouraging and helping others to break the law in their own countries. The different representatives don't need to disclose their identities to the local authorities. They may work with or be answerable to the local police but I doubt they'll be taking direct orders from them. Is Batman Inc a peace keeping agency or a bunch of masked vigilantes?