Batman 150 cover by Chris Samnee
(Image Source: DC / Chris Samnee)

Batman #150 Reveals First Thing Bruce Wayne Bought, Tackles Common Complaint

The question of how Bruce Wayne spends his money is often raised by those who don’t read comics. Some have noted that he could fight crime more effectively by funding social programs than being a vigilante. Two stories in Batman #150 address the topic of how Bruce Wayne spends his fortune, and the good he does outside of his costumed crime-fighting.

“Brick by Brick” by Chip Zdarsky and Mike Hawthorne opens with a flashback to Bruce Wayne’s youth. He thinks back on the first thing he did with his trust fund, after gaining access to his family fortune. It is revealed that he bought the company that made the gun that killed his parents and shut it down.

Bruce Wayne buys gun factory in Batman 150
(Image Source: DC)

Bruce was aware that this was not a true solution to his goal of saving lives. While he took steps to make sure no innocents were hurt, offering jobs to all the factory workers, he still had no way of fighting those who would profit off of death. While this flashback is brief, it does establish that even before he became Batman, Bruce Wayne was aware of the need for social justice in the war on crime.

Batman uses his fortune to help heal Gotham City

The second story, “Be Better,” addresses the idea of Bruce Wayne using his fortune to fight crime directly. Written by Chip Zdarsky, with art by Denys Cowan and Jorge Jiménez, “Be Better” centers around a man named Teddy. A career criminal with a college-age son, Teddy stumbles across Bruce Wayne’s secret identity and schemes to sell if off. This turns Teddy into the most wanted man in Gotham. The criminal underworld targets Teddy, trying to get the secret and kill him off before anyone else learns who Batman is.

Batman helps a young thug reform in Batman 150
(Image Source: DC)

In the process of fleeing for his life, Teddy is guided to his estranged son, who almost followed in his footsteps. However, he was put on a different path after an encounter with Batman. The Dark Knight helped Teddy’s son apply for a scholarship, and he proved to be a solid student. To Teddy’s shame, the man he nearly destroyed was more of a father to his son than he was. This pushed Teddy to go to Bruce Wayne, who agreed to help him start a new life in Metropolis. All he asked in return was a two word request. “Be better.”

A montage within the comic shows Batman helping people in ways beyond punching supervillains. This drives home a point that comic readers understand that comic critics do not. Bruce Wayne already knows he can do good with his money beyond being the Dark Knight and does so. This fact is just not showcased, because it is more exciting to see Batman fight the Joker than Bruce Wayne signing a check.

Batman #150 is now available in comic shops everywhere.