Positive Cynicism – On Bruce Wayne’s boy collection

Aaron Davis

Aaron R. Davis

A conversation between two working class men in Gotham City.

[Author’s note: for the purposes of this inane dialog, you have to keep in mind that, post-reboot, Batman’s only been around for five years, but has still had four different Robins.]

“I think there’s something off about that Bruce Wayne.”

“How do you mean?”

“What’s the deal with all the boys? Every time you turn around, he’s got another boy living with him. Don’t you read the papers?”

“You’re talking about his wards?”

“Yeah, his wards. Four of them in the last five years.”

“Actually, I think one of them is his son.”

“The youngest one. And where did that one come from? Who’s the mother? That kid just appeared out of nowhere. Though I have to say it’s a relief.”


“Well, obviously Bruce Wayne liked women at some point.”

“Of course he likes women. He’s a rich socialite. You see him out with beautiful women all the time.”

“Yeah, but it’s almost always someone different. It’s not like he’s dating anyone regularly. He just keeps collecting boys. What do you think he does with them?”

“I don’t know. Teaches them about business. Takes them on fishing trips, or something. What did your dad do with you?”

“He didn’t keep taking in other kids, for one.”

“So Bruce Wayne has a soft spot for orphans.”

“He sure seems to.”

“Ew. What I mean is, maybe it’s his way of giving back. He’s always involved in building projects for the city, so maybe it’s like charity for him. The guy’s parents were gunned down in front of him, after all. He’s an orphan, maybe it’s important to him to make sure other orphans have the same chance he did. Wayne was born into a shit-ton of money, at least he’s doing something with it besides buying basketball teams.”

“Hm. It just doesn’t look right, is all. Rich bachelor, all alone in that mansion with just his staff and a bunch of little boys. That mansion’s way out in the country, too. Awful secluded there. They could be doing anything.”

“Like what? Please tell me, what do you think is going on up there at the Wayne mansion?”

“I don’t know. No one would be able to hear you scream up there, though. Lots of land for burying mistakes, too …”

“Are you serious?”

“Well, I mean, what are those kids even called? Do you remember? I sure don’t. What if he gets frisky, accidentally snaps some kid’s neck during rough intercourse, and then just buys another one to replace him? Would anyone know other than the orphanage he’s obviously paying off?”

“Dude, that’s really sick.”

“But it’s a possibility! How does an orphanage even give one kid to a single man? When I was growing up there were news stories all the time about how people couldn’t adopt unless they were straight and married. Wayne could’ve just joined that Big Brother program or something. Instead, because he’s rich, he gets these kids delivered to his home. It’s like his own personal puppy farm.”

“Okay, you have to stop talking now.”

“It reminds me of how L. Ron Hubbard used to live on that boat in international waters with all of those little boys …”

“So you think Wayne is an eccentric and he’s running e-meters on these kids?”

“You know that’s not what I think.”

“It’s not any more ludicrous than what you already think. Maybe he just wants to be a father and decided the moral thing to do with all of his privilege was to take in kids and give them a real shot at a decent education.”

“I guess that’s possible …”

“See? You just want to believe the worst in everyone.”

“Well can you blame me? In this city?”

“I guess not.”

“It’s weird, is all I’m saying. Untoward. If he wasn’t rich, if he was some hoarder living in Crime Alley or something, the state would’ve taken all those kids away, if they ever let him have them in the first place.”

“The state or the Batman.”

“Hey, what’s the deal with the Batman? There’s something off about him, too.”

“Well, it’s not the most stable guy in the world who dresses up like a bat and runs around punching people.”

“No, no … it ain’t that.”

“Then what is it?”

“Okay … what’s the deal with the little boy?”

“Oh, come on, man. Him too?”

“Well, there he is, getting shot at by cops, and there’s this little boy in tights flipping around. You have to admit, that’s bizarre! What kind of morals does the Batman have if he’s throwing some kid into harm’s way?”

“Well, yeah, okay. I admit, that’s kind of weird.”

“Some people say Batman is some kind of super cop out there doing things the cops can’t legally do. So he’s doing dangerous stuff, man. And he’s doing it with a little kid in a bright red costume? What do they call that kid?”


“Robin. Jeez, they should call him Human Target. The Batman’s in the shadows while the kid’s the one in the crosshairs. It ain’t right.”


“What else does he need that kid for? Unless he’s going all Bruce Wayne on the boy.”

“Oh, Christ, I thought we were done talking about that.”

“Well, think about it. Why all the grown men with their little boy partners all of a sudden?”

“Maybe Robin is Batman’s son.”

“The Batman puts his own son in mortal danger? That’s not a well-adjusted dad.”

“I think the bat costume’s a dead giveaway on that score.”

“Haha, yeah. Do you suppose that if that Robin kid bites it he’ll just get a new one? I mean, say that kid gets kidnapped by that Joker fella and beaten to death, do you think Batman goes out and finds a new kid to put on that costume? I mean, we’d never really know the difference. Hell, he could probably get the Bruce Wayne Special, since the city’s just giving these kids away.”

“Maybe that’s what Wayne is doing up in that secluded mansion in the country: training Robins for the Batman.”

“Hey, maybe!”

“Jeez, I was kidding.”

“But it’s like I said: lots of room up there, no one around. Hell, for all we know, Bruce Wayne could be the Batman!”

“That’s just ridiculous.”

“Why? You never know what anyone’s capable of. How many people thought that Gacy was just some quiet painter who dressed as a clown at birthday parties? They’re still digging up bones at his place.”

“So, Wayne is a child murderer, a child rapist or the Batman?”

“The fuck should I know? Maybe he’s all three of those things.”

“Look, break’s over. Time to go back to work and stop talking ever again about Bruce Wayne. Okay?”

“Alright … I’m just saying, one day someone’s going to excavate that Wayne place and find bones. Bones and bat costumes.”

“Shut up, please.”

Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at samuraifrog@yahoo.com

  1. Joel Murphy October 19, 2011
  2. Kaycee K. October 19, 2011
  3. Kaycee K. October 19, 2011

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