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Bruce Wayne

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on the case of BRUCE WAYNE.


Dr. Jonathan Crane, winner of the Amadeus Arkham Prize for "Case Studies of Chiroptophobia and Related Phobias" aka "Fear of Bats and Other Creepy Things", 2008.

I am a professor of psychology at Gotham University.  I have worked as a specialist in psychiatry, dissociative identity disorder and phobic phenomenon.

I recently conducted a psychiatric examination of Mr. Bruce Wayne as part of "Case Literature Involving Trauma Orchestrating Repressed Individual Schizophrenia" - a study dedicated to understanding the psycho-sexual heroic fantasies of victims of childhood trauma, although I am still undecided about the acronym I created.

For his own protection, Mr. Wayne had been kept at Arkham Asylum in a drug-induced comatose state for six months. I hoped to revive him for possible rehabilitation. The session began with an injection of a mixture of the omega 1 specific indirect GABA agonist Zolpidem and the psychostimulant Methylphenidate. Then I gave one to Mr. Wayne. Due to previous violent episodes and a paranoid insistence on anonymity, the patient was securely strapped into a restraining chair and had his face covered with a dark mask before being revived.  For the safety of asylum personnel, an assistant and I were the only ones present during the examination.

A transcript of the examination and interview follows.  I've identified my statements in italics, statements by my assistant in bold italic, and Mr. Wayne's statements in "quotation marks with normal type."

The awakening

"How did you....Untie me!  Let me go! I need to scratch my balls, why can't I scratch my balls!!!" -- Bruce Wayne struggling against sanity.

Mr. Wayne, Mr. Wayne, are you awake?


Where are you? Is that what you want to ask me?

"N...No.  Wh...."

Why are you here?

"No.  Who...."

Who's on first?

"No.  Who hit me?"

No one hit you, Mr. Wayne; you're in

"A hospital?  Where's my wallet?  The last thing, the last thing I remember is going shopping for new tights.  What hospital is this?  This room is so dark and gothically depressing.  Reminds me of home."

I'll ask the questions, Mr. Wayne.  I am Dr. Crane, and my assistant and I are here to help you.  But please don't struggle, the bindings will hold, I assure you. Now I understand that you have certain, shall we say, unorthodox beliefs about yourself and your abilities. My notes, let me see, ah, my notes say--

"How did you....Untie me!  Let me go!"

My notes say, "How did you....Untie me!  Let me go!"  Hmm, we may have a pattern here.


(The patient struggled against his bindings, but his efforts were in vain.  His cries of desperation at not being able to self-relieve a testicular itch briefly covered the distressful cries and muffled screams of other residents of Arkham Asylum. Like many of the patients, he appeared unwilling to accept the futility of his ineffectual efforts and admit his helplessness.)

Mr. Wayne, Mr. Bruce Wayne, things will go easier if you'll just answer the questions.

"I am not Bruce Wayne."

Then who are you?

"I'm Batman."

(At this point the patient struggled most violently.  My assistant gave him an injection of a safe and calming analogue of the anaesthetic agent phenylcyclohexylpiperidine, and then injected him with the strong hypnotic and powerful sedative and skeletal muscle relaxant Flunitrazepam.  Shortly thereafter he calmed down significantly, and even offered to buy a round of drinks, which I refused.)

Childhood trauma

"A mugger killed my mother and father." -- Bruce Wayne in rationalization of violent anti-social tendencies and deviant behavior.

Now, Mr. Wayne, I would like to get to know and understand you a little better.  From my files here it says that you claimed to be an orphan.  Is this correct?


Who hit you?

"Who shot me?"

That was my assistant; she gave you a sedative. Please tell me about your parents.

"My parents? night when I was a child, a mugger killed my mother and father." 

Tell me about that night.

"I mind...what drugs did you give me?...Can I have some more?...Where are my tights?...I was eight years old.  We just left the movie theater where we saw...I don't remember.  I think it was The Mark of Zorro.  Or was it Dracula?"

Yes, your files say you mentioned Zorro in a previous interview - although in another session you claimed you were watching the opera Die Fledermaus.  But Zorro is a fascinating character, a masked crimefighter - Frank Langella played the part.  Let's see, that came out in the mid 1970s, in your childhood.  Go on.

"No, before that."

Before? There was the Zorro television show with the actor who later played the father in Lost in Space.  But that was in the 1950's - before you were born.

"Power...It was him - Tyrone Power.  He was Zorro!"

Tyrone Power? He starred in movies 70, 80 years ago.

"The drugs...I'm feeling confused...Perhaps if you mix me a margarita."

My assistant will get you one. Now we should move on to what happened.  According to my notes, you claimed a mugger named Joe Chill--

"No, I never knew his name.  Joe Chill.  Mr. Freeze.  I wonder...."

It's too late to wonder now, Bruce.

"Who said that?"

That was my assistant.  Please excuse her comment; she's an intern.

Sorry. Do you want salt on the glass?

"No, no salt, and mix one for yourself..."

Mr. Wayne, let's move on. How did you come to believe your parents were dispatched by a criminal?

"Because they were! We were leaving the theater--or the opera--by the back door when a masked figure jumped from the shadows and demanded my father's wallet and my mom's pearl necklace. My father quickly pulled me behind him, and I tripped and fell into the shadows of the alley. As my parents handed over their belongings, the thief snatched them away and shot them both with a pistol before fleeing.... My parents died in my arms."

That sounds rather dramatic.  Was it raining, Mr. Wayne?

"Why yes, it was. A warm shower covered me as I wept. The light from an adjacent window lit my profile as a sorrowful tune played softly in the background."

Of course, but what you are describing here Mr. Wayne - the mugging, the golden shower, and the four-minute back story introduction - was in fact an episode of Law and Order.

Dissociative identity disorder and sexual confusion

"You're confusing me Dr....Crane?  Isn't that the doctor on Cheers and Frasier?  Why can't I see you, anyway?"

Because you insist on always wearing a dark mask - it cuts off your peripheral vision, and as you're restrained....but it can be removed, if you like.

"No!  I must stay masked.  I'm Batman!"

Batman?  As in "batty," "bats in the belfry," and "bat fuck insane?"

"No!  Of course not."

Are you certain?  Could not that be a subconscious acknowledgment of your mental condition, and the mask a device to hide your fear of exposing yourself, Mr. Wayne?  But according to my notes, you previously claimed a different "superhero" title.  You said you were "The Caped Crusader."

"The who?  Oh, yes, I am."

And you also claim to be "The Dark Knight", "the World's Greatest Detective", and "the Bat"

"Right, they're all names for the same thing. I'm Batman, damnit!"

"It was purely platonic." -- Bruce Wayne in possible denial.

And the Dynamic Duo.

"That was myself and Robin."


"My sidekick."

In your last session, you said your sidekick was called "Nightwing," and in an earlier session, you claimed he was "The Boy Wonder."  You said you slept together.

"I said that?  Well, yes.  But it was purely platonic, except maybe that one time."

And you said you fought crime with Batgirl."

"She was my lov--partner."

Did you also do Wonder Woman and Bat Boy?

"That was your intern again, right?  Wait, I've heard her voice somewhere...."

Let us continue. You seem to like aliases, Mr. Bruce Wayne. In the past, you identified yourself as Adam West, Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer--

"Val?  That sounds like a girl."

The name, or the screams from down the hall? Well, you've also called yourself George Clooney--I've done that myself on occasion--Bruce Thomas, Christian Bale, Kevin Conroy--

"None of those people are me.  They are pretenders.  I'm...Batman."

--and Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Terry McGinnis, and, finally, Alfred Pennyworth.

"Alfred?  I claimed to be Alfred?  The kindly old butler?  No, those aren't me.  They're from alternate earths."

Alternate earths?

"Yes.  There's perhaps an infinite number of Batmans, infinite diversity in infinite combinations."

That's bizzaro, Brucey.  If you really believe that, no wonder they put you in Arkham.


Please, intern; I wanted to get to that gently.

Fear of authority and psychosexual paranoid delusional disorder

"She wasn't my lover, she was my enemy!" -- Bruce Wayne exhibiting contradictory sexual stimulation and sexual paranoia while evidentially suppressing a rape fantasy.

"Am I in the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane?  I'm not a criminal and I'm not insane!  I'm Batman!"

Tell that to Vesper's family!

You were convicted of murdering Vesper Fairchild, remember?

"Vesper?  No. She was my lov--good friend.  I never harmed her.  That was Lex Luthor's doing.  I was framed!"

You've had a lot of lovers, haven't you, Brucey?  You must know a lot about the bats and the bees.

"Your sound familiar...."

Wasn't one of your lovers called Pussy Girl?

"Catwoman.  And she wasn't my lover she was my enemy.  Ally.  Enemy.  No, she was--"

If Catwoman wasn't your lover, then how did the two of you have a daughter, Huntress?

"Alternate earth.  But I don't remember--"

Are you certain, Mr. Wayne, that you aren't using "alternate earth" as a delusional dissociative scapegoating projection for your behavior?  In layman's terms, "that wasn't me; that was a different me?"

"No.  I mean yes. Or no - you're confusing me. Where's my drink?"

Back to Lex Luthor; is that another one of your supposed enemies?  You know he's actually a major contributor to Arkham Asylum.

"He is?  So that's why I'm here!  And I suppose the Joker and...wait, I've been talked to by so many people....didn't one of the 'doctors' who interviewed me before have a very pale face? I mean very pale."

There may have been an albino on staff; let me check my notes....Ah, here. The list of those who have interviewed you includes Dr. Victor Fries-- 

"Mr. Freeze!"

--and my notes say there was a biochemist who assisted with your drug therapy, Dr. Pamela Isley--

"Poison Ivy!"

--and a research scientist who also helped with your drug-aided revival, a Dr. Jervis Tetch--

"The Mad Hatter!"

--there was also a Dr. Kirk Langstrom--


And apparently, during the investigation of Fairchild's murder, you were talked to by private investigator Edward Nigma--

"The Riddler!"

--and during the prosecution stage you were spoken to by District Attorney Harvey Dent--


--and of course you were interviewed by your attorney, who interestingly enough now operates a nightclub, a gentleman named Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot--

"My attorney was The Penguin!?  No wonder I was convicted!  But I'm sure I chose the legal firm of Cranston and Grayson."

Psychological resistance and paranoid schizophrenia

"You're my enemy The Scarecrow!" -- Bruce Wayne showing his paranoid schizophrenia.
"Who shot me?...You are an arch villain!" -- Bruce Wayne showing his paranoid delusional disorder.

--and there was--

"Wait; everyone who's talked to me was an arch villain?  Then who are you, Dr. Crane?"

Really, Mr. Wayne; everyone who tries to help you is not a supervillain. Your extremely phobic reactions to any effort at administering assistance have led you to create straw man arguments against any advice that--

"Phobic?  Straw man?  Now I know who you are!  You're my enemy The Scarecrow!  You're not a psychiatrist; you're an arch villain!"

I have a doctorate in psychology from Metropolis State Psychiatric Hospital which--

"--which does not give you the authority to prescribe drugs!  Only a medical doctor can do that.  And how can you get a doctorate degree from a hospital?"

I am qualified, and in any case my intern is a psychiatrist and thus also qualified.  As as matter of fact, Dr. Harleen Quinnzel--

"Harley Quinn!?  That's your assistant?"

I suppose you think I'm an arch villain too, Brucey?

"You are an arch villain!  And you aren't qualified; I researched you--before I was kidnapped and put here.  You only got your degree because you slept with your professors!"

Like you slept with Robin?

"That was only an experiment!  But yours wasn't.  Now I recognize your voice.  I've heard you here, screaming in the night.  And not from pain.  How many 'patients' have you seduced here, willingly or unwillingly?  I'm getting out of here, now!  And you can't stop me.  I'm an expert escapologist, and a martial artist, and an inventor, and a billionaire who could buy this entire asylum!"


Mr. Bruce Wayne, a psychosexually traumatized, authority-phobic, psychologically resistant, dissociatively identified paranoically delusional schizophrenic. Also he thinks he's Batman.

(Mr. Wayne continued with more verbage which can only be classified as an exhibition of criminal insanity.  With no other viable option, I directed Dr. Quinnzel to administer a heavy dose of Flunitrazepam to return Bruce Wayne to a much calmer state of mind.  My recommendation is that revival not be attempted for at least another six months.  Mr. Wayne's final words before returning to a comatose state were. . .)

"I...I'm Batman....

"...where are my tights?"

"Please Mr. Wayne, it doesn't have to come to this."


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