Bruce Wayne has had to do a lot of questionable things in his time as the Dark Knight—that conflict and struggle is what makes Batman such a compelling character. But I have never felt more betrayed by a comic book as I was today, to discover that Bruce Wayne eats hamburgers with a knife and fork.
Before this incident of burger madness, the opening to today’s Batman #16—by Tom King, David Finch, Jordie Bellaire, and John Workman—is actually a total delight. As Bane begins to make his moves against Batman directly in Gotham City, Bruce assembles as much of the Batfamily as he can to instruct them to get out of town (because he’s Batman and Batman does things alone, don’t you know).
The problem is, Dick Grayson is sick of having to meet up in the Batcave, so somehow, through a sheer force of will that we sadly we don’t get to see on-panel, he convinces Bruce, Damien, Jason Todd, and new not-Robin Duke, to meet up at Batburger, a Batman-themed fast food restaurant.
Bruce is not impressed.
The get-together itself is adorable, mainly because of Jason and Damien’s incessant bickering with each other, even while Bruce very calmly tells them all to get the hell out of dodge before Bane kills them all to strike out at Batman. But not even the threat of death at the hands of Bane can prepare anyone for the moment Bruce calmly sets his burger down on the table, cracks out a knife and fork, and starts cutting into the damn thing.
Only Duke has the reasonable response of being shaken to his very core, because apparently his fellow Bat-wards have already seen this happen before. Dick even says it’s because of Bruce being raised by Alfred, but I don’t know. This is just too much, I think even Alfred would squirm at eating a burger with a knife and fork like some sort of alien being who’s never seen a burger before in their life.
Does Bruce do it just to fuck with people? Is it another distancing tactic? Is Bruce Wayne so thoroughly, hilariously over-prepared at all times that he’s even thinking about playing mind games while he’s eating a goddamn hamburger?
I want to believe. Because the alternative is believing that Batman is in fact the biggest criminal of them all.