What Business Is Wayne Enterprises Actually In?

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Greetings my garrulous gobstoppers? (I am running out of alliterative words). Sorry for the lack of last week’s mail. I ran into a bit of trouble – namely a nest of camel-spiders, which are of course giant, sentient spiders that have somehow gotten ahold of camels, and now ride them across the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Just a note for you guys: Somehow the camels are poisonous too. Now onto the mail!


Business Time

Kathy D.:

Dear Postman,

What kind of business does Wayne Enterprises do? It always seems to be treated in a very hand wavy way - like “Oh and then Bruce wears a suit and leaves to do business”. But like, what KIND of business? Do they make stuff for the military (it’s been a while since I’ve seen the Nolan movies, but I think that was implied)? Batman is committed to using non deadly methods, so it seems odd to me that he would go down that avenue professionally. But if not that, then what do they need that big R&D department for? Maybe he just uses it as a hot house for bat gadgets and future super villains? Or maybe they are just coming up with the latest vacuum cleaner? I like to think they make fashion forward super suits and gadgets for the discernible hero about town but there can’t be a lot of money in that. Maybe they just sell all the bat guano that Alfred shovels off the batmobile every day? What DO they do with all that bat poop anyway?

Also, what exactly does Queen Consolidated do? Regardless of whether you answer or not, thanks for all your hard work, I really love your column.


Wayne Enterprises’ business is, well, business. I’m not trying to be a smartass (for once), I just mean that Wayne Enterprises does pretty much anything that will make it money. According to the extremely thorough Batman Wiki, Wayne Enterprises include Wayne Electronics, Wayne Shipping, Wayne Aerospace, WayneTech, Wayne Entertainment, Wayne Steel, Wayne Foods, and more. Wayne Industries is the section that holds the R&D department, which absolutely seems to exist solely to provide Batman his equipment and vehicles and so forth, which actually became public knowledge in the Batman Inc. storyline. I couldn’t say how the Wayne Enterprises of Nolan’s Bat-movie trilogy is different, but I will say that Christian Bale’s Batman is a weirdo who murdered a bunch of people and who quit being Batman so he could live it up in Paris, so I wouldn’t put it past him to sell tech to the military.

As for Queen Consolidated, it very specifically used to sell weapons to the military, until Oliver Queen pulled a Tony Stark and sold it. Now, in the new DC comics universe it appears to be a small but acclaimed tech company, releasing high-tech phones and gadgets and so forth (while also developing an assortment of trick arrows on the side).

As for the bat guano, Batman has special sonar that can call bats, so it stands to reason he has special sonar that prevents bats from accumulating in certain areas in the Batcave—which is how the Batmobile and Bat-computer aren’t completely covered in bat-poop 24/7. I imagine the bats merely poop into the Batcave’s many chasms.

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Sith Happens

Nicholas S.:

Dear Postman,

Okay, yes, yet another Star Wars question. But there’s always been a burning question I have had about Emperor Palpatine. You see, the audience always knows that Emperor Palpatine is a Sith Lord (Darth Sidious), but how many people in the Star Wars universe actually know about this? Obviously, all the principle characters do, but what about those within the Imperial ranks? Do they know? The Empire is all about order and security, never a mention how religion plays into all of this. Just like the Jedi are portrayed in the original trilogy, the Sith must be considered a religion as well. How do the Imperial ranks feel about being led by, basically, a religious zealot? With their xenophobia and their anti-Jedi (religious) values, how do they feel about being lead by someone who is heavily influenced by their (basically) religion? Was Palpatine so good that no one knew about his actual persona and said nothing?

Just a thought. Thanks!

The galaxy at large has no idea that Palpatine is/was a Sith. It’s not something that he advertised, mainly because the Sith were known to be evil, and that probably would have hindered his political career. It’d be like an Earth politician announcing he was a devout Satanist—you’re not going to elect a dude you know for certain is going to be evil. Also, in Palpatine’s case, if he let it be known he was a current member of an ancient order of legendarily evil Force-users, the Jedi would likely have killed the crap out him.


Once he became chancellor—even after he declared himself Emperor—there was no real benefit in announcing to people he was a Sith. He could have, but it would have only stirred more discontent among the galaxy. I mean, you can explain that you have soldiers stationed on every planet to “maintain the peace” and that you’re building a giant, planet-destroying space station “for protection,” and people will buy it; you publicly announce you’re evil, and a lot more people are going to rebel. Plus, as you mentioned, the Empire is built on xenophobia and intolerance, so suddenly admitting his totalitarian government is based on his esoteric religious views would undermine the totalitarian government he’s created.

On the other hand, it seems that everyone in the galaxy knows that Darth Vader is the “Dark Lord of the Sith,” which I suppose the Emperor gets away with by not declaring he’s one too. Vader may be publicly evil, but he’s essentially just on the Emperor’s staff. It’s also probably worth remembering that the Imperial officers on the first Death Star razzed Vader for being a Sith, and there’s no way they would have had the balls to do that if they knew their boss was also a Sith.


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When the Bow Breaks

Brett D.:

Dear Mr. Postman,

I am a comic book lover, and an avid archer. I find it frustrating that comic artists rarely if ever portray archery correctly. Usually the bows are shaped weird, they will have an archer drawing a compound bow half way (which could seriously damage a compound) or show an archer like Hawkeye or Green Arrow using a bow with the arrow resting on the wrong side of the riser.

Why can’t these artists get it right?

This is a guess, but I think it’s because artists think they know how to draw people using bows and arrows correctly. It seems like something you know, right? I mean, had some asked me to draw someone using a bow and arrow before I read this question, I would have been absolutely certain I could draw it correctly.


Now, having read your question and discovered that professional artists are often drawing it wrong, I’m 98% certain I would have drawn it wrong as well. But I never would have thought I needed to reference a real archer until you informed me there was an issue. I bet many, many artists also believe they know how to correctly draw archers, and would be equally shocked to find out they don’t.

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Great Scott!


What the hell is Ridley Scott thinking?

So I got this email yesterday, which means I assume it was sent in response to Scott’s announcement that he’s making three more Prometheus sequels, as if that was something anyone wanted.


Personally, I gave up on Ridley Scott when I saw Gladiator, and now I just assume all his work will be mediocre, although I admit he has the ability to accidentally churn out a good movie now and again—by all accounts The Martian is great, although I’d also point out that Scott had some pretty great source material to start with.

However, in case, sir, you somehow knew that Scott was going to announce today that the title of Prometheus 2 would be the baffling Alien: Paradise Lost, and are asking in regards to that… I have to assume Scott has finally admitted to himself that no one wants a Prometheus sequel, but is determined to make one anyways. His solution? Make Prometheus 2: Electric Fassbendaloo and call it Alien in order to trick people into seeing the continuing adventures of Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender’s severed head. It’s pretty genius, if you ignore the part where he’s still making another Prometheus movie.


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Companion Ship

Jason H:

I’ve been catching up on some classic Who thanks to “Breakfast with Baker” on BBC, and it hit me the other day: why doesn’t the Doctor ever take companions from other times or worlds anymore? With Clara leaving the show, would this be an opportunity to bring this back? Or is having an “alien” viewpoint to discuss human politics/society passed its prime as a storytelling device?


Mainly because former showrunner Russell T. Davies and current showrunner Steven Moffat feel the Doctor is a weird enough character that the audience needs a surrogate character to relate to, which means they have to be human and they have to be of our time. That’s it.

It was definitely necessary when Doctor Who was first relaunched, but I imagine current audiences could probably manage to survive a companion from another time or place. Maybe they’ll shake things up when Jenna Coleman leaves at the end of this season, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. It seems like every Doctor has to be romantically inclined to a companion nowadays, and since 12 and Clara don’t have that connection, I assume the next companion will.


Le Freak, C’est Chic


Hope you are well. First time writer, but long time reader here. My question is about Gotham. Last year we all joked and complained about the overabundance of Batman related villains and over the top high jinks that we’d generally relate to a period in Gotham City’s history where Batman was around to combat the threat. It has seemed to get super-villainy way too early in the history of the Batman mythos we are used to. This idea was made the most clear in Batman Begins when Captain Gordon admonishes Batman about escalation and presents the Dark Knight with the Joker’s cards.

BUT, I posit that Gotham might actually make more sense. What if we don’t have a criminal underworld who has risen up because of the threat of Batman, but instead Bruce Wayne chooses to become Batman in response to the very weird world around him on the show. People are already wearing masks, killing people by floating them high into the air with balloons, and inventing fear gas. It seems to me that Bruce choosing to don a cowl makes more sense in the Gotham universe than it does in even the comics! Having him be the first “freak” in Gotham City is much more psychotic and less believable than him being the last “freak” to show up on the scene to clean up his home from an already existing danger.

So which makes more sense: Batman as response to increasingly bizarre environment that is presented on Gotham, or Super Villains as response to Batman as seen on film and in comics?


I’m not sure one is particularly better than the other. Either way, Bruce Wayne is still a dude who decides to put on a bat-costume and fight crime. Yes, while there’s a certain logic that Bruce might consider taking on a flamboyant persona in order to combat all the flamboyantly evil criminals running around Gotham, it also means Bruce would be emulating a lot of insane bad guys, which is problematic to say the least. In essence, Bruce would be saying, “I must stop the insane criminal who dresses like a clown! But I love his style, so I think I’ll do it while dressed up as a giant bat!”

It’s less sketchy if Bruce decides to become Batman on his (not-entirely-sane) recognizance, and the insane villains of Gotham emulate him, as a way of seeking attention and infamy.


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Erector Set

Johdar Q.:

Dear fake future postman of the Apocalypse,

Having mentioned Marvel, I have been playing the mobile game Contest of Champions. It has been a blast gaining and playing as various Marvel characters. One thing that caught my eye recently was the art for Colossus and I noticed a pretty decent bulge in his nether regions. This led me to wonder, as one does when staring at a fictional hero’s junk, is it functional when he’s armored? And would someone really want to be on the receiving end of an organic steel penis?

Thank you, o wise one of knowledge of super powered junks.

Colossus doesn’t technically get armored as much as his body turns into “organic metal.” And I mean his body, not just his skin—his muscles are metal, his organs are metal, even stuff like his eyeballs turn into metal.


So Colossus’s junk definitely turns into metal with the rest of him, because Colossus can’t transform just part of his body. It’s all or nothing.

Seeing as he can move and his muscles flex in his metal form, I see know reason why he wouldn’t physically be able to erect a tiny girder in his briefs, if you will. Also, I would assume that he could technically orgasm, although since he bleeds a silver liquid in his metal mode, he would probably ejaculate mercury to something silver and weird.


As for your last question, someone absolutely would. Please Google “Colossus erotic fan fic” and then never, ever tell me what you find.

Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Email the postman@io9.com or leave them in the comments. No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!

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Calli Arcale

Regarding Doctor Who companions being contemporary humans.....

The role of the companion since Day One was to serve as the audience surrogate, and in fact the original concept had the human companions as the protagonists. The Doctor was the vehicle that took them off to wild adventures, and in the very first story arc, we see the influence of the designated heroes (Barbara and Ian) gradually “humanizing” the Doctor. The production crew figured that audiences needed someone to identify with in order to get the show off the ground, and they were right. The modern production crew are still right about that.

I’d like to see more non-present-day-Earth companions too, but it has very often been a crucial part of the “formula” of Doctor Who (insofar as a series with such a flexible premise has a formula)

There have been just seven non-human companions:

Susan Foreman (Gallifreyan)

K-9 (robot, but built by humans)

Romana (Gallifreyan)

Adric (Alzarian)

Nyssa (Trakenite)

Vislor Turlough (Trion)

Kamelion (robot, built by Xeriphans)

And there have been eight non-contemporary humans:

Vicki (future; crashed spaceship; first replacement companion)

Steven Taylor (future; trapped in an alien zoo)

Katarina (ancient Troy; only lasted two stories)

Sara Kingdom (future; dubious as companion as only lasted one serial)

Jamie McCrimmon (1749 Scotland)

Victoria Waterfield (Victorian England)

Zoe Heriot (future; Earth-orbiting space station)

Leela (distant future; human colony)

All the rest have been contemporary humans. I would enjoy seeing some nonhumans or future humans or past humans to mix things up a bit (hey, bring back Frobisher — the shape-shifting penguin, not Capaldi’s role from Torchwood!) but I have to recognize that tying the show to present-day Earth is a big part of the series.