Comics, cartoons, live action. Adam West, Michael Keaton, Christian Bale. Nipples, no nipples. Batman comes in many forms. Along with these forms come fan theories about Bruce Wayne, his Chiroptera alter ego, and the myriad deranged, maniacal, and sometimes, decent characters populating Gotham. Some of these theories are well-thought out, complex, and totally believable. Others are so out-there you may wonder about whoever cooked them up. Compiled in one list, find here the wildest Batman fan theories - those that maybe belong tied up in a straitjacket and locked in a padded room at Arkham Asylum, alongside Joker, Pamela Isley, and Jonathan Crane.
This theory comes from Redditor /u/PHILJ27:
One night at the Wayne mansion long ago, Martha goes to Thomas' study to tell him it's time for bed and for them to go upstairs. He declines and continues to work, as usual. Frustrated, Martha then goes into the liquor cabinet and begins to drink. She goes to her room, closes the door, then begins crying. Alfred hears Martha sobbing. Martha begins to tell Alfred she's tired of feeling neglected. Alfred calms her down, and they both begin to drink. One thing leads to another... Alfred wakes up sometime shortly after and returns to his quarters, neither of them tell Thomas to preserve the relationship and the Wayne family name.
10 weeks pass and Martha wakes up feeling sick. She goes to the doctor and finds out she is pregnant. Still in shock, she tells neither Alfred nor Thomas that Alfred is the father. Thomas and Martha agree that they are not ready to be parents and give the baby boy up for adoption.
The guilt of what she has done plagues Martha. She writes a letter to Alfred explaining everything - that it was Alfred's child she was pregnant with, and how she regrets abandoning him, but she decides not to give him the letter. The child that was given up for adoption has been growing up and living in orphan homes. He causes trouble and displays early signs of psychopathy. No family wants him and he is tormented by the other children. Eventually, he goes mad.
Years later, Bruce Wayne is born. Alfred is cleaning and stumbles upon a letter addressed to no one. He opens the letter and begins to read. Alfred is furious and resents Martha for lying to him, and for giving up their child whom he would have loved. Alfred's resentment builds, and one night, he decides to follow a Wayne family outing in secret. After the show, they cut down an alleyway and are shot by an unseen figure disguised as a robber.
The man who shot the Waynes is none other than Alfred. He keeps Bruce alive so that he knows the pain of growing up parentless, like Alfred's own son, whom he tried and failed to find. In a cruel twist of fate, Batman's two biggest enemies are his own butler, Alfred, and his half-brother, The Joker.
One Reddit user questions whether the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents cracked his mind, leading him to create Batman and the entire Gotham universe in his mind. Alfred, unable to take care of a mentally unstable young Bruce, sent him to Arkham Asylum. The people Bruce encountered in the asylum became characters in the unwell Bruce's Batman drama.
From Redditor /u/slugboy:
Alfred would come to visit and attempt to be the voice of reason, but never could really get through. Dr. Jonathan Crane tried various methods to snap Bruce back into reality, but Bruce's reality is so terrifying that he receded back into the delusion. Dr. Edward Nigma, a therapist, would try to reason Bruce back in to the real world, but Bruce would twist his words into riddles. So, he continues to chase these villains and bring them to Arkham Asylum from which they will inevitably escape - because they were never actually incarcerated.
This Reddit theory states, in great detail, that, despite being a psychopath, Joker helps guide Gotham from a fixed, organized-crime-choked mess to a city with hope of progress. Joker's actions cleared up a lot of misconduct in Gotham's political process. And that was part of his plan all along.
From Redditor /u/generalzee:
Gordon's promotion, too, did a major service to Gotham. I think a lot of people take the Joker's clapping during Gordon's promotion scene to be sarcastic, but I actually think that Joker believed in Gordon, one of the few officers on the force who was truly incorruptible.
So now Joker has a pretty clear path to getting rid of the organized crime problem and the corrupt officials' problem, but the vigilante problem remains. As we saw at the beginning of the film, Batman was inspiring other vigilantes, and a society cannot stand when each man takes his own justice. This symbol of fear and unbridled vengeance, as Joker sees it, needs to be stopped, but not [terminated]. If he were [dispatched], he would just be a martyr, and his symbol would live on. Of course, since Dent was a far better symbol for the city, he would make a far better martyr.
This theory (perhaps more an observation than a fully fledged theory) suggests that Joker busts into Bruce Wayne's fundraiser in The Dark Knight to confirm his belief that Harvey Dent is Batman. He wasn't there to terminate anyone, but to unveil Batman's identity. The evidence? Well, firstly, Joker states: "For a minute there, I thought you were Harvey Dent." Later in the film, Joker toys with Dent when he's shooting at his convoy. It seems like he's not even really trying to take him out.
Here's the theory, in all its glory. If you haven't seen The Dark Knight in a while, it might be a little confusing. From Redditor /u/DorkKnight52:
First, when the Joker arrived at Bruce's fundraiser for Harvey Dent, the Joker wasn't randomly [dispatch]ing people - he had a plan, and part of what made his plans horrifying was his ability to tell the police exactly who he was going to [terminate] and then [terminate] them. [Eliminat]ing random bystanders doesn't accomplish that. When the Batman (who the Joker thinks is Harvey Dent) jumps out the window to rescue Rachel, the Joker expects them to be the same person, so there's no reason to keep looking for Harvey Dent at the party.
Later, when Harvey Dent is being transported by police, the Joker uses an escalating series of [devices] against the convoy but doesn't use the rocket launcher on the paddywagon containing Harvey Dent. The only [ones] he uses are ones that can't penetrate the paddywagon's armor, and he gradually escalates to make the threat to Harvey Dent seem real. He does this to discover if they really are the same person: If the Batman shows up, Harvey Dent isn't Batman. If the Batman doesn't arrive, Harvey Dent is Batman.
The Joker never wanted to [dispatch] Batman (he says as much in the interrogation scene: 'I don't, I don't want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no, NO! No. You... you... complete me.'), he wanted to force Batman to break his 'one rule.' A [dispatched] Batman cannot be corrupted, so as long as Harvey Dent might be Batman, Dent must not be [eliminat]ed.