In the aftermath of Joker War, Lucius Fox confirms that Bruce Wayne can no longer regain and use his billions to fund his crusade against crime.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Batman #101
The ‘Joker War’ is finally over for Batman, and now the Dark Knight has to pick up the pieces. A lot of things have changed for Bruce Wayne as well as for the Batman, and now a new direction must be taken for his crusade on crime to continue. A massive change going forward as a consequence of the ‘Joker War’ will be the amount of resources Batman will have at his disposal, which will now be significantly less as Wayne Enterprises CEO Lucius Fox confirms in the latest issue of Batman.
Batman #101, written by James Tynion IV with art by Guillem March, sees Batman meeting with Lucius Fox to discuss the state of his affairs after ‘Joker War.’ A large element of the Joker’s attack on the city was the fact that it was on a level that Joker had never achieved before, thanks to the billions he stole from Bruce Wayne. Joker was able to pay for an army of clowns, equipping them with all kinds of tech and assets that Batman himself would have used to stop such criminals. While the end of the war saw Catwoman stealing billions back from Joker and other criminals who utilized the Underbroker for their illicit banking needs, she was smart and sent to recovered funds to Fox.
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Now in Batman #101, Lucius and Batman discuss Bruce’s options and what to do with the money now that it’s been recovered. Fox makes it clear to the Dark Knight that just as Gotham City is changing in the aftermath of Joker War, so must Batman, and that includes a massive budget cut to his crusade against the city’s criminal elements.
Fox confirms that even if he gave the money back to Bruce, the government is now watching, meaning that the money can’t go towards funding Batman’s activity ever again. Furthermore, the Wayne Enterprises board has determined that Bruce was negligent in allowing Joker to frame him and take over the company in the way that he did, and as such, they’ve agreed to remove Bruce from the board, paying him an annual fee in exchange for him to fall from the public eye and distance himself from the company, allowing them to rebrand. The real kicker is that while the lack of funds will mean less scrutiny and allow Bruce to continue his work as Batman, it does mean that Batman will not get to utilize all the new tech and gadgets he’d been enjoying.
Again, Fox makes it quite clear to Bruce: If Batman breaks the Batmobile, he’ll have to fix it himself. No more rocket ships and armies of drones at his beck and call. This is in stark contrast to the parade of new tech, vehicles, and gadgets Batman was using in the issues just before Joker War, which was no doubt intentional by Tynion to show just how different Batman is going to have to operate without billions of dollars at his disposal. However, this isn’t a bad thing. Many fans have long been questioning the riches of the Dark Knight and his use of them. Without it, Batman will no doubt be much more grounded as he’s working to become a better Bat, which will certainly be an interesting journey ahead as Batman continues.
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