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Batman (or Bruce Wayne) runs Wayne Industries and is a very active CEO going to meetings and press events. Assuming his day is as busy as any normal CEO, it's at least a full time job (<= 40-50 hours a week, but probably around 60-70 hours if he's as active a boss as the comics show).

He also fights crime, which he does nightly and would probably take up at least 5-6 hours a night.

He also checks up on the other bat-heroes (as seen in all of the Bat-Comics) which could be part of his nightly shift, but are more likely to be outside of that if the Bat-Hero is not located in Gotham.

He also needs sleep at least 4 hours a night.

Where does he get the time to do all the extensive research needed to fight the crime and gain all the knowledge of his enemies and allies?

Does Batman actually have a superpower?

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    Who sleeps anymore? His super power is red bull. – Jeff Oct 13 '11 at 13:20
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    I thought his alter-ego was "Millionaire (now Billionaire) Playboy, Bruce Wayne" - I doubt he puts in a full 40 hour work week. – Nate Oct 13 '11 at 15:29
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    I thought that other than the martial arts training, he just had Alfred do all the research for him. Either that, or all the men who built the Batcave and would normally have to be killed to keep it a secret are in a dungeon deep under the Batcave and they're the ones who do the research. – Tango Oct 13 '11 at 20:14
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    The same way my RA in college was a double-major, triple-minor in ADDITION to being a resident assistant while also being on i think it was two sports teams and involved in a bunch of clubs. Some people apparently just live in their own little time-pockets. I envy them! – eidylon Oct 14 '11 at 20:17
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    Bear in mind Batman has a spray for everything. So he probably has a spray to create extra time. Makes complete sense, especially when compared with the Incredible Hulk. – Wikis Nov 29 '11 at 15:01
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Aaron Diaz of Dresden Codak goes into great detail about how implausible Batman is in this article. My favorites are that he's an expert in all martial arts, which would take lifetimes of study, and that he spends billions of dollars to combat common street crime in person.

Thus, he's a badly-written fictional character who couldn't exist in real life. So he has time for research, and daily martial-arts practice, and crimefighting, and hey, probably even a love life. Maybe they'll do a big reveal of his time machine someday.

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    Hey, man, have a heart! I'm crushed to read it's not all real... :) – Wikis Oct 13 '11 at 21:26
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    GASP! Does this mean Flash and Superman are implausible too? ;-) – Jeff Oct 14 '11 at 13:24
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    Sob, maybe this whole site is about unreal stuff... – Wikis Oct 14 '11 at 13:37
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    Well, it all depends on the assumptions. If there's a lot more to physics than we know, Superman could perhaps exist. The thing is, Batman doesn't depend on such assumptions; he's a plain old human being, no superpowers, but he somehow manages to do more things every day than anyone could do, and in some ways, the things he does make no sense. So, in this sense, he's more unbelievable than the ones with superpowers. – Tom Zych Oct 14 '11 at 14:35
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    @Xantec: great, so he's a genius scientist too... is the bat-plausible-o-meter increasing or decreasing? – Wikis Nov 29 '11 at 14:59
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I think you assume too much.

Batman is largely a CEO in title only. He oversees his company, but certainly doesn't spend 40 - 50 hours a week actually doing CEO stuff. To the contrary he puts effort into appearing as a playboy, both in the Nolan films and the comics.

This allows him to have free time to spend his wealth carefree, while in fact he is using that time to research crimes, perfect his skills or do whatever else is necessary to maintain the Bruce Wayne and Batman roles.

It's also important to note that he isn't necessarily active every night. He has other people, e.g. Robin he can send out on patrol if he needs to attend a party as Bruce Wayne. Or it might be a relatively peaceful time and he can take what he would consider a break.

The 4 hours of sleep assumption is suspect as well. I cannot find a reference although I remember something that he has tuned his sleep patterns to survive for long periods on small amounts of sleep at regular intervals.

I don't think it is implausible that someone could have a public face as a billionaire playboy yet actually be researching/fighting crime during that time.

  • +1 - Bruce Wayne is rarely shown as being in direct control of Wayne Enterprises. Other characters (Lucius Fox, etc) fill that role. Bruce throws parties for the polical elite and isn't shown to play any part on his companies running. – TZHX Jun 5 '12 at 15:17
  • Batman uses microsleeps, and he uses that time to solve the puzzles he's faced with, as seen in Batman RIP I believe, or maybe Batman and Son. – Nacht Aug 12 '14 at 2:45
  • I think that the key point is that Wayne lives a life of extraordinary sacrifice, in addition to being incredibly talented, intelligent, and disciplined. I'm fine assuming that he only needs 4 hours of sleep a night, and that he spends virtually none of his free time pursuing leisure. That is implausible, of course, but for me that falls into suspension of disbelief, because I like the idea of Batman so much. – Ben Osborne Jun 13 at 15:00
5

Superpower? No.

Supercomputer? Yes.

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The Batcomputer is one of Batman's most powerful tooks for crimefighting. It holds a massive criminal database, likely updated with police criminal files regularly, and runs many of Batman's more intricate research projects (housed in the state-of-the-art labs that the Batcave is filled with).

So while his ability to hold down a full-time job as a CEO, hold multiple lifetime masteries over various forms of martial arts, and be a master of escape, disguise, ventriloquism, and other major talents...

Every once in awhile he still has to look up the answers on his computer, just like the rest of us.

  • That was going to be my answer. Anyone who's played the Arkham games gets a good feeling for just how frequently Batman plugs data into a computer and then wanders off while it crunches the numbers. – Nerrolken Dec 5 '14 at 17:36
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CEOs rarely need to put in full weeks unless they want to, they have a board that they trust who can do most of the day to day work and even those board members are often on boards of multiple companies so a single membership is not necesarily a full time job even for them.

He also has a research department at his company which is well funded and able to research independant projects under confidentiality contracts. Therefore if he wants to research a new concept he could easily break the idea down into sections, if needed, then give sections to different research groups and remind them of the confidentiallity clauses - this type of contract is not unusual in the industry.

He might not actually be active every night fighting crime.

As for the research on criminals and allies I am not sure. He would have plenty of time to look through news reports and google I guess. Does he have a lot more knowledge than would be available to anyone who has the time to read through public sources? He can probably hack into the police database too (could easily hire a contractor to do the coding if needed -at least in Hollywood you can!) to gain extra information. I cannot explain how he keep his combat skills up to scratch, perhaps he was so well trained to begin with that a bit of training and the real life combat he experiences is enough to keep his skills high?

1

I agree with several of the comments that have been previously made. In addition to being extremely well-trained from the onset, Batman has the luxury of honing his fighting techniques sparring against some to the universe's most formidable heroes. Can you imagine strength and conditioning with Superman, military tactics with Wonder Woman, speed and agility with the Flash, under-water combatives with Aquaman, aerial maneuvers with Hawkman, and so on? Yes Batman is very formidable, but what makes him able to survive, and even thrive with the heavy-hitters, is his ability to quickly and accurately analyze the strengths and weaknesses of those around him. Let us not forget that Bruce Wayne was "missing" for several years, where he was receiving martial arts, detecting, and stealth training. With the assistance of Alfred (who seems to know a little bit about everything), Robin, Nightwing, Oracle, and the R&D department at Wayne Enterprises, the actual legwork that Batman actually has to do himself decreases exponentially. He also has access to a state-of-the-art Batcomputer that apparently has access to the files of world-wide policing agencies, as well as an A.I. that is able to process information and connect dots that Batman may not be able to derive at on his own.

Yes, we know he's not real, but with an insane amount of money, a lot of time, and an indomitable will, who knows how close to reality Batman could be.

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The only way for batman to have enough to time to do all his research is for him to be a genius beyond genius. I mean he'd have to multitask his cases at the same time, reading multiple books at the same time/screens at the same time. An autistic like Rain Man could do it. Maybe Batman really has a high functioning form of autism and that's why he's so good?

0

If viewed a from real world perspective, Batman is highly implausible.

For example, Bill Gates does not have the capacity to fund the Justice League space station. It is simply highly implausible.

There is a source that deals with this specific issue, written by a trained neuroscientist and martial artist, E. Paul Zehr. There is an article here written by the same neuroscientist.

His conclusion is that the most the average person would get out of the Batman franchise was to learn more about technology, exercise, and emphasize healthy living more.


From an in-universe explanation:--

First, one must consider the actual universe/sub-universe in the DC franchise that your particular Batman is in. There many versions of Batman, so this can complicate things.

In general Batman relies on a mix of:--

  1. Sheer Will Power

  2. Super Human levels of Intelligence

  3. Artificial Intelligence and Automation

  4. Cutting Edge Technology

  5. Simply Delegating Work to Other Folks

  6. Intuition and Gut Instinct

  7. Sheer Wealth

  8. Business Connections

  9. Connections With Other Super-Powered Folks.

  10. Favorable Genetics and Physiological Pre-disposition


Systems-Theory/Generalist Theory:--

This is a partial resolution.

Another strange and plausible explanation is that Batman has a deep understanding of some sort of advanced systems-theory/generalist theory. This allows him to master multiple subjects, and this forces his interests to overlap.

Through systems-theory, by spending time on one skill, his other skills improve.

This is view supported the fact that he has a deep understanding of robotics.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_theory)

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