Now that the show has debuted, what are your thoughts?

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ClarkKent_DC said:

He's made that point before -- that Bruce Wayne is stealing from his company whenever he appropriates Wayne Enterprises products for Batman's use.



Bob Buethe said:

True, but the paragraph that caught my attention was:

Then in the late 70s, something changed. Batman got retconned so that he wasn’t just the rich son of a rich doctor. Starting with Batman v1 #307, Bruce Wayne was the head of Wayne Enterprises. He was a captain of industry. The latest scion of a long-standing family of incredibly rich industrialists that dated back to the 19th Century when Judge Solomon Wayne started up WayneCorp and used the money he earned to found Gotham City. Over the ensuing decades – through Alan Wayne, Kenneth Wayne, Patrick Wayne, Thomas Wayne, and up to Bruce Wayne – the family fortune never waned.

Okay, thank you ... and the link goes to the cover image of Batman #307, January 1979 on the DC Wikia. I'm sure I must have read it and maybe even have it ... but Commander Benson notes "all of the references in that story still state 'the Wayne Foundation'."

It doesn't surprise me that the notion of Bruce Wayne being one of the "idle rich" evolved over time to him being a captain of industry. But it also appears the writers don't know that a charitable foundation and a corporation are different things.

By the way, I remember "V.I.P." I wish they hadn't dropped that idea. I like the notion of a Batman who thinks helping people with his resources is as much a part of his mission as beating up crooks.

Commander Benson said:

The two earliest mentions that I was actually able to lay eyes on came from "The 50-Story Killer", from The Brave and the Bold # 113 (Jun.-Jul., 1974) and "The Family That Fled the Earth", from World's Finest Comics # 234 (Dec., 1975).

I don't have access to the comics or their reprints, but looking at GCD I see that both of these stories were written by continuity maven Bob Haney. My inclination is to discount them as Haney not knowing or not caring what the Wayne Foundation was. Of course, other writers may have unknowingly run with this.

The DC Comics Database insists that Batman # 307 is the first mention of Wayne Enterprises (which is probably the source of Mr. Ingersoll's reference).  That is, in fact, where I started my research, and why.  Yes, the story does mark the introduction of Lucius Fox and it does depict Bruce Wayne as an active executive (big desk, penthouse office, secretary, lots of paperwork on his desk, Fox briefing him on competitor activity, etc.) and the man in charge.  However, I went through the story twice and never saw any reference to "Wayne Enterprises"; it was always referred to as the Wayne Foundation.

My guess is, whomever wrote that DC Comics Database entry extrapolated the existence of Wayne Enterprises from the depiction of Bruce Wayne as a corporate executive.  If so, then the writer was wrong; as I pointed out, The Brave and the Bold # 113 showed Wayne as a captain of industry first.  (That is, unless Haney doesn't count---but I think Mr. Willis is correct in his surmise that later Batman and Detective Comics writers ran with the idea.)  But that's not surprising; I've found the DC Comics Database to be littered with errors when it comes to Silver-Age and Bronze-Age details.

I'll keep checking my stacks, when I get the time.

Can you steal from yourself? I guess if Wayne Enterprises is incorporated and has a board of directors yes, but if Wayne is sole owner? (I remember reading Walt Disney had to raise money for Disneyland because his brother Roy, who was in charge of the money, said he was crazy wanting to build a carnival and refused to fund it.)

Perhaps Bruce Wayne needs to do something like what Tony Stark did with Iron Man, admit he's financing Batman's battle against crime. This would get him kidnapped a lot, but he's a millionaire so he's probably used to that. Then he could say "I need the fastest car ever built because I'm making it a birthday present to Batman for stopping the Riddler from stealing the company payroll last month."

In the Silver Age, when the orphaned Bruce was taken in by his Uncle Phillip, instead of raised by Alfred, they noted that Bruce wound up inheriting Phillip's fortune as well as Thomas', so there's at least one other rich relative on file.

Luke Blanchard said:

It could be that Bruce is richer than his father because some even richer relatives died while he was growing up and left him their money.

A couple of stories in the 70s represented him as a significant Galaxy shareholder. One was the Calculator story from Detective Comics #468.

I think the concept of Alfred being Thomas Wayne's butler is a ret-con, just like his current ex-military-commando persona. Was he introduced (in his previous chubby version) as starting to work for Bruce or was he just there?

 Richard Willis said:

I think the concept of Alfred being Thomas Wayne's butler is a ret-con, just like his current ex-military-commando persona. Was he introduced (in his previous chubby version) as starting to work for Bruce or was he just there?

Both the Earth-Two and the Earth-One Alfreds were depicted as having arrived unannounced at Wayne Manor to presumptuously assume duties as Bruce Wayne's butler. ("Here Comes Alfred", Batman # 16 [Apr., 1943], in the case of the former; "With Friends Like These . . . ", The Untold Legend of the Batman # 2 [Aug., 1980], et al., for the latter.)  And in both cases, Alfred's arrival had been prompted by a deathbed promise made to his father, Jarvis, who had been the butler to Thomas and Martha Wayne.

Ron M. said:

Can you steal from yourself? I guess if Wayne Enterprises is incorporated and has a board of directors yes, but if Wayne is sole owner? (I remember reading Walt Disney had to raise money for Disneyland because his brother Roy, who was in charge of the money, said he was crazy wanting to build a carnival and refused to fund it.)

Bob Ingersoll's point has always been that as long as there are stockholders in Wayne Enterprises, Bruce Wayne is NOT the sole owner and is stealing from them when stuff gets "lost" and is repurposed for Batman.

I suppose if Bruce Wayne was the sole owner, that wouldn't apply.

That's exactly what he did, in Batman, Inc.

(Admitted he's financing Batman, I mean. Not giving Batman a birthday present.)



Ron M. said:

Perhaps Bruce Wayne needs to do something like what Tony Stark did with Iron Man, admit he's financing Batman's battle against crime. This would get him kidnapped a lot, but he's a millionaire so he's probably used to that. Then he could say "I need the fastest car ever built because I'm making it a birthday present to Batman for stopping the Riddler from stealing the company payroll last month."

ClarkKent_DC said:

Bob Ingersoll's point has always been that as long as there are stockholders in Wayne Enterprises, Bruce Wayne is NOT the sole owner and is stealing from them when stuff gets "lost" and is repurposed for Batman.

I suppose if Bruce Wayne was the sole owner, that wouldn't apply.

I think the way it works is if Bruce is "doing business as" Wayne Enterprises and there is no corporation then it's definitely all his. All the income is reported as personal income and he can give himself money or other assets whenever he wants (as long as sales figures, etc, are accurate). The downside is there is no separation between his assets and the Wayne Enterprises assets. If someone obtains a legal judgment against Wayne Enterprises they can take everything up to the judgment, including Wayne Manor.

A corporation is a "fictional person" with its own Tax I.D. number in lieu of a Social Security number. If Bruce is the sole owner with no stockholders he still has the legal separation so his home and other personal assets are protected from a judgment against Wayne Enterprises, and vice versa. He can't, however, take assets from Wayne Enterprises and just put them in his pocket. A corporation likely must have a board of directors even if it has a sole owner. They would have no stock or other ownership, presumably being paid for their time. Bruce as CEO would draw a salary.

Alfred's father was named Jarvis?

That would help explain why Marvel was worried about Jarvis being seen as an Alfred rip off and made him an artificial intelligence instead of a butler that kind of resembled original portly Alfred. They knew DC would probably notice and point that out.

I remember Marvel suddenly selling stock in the 80s. Presumably they'd been a corporation since Goodman sold out, but they made a big deal about the fact they hadn't sold stock before that. Was that Perelman's idea?

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