DC revealed why Batman’s only weakness is invaluable to Gotham’s Underground

WARNING: This article contains BIG spoilers for Batman: Urban Legends # 11, for sale from DC Comics now!

Batman’s secret identity is known by a few of his allies and enemies because he keeps everything about his life as Bruce Wayne close to his chest. But his new villains have just revealed how much the criminal underground is willing to pay to get to know his true identity and what they are willing to do to keep it a secret from the rest of the world.

“The Trap” (by Mark Russell, Karl Mostert and Trish Mulvihill) from Batman: Urban Legends # 11 shows how the value of Batman’s secret identity goes much deeper than previously thought. Batman fell for a suicide bombing by Hugo Strange that left him at the mercy of a group of Russian criminals who planned to sell his identity to the highest bidder. The criminals auctioned off the exclusive knowledge of his identity, but refused to even look under the mask because it would harm its “full retail value.” If they were to learn his identity, they would be killed to preserve the exclusivity that comes with knowing Batman’s identity.

Related: Batman Theory: Bruce Wayne’s parents were members of the Court of Owls

Batman's secret identity value

Over the years, several villains have come to know Batman’s identity, but have mostly kept it to themselves because they know the value of his secret. Amanda Waller used her extensive resources to investigate Batman’s identity. Meanwhile, Deathstroke found out Nightwing’s identity, and from there it was not a long jump to learn Batmans. They both know that Batman’s real name is a valuable commodity that needs to be taken care of because it’s the only weakness he has almost no solution to, other than revealing his name and face to the world. Knowing his secret gives them intense power over the Caped Crusader, which is not easy to find, so they keep it to themselves when they really need it. Ra’s Al Ghul once tried to kill Vicki Vale because she was about to reveal Batman’s secret to the world, because it would give Ras an unfair advantage in their conflicts. Every villain who knows Batman’s identity knows that they must use this knowledge with the utmost care to advance their agendas.

One of the few villains who best utilized his knowledge of Batman’s identity as a precision attack was his childhood friend Hush. In collaboration with Riddler, Hush used the secret to construct a plan that almost defeated Dark Knight once and for all. While Hush ultimately failed, a conversation Batman had with Riddler revealed that Batman knows how valuable the secret is and how best to protect it. Batman deduced that Riddler’s pathological compulsion to mysteries would make him keep the secret to himself, for if everyone knew the answer to Batman’s secret identity, it would be worthless. The Joker follows a similar way of thinking. If he knew Batman was Bruce Wayne, it would ruin their cat-and-mouse game forever.

Related: The Batman Isn’t the Dark Knight’s Beginning – It’s a Bruce Wayne Origin Story

Batman Riddler Secret Identity Hush

Ultimately, Batman’s true identity is a valuable commodity, and the more people have that commodity, the less valuable it is. By killing people who know the secret, it leads to a sharp increase in value. Batman knows that what makes his true identity such an expensive item is what protects it from being leaked. If it were ever to become public knowledge, his enemies’ control over him would be greatly diminished, so his villains would protect it at all costs.

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