Batman isn't the only moron in the Batcave

This is Doctor Tommy Elliot. Like most Batman villains, he enjoys murdering people. His list of murders includes, but is not limited to, his own parents, Batman’s mechanic Harold, and many Gotham police officers.

Unlike most Batman villains, he knows Batman’s secret identity (Riddler mentioned it over drinks one night. Riddler discovered the identity off-panel), and when he’s not dressed as the invisible man, he looks exactly like Bruce Wayne.

This isn’t due to a cosmic coincidence, the way Superman and Batman just happen to look almost exactly alike, it’s because, during an elaborate scheme to kill Batman and take over his life that included removing Catwoman’s heart from her body, Tommy had plastic surgery to make him look like Bruce Wayne.

With Bruce AWOL after the end of Final Crisis left him briefly dead and then off in the distant past somewhere, Tommy (or, if you prefer his nom de tuer, “Hush”) pretended to be Bruce Wayne long enough to seduce a society woman, murder her, then steal her yacht and escape to Australia.

While in nearby Indonesia, Tommy ended up captured by some smugglers, who happened to have Catwoman hanging around them for a reason I don’t care enough to re-read the issue to discover. Everyone escapes and it turns out that Catwoman called Nightwing and Robin down to Indonesia and had them pretend to be Asian smugglers just long enough to capture Tommy once again.

With Tommy much too dangerous to let out or put in jail (what with him being able to tell who Batman is, and all), Nightwing and Robin elect to lock him in a glass box in one of Batman’s many, many buildings.

Look, I understand that you don’t want to kill him because you’re deeply stupid, but there’s stupid that’s caused by Congressional hearings, and then there’s stupid that reeks of awful writing.

I don’t care how secure you think his prison is, or how certain you are that you might be able to rehabilitate the serial killer, why on earth would you let him KEEP BRUCE WAYNE’S FACE?

What good could possibly come of doing this? What is the upside of letting a villain who schemed to turn himself into Bruce Wayne keep the most vital tool he has for causing you huge problems in the future?

Wait! I know what you’re thinking – isn’t the fact that Tommy knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman his greatest tool?

Not really. At this point Bruce Wayne’s secret identity is essentially useless. The main reason to maintain a secret identity is to protect your loved ones from harm. Bruce Wayne doesn’t have any of those. Hell, all of Robin’s and Nightwing’s families are dead as well.

Sure, Wayne Industries would be targeted further than it already is, but like fifteen villains have figured out that Batman’s being funded by WayneTech, so even that’s not such a big deal.

The worst result of revealing that Bruce Wayne is Batman would be that all the people he beats up in his nightly life would start suing him. Certainly that would be an annoyance and a waste of time, but it wouldn’t end his career or anything. He’d probably just disappear for a while and become Matches Malone full-time during the day while fighting crime at night.

No, the only trouble Tommy Elliot could cause is by exploiting Bruce Wayne’s fame and finances to cause more evil, as he does in this two-part story. So why let him do it? The Bat-Family knows at least five superhero surgeons who could put Tommy’s face back in a single surgery. Give one of them a call.

Or if they don’t want to waste Doctor Mid-Nite’s time, they could just tattoo “I AM NOT THE REAL BRUCE WAYNE” over and over again on his body like Jack Nicholson’s manuscript in the shining.

Really, doing anything would be better than their current choice: Doing nothing at all.

There’s just no excuse for stupidity this complete.

See? Now how hard would that be?

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