Warning: Spoilers for Batman: The Brave and the Bold #6 and the Gotham War event ahead!

No matter how desperately Batman clings to violence to try to control Gotham City, he knows that he’s ultimately in the wrong. The “Gotham War” has recently torn Batman’s life apart, with him refusing to look the other way on the wave of nonviolent crime ushered in by Catwoman and her thieves’ guild. The problem is that just about everyone else in the Bat-Family is on Catwoman’s side — and possibly in the right.

Batman proves he knows better than asserting violence as every answer in Batman: The Brave and the Bold #6, which begins with Guillem March and Arif Prianto’s “Pygmalion: Part 1.” An amnesiac Batman wakes up in an apartment, being cared for by the residents: Magdalena and her daughter, Aurora. As he still possesses all his gear, “Bryce” attempts various exercises and training regimens in the hopes that muscle memory will jog his past life back into his consciousness. The day after forcefully stepping into an altercation between Magdalena and her abusive landlord, “Bryce” reflects on how easily violence comes to him.

“Somehow I feel confident, and comfortable, when using violence,” he muses, confronting the hypocrisy of his apparent methods. “I shouldn’t be more harmful than the problem I am trying to fix.”

DC’s recent Gotham War event, as launched by Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Battle Lines #1 by Chip Zdarsky, Tini Howard, Mike Hawthorne, Adriano Di Benedetto, and Romulo Fajardo Jr., comes down to an ideological difference between Catwoman and Batman: in the wake of Batman’s recent absence from Gotham, Catwoman poaches henchmen from other villains and teaches them how to be self-sufficient burglars, effectively giving them the means to avoid messier, more violent crimes that perpetuated the cycle of violence between them and Batman. For his part, Batman refuses to see any crime as victimless nor anyone as an acceptable target.

While Batman’s perspective is valid, his fear over losing control and the growing influence of the Zur-En-Arrh program in his psyche has him resorting to increasingly brutal methods to stymie Catwoman and the members of his family who agree with her. Batman’s admission in Batman: The Brave and the Bold #6 shows that, deep down, he knows that his behavior throughout Gotham War is wrong. By inserting his violent methods into Catwoman’s calmer, more burglary-centric Gotham, he is actively “being more harmful than the problem [he] is trying to fix, breaking bones and throwing chaos into an otherwise controlled environment under Catwoman’s code of conduct.

Batman freely admits that he is “more comfortable when using violence, and the Gotham War event is a clear example of him resorting to violent means in order to try and cope with a situation that has grown beyond his direct and immediate control. Underneath the influence of the murderous Zur-En-Arrh personality, Batman is now more violent and unpredictable than ever, and it has turned a comparably calm Gotham into a powderkeg ready to blow. The conclusions drawn by the amnesiac “Bryce” proves that, deep down, Batman knows his escalating violence only feeds into Gotham’s endless circle of desperate, violent crime. But with violence and intimidation being his go-to methods for keeping control, he will continue making Gotham’s problems worse.

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