Also, per Grant Morrison’s run, there’s a ancient tradition of bat-themed heroism in Gotham stretching back to the stone age. Mind you, each and every instance of those bat-themed heroes was actually Bruce Wayne, lost in time and trying to get home, but he wouldn’t have known that when he started out.
Hasn’t that been retconned away with the New 52? Certainly Final Crisis didn’t happen.
Anyway, pre-52, there were also heroes like Doctor Mid-Night (similar theme) and Alan Scott (same city) to support Bruce’s idea that masked vigilantes could be effective.
I’m not sure - some of the stuff Morrison was doing with Batman pre-reboot is still canon, some isn’t. You could pretty easily drop the showdown with Darkseid in Final Crisis, but keep the Miagani and the other relics of Batman’s time jaunt - it’s just that, in the New 52, the jaunt hasn’t happened yet.
Maybe he wasn’t drizen crazy by his parent’s murders at all. Maybe Batman tried to pay attention in history class instead. In DC, that’d drive anybody nuts.
If he were truly depressed, he wouldn’t leave the bed; much less hone his body to perfection and pick fights with people in prison. He’s rich; he doesn’t have a reason to ever leave his house.
He’d also be actually drinking those drinks every day, probably starting right about the time he wakes up at 4 in the afternoon, to the point of oblivion.
He’s got a huge obsession / compulsion which he can’t entirely control. But he’s not depressed.
Well, we’re talking time travel. It both has and hasn’t happened.
That’s the point of Watchmen - the kind of people who’d dress up in costumes and run around fighting crime would all have to be a little unhinged. Especially in a world without superpowers.
At least Superman and other supers have a justification - they actually have the ability to do something that “normals” cannot, and thus there is at least a bit of moral argument that they should act.
I would agree, though, that depression doesn’t seem the right ailment for Bruce Wayne. A depressed Bruce Wayne wouldn’t even leave the house to go party. He’d have hookers and booze and probably stronger drugs delivered until he OD’d. Dark Bruce Wayne certainly has mental issues and could use some therapy, but depression isn’t on that list.
Tony Stark was a megolamaniac before he became Iron Man. The suit just ups that to 11. Even if he is fighting off real guilt.
Why doesn’t Batman dance anymore? Remember the Batusi?
As mentioned before, quite a few superheroes are either mentally ill, suffering from PTSD, or otherwise somewhat emotionally “off”.
Spider-Man/Peter Parker has massive guilt issues.
Iron Man/Tony Stark is an addict (most famously of alcohol) with a self-destructive streak a mile wide.
Daredevil/Matt Murdock is likely bipolar – with intense depressions that turn into mania, with full-on hallucinations and delusions (remember that time he convinced himself he was a boxer and lived in a burned out building with a crazy homeless lady?)
Moon Knight/Marc Specter may possibly be as crazy as Deadpool, and if not he’s close. Hallucinations, a history of violent and unstable behavior, very few relationships of any sort, major major major PTSD, and honest-to-god multiple personalities.
I think some context is in order. Does anyone really know how often Bruce Wayne suits up? It’s easy to think he does it every night, but I’m more inclined to believe that he does it for one or three nights every few months. A couple of nights without sleep out of 60 or 90 would definitely make the double life more believable.
If we believe that, then Bruce Wayne appears much more a workaholic (at the job of being Batman) and less of a depressive. He may suffer from OCD, but it’s not crippling. Keep in mind that most of Batman’s job is doing research in his Batcave – only a fraction is him actually out beating up bad guys.
Regardless, we can all agree that he’s socially maladjusted and is incapable of forming meaningful relationships with his peers.
Also, I’m not sure he really qualifies as paranoid. I mean, he lives in a city that is so corrupt that, while not every cop and city official is on the take, a large enough fraction are that he can’t be sure which ones are, any of them could be. Finding Dick Gordon and knowing he can trust him is a big deal. So, it’s not paranoia that keeps him from turning to authorities, it’s a recognition that the authorities are often corrupt, and even a non-corrupt one one day can be gotten to by sufficient leverage by the bad guys if he tries to pursue them.
That’s one reason he’s dressed as a bat and wears a mask. Because if they knew it was Bruce Wayne coming after them, they’d have lots of ways to make his life more difficult.
I could see him doing it every weekend. It’s not unsual for me to come home at 4am and sleep until noon both days on the weekend. During a crimespree where he notices a trend, I’m sure Bruce Wayne could find reasons to disappear or show up late to work each day if Batman needed to be out every night for several days to catch someone.
Wayne doesn’t show up to work every day. For one thing, Lucius Fox is entirely capable of running the business without him, and I daresay that Wayne’s regular presence would slightly reduce Fox’s effectiveness. For another, he needs to be erratic in his hours at Wayne Enterprises so that it won’t seem unusual when he isn’t there for weeks at a time.
They’re still the minority, though. Dick Grayson, Diana Prince, Henry McCoy, Donna Troy, Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Barry Allen, Ororo Munroe, Janet van Dyne, Sue Storm, every Legionnaire named named Querl Dox, and so forth are all quite stable.
I would suggest that Batman isn’t depressed because his parents died. One can get over that. He’s depressed because of all the other crap that’s happened more recently.
Granted, some of that is due to writers who thought Batman was supposed to be a dark book about an eight-year-old orphan in the body of a man, instead of a grown man who used to be an eight-year-old orphan.
Well, some of those have their own issues–Hank has anger issues in some incarnations and Ororo’s claustrophobic. Nothing on the order of Bruce Wayne or Peter Parker, though. (I don’t know what all went on with Hal Jordan, but I chalk it up to inept writing, rather than any disorder actually related to his life. I think they’ve retconned it all away, anyway.)
Here’s a good book on the subject. Check your library!