Great Job, Internet!: How did Bruce Wayne get so rich, anyway?

There are upsides and downsides to being Bruce Wayne. Downside: An extremely dark psyche plagued by childhood tragedy. Upside: Seemingly endless wealth. His millions enable Mr. Wayne to pull off his superhero identity as Batman, complete with various vehicles and gadgets to help create this ordinary (or at least, non-superpowered) man transition into a hero. But where did all that Wayne money come from in the first place, especially since Bruce’s parents died when he was still a child? What does Wayne Enterprises actually accomplish?

A new Looper article meticulously traces the Wayne family’s financial history. It points to the origins of Batman himself, cribbed from popular pulp-fiction and radio hero The Shadow, whose alter ego Lamont Cranston was also of indiscriminate wealth.

On a purely functional level, the Wayne family fortune opens up a lot of storytelling opportunities for Batman. For one thing, if you’re going …

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