July 15, 2008

Finding Batman?

Following up on yesterday's post I was curious as to whether or not there was anyone who might meet the minimum entry qualifications for "becoming Batman" - i.e., really rich, athletic and young enough to get it done.  I took a look at Forbes' list of billionaires (I'm thinking you've got to at least be a billionaire these days to outfit yourself with all the accouterments that Batman needs, not to mention what you need to stay up and running without adding additional income) and sorted them by age (I'm allowing some flexibility on age but set a max of 35 - assuming that the older candidates would have already started or completed their 12-18 years of training).  So, with those quick curriculum you only come up with 18 possible "Batmen."  I then clicked through the biographies on the Forbes website and did some further "research" on Wikipedia for those who looked promising and came out with what I thought was only one real possibility.

Albert II, Prince of Thurn and Taxis might be Batman.  Here's what I think he has going for him. He's young, 24, so he has time to get trained.  As royalty, he inherited his wealth.  It's going to be hard for a self-made man/woman to become Batman as much of your energy and attention during your most energetic years is going to be invested in making your fortune, so, like Bruce Wayne, you need to inherit and have time to grow both disenchanted with your position and the means at an early age to divert yourself with the training necessary to become Batman.  I'm thinking that being royalty also exposed Albert to things like fencing, hunting, and other leisure sports that might begin to develop reflexes and skills that translate into those needed by Batman.  He has some military service.  He is studying both economics and theology which suggests both an intellect and a sensibility that might be drawn to and succeed at fighting against the darker side of humanity - or at least feel like he could/should make a difference.  He's a championship racing driver, which suggests that he is drawn to risk taking, competition and action and possesses some level of athleticism and good reflexes.  Family owns some kind of tech company which could be used to outfit his crime fighting needs.  Family also owns 30,000 hectares of German woodland, in which you could undoubtedly hide a hundred Bat Caves.  He lives in a freaking castle.  I rest my case.  He is Batman.

Notes:  I couldn't think of a similarly useful list of olympic class athletes to search, but unless you've got a trusted sponsor, which would leave your identity in jeopardy, I think the money factor is more limiting than the athletic side of things.  Other possibilities I considered were Richard Branson (maybe more of an Iron Man guy) and Kirk Kerkorian - who seemed to have personalities and biography elements that match but both are too old, maybe in their younger days.  Tiger Woods.  He's got the money, athleticism, drive and focus to pull it off but being a professional golfer doesn't allow for sneaking around all night.  Any other suggestions?


jennifer said...

What about tennis players? Federer or Nadal? Venus Williams might also make a good bat(wo)man.

Chris Blattman said...

I officially love this blog.

Pomeroy Kinsey said...

I would get in so much trouble if I spend yesterday doing this. You rule.

j said...

jennifer - tennis players do seem like they would have a good skill set - conditioning, reflexes, quickness - and a pretty good bank roll but like Tiger Woods I don't think they could do double duty.

chris - the blog is blushing.

pomeroy - too early to tell which way the wind is going to blow on this end!

Anonymous said...

Wealthy, Royal, Single. Forget this Batman stuff. Put those research skills to use discovering a way to introduce him to your sister.

zippy said...

I think Batman is more likely a gymnast than a decathalete. That said, Sergey Brin might be a candidate.

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