Sunday, December 30, 2012

Batman's Great-Grandfather Founded Skull and Bones

This revelation is way too diabolical to even fabricate in Hollywood. In the 33rd episode of the Batman television series, starring Adam West, entitled Fine Finny Fiends (1966), two attendees of Bruce Wayne's "millionaire's gathering", Aunt Harriet Cooper and one of the party goers are engaged in a discussion concerning Bruce's great-grandfather:

Bonesman and Gotham City founding father, Alan Wayne

Party Goer: "That is Bruce Wayne's grandfather, Mrs. Cooper?"

Aunt Harriet: "His great-grandfather."

Party Goer: "I understand he was tapped for Skull & Bones."

Aunt Harriet: "Tapped for it? Sir, he founded Skull & Bones."

If the irony of the 33rd (the number of a master level Mason) episode and the title of the episode Fine Finny Fiends (F is the 6th letter of the alphabet; hence 6-6-6) wasn't lost on you then the fact that great grandpappy, Alan Wayne, was one of the three founding fathers of modern Gotham City might amuse you as well.

As the story line evolves, the three founders, Wayne, Theodore Cobblepot and Edward Eliot, set out to reshape the city and hired two stepbrother architects, Nicholas Anders and Bradley Gates, to build three bridges carrying the namesake of the triumvirate, each being a gateway into the city. Aptly, the bridges were nicknamed the Gates of Gotham. A name the stepbrothers would also soon share as brother Anders legally changed his surname to Gates to match their accomplishment.

A fourth bridge, a colosal enterprise to connect Gotham to the outer suburbs and create the greatest city in the world, was proposed by the founders but was met with skepticism by Bradley Gates. He felt the project was not to the brother's benefit and tried to persuade Nicholas towards other causes. Meanwhile, the three founders were conflicted by their own land holdings and jealousies towards which direction the super bridge should exit the city.

Enter Cameron Kane, the owner of the county north of Gotham, and an unscrupulous purveyor of gambling, prostitution and violence, into the fray. A bridge in his direction would obviously boost his standing in the region and thus he boisterously lobbied for the bridge while the others positioned themselves to claim the prize as well. With each man unwilling to cede the bridge to the other, lest they gain an unfair political and financial benefit, the decision was left to brother Nicholas. His admiration for Alan Wayne ultimately swayed his decision much to Kane's chagrin, who proceeded to storm out of Wayne Manor in a huff.

During the construction of the bridge Bradley was killed and Nicholas quickly suspected that Kane was involved in the collapse of the structure. He confided his suspicions with Wayne but was surprisingly rebuked: "Wayne threatens Nicholas to keep his assumptions to himself because secrets can be influential, powerful and dangerous if not kept." Sound like any secret societies you know?

Realizing that the founding fathers were corrupt Nicholas planned his revenge and ultimately killed Kane's son Robert while trying to assassinate his father before being carted off to prison. He once more vowed revenge and forever cursed the founders. Years later, a masked crusader named "The Architect" took up the cause and bombed the three bridges.

Court of Owls molesting Batman
Ironically, Alan Wayne, in later years, developed a fear of birds. Namely, "A Court of Owls," (think Molech, Bohemian grove, The Illuminati) which was named after a children's nursery rhyme. He believed that the birds were roosting in his home which caused further paranoia.

He died after falling into a manhole and his corpse was found several weeks later and identified by dental records. Batman investigated the death, exhumed the body, performed tests and found that Alan died from multiple tiny stab wounds likely caused by the Owl Court assassin, The Talon. Dust on the skeleton also seemed to confirm that the death wasn't caused by the fall into the sewer.

More ironically, William Huntington Russell, the real life founder of Skull and Bones, is said to have died after attempting to fend off a group of boys who were throwing stones at birds in a New Haven, Connecticut park. He fell unconscious from a ruptured blood vessel and died several days later.


Anonymous said...

Wow, this is all new to me. Great history lesson.

the said...

It'd almost be shocking if it wasn't planned that way.