Everyone knows that Bruce Wayne is a fictional character, so the true identity of Batman remains a mystery. Here are five non-fictional characters who just might be the real Bat-Man:

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With near-limitless cutting-edge technology, Batman pretty much has to be a billionaire. One might think that Virgin Airlines impresario Richard Branson is too public a persona to keep such a big secret. But what if his good-natured, happy-go-lucky attitude is a front (much like Bruce Wayne's), disguising a much darker interior? Branson once allegedly rode a hot air balloon around the world, which would have given him a very public excuse to miss a lot of business meetings while fighting crime.

 

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On July 1, 2006, Cory Booker was inaugurated mayor of Newark, New Jersey, a once-proud city now riddled with crime. Two weeks later, he attempted to chase down a man who attacked a police officer, but was beat to it by his own private guards. "I was embarrassed by my own security detail," said Booker, "which I will never forgive them for."

It was that day, theoretically, that Booker vowed never to let another criminal by him. Since then, Booker taken the his promise to clean up Newark's streets into his own hands: He's rescued an old woman from a burning building, sheltered victims of Hurricane Sandy in his own home, and remained eerily accessible to all Newark citizens on Twitter.

Of course, that's just when the news cameras are rolling, so we can assume that these were only the instances when urgency forced him to act in public. At night, Cory Booker changes into his Bat-Costume and patrols the streets, busting criminals with his own two mayor fists.

 

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The stories of Herzog's past are manifold and inconsistent. Even his early documentaries (especially those which feature the director himself) seem dubious when held up to scrutiny today. What is known is that Herzog has traveled the world, befriended the leaders of native tribes in the jungles of Peru, descended into the French caves containing the earliest known cave paintings, and lived with ski jumpers in the mountains of Yugoslavia. If that doesn't sound like a journey to gather the world's knowledge and become the ultimate crime-fighter, then I don't know what does.

Herzog was once an opera director, where he likely gained a flair for the dramatic costume styles that would eventually inspire the look of the Bat-Man.

"It it my most important work of art," said Herzog of his career as Batman, probably.

 

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What does Melinda Gates look like? Don't Google it. You have no idea. This is because the wife of the world's second-richest man rarely makes public appearances. This is because she typically sleeps or lifts large weights during the day.

The Gates Foundation has made aggressive strides toward eliminating world hunger and poverty, but both Bill and Melinda know that the process must be twofold. While Bill funds the vaccinations and land grants, Melinda provides the kind of direct action that crime-stricken regions of the world need: specifically, for their criminals to be terrified by an adult female billionaire with martial arts training wearing an animal costume.

 

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It seems too obvious at first. But isn't the best hiding spot in plain sight? Batman is a master of subterfuge and this kind of double-reverse psychology is certainly his style.

Since starring in Batman Returns, Michael Keaton has only acted frequently enough to convince the public that he is still an actor. This has given him ample time to pursue his quest for vengeance. Plus, it's rumored that Keaton kept all of the Batsuits that he wore in the movies. All he needed to do to complete the ensemble was to steal the Batmobile from the live Batman Stunt Show at Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in New Jersey, which it's safe to say he definitely did.

As Keaton once said in the classic film comedy, Multiplicity, "I am the night."

 

 

If any of these five guesses/accusations turns out to be true, the author of this article could be in serious danger. If you do not see any further articles by this writer published, please contact the FBI immediately, for he has been violently kidnapped by Batman or has failed to continue to meet the writing standards of CollegeHumor.com.