Contact Us

Fighting Batman with Macroeconomics

A mysterious economist known only as ShadowBanker (really!) has used his mathematical skills to analyze supervillain decision-making in Batman comics. In his first post, titled “Batman Villains and Cooperation: A Utility Analysis,” he describes why the supervillain teamups in Jeph Loeb’s Batman stories like “The Long Halloween” and “Dark Victory” don’t work at all, according to game theory. (And he shows his work!)

Now, we analyze the expected utility of the team-up. We know that the probability of the Joker, Two-Face and the Scarecrow killing Batman is 0.0538. The utility would be 3.33 each. Hence:
EU = 0.0538*(3.33) + (0.9462)*0 = 0.179
Hence the expected utility for the Joker of the trio killing Batman is 0.179.

In another post, ShadowBanker uses the Prisoner’s Dilemma to analyze whether or not supervillains like Mr. Freeze and Two-Face should betray each other if they did manage to capture Batman. There are many helpful matrices!

Now it would benefit both of them to continue working together, but neither of them will actually do so. Hence they’ll walk away with less than what they could have… It’s sort of funny to think about, actually. Batman can still claim a small victory even in his death.

(via io9)

Recommended For You

Around the Web

More From ComicsAlliance

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for ComicsAlliance quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!