There is no denying that Batman has become a pop culture phenomenon, having inspired countless cartoons, novels, and graphic novels, not to mention multiple films and video games. With a reputation for solving crimes and riddles, the caped crusader has certainly established himself as one of the most popular and recognizable superheroes of all time.

The question is: What did Bruce Wayne, Robert Pattinson and Batman have in common? Were they simply born at the same time and place? Did they all grow up watching the same Batman films? Did they all discover their superhuman abilities after being hit by lightning? Or was there some other reason behind their similar fates? We may never know the answers to these questions, but it’s fun to consider what might have been.

They All Went Through An Academy-Like System

Although the exact mechanism by which Batman became famous is unknown, it’s generally considered that the caped crusader was created by New York City social reformer and lawyer Martin Willard “Batman” (“The Masked Avenger”) and that his status as an internationally renowned superhero was largely the result of his efforts to combat social injustice and fight the evil surrounding him.

The story goes that a young Willard was appalled by the corruption and violence he witnessed in the streets during the Great Depression. Inspired by the works of American writer and screenwriter William Moulton Marston, who published comic books including “Emperor Palpatine: Galactic Warrior” and “Mysterious Munchie,” Willard decided to put his ideals into practice by donning a mask and battling crime in the name of truth and justice. He founded the Fighting Society of Villains, a group of violent agitators who believed that anything and anyone could be used for evil, and spent the next few years trying to prove this theory by attacking innocent people.

Willard’s efforts gained widespread popularity when they were featured in Detective comics. Soon after, he was invited by mystery writer and World’s Fair mastermind Dashiell Hammett to join his legendary Pinkerton Detective Agency. There, Willard would continue his work as a bounty hunter, but he would now be using his skills for good rather than evil. Hammett rechristened him “The Batman,” and the rest is history.

They All Have The Same Agent For Life

Just like Jeeves, Sherlock Holmes’ famous German shepherd (though not named after Sherlock Holmes), and Superman, Batman has always had a special relationship with the superpowered beings known as the Justice League. The comic book series “Justice League of America” was first published in 1940 and was the brainchild of artist and cartoonist Elliot S. Maggin. In the early 1940s, Alfred Hitchcock and Dana Andrews collaborated on the story of a secret vigilante society known as the “Superspecial Defense Force” that recruited members with extraordinary talents. One of these people was Superman. The group was headed by a British agent named Stewart (played by Andrews) whose mission was to protect Metropolis from invaders (mainly from Kandor, the home planet of Superman) and to hunt down Superman himself if he ever trespassed into England’s territory.

In later years, Jeeves would go on to train a succession of famous dogs – some with suspiciously similar traits to Batman – including Rocky, Bullwinkle, and Dagwood. While the dogs didn’t end up taking on a persona similar to that of their famous human trainer, they did act as his bodyguards and work security for businesses around the city. One could say that Batman has had the same agent for life – or at least a long, meaningful relationship – with the Justice League ever since.

They Are All Fashion-Lovers

It’s probably safe to assume that Bruce Wayne was a fashion-forward man, given the influence that Harvey Dent’s brutal methods had on his wardrobe. When Wayne was attacked by a gang of Gotham’s most notorious criminals, he was briefly knocked out and was given the option to change his look. Although he originally chose to keep his facial hair and adopt the look of a clean-shaven gangster, he would eventually grow out his hair and sport a mustache similar to that of his favorite film star, George Raft. (In the movie “The Mask,” released in 1933, Raft actually played the role of Batman’s grandfather, Thomas Wayne.)

Like many of the great fashion icons before him, Robert Pattinson has cited the influence of Alfred Hitchcock on his look, specifically the style and cut of the iconic British director’s suits. After seeing Hitchcock’s films, especially the 1933 masterpiece “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” Pattinson decided that he wanted to emulate his favorite film director’s look as closely as possible. He began by purchasing as many vintage suits as he could find and then enlisted the help of a tailor to alter them to fit his girth comfortably. Thus began Pattinson’s lifelong quest to capture the perfect Hitchcockian look.

They Have All Been Involved In Tragedy

Let’s not forget about the Dark Knight’s tragic backstory. After enduring years of bullying and rejection, Batman decided to throw caution to the wind and live in hope, choosing to believe that his tragic life would all be worthwhile in the end. Batman laid down his shield and surrendered his body after being shot in the spine by an unknown assailant. After lying in a coma for three years, he tragically passed away at the age of 76.

In a similar fashion, Robert Pattinson was also dealt a tragic hand at an early age. His mother Nancy died when he was 22 years old, leaving him to raise his younger sister Rebekah, who was still a minor at the time. Because of his mother’s passing, Robert was largely prevented from socializing with other children of the same age, and instead spent a lot of time alone reading books and playing video games. This experience would later leave its mark on his character, which many have compared to that of Batman’s. Indeed, Robert has spoken at length about the influence of his late mother on his acting career, especially in regards to her fierce protectiveness and her role as head of their family. “She would be so proud of me right now,” he once said. “She’d be turning in her grave.”

They Have All Been Influenced By Literature

Speaking of gravely, it is sometimes said that Batman’s costume was based on that of Sherlock Holmes, whose clientele included some of the most famous literary figures of the time. The two had a strong literary connection, with many scholars citing a connection between the two men’s obsessions with literature and the fact that both were brilliant at detecting and exposing criminals. It is also believed that Alfred Hitchcock, the great master of suspense, was a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, and even named his oldest son after the great detective.

In a similar way, Robert Pattinson has also cited literature as both an influence and as a source of inspiration for his work. In particular, he has cited Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick,” William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” and the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle as noteworthy influences, as well as a great source of literary inspiration. Most notably, in 2017 Pattinson portrayed Pip – the optimistic protagonist of “The Great Gatsby” – to critical and commercial acclaim.

They Are All Musicians

While we’re on the topic of literature, it is also interesting to note that all three lead actors were – or at least heavily influenced by – musicians. Indeed, aside from acting, they all studied literature and music, with Batman and Robert even receiving graduate degrees in the subjects. In a similar fashion, Alfred Hitchcock was also a skilled pianist who played for his guests and sometimes even conducted classical music during film screenings.

The trend toward educating young actors continues with Robert Pattinson, who received his law degree from Oxford University and served as a legal consultant on both “The Night Before” and “Cruel Intentions.” In “The Night Before,” Pattinson’s character Ben – a law student who procures dangerous drugs for his wealthy, entitled friends – is loosely based on William Moulton Marston, the creator of “Emperor Palpatine: Galactic Warrior” and “Mysterious Munchie.”

It seems that everyone these days is trying to get into the acting business, with many training for and gaining fame and fortune in the process. With his numerous awards and celebrity, it is not hard to see why Batman has been such a popular choice for those seeking a similar career path.