First up, Essa. iTunes has it at its new price, but kobo and B&N have it for free, so does Amazon. It will take a few days for the price change to work its way through the internet and Amazon's price-matching software.
Now to the new and improved Batman of my imagination. I originally toyed with the idea of making Bruce's uncle rich. Out of guilt for throwing the kid into foster care after Bruce's parents died, he gives his fortune to Bruce, who splits it with Alfred and the two of them decide on a vigilante life. But that defeats the fun of keeping them...if not poor...at least not rich.
The fun of not being rich? Sure! Think of all the complications if Batman doesn't have his rich-boy toys, if he had to make everything himself, repair everything himself. I'm inspired in this by the Spider-Man of the late sixties through the eighties. He had to make everything himself, sew up his costume, make his web shooters, the goo for the shooters - he was the ultimate in self-sufficient superheroes. Hard to work up sympathy for Bats when he needs a new toy. By making Bruce poor, and maybe a bit of a shady character - Catwoman is his girlfriend, after all - it increases interest in the character, the fun of Batman.
Another benefit to this, Batman's devices break, we expect them to break. He has to rely on his wits and his friends more, which means more interactions. They're always short on money, too. This leads to some nice criminal fun, wherein Bruce, Selina, and Alfred teach us just what they will do and what they won't. They're still heroes, of course, just the kind who let the rich and the criminals finance their war on crime. Also maybe a little Robin Hood mixed in.
All of this is of course merely an intellectual exercise, since no way would DC let me anywhere near the Batman franchise in real life.
R. P. Bird: Professional writer since 1989. Author of the IN THE REALM OF THE GODS
series and the SUZIE crime novels. Crazy, but highly reliable. Can fix