Vicki disappeared from the Batman comics when Julius Schwartz took over the editorial office of Batman in 1964, but she was eventually reintroduced in the early 1980s, brought back by Gerry Conway. Unfortunately, this idea proved ill-advised as Vicki's character was not developed and instead, it was simply a modern take on the same old concept of learning Batman's secret identity. Writer Doug Moench was mainly responsible for slowly removing Vale from Batman's love life after he took over from Conway, but she has since been used as a recurrent love interest for Bruce Wayne by many other writers. Most recently, in Bruce Wayne: The Road Home, Vicki finally got proof of Batman's identity, but she kept it to herself and became a confidant and ally of the Batman family rather than a love interest of Bruce Wayne.
The third Robin in mainstream comics is Tim Drake, who first appeared in 1989. He went on to star in his own comic series, and currently goes by Red Robin, a variation on the traditional Robin persona. In the first decade of the new millennium, Stephanie Brown served as the fourth in-universe Robin between stints as her self-made vigilante identity The Spoiler, and later as Batgirl. After Stephanie Brown's apparent death, Drake resumed the role of Robin for a time. The role eventually passed to Damian Wayne, the ten-year-old son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, in the late 2000s. Damian's tenure as du jour Robin ended when the character was killed off in the pages of Batman Incorporated in 2013. Batman's next young sidekick is Harper Row, a streetwise young woman who avoids the name Robin but followed the ornithological theme nonetheless; she debuted the codename and identity of Bluebird in 2014. Unlike the Robins, Bluebird is willing and permitted to use a gun, albeit non-lethal; her weapon of choice is a modified rifle that fires taser rounds. In 2015, a new series began titled We Are Robin, focused on a group of teenagers using the Robin persona to fight crime in Gotham City.
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Jillian Maxwell: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1, during the beginning of his career, Bruce found himself attracted to a woman who called herself Jillian Maxwell after meeting her at a costume party. However, he later discovered the criminal record of a woman who had used many aliases to seduce young, wealthy men, then later arranged events that led to their deaths so she could claim their wealth. After Alfred told Bruce of this, he was heartbroken, but he kept an eye on the woman. When she used the identity Audrey Marguerite in Brazil, Bruce, as Batman, sent her a note, ordering her to confess all her crimes.
Supporting Ace • Alfred Pennyworth • Azrael • Barbara Gordon • Batgirl • Batman Incorporated • Batman of Zur En Arrh • Batwoman • Bat-Mite • Batwing • Bette Kane • Black Bat • Bruce Wayne • Cassandra Cain • Carrie Kelley • Catwoman • Commissioner Gordon • Crispus Allen • Damian Wayne • Dark Ranger • Dick Grayson • Duke Thomas • Helena Bertinelli • Helena Wayne • Flamebird • El Gaucho • GCPD • Harold Allnut • Harper Row • Harriet Cooper • Harvey Bullock • Huntress • Jason Bard • Jason Todd • Jean-Paul Valley • Julie Madison • Knight • Legionary • Leslie Thompkins • Lucius Fox • Luke Fox • Man-of-Bats • Martha Wayne • Matches Malone • Mr. Unknown • Musketeer • Nightrunner • Nightwing • Onyx • Oracle • Orphan • Orpheus • Outsiders • Red Robin • Renee Montoya • Robin • Sarah Essen • Sasha Bordeaux • Signal • Silver St. Cloud • Squire • Stephanie Brown • Terry McGinnis • Titus • Thomas Wayne • Tim Drake • Vesper Fairchild • Vicki Vale • Wingman
Another writer who rose to prominence on the Batman comic series, was Jeph Loeb. Along with longtime collaborator Tim Sale, they wrote two miniseries (The Long Halloween and Dark Victory) that pit an early in his career version of Batman against his entire rogues gallery (including Two-Face, whose origin was re-envisioned by Loeb) while dealing with various mysteries involving serial killers Holiday and the Hangman. In 2003, Loeb teamed with artist Jim Lee to work on another mystery arc: "Batman: Hush" for the main Batman book. The 12–issue storyline has Batman and Catwoman teaming up against Batman's entire rogues gallery, including an apparently resurrected Jason Todd, while seeking to find the identity of the mysterious supervillain Hush. While the character of Hush failed to catch on with readers, the arc was a sales success for DC. The series became #1 on the Diamond Comic Distributors sales chart for the first time since Batman #500 (Oct. 1993) and Todd's appearance laid the groundwork for writer Judd Winick's subsequent run as writer on Batman, with another multi-issue arc, "Under the Hood", which ran from Batman #637–650 (April 2005 – April 2006).
Because Bruce Wayne is retired at the beginning of The Dark Knight Returns, we don’t get to see the suit right away. Instead we get to listen to a conversation between Bruce and a soon to be retired Commissioner James Gordon. When Bruce opens his mouth, we hear the gravely baritone voice of an old Robocop, which works perfectly with the character. Once he decides that he has had enough of the crime on the streets and suits up again, we see that just because Bruce got old, doesn’t mean he let himself go.
This also gave him the first bat suit which wasn’t hindered by the cowl being directly attached to the shoulders and could therefore move his head. Among other new improvements like being able to launch his triangle forearm blades, this version was a force to be reckoned with. Above all else, this is the perfect, most fully functional bat suit that there has been to date.
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In a paleolithic Gotham, a primitive tribe simply known as The Deer people encounters a shirtless amnesiac Bruce Wayne equipped with his utility belt in his hand emerging surrounded by a swarm of bats from the cave where Anthro recently died. The tribe of the Deer people mistakenly believe Bruce to be a Bat God dubbed him as The Man of Bats after discovering a set of markings featuring the insignia of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman inscribed on the cave wall next to the body of Anthro. Bruce, still uncertain of where he is, takes notice of a somewhat familiar crashed rocket ship upon investigating he discovers the contents: Superman's cape (the only thing left intact), a destroyed bat signal, and a shredded copy of the Daily Planet which was launched by the Daily Planet staff prior to the use of the Miracle Machine.
In 2010, the storyline Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne saw Bruce travel through history, eventually returning to the present day. Although he reclaimed the mantle of Batman, he also allowed Grayson to continue being Batman as well. Bruce decided to take his crime-fighting cause globally, which is the central focus of Batman Incorporated. DC Comics would later announce that Grayson would be the main character in Batman, Detective Comics, and Batman and Robin, while Wayne would be the main character in Batman Incorporated. Also, Bruce appeared in another ongoing series, Batman: The Dark Knight.
Batman keeps most of his field equipment in his utility belt. Over the years it has shown to contain an assortment of crime-fighting tools, weapons, and investigative and technological instruments. Different versions of the belt have these items stored in compartments, often as pouches or hard cylinders attached evenly around it. Batman is often depicted as carrying a projectile which shoots a retractable grappling hook attached to a cable. This allows him to attach to distant objects, be propelled into the air, and thus swing from the rooftops of Gotham City. An exception to the range of Batman's equipment are guns, which he refuses to use on principle, since a gun was used in his parents' murder.
The boy suddenly re-appears wearing a domino mask of ash and a shield with a bat on it. He frees Bruce and gives him back his belt. From his utility belt, Bruce takes a medicine capsule and dons the pelt of a giant bat to wear on his body. Using the contents of his utility belt to stave off an attack by Savage and his mob, operating on instinct more than actual knowledge of various fighting techniques, Bruce defeats Vandal Savage returning the necklace to the boy just as an unexpected solar eclipse appears in the sky which Bruce reacts to and flees with the boy. Bruce jumps over a waterfall with his young partner, only to vanish at the bottom, somehow turning up in Puritan Era Gotham City. After he has vanished, Superman, Green Lantern, and Booster Gold appear in the past via Rip Hunter's time sphere, having tracked Bruce to the past. Superman confirms with his super-hearing that Batman isn't in this time. As they depart, Superman states that they have to catch up with Batman before he can return to the present on his own or the world will be in great danger. In the new era he arrives in, Bruce surfaces from the water and finds a woman, when they are suddenly attacked by a large, tentacled creature. Bruce raises his sword to defend himself and the woman.
In the world of DC, there were really two Batmen if you think about it. One as "the world's greatest detective" who typically fought other non-powered street-level characters like the Joker. The other was a man who defied all odds as a human, and went toe-to-toe with super-powered villains and cosmic threats alongside the Justice League. Loeb and Lee balanced this duality into one series and did the same with the Batsuit as well. It's almost a combination of the classic blue and gray suit we know best from the Adam West series, mixed with a little bit of Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns suit. The result is a colorful suit that looks at home in the dark alley's of Gotham.
The central fixed event in the Batman stories is the character's origin story. As a young boy, Bruce Wayne was horrified and traumatized when he watched his parents, the physician Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, murdered with a gun by a mugger named Joe Chill. Batman refuses to utilize any sort of gun on the principle that a gun was used to murder his parents. This event drove him to train his body to its peak condition and fight crime in Gotham City as Batman. Pearson and Uricchio also noted beyond the origin story and such events as the introduction of Robin, "Until recently, the fixed and accruing and hence, canonized, events have been few in number", a situation altered by an increased effort by later Batman editors such as Dennis O'Neil to ensure consistency and continuity between stories.
It's hard to get across just how little care was often put into comic books and strips back in the 1930s and 1940s. This was disposable entertainment with an emphasis on "disposable." Comic books would be put together like an assembly line by packaging studios, and sometimes be thrown together over a weekend whenever a publisher got a fresh batch of printing paper. During World War II, for example, it became hard to find printing material, so coming across some extra paper was seen as a huge boon. Comic book artists routinely copied full sequences from the most talented comic artists of the day (typically Hal Foster and Alex Raymond).
Batman's primary character traits can be summarized as "wealth; physical prowess; deductive abilities and obsession". The details and tone of Batman comic books have varied over the years due to different creative teams. Dennis O'Neil noted that character consistency was not a major concern during early editorial regimes: "Julie Schwartz did a Batman in Batman and Detective and Murray Boltinoff did a Batman in the Brave and the Bold and apart from the costume they bore very little resemblance to each other. Julie and Murray did not want to coordinate their efforts, nor were they asked to do so. Continuity was not important in those days."
Another of Batman's characterizations is that of a vigilante; in order to stop evil that started with the death of his parents, he must sometimes break the law himself. Although manifested differently by being re-told by different artists, it is nevertheless that the details and the prime components of Batman's origin have never varied at all in the comic books, the "reiteration of the basic origin events holds together otherwise divergent expressions". The origin is the source of the character's traits and attributes, which play out in many of the character's adventures. He also speaks over 40 different languages.
With the beginning of the New 52, Scott Snyder was the writer of the Batman title. His first major story arc was "Night of the Owls", where Batman confronts the Court of Owls, a secret society that has controlled Gotham for centuries. The second story arc was "Death of the Family", where the Joker returns to Gotham and simultaneously attacks each member of the Batman family. The third story arc was "Batman: Zero Year", which redefined Batman's origin in The New 52. It followed Batman #0, published in June 2012, which explored the character's early years. The final storyline before the "Convergence" (2015) storyline was "Endgame", depicting the supposed final battle between Batman and the Joker when he unleashes the deadly Endgame virus onto Gotham City. The storyline ends with Batman and the Joker's supposed deaths.
The character of Batman has appeared in various media aside from comic books, such as newspaper syndicated comic strips, books, radio dramas, television, a stage show, and several theatrical feature films. The first adaptation of Batman was as a daily newspaper comic strip which premiered on October 25, 1943. That same year the character was adapted in the 15-part serial Batman, with Lewis Wilson becoming the first actor to portray Batman on screen. While Batman never had a radio series of his own, the character made occasional guest appearances in The Adventures of Superman starting in 1945 on occasions when Superman voice actor Bud Collyer needed time off. A second movie serial, Batman and Robin, followed in 1949, with Robert Lowery taking over the role of Batman. The exposure provided by these adaptations during the 1940s "helped make [Batman] a household name for millions who never bought a comic book".
In Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics #27, he is already operating as a crime fighter. Batman's origin is first presented in Detective Comics #33 in November 1939, and is later fleshed out in Batman #47. As these comics state, Bruce Wayne is born to Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, two very wealthy and charitable Gotham City socialites. Bruce is brought up in Wayne Manor and its wealthy splendor and leads a happy and privileged existence until the age of eigh, when his parents are killed by a small-time criminal named Joe Chill on their way home from the movie theater. Bruce Wayne swears an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He engages in intense intellectual and physical training; however, he realizes that these skills alone would not be enough. "Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot", Wayne remarks, "so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible..." As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to assume the persona of Batman.
When Jason discovered clues that his long-lost mother was alive, he secretly traveled to Africa to find her. Tragically, the trail also led him straight into the clutches of the Joker, who savagely beat the second Boy Wonder within an inch of his life. The Clown Prince of Crime left Jason and his mother to die in a booby-trapped warehouse wired from floor to ceiling with high-explosive charges. Jason courageously tried to shield his mother from the brunt of the devastating blast. She survived the explosion just long enough to tell a grief-stricken Batman that his reckless young partner had died a hero.
The "Batman: Hush" storyline introduced Tommy Elliot, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne's. As Hush, the bandaged villain, Elliot secretly orchestrates constant attacks on the Batman by manipulates many of the Batman's Rogues Gallery's villains. As the manipulations and orchestrations grow so does the sexual tension between Batman and Catwoman, to the point where they actually become romantically involved? to a certain degree. Ultimately, Batman's distrust in Catwoman ends the doomed relationship. Hush tricks Batman into believing that Jason Todd, the second Robin who was killed by the Joker, is actually alive. An angry Jason fights Batman but he is later revealed to be none other than Clayface. In a bizarre twist of writing, the DC creators decided to go ahead and let Jason Todd actually become alive, imagine that, but he arrives in the guise of ? the Red Hood.
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