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).
As Batman's ally in the Gotham City police, Commissioner James "Jim" Gordon debuted along with Batman in Detective Comics #27 and has been a consistent presence ever since. As a crime-fighting everyman, he shares Batman's goals while offering, much as the character of Watson does in Sherlock Holmes stories, a normal person's perspective on the work of Batman's extraordinary genius.
Starting in 1969, writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams made a deliberate effort to distance Batman from the campy portrayal of the 1960s TV series and to return the character to his roots as a "grim avenger of the night". O'Neil said his idea was "simply to take it back to where it started. I went to the DC library and read some of the early stories. I tried to get a sense of what Kane and Finger were after."
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Grant Morrison's 2008 storyline, "Batman R.I.P." featured Batman being physically and mentally broken by the enigmatic villain Doctor Hurt and attracted news coverage in advance of its highly promoted conclusion, which would speculated to feature the death of Bruce Wayne. However, though Batman is shown to possibly perish at the end of the arc, the two-issue arc "Last Rites", which leads into the crossover storylines "Final Crisis", shows that Batman survives his helicopter crash into the Gotham City River and returns to the Batcave, only to be summoned to the Hall of Justice by the JLA to help investigate the New God Orion's death. The story ends with Batman retrieving the god-killing bullet used to kill Orion, setting up its use in "Final Crisis". In the pages of Final Crisis Batman is reduced to a charred skeleton. In Final Crisis #7 Wayne is shown witnessing the passing of the first man, Anthro. Wayne's "death" sets up the three-issue Battle for the Cowl miniseries in which Wayne's ex-proteges compete for the "right" to assume the role of Batman, which concludes with Grayson becoming Batman, while Tim Drake takes on the identity of Red Robin. Dick and Damian continue as Batman and Robin, and in the crossover storyline "Blackest Night", what appears to be Bruce's corpse is reanimated as a Black Lantern zombie, but is later shown that Bruce's corpse is one of Darkseid's failed Batman clones. Dick and Batman's other friends conclude that Bruce is alive.
The coolest version in this film, however, came at its end, with the experimental "sonar suit." The coolest part about this suit is the fact that in one fell swoop, Batman not only beat Riddler at his own game, he activated some killer sonar tech which allowed him to pinpoint the exact spot he would need to throw his batarang to thwart Nygma’s mind reading world domination plan. It also just looked so sleek and menacing.
Batman is reawakened by a girl named Harper Row, who he abruptly leaves. Returning to the Batcave, Batman finds the Talon's dead body, which Alfred and Nightwing had retrieved for Batman, who decides to examine it. Later, Nightwing meets up with Bruce, who reveals that the Talon is actually William Cobb, Nightwing's great-grandfather and that Nightwing was destined to be a Talon, a goal stopped by his adoption. The Court recovers from their encounter and decides to activate a small army of Talons they have decommissioned throughout the years.
In September 2011, DC Comics' entire line of superhero comic books, including its Batman franchise, were canceled and relaunched with new #1 issues as part of the New 52 reboot. Bruce Wayne is the only character to be identified as Batman and is featured in Batman, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin, and Batman: The Dark Knight. Dick Grayson returns to the mantle of Nightwing and appears in his own ongoing series. While many characters have their histories significantly altered to attract new readers, Batman's history remains mostly intact. Batman Incorporated was relaunched in 2012–2013 to complete the "Leviathan" storyline.
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Batman is a comic book superhero character created in 1939 by the writer/illustrator team of Bill Finger and Bob Kane. He is a DC Comics character, first appearing in the Detective Comics #27. He has many features that differ from other comic book superheroes, including an extremely dark personality that tends to show little remorse when he exacts vigilante justice on various villains. Also, so many people have “recreated” Batman over the years that there are significant inconsistencies in the way the character behaves, is perceived, and looks, and there are also many different takes on the degree or lack thereof of participation that Batman’s sometimes sidekick Robin is involved in his story.
Upon his return, Bruce Wayne goes public with the news that he has been funding The Batman's crusade the entire time. Although Bruce Wayne still holds the mantle of the Bat, he leaves Dick Grayson as Gotham's Dark Knight and sets out to create a worldwide crime fighting organization known as Batman Incorporated. The idea behind the organization is that each country or region will have its own specific Batman, and will be funded by Bruce Wayne and his business empire.
Reviving in a hospital in the 1930s, Bruce meets Marsha, a woman who claims that she wants to employ him as a detective to investigate the death of her friend, Martha Wayne, providing him with a 1930s suit to wear as he carries out his investigations. Meeting with Martha's parents, Bruce learns of Thomas Wayne's apparent infidelity and his connection to various orgies, but remains suspicious that he is not being told the whole truth. After Wayne is provided with a Bat-costume to wear during the final stages of his investigation- the same costume worn by Thomas Wayne long ago-, he tracks 'Marsha' to a graveyard, where it is revealed that she is a member of the Black Glove, who believes that she will be granted eternal youth if she ritually sacrifices the 'Bat-Man', having selected the amnesiac Bruce as the perfect sacrifice as nobody will miss him. Despite his confusion and weakness, Wayne fights off the Black Glove before Carter Nichols's time machine teleports him to the end of time, leaving the Glove without a sacrifice. Bruce returns to the JLA Watchtower as a twisted cybernetic Batman.
Batman's [uniform] is bulletproof and fire resistant, featuring a weighted cape and a cowl outfitted with night-vision technology and communications arrays; utility belt contains an arsenal of crime-fighting gear, including various types of offensive Batarangs, de-cel jumplines and grapnels, micro-camera, smoke pellets, acetylene torch, gas mask, rebreather, and flexi-cuffs among other miniaturized non-lethal weapons. [Batman] employs a variety of detective gadgets, including micro-computers and crime scene analysis kits; maintains a fleet of high-tech and high-powered vehicles, chief among the Batmobile, Batcycle, Batboat, Batplane and Batcopter; supersophisticated Batcave headquarters houses training facilities, forensics laboratories, computer databases, and maintenance bays for all Bat-vehicles.
Infiltrating the Powers Hotel, Batman interrogates Maria Powers, knowing she and her husband are members of the Court. Alfred traces Maria's phone call and Batman deduces the Court is at Harbor House, the old house he tried to investigate when he was a boy. When he enters the house, however, Batman finds that every member of the Court is dead. By the next day, Batman believes that the Court's death is some kind of setup, as all the Court's money was transferred to another account. Believing that the Court suffered a betrayal from the inside, Batman goes to the morgue, where he finds a note reading "Follow me to the Rabbit Hole?"
Batman is probably the character with the highest number of romantic relationships in the DC Universe. Unlike Superman and Wonder Woman, characters that have been in publication for as long as Batman, the Dark Knight has never had a long-standing leading partner and instead, he has been constantly switching interests when it comes to romance. This is due to the nature of Batman's character; it is difficult for him to maintain a serious relationship with a woman as a result of his obsession with his crusade against crime. On the other hand, Bruce Wayne, Batman's alter-ego, has managed to have a few relationships with ladies of his interest, but they always come to a rather abrupt end because of the lack of trust and constant absence shown by Wayne, which has earned him the reputation as a notorious playboy.
Batman's history has undergone many retroactive continuity revisions, both minor and major. Elements of the character's history have varied greatly. Scholars William Uricchio and Roberta E. Pearson noted in the early 1990s, "Unlike some fictional characters, the Batman has no primary urtext set in a specific period, but has rather existed in a plethora of equally valid texts constantly appearing over more than five decades."
Writers have varied in the approach over the years to the "playboy" aspect of Bruce Wayne's persona. Some writers show his playboy reputation as a manufactured illusion to support his mission as Batman, while others have depicted Bruce Wayne as genuinely enjoying the benefits of being "Gotham's most eligible bachelor". Bruce Wayne has been portrayed as being romantically linked with many women throughout his various incarnations. The most significant relationships occurred with Selina Kyle, who is also Catwoman and Talia al Ghul, as both women gave birth to his biological offsprings, Helena Wayne and Damian Wayne, respectively.
Using a mixture of physical and psychological attacks, the Black Glove tests Batman's resolve, forcing him to temporarily adopt the crazed persona of the "Batman of Zur-En-Arrh." He is then led to Arkham Asylum to face the Joker. Seemingly defeated, Batman is buried alive by the Black Glove, a group that includes Bruce Wayne's girlfriend, Jezebel Jet, who has betrayed him. With the assistance of Robin and Nightwing, he turns the tables on his foes. In a final confrontation with Dr. Hurt, Batman is caught in a helicopter crash.
Batman meets and regularly works with other heroes during the silver age, most notably Superman, whom he began regularly working alongside in a series of team-ups in World's Finest Comics, starting in 1954 and continuing through the series' cancellation in 1986. Batman and Superman are usually depicted as close friends. As a founding member of the Justice League of America, Batman appears in its first story, in 1960's Brave and the Bold #28. In the 1970s and 1980s, Brave and the Bold became a Batman title, in which Batman teams up with a different DC Universe superhero each month.
The perfect combination of the various Batman costume eras came at the turn of the 21st Century. With "No Man's Land" now over, Batman could get back to being a normal superhero again and he began to fight crime in a costume influenced by Alex Ross's Batman designs. It had a lot of the same feel of the Bronze Age Neal Adams' costume; however, it was much darker than that and did not have the yellow oval on it.
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Zatanna Zatara: The first occasion in which Zatanna was portrayed as a strong romantic interest of Bruce Wayne was in Batman: The Animated Series, where the two of them met in their youth and were interested in each other, but Bruce gave priority to the pursue of his training to become Batman. As adults they met again and realized they cared for each other, but nothing came out of it. This history was later introduced to the comics. Batman and Zatanna had a major falling out after Bruce found out Zatanna had mindwiped him after he walked in on her mindwiping Doctor Light at the Justice League's instruction. Batman made it clear that after these incidents, he no longer trusted Zatanna. However, the two eventually resolved their issues and became close friends once again.
Batman reformed the Bat-Family with Batwoman and began training Duke to become another vigilante for Gotham. Whilst saving a falling airplane, Batman received help from two new heroes called Gotham and Gotham Girl, two metahumans with powers similar to Superman. Seeing them as a potential replacement for him, he took the duo under his wing and helped them on the path to becoming Gotham's new superheroes. However, after an encounter with Hugo Strange and the Psycho Pirate, the two were rendered mentally damaged and, when Gotham attacked the city, Batman was forced to fight him until his powers drained his body, killing him. Taking Claire under his wing, Batman, with the help of the rest of the Bat Family, stopped an attack orchestrated by Strange, similar to one of their earliest encounters.
Just as the Black Pirate defeats Blackbeard, Hands puts up the shout - surrender or the boy dies. However, within seconds of the challenge, two of the pirates are dead by Miagani darts, leaving only Blackbeard and Hands. The Black Pirate demands that the two retreat. Then Jack Valor introduces the Black Pirate to the last of the Miagani Tribe. They recognize him, and let into the most sacred part of their cave, which is guarded by a statue of their patron spirit, "the Lord of Night and the Dark Sun", who is supposed to guard them against the day they call the "All-Over". At the back of the cave is the cape of the Lord of Night - the cape that Batman was wearing when he came back in time. The Black Pirate is struck by his memories.
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Finger suggested giving the character a cowl instead of a simple domino mask, a cape instead of wings, and gloves; he also recommended removing the red sections from the original costume. Finger said he devised the name Bruce Wayne for the character's secret identity: "Bruce Wayne's first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock ... then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne." He later said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk's popular The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic-strip character with which Kane was also familiar.
Whilst Claire's condition worsened, Batman tracked Psycho Pirate to Santa Prisca, where he discovered he was being used by Bane as a substitute to Venom. At Amanda Waller's suggestion, Bruce put together a team of supervillains to break into the island and recover the Psycho Pirate. Among the teammates was Catwoman, who was serving a life sentence after apparently killing 127 members of a terrorist organization. During the mission, they recoiled their relationship and, during her last night of freedom, Batman learned that she was actually taking the blame for her friend Holly Robinson. When Bane attacked Gotham to recover Psycho Pirate, he employed the entire Bat-Family and Rogues Gallery, to protect him and Claire long enough to cure her of the Pirate's influence.
On the way, the young man, who introduces himself as cabin boy Jack Loggins, tells them that when the Pilgrims came over, the last of the Deer People joined their one-time brothers, the Bat-People, in the caves of Gotham. Blackbeard wonders at the possibility of ransoming Loggins, but the black-haired stranger shoots this down, pointing to the callouses on Loggin's hands and the general state of his clothes.
^ "Batman Artist Rogers is Dead". SciFi Wire. March 28, 2007. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009: "Even though their Batman run was only six issues, the three laid the foundation for later Batman comics. Their stories include the classic 'Laughing Fish' (in which the Joker's face appeared on fish); they were adapted for Batman: The Animated Series in the 1990s. Earlier drafts of the 1989 Batman movie with Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight were based heavily on their work."
Joker hosts a mock dinner in the caves leading to the Batcave. Alongside a bound Batman, his allies are also bound at the table with their faces bandaged, and Batman is warned that escaping will agitate flints and ignite his gasoline-doused allies. Alfred, who has been gassed by the Joker, serves all but Batman with a cloche containing their severed faces. When Joker threatens to ignite the gasoline himself, Batman escapes and triggers a blaze, but uses an explosive and his knowledge of the cave system to blow open the cave roof, allowing water to rush in from above and douse the flames. Batman pursues Joker to the edge of a large drop. Batman claims that he knows Joker's true identity, but to prevent him from saying it, Joker purposefully knocks himself over the edge and falls out of sight. Batman reads Joker's book which he claimed contained the real identities of the Bat-family but it is blank. Meanwhile, the Bat-family are gassed and attack each other but manage to fight off the gas's influence. Later, in Wayne Manor, Batman tells a recovering Alfred that after finding the joker playing card in the cave, he confronted Joker about it in Arkham Asylum as Bruce Wayne. Joker failed to acknowledge him and Batman realized that he did not care who Batman was under his mask. In the present, Batman receives excuses from the Bat-family for them not coming to meet with him. Later, Batman studies the chemical makeup of the gas Joker used on the Bat-family and finds an inert isotope; the chemical compound "Ha".
Investigating the Talon, Batman discovers a mysterious room hidden at the Old Wayne Tower, which once served as the Owls' "nest". However, the building explodes with Batman inside. Escaping the explosion, Batman tracks the Talon down to a mysterious labyrinth that contains portraits of Gotham in the Wild West that also details Gotham's history. There, he is greeted by the Court of Owls.
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O'Neil and Adams first collaborated on the story "The Secret of the Waiting Graves" in Detective Comics #395 (Jan. 1970). Few stories were true collaborations between O'Neil, Adams, Schwartz, and inker Dick Giordano, and in actuality these men were mixed and matched with various other creators during the 1970s; nevertheless the influence of their work was "tremendous". Giordano said: "We went back to a grimmer, darker Batman, and I think that's why these stories did so well ..." While the work of O'Neil and Adams was popular with fans, the acclaim did little to improve declining sales; the same held true with a similarly acclaimed run by writer Steve Englehart and penciler Marshall Rogers in Detective Comics #471–476 (Aug. 1977 – April 1978), which went on to influence the 1989 movie Batman and be adapted for Batman: The Animated Series, which debuted in 1992. Regardless, circulation continued to drop through the 1970s and 1980s, hitting an all-time low in 1985.
Batman's origin story involving the murder of Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne has been retconned several times. It was originally established that the mugger had been named Joe Chill and Bruce was aware of this. Zero Hour changed this so that his identity was never revealed, symbolically strengthening the potential link between any criminal and the man who killed his parents. Infinite Crisis said that it had been Joe Chill and he had been arrested the very same night, making this the current version. This is expanded upon in a later story which showed Batman slowly driving Chill insane with mental torture before causing him to snap and commit suicide with the bullet meant for Bruce as a child.
Tim Drake was barely more than a toddler when he sat in the stands at Haly's Circus and watched the Flying Graysons fall to their doom. Tim was transfixed as the Dark Knight swooped down to comfort young Dick Grayson. The moment was burned into his memory. Years later, Tim saw news reports of an unhinged Batman becoming more and more violent following the death of the second Robin, Jason Todd. Using his detective skills, Tim deduced the secret identity of Batman and the first Boy Wonder, Dick Grayson.
Batman: The Animated Series and the DC animated universe not only made the childhoods of a generation so much cooler, they also gave birth to the voices in a lot of our heads. When people of this generation think of the caped crusader, they see an image in their minds of a black cape and cowl, grey shirt and a yellow and black Bat-symbol across the chest. They hear the words in that oh-so-familiar voice “I am vengeance, I am the night…I AM BATMAN!” and then they usually pass out.