Many of the major Batman storylines since the 1990s have been inter-title crossovers that run for a number of issues. In 1993, the same year that DC published the "Death of Superman" storyline, the publisher released the "Knightfall" storyline. In the storyline's first phase, the new villain Bane paralyzes Batman, leading Wayne to ask Azrael to take on the role. After the end of "Knightfall", the storylines split in two directions, following both the Azrael-Batman's adventures, and Bruce Wayne's quest to become Batman once more. The story arcs realign in "KnightsEnd", as Azrael becomes increasingly violent and is defeated by a healed Bruce Wayne. Wayne hands the Batman mantle to Dick Grayson (then Nightwing) for an interim period, while Wayne trains to return to his role as Batman.
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.
The driving force behind Bruce Wayne's character is his parents' murder and their absence. Bob Kane and Bill Finger discussed Batman's background and decided that "there's nothing more traumatic than having your parents murdered before your eyes". Despite his trauma, he sets his mind on studying to become a scientist and to train his body into physical perfection to fight crime in Gotham City as Batman, an inspired idea from Wayne's insight into the criminal mind.
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. Batman becomes a founding member of the Justice League of America, appearing in its first story in 1960s 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.
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."
After the 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics retconned the histories of some major characters in an attempt at updating them for contemporary audiences. Frank Miller retold Batman's origin in the storyline "Year One" from Batman #404–407, which emphasizes a grittier tone in the character. Though the Earth-Two Batman is erased from history, many stories of Batman's silver-age/Earth-One career (along with an amount of golden-age ones) remain canonical in the post-Crisis universe, with his origins remaining the same in essence, despite alteration. For example, Gotham's police are mostly corrupt, setting up further need for Batman's existence. The guardian Phillip Wayne is removed leaving young Bruce to be raised by Alfred Pennyworth. Additionally, Batman is no longer a founding member of the Justice League of America, although he becomes leader for a short time of a new incarnation of the team launched in 1987. To help fill in the revised backstory for Batman following Crisis, DC launched a new Batman title called Legends of the Dark Knight in 1989 and has published various miniseries and one-shot stories since then that largely take place during the "Year One" period.
In Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight, Travis Langley argues that the concept of archetypes as described by psychologists Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell is present in the Batman mythos, such that the character represents the "shadow archetype". This archetype, according to Langley, represents a person's own dark side; it is not necessarily an evil one, but rather one that is hidden from the outside and concealed from both the world and oneself. Langley argues that Bruce Wayne confronts his own darkness early in life; he chooses to use it to instill fear in wrongdoers, with his bright and dark sides working together to fight evil. Langley uses the Jungian perspective to assert that Batman appeals to our own need to face our "shadow selves". Dr. Travis Langley also taught a class called Batman, a title he was adamant about. "I could have called it something like the Psychology of Nocturnal Vigilantism, but no. I called it Batman," Langley says.
Amazo Anti-Monitor Black Adam Black Manta Brainiac Captain Cold Cheetah Darkseid Despero Doctor Destiny Doctor Light Doomsday Eclipso Felix Faust General Wade Eiling Gorilla Grodd Joker Kanjar Ro Key Lex Luthor Libra Maxwell Lord Mongul Neron Professor Ivo Prometheus Queen Bee Queen of Fables Sinestro Starro Steppenwolf T. O. Morrow Vandal Savage Amanda Waller
Lorna Shore: In the Batman Confidential story Lovers & Madmen, Bruce met museum curator Lorna Shore during the beginning of his career. It was love at first sight as Bruce was able to find peace when he was with her for the first time since his parents' murder. However, after his encounter with the Joker and realizing that there would be more enemies like him, he broke off their relationship to protect Lorna. Lorna later left the city, feeling that Gotham wasn't safe anymore because of Batman and The Joker.
When Greg Capullo drew the armor in "Batman," however, he made it look a lot more relaxed and natural-seeming. It worked a lot better in that context, especially as Capullo's "Batman" was constantly in motion, which didn't really fit with the stiff design of the armor. Capullo kept that in mind when he got the chance to re-design the costume at the end of his run on the 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.
Following Infinite Crisis, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson (having recovered from his wounds), and Tim Drake retrace the steps Bruce had taken when he originally left Gotham City, to "rebuild Batman". In the Face the Face storyline, Batman and Robin return to Gotham City after their year-long absence. Part of this absence is captured during Week 30 of the 52 series, which shows Batman fighting his inner demons. Later on in 52, Batman is shown undergoing an intense meditation ritual in Nanda Parbat. This becomes an important part of the regular Batman title, which reveals that Batman is reborn as a more effective crime fighter while undergoing this ritual, having "hunted down and ate" the last traces of fear in his mind. At the end of the "Face the Face" story arc, Bruce officially adopts Tim (who had lost both of his parents at various points in the character's history) as his son. The follow-up story arc in Batman, Batman and Son, introduces Damian Wayne, who is Batman's son with Talia al Ghul. Although originally in Son of the Demon, Bruce's coupling with Talia was implied to be consensual, this arc ret-conned it into Talia forcing herself on Bruce.
Utility Belt: Batman keeps most of his personal field equipment in his iconic yellow utility belt. Over the years, it has produced plastic explosives, nerve toxins, batarangs, smoke bombs, a fingerprint kit, a cutting tool, a grappling line-launcher, and a re-breather. Superman also entrusted Batman with a ring made of Kryptonite, should the Man of Steel ever need to be reined in (because of mind-control by a super-villain, etc.).
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.
At the end of the issue, the archivist is revealed to be an older version of Batman himself, who steals Rip Hunter's time bubble and leaves the heroes to experience the death of the universe, Superman pleading with him to stop. Superman reveals that, when Darkseid sent Batman back in time, he erased Bruce's memories but turned him into an unspecified 'doomsday weapon', knowing that Batman's powerful survival instincts would lead him back to the twenty-first century, at which point Darkseid's 'trap' will be triggered.
At Arkham Asylum, Batman interrogates Riddler who reveals that he has been Wynne as well as Hush. He had used a Lazarus Pit to cure himself of his brain tumor and during his time in the Lazarus Pit, he figured out Batman's identity as Bruce Wayne and formed a plan involving several villains to destroy both the personal life and the crime-fighting career of Batman. Batman deduces that Riddler is actually Clayface mimicking his identity while the latter communicated via satellite. After defeating Clayface, Batman finds Riddler's location and the two engage in a final confrontation. Riddler is nearly killed, but is saved by Batman with his grapnel. However, Catwoman cuts the line and allows Riddler to fall to his death.
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
In 1998, the "Batman" titles (and Gotham City itself) were rocked by a giant earthquake in the crossover, "Cataclysm." In the aftermath of the devastation, Batman left Gotham City in his Bruce Wayne identity to lobby the United States government to provide aid to Gotham to help it rebuild. Instead, the government decided to just cut Gotham City off from the rest of the country, period. They gave people a few weeks to get out and then blew up all tunnels and bridges out of Gotham City and left whoever was still in Gotham to fend for themselves.
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.
Many of the major Batman storylines since the 1990s have been inter-title crossovers that run for a number of issues. In 1993, DC published "Knightfall". During the storyline's first phase, the new villain Bane paralyzes Batman, leading Wayne to ask Azrael to take on the role. After the end of "Knightfall", the storylines split in two directions, following both the Azrael-Batman's adventures, and Bruce Wayne's quest to become Batman once more. The story arcs realign in "KnightsEnd", as Azrael becomes increasingly violent and is defeated by a healed Bruce Wayne. Wayne hands the Batman mantle to Dick Grayson (then Nightwing) for an interim period, while Wayne trains for a return to the role.
Meanwhile, in the present day, Batman and Robin are investigating in Bludhaven. Wonder Woman has put the Justice League on Black alert - when Batman makes his way to the present, something terrible will happen. Red Robin recounts how the current Batman found the cape of the original in a cave, 11,000 years old by radiocarbon dating. A set of strange holes in the hood match to a brainwashing helmet in Command-D in Bludhaven. The word is out - Batman is alive, and the world is doomed...
The Origin of The Joker? the history of The Red Hood There are two stories, we will give you the current history of The Red Hood. The man who was to wear the Red Helmet and become the Red Hood was actually a former chemical technician for the Ace Chemical plant, who became a struggling stand-up comedian burdened with the thought of not being able to support his newly pregnant wife.
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By 1964, sales of Batman titles had fallen drastically. Bob Kane noted that, as a result, DC was "planning to kill Batman off altogether". In response to this, editor Julius Schwartz was assigned to the Batman titles. He presided over drastic changes, beginning with 1964's Detective Comics #327 (May 1964), which was cover-billed as the "New Look". Schwartz introduced changes designed to make Batman more contemporary, and to return him to more detective-oriented stories. He brought in artist Carmine Infantino to help overhaul the character. The Batmobile was redesigned, and Batman's costume was modified to incorporate a yellow ellipse behind the bat-insignia. The space aliens, time travel, and characters of the 1950s such as Batwoman, Ace, and Bat-Mite were retired. Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred was killed off (though his death was quickly reversed) while a new female relative for the Wayne family, Aunt Harriet, came to live with Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.
After the success of Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan introduced the world to his quintessential version of Batman in The Dark Knight. Here we initially see the same suit worn in Begins, but then after being mauled by a couple of dogs, Bruce decides he needs a bit more protection and movement. Lucius Fox then introduces him to a new type of armor he’d been working on that had separated plates which gave him greater mobility.
On the shore of Bristol Bay, the dreaded pirate Edward "Blackbeard" Thatch has just sunk the ship of the vigilante known as the Black Pirate. Two men came out of the drink - a young man who won't speak, and a defiant black-haired fellow. Blackbeard rounds on the black-haired man, accuss him of being the Black Pirat, and demands that he take him to the fabled treasure of the Miagani, in the caves above Gotham Town. When the black-haired man says he is not the Black Pirate, Blackbeard pulls out the accouterments of the Black Pirate, which were also pulled off the ship. At the appeal of the young man, Blackbear,d and the black-haired man agrese to go to the caves.
Winding up in Gotham City, Bane exhausted Batman by freeing all the villains from Arkham Asylum. He then crippled the Dark Knight by snapping his spine. Jean Paul Valley (Azrael) donned the Batman garb ? wile Bruce recuperated from his injuries. This interim Batman was more violent and unstable; Bruce returned to action as soon as his body had healed and he had regained his fighting spirit, with the help of ruthless martial-arts mistress Lady Shiva. Bruce took back the mantle of the Bat by force.
The first Batman story, "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate", was published in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Finger said, "Batman was originally written in the style of the pulps", and this influence was evident with Batman showing little remorse over killing or maiming criminals. Batman proved a hit character, and he received his own solo title in 1940 while continuing to star in Detective Comics. By that time, Detective Comics was the top-selling and most influential publisher in the industry; Batman and the company's other major hero, Superman, were the cornerstones of the company's success. The two characters were featured side-by-side as the stars of World's Finest Comics, which was originally titled World's Best Comics when it debuted in fall 1940. Creators including Jerry Robinson and Dick Sprang also worked on the strips during this period.
With Batman's return to Gotham, the GCPD shut down their Batmen project and reinstated Gordon as Commissioner. After the incident under the caves, Batman decided to investigate Nth metal, believing there to be some connection between it, Dionesium and the Court of Owls. To that end, he approached the leader of the Robin street gang, Duke Thomas, and offered to train him into another hero, as opposed to another Robin. In reality, Bruce knew about his status as a metahuman and wished for him to help investigate the court's plans.
The character became popular soon after his introduction in 1939 and gained his own comic book title, Batman, the following year. As the decades went on, different interpretations of the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series used a camp aesthetic, which continued to be associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in 1986 with The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. The success of Warner Bros. Pictures' live-action Batman feature films have helped maintain the character's prominence in mainstream culture.
Batman met juvenile delinquent and presumed orphan, Jason Todd, when the boy literally tried to steal the tires right off the Batmobile. With original partner Dick Grayson having given up the role of Robin, Batman decided to take Jason in and offer him both a home and a purpose. Jason began the same training regimen Grayson once undertook to become the Dark Knight's partner. However, Jason was a troubled soul who lacked maturity and was quick to anger.
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Batman quickly goes to the GCPD headquarters, where the Joker's latest attack took place. Previously, he had defeated the Joker and sent him to prison, where an unnamed person surgically removed his face. Later at the Batcave, Batman runs several traces for on previously collected samples of Joker Venom to see if any was found on the scene at police headquarters. As several of Batman's allies call, offering assistance in taking down the Joker, Batman declines, saying that whatever the Joker is planning, it is between him and Batman. In that moment, the Joker broadcasts a message on live TV, saying that he will kill Mayor Hady. The GCPD reinforces the City Hall to protect the Mayor, but the Joker poisons all the cops and security guards, leaving Batman, Commissioner Gordon and the Mayor as the only survivors. Batman investigates the chemical compounds used on the cops and finds three additional non-active chemicals: Aspirin, Chlorine, and Ethane. A, C, E. Batman realizes that the Joker is sending him back where it all started; to A.C.E. Chemicals. There, he finds a person dressed as the Red Hood. Batman is aware that the mysterious stranger is not the Joker, but suddenly, he is knocked aside by a giant wooden mallet. Batman falls into an empty chemical vat, while the stranger reveals herself as Harley Quinn. A chemical bath begins to pour into the vat, while Harley proclaims that the Joker is planning something not even she can comprehend.
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Batman and Luthor's group infiltrate the Justice League's destroyed Watchtower in order to confront the Crime Syndicate. There, they find Nightwing strapped to a Murder Machine, a containment device originally built to contain Doomsday. In that moment, the Crime Syndicate attacks them. Batman and Luthor attempt to free Nightwing from the machine as the others take on the Syndicate; however, they discover the machine is a detonator for a bomb, which can only be stopped if Nightwing's heart stops. Choosing to save the group's lives over Nightwing's, Luthor apparently kills him and the bomb is stopped. Angry, Batman attacks Luthor; however, the Syndicate's prisoner is revealed to be Alexander Luthor, who has the power of Mazahs.
Following the 2016 DC Rebirth continuity reboot, Batman and Catwoman work together in the third volume of Batman. The two also have a romantic relationship, in which they are shown having a sexual encounter on a rooftop and sleeping together. Bruce proposes to Selina in Batman vol. 3, #24 (2017), and in issue #32, Selina asks Bruce to propose to her again. When he does so, she says, "Yes."