Batman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Originally named the "Bat-Man," the character is also referred to by such epithets as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, and the World's Greatest Detective.
At age 14, Bruce embarked on a journey that took him to every continent as he sought to learn all the skills he would need to keep his vow. He studied criminology, forensics, and criminal psychology, and learned from manhunters and martial artists, mastering every fighting style. In time, Bruce forged himself into a living weapon to wage war on crime and injustice. On his return to Gotham, Bruce stalked street thugs as a plainclothes vigilante. Beaten by the very people he intended to protect, he barely survived his first night out. As he sat bleeding in his study at Wayne Manor Bruce knew that he had to first strike fear in the hearts of his foes. Just then, a bat crashed through the study window, giving Bruce the inspiration he needed.
Since 1986, Batman has starred in multiple video games, most of which were adaptations of the various cinematic or animated incarnations of the character. Among the most successful of these games is the Batman: Arkham series. The first installment, Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009), was released by Rocksteady Studios to critical acclaim; review aggregator Metacritic reports it as having received 92% positive reviews. It was followed by the sequel Batman: Arkham City (2011), which also received widespread acclaim and holds a Metacritic ranking of 94%. A prequel game titled Batman: Arkham Origins (2013) was later released by WB Games Montréal. A fourth game titled Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) has also been released by Rocksteady. As with most animated Batman productions, Kevin Conroy has provided the voice of the character for these games; excluding Arkham Origins, in which the younger Batman is voiced by Roger Craig Smith. In 2016, Telltale Games released Batman: The Telltale Series adventure game, which changed the Wayne Family's history as it is depicted in the Batman mythos. A sequel, titled Batman: The Enemy Within, was released in 2017.
While very similar to the original version shown in Batman, the Batman Returns bat suit shows us an updated version which shows obvious armor on the chest and full torso area. This suit was used against characters like Danny DeVito’s Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman during a storyline where Penguin was running to become the mayor of Gotham City and Selena Kyle was a lowly secretary who was just trying to do right by her boss… up until he murders her and she gets cat powers.
Frank Miller's limited series The Dark Knight Returns (February–June 1986) returned the character to his darker roots, both in atmosphere and tone. The comic book, which tells the story of a 55-year-old Batman coming out of retirement in a possible future, reinvigorated interest in the character. The Dark Knight Returns was a financial success and has since become one of the medium's most noted touchstones. The series also sparked a major resurgence in the character's popularity.
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 (Nov. 1939) and is later expanded upon 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 leads a happy and privileged existence until the age of eight, when his parents are killed by a small-time criminal named Joe Chill while on their way home from a movie theater. That night, Bruce Wayne swears an oath to spend his life fighting crime. He engages in intense intellectual and physical training; however, he realizes that these skills alone would not be enough. "Criminals are a superstitious 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 craft the Batman persona.
Batman became an urban legend, a cautionary tale that sent shivers through the city's underworld. This Caped Crusader found a friend in Captain James Gordon a Gotham cop who didn't approve of Batman's methods, but appreciated the results of his nightly crime fighting. Batman's Rogues Gallery grew to include a host of bizarre criminals, such as the Joker, Catwoman, Two-Face and the Penguin. As his enemies increased, help arrived in the form of another young boy left parentless by brutal crime.
Bruce Wayne is attending an evening party where he meets Selina Kyle and his childhood friend and renowned brain surgeon Thomas Elliot, until he receives an alert from Alfred about a child kidnapping from Bane. After a brief fight, Batman is confronted by Lady Shiva who tells him an unknown intruder has used the Lazarus Pit and asks for his assistance in identifying them. Batman rescues the child, but Catwoman steals the ransom money. As Batman swings through Gotham City in pursuit of her, a mysterious villain shoots his grapple line and he falls to the ground, fracturing his skull. He is nearly killed by a group of nearby criminals until he is saved by Catwoman and Batgirl. Catwoman delivers the ransom money to Poison Ivy, who is controlling her through a hypnotic kiss.
In an interview with IGN, Morrison detailed that having Dick Grayson as Batman and Damian Wayne as Robin represented a "reverse" of the normal dynamic between Batman and Robin, with, "a more light-hearted and spontaneous Batman and a scowling, badass Robin". Morrison explained his intentions for the new characterization of Batman: "Dick Grayson is kind of this consummate superhero. The guy has been Batman's partner since he was a kid, he's led the Teen Titans, and he's trained with everybody in the DC Universe. So he's a very different kind of Batman. He's a lot easier; He's a lot looser and more relaxed."
Despite this, Batman has proved to have a great love for humanity, which was instilled by his parents. His father was a doctor, while his mother was a crusader against child abuse. Indeed, Batman's oath of vengeance is tempered with the greater ideal of justice. He refrains from killing, as he feels this would not make him any better than the criminals he fights. He is also a very prominent member of the Justice League and the founder of the Outsiders.
Batman is at times a member of superhero teams such as the Justice League of America and the Outsiders. Batman has often been paired in adventures with his Justice League teammate Superman, notably as the co-stars of World's Finest and Superman/Batman series. In pre-Crisis continuity, the two are depicted as close friends; however, in current continuity, they are still close friends but an uneasy relationship, with an emphasis on their differing views on crime-fighting and justice. In Superman/Batman #3 (Dec. 2003), Superman observes, "Sometimes, I admit, I think of Bruce as a man in a costume. Then, with some gadget from his utility belt, he reminds me that he has an extraordinarily inventive mind. And how lucky I am to be able to call on him."
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.
Kathy Kane (Batwoman): First introduced as a female counterpart for Batman, Batwoman developed into a romantic partner in the Silver Age, where many Imaginary Stories featuring Kathy and Bruce getting married were published. Batwoman's love for Batman was never reciprocated and he only saw her as a good friend. On Earth-Two, Batwoman resigned to live without Batman's love, and in the Earth-One continuity, Kathy Kane was murdered by the League of Assassins. In the New Earth continuity, Kathy Kane was romantically interested in Batman in a couple of stories by Grant Morrison, who liked to use Silver Age content as reference in his works.
There are a few aspects of Batman that remain consistent. He is the secret identity of the wealthy Bruce Wayne, (usually now called a billionaire because of inflation). He has a butler, Alfred, who knows his identity and who took part in raising Bruce after the murder of his father and mother. Batman has no superpowers, but he’s intellectually gifted and makes use of gadgets, science and well-honed fighting skills and physical strength to defeat his enemies.
After a lengthy brawl through the skies of Gotham, March is trapped in an explosion intended to kill Bruce; no body is located. Bruce admits to Dick that although he is skeptical of March's claims and believes his parents would have told him had he had a brother, without March's body and a DNA test he is unable to conclusively prove or disprove March's claims. Still, Bruce says that even though the Court tried to destroy everything he believed in, there was one thing the Court could never break: his belief in his parents. Bruce knows that although the Court has been stoppe,d for now, it will return; and he will be ready.
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The 1993 "Knightfall" story arc introduced a new villain, Bane, who critically injures Batman after pushing him to the limits of his endurance. Jean-Paul Valley, known as Azrael, is called upon to wear the Batsuit during Bruce Wayne's convalescence. Writers Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, and Alan Grant worked on the Batman titles during "Knightfall", and would also contribute to other Batman crossovers throughout the 1990s. 1998's "Cataclysm" storyline served as the precursor to 1999's "No Man's Land", a year-long storyline that ran through all the Batman-related titles dealing with the effects of an earthquake-ravaged Gotham City. At the conclusion of "No Man's Land", O'Neil stepped down as editor and was replaced by Bob Schreck.
Batman once again becomes a member of the Justice League during Grant Morrison's 1996 relaunch of the series, titled JLA. During this time, Gotham City faces catastrophe in the decade's closing crossover arc. In 1998's "Cataclysm" storyline, Gotham City is devastated by an earthquake and ultimately cut off from the United States. Deprived of many of his technological resources, Batman fights to reclaim the city from legions of gangs during 1999's "No Man's Land".
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Batman's batsuit aids in his combat against enemies, having the properties of both Kevlar and Nomex. It protects him from gunfire and other significant impacts. His gloves typically feature three scallops that protrude from long, gauntlet-like cuffs, although in his earliest appearances he wore short, plain gloves without the scallops. The overall look of the character, particularly the length of the cowl's ears and of the cape, varies greatly depending on the artist. Dennis O'Neil said, "We now say that Batman has two hundred suits hanging in the Batcave so they don't have to look the same ... Everybody loves to draw Batman, and everybody wants to put their own spin on it."
Harley Quinn: Best known as "The Joker's Girlfriend", Harley has had occasional romantic encounters with Batman, most notably her kiss with him in the episode Harley's Holiday from Batman: The Animated Series. Recently, in the The New 52, there have been a couple of stories in which Harley became infatuated either with Bruce Wayne or Batman. These attractions appear to be entirely one-sided and Batman has shown no signs of attraction towards Harley.
In various incarnations, most notably the 1960s Batman TV series, Commissioner Gordon also has a dedicated phone line, dubbed the Bat-Phone, connected to a bright red telephone (in the TV series) which sits on a wooden base and has a transparent top. The line connects directly to Batman's residence, Wayne Manor, specifically both to a similar phone sitting on the desk in Bruce Wayne's study and the extension phone in the Batcave.
While most of Batman's romantic relationships tend to be short in duration, Catwoman has been his most enduring romance throughout the years. The attraction between Batman and Catwoman, whose real name is Selina Kyle, is present in nearly every version and medium in which the characters appear. Although Catwoman is typically portrayed as a villain, Batman and Catwoman have worked together in achieving common goals and are usually depicted as having a romantic connection.