Another example of a costume design that ended up working better when other artists drew it, if only because they toned down the odder elements of the design, is Jim Lee's design for Batman in the New 52. A lot of Lee's designs for New 52 characters involved the use of armor, even on characters who otherwise wouldn't seem to be prone to wearing armor (like Superman). Lee used a lot of the piping approach of the Batman Incorporated costume, but included it in the armor design and a utility "belt" that was just individual patches on the armor.
Batman’s origin story is the departure point for many different renditions of the character. In initial versions, he’s the inscrutable almost anti-hero, and in others, such as the 1960s television series, he’s a much more levelheaded guy living in a much less corrupt city. The 1960s series leaned heavily on camp, and prompted some to think of killing off the character forever. However, interest in this superhero revived in the 1980s, first with famous graphic novelist Frank Miller’s limited comic book series The Dark Knight Returns and then with the 1989 Tim Burton film. Both Miller and Burton were resolved on dispatching the image of the law-abiding television series superhero to return to his much darker beginnings, though Burton did so with considerable humor.
Batman's primary vehicle is the Batmobile, which is usually depicted as an imposing black car, often with tailfins that suggest a bat's wings. Batman also has an aircraft called the Batplane (later called the "Batwing"), along with various other means of transportation. In proper practice, the "bat" prefix (as in Batmobile or batarang) is rarely used by Batman himself when referring to his equipment, particularly after some portrayals (primarily the 1960s Batman live-action television show and the Super Friends animated series) stretched the practice to campy proportions. For example, the 1960s television show depicted a Batboat, Bat-Sub, and Batcycle, among other bat-themed vehicles. The 1960s television series Batman has an arsenal that includes such "bat-" names as the bat-computer, bat-scanner, bat-radar, bat-cuffs, bat-pontoons, bat-drinking water dispenser, bat-camera with polarized bat-filter, bat-shark repellent bat-spray, and bat-rope. The storyline "A Death in the Family" suggests that given Batman's grim nature, he is unlikely to have adopted the "bat" prefix on his own. In The Dark Knight Returns, Batman tells Carrie Kelley that the original Robin came up with the name "Batmobile" when he was young, since that is what a kid would call Batman's vehicle. The Batmobile was redesigned in 2011 when DC Comics relaunched its entire line of comic books, with the batmobile being given heavier armor and new aesthetics.
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.
The most remarkable of Batman's love interests in the early 1980s was Nocturna, aka Natalia Knight, created by Doug Moench. She was a jewel thief who briefly adopted Jason Todd and knew that Bruce Wayne was Batman. Natalia suffered from a rare "light sensitivity" disease and her skin was bleached white. Nocturna was said to use a special narcotic as a perfume, which caused every male to fall deeply for her. Batman was no exception, and the two of them started a relationship as they were both equally fascinated by the other. Eventually, Batman realized his love for Nocturna was an obsession caused by the drug and he struggled to stop thinking about her. Nocturna disappeared during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, after being stabbed by her brother, floating into the crimson sky of the Crisis in her balloon. She was presumed dead, although other versions of the character have appeared since, however they are different from the Pre-Crisis Nocturna.
When Jonah enters the city, he is met by the man who has hired him; Vandal Savage, currently weak from a cancer in his intestines, who wants Hex to eliminate the man who has been attacking his men, while Savage attempts to torture a woman whose family have been entrusted with a box, marked with the symbol of the bat, that they are to keep sealed until its owner comes to claim it. During the subsequent fight, the masked man unintentionally leads the woman to Alan Wayne as he is about to commit suicide because of his current dejection about life, the two quickly form an attraction for each other. As the woman returns the box to the masked man -recognizing his identity from a necklace that he took from her great-grandmother-, he opens the box, only to be subsequently shot by Hex and fall into the ocean, Hex concluding that he will finish his contract regardless. Over the next century, Wayne Manor is built after Wayne's wife dies in childbirth, Wayne developing it according to his wife's desires to honor the bat-man who saved them, culminating in the dark man stumbling out of a Gotham alley in the city in the 1930s, still bleeding from Hex's shot.
In 1989, Warner Bros. released the live-action feature film Batman; directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton as the title character. The film was a huge success; not only was it the top-grossing film of the year, but at the time was the fifth highest-grossing film in history. The film also won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction. The film's success spawned three sequels: Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997); the latter two of which were directed by Joel Schumacher instead of Burton, and replaced Keaton as Batman with Val Kilmer and George Clooney, respectively. The second Schumacher film failed to outgross any of its predecessors and was critically panned; causing Warner Bros. to cancel the planned fourth sequel, Batman Unchained, and end the initial film series.
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.
When Bob Kane first designed Batman's costume, his idea behind Batman was more similar to Hawkman than anything else, in the sense that he saw the character as literally flying like a bat via Bat-like wings. Incidentally, Kane was influenced by some of Leonardo Da Vinci's designs of a theoretical flying machine. Kane's collaborator, Bill Finger, told Kane that he should make the wings a cape instead. In addition, while Kane was thinking a red costume, Finger told him to go darker instead.
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After an incident where the Justice League and Suicide Squad were forced to team up, Batman began constructing an new team of backstreet heroes to act as another team alternative for the League. After he was attacked by the Reverse-Flash, Batman would witness his apparent death and, with the Flash's help, decided to investigate what had caused the incident. Together, the two discovered the Flashpoint timeline had continued to exist and encounter that timeline's Batman, Thomas Wayne. With his father urging him to give up his life as Batman, Bruce decided to settle down and became engaged to Catwoman.
Batman's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, first appeared in Batman #16 (1943). He serves as Bruce Wayne's loyal father figure and is one of the few persons to know his secret identity. Alfred raised Bruce after his parents' death and knows him on a very personal level. He is sometimes portrayed as a sidekick to Batman and the only other resident of Wayne Manor aside from Bruce. The character "[lends] a homely touch to Batman's environs and [is] ever ready to provide a steadying and reassuring hand" to the hero and his sidekick.
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.
Starting in 2006, Grant Morrison and Paul Dini were the regular writers of Batman and Detective Comics, with Morrison reincorporating controversial elements of Batman lore. Most notably of these elements were the science fiction themed storylines of the 1950s Batman comics, which Morrison revised as hallucinations Batman suffered under the influence of various mind-bending gases and extensive sensory deprivation training. Morrison's run climaxed with "Batman R.I.P.", which brought Batman up against the villainous "Black Glove" organization, which sought to drive Batman into madness. "Batman R.I.P." segued into Final Crisis (also written by Morrison), which saw the apparent death of Batman at the hands of Darkseid. In the 2009 miniseries Batman: Battle for the Cowl, Wayne's former protégé Dick Grayson becomes the new Batman, and Wayne's son Damian becomes the new Robin. In June 2009, Judd Winick returned to writing Batman, while Grant Morrison was given his own series, titled Batman and Robin.
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.