Over the course of the first few Batman strips elements were added to the character and the artistic depiction of Batman evolved. Kane noted that within six issues he drew the character's jawline more pronounced, and lengthened the ears on the costume. "About a year later he was almost the full figure, my mature Batman", Kane said. Batman's characteristic utility belt was introduced in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), followed by the boomerang-like batarang and the first bat-themed vehicle, the Batplane, in #31 (Sept. 1939). The character's origin was revealed in #33 (Nov. 1939), unfolding in a two-page story that establishes the brooding persona of Batman, a character driven by the death of his parents. Written by Finger, it depicts a young Bruce Wayne witnessing his parents' murder at the hands of a mugger. Days later, at their grave, the child vows that "by the spirits of my parents [I will] avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals".
In 1992, Batman: The Animated Series premiered on the Fox television network; produced by Warner Bros. Animation and featuring Kevin Conroy as the voice of Batman. The series received considerable acclaim for its darker tone, mature writing, stylistic design, and thematic complexity compared to previous superhero cartoons, in addition to multiple Emmy Awards. The series' success led to the theatrical film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993), as well as various spin-off TV series; including Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited (each of which also featured Conroy as Batman's voice). The futuristic series Batman Beyond also took place in this same animated continuity and featured a newer, younger Batman voiced by Will Friedle, with the elderly Bruce Wayne (again voiced by Conroy) as a mentor.
Lieutenant Bullock and a squad of cops arrive at the reservoir to take the Joker down, but the Joker uses his cellphone to order his men to attack the cops with rockets. Batman frees himself from the restraints and the Joker, but the Joker infects him with Joker Venom. With Batman momentarily distracted, the Joker kicks him off the bridge and into the Gotham River. Later, Batman awakens at the Batcave, having been rescued by the Batman Family. His allies (Nightwing, Robin, Red Robin, Batgirl, and even Red Hood) want Bruce to explain how did the Joker become aware of their identities. Batman believes he does not know and is only manipulating them because of his kidnapping of Alfred. He then tells a story about a previous encounter he had with the Joker in a blimp above the bay. During their fight, the Joker fell into the bay, but somehow, he placed a playing card in the Batboat. It didn’t have a tracking device or something like that, it was just a card. Despite the apparent breach of security, Batman believes there is no way the Joker could have entered the Batcave. Still, the others are unsure about this event. Batman has a new lead to follow: the Joker used a cellular signal to issue orders. While the cellphone was untraceable, the camera across the street from the store it was bought at identifies a man named Dylan McDyre. Batman crashes into McDyre’s home and interrogates him. McDyre reveals that the Joker had been threatening the families of the Arkham Asylum staff in order to maintain the appearance of normalcy at the asylum while he made changes, for whatever thing he is planning for Batman. More resolute than ever, Batman enters the asylum.
Batman became a popular character soon after his introduction, and eventually gained his own title, "Batman". As the decades wore on, differing takes on the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series utilized a camp aesthetic associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in the 1986 miniseries Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by writer-artist Frank Miller. That and the success of director Tim Burton's 1989 Batman motion picture helped reignite popular interest in the character. A cultural icon, Batman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from radio to television and film, and appears on a variety of merchandise sold all over the world. The Batman goes by numerous nicknames, such as The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, World's Greatest Detective and the Defender of Gotham.
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.
The end result was a character who looked like he would fit right along famous pulp heroes like the Shadow, with a distinct-looking cowl and a cape that still managed to maintain some of its wing-like approach. This was the type of character that you would take one glance at and think, "Yeah, this dude wouldn't mind snapping a neck or two to get the job done." That fit the early style of Batman stories perfectly.
He then decided to form an international group of Bat-operatives called Batman Incorporated. While he was busy setting this up, he let Dick Grayson (who had taken over when he thought Bruce was dead) remain as Batman in Gotham City. He also got a new costume to differentiate himself from Dick's costume. It had a lot of piping and a protruding, glowing yellow oval; future artists tended to tone down almost all of its elements.
As a member of the Flying Graysons acrobatic family, young Dick Grayson thrilled audiences nightly on the high wire beside his circus aerialist parents. But when gangster "Boss" Zucco sabotaged the high wire because the owner of Haly's Circus refused to offer up protection money, the elder Graysons paid with their lives. Billionaire Bruce Wayne was in the audience that night; however, it was Batman who visited the grieving Dick Grayson, offering the boy a chance at retribution by becoming Robin, the Dark Knight's squire in his personal war on crime.
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One day I called Bill and said, 'I have a new character called the Bat-Man and I've made some crude, elementary sketches I'd like you to look at.' He came over and I showed him the drawings. At the time, I only had a small domino mask, like the one Robin later wore, on Batman's face. Bill said, 'Why not make him look more like a bat and put a hood on him, and take the eyeballs out and just put slits for eyes to make him look more mysterious?' At this point, the Bat-Man wore a red union suit; the wings, trunks, and mask were black. I thought that red and black would be a good combination. Bill said that the costume was too bright: 'Color it dark grey to make it look more ominous.' The cape looked like two stiff bat wings attached to his arms. As Bill and I talked, we realized that these wings would get cumbersome when Bat-Man was in action and changed them into a cape, scalloped to look like bat wings when he was fighting or swinging down on a rope. Also, he didn't have any gloves on, and we added them so that he wouldn't leave fingerprints.