Comic book companies often look at costume design as "the more changes, the better." Batman is a character who had one of the most famous costume changes in comic book history (albeit just by adding a simply yellow oval), but otherwise managed to only go through a handful of looks in the 20th Century. In the 21st Century, though, Batman has gone through as many costumes as he had in the first 50 years of his existence, and more new looks are undoubtedly coming in the future!
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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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.
When we were recently counting down the worst things that Batman has ever done, one of the very top spots was devoted to the fact that he allowed Jean-Paul Valley to take over as Batman while he was recovering from a broken back. The reason that it was so particularly egregious is the fact that Batman first met Jean-Paul Valley when Valley was brainwashed into becoming the assassin known as Azrael. Batman helped him defeat his programming, and then took it upon himself to train Jean-Paul as a vigilante, sans the programming.
While the "New Look" costume was still broad like the Golden Age costume, Adams' version slimmed everything down. He also exaggerated everything, with the bat-ears becoming longer, the scallops on the glove getting longer and, perhaps most importantly, the cape getting longer. This was the costume that Batman would wear for the next two decades. Over the years, artists slightly darkened the colors of the costume, but that seemed to be more a matter of lighting than anything else.
Indomitable Will: He has no known superhuman powers, but he does have an almost superhuman "force of will". Batman's unstoppable determination, sense of discipline and morale, and strength of will make him an extremely formidable opponent. This makes him able to function while tolerating massive amounts of physical pain, and also allows him to resist telepathy or mind control. His willpower is strong enough to operate a Green Lantern Ring when necessary. He is also unshakably devoted to his solemn vow never to kill, in spite of his vicious inner temptation to do so - the latter of which factors is displayed prominently when facing the Joker.
That year Dennis O'Neil took over as editor of the Batman titles and set the template for the portrayal of Batman following DC's status quo-altering miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. O'Neil operated under the assumption that he was hired to revamp the character and as a result tried to instill a different tone in the books than had gone before. One outcome of this new approach was the "Year One" storyline in Batman #404–407 (Feb.–May 1987), in which Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli redefined the character's origins. Writer Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland continued this dark trend with 1988's 48-page one-shot Batman: The Killing Joke, in which the Joker, attempting to drive Commissioner Gordon insane, cripples Gordon's daughter Barbara, and then kidnaps and tortures the commissioner, physically and psychologically.
Bruce's involvement with Batman Incorporated extends to helping David Zavimbe (Batwing) set up operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as they investigate Dede Yeboah's murder. Barbara Gordon finally recovers after spending years in a wheelchair, and takes to the streets as Batgirl again. He has sexually interacted with Catwoman twice, the second time being recent. In recent events, he is once again the only Batman. The revelation of his secret identity to Catwoman has reportedly been erased. He has already been operating in Gotham several years before Superman's debut to the public. Bruce is also dating news reporter Charlotte Rivers.
@Krunchyman - You do have a very good point. Also, add on the fact that Batman lost both of his parents at a very young age, and it affected him greatly. Parent or not, I'm sure that there are a lot of people who have lost someone very close to them, and that makes them able to relate to Bruce Wayne's tragedy. Going off of what you said about Superman, has he ever lost someone that was close to him? No, I don't think so.
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.
Alright people, let’s go ahead and get this out of the way; Bat-nipples were not that bad. Were they the greatest decision in the world? No. Joel Shumacher apologized, George Clooney apologized, it’s time to move on and stop giving them such a hard time about it. Nipples aside, the costumes in Batman and Robin were a cool addition to the franchise's growing number of bat suits.
All Batman origin stories tend to agree that the character was deeply wounded by witnessing the death of his parents at an early age. In many renditions the murderer was simply a mugger. Tim Burton’s film Batman differs in this respect to suggest it was the Joker who killed Batman’s parents. The loss of Bruce’s parents and the corrupt nature of Gotham City where Bruce lives, makes him seek a way of dispatching villains. Gotham City is often depicted as intensely corrupt in almost every aspect of its society. Not even the police force can be trusted, since many of them are on the take.
The informal name "Batman family" is used for a group of characters closely allied with Batman, generally masked vigilantes who either have been trained by Batman or operate in Gotham City with his tacit approval. They include: Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon's daughter, who has fought crime under the vigilante identity of Batgirl and, during a period in which she was confined to a wheelchair due to a gunshot wound inflicted by the Joker, the computer hacker Oracle; Helena Bertinelli, the sole surviving member of a mob family turned vigilante, who has worked with Batman on occasion, primarily as the Huntress and as Batgirl for a brief stint; Cassandra Cain, the daughter of professional assassins David Cain, and Lady Shiva, who succeeded Bertinelli as Batgirl.
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.
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.
After the introduction of DC Comics' multiverse in the 1960s, DC established that stories from the golden age star the Earth-Two Batman, a character from a parallel world. This version of Batman partners with and marries the reformed Earth-Two Catwoman, Selina Kyle. The two have a daughter, Helena Wayne, who becomes the Huntress. She assumes the position as Gotham's protector along with Dick Grayson, the Earth-Two Robin, once Bruce Wayne retires to become police commissioner. Wayne holds the position of police commissioner until he is killed during one final adventure as Batman. Batman titles however often ignored that a distinction had been made between the pre-revamp and post-revamp Batmen (since unlike The Flash or Green Lantern, Batman comics had been published without interruption through the 1950s) and would occasionally make reference to stories from the golden age. Nevertheless, details of Batman's history were altered or expanded upon through the decades. Additions include meetings with a future Superman during his youth, his upbringing by his uncle Philip Wayne (introduced in Batman #208, Feb. 1969) after his parents' death, and appearances of his father and himself as prototypical versions of Batman and Robin, respectively. In 1980 then-editor Paul Levitz commissioned the Untold Legend of the Batman limited series to thoroughly chronicle Batman's origin and history.
One of Men of the tribe finds a necklace in the hand of Anthro's possession, which belonged to a woman of their family, which he vows will not leave their family's possession. The young Boy of the tribe takes the Man of Bats belt to prevent him from running off, because he thinks the Man of Bats is their savior. Suddenly the Deer people are attacked by The blood Mob! led by Vandal Savage, who kills everyone in the tribe except the boy who Bruce saves by getting himself captured instead. Both Bruce and the rocket ship referred to as 'The Sky Cart' is dragged back to the Blood Tribe encampment, where Chief Savage vows to eat Bruce alive in the morning in the belief that he is a member of the 'Sky People', based on him having arrived at the same time as the rocket ship. While tied down in the center of the encampment, next to the corpse of a giant bat. Bruce begins to remember fragments of a mantra - superstition and criminals, symbols used against the cowardly, surrender to an ideal. A dark and terrible bat, to fight injustice.
Batman makes his way through the asylum, overcoming Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow and Clayface. He finds Joker with Two-Face, Riddler, and Penguin, but before he can stop them, Joker shows him a video of Robin, Red Hood, Nightwing, Batgirl and Red Robin being captured. Joker orders Batman to take his place on his throne, an electric chair, to spare their lives, and Batman does so, receiving an electric shock
Alex Ross is one of the best things to ever happen to art in comics. His fully painted portrayals of characters have the look of spandex and other fabric store materials, but takes just enough liberties with reality to keep them from looking silly. His images of characters like Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman are some of the greatest all-time artistic portrayals of these characters.
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.
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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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.
The debut of the Batman television series in 1966 had a profound influence on the character. The success of the series increased sales throughout the comic book industry, and Batman reached a circulation of close to 900,000 copies. Elements such as the character of Batgirl and the show's campy nature were introduced into the comics; the series also initiated the return of Alfred. Although both the comics and TV show were successful for a time, the camp approach eventually wore thin and the show was canceled in 1968. In the aftermath, the Batman comics themselves lost popularity once again. As Julius Schwartz noted, "When the television show was a success, I was asked to be campy, and of course when the show faded, so did the comic books."
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.
So Jean-Paul came up with the armored look, which, to be frank, is not all that bad of a costume in general. It's just not a good costume for Batman. That said, it also served as a strong excuse for what happened to Batman so that people would not guess that there was a new Batman patrolling Gotham. In other words, everyone saw Bane throw Batman to the ground after breaking his back, so it made some sense for him to return wearing a suit of armor and beating up Bane.
Natalya Trusevich: A Ukrainian concert pianist and girlfriend of Bruce Wayne, Natalya grew frustrated with Bruce's closed-off demeanour, until he was urged by Alfred to reveal to her his secret identity. Shortly after, Natalya was abducted by the Mad Hatter who attempted to torture her into revealing the identity of Batman. Natalya refused to divulge Bruce's secret and was thrown by the Mad Hatter from a helicopter to her death.