Starting with Batman vol. 2, #41, Commissioner James Gordon takes over Bruce's mantle as a new, state-sanctioned, robotic-Batman, debuting in the Free Comic Book Day special comic Divergence. However, Bruce Wayne is soon revealed to be alive, albeit now suffering almost total amnesia of his life as Batman and only remembering his life as Bruce Wayne through what he has learned from Alfred. Bruce Wayne finds happiness and proposes to his girlfriend, Julie Madison, but Mr. Bloom heavily injures Jim Gordon and takes control of Gotham City and threatens to destroy the city by energizing a particle reactor to create a "strange star" to swallow the city. Bruce Wayne discovers the truth that he was Batman and after talking to a stranger who smiles a lot (it is heavily implied that this is the amnesic Joker) he forces Alfred to implant his memories as Batman, but at the cost of his memories as the reborn Bruce Wayne. He returns and helps Jim Gordon defeat Mr. Bloom and shut down the reactor. Gordon gets his job back as the commissioner, and the government Batman project is shut down.
Bruce Wayne goes on a date with Selina, who is unaware of the former's identity as Batman, much to the encouragement of his family. The two, along with Thomas Elliot, attend an opera when Harley Quinn arrives and attempts to kill Bruce. In the ensuing struggle, Dr. Elliot is apparently shot dead by Joker. An enraged Batman violently beats Joker who claims that he is innocent, and he is stopped short of killing him by Commissioner James Gordon. Bruce attends Elliot's funeral and deduces Joker's innocence as well that Hush must know his secret identity.
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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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.
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 a paleolithic Gotham, a primitive tribe simply known as The Deer people encounters a shirtless amnesiac Bruce Wayne equipped with his utility belt in his hand emerging surrounded by a swarm of bats from the cave where Anthro recently died. The tribe of the Deer people mistakenly believe Bruce to be a Bat God dubbed him as The Man of Bats after discovering a set of markings featuring the insignia of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman inscribed on the cave wall next to the body of Anthro. Bruce, still uncertain of where he is, takes notice of a somewhat familiar crashed rocket ship upon investigating he discovers the contents: Superman's cape (the only thing left intact), a destroyed bat signal, and a shredded copy of the Daily Planet which was launched by the Daily Planet staff prior to the use of the Miracle Machine.
Bruce Wayne saves the woman from a tentacled creature, and she then nurses him back to health. Just as he passes out, he notices a necklace that has the Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman emblems he drew on the cave, back in the Paleolithic era. He finds himself in Gotham Colony in the Puritan era, where he assumes the identity of the witch-hunter Mordecai and solves a murder, but clashes with the witch-hunting Brother Malleus.
Batman is strongly disciplined, and he has the ability to function under great physical pain and resist most forms of telepathy and mind control. He is a master of disguise, multilingual, and an expert in espionage, often gathering information under the identity of a notorious gangster named Matches Malone. Batman is highly skilled in stealth movement and escapology, which allows him to appear and disappear at will and to break free of nearly inescapable deathtraps with little to no harm.
Bruce subsequently returned in Morrison's miniseries Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, which depicted his travels through time from prehistory to present-day Gotham. Bruce's return set up Batman Incorporated, an ongoing series which focused on Wayne franchising the Batman identity across the globe, allowing Dick and Damian to continue as Gotham's Dynamic Duo. Bruce publicly announced that Wayne Enterprises will aid Batman on his mission, known as "Batman, Incorporated". However, due to rebooted continuity that occurred as part of DC Comics' 2011 relaunch of all of its comic books, the New 52, Dick Grayson was restored as Nightwing with Wayne serving as the sole Batman once again. The relaunch also interrupted the publication of Batman, Incorporated, which resumed its story in 2012–2013 with changes to suit the new status quo.
Batman's first romantic interest was Julie Madison in Detective Comics #31 (Sept. 1939), however their romance was short-lived. Some of Batman's romantic interests have been women with a respected status in society, such as Julie Madison, Vicki Vale, and Silver St. Cloud. Batman has also been romantically involved with allies, such as Kathy Kane (Batwoman), Sasha Bordeaux, and Wonder Woman, and with villains, such as Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Jezebel Jet, Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy), and Talia al Ghul.
During "Final Crisis," Batman was seemingly killed by Darkseid. Instead, Darkseid's Omega Beams sent Batman back in time. This was all part of a time trap. The idea was that Darkseid knew that Batman would find a way to get back, so he devised a trap so that whenever Batman got back to his own time, he'd trigger a universally destructive explosion. Luckily, Batman figured this out in time and managed to avoid it. However, as he got to the present, he saw a glimpse of the future and saw the worldwide destruction caused by a group calling itself Leviathan.
In Blackest Night, the villain Black Hand is seen digging up Bruce Wayne's body, stealing his skull, and recruiting it into the Black Lantern Corps. Deadman, whose body has also become a Black Lantern, rushes to aid the new Batman and Robin, along with Red Robin against the Gotham villains who have been reanimated as Black Lanterns, as well as their own family members. The skull was briefly reanimated as a Black Lantern, reconstructing a body in the process by Black Hand's lord, Nekron, to move against the Justice League and the Titans. After the Black Lantern Batman created several black power rings to attach to and kill the majority of the Justice League, the skull was returned to normal after Nekron explained it served its purpose as an emotional tether. Nekron also referred to the skull as "Bruce Wayne", knowing that the body was not authentic.
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.
Batman has trained extensively in various martial arts, mastering many different types, making him one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the DC Universe. Superman describes Batman as "the most dangerous man on Earth", able to defeat an entire team of superpowered extraterrestrials by himself in order to rescue his imprisoned teammates in Grant Morrison's first storyline in JLA.
In Pre-Crisis stories Bruce Wayne had been a founding member of the Justice League of America. After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, they retconned that the founding members of the League were Aquaman, Black Canary, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. Batman was shown to have disdain for this group. Infinite Crisis changed this again so that he had been one of the founding members along with Superman and Wonder Woman.
The color design elements are unusual, as Capullo debuted a number of unique color ideas, like having the bat symbol on the chest surrounded by a yellow line rather than a yellow oval and purple lining in the cape. In a lot of ways, he seems to be trying to evoke the entire history of Batman's color schemes, which is appreciated. It is a good-looking costume. The cowl also pays homage to Frank Miller's "Dark Knight Returns" Batman cowl.
In the current Prime Earth continuity, Julie is an artist and her father is Mallory Madison, an arms dealer who sold the gun that was used to kill Bruce's parents. Julie first dated Bruce Wayne during their teenage years, but met him again after his mind had been erased and he had forgotten ever being Batman. The two fell passionately in love, with Bruce being prepared to settle down and marry Julie. However, things got so bad in Gotham that Alfred realized Batman was needed and he and Julie were forced to give Bruce his old memories back, erasing his mind of the relationship.
The Silver Age of Comic Books in DC Comics is sometimes held to have begun in 1956 when the publisher introduced Barry Allen as a new, updated version of The Flash. Batman is not significantly changed by the late 1950s for the continuity which would be later referred to as Earth-One. The lighter tone Batman had taken in the period between the golden and silver ages led to the stories of the late 1950s and early 1960s that often feature many science-fiction elements, and Batman is not significantly updated in the manner of other characters until Detective Comics #327 (May 1964), in which Batman reverts to his detective roots, with most science-fiction elements jettisoned from the series.