In 1998, the "Batman" titles (and Gotham City itself) were rocked by a giant earthquake in the crossover, "Cataclysm." In the aftermath of the devastation, Batman left Gotham City in his Bruce Wayne identity to lobby the United States government to provide aid to Gotham to help it rebuild. Instead, the government decided to just cut Gotham City off from the rest of the country, period. They gave people a few weeks to get out and then blew up all tunnels and bridges out of Gotham City and left whoever was still in Gotham to fend for themselves.
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.
Lucius Fox, a technology specialist and Bruce Wayne's business manager who is well aware of his employer's clandestine vigilante activities; Dr. Leslie Thompkins, a family friend who like Alfred became a surrogate parental figure to Bruce Wayne after the deaths of his parents, and is also aware of his secret identity; Vicki Vale, an investigative journalist who often reports on Batman's activities for the Gotham Gazette; Ace the Bat-Hound, Batman's canine partner who was mainly active in the 1950s and 1960s; and Bat-Mite, an extra-dimensional imp mostly active in the 1960s who idolizes Batman.
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.
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In my opinion, one thing that makes Batman so easy to relate to is the fact that he's human, and he doesn't have any powers. He gains the victory over most his adversaries through tactics and smarts. On the other hand, compare this to Superman. While he does have flaws, he's a lot less easy to relate to because he's nearly invulnerable, and only has one true weakness.
With Batman's return to Gotham, the GCPD shut down their Batmen project and reinstated Gordon as Commissioner. After the incident under the caves, Batman decided to investigate Nth metal, believing there to be some connection between it, Dionesium and the Court of Owls. To that end, he approached the leader of the Robin street gang, Duke Thomas, and offered to train him into another hero, as opposed to another Robin. In reality, Bruce knew about his status as a metahuman and wished for him to help investigate the court's plans.
The New Earth version of Julie was slightly changed from her previous counterparts. In this version, Julie had auburn hair instead of black and she was the daughter of Norman Madison, a wealthy entrepreneur. She started a relationship with Bruce, but when she learned that he was Batman and that her father was killed as a result of Batman's actions, she left Gotham and her relationship with Bruce, choosing to become a missionary in Africa.
After the 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics rebooted the stories of some major characters in an attempt at updating them for contemporary audiences. Frank Miller retold Batman's origin in the storyline Year One from Batman #404-407, which emphasizes a grittier tone in the character. Though the Earth-Two Batman is erased from history, many stories of Batman's Silver Age/Earth-One career (along with an amount of Golden Age ones) remain canonical in the post-Crisis universe, with his origins remaining the same in essence, despite alteration.
In Final Crisis #6, Batman confronts Darkseid in the villain's bunker. He states that he will make an exception to his "no firearms" rule and shoots Darkseid using the bullet that killed Orion and hits Darkseid. As Darkseid dies he fires the Omega Sanction (which traps its victim's soul in a series of alternate lives, each worse than the one before it), from his eyes, and hits Batman. Before the Omega Sanction hits Batman he silently says, "Gotcha". It is unknown if ' Batman knew Darkseid shot the Omega sanction or he knew it was coming and accepted his fate. (Morrison notes that Batman's use of the gun is symbolic as “the root of the Batman mythos is the gun and the bullet that created Batman. So, Batman himself is finally standing there to complete that big mythical circle and to have the image of Batman up against the actual personification of evil and now he's got the gun and he's got the bullet. It seemed to me to work.") At the close of the penultimate issue in the series, Superman returns to Earth from the 31st century, where he was given access to the reality-altering Miracle Machine by Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes. In a fit of desperate rage, Superman attacks Darkseid's bunker, finding Batman's charred corpse within. The Dark Knight is seemingly dead. However, the Omega Sanction does not kill its victims: instead, it sends their consciousness traveling through parallel worlds, and at the conclusion of Final Crisis, it is made clear that this is the fate that has befallen the still-living Batman, as he watches the passing of Anthro in the distant past.
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Computer Hacking Specialist: Batman can hack into almost any computer and learn what he needs from its database. Batman is at times, often helped by Oracle or Alfred with computer-related matters as he pales in comparison to their skills; this usually frees up his time to focus on other problems. Bruce was able to hack and record the mobile frequency of the Suicide Squad members brain bombs and activate them.
^ "Batman Artist Rogers is Dead". SciFi Wire. March 28, 2007. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009: "Even though their Batman run was only six issues, the three laid the foundation for later Batman comics. Their stories include the classic 'Laughing Fish' (in which the Joker's face appeared on fish); they were adapted for Batman: The Animated Series in the 1990s. Earlier drafts of the 1989 Batman movie with Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight were based heavily on their work."
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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.
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 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.
At Arkham Asylum, Batman interrogates Riddler who reveals that he has been Wynne as well as Hush. He had used a Lazarus Pit to cure himself of his brain tumor and during his time in the Lazarus Pit, he figured out Batman's identity as Bruce Wayne and formed a plan involving several villains to destroy both the personal life and the crime-fighting career of Batman. Batman deduces that Riddler is actually Clayface mimicking his identity while the latter communicated via satellite. After defeating Clayface, Batman finds Riddler's location and the two engage in a final confrontation. Riddler is nearly killed, but is saved by Batman with his grapnel. However, Catwoman cuts the line and allows Riddler to fall to his death.
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.
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In the world of DC, there were really two Batmen if you think about it. One as "the world's greatest detective" who typically fought other non-powered street-level characters like the Joker. The other was a man who defied all odds as a human, and went toe-to-toe with super-powered villains and cosmic threats alongside the Justice League. Loeb and Lee balanced this duality into one series and did the same with the Batsuit as well. It's almost a combination of the classic blue and gray suit we know best from the Adam West series, mixed with a little bit of Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns suit. The result is a colorful suit that looks at home in the dark alley's of Gotham.
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.
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Kane and Finger drew upon contemporary 1930s popular culture for inspiration regarding much of the Bat-Man's look, personality, methods, and weaponry. Details find predecessors in pulp fiction, comic strips, newspaper headlines, and autobiographical details referring to Kane himself. As an aristocratic hero with a double identity, Batman had predecessors in the Scarlet Pimpernel (created by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, 1903) and Zorro (created by Johnston McCulley, 1919). Like them, Batman performed his heroic deeds in secret, averted suspicion by playing aloof in public, and marked his work with a signature symbol. Kane noted the influence of the films The Mark of Zorro (1920) and The Bat Whispers (1930) in the creation of the character's iconography. Finger, drawing inspiration from pulp heroes like Doc Savage, The Shadow, Dick Tracy, and Sherlock Holmes, made the character a master sleuth.
Batman has no inherent superhuman powers; he relies on "his own scientific knowledge, detective skills, and athletic prowess". Batman's inexhaustible wealth gives him access to advanced technologies, and as a proficient scientist, he is able to use and modify these technologies to his advantage. In the stories, Batman is regarded as one of the world's greatest detectives, if not the world's greatest crime solver. Batman has been repeatedly described as having a genius-level intellect, being one of the greatest martial artists in the DC Universe, and having peak human physical conditioning. As a polymath, his knowledge and expertise in countless disciplines is nearly unparalleled by any other character in the DC Universe. He has traveled the world acquiring the skills needed to aid him in his endeavors as Batman. In the Superman: Doomed story arc, Superman considers Batman to be one of the most brilliant minds on the planet.