Writers have varied in the approach over the years to the "playboy" aspect of Bruce Wayne's persona. Some writers show his playboy reputation as a manufactured illusion to support his mission as Batman, while others have depicted Bruce Wayne as genuinely enjoying the benefits of being "Gotham's most eligible bachelor". Bruce Wayne has been portrayed as being romantically linked with many women throughout his various incarnations. The most significant relationships occurred with Selina Kyle, who is also Catwoman and Talia al Ghul, as both women gave birth to his biological offsprings, Helena Wayne and Damian Wayne, respectively.
O'Neil and Adams first collaborated on the story "The Secret of the Waiting Graves" in Detective Comics #395 (Jan. 1970). Few stories were true collaborations between O'Neil, Adams, Schwartz, and inker Dick Giordano, and in actuality these men were mixed and matched with various other creators during the 1970s; nevertheless the influence of their work was "tremendous". Giordano said: "We went back to a grimmer, darker Batman, and I think that's why these stories did so well ..." While the work of O'Neil and Adams was popular with fans, the acclaim did little to improve declining sales; the same held true with a similarly acclaimed run by writer Steve Englehart and penciler Marshall Rogers in Detective Comics #471–476 (Aug. 1977 – April 1978), which went on to influence the 1989 movie Batman and be adapted for Batman: The Animated Series, which debuted in 1992. Regardless, circulation continued to drop through the 1970s and 1980s, hitting an all-time low in 1985.
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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Writers of Batman and Superman stories have often compared and contrasted the two. Interpretations vary depending on the writer, the story, and the timing. Grant Morrison notes that both heroes "believe in the same kind of things" despite the day/night contrast their heroic roles display. He notes an equally stark contrast in their real identities. Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent belong to different social classes: "Bruce has a butler, Clark has a boss." T. James Musler's book Unleashing the Superhero in Us All explores the extent to which Bruce Wayne's vast personal wealth is important in his life story, and the crucial role it plays in his efforts as Batman.
Batman was one of the few superhero characters to be continuously published as interest in the genre waned during the 1950s. In the story "The Mightiest Team in the World" in Superman #76 (June 1952), Batman teams up with Superman for the first time and the pair discover each other's secret identity. Following the success of this story, World's Finest Comics was revamped so it featured stories starring both heroes together, instead of the separate Batman and Superman features that had been running before. The team-up of the characters was "a financial success in an era when those were few and far between"; this series of stories ran until the book's cancellation in 1986.
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After another battle Scarecrow, Batman returned to one of his safe-houses to recover, only for it to be attacked by Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman and Superman. Using his Justice Buster armor, he was able to defeat the group, though was almost killed by Superman. Whilst observing them, he discovered that they had been infected with a new toxin created by the Joker. Investigating the Clown Prince of Crime's former cell in Arkham, Batman was locked up within it by the criminal, who had been posing as a former orderly. Joker revealed that he had grown "bored" of the games with Batman and intended to kill the Dark Knight. Paralyzed by the gas, he was helpless whilst the Joker released an airborne form of the toxin used on the Justice League.
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 is probably the character with the highest number of romantic relationships in the DC Universe. Unlike Superman and Wonder Woman, characters that have been in publication for as long as Batman, the Dark Knight has never had a long-standing leading partner and instead, he has been constantly switching interests when it comes to romance. This is due to the nature of Batman's character; it is difficult for him to maintain a serious relationship with a woman as a result of his obsession with his crusade against crime. On the other hand, Bruce Wayne, Batman's alter-ego, has managed to have a few relationships with ladies of his interest, but they always come to a rather abrupt end because of the lack of trust and constant absence shown by Wayne, which has earned him the reputation as a notorious playboy.
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.
Superman stops the confrontation and asks to be arrested for Light's murder. Afterwards, Superman is taken to the A.R.G.U.S. complex and is placed in a cell. There, he asks Batman about the man he killed and Batman proceeds to tell him about Doctor Light and his family. Batman also tells Superman that Cyborg and Martian Manhunter are doing an autopsy to prove his death was not Superman's fault. Wonder Woman enters the cell and tells Batman about what happened with Pandora and her box. Batman believes the best help for Superman is through science to which Wonder Woman believes the answer is with the mythical box she believes is fact.
In 2016, Ben Affleck began portraying Batman in the DC Extended Universe with the release of the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, directed by Zack Snyder. Affleck also made a cameo appearance as Batman in David Ayer's film Suicide Squad (2016). Affleck reprised the role in the 2017 film Justice League, also set in the DC Extended Universe.
In 2005, Batman Begins was released by Warner Bros. as a reboot of the film series; directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as Batman. Its sequel, The Dark Knight (2008), set the record for the highest grossing opening weekend of all time in the U.S., earning approximately $158 million, and became the fastest film to reach the $400 million mark in the history of American cinema (eighteenth day of release). These record-breaking attendances saw The Dark Knight end its run as the second-highest domestic grossing film (at the time) with $533 million, bested then only by Titanic. The film also won two Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for the late Heath Ledger. It was eventually followed by The Dark Knight Rises (2012), which served as a conclusion to Nolan's film series.
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Master Spy: His advanced and extensive Ninjutsu and law enforcement training has made him a master at stealth, espionage, infiltration, and sabotage. Bruce is capable of breaching very high-security facilities with ease and without being detected. Batman's stealth prowess he is capable of breaking into a top-secret base a mile under Gotham City and even the infamous Area 51 completely unnoticed. He has proven to be very familiar with military protocols, as he casually anticipated and countered law enforcement and paratrooper tactics and strategies. Bruce has also learned how to pick various locks when he was in grade school.
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.
Sales had lagged enough that Julius Schwartz was brought on board and he brought star artist Carmine Infantino with him. They wanted to emphasize that this was a new era in Batman comics, so they changed the costume by adding a yellow oval behind Batman's bat symbol on his chest. However, that was pretty much it for changes, so it wasn't exactly groundbreaking.
Expert Acrobat: Proficient in gymnastics and acrobatics, to the peak of human ability. He is particularly skilled in parkour and free running. He can perform impeccably precise acrobatic moves instinctively in combat, or whilst escaping a catastrophe, and can even dodge a superhuman individual's blows and sword-swings. He regularly practices his gymnastics and acrobatics blindfolded.