The perfect combination of the various Batman costume eras came at the turn of the 21st Century. With "No Man's Land" now over, Batman could get back to being a normal superhero again and he began to fight crime in a costume influenced by Alex Ross's Batman designs. It had a lot of the same feel of the Bronze Age Neal Adams' costume; however, it was much darker than that and did not have the yellow oval on it.

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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".[49] 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."[50]

Joker hosts a mock dinner in the caves leading to the Batcave. Alongside a bound Batman, his allies are also bound at the table with their faces bandaged, and Batman is warned that escaping will agitate flints and ignite his gasoline-doused allies. Alfred, who has been gassed by the Joker, serves all but Batman with a cloche containing their severed faces. When Joker threatens to ignite the gasoline himself, Batman escapes and triggers a blaze, but uses an explosive and his knowledge of the cave system to blow open the cave roof, allowing water to rush in from above and douse the flames. Batman pursues Joker to the edge of a large drop. Batman claims that he knows Joker's true identity, but to prevent him from saying it, Joker purposefully knocks himself over the edge and falls out of sight. Batman reads Joker's book which he claimed contained the real identities of the Bat-family but it is blank. Meanwhile, the Bat-family are gassed and attack each other but manage to fight off the gas's influence. Later, in Wayne Manor, Batman tells a recovering Alfred that after finding the joker playing card in the cave, he confronted Joker about it in Arkham Asylum as Bruce Wayne. Joker failed to acknowledge him and Batman realized that he did not care who Batman was under his mask. In the present, Batman receives excuses from the Bat-family for them not coming to meet with him. Later, Batman studies the chemical makeup of the gas Joker used on the Bat-family and finds an inert isotope; the chemical compound "Ha".
Batman, in most of his incarnations, is a dark and brooding hero with a personal vendetta against crime and injustice. Psychologically traumatized by the death of his parents, Batman has sworn to rid Gotham from the criminal elements that took his parents away from him. He is extremely pessimistic and suspicious, which often makes it difficult for him to trust people other than Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Lucius Fox, the Robins or the Batgirls.
1994's company-wide crossover Zero Hour changes aspects of DC continuity again, including those of Batman. Noteworthy among these changes is that the general populace and the criminal element now considers Batman an urban legend rather than a known force. Similarly, the Waynes' killer is never caught or identified, effectively removing Joe Chill from the new continuity, rendering stories such as "Year Two" non-canon.
While the Crime Syndicate imprisons the Justice Leagues inside the Firestorm Matrix, Batman, Catwoman and a critically injured Cyborg escape in a sewer system and go to S.T.A.R. Labs. There, they find Doctors Silas Stone and Thomas Morrow. As Batman and Catwoman explain their situation, they discover the Crime Syndicate has taken over the world and revealed Nightwing's identity. Batman decides to find Nightwing.
Batman has no inherent superhuman powers; he relies on "his own scientific knowledge, detective skills, and athletic prowess".[30] 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.[116] 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.[117] As a polymath, his knowledge and expertise in countless disciplines is nearly unparalleled by any other character in the DC Universe.[118] 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.[119]
Joker, however, had discovered the ruse sooner than he expected and followed him to the pool. Having already retrieved samples to create a cure to the toxin, Batman fought his arch nemesis for what seemed to be the last time, during which he and Joker sustained several grave injuries. With the cave collapsing from explosives set off, Batman stopped Joker from escaping by holding him away from the pool, which was blocked with the falling rock. With Gotham once again saved, Batman accepted that he would die and sent one last message to Julia, during which he refused her help to escape his fate. He and the Joker would seemingly die as the cave collapsed upon them.
Zatanna Zatara: The first occasion in which Zatanna was portrayed as a strong romantic interest of Bruce Wayne was in Batman: The Animated Series, where the two of them met in their youth and were interested in each other, but Bruce gave priority to the pursue of his training to become Batman. As adults they met again and realized they cared for each other, but nothing came out of it. This history was later introduced to the comics. Batman and Zatanna had a major falling out after Bruce found out Zatanna had mindwiped him after he walked in on her mindwiping Doctor Light at the Justice League's instruction. Batman made it clear that after these incidents, he no longer trusted Zatanna. However, the two eventually resolved their issues and became close friends once again.
In those days it was like, one artist and he had his name over it [the comic strip] — the policy of DC in the comic books was, if you can't write it, obtain other writers, but their names would never appear on the comic book in the finished version. So Bill never asked me for it [the byline] and I never volunteered — I guess my ego at that time. And I felt badly, really, when he [Finger] died.[23]

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.[132] 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.[133][134] In 1980 then-editor Paul Levitz commissioned the Untold Legend of the Batman limited series to thoroughly chronicle Batman's origin and history.
Following the apparent death of Batman (as well as the Joker) at the conclusion of "Endgame," Gotham City had to figure out what to do now that they were without a Batman. Gotham City Police Department, working with a private tech company, decided to answer the call themselves by making a Batman mecha suit of armor to fight crime for Gotham City as part of the police force. The person that they chose to wear the armor was Commissioner James Gordon (who better to trust as Batman than one of the few people Batman trusts himself?).

It's hard to get across just how little care was often put into comic books and strips back in the 1930s and 1940s. This was disposable entertainment with an emphasis on "disposable." Comic books would be put together like an assembly line by packaging studios, and sometimes be thrown together over a weekend whenever a publisher got a fresh batch of printing paper. During World War II, for example, it became hard to find printing material, so coming across some extra paper was seen as a huge boon. Comic book artists routinely copied full sequences from the most talented comic artists of the day (typically Hal Foster and Alex Raymond).
The Batman television series, starring Adam West, premiered in January 1966 on the ABC television network. Inflected with a camp sense of humor, the show became a pop culture phenomenon. In his memoir, Back to the Batcave, West notes his dislike for the term 'camp' as it was applied to the 1960s series, opining that the show was instead a farce or lampoon, and a deliberate one, at that. The series ran for 120 episodes; ending in 1968. In between the first and second season of the Batman television series, the cast and crew made the theatrical film Batman (1966). The Who recorded the theme song from the Batman show for their 1966 EP Ready Steady Who, and The Kinks performed the theme song on their 1967 album Live at Kelvin Hall.
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.[132] 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.[133][134] In 1980 then-editor Paul Levitz commissioned the Untold Legend of the Batman limited series to thoroughly chronicle Batman's origin and history.
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.[156][157][158] 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.
Through unknown means, Batman and his allies found themselves in an alternate reality where Gotham City has become the safest city on Earth, where crime was non-existent. The city was under the protection of Batman and his partner/lover Catbird. Poison Ivy wreaked havoc across the city, saying that there was something wrong with the city, but Batman and Catbird stop her. Later, a man named Clayton Parker commits suicide despite Batman's efforts. At the Batcave, Bruce investigates Gotham's suicide rate, which is higher than any other place in America. Later, Bruce finds one of Ivy's thorns embedded on the back of his head. Then, he sees his parents' graves and returns to the cave. After analyzing his blood, Batman finds a drug in his system but he is ambushed by Catbird, who has brought his entire group of allies, Bluebelle and the Wings of Truth, Flying Fox, the Gothamite and, Brightbat. Batman attempts to reason with them, but they attack him. Not wanting to hurt his allies, Batman is forced to throw the fight. Later, Batman is outfitted with a straitjacked ant brought to a mental hospital headed by Jonathan Crane, who he believes is responsible for the mystery.
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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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.[5][6] Batman was shown to have disdain for this group.[7] Infinite Crisis changed this again so that he had been one of the founding members along with Superman and Wonder Woman.
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.[17]

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