In September 2011, DC Comics' entire line of superhero comic books, including its Batman franchise, were canceled and relaunched with new #1 issues as part of the New 52 reboot. Bruce Wayne is the only character to be identified as Batman and is featured in Batman, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin, and Batman: The Dark Knight. Dick Grayson returns to the mantle of Nightwing and appears in his own ongoing series. While many characters have their histories significantly altered to attract new readers, Batman's history remains mostly intact. Batman Incorporated was relaunched in 2012–2013 to complete the "Leviathan" storyline.
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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 utilizes a vast arsenal of specialized, high-tech vehicles and gadgets in his war against crime, the designs of which usually share a bat motif. Batman historian Les Daniels credits Gardner Fox with creating the concept of Batman's arsenal with the introduction of the utility belt in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939) and the first bat-themed weapons the batarang and the "Batgyro" in Detective Comics #31 and #32 (Sept., Oct. 1939).
Batman has been licensed and featured in various adaptations, from radio to television and film, and appears in merchandise sold around the world, such as apparel, toys, and video games. Kevin Conroy, Rino Romano, Anthony Ruivivar, Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood, Jason O'Mara, and Will Arnett, among others, have provided the character's voice for animated adaptations. Batman has been depicted in both film and television by Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Bruce Thomas, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, David Mazouz, Iain Glen, and Robert Pattinson.
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Gay interpretations of the character have been part of the academic study of Batman since psychologist Fredric Wertham asserted in Seduction of the Innocent in 1954 that "Batman stories are psychologically homosexual ... The Batman type of story may stimulate children to homosexual fantasies, of the nature of which they may be unconscious." Andy Medhurst wrote in his 1991 essay "Batman, Deviance, and Camp" that Batman is interesting to gay audiences because "he was one of the first fictional characters to be attacked on the grounds of his presumed homosexuality". Professor of film and cultural studies Will Brooker argues the validity of a queer reading of Batman, and that gay readers would naturally find themselves drawn to the lifestyle depicted within, whether the character of Bruce Wayne himself were explicitly gay or not. He also identifies a homophobic element to the vigor with which mainstream fandom rejects the possibility of a gay reading of the character. In 2005, painter Mark Chamberlain displayed a number of watercolors depicting both Batman and Robin in suggestive and sexually explicit poses, prompting DC to threaten legal action.
Batman once again becomes a member of the Justice League during Grant Morrison's 1996 relaunch of the series, titled JLA. While Batman contributes greatly to many of the team's successes, the Justice League is largely uninvolved as Batman and Gotham City face catastrophe in the decade's closing crossover arc. In 1998's "Cataclysm" storyline, Gotham City is devastated by an earthquake. Deprived of many of his technological resources, Batman fights to reclaim the city from legions of gangs during 1999's "No Man's Land." While Lex Luthor rebuilds Gotham at the end of the "No Man's Land" storyline, he then frames Bruce Wayne for murder in the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" and "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" story arcs; Wayne is eventually acquitted.
Attaching a protective mask, Batman creates a propulsion tunnel to blast through the vat. The propulsion blast allows Batman to escape, but the corrosion heavily damages his suit. Returning home, Batman sends a message to his allies to warn them that the Joker might be targeting them individually. At the manor, Bruce finds a cassette tape, in which the Joker reveals he has kidnapped Alfred. Batman later visits Gordon, who was designated as Joker's next victim. Gordon begins to bleed uncontrollably, so Batman sends him to the hospital. Knowing that the Joker is re-enacting his previous crimes, Batman goes to the Gotham Reservoir, the first place he faced the Joker in his current identity. There, the Joker traps Batman with cables, immobilizing. The Joker says that Batman's care for his allies has made him weak, so he plans to kill them all in the next 72 hours.
Peak Human Agility: His agility is greater than that of a Chinese acrobat and superior to an Olympic-gold athlete gymnast. He can flawlessly coordinate his body with perfect balance, flexibility, and dexterity. His main phase of movement is Parkour which he learned in France and uses it to scale the cities rooftops in an acrobatic manner. He is capable of completing a triple somersault, running across thin wire cable which showcased his balance. Bruce regularly practices his agility by practicing gymnastics blindfolded.
When Jonah enters the city, he is met by the man who has hired him; Vandal Savage, currently weak from a cancer in his intestines, who wants Hex to eliminate the man who has been attacking his men, while Savage attempts to torture a woman whose family have been entrusted with a box, marked with the symbol of the bat, that they are to keep sealed until its owner comes to claim it. During the subsequent fight, the masked man unintentionally leads the woman to Alan Wayne as he is about to commit suicide because of his current dejection about life, the two quickly form an attraction for each other. As the woman returns the box to the masked man -recognizing his identity from a necklace that he took from her great-grandmother-, he opens the box, only to be subsequently shot by Hex and fall into the ocean, Hex concluding that he will finish his contract regardless. Over the next century, Wayne Manor is built after Wayne's wife dies in childbirth, Wayne developing it according to his wife's desires to honor the bat-man who saved them, culminating in the dark man stumbling out of a Gotham alley in the city in the 1930s, still bleeding from Hex's shot.
The central fixed event in the Batman stories is the character's origin story. As a young boy, Bruce Wayne was horrified and traumatized when he watched his parents, the physician Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, murdered with a gun by a mugger named Joe Chill. Batman refuses to utilize any sort of gun on the principle that a gun was used to murder his parents. This event drove him to train his body to its peak condition and fight crime in Gotham City as Batman. Pearson and Uricchio also noted beyond the origin story and such events as the introduction of Robin, "Until recently, the fixed and accruing and hence, canonized, events have been few in number", a situation altered by an increased effort by later Batman editors such as Dennis O'Neil to ensure consistency and continuity between stories.
One of the more noticeable changes is in Dick's utility belt, which now featured the bat-symbol on it. Dick's costume also had a different wrist gauntlet and his gloves had less scallops on them than Bruce's costume (before Bruce adopted the Batman Incorporated costume, that was the only real way to tell them apart -- just count the scallops). In general, though, Quitely just tried to make the whole thing look a little more streamlined, to better fit Dick's lighter, acrobatic personality. However, since it is so similar to the costume Batman had before Dick took over, we have to knock some points off for originality.
As the Justice Leagues converge on the Temple, the box infects everyone with evil thoughts, causing a fight. Batman obtains the box, but Superman attacks him. After a few moments, the box goes dormant. Atom reveals she is a traitor working for the Secret Society and that she infected Superman with Kryptonite, which caused him to attack Dr. Light. The Secret Society leader uses the box to open a portal to another universe. In that moment, the Crime Syndicate enters the Justice League's world.
Genius-Level Intellect: Batman's IQ is possibly well over 200; he is a brilliant, virtually peerless, detective, strategist, scientist, tactician, and commander; he is widely regarded as one of the keenest analytical minds on the planet. Given his lack of superpowers, he often uses cunning and planning to outwit his foes, rather than simply "out-fighting" them. Due to his mental training and being naturally gifted, he has acquired an an instant learning aptitude, parallel multitasking, eidetic/photographic memory, accelerated reading, and a more powerful memory. He is the second smartest person on Earth behind Lex Luthor.
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
The suit itself is completely skin tight and black, only having some color in the form of the crimson insignia, white in the eyes and another blast of red whenever he extends the wings for flight and glide capabilities. The new suit also came complete with larger red and black batarangs, stealth capabilities and a remote linkup back to the Batcave and Bruce, who came to be the Alfred to Terry’s Batman.
Over the course of the first few Batman strips elements were added to the character and the artistic depiction of Batman evolved. Kane noted that within six issues he drew the character's jawline more pronounced, and lengthened the ears on the costume. "About a year later he was almost the full figure, my mature Batman", Kane said. Batman's characteristic utility belt was introduced in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), followed by the boomerang-like batarang and the first bat-themed vehicle, the Batplane, in #31 (Sept. 1939). The character's origin was revealed in #33 (Nov. 1939), unfolding in a two-page story that establishes the brooding persona of Batman, a character driven by the death of his parents. Written by Finger, it depicts a young Bruce Wayne witnessing his parents' murder at the hands of a mugger. Days later, at their grave, the child vows that "by the spirits of my parents [I will] avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals".
Amazo Anti-Monitor Black Adam Black Manta Brainiac Captain Cold Cheetah Darkseid Despero Doctor Destiny Doctor Light Doomsday Eclipso Felix Faust General Wade Eiling Gorilla Grodd Joker Kanjar Ro Key Lex Luthor Libra Maxwell Lord Mongul Neron Professor Ivo Prometheus Queen Bee Queen of Fables Sinestro Starro Steppenwolf T. O. Morrow Vandal Savage Amanda Waller
In various incarnations, most notably the 1960s Batman TV series, Commissioner Gordon also has a dedicated phone line, dubbed the Bat-Phone, connected to a bright red telephone (in the TV series) which sits on a wooden base and has a transparent top. The line connects directly to Batman's residence, Wayne Manor, specifically both to a similar phone sitting on the desk in Bruce Wayne's study and the extension phone in the Batcave.
Grant Morrison's 2008 storyline, "Batman R.I.P." featured Batman being physically and mentally broken by the enigmatic villain Doctor Hurt and attracted news coverage in advance of its highly promoted conclusion, which would speculated to feature the death of Bruce Wayne. However, though Batman is shown to possibly perish at the end of the arc, the two-issue arc "Last Rites", which leads into the crossover storylines "Final Crisis", shows that Batman survives his helicopter crash into the Gotham City River and returns to the Batcave, only to be summoned to the Hall of Justice by the JLA to help investigate the New God Orion's death. The story ends with Batman retrieving the god-killing bullet used to kill Orion, setting up its use in "Final Crisis". In the pages of Final Crisis Batman is reduced to a charred skeleton. In Final Crisis #7 Wayne is shown witnessing the passing of the first man, Anthro. Wayne's "death" sets up the three-issue Battle for the Cowl miniseries in which Wayne's ex-proteges compete for the "right" to assume the role of Batman, which concludes with Grayson becoming Batman, while Tim Drake takes on the identity of Red Robin. Dick and Damian continue as Batman and Robin, and in the crossover storyline "Blackest Night", what appears to be Bruce's corpse is reanimated as a Black Lantern zombie, but is later shown that Bruce's corpse is one of Darkseid's failed Batman clones. Dick and Batman's other friends conclude that Bruce is alive.
Diana and Bruce briefly dated but nothing came of their relationship and the two decided it would be best to remain friends. However, they still care deeply about one another, and this is evidenced by Wonder Woman's love for Batman allowing her to become a member of the Star Sapphire Corps in Blackest Night. Their relationship is echoed in the Justice League Animated Series, where producers decided to pair Diana with Bruce.
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.
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 early 1939, the success of Superman in Action Comics prompted editors at National Comics Publications (the future DC Comics) to request more superheroes for its titles. In response, Bob Kane created "the Bat-Man". Collaborator Bill Finger recalled that "Kane had an idea for a character called 'Batman,' and he'd like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane's, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of ... reddish tights, I believe, with boots ... no gloves, no gauntlets ... with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign ... BATMAN". The bat-wing-like cape was suggested by Bob Kane, inspired as a child by Leonardo Da Vinci's sketch of an ornithopter flying device.
Jack, failed comedian, failed husband to a murdered wife, reluctantly dons the helmet? becoming the new Red Hood. Red Hood had a large domed red helmet [of course] with one way mirror lenses [like Spider-Man] to see through and a red cape. Oh yes.. he also wore a tuxedo. Very dapper was the Red Hood. While attempting to rob a chemical plant, the plant's security men spot the robbers, shooting the other criminals dead, narrowly missing the Red Hood. Cornered on a catwalk by Batman the [now terrified] Red Hood dives into a chemical basin to make his escape and swims to freedom by way of a venting pipe. He only survived via a special breathing apparatus that was built into his helmet. However, the chemicals in the basin permanently disfigured the an under the hood, turning his hair green, his skin white and his lips red.
A young Bruce Wayne can also be seen in his bedroom praying, strongly hinting him to be a Christian just like his Mother. Pearson and Uricchio also noted beyond the origin story and such events as the introduction of Robin, "Until recently, the fixed and occurring and hence, canonized, events have been few in number," a situation altered by an increased effort by later Batman editors such as Dennis O'Neil to ensure consistency and continuity between stories.
Additionally, members of the group Batman, Incorporated, Bruce Wayne's experiment at franchising his brand of vigilantism, have at times stood in as the official Batman in cities around the world. Various others have also taken up the role of Batman in stories set in alternative universes and possible futures, including, among them, various former proteges of Bruce Wayne.
In the late 1950s, Batman stories gradually became more science fiction-oriented, an attempt at mimicking the success of other DC characters that had dabbled in the genre. New characters such as Batwoman, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite were introduced. Batman's adventures often involved odd transformations or bizarre space aliens. In 1960, Batman debuted as a member of the Justice League of America in The Brave and the Bold #28 (Feb. 1960), and went on to appear in several Justice League comic series starting later that same year.
Supporting Ace • Alfred Pennyworth • Azrael • Barbara Gordon • Batgirl • Batman Incorporated • Batman of Zur En Arrh • Batwoman • Bat-Mite • Batwing • Bette Kane • Black Bat • Bruce Wayne • Cassandra Cain • Carrie Kelley • Catwoman • Commissioner Gordon • Crispus Allen • Damian Wayne • Dark Ranger • Dick Grayson • Duke Thomas • Helena Bertinelli • Helena Wayne • Flamebird • El Gaucho • GCPD • Harold Allnut • Harper Row • Harriet Cooper • Harvey Bullock • Huntress • Jason Bard • Jason Todd • Jean-Paul Valley • Julie Madison • Knight • Legionary • Leslie Thompkins • Lucius Fox • Luke Fox • Man-of-Bats • Martha Wayne • Matches Malone • Mr. Unknown • Musketeer • Nightrunner • Nightwing • Onyx • Oracle • Orphan • Orpheus • Outsiders • Red Robin • Renee Montoya • Robin • Sarah Essen • Sasha Bordeaux • Signal • Silver St. Cloud • Squire • Stephanie Brown • Terry McGinnis • Titus • Thomas Wayne • Tim Drake • Vesper Fairchild • Vicki Vale • Wingman
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.