During the 1950s, the "Batman" titles were very much the second-class citizens of the DC Comics line of superhero books. In fact, the "DC" aspect of the company's name (which was named after "Detective Comics," where Batman debuted) was rarely as de-emphasized as it was in this era, when the "DC Bullet" featured DC in the center of the logo circle but Superman at the top of the circle and National Comics on the bottom (talk about a cluttered logo). Batman's stories were mostly just riffs on ideas used in Superman comics of the era (Vicki Vale as their Lois Lane, Bat-Mite was their Mr. Mxyzptlk, etc.)
Weapon Master: Through his martial arts training, he has become an expert on virtually all types of weaponry. He is an exceptional swordsman as evident in his fight with Ra's al Ghul, his proficiency in Jui Jitsu can proclaim his swordsmanship skill. Proficient with most melee weapons because of his mastery of Okinawan Kobudo. He was trained and became extremely proficient in all arms. He soon learned expanded melee weapon techniques and he has learned expanded weapon/device sciences. He still practices during his combat sessions to keep his skills intact, though he prefers unarmed combat.
Kathy Kane (Batwoman): First introduced as a female counterpart for Batman, Batwoman developed into a romantic partner in the Silver Age, where many Imaginary Stories featuring Kathy and Bruce getting married were published. Batwoman's love for Batman was never reciprocated and he only saw her as a good friend. On Earth-Two, Batwoman resigned to live without Batman's love, and in the Earth-One continuity, Kathy Kane was murdered by the League of Assassins. In the New Earth continuity, Kathy Kane was romantically interested in Batman in a couple of stories by Grant Morrison, who liked to use Silver Age content as reference in his works.
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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.
Creators associated with the character have expressed their own opinions. Writer Alan Grant has stated, "The Batman I wrote for 13 years isn't gay ... everybody's Batman all the way back to Bob Kane ... none of them wrote him as a gay character. Only Joel Schumacher might have had an opposing view." Frank Miller views the character as sublimating his sexual urges into crimefighting so much so that he's "borderline pathological", concluding "He'd be much healthier if he were gay." Grant Morrison said that "Gayness is built into Batman ... Obviously as a fictional character he's intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay."
For example, Gotham's police are mostly corrupt, setting up further need for Batman's existence. While Dick Grayson's past remains much the same, the history of Jason Todd, the second Robin, is altered, turning the boy into the orphan son of a petty crook, who tries to steal the tires from the Batmobile. Also removed is the guardian Phillip Wayne, leaving young Bruce to be raised by Alfred. Additionally, Batman is no longer a founding member of the Justice League of America, although he becomes leader for a short time of a new incarnation of the team launched in 1987. To help fill in the revised back story for Batman following Crisis, DC launched a new Batman title called Legends of the Dark Knight in 1989 and has published various miniseries and one-shot stories since then that largely take place during the "Year One" period. Various stories from Jeph Loeb and Matt Wagner also touch upon this era.
The 1993 "Knightfall" story arc introduced a new villain, Bane, who critically injures Batman after pushing him to the limits of his endurance. Jean-Paul Valley, known as Azrael, is called upon to wear the Batsuit during Bruce Wayne's convalescence. Writers Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, and Alan Grant worked on the Batman titles during "Knightfall", and would also contribute to other Batman crossovers throughout the 1990s. 1998's "Cataclysm" storyline served as the precursor to 1999's "No Man's Land", a year-long storyline that ran through all the Batman-related titles dealing with the effects of an earthquake-ravaged Gotham City. At the conclusion of "No Man's Land", O'Neil stepped down as editor and was replaced by Bob Schreck.
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