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.
Lieutenant Bullock and a squad of cops arrive at the reservoir to take the Joker down, but the Joker uses his cellphone to order his men to attack the cops with rockets. Batman frees himself from the restraints and the Joker, but the Joker infects him with Joker Venom. With Batman momentarily distracted, the Joker kicks him off the bridge and into the Gotham River. Later, Batman awakens at the Batcave, having been rescued by the Batman Family. His allies (Nightwing, Robin, Red Robin, Batgirl, and even Red Hood) want Bruce to explain how did the Joker become aware of their identities. Batman believes he does not know and is only manipulating them because of his kidnapping of Alfred. He then tells a story about a previous encounter he had with the Joker in a blimp above the bay. During their fight, the Joker fell into the bay, but somehow, he placed a playing card in the Batboat. It didn’t have a tracking device or something like that, it was just a card. Despite the apparent breach of security, Batman believes there is no way the Joker could have entered the Batcave. Still, the others are unsure about this event. Batman has a new lead to follow: the Joker used a cellular signal to issue orders. While the cellphone was untraceable, the camera across the street from the store it was bought at identifies a man named Dylan McDyre. Batman crashes into McDyre’s home and interrogates him. McDyre reveals that the Joker had been threatening the families of the Arkham Asylum staff in order to maintain the appearance of normalcy at the asylum while he made changes, for whatever thing he is planning for Batman. More resolute than ever, Batman enters the asylum.
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."
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.)
Many of the major Batman storylines since the 1990s have been inter-title crossovers that run for a number of issues. In 1993, DC published "Knightfall". During the storyline's first phase, the new villain Bane paralyzes Batman, leading Wayne to ask Azrael to take on the role. After the end of "Knightfall", the storylines split in two directions, following both the Azrael-Batman's adventures, and Bruce Wayne's quest to become Batman once more. The story arcs realign in "KnightsEnd", as Azrael becomes increasingly violent and is defeated by a healed Bruce Wayne. Wayne hands the Batman mantle to Dick Grayson (then Nightwing) for an interim period, while Wayne trains for a return to the role.
Batman operates in the fictional Gotham City with assistance from various supporting characters, including his butler Alfred, police commissioner Jim Gordon, and vigilante allies such as Robin. Unlike most superheroes, Batman does not possess any inhuman superpowers. He does, however, possess a genius-level intellect, is a peerless martial artist, and his vast wealth affords him an extraordinary arsenal of weaponry and equipment. A large assortment of villains make up Batman's rogues gallery, including his archenemy, the Joker.
Batman's body armored costume incorporates the imagery of a bat in order to frighten criminals. The details of the Batman costume change repeatedly through various decades, stories, media and artists' interpretations, but the most distinctive elements remain consistent: a scallop-hem cape; a cowl covering most of the face; a pair of bat-like ears; a stylized bat emblem on the chest; and the ever-present utility belt. Finger and Kane originally conceptualized Batman as having a black cape and cowl and grey suit, but conventions in coloring called for black to be highlighted with blue. Hence, the costume's colors have appeared in the comics as dark blue and grey; as well as black and grey. In the Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns films, Batman has been depicted as completely black with a bat in the middle surrounded by a yellow background. Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy depicted Batman wearing high-tech gear painted completely black with a black bat in the middle. Ben Affleck's Batman in the DC Extended Universe films wears a suit grey in color with a black cowl, cape, and bat symbol.
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Batman once again becomes a member of the Justice League during Grant Morrison's 1996 relaunch of the series, titled JLA. During this time, Gotham City faces catastrophe in the decade's closing crossover arc. In 1998's "Cataclysm" storyline, Gotham City is devastated by an earthquake and ultimately cut off from the United States. Deprived of many of his technological resources, Batman fights to reclaim the city from legions of gangs during 1999's "No Man's Land".
The boy suddenly re-appears wearing a domino mask of ash and a shield with a bat on it. He frees Bruce and gives him back his belt. From his utility belt, Bruce takes a medicine capsule and dons the pelt of a giant bat to wear on his body. Using the contents of his utility belt to stave off an attack by Savage and his mob, operating on instinct more than actual knowledge of various fighting techniques, Bruce defeats Vandal Savage returning the necklace to the boy just as an unexpected solar eclipse appears in the sky which Bruce reacts to and flees with the boy. Bruce jumps over a waterfall with his young partner, only to vanish at the bottom, somehow turning up in Puritan Era Gotham City. After he has vanished, Superman, Green Lantern, and Booster Gold appear in the past via Rip Hunter's time sphere, having tracked Bruce to the past. Superman confirms with his super-hearing that Batman isn't in this time. As they depart, Superman states that they have to catch up with Batman before he can return to the present on his own or the world will be in great danger. In the new era he arrives in, Bruce surfaces from the water and finds a woman, when they are suddenly attacked by a large, tentacled creature. Bruce raises his sword to defend himself and the woman.
Peak Human Strength: In terms of brute strength, Batman is one of the strongest non-metahumans alive. He can break steel chains and cuffs with ease, support a ceiling that weighed 1000 lbs over his head, and rip metal prison bars with his bare hands. Batman has demonstrated enough strength to easily overpower dozens of men at once, effortlessly lifting a full grown man in the air with one arm and throwing him several meters, tear off an airplane door in mid-flight with one arm, and even punch a SWAT officer through a brick wall with no strain, giving the officer internal injuries. Deathstroke a near-metahuman once stated that Batman "hits harder than most beings with superhuman strength." Batman also has more than strong enough to kick a concrete pillar in half while his legs were damaged, kick a thick tree in half during his early days, and break or bend guns with his mere grip on many occasions. During his exercise regimes, Batman could bench-press at least 1 ton (more or less) and do over 300 lbs of tricep extensions while injured. Using highly effective muscle control, Batman can apply practically superhuman force in his physical attacks, able to overpower Killer Croc and the Venom enhanced Bane (despite their superior strength).
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.
In 2004, an unrelated animated series titled The Batman made its debut with Rino Romano voicing Batman. In 2008, this show was replaced by another animated series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, featuring Diedrich Bader's voice as Batman. In 2013, a new CGI-animated series titled Beware the Batman made its debut, with Anthony Ruivivar voicing Batman.
Shondra Kinsolving: Shondra was a psychic and the half-sister of Benedict Asp. She had a brief love affair with Batman, having been brought in to help him when Bane broke his back. Before Bruce could officially commit to her, Benedict kidnapped her and turned her abilities to evil use. Batman eventually defeated Benedict, but the damage to Shondra's mind was too great. As she healed Bruce's lingering injuries, Shondra's psyche regressed back into childhood. Bruce paid for her care at a psychiatric institution, ensuring she received the best treatment for the rest of her life.
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.