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Batman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Originally named the "Bat-Man," the character is also referred to by such epithets as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, and the World's Greatest Detective.
Batman is at times a member of superhero teams such as the Justice League of America and the Outsiders. Batman has often been paired in adventures with his Justice League teammate Superman, notably as the co-stars of World's Finest and Superman/Batman series. In pre-Crisis continuity, the two are depicted as close friends; however, in current continuity, they are still close friends but an uneasy relationship, with an emphasis on their differing views on crime-fighting and justice. In Superman/Batman #3 (Dec. 2003), Superman observes, "Sometimes, I admit, I think of Bruce as a man in a costume. Then, with some gadget from his utility belt, he reminds me that he has an extraordinarily inventive mind. And how lucky I am to be able to call on him."
Following Infinite Crisis, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson (having recovered from his wounds), and Tim Drake retrace the steps Bruce had taken when he originally left Gotham City, to "rebuild Batman". In the Face the Face storyline, Batman and Robin return to Gotham City after their year-long absence. Part of this absence is captured during Week 30 of the 52 series, which shows Batman fighting his inner demons. Later on in 52, Batman is shown undergoing an intense meditation ritual in Nanda Parbat. This becomes an important part of the regular Batman title, which reveals that Batman is reborn as a more effective crime fighter while undergoing this ritual, having "hunted down and ate" the last traces of fear in his mind. At the end of the "Face the Face" story arc, Bruce officially adopts Tim (who had lost both of his parents at various points in the character's history) as his son. The follow-up story arc in Batman, Batman and Son, introduces Damian Wayne, who is Batman's son with Talia al Ghul. Although originally in Son of the Demon, Bruce's coupling with Talia was implied to be consensual, this arc ret-conned it into Talia forcing herself on Bruce.
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).
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.
By 1942, the writers and artists behind the Batman comics had established most of the basic elements of the Batman mythos. In the years following World War II, DC Comics "adopted a postwar editorial direction that increasingly de-emphasized social commentary in favor of lighthearted juvenile fantasy". The impact of this editorial approach was evident in Batman comics of the postwar period; removed from the "bleak and menacing world" of the strips of the early 1940s, Batman was instead portrayed as a respectable citizen and paternal figure that inhabited a "bright and colorful" environment.
The popularity of the Batman TV series also resulted in the first animated adaptation of Batman in The Batman/Superman Hour; the Batman segments of the series were repackaged as The Adventures of Batman and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder which produced thirty-three episodes between 1968 and 1977. From 1973 until 1986, Batman had a starring role in ABC's Super Friends series; which was animated by Hanna-Barbera. Olan Soule was the voice of Batman in all these shows, but was eventually replaced during Super Friends by Adam West, who also voiced the character in Filmation's 1977 series The New Adventures of Batman.
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.
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.
DC Comics' 2005 limited series Identity Crisis reveals that JLA member Zatanna had edited Batman's memories to prevent him from stopping the Justice League from lobotomizing Dr. Light after he raped Sue Dibny. Batman later creates the Brother I satellite surveillance system to watch over and, if necessary, kill the other heroes after he remembered. The revelation of Batman's creation and his tacit responsibility for Blue Beetle's death becomes a driving force in the lead-up to the Infinite Crisis miniseries, which again restructures DC continuity. Batman and a team of superheroes destroy Brother Eye and the OMACs, though, at the very end, Batman reaches his apparent breaking point when Alexander Luthor Jr. seriously wounds Nightwing. Picking up a gun, Batman nearly shoots Luthor in order to avenge his former sidekick, until Wonder Woman convinces him to not pull the trigger.
Storylines Batman and Son • Batman Eternal • Batman Incorporated • Batman R.I.P. • Batman Reborn • Battle for the Cowl • The Black Mirror • Blind Justice • Cataclysm • Contagion • The Dark Knight Returns • A Death in the Family • Death of the Family • Endgame • Face the Face • Fugitive • Gotham's Most Wanted • Hush • The Killing Joke • Knightfall • Last Rites • Legacy • A Lonely Place of Dying • The Long Halloween • Night of the Owls • No Man's Land • Officer Down • Prodigal • The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul • The Return of Bruce Wayne • Strange Apparitions • Tales of the Demon • Tower of Babel • Troika • Under the Hood • War Games • Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? • Where Were You On The Night Batman Was Killed? • Year One • Zero Year
While most of Batman's romantic relationships tend to be short in duration, Catwoman has been his most enduring romance throughout the years. The attraction between Batman and Catwoman, whose real name is Selina Kyle, is present in nearly every version and medium in which the characters appear. Although Catwoman is typically portrayed as a villain, Batman and Catwoman have worked together in achieving common goals and are usually depicted as having a romantic connection.
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