On Earth-One, Catwoman and Batman were often at odds since they were on different sides of the law, but eventually, Catwoman reformed and Batman accepted her as a vigilante in Gotham City. Coincidentally, Bruce Wayne also started a romantic relationship with Selina Kyle. Despite these developments, Catwoman realized Batman and Bruce could not fully trust her and she left Gotham.
After another battle Scarecrow, Batman returned to one of his safe-houses to recover, only for it to be attacked by Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman and Superman. Using his Justice Buster armor, he was able to defeat the group, though was almost killed by Superman. Whilst observing them, he discovered that they had been infected with a new toxin created by the Joker. Investigating the Clown Prince of Crime's former cell in Arkham, Batman was locked up within it by the criminal, who had been posing as a former orderly. Joker revealed that he had grown "bored" of the games with Batman and intended to kill the Dark Knight. Paralyzed by the gas, he was helpless whilst the Joker released an airborne form of the toxin used on the Justice League.
Investigating the Talon, Batman discovers a mysterious room hidden at the Old Wayne Tower, which once served as the Owls' "nest". However, the building explodes with Batman inside. Escaping the explosion, Batman tracks the Talon down to a mysterious labyrinth that contains portraits of Gotham in the Wild West that also details Gotham's history. There, he is greeted by the Court of Owls.
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.
Starting in 2006, Grant Morrison and Paul Dini were the regular writers of Batman and Detective Comics, with Morrison reincorporating controversial elements of Batman lore. Most notably of these elements were the science fiction themed storylines of the 1950s Batman comics, which Morrison revised as hallucinations Batman suffered under the influence of various mind-bending gases and extensive sensory deprivation training. Morrison's run climaxed with "Batman R.I.P.", which brought Batman up against the villainous "Black Glove" organization, which sought to drive Batman into madness. "Batman R.I.P." segued into Final Crisis (also written by Morrison), which saw the apparent death of Batman at the hands of Darkseid. In the 2009 miniseries Batman: Battle for the Cowl, Wayne's former protégé Dick Grayson becomes the new Batman, and Wayne's son Damian becomes the new Robin. In June 2009, Judd Winick returned to writing Batman, while Grant Morrison was given his own series, titled Batman and Robin.
Batman is often treated as a vigilante by other characters in his stories. Frank Miller views the character as "a dionysian figure, a force for anarchy that imposes an individual order". Dressed as a bat, Batman deliberately cultivates a frightening persona in order to aid him in crime-fighting, a fear that originates from the criminals' own guilty conscience. Miller is often credited with reintroducing anti-heroic traits into Batman's characterization, such as his brooding personality, willingness to use violence and torture, and increasingly alienated behavior. Batman, shortly a year after his debut and the introduction of Robin, was changed in 1940 after DC editor Whitney Ellsworth felt the character would be tainted by his lethal methods and DC established their own ethical code, subsequently he was retconned as having a stringent moral code. Miller's Batman was closer to the original pre-Robin version, who was willing to kill criminals if necessary.