A family outing to the cinema ended in tragedy for young Bruce Wayne. Walking homeward, Bruce, his father, Thomas, and mother, Martha, accidentally ventured into Gotham City's notorious "Crime Alley" and were accosted by a mugger. Not content merely to rob the wealthy family, the hoodlum - whose identity was "never determined" - shot Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne dead before fleeing into the darkness. As he knelt beside his parent's bodies, Bruce swore to avenge them. After the police arrived, Bruce was comforted by Dr. Leslie THompkins. Dr. Thompkins and Alfred Pennyworth helped arrange matters so that Gotham's Social Services would not take Bruce into care. In this way, both Dr. Thompkins and Alfred enabled Bruce to realize his dream of becoming a crusader against crime.
The debut of the Batman television series in 1966 had a profound influence on the character. The success of the series increased sales throughout the comic book industry, and Batman reached a circulation of close to 900,000 copies. Elements such as the character of Batgirl and the show's campy nature were introduced into the comics; the series also initiated the return of Alfred. Although both the comics and TV show were successful for a time, the camp approach eventually wore thin and the show was canceled in 1968. In the aftermath, the Batman comics themselves lost popularity once again. As Julius Schwartz noted, "When the television show was a success, I was asked to be campy, and of course when the show faded, so did the comic books."
In 2005, Batman Begins was released by Warner Bros. as a reboot of the film series; directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as Batman. Its sequel, The Dark Knight (2008), set the record for the highest grossing opening weekend of all time in the U.S., earning approximately $158 million, and became the fastest film to reach the $400 million mark in the history of American cinema (eighteenth day of release). These record-breaking attendances saw The Dark Knight end its run as the second-highest domestic grossing film (at the time) with $533 million, bested then only by Titanic. The film also won two Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for the late Heath Ledger. It was eventually followed by The Dark Knight Rises (2012), which served as a conclusion to Nolan's film series.
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.
Since 2008, Batman has also starred in various direct-to-video animated films under the DC Universe Animated Original Movies banner. Kevin Conroy has reprised his voice role of Batman for several of these films, while others have featured celebrity voice actors in the role; including Jeremy Sisto, William Baldwin, Bruce Greenwood, Ben McKenzie, and Peter Weller. A Lego-themed version of Batman was also featured as one of the protagonists in the animated film The Lego Movie (2014), with Will Arnett providing the voice. Arnett reprised the voice role for the spin-off film The Lego Batman Movie (2017).
In Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics #27, he is already operating as a crime-fighter. Batman's origin is first presented in Detective Comics #33 (Nov. 1939) and is later expanded upon in Batman #47. As these comics state, Bruce Wayne is born to Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, two very wealthy and charitable Gotham City socialites. Bruce is brought up in Wayne Manor, and leads a happy and privileged existence until the age of eight, when his parents are killed by a small-time criminal named Joe Chill while on their way home from a movie theater. That night, Bruce Wayne swears an oath to spend his life fighting crime. He engages in intense intellectual and physical training; however, he realizes that these skills alone would not be enough. "Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot", Wayne remarks, "so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible ..." As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to craft the Batman persona.
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.
Peak Human Stamina: Bruce's highly trained and developed body generates considerably less fatigue toxins and is much more resistant to fatigue toxins than normal humans, granting him exceptional endurance and lung capacity. His lung capacity is so great that he can hold his breath underwater for over 7 minutes with little strain. In his early days ,he once fought in a gauntlet for 28 hours straight before collapsing from exhaustion. Batman has demonstrated exercising extensively with a rigorous training regime that lasted 1 hour, yet wasn't nearly satisfied. He can exert himself at peak capacity without slowing down for several hours before showing signs of fatigue or began tiring.
In my opinion, one thing that makes Batman so easy to relate to is the fact that he's human, and he doesn't have any powers. He gains the victory over most his adversaries through tactics and smarts. On the other hand, compare this to Superman. While he does have flaws, he's a lot less easy to relate to because he's nearly invulnerable, and only has one true weakness.
Through unknown means, Batman and his allies found themselves in an alternate reality where Gotham City has become the safest city on Earth, where crime was non-existent. The city was under the protection of Batman and his partner/lover Catbird. Poison Ivy wreaked havoc across the city, saying that there was something wrong with the city, but Batman and Catbird stop her. Later, a man named Clayton Parker commits suicide despite Batman's efforts. At the Batcave, Bruce investigates Gotham's suicide rate, which is higher than any other place in America. Later, Bruce finds one of Ivy's thorns embedded on the back of his head. Then, he sees his parents' graves and returns to the cave. After analyzing his blood, Batman finds a drug in his system but he is ambushed by Catbird, who has brought his entire group of allies, Bluebelle and the Wings of Truth, Flying Fox, the Gothamite and, Brightbat. Batman attempts to reason with them, but they attack him. Not wanting to hurt his allies, Batman is forced to throw the fight. Later, Batman is outfitted with a straitjacked ant brought to a mental hospital headed by Jonathan Crane, who he believes is responsible for the mystery.
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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 Blackest Night, the villain Black Hand is seen digging up Bruce Wayne's body, stealing his skull, and recruiting it into the Black Lantern Corps. Deadman, whose body has also become a Black Lantern, rushes to aid the new Batman and Robin, along with Red Robin against the Gotham villains who have been reanimated as Black Lanterns, as well as their own family members. The skull was briefly reanimated as a Black Lantern, reconstructing a body in the process by Black Hand's lord, Nekron, to move against the Justice League and the Titans. After the Black Lantern Batman created several black power rings to attach to and kill the majority of the Justice League, the skull was returned to normal after Nekron explained it served its purpose as an emotional tether. Nekron also referred to the skull as "Bruce Wayne", knowing that the body was not authentic.
Writers of Batman and Superman stories have often compared and contrasted the two. Interpretations vary depending on the writer, the story, and the timing. Grant Morrison notes that both heroes "believe in the same kind of things" despite the day/night contrast their heroic roles display. He notes an equally stark contrast in their real identities. Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent belong to different social classes: "Bruce has a butler, Clark has a boss." T. James Musler's book Unleashing the Superhero in Us All explores the extent to which Bruce Wayne's vast personal wealth is important in his life story, and the crucial role it plays in his efforts as Batman.
Harley Quinn: Best known as "The Joker's Girlfriend", Harley has had occasional romantic encounters with Batman, most notably her kiss with him in the episode Harley's Holiday from Batman: The Animated Series. Recently, in the The New 52, there have been a couple of stories in which Harley became infatuated either with Bruce Wayne or Batman. These attractions appear to be entirely one-sided and Batman has shown no signs of attraction towards Harley.
Using a mixture of physical and psychological attacks, the Black Glove tests Batman's resolve, forcing him to temporarily adopt the crazed persona of the "Batman of Zur-En-Arrh." He is then led to Arkham Asylum to face the Joker. Seemingly defeated, Batman is buried alive by the Black Glove, a group that includes Bruce Wayne's girlfriend, Jezebel Jet, who has betrayed him. With the assistance of Robin and Nightwing, he turns the tables on his foes. In a final confrontation with Dr. Hurt, Batman is caught in a helicopter crash.
Bruce Wayne goes on a date with Selina, who is unaware of the former's identity as Batman, much to the encouragement of his family. The two, along with Thomas Elliot, attend an opera when Harley Quinn arrives and attempts to kill Bruce. In the ensuing struggle, Dr. Elliot is apparently shot dead by Joker. An enraged Batman violently beats Joker who claims that he is innocent, and he is stopped short of killing him by Commissioner James Gordon. Bruce attends Elliot's funeral and deduces Joker's innocence as well that Hush must know his secret identity.
In Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics #27, he is already operating as a crime fighter. Batman's origin is first presented in Detective Comics #33 in November 1939, and is later fleshed out in Batman #47. As these comics state, Bruce Wayne is born to Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, two very wealthy and charitable Gotham City socialites. Bruce is brought up in Wayne Manor and its wealthy splendor and leads a happy and privileged existence until the age of eigh, when his parents are killed by a small-time criminal named Joe Chill on their way home from the movie theater. Bruce Wayne swears an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He engages in intense intellectual and physical training; however, he realizes that these skills alone would not be enough. "Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot", Wayne remarks, "so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible..." As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to assume the persona of Batman.
In Pre-Crisis stories Bruce Wayne had been a founding member of the Justice League of America. After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, they retconned that the founding members of the League were Aquaman, Black Canary, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. Batman was shown to have disdain for this group. Infinite Crisis changed this again so that he had been one of the founding members along with Superman and Wonder Woman.
While Kevin Conroy is the voice of a newer generation of Bat-fans, Adam West is the quintessential Batman of the generation a time slot or two beforehand. The originator of the classic blue and gray fabric costume with a hard face mask, this suit didn’t use any rubber padding, foam armor or tricks of the camera to make people think Batman was a built guy. On the contrary, underneath that suit was one hundred percent grade-A West. Now, Adam West wasn’t a very large man, but he didn’t have to be as he carried the gravity of Batman with suitably campy aplomb.
Finger suggested giving the character a cowl instead of a simple domino mask, a cape instead of wings, and gloves; he also recommended removing the red sections from the original costume. Finger said he devised the name Bruce Wayne for the character's secret identity: "Bruce Wayne's first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock ... then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne." He later said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk's popular The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic-strip character with which Kane was also familiar.
Bruce Wayne is attending an evening party where he meets Selina Kyle and his childhood friend and renowned brain surgeon Thomas Elliot, until he receives an alert from Alfred about a child kidnapping from Bane. After a brief fight, Batman is confronted by Lady Shiva who tells him an unknown intruder has used the Lazarus Pit and asks for his assistance in identifying them. Batman rescues the child, but Catwoman steals the ransom money. As Batman swings through Gotham City in pursuit of her, a mysterious villain shoots his grapple line and he falls to the ground, fracturing his skull. He is nearly killed by a group of nearby criminals until he is saved by Catwoman and Batgirl. Catwoman delivers the ransom money to Poison Ivy, who is controlling her through a hypnotic kiss.
In 1969, Dick Grayson attends college as part of DC Comics' effort to revise the Batman comics. Additionally, Batman also moves from Wayne Manor into a penthouse apartment atop the Wayne Foundation building in downtown Gotham City, in order to be closer to Gotham City's crime. Batman spends the 1970s and early 1980s mainly working solo, with occasional team-ups with Robin and/or Batgirl. Batman's adventures also become somewhat darker and more grim during this period, depicting increasingly violent crimes, including the first appearance (since the early Golden Age) of an insane, murderous Joker, and the arrival of Ra's Al Ghul. In the 1980s, Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing.
Master Escapologist: He has been described as second only to Mister Miracle as an escape artist. He has been seen escaping from a Posey straitjacket in less than 52 seconds, and remarked afterwars that the time was way too slow for him. He has effortlessly escaped handcuffs casually on multiple occasions within seconds, even going as far as saying "they were a joke". When arrested and locked up in prison, Bruce identified three ways to seamlessly escape his cell with no tools or gadgets at all.
Batman asks the Phantom Stranger to bring him to the afterlife so he can question Doctor Light about what really happened. The Phantom Stranger initially declines, but after hearing how Arthur Light was a family man, and left behind a wife and three daughters, he reconsiders. The Phantom Stranger takes Batman, Katana, and Deadman, who has left Wonder Woman, with him. Once through "Heaven's Basement", they arrive in a neighborhood of Heaven, that was created by the beliefs of a soul. However, Batman drifts off into a space of Heaven that he created. He creates a desired Christmas Eve setting he had as a young boy, imagining what it would be like with his dead parents. While the Phantom Stranger was rescuing them, Deadman was able to locate Doctor Light. Doctor Light had created a personal universe composed of light and is suspended in a globe-like "womb". Batman orders Katana to break the womb and frees Doctor Light, with the Phantom Stranger able to resuscitate him. When Batman questions him, the group learns that he doesn't remember anything about his death. The Phantom Stranger tells Doctor Light that he will try to free him from the afterlife, so he can be with his family. Weary of the end results, Doctor Light gives a piece of his soul to the Stranger in hopes that he can give it to his family as a final gift if he doesn't get out. As the group is ready to leave, Zauriel appears and dismisses Batman, Katan,a and Deadman.
Batman goes to the Willowwood Home for Children, a place that housed children suffering from mental illnesses. Suddenly, he is captured in a net, and Lincoln March stands over him. Batman deduces that Lincoln March does not exist, he is just a paper man set up by the Court. The man in front of him is the Court's betrayer, and he took the Talons' serum to survive death. March is aware of Batman's dual life and reveals himself to be Thomas Jr., Bruce Wayne's brother. Although Bruce believes he does not have a brother, Thomas says that an accident had caused him to be born early, and Thomas and Martha Wayne had hid him away at Willowwood to heal. When Thomas and Martha died, Willowwood lost its funding and the place began treating its children cruelly. Blaming Bruce for their parents' deaths, Thomas puts on an owl suit of armor and frees Batman so that the brothers can have a final fight.
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.