Frank Miller's limited series The Dark Knight Returns (February–June 1986) returned the character to his darker roots, both in atmosphere and tone. The comic book, which tells the story of a 55-year-old Batman coming out of retirement in a possible future, reinvigorated interest in the character. The Dark Knight Returns was a financial success and has since become one of the medium's most noted touchstones. The series also sparked a major resurgence in the character's popularity.
Batman's first romantic interest was Julie Madison in Detective Comics #31 (Sept. 1939), however their romance was short-lived. Some of Batman's romantic interests have been women with a respected status in society, such as Julie Madison, Vicki Vale, and Silver St. Cloud. Batman has also been romantically involved with allies, such as Kathy Kane (Batwoman), Sasha Bordeaux, and Wonder Woman, and with villains, such as Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Jezebel Jet, Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy), and Talia al Ghul.
In early 1939, the success of Superman in Action Comics prompted editors at National Comics Publications (the future DC Comics) to request more superheroes for its titles. In response, Bob Kane created "the Bat-Man". Collaborator Bill Finger recalled that "Kane had an idea for a character called 'Batman,' and he'd like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane's, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of ... reddish tights, I believe, with boots ... no gloves, no gauntlets ... with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign ... BATMAN". The bat-wing-like cape was suggested by Bob Kane, inspired as a child by Leonardo Da Vinci's sketch of an ornithopter flying device.
Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy American playboy, philanthropist, and owner of Wayne Enterprises. His origin depicts Bruce Wayne as a child, after witnessing the murder of his parents Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne, he swore vengeance against criminals, an oath tempered by a sense of justice. Bruce Wayne trains himself physically and intellectually and crafts a bat-inspired persona to fight crime.
In the Golden Age, Batman had a couple of short relationships as Bruce Wayne, such as Julie Madison and Linda Page. He would often flirt as Batman with occasional villains, one of which was Catwoman. The strong influence of Superman's success motivated the creators of Batman to introduce a serious female figure who could eventually become Batman's partner. Thus, Vicki Vale was introduced as an answer to Superman's Lois Lane, but these efforts proved futile as the character couldn't be developed in the right direction. In the Silver Age and in response to various allegations which caused the Comics Code Authority to be created, Batman was given a female counterpart. Batwoman was introduced in an effort to give Batman a much needed female figure in his life, but again, the character became a caricature instead of a serious persona. By the end of the Silver Age, Bruce Wayne started seeing many ladies, with no serious intent of starting a relationship. In the first years of the Bronze Age, Batman had only one romantic interest, Talia al Ghul, but this never became serious as they were often at odds. It wasn't until the mid-70s that some writers started taking Batman's love life more seriously. By the end of this age, various women were introduced into Batman's love life such as Silver St. Cloud, Natalia Knight and Julia Pennyworth; while others were re-introduced, like Vicki Vale and Catwoman.
The central fixed event in the Batman stories is the character's origin story. As a young boy, Bruce Wayne was horrified and traumatized when he watched his parents, the physician Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, murdered with a gun by a mugger named Joe Chill. Batman refuses to utilize any sort of gun on the principle that a gun was used to murder his parents. This event drove him to train his body to its peak condition and fight crime in Gotham City as Batman. Pearson and Uricchio also noted beyond the origin story and such events as the introduction of Robin, "Until recently, the fixed and accruing and hence, canonized, events have been few in number", a situation altered by an increased effort by later Batman editors such as Dennis O'Neil to ensure consistency and continuity between stories.
It's funny, with how bad his costume ended up looking, it made the original Batman costume that Jean-Paul came up with for Batman look almost tame in comparison. However, it's still a pretty strange look. When Jean-Paul first took over as Batman, he just wore the traditional Batman costume. He then added some special claw gloves. However, when it came time to take on Bane one-on-one, Jean-Paul decided that he needed a lot more protection (after all, Bane had just broken the back of his predecessor).
He's one of DC Comics' greatest creations, and one of the leaders of the Justice League. Batman is undeniably one of the most recognizable superheroes today. He's been portrayed in live-action interpretations, animated features and even LEGO Batman has his own movie. You can look like the Dark Knight, too, with a great costume from Costume SuperCenter!
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.
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.