One of the most iconic fictional characters in the world, Batman has dedicated his life to an endless crusade, a war on all criminals in the name of his murdered parents, who were taken from him when he was just a child. Since that tragic night, he has trained his body and mind to near physical perfection to be a self-made Super Hero. He's developed an arsenal of technology that would put most armies to shame. And he's assembled teams of his fellow DC Super Heroes, like the Justice League, the Outsiders and Batman, Incorporated.
The character of Batman has appeared in various media aside from comic books, such as newspaper syndicated comic strips, books, radio dramas, television, a stage show, and several theatrical feature films. The first adaptation of Batman was as a daily newspaper comic strip which premiered on October 25, 1943. That same year the character was adapted in the 15-part serial Batman, with Lewis Wilson becoming the first actor to portray Batman on screen. While Batman never had a radio series of his own, the character made occasional guest appearances in The Adventures of Superman starting in 1945 on occasions when Superman voice actor Bud Collyer needed time off. A second movie serial, Batman and Robin, followed in 1949, with Robert Lowery taking over the role of Batman. The exposure provided by these adaptations during the 1940s "helped make [Batman] a household name for millions who never bought a comic book".
Another writer who rose to prominence on the Batman comic series, was Jeph Loeb. Along with longtime collaborator Tim Sale, they wrote two miniseries (The Long Halloween and Dark Victory) that pit an early in his career version of Batman against his entire rogues gallery (including Two-Face, whose origin was re-envisioned by Loeb) while dealing with various mysteries involving serial killers Holiday and the Hangman. In 2003, Loeb teamed with artist Jim Lee to work on another mystery arc: "Batman: Hush" for the main Batman book. The 12–issue storyline has Batman and Catwoman teaming up against Batman's entire rogues gallery, including an apparently resurrected Jason Todd, while seeking to find the identity of the mysterious supervillain Hush. While the character of Hush failed to catch on with readers, the arc was a sales success for DC. The series became #1 on the Diamond Comic Distributors sales chart for the first time since Batman #500 (Oct. 1993) and Todd's appearance laid the groundwork for writer Judd Winick's subsequent run as writer on Batman, with another multi-issue arc, "Under the Hood", which ran from Batman #637–650 (April 2005 – April 2006).
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.
Peak Human Agility: His agility is greater than that of a Chinese acrobat and superior to an Olympic-gold athlete gymnast. He can flawlessly coordinate his body with perfect balance, flexibility, and dexterity. His main phase of movement is Parkour which he learned in France and uses it to scale the cities rooftops in an acrobatic manner. He is capable of completing a triple somersault, running across thin wire cable which showcased his balance. Bruce regularly practices his agility by practicing gymnastics blindfolded.
Batman comics were among those criticized when the comic book industry came under scrutiny with the publication of psychologist Fredric Wertham's book Seduction of the Innocent in 1954. Wertham's thesis was that children imitated crimes committed in comic books, and that these works corrupted the morals of the youth. Wertham criticized Batman comics for their supposed homosexual overtones and argued that Batman and Robin were portrayed as lovers. Wertham's criticisms raised a public outcry during the 1950s, eventually leading to the establishment of the Comics Code Authority, a code that is no longer in use by the comic book industry. The tendency towards a "sunnier Batman" in the postwar years intensified after the introduction of the Comics Code. Scholars have suggested that the characters of Batwoman (in 1956) and the pre-Barbara Gordon Bat-Girl (in 1961) were introduced in part to refute the allegation that Batman and Robin were gay, and the stories took on a campier, lighter feel.
Master Martial Artist: Batman has entirely mastered and even perfected every single form of hand-to-hand combat known to man and is one of the finest human combatants Earth has ever known. He was trained around the world for years to master multiple martial arts. Master Kirigi stated to Bruce that he is a natural genius in fighting due to "his great violent nature inside of him". Even Karate Kid of the future was very surprised that Bruce adapted and learned future-style combat in seconds that he never even experienced. He has completely mastered all unarmed hand-to hand combat styles of martial arts including but not limited to MMA, Muay Thai, Escrima, Krav Maga, Capoeira, Savate, Yawyan, Taekwondo, Judo, Jui-jitsu Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Ninjutsu, Kendo, Fencing, Kenjutsu, Kali, Bojutsu, Wrestling, Francombat, Boxing, Kickboxing, Hapkido, Sambo, Wing Chun, Parkour, Shorin Ryu, Silat, Chin Na, Kyudo, Aikido, Varma Ati, Jeet Kune Do, Shaolin, Ba Gua, Hung Gar, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Kenpo, and Karate. His primary form of combat is a harmonious mixture of Jui-Jitsu, Taekwondo, Judo, Muay Thai, Savate, Karate, Kung Fu, Boxing, Capoeira, Krav Maga, Aikido, and Ninjutsu. Batman has proven he easily defeat a highly trained Green Beret within seconds, defeat multiple groups of armed opponents, fight evenly with Lady Shiva and Deathstroke multiple times, and defeat enemies that are physically superior to him through the use of sheer skill. He has also trained many other people to be the fighters they are (Nightwing, Red Hood, Tim Drake, and so on) and it can be inferred from him turning them into the fighters that they are that he is indeed a skilled fighter.
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.
After the success of Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan introduced the world to his quintessential version of Batman in The Dark Knight. Here we initially see the same suit worn in Begins, but then after being mauled by a couple of dogs, Bruce decides he needs a bit more protection and movement. Lucius Fox then introduces him to a new type of armor he’d been working on that had separated plates which gave him greater mobility.
Eventually recovering and escaping, Batman started investigating both the toxin and its first victim. Discovering the latter to the Joe Chill, Batman learnt that Joker knew his identity and saved a family from being murdered in the same vein as his parents. With Joker terrorizing the city, he tried to forge an alliance with the Court of Owls to help stop the criminal's plan, only to be turned away. With help from Alfred's daughter Julia, Dick and Gordon, Batman discovered the substance Dionesium, which had given Joker regenerative capabilities and made him immune to the toxin. After Joker broke into the Batcave and attacked Alfred, Batman sent Grayson to distract the Clown Prince of Crime whilst he searched for a pool of Dionesium, eventually finding one after retracing Joker's escape route after his attempt to kill the entire Bat-Family.
Batman's batsuit aids in his combat against enemies, having the properties of both Kevlar and Nomex. It protects him from gunfire and other significant impacts. His gloves typically feature three scallops that protrude from long, gauntlet-like cuffs, although in his earliest appearances he wore short, plain gloves without the scallops. The overall look of the character, particularly the length of the cowl's ears and of the cape, varies greatly depending on the artist. Dennis O'Neil said, "We now say that Batman has two hundred suits hanging in the Batcave so they don't have to look the same ... Everybody loves to draw Batman, and everybody wants to put their own spin on it."
Aside from Jim Carrey stealing the spotlight from everyone else in the movie (sorry, not sorry -- he was the true star), we had some fantastic acting, story and costuming coming out of tthe oft-maligned yet still super-fun Batman Forever. Batman’s suit in this movie was much more streamlined than the previous versions worn by Michael Keaton. This costume, while still reading rubber at times, made the old bat suits look like kid stuff in comparison, even if t was the first one to feature the dreaded bat nipples.
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.
Utility Belt: Batman keeps most of his personal field equipment in his iconic yellow utility belt. Over the years, it has produced plastic explosives, nerve toxins, batarangs, smoke bombs, a fingerprint kit, a cutting tool, a grappling line-launcher, and a re-breather. Superman also entrusted Batman with a ring made of Kryptonite, should the Man of Steel ever need to be reined in (because of mind-control by a super-villain, etc.).
After the 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics retconned the histories of some major characters in an attempt at updating them for contemporary audiences. Frank Miller retold Batman's origin in the storyline "Year One" from Batman #404–407, which emphasizes a grittier tone in the character. Though the Earth-Two Batman is erased from history, many stories of Batman's silver-age/Earth-One career (along with an amount of golden-age ones) remain canonical in the post-Crisis universe, with his origins remaining the same in essence, despite alteration. For example, Gotham's police are mostly corrupt, setting up further need for Batman's existence. The guardian Phillip Wayne is removed leaving young Bruce to be raised by Alfred Pennyworth. 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 backstory 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.
Batman is strongly disciplined, and he has the ability to function under great physical pain and resist most forms of telepathy and mind control. He is a master of disguise, multilingual, and an expert in espionage, often gathering information under the identity of a notorious gangster named Matches Malone. Batman is highly skilled in stealth movement and escapology, which allows him to appear and disappear at will and to break free of nearly inescapable deathtraps with little to no harm.
In Batman and Robin's third storyline, "Blackest Knight," it is revealed that the body left behind at the end of Final Crisis #6 was actually a clone created from a failed attempt by Darkseid to amass an army of Batmen. Because of this, the skull that was used by the Black Lantern Corps and reanimated by Nekron was a fake. Dick Grayson, thinking it was Bruce Wayne's real body, attempted to resurrect it in a Lazarus Pit only to be met with a fierce, mindless combatant. He then realized the truth about the body.
Batman meets and regularly works with other heroes during the Silver Age, most notably Superman, whom he began regularly working alongside in a series of team-ups in World's Finest Comics, starting in 1954 and continuing through the series' cancellation in 1986. Batman and Superman are usually depicted as close friends. Batman becomes a founding member of the Justice League of America, appearing in its first story in 1960s Brave and the Bold #28. In the 1970s and 1980s, Brave and the Bold became a Batman title, in which Batman teams up with a different DC Universe superhero each month.
In 1998, the "Batman" titles (and Gotham City itself) were rocked by a giant earthquake in the crossover, "Cataclysm." In the aftermath of the devastation, Batman left Gotham City in his Bruce Wayne identity to lobby the United States government to provide aid to Gotham to help it rebuild. Instead, the government decided to just cut Gotham City off from the rest of the country, period. They gave people a few weeks to get out and then blew up all tunnels and bridges out of Gotham City and left whoever was still in Gotham to fend for themselves.
Batman is reawakened by a girl named Harper Row, who he abruptly leaves. Returning to the Batcave, Batman finds the Talon's dead body, which Alfred and Nightwing had retrieved for Batman, who decides to examine it. Later, Nightwing meets up with Bruce, who reveals that the Talon is actually William Cobb, Nightwing's great-grandfather and that Nightwing was destined to be a Talon, a goal stopped by his adoption. The Court recovers from their encounter and decides to activate a small army of Talons they have decommissioned throughout the years.
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.
Oddly enough, Batman was out of touch for a few months when things got really bad (also on our list of the worst things he's ever done), but when he returned, he was now rocking a much more down-to-Earth costume that included giant pouches on his utility belt, as Batman had to take a much more low tech approach to crime-fighting during "No Man's Land," as he was cut off from much of his Bat-technology.
Meanwhile, Batman's relationship with the Gotham City Police Department changed for the worse with the events of "Batman: Officer Down" and "Batman: War Games/War Crimes"; Batman's long-time law enforcement allies Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock are forced out of the police department in "Officer Down", while "War Games" and "War Crimes" saw Batman become a wanted fugitive after a contingency plan of his to neutralize Gotham City's criminal underworld is accidentally triggered, resulting in a massive gang war that ends with the sadistic Black Mask the undisputed ruler of the city's criminal gangs. Lex Luthor arranges for the murder of Batman's on-again, off-again love interest Vesper (introduced in the mid-1990s) during the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" and "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" story arcs. Though Batman is able to clear his name, he loses another ally in the form of his new bodyguard Sasha, who is recruited into the organization known as "Checkmate" while stuck in prison due to her refusal to turn state's evidence against her employer. While he was unable to prove that Luthor was behind the murder of Vesper, Batman does get his revenge with help from Talia al Ghul in Superman/Batman #1–6.
Batman's primary vehicle is the Batmobile, which is usually depicted as an imposing black car, often with tailfins that suggest a bat's wings. Batman also has an aircraft called the Batplane (later called the "Batwing"), along with various other means of transportation. In proper practice, the "bat" prefix (as in Batmobile or batarang) is rarely used by Batman himself when referring to his equipment, particularly after some portrayals (primarily the 1960s Batman live-action television show and the Super Friends animated series) stretched the practice to campy proportions. For example, the 1960s television show depicted a Batboat, Bat-Sub, and Batcycle, among other bat-themed vehicles. The 1960s television series Batman has an arsenal that includes such "bat-" names as the bat-computer, bat-scanner, bat-radar, bat-cuffs, bat-pontoons, bat-drinking water dispenser, bat-camera with polarized bat-filter, bat-shark repellent bat-spray, and bat-rope. The storyline "A Death in the Family" suggests that given Batman's grim nature, he is unlikely to have adopted the "bat" prefix on his own. In The Dark Knight Returns, Batman tells Carrie Kelley that the original Robin came up with the name "Batmobile" when he was young, since that is what a kid would call Batman's vehicle. The Batmobile was redesigned in 2011 when DC Comics relaunched its entire line of comic books, with the batmobile being given heavier armor and new aesthetics.
Expert Acrobat: Proficient in gymnastics and acrobatics, to the peak of human ability. He is particularly skilled in parkour and free running. He can perform impeccably precise acrobatic moves instinctively in combat, or whilst escaping a catastrophe, and can even dodge a superhuman individual's blows and sword-swings. He regularly practices his gymnastics and acrobatics blindfolded.
Rachel Caspian: In Batman: Year Two, Bruce Wayne fell in love with Rachel. Unfortunately, Rachel's father moonlighted as a murderous vigilante who committed suicide. Discovery of her father's evils drove Rachel to pay her father's penance on his behalf by enrolling in a nunnery and breaking off her engagement with Bruce Wayne, who had prepared to end his crimefighting career to marry her.
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.