Batman has no inherent superhuman powers; he relies on "his own scientific knowledge, detective skills, and athletic prowess".[30] Batman's inexhaustible wealth gives him access to advanced technologies, and as a proficient scientist, he is able to use and modify these technologies to his advantage. In the stories, Batman is regarded as one of the world's greatest detectives, if not the world's greatest crime solver.[116] Batman has been repeatedly described as having a genius-level intellect, being one of the greatest martial artists in the DC Universe, and having peak human physical conditioning.[117] As a polymath, his knowledge and expertise in countless disciplines is nearly unparalleled by any other character in the DC Universe.[118] He has traveled the world acquiring the skills needed to aid him in his endeavors as Batman. In the Superman: Doomed story arc, Superman considers Batman to be one of the most brilliant minds on the planet.[119]

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After the introduction of DC Comics' multiverse in the 1960s, DC established that stories from the golden age star the Earth-Two Batman, a character from a parallel world. This version of Batman partners with and marries the reformed Earth-Two Catwoman, Selina Kyle. The two have a daughter, Helena Wayne, who becomes the Huntress. She assumes the position as Gotham's protector along with Dick Grayson, the Earth-Two Robin, once Bruce Wayne retires to become police commissioner. Wayne holds the position of police commissioner until he is killed during one final adventure as Batman. Batman titles however often ignored that a distinction had been made between the pre-revamp and post-revamp Batmen (since unlike The Flash or Green Lantern, Batman comics had been published without interruption through the 1950s) and would occasionally make reference to stories from the golden age.[132] Nevertheless, details of Batman's history were altered or expanded upon through the decades. Additions include meetings with a future Superman during his youth, his upbringing by his uncle Philip Wayne (introduced in Batman #208, Feb. 1969) after his parents' death, and appearances of his father and himself as prototypical versions of Batman and Robin, respectively.[133][134] In 1980 then-editor Paul Levitz commissioned the Untold Legend of the Batman limited series to thoroughly chronicle Batman's origin and history.

Kane and Finger drew upon contemporary 1930s popular culture for inspiration regarding much of the Bat-Man's look, personality, methods, and weaponry. Details find predecessors in pulp fiction, comic strips, newspaper headlines, and autobiographical details referring to Kane himself.[18] As an aristocratic hero with a double identity, Batman had predecessors in the Scarlet Pimpernel (created by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, 1903) and Zorro (created by Johnston McCulley, 1919). Like them, Batman performed his heroic deeds in secret, averted suspicion by playing aloof in public, and marked his work with a signature symbol. Kane noted the influence of the films The Mark of Zorro (1920) and The Bat Whispers (1930) in the creation of the character's iconography. Finger, drawing inspiration from pulp heroes like Doc Savage, The Shadow, Dick Tracy, and Sherlock Holmes, made the character a master sleuth.[19][20]

Batman faces a variety of foes ranging from common criminals to outlandish supervillains. Many of them mirror aspects of the Batman's character and development, often having tragic origin stories that lead them to a life of crime.[98] These foes are commonly referred to as Batman's rogues gallery. Batman's "most implacable foe" is the Joker, a homicidal maniac with a clown-like appearance. The Joker is considered by critics to be his perfect adversary, since he is the antithesis of Batman in personality and appearance; the Joker has a maniacal demeanor with a colorful appearance, while Batman has a serious and resolute demeanor with a dark appearance. As a "personification of the irrational", the Joker represents "everything Batman [opposes]".[36] Other long time recurring foes that are part of Batman's rogues gallery include Catwoman (a cat burglar antiheroine who is an occasional ally and romantic interest), the Penguin, Ra's al Ghul, Two-Face, the Riddler, the Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Bane, Clayface, and Killer Croc among others. Many of Batman's adversaries are often psychiatric patients at Arkham Asylum.

With the amount of costumes he has now worn, we are primed for a ranking of Batman's comic book costumes. As a note on structure, we're only talking costumes he's worn in the "main" continuity, so no alternate reality costumes or possible future costumes. Also, no temporary one-off costumes, but we will count costumes worn by other people who have filled in for Bruce Wayne as Batman.


After the 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics rebooted the stories 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.
However, when Batman then left Jean-Paul alone in charge of the Batman name, the programming kicked in and Jean-Paul soon turned Batman's costume into a grotesque collection of weapons, as Jean-Paul became deadlier and deadlier as Batman (until he finally snapped and killed a bad guy). Dude had mini wrist-rockets and a flamethrower! It was like the kind of thing that would give the worst excesses of the 1990s nightmares!
Amazo Anti-Monitor Black Adam Black Manta Brainiac Captain Cold Cheetah Darkseid Despero Doctor Destiny Doctor Light Doomsday Eclipso Felix Faust General Wade Eiling Gorilla Grodd Joker Kanjar Ro Key Lex Luthor Libra Maxwell Lord Mongul Neron Professor Ivo Prometheus Queen Bee Queen of Fables Sinestro Starro Steppenwolf T. O. Morrow Vandal Savage Amanda Waller
As Batman became less of a neck-breaking type of guy, his costume slowly began to look more and more like a typical superhero costume and less like something worn by a guy who was going to break into your house (and maybe break your neck while doing so). Interestingly enough, the cowl took on its standard look within only a few issues after the original costume debuted (roughly around the time that Batman's origin was revealed for the first time in "Detective Comics" #33). The colors then also slowly got bluer over time, until the costume was definitely mostly blue.
Superman stops the confrontation and asks to be arrested for Light's murder. Afterwards, Superman is taken to the A.R.G.U.S. complex and is placed in a cell. There, he asks Batman about the man he killed and Batman proceeds to tell him about Doctor Light and his family. Batman also tells Superman that Cyborg and Martian Manhunter are doing an autopsy to prove his death was not Superman's fault. Wonder Woman enters the cell and tells Batman about what happened with Pandora and her box. Batman believes the best help for Superman is through science to which Wonder Woman believes the answer is with the mythical box she believes is fact.
Meanwhile, in the present day, Batman and Robin are investigating in Bludhaven. Wonder Woman has put the Justice League on Black alert - when Batman makes his way to the present, something terrible will happen. Red Robin recounts how the current Batman found the cape of the original in a cave, 11,000 years old by radiocarbon dating. A set of strange holes in the hood match to a brainwashing helmet in Command-D in Bludhaven. The word is out - Batman is alive, and the world is doomed...

At Arkham Asylum, Batman interrogates Riddler who reveals that he has been Wynne as well as Hush. He had used a Lazarus Pit to cure himself of his brain tumor and during his time in the Lazarus Pit, he figured out Batman's identity as Bruce Wayne and formed a plan involving several villains to destroy both the personal life and the crime-fighting career of Batman. Batman deduces that Riddler is actually Clayface mimicking his identity while the latter communicated via satellite. After defeating Clayface, Batman finds Riddler's location and the two engage in a final confrontation. Riddler is nearly killed, but is saved by Batman with his grapnel. However, Catwoman cuts the line and allows Riddler to fall to his death.


Finger did not receive the same recognition. While he had received credit for other DC work since the 1940s, he began, in the 1960s, to receive limited acknowledgment for his Batman writing; in the letters page of Batman #169 (February 1965) for example, editor Julius Schwartz names him as the creator of the Riddler, one of Batman's recurring villains. However, Finger's contract left him only with his writing page rate and no byline. Kane wrote, "Bill was disheartened by the lack of major accomplishments in his career. He felt that he had not used his creative potential to its fullest and that success had passed him by."[16] At the time of Finger's death in 1974, DC had not officially credited Finger as Batman co-creator.


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.

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