Grant Morrison's 2008 storyline, "Batman R.I.P." featured Batman being physically and mentally broken by the enigmatic villain Doctor Hurt and attracted news coverage in advance of its highly promoted conclusion, which would speculated to feature the death of Bruce Wayne. However, though Batman is shown to possibly perish at the end of the arc, the two-issue arc "Last Rites", which leads into the crossover storylines "Final Crisis", shows that Batman survives his helicopter crash into the Gotham City River and returns to the Batcave, only to be summoned to the Hall of Justice by the JLA to help investigate the New God Orion's death. The story ends with Batman retrieving the god-killing bullet used to kill Orion, setting up its use in "Final Crisis". In the pages of Final Crisis Batman is reduced to a charred skeleton. In Final Crisis #7 Wayne is shown witnessing the passing of the first man, Anthro. Wayne's "death" sets up the three-issue Battle for the Cowl miniseries in which Wayne's ex-proteges compete for the "right" to assume the role of Batman, which concludes with Grayson becoming Batman, while Tim Drake takes on the identity of Red Robin. Dick and Damian continue as Batman and Robin, and in the crossover storyline "Blackest Night", what appears to be Bruce's corpse is reanimated as a Black Lantern zombie, but is later shown that Bruce's corpse is one of Darkseid's failed Batman clones. Dick and Batman's other friends conclude that Bruce is alive.
Batman became a popular character soon after his introduction, and eventually gained his own title, "Batman". As the decades wore on, differing takes on the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series utilized a camp aesthetic associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in the 1986 miniseries Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by writer-artist Frank Miller. That and the success of director Tim Burton's 1989 Batman motion picture helped reignite popular interest in the character. A cultural icon, Batman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from radio to television and film, and appears on a variety of merchandise sold all over the world. The Batman goes by numerous nicknames, such as The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, World's Greatest Detective and the Defender of Gotham.
Starting with Batman vol. 2, #41, Commissioner James Gordon takes over Bruce's mantle as a new, state-sanctioned, robotic-Batman, debuting in the Free Comic Book Day special comic Divergence. However, Bruce Wayne is soon revealed to be alive, albeit now suffering almost total amnesia of his life as Batman and only remembering his life as Bruce Wayne through what he has learned from Alfred. Bruce Wayne finds happiness and proposes to his girlfriend, Julie Madison, but Mr. Bloom heavily injures Jim Gordon and takes control of Gotham City and threatens to destroy the city by energizing a particle reactor to create a "strange star" to swallow the city. Bruce Wayne discovers the truth that he was Batman and after talking to a stranger who smiles a lot (it is heavily implied that this is the amnesic Joker) he forces Alfred to implant his memories as Batman, but at the cost of his memories as the reborn Bruce Wayne. He returns and helps Jim Gordon defeat Mr. Bloom and shut down the reactor. Gordon gets his job back as the commissioner, and the government Batman project is shut down.
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.
Batman and Catwoman have had several romantic encounters in the New Earth continuity. Their most prominent love affair is perhaps from the storyline Batman: Hush, in which Bruce finally revealed his identity to Selina and invited her to become part of his life. Things went awry when Batman learned of a massive conspiracy organized by Hush and he decided he couldn't trust in her anymore, ending their relationship. However, in later storylines, like Batman: Heart of Hush, it has been shown that they still loved each other deeply.
Natalya Trusevich: A Ukrainian concert pianist and girlfriend of Bruce Wayne, Natalya grew frustrated with Bruce's closed-off demeanour, until he was urged by Alfred to reveal to her his secret identity. Shortly after, Natalya was abducted by the Mad Hatter who attempted to torture her into revealing the identity of Batman. Natalya refused to divulge Bruce's secret and was thrown by the Mad Hatter from a helicopter to her death.
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During their first encounters, Talia showed a devotion to the Dark Knight as strong as her love for her father, often saving Batman, but always choosing to remain by her father's side. After several encounters with Ra's, Talia and Bruce eventually had a sexual encounter, from which their son Damian Wayne was born. Over time, Talia became more antagonistic towards Batman, seeking to fulfil her father's goals and rule the world with Batman at her side, and declaring war against him after his refusal.
In various incarnations, most notably the 1960s Batman TV series, Commissioner Gordon also has a dedicated phone line, dubbed the Bat-Phone, connected to a bright red telephone (in the TV series) which sits on a wooden base and has a transparent top. The line connects directly to Batman's residence, Wayne Manor, specifically both to a similar phone sitting on the desk in Bruce Wayne's study and the extension phone in the Batcave.
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.
After a lengthy brawl through the skies of Gotham, March is trapped in an explosion intended to kill Bruce; no body is located. Bruce admits to Dick that although he is skeptical of March's claims and believes his parents would have told him had he had a brother, without March's body and a DNA test he is unable to conclusively prove or disprove March's claims. Still, Bruce says that even though the Court tried to destroy everything he believed in, there was one thing the Court could never break: his belief in his parents. Bruce knows that although the Court has been stoppe,d for now, it will return; and he will be ready.
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Batman's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, first appeared in Batman #16 (1943). He serves as Bruce Wayne's loyal father figure and is one of the few persons to know his secret identity. Alfred raised Bruce after his parents' death and knows him on a very personal level. He is sometimes portrayed as a sidekick to Batman and the only other resident of Wayne Manor aside from Bruce. The character "[lends] a homely touch to Batman's environs and [is] ever ready to provide a steadying and reassuring hand" to the hero and his sidekick.
Batman made a life long vow to fight for law and order, and to stop all criminals. Although he has no special powers like Superman or the Flash, he uses his fighting skills and his brain to defeat some of the worst villains in the DC universe. His secret identity is Bruce Wayne, the richest man in Gotham city. Only a few people know that beneath Wayne Manor is the amazing Batcave, Batman's headquarters. When danger threatens, Bruce Wayne puts on the cape and cowl of the Dark Knight and rushes to the rescue. Since he has no superpowers, Batman relies on gadgets to help him fight crime. He has many Vehicles, including the Batmobile, the Batwing, the Batcycle, and the Batboat. He carries weapons with him, like the batarang. Batman also wears special uniforms at times, like the white thermal uniform that he uses when he battles Mr. Freeze. Batman's crime-fighting partner is robin, but Batman often teams up with Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and other heroes. They are always amazed by all he is able to accomplish without superpowers. No matter the challenge, Batman will find a way to keep Gotham City safe.
Blackbeard was reported hanged two months later. According to Jack's diary, he continued with the Black Pirate identity for many years, saving lives, including the woman who became his wife. They moved to Philadelphia and he left the costume behind. However, he did not visit the Wayne family until years later. They took his diary and placed it in a capsule, along with something he swore never to tell another living soul about.
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.
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The perfect combination of the various Batman costume eras came at the turn of the 21st Century. With "No Man's Land" now over, Batman could get back to being a normal superhero again and he began to fight crime in a costume influenced by Alex Ross's Batman designs. It had a lot of the same feel of the Bronze Age Neal Adams' costume; however, it was much darker than that and did not have the yellow oval on it.
In the Modern Age of Comics until the present date, Batman has had numerous romantic relationships, in every different media, some of which have lasted long enough to set a "record" and others which were merely used for the sake of a story. Most of his relationships are with ladies from his own Rogues Gallery, and in recent years, his relationship with Catwoman has been given special attention; but the constant in every scenario is Batman's unwillingness or inability to maintain a relationship longer than the Batmobile's paint job.
In September 2011, DC Comics' entire line of superhero comic books, including its Batman franchise, were canceled and relaunched with new #1 issues as part of the New 52 reboot. Bruce Wayne is the only character to be identified as Batman and is featured in Batman, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin, and Batman: The Dark Knight. Dick Grayson returns to the mantle of Nightwing and appears in his own ongoing series. While many characters have their histories significantly altered to attract new readers, Batman's history remains mostly intact. Batman Incorporated was relaunched in 2012–2013 to complete the "Leviathan" storyline.