The Silver Age of Comic Books in DC Comics is sometimes held to have begun in 1956 when the publisher introduced Barry Allen as a new, updated version of The Flash. Batman is not significantly changed by the late 1950s for the continuity which would be later referred to as Earth-One. The lighter tone Batman had taken in the period between the golden and silver ages led to the stories of the late 1950s and early 1960s that often feature many science-fiction elements, and Batman is not significantly updated in the manner of other characters until Detective Comics #327 (May 1964), in which Batman reverts to his detective roots, with most science-fiction elements jettisoned from the series.
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Peak Human Speed: He can run and move at speeds comparable to the finest human athletes. In combat he is extremely agile and evasive, supplementing his strength with sheer speed to defeat his enemies, he could even match the master assassin Deathstroke's combat speed. Occasionally, Batman has shown enough speed to catch up or outrun a speeding car while running on foot. He is capable of moving faster than SWAT can align their weapons.
Sasha Bordeaux: Assigned as Bruce Wayne's bodyguard, Sasha deduced that Bruce was Batman and briefly fought at his side. She was framed for the murder of Bruce's girlfriend Vesper Fairchild and later joined Maxwell Lord's Checkmate organization. In The OMAC Project, Bordeaux was turned into a cyborg OMAC, but this incident was later resolved. While Sasha and Batman kissed near the end of The OMAC Project, their relationship seemed to have passed on.
In most interpretations, Batman has a moral code against killing or maiming his enemies, believing that doing so will make him no better than the criminals he fights. Some storylines have also depicted him losing his sanity after "breaking" this rule, including the Batman: Red Rain trilogy. This has also lead to him not using firearms within his operations, though likely due to their involvement in his parent's murder.
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 sired a child with Talia al Ghul during their marriage, named Ibn al Xu'ffasch. Dennis O'Neil mentioned that this story was ignored from continuity around Zero Hour because it did not fit in well with the rest of the mythos. Infinite Crisis brings most of this back into continuity with the story Batman and Son by introducing Damian Wayne and stating that Batman was drugged and pretty much raped.
Zatanna Zatara: The first occasion in which Zatanna was portrayed as a strong romantic interest of Bruce Wayne was in Batman: The Animated Series, where the two of them met in their youth and were interested in each other, but Bruce gave priority to the pursue of his training to become Batman. As adults they met again and realized they cared for each other, but nothing came out of it. This history was later introduced to the comics. Batman and Zatanna had a major falling out after Bruce found out Zatanna had mindwiped him after he walked in on her mindwiping Doctor Light at the Justice League's instruction. Batman made it clear that after these incidents, he no longer trusted Zatanna. However, the two eventually resolved their issues and became close friends once again.
A photographer/reporter, Vicki Vale was initially introduced as a woman smart enough to expose Batman's secret identity. In this quest, she became involved with Bruce Wayne, as she suspected him of being Batman and she was determined to find evidence. Her character has undergone few changes over the years, and many elements of her original characterization have remained.
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.
A playboy billionaire by day, Bruce Wayne’s double life affords him the comfort of a life without financial worry, a loyal butler-turned-guardian and the perfect base of operations in the ancient network of caves beneath his family’s sprawling estate. By night, however, he sheds all pretense, dons his iconic scalloped cape and pointed cowl and takes to the shadowy streets, skies and rooftops of Gotham City.
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 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.
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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.
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.
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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.
Attaching a protective mask, Batman creates a propulsion tunnel to blast through the vat. The propulsion blast allows Batman to escape, but the corrosion heavily damages his suit. Returning home, Batman sends a message to his allies to warn them that the Joker might be targeting them individually. At the manor, Bruce finds a cassette tape, in which the Joker reveals he has kidnapped Alfred. Batman later visits Gordon, who was designated as Joker's next victim. Gordon begins to bleed uncontrollably, so Batman sends him to the hospital. Knowing that the Joker is re-enacting his previous crimes, Batman goes to the Gotham Reservoir, the first place he faced the Joker in his current identity. There, the Joker traps Batman with cables, immobilizing. The Joker says that Batman's care for his allies has made him weak, so he plans to kill them all in the next 72 hours.
In Infinite Crisis #7, Alexander Luthor, Jr. mentions that in the newly-rewritten history of the "New Earth", created in the previous issue, the murderer of Martha and Thomas Wayne - again, Joe Chill - was captured, thus undoing the retcon created after Zero Hour. Batman and a team of superheroes destroy Brother Eye and the OMACs. Following Infinite Crisis, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake retrace the steps Bruce had taken when he originally left Gotham City, to "rebuild Batman". In the "Face the Face" storyline, Batman and Robin return to Gotham City after their year-long absence. At the end of the story arc, Bruce adopts Tim as his son. The follow-up story arc in Batman, "Batman & Son", introduces Damian Wayne, who is Batman's son with Talia al Ghul. Batman, along with Superman and Wonder Woman, reforms the Justice League in the new Justice League of America series, and is leading the newest incarnation of the Outsiders.
In early strips, Batman's career as a vigilante initially earns him the ire of the police. During this period Wayne has a fiancée named Julie Madison. Wayne takes in an orphaned circus acrobat, Dick Grayson, who becomes his sidekick, Robin. Batman also becomes a founding member of the Justice Society of America, although he, like Superman, is an honorary member and thus only participates occasionally. Batman's relationship with the law thaws quickly, and he is made an honorary member of Gotham City's police department. During this time, butler Alfred arrives at Wayne Manor and after deducing the Dynamic Duo's secret identities joins their service.
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.