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. As a founding member of the Justice League of America, Batman appears in its first story, in 1960's 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.
Batman goes to the Willowwood Home for Children, a place that housed children suffering from mental illnesses. Suddenly, he is captured in a net, and Lincoln March stands over him. Batman deduces that Lincoln March does not exist, he is just a paper man set up by the Court. The man in front of him is the Court's betrayer, and he took the Talons' serum to survive death. March is aware of Batman's dual life and reveals himself to be Thomas Jr., Bruce Wayne's brother. Although Bruce believes he does not have a brother, Thomas says that an accident had caused him to be born early, and Thomas and Martha Wayne had hid him away at Willowwood to heal. When Thomas and Martha died, Willowwood lost its funding and the place began treating its children cruelly. Blaming Bruce for their parents' deaths, Thomas puts on an owl suit of armor and frees Batman so that the brothers can have a final fight.
Villains Amygdala • Anarky • Bane • Black Glove • Black Mask • Black Spider • Blockbuster • Calculator • Calendar Man • Carmine Falcone • Catman • Catwoman • Cavalier • Charlatan • Clayface • Club of Villains • Cluemaster • Copperhead • Court of Owls • Crazy Quilt • Crime Doctor • Crimesmith • David Cain • Deacon Blackfire • Deadshot • Deathstroke • Doctor Death • Doctor Dedalus • Doctor Double X • Doctor Phosphorus • Doctor Hurt • Electrocutioner • Firebug • Firefly • Fright • Great White Shark • Harley Quinn • Hugo Strange • Humpty Dumpty • Hush • Hypnotic • Jane Doe • Jeremiah Arkham • Joe Chill • Joker • Joker's Daughter • KGBeast • Killer Croc • Killer Moth • King Snake • King Tut • Kite-Man • Lady Shiva • League of Assassins • Leviathan • Lew Moxon • Lex Luthor • Lock-Up • Lord Death Man • Mad Hatter • Mad Monk • Magpie • Man-Bat • Maxie Zeus • Merlyn • Mister Freeze • Mister Zsasz • Music Meister • Nocturna • Nyssa Raatko • Owlman • Penguin • Pigeon • Poison Ivy • Professor Pyg • Prometheus • Ra's al Ghul • Ratcatcher • Red Hood • Reverse-Flash • Riddler • Rupert Thorne • Roxy Rocket • Sal Maroni • Scarecrow • Solomon Grundy • Spellbinder • Talia al Ghul • Tally Man • Three Ghosts of Batman • Tony Zucco • Tweedledee and Tweedledum • Two-Face • Ubu • Ventriloquist • White Ghost • Wrath
Creators associated with the character have expressed their own opinions. Writer Alan Grant has stated, "The Batman I wrote for 13 years isn't gay ... everybody's Batman all the way back to Bob Kane ... none of them wrote him as a gay character. Only Joel Schumacher might have had an opposing view." Frank Miller views the character as sublimating his sexual urges into crimefighting so much so that he's "borderline pathological", concluding "He'd be much healthier if he were gay." Grant Morrison said that "Gayness is built into Batman ... Obviously as a fictional character he's intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay."
Many fans of Batman seem to like this design from Frank Miller with it's simple gray and black color scheme, short ears, and bulky utility belt. It was worn by a Batman from a future time where he and many other staple DC heroes had gone into retirement. Of course Bruce Wayne had the hardest time with this. Wayne's reasons for waging a war on crime didn't come from a Boy Scout inspired directive to good. The motivations of Bruce Wayne were personal; it was his way of avenging the death of his parents at the hands of street criminals. At age 55, Wayne comes out of retirement to fight crime in a world that doesn't have the respect for him it once did.
In 1969, Dick Grayson attends college as part of DC Comics' effort to revise the Batman comics. Additionally, Batman also moves from his mansion, Wayne Manor into a penthouse apartment atop the Wayne Foundation building in downtown Gotham City, in order to be closer to Gotham City's crime. Batman spends the 1970s and early 1980s mainly working solo, with occasional team-ups with Robin and/or Batgirl. Batman's adventures also become somewhat darker and more grim during this period, depicting increasingly violent crimes, including the first appearance (since the early golden age) of the Joker as a homicidal psychopath, and the arrival of Ra's al Ghul, a centuries-old terrorist who knows Batman's secret identity. In the 1980s, Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing.
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. 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]". 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.
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.
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.
Tim Drake was barely more than a toddler when he sat in the stands at Haly's Circus and watched the Flying Graysons fall to their doom. Tim was transfixed as the Dark Knight swooped down to comfort young Dick Grayson. The moment was burned into his memory. Years later, Tim saw news reports of an unhinged Batman becoming more and more violent following the death of the second Robin, Jason Todd. Using his detective skills, Tim deduced the secret identity of Batman and the first Boy Wonder, Dick Grayson.
When Jason discovered clues that his long-lost mother was alive, he secretly traveled to Africa to find her. Tragically, the trail also led him straight into the clutches of the Joker, who savagely beat the second Boy Wonder within an inch of his life. The Clown Prince of Crime left Jason and his mother to die in a booby-trapped warehouse wired from floor to ceiling with high-explosive charges. Jason courageously tried to shield his mother from the brunt of the devastating blast. She survived the explosion just long enough to tell a grief-stricken Batman that his reckless young partner had died a hero.
When Bob Kane first designed Batman's costume, his idea behind Batman was more similar to Hawkman than anything else, in the sense that he saw the character as literally flying like a bat via Bat-like wings. Incidentally, Kane was influenced by some of Leonardo Da Vinci's designs of a theoretical flying machine. Kane's collaborator, Bill Finger, told Kane that he should make the wings a cape instead. In addition, while Kane was thinking a red costume, Finger told him to go darker instead.
In an early 1980s storyline, Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne develop a relationship, in which the closing panel of the final story shows her referring to Batman as "Bruce". However, a change in the editorial team brought a swift end to that storyline and, apparently, all that transpired during the story arc. Out of costume, Bruce and Selina develop a romantic relationship during The Long Halloween. The story shows Selina saving Bruce from Poison Ivy. However, the relationship ends when Bruce rejects her advances twice; once as Bruce and once as Batman. In Batman: Dark Victory, he stands her up on two holidays, causing her to leave him for good and to leave Gotham City for a while. When the two meet at an opera many years later, during the events of the twelve-issue story arc called "Hush", Bruce comments that the two no longer have a relationship as Bruce and Selina. However, "Hush" sees Batman and Catwoman allied against the entire rogues gallery and rekindling their romantic relationship. In "'Hush", Batman reveals his true identity to Catwoman.
Finger suggested giving the character a cowl instead of a simple domino mask, a cape instead of wings, and gloves; he also recommended removing the red sections from the original costume. Finger said he devised the name Bruce Wayne for the character's secret identity: "Bruce Wayne's first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock ... then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne." He later said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk's popular The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic-strip character with which Kane was also familiar.
In Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics #27, he is already operating as a crime fighter. Batman's origin is first presented in Detective Comics #33 in November 1939, and is later fleshed out in Batman #47. As these comics state, Bruce Wayne is born to Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, two very wealthy and charitable Gotham City socialites. Bruce is brought up in Wayne Manor and its wealthy splendor and leads a happy and privileged existence until the age of eigh, when his parents are killed by a small-time criminal named Joe Chill on their way home from the movie theater. Bruce Wayne swears an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He engages in intense intellectual and physical training; however, he realizes that these skills alone would not be enough. "Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot", Wayne remarks, "so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible..." As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to assume the persona of Batman.
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 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.
Upon his return, Bruce Wayne goes public with the news that he has been funding The Batman's crusade the entire time. Although Bruce Wayne still holds the mantle of the Bat, he leaves Dick Grayson as Gotham's Dark Knight and sets out to create a worldwide crime fighting organization known as Batman Incorporated. The idea behind the organization is that each country or region will have its own specific Batman, and will be funded by Bruce Wayne and his business empire.
As he tells everyone this, a voice begins demanding Wayne to cease because he is 'disturbing father'. The voice is the Sanction, father being Darkseid, found within the netherworld of gods, observing the final stages of his plan as a voice repeats to him that something is wrong. Superman, Hal Jordan, Booster Gold, and Rip Hunter return from the end of time to find Hunter's stolen time sphere that the Architect/Bruce Wayne took from them. With help from Superman, Bruce ultimately breaks free of the architect AI and imprisons it within the sphere. Bruce Wayne's 'Plan A' turns out to be stealing Hunter's time sphere deliberately to capture the AI/Sanction so Bruce could activate its self-destruct sequence in present day- voiding its existence within time and ending Darkseid's plan-, noting that, by luring it to the present rather than allowing it to proceed to the end times, he turned a creature that could destroy existence into just another monster for his friends and allies to defeat. The plan succeeds, and Bruce falls into a coma. While the JLA members purge Bruce's body from the Omega energy, Bruce has a vision of himself, bloody and beaten, sitting in a chair in Wayne Manor commenting that if he rings his bell, Alfred will come and patch him up. Darkseid appeals to Wayne one last time to embrace the finality of Anti-Life, to which Bruce rings the bell- creating a metaphorical reverberation of the note that defeated Darkseid during Final Crisis. Wayne awakens from the coma, purged of the radiation. He dons his cape and cowl once again, commenting that Gotham's disease has spread beyond its borders. And that once again, Batman is needed.
Many of the major Batman storylines since the 1990s have been inter-title crossovers that run for a number of issues. In 1993, the same year that DC published the "Death of Superman" storyline, the publisher released the "Knightfall" storyline. In the storyline's first phase, the new villain Bane paralyzes Batman, leading Wayne to ask Azrael to take on the role. After the end of "Knightfall", the storylines split in two directions, following both the Azrael-Batman's adventures, and Bruce Wayne's quest to become Batman once more. The story arcs realign in "KnightsEnd", as Azrael becomes increasingly violent and is defeated by a healed Bruce Wayne. Wayne hands the Batman mantle to Dick Grayson (then Nightwing) for an interim period, while Wayne trains to return to his role as Batman.
While the Crime Syndicate imprisons the Justice Leagues inside the Firestorm Matrix, Batman, Catwoman and a critically injured Cyborg escape in a sewer system and go to S.T.A.R. Labs. There, they find Doctors Silas Stone and Thomas Morrow. As Batman and Catwoman explain their situation, they discover the Crime Syndicate has taken over the world and revealed Nightwing's identity. Batman decides to find Nightwing.
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.
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Batman quickly goes to the GCPD headquarters, where the Joker's latest attack took place. Previously, he had defeated the Joker and sent him to prison, where an unnamed person surgically removed his face. Later at the Batcave, Batman runs several traces for on previously collected samples of Joker Venom to see if any was found on the scene at police headquarters. As several of Batman's allies call, offering assistance in taking down the Joker, Batman declines, saying that whatever the Joker is planning, it is between him and Batman. In that moment, the Joker broadcasts a message on live TV, saying that he will kill Mayor Hady. The GCPD reinforces the City Hall to protect the Mayor, but the Joker poisons all the cops and security guards, leaving Batman, Commissioner Gordon and the Mayor as the only survivors. Batman investigates the chemical compounds used on the cops and finds three additional non-active chemicals: Aspirin, Chlorine, and Ethane. A, C, E. Batman realizes that the Joker is sending him back where it all started; to A.C.E. Chemicals. There, he finds a person dressed as the Red Hood. Batman is aware that the mysterious stranger is not the Joker, but suddenly, he is knocked aside by a giant wooden mallet. Batman falls into an empty chemical vat, while the stranger reveals herself as Harley Quinn. A chemical bath begins to pour into the vat, while Harley proclaims that the Joker is planning something not even she can comprehend.
Despite this, Batman has proved to have a great love for humanity, which was instilled by his parents. His father was a doctor, while his mother was a crusader against child abuse. Indeed, Batman's oath of vengeance is tempered with the greater ideal of justice. He refrains from killing, as he feels this would not make him any better than the criminals he fights. He is also a very prominent member of the Justice League and the founder of the Outsiders.
After his apparent death, James Gordon would leave the role of Commissioner and become a new Batman, albeit one officially supported by the GCPD. Bruce Wayne was eventually discovered, having survived when exposed to Dionesium during his time burried, he suffered from amnesia, causing him to forget his entire life. Though he found Alfred and discovered his life after his parents' deaths, Bruce was not told of his life of vigilantism and seemed to remain ignorant of it, instead deciding to settle down and find a life of happiness with his old flame, Julie Madison.
Batman's body armored costume incorporates the imagery of a bat in order to frighten criminals. The details of the Batman costume change repeatedly through various decades, stories, media and artists' interpretations, but the most distinctive elements remain consistent: a scallop-hem cape; a cowl covering most of the face; a pair of bat-like ears; a stylized bat emblem on the chest; and the ever-present utility belt. Finger and Kane originally conceptualized Batman as having a black cape and cowl and grey suit, but conventions in coloring called for black to be highlighted with blue. Hence, the costume's colors have appeared in the comics as dark blue and grey; as well as black and grey. In the Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns films, Batman has been depicted as completely black with a bat in the middle surrounded by a yellow background. Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy depicted Batman wearing high-tech gear painted completely black with a black bat in the middle. Ben Affleck's Batman in the DC Extended Universe films wears a suit grey in color with a black cowl, cape, and bat symbol.