Many of the major Batman storylines since the 1990s have been inter-title crossovers that run for a number of issues. In 1993, DC published "Knightfall". During 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 for a return to the role.
In those days it was like, one artist and he had his name over it [the comic strip] — the policy of DC in the comic books was, if you can't write it, obtain other writers, but their names would never appear on the comic book in the finished version. So Bill never asked me for it [the byline] and I never volunteered — I guess my ego at that time. And I felt badly, really, when he [Finger] died.
The "Batman: Hush" storyline introduced Tommy Elliot, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne's. As Hush, the bandaged villain, Elliot secretly orchestrates constant attacks on the Batman by manipulates many of the Batman's Rogues Gallery's villains. As the manipulations and orchestrations grow so does the sexual tension between Batman and Catwoman, to the point where they actually become romantically involved? to a certain degree. Ultimately, Batman's distrust in Catwoman ends the doomed relationship. Hush tricks Batman into believing that Jason Todd, the second Robin who was killed by the Joker, is actually alive. An angry Jason fights Batman but he is later revealed to be none other than Clayface. In a bizarre twist of writing, the DC creators decided to go ahead and let Jason Todd actually become alive, imagine that, but he arrives in the guise of ? the Red Hood.
Batman has no inherent superhuman powers; he relies on "his own scientific knowledge, detective skills, and athletic prowess". 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. 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. As a polymath, his knowledge and expertise in countless disciplines is nearly unparalleled by any other character in the DC Universe. 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.
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Batman met juvenile delinquent and presumed orphan, Jason Todd, when the boy literally tried to steal the tires right off the Batmobile. With original partner Dick Grayson having given up the role of Robin, Batman decided to take Jason in and offer him both a home and a purpose. Jason began the same training regimen Grayson once undertook to become the Dark Knight's partner. However, Jason was a troubled soul who lacked maturity and was quick to anger.
On the way, the young man, who introduces himself as cabin boy Jack Loggins, tells them that when the Pilgrims came over, the last of the Deer People joined their one-time brothers, the Bat-People, in the caves of Gotham. Blackbeard wonders at the possibility of ransoming Loggins, but the black-haired stranger shoots this down, pointing to the callouses on Loggin's hands and the general state of his clothes.
Batman has trained extensively in various martial arts, mastering many different types, making him one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the DC Universe. Superman describes Batman as "the most dangerous man on Earth", able to defeat an entire team of superpowered extraterrestrials by himself in order to rescue his imprisoned teammates in Grant Morrison's first storyline in JLA.
In 2005, Batman Begins was released by Warner Bros. as a reboot of the film series; directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as Batman. Its sequel, The Dark Knight (2008), set the record for the highest grossing opening weekend of all time in the U.S., earning approximately $158 million, and became the fastest film to reach the $400 million mark in the history of American cinema (eighteenth day of release). These record-breaking attendances saw The Dark Knight end its run as the second-highest domestic grossing film (at the time) with $533 million, bested then only by Titanic. The film also won two Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for the late Heath Ledger. It was eventually followed by The Dark Knight Rises (2012), which served as a conclusion to Nolan's film series.
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.
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.
@Krunchyman - You do have a very good point. Also, add on the fact that Batman lost both of his parents at a very young age, and it affected him greatly. Parent or not, I'm sure that there are a lot of people who have lost someone very close to them, and that makes them able to relate to Bruce Wayne's tragedy. Going off of what you said about Superman, has he ever lost someone that was close to him? No, I don't think so.