Lucius Fox, a technology specialist and Bruce Wayne's business manager who is well aware of his employer's clandestine vigilante activities; Dr. Leslie Thompkins, a family friend who like Alfred became a surrogate parental figure to Bruce Wayne after the deaths of his parents, and is also aware of his secret identity; Vicki Vale, an investigative journalist who often reports on Batman's activities for the Gotham Gazette; Ace the Bat-Hound, Batman's canine partner who was mainly active in the 1950s and 1960s; and Bat-Mite, an extra-dimensional imp mostly active in the 1960s who idolizes Batman.
Batman's origin story involving the murder of Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne has been retconned several times. It was originally established that the mugger had been named Joe Chill and Bruce was aware of this. Zero Hour changed this so that his identity was never revealed, symbolically strengthening the potential link between any criminal and the man who killed his parents. Infinite Crisis said that it had been Joe Chill and he had been arrested the very same night, making this the current version. This is expanded upon in a later story which showed Batman slowly driving Chill insane with mental torture before causing him to snap and commit suicide with the bullet meant for Bruce as a child.
A series of films followed Burton’s first, most of them lessening in quality. Interest in the character revived and led to several television animated series too. Once again, though, interest in Batman appeared to die off, particularly with the lessening success of the films. However, interest again surged with the 2005 film, Batman Begins, an attempt to restart the series and cast it in possibly its darkest tone as of yet. It focuses much more on Bruce Wayne’s athletic training, search for redemption of his corrupt city, but also on a character that is more morally sound than the Burton films, in some ways echoing the television character of the 60s, minus the camp. For fans of the character, this recreation has been very satisfying, and fans eagerly awaited the sequel to Nolan’s first film, The Dark Knight which premiered in the summer of 2008.
Batman is probably the character with the highest number of romantic relationships in the DC Universe. Unlike Superman and Wonder Woman, characters that have been in publication for as long as Batman, the Dark Knight has never had a long-standing leading partner and instead, he has been constantly switching interests when it comes to romance. This is due to the nature of Batman's character; it is difficult for him to maintain a serious relationship with a woman as a result of his obsession with his crusade against crime. On the other hand, Bruce Wayne, Batman's alter-ego, has managed to have a few relationships with ladies of his interest, but they always come to a rather abrupt end because of the lack of trust and constant absence shown by Wayne, which has earned him the reputation as a notorious playboy.
He then decided to form an international group of Bat-operatives called Batman Incorporated. While he was busy setting this up, he let Dick Grayson (who had taken over when he thought Bruce was dead) remain as Batman in Gotham City. He also got a new costume to differentiate himself from Dick's costume. It had a lot of piping and a protruding, glowing yellow oval; future artists tended to tone down almost all of its elements.
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.
One day I called Bill and said, 'I have a new character called the Bat-Man and I've made some crude, elementary sketches I'd like you to look at.' He came over and I showed him the drawings. At the time, I only had a small domino mask, like the one Robin later wore, on Batman's face. Bill said, 'Why not make him look more like a bat and put a hood on him, and take the eyeballs out and just put slits for eyes to make him look more mysterious?' At this point, the Bat-Man wore a red union suit; the wings, trunks, and mask were black. I thought that red and black would be a good combination. Bill said that the costume was too bright: 'Color it dark grey to make it look more ominous.' The cape looked like two stiff bat wings attached to his arms. As Bill and I talked, we realized that these wings would get cumbersome when Bat-Man was in action and changed them into a cape, scalloped to look like bat wings when he was fighting or swinging down on a rope. Also, he didn't have any gloves on, and we added them so that he wouldn't leave fingerprints.