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,[177] and became the fastest film to reach the $400 million mark in the history of American cinema (eighteenth day of release).[178] 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.[179] The film also won two Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for the late Heath Ledger.[180] It was eventually followed by The Dark Knight Rises (2012), which served as a conclusion to Nolan's film series.

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.


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With the beginning of the New 52, Scott Snyder was the writer of the Batman title. His first major story arc was "Night of the Owls", where Batman confronts the Court of Owls, a secret society that has controlled Gotham for centuries. The second story arc was "Death of the Family", where the Joker returns to Gotham and simultaneously attacks each member of the Batman family. The third story arc was "Batman: Zero Year", which redefined Batman's origin in The New 52. It followed Batman #0, published in June 2012, which explored the character's early years. The final storyline before the "Convergence" (2015) storyline was "Endgame", depicting the supposed final battle between Batman and the Joker when he unleashes the deadly Endgame virus onto Gotham City. The storyline ends with Batman and the Joker's supposed deaths.
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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.
Joker, however, had discovered the ruse sooner than he expected and followed him to the pool. Having already retrieved samples to create a cure to the toxin, Batman fought his arch nemesis for what seemed to be the last time, during which he and Joker sustained several grave injuries. With the cave collapsing from explosives set off, Batman stopped Joker from escaping by holding him away from the pool, which was blocked with the falling rock. With Gotham once again saved, Batman accepted that he would die and sent one last message to Julia, during which he refused her help to escape his fate. He and the Joker would seemingly die as the cave collapsed upon them.

Meanwhile, Batman's relationship with the Gotham City Police Department changed for the worse with the events of "Batman: Officer Down" and "Batman: War Games/War Crimes"; Batman's long-time law enforcement allies Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock are forced out of the police department in "Officer Down", while "War Games" and "War Crimes" saw Batman become a wanted fugitive after a contingency plan of his to neutralize Gotham City's criminal underworld is accidentally triggered, resulting in a massive gang war that ends with the sadistic Black Mask the undisputed ruler of the city's criminal gangs. Lex Luthor arranges for the murder of Batman's on-again, off-again love interest Vesper (introduced in the mid-1990s) during the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" and "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" story arcs. Though Batman is able to clear his name, he loses another ally in the form of his new bodyguard Sasha, who is recruited into the organization known as "Checkmate" while stuck in prison due to her refusal to turn state's evidence against her employer. While he was unable to prove that Luthor was behind the murder of Vesper, Batman does get his revenge with help from Talia al Ghul in Superman/Batman #1–6.


There are a few aspects of Batman that remain consistent. He is the secret identity of the wealthy Bruce Wayne, (usually now called a billionaire because of inflation). He has a butler, Alfred, who knows his identity and who took part in raising Bruce after the murder of his father and mother. Batman has no superpowers, but he’s intellectually gifted and makes use of gadgets, science and well-honed fighting skills and physical strength to defeat his enemies.
In those days it was like, one artist and he had his name over it [the comic strip] β€” 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 β€” I guess my ego at that time. And I felt badly, really, when he [Finger] died.[23]

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