Following the apparent death of Batman (as well as the Joker) at the conclusion of "Endgame," Gotham City had to figure out what to do now that they were without a Batman. Gotham City Police Department, working with a private tech company, decided to answer the call themselves by making a Batman mecha suit of armor to fight crime for Gotham City as part of the police force. The person that they chose to wear the armor was Commissioner James Gordon (who better to trust as Batman than one of the few people Batman trusts himself?).
Investigating the Talon, Batman discovers a mysterious room hidden at the Old Wayne Tower, which once served as the Owls' "nest". However, the building explodes with Batman inside. Escaping the explosion, Batman tracks the Talon down to a mysterious labyrinth that contains portraits of Gotham in the Wild West that also details Gotham's history. There, he is greeted by the Court of Owls.
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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.
Lieutenant Bullock and a squad of cops arrive at the reservoir to take the Joker down, but the Joker uses his cellphone to order his men to attack the cops with rockets. Batman frees himself from the restraints and the Joker, but the Joker infects him with Joker Venom. With Batman momentarily distracted, the Joker kicks him off the bridge and into the Gotham River. Later, Batman awakens at the Batcave, having been rescued by the Batman Family. His allies (Nightwing, Robin, Red Robin, Batgirl, and even Red Hood) want Bruce to explain how did the Joker become aware of their identities. Batman believes he does not know and is only manipulating them because of his kidnapping of Alfred. He then tells a story about a previous encounter he had with the Joker in a blimp above the bay. During their fight, the Joker fell into the bay, but somehow, he placed a playing card in the Batboat. It didn’t have a tracking device or something like that, it was just a card. Despite the apparent breach of security, Batman believes there is no way the Joker could have entered the Batcave. Still, the others are unsure about this event. Batman has a new lead to follow: the Joker used a cellular signal to issue orders. While the cellphone was untraceable, the camera across the street from the store it was bought at identifies a man named Dylan McDyre. Batman crashes into McDyre’s home and interrogates him. McDyre reveals that the Joker had been threatening the families of the Arkham Asylum staff in order to maintain the appearance of normalcy at the asylum while he made changes, for whatever thing he is planning for Batman. More resolute than ever, Batman enters the asylum.
After an incident where the Justice League and Suicide Squad were forced to team up, Batman began constructing an new team of backstreet heroes to act as another team alternative for the League. After he was attacked by the Reverse-Flash, Batman would witness his apparent death and, with the Flash's help, decided to investigate what had caused the incident. Together, the two discovered the Flashpoint timeline had continued to exist and encounter that timeline's Batman, Thomas Wayne. With his father urging him to give up his life as Batman, Bruce decided to settle down and became engaged to Catwoman.
Joker hosts a mock dinner in the caves leading to the Batcave. Alongside a bound Batman, his allies are also bound at the table with their faces bandaged, and Batman is warned that escaping will agitate flints and ignite his gasoline-doused allies. Alfred, who has been gassed by the Joker, serves all but Batman with a cloche containing their severed faces. When Joker threatens to ignite the gasoline himself, Batman escapes and triggers a blaze, but uses an explosive and his knowledge of the cave system to blow open the cave roof, allowing water to rush in from above and douse the flames. Batman pursues Joker to the edge of a large drop. Batman claims that he knows Joker's true identity, but to prevent him from saying it, Joker purposefully knocks himself over the edge and falls out of sight. Batman reads Joker's book which he claimed contained the real identities of the Bat-family but it is blank. Meanwhile, the Bat-family are gassed and attack each other but manage to fight off the gas's influence. Later, in Wayne Manor, Batman tells a recovering Alfred that after finding the joker playing card in the cave, he confronted Joker about it in Arkham Asylum as Bruce Wayne. Joker failed to acknowledge him and Batman realized that he did not care who Batman was under his mask. In the present, Batman receives excuses from the Bat-family for them not coming to meet with him. Later, Batman studies the chemical makeup of the gas Joker used on the Bat-family and finds an inert isotope; the chemical compound "Ha".
Since 2008, Batman has also starred in various direct-to-video animated films under the DC Universe Animated Original Movies banner. Kevin Conroy has reprised his voice role of Batman for several of these films, while others have featured celebrity voice actors in the role; including Jeremy Sisto, William Baldwin, Bruce Greenwood, Ben McKenzie, and Peter Weller. A Lego-themed version of Batman was also featured as one of the protagonists in the animated film The Lego Movie (2014), with Will Arnett providing the voice. Arnett reprised the voice role for the spin-off film The Lego Batman Movie (2017).
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.
Harley Quinn: Best known as "The Joker's Girlfriend", Harley has had occasional romantic encounters with Batman, most notably her kiss with him in the episode Harley's Holiday from Batman: The Animated Series. Recently, in the The New 52, there have been a couple of stories in which Harley became infatuated either with Bruce Wayne or Batman. These attractions appear to be entirely one-sided and Batman has shown no signs of attraction towards Harley.
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