As a member of the Flying Graysons acrobatic family, young Dick Grayson thrilled audiences nightly on the high wire beside his circus aerialist parents. But when gangster "Boss" Zucco sabotaged the high wire because the owner of Haly's Circus refused to offer up protection money, the elder Graysons paid with their lives. Billionaire Bruce Wayne was in the audience that night; however, it was Batman who visited the grieving Dick Grayson, offering the boy a chance at retribution by becoming Robin, the Dark Knight's squire in his personal war on crime.
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In the world of DC, there were really two Batmen if you think about it. One as "the world's greatest detective" who typically fought other non-powered street-level characters like the Joker. The other was a man who defied all odds as a human, and went toe-to-toe with super-powered villains and cosmic threats alongside the Justice League. Loeb and Lee balanced this duality into one series and did the same with the Batsuit as well. It's almost a combination of the classic blue and gray suit we know best from the Adam West series, mixed with a little bit of Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns suit. The result is a colorful suit that looks at home in the dark alley's of Gotham.
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Whether blue and gray, armored or classic black and yellow, the bat suit is used to strike fear into the hearts of the superstitious and cowardly lot of criminals that wander the streets of Gotham City at all times. Some of the suits have extra armor, others have none at all. Some even have nipples! But no matter what the suit or who is in the cape and cowl, everybody loves Batman. But which suit do we love the most? Read on and find out!
Peak Human Strength: Batman engages in an intensive exercise regimen, and because of this his strength, like all other physical attributes, are at the peak of human perfection. He can casually overhead press lift 1000 lbs, bench-press 1 ton (more or less), and has in some cases demonstrated enough strength to easily rip steel bars from their moorings, and snap high-strength handcuffs with ease.
Batman sired a child with Talia al Ghul during their marriage, named Ibn al Xu'ffasch. Dennis O'Neil mentioned that this story was ignored from continuity around Zero Hour because it did not fit in well with the rest of the mythos. Infinite Crisis brings most of this back into continuity with the story Batman and Son by introducing Damian Wayne and stating that Batman was drugged and pretty much raped.
The debut of the Batman television series in 1966 had a profound influence on the character. The success of the series increased sales throughout the comic book industry, and Batman reached a circulation of close to 900,000 copies. Elements such as the character of Batgirl and the show's campy nature were introduced into the comics; the series also initiated the return of Alfred. Although both the comics and TV show were successful for a time, the camp approach eventually wore thin and the show was canceled in 1968. In the aftermath, the Batman comics themselves lost popularity once again. As Julius Schwartz noted, "When the television show was a success, I was asked to be campy, and of course when the show faded, so did the comic books."
Gay interpretations of the character have been part of the academic study of Batman since psychologist Fredric Wertham asserted in Seduction of the Innocent in 1954 that "Batman stories are psychologically homosexual ... The Batman type of story may stimulate children to homosexual fantasies, of the nature of which they may be unconscious." Andy Medhurst wrote in his 1991 essay "Batman, Deviance, and Camp" that Batman is interesting to gay audiences because "he was one of the first fictional characters to be attacked on the grounds of his presumed homosexuality". Professor of film and cultural studies Will Brooker argues the validity of a queer reading of Batman, and that gay readers would naturally find themselves drawn to the lifestyle depicted within, whether the character of Bruce Wayne himself were explicitly gay or not. He also identifies a homophobic element to the vigor with which mainstream fandom rejects the possibility of a gay reading of the character. In 2005, painter Mark Chamberlain displayed a number of watercolors depicting both Batman and Robin in suggestive and sexually explicit poses, prompting DC to threaten legal action.
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.
After the Commissioner Gordon Batman armor experiment ended (with Gordon doing quite well, really, just not quite the same levels as the main man), Bruce Wayne returned as Batman, wearing a brand-new costume designed by Capullo. The best thing about the costume is that it really looks like the type of outfit that a superhero can move in, which was a marked improvement over the last two outfits. It looks like something an actual person could wear.
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.
The character became popular soon after his introduction in 1939 and gained his own comic book title, Batman, the following year. As the decades went on, different interpretations of the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series used a camp aesthetic, which continued to be associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in 1986 with The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. The success of Warner Bros. Pictures' live-action Batman feature films have helped maintain the character's prominence in mainstream culture.
Writers of Batman and Superman stories have often compared and contrasted the two. Interpretations vary depending on the writer, the story, and the timing. Grant Morrison notes that both heroes "believe in the same kind of things" despite the day/night contrast their heroic roles display. He notes an equally stark contrast in their real identities. Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent belong to different social classes: "Bruce has a butler, Clark has a boss." T. James Musler's book Unleashing the Superhero in Us All explores the extent to which Bruce Wayne's vast personal wealth is important in his life story, and the crucial role it plays in his efforts as Batman.
Batman and Luthor's group infiltrate the Justice League's destroyed Watchtower in order to confront the Crime Syndicate. There, they find Nightwing strapped to a Murder Machine, a containment device originally built to contain Doomsday. In that moment, the Crime Syndicate attacks them. Batman and Luthor attempt to free Nightwing from the machine as the others take on the Syndicate; however, they discover the machine is a detonator for a bomb, which can only be stopped if Nightwing's heart stops. Choosing to save the group's lives over Nightwing's, Luthor apparently kills him and the bomb is stopped. Angry, Batman attacks Luthor; however, the Syndicate's prisoner is revealed to be Alexander Luthor, who has the power of Mazahs.
Another writer who rose to prominence on the Batman comic series, was Jeph Loeb. Along with longtime collaborator Tim Sale, they wrote two miniseries (The Long Halloween and Dark Victory) that pit an early in his career version of Batman against his entire rogues gallery (including Two-Face, whose origin was re-envisioned by Loeb) while dealing with various mysteries involving serial killers Holiday and the Hangman. In 2003, Loeb teamed with artist Jim Lee to work on another mystery arc: "Batman: Hush" for the main Batman book. The 12–issue storyline has Batman and Catwoman teaming up against Batman's entire rogues gallery, including an apparently resurrected Jason Todd, while seeking to find the identity of the mysterious supervillain Hush. While the character of Hush failed to catch on with readers, the arc was a sales success for DC. The series became #1 on the Diamond Comic Distributors sales chart for the first time since Batman #500 (Oct. 1993) and Todd's appearance laid the groundwork for writer Judd Winick's subsequent run as writer on Batman, with another multi-issue arc, "Under the Hood", which ran from Batman #637–650 (April 2005 – April 2006).
Batman is reawakened by a girl named Harper Row, who he abruptly leaves. Returning to the Batcave, Batman finds the Talon's dead body, which Alfred and Nightwing had retrieved for Batman, who decides to examine it. Later, Nightwing meets up with Bruce, who reveals that the Talon is actually William Cobb, Nightwing's great-grandfather and that Nightwing was destined to be a Talon, a goal stopped by his adoption. The Court recovers from their encounter and decides to activate a small army of Talons they have decommissioned throughout the years.
When Greg Capullo drew the armor in "Batman," however, he made it look a lot more relaxed and natural-seeming. It worked a lot better in that context, especially as Capullo's "Batman" was constantly in motion, which didn't really fit with the stiff design of the armor. Capullo kept that in mind when he got the chance to re-design the costume at the end of his run on the book.
After the introduction of DC Comics' multi-verse in the 1960s, it is retroactively established that stories from the Golden Age star the Earth-Two Batman, a character from a parallel world. This version of Batman partners with and marries the reformed Earth-Two Catwoman, Selina Kyle (as shown in Superman Family #211) and fathers Helena Wayne, who, as the Huntress, becomes (along with the Earth-Two Robin) Gotham's protector once Wayne retires from the position to become police commissioner, a position he occupies until he is killed during one final adventure as Batman. Batman titles however often ignored that a distinction had been made between the pre-revamp and post-revamp Batmen (since unlike The Flash or Green Lantern, Batman comics had been published without interruption through the 1950s) and would on occasion make reference to stories from the Golden Age. Nevertheless, details of Batman's history were altered or expanded through the decades. Additions include meetings with a future Superman during his youth, his upbringing by his uncle Philip Wayne (introduced in Batman #208, Jan./Feb. 1969) after his parents' death, and appearances of his father and himself as prototypical versions of Batman and Robin, respectively. In 1980 then-editor Paul Levitz commissioned the Untold Legend of the Batman limited series to thoroughly chronicle Batman's origin and history.
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In the Modern Age of Comics until the present date, Batman has had numerous romantic relationships, in every different media, some of which have lasted long enough to set a "record" and others which were merely used for the sake of a story. Most of his relationships are with ladies from his own Rogues Gallery, and in recent years, his relationship with Catwoman has been given special attention; but the constant in every scenario is Batman's unwillingness or inability to maintain a relationship longer than the Batmobile's paint job.
Batman's history has undergone many retroactive continuity revisions, both minor and major. Elements of the character's history have varied greatly. Scholars William Uricchio and Roberta E. Pearson noted in the early 1990s, "Unlike some fictional characters, the Batman has no primary urtext set in a specific period, but has rather existed in a plethora of equally valid texts constantly appearing over more than five decades."
One of Men of the tribe finds a necklace in the hand of Anthro's possession, which belonged to a woman of their family, which he vows will not leave their family's possession. The young Boy of the tribe takes the Man of Bats belt to prevent him from running off, because he thinks the Man of Bats is their savior. Suddenly the Deer people are attacked by The blood Mob! led by Vandal Savage, who kills everyone in the tribe except the boy who Bruce saves by getting himself captured instead. Both Bruce and the rocket ship referred to as 'The Sky Cart' is dragged back to the Blood Tribe encampment, where Chief Savage vows to eat Bruce alive in the morning in the belief that he is a member of the 'Sky People', based on him having arrived at the same time as the rocket ship. While tied down in the center of the encampment, next to the corpse of a giant bat. Bruce begins to remember fragments of a mantra - superstition and criminals, symbols used against the cowardly, surrender to an ideal. A dark and terrible bat, to fight injustice.
While examining Doctor Light's body, Zatanna states that there is no magical way of knowing if he triggered Superman's heat vision. The Phantom Stranger arrives and warns of Wonder Woman recruiting the Justice League Dark to help her locate Pandora, warning if they succeed, it will be the death of all. Batman, Flash, Aquaman, Shazam, Steve Trevor, the Justice League of America, Zatanna and the Phantom Stranger. Batman's group catches up to Wonder Woman and the Justice League Dark at the House of Mystery. Wonder Woman states that they need to find Pandora to find out what her box really is. Phantom Stranger reveals that the box has nothing to do with the way Superman is acting, angering Wonder Woman, who uses her lasso on him. He states that he does not know what caused Superman's condition, making Wonder Woman state that she is going after Pandora. She asks who wants to join her and the Justice League Dark, and recruits Hawkman, Aquaman, Stargirl, and Zatanna. As Wonder Woman and her group take their leave, Batman states that they should go after Wonder Woman, but the Phantom Stranger says they should talk to Doctor Light to get some answers.
While very similar to the original version shown in Batman, the Batman Returns bat suit shows us an updated version which shows obvious armor on the chest and full torso area. This suit was used against characters like Danny DeVito’s Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman during a storyline where Penguin was running to become the mayor of Gotham City and Selena Kyle was a lowly secretary who was just trying to do right by her boss… up until he murders her and she gets cat powers.
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.
During the 1950s, the "Batman" titles were very much the second-class citizens of the DC Comics line of superhero books. In fact, the "DC" aspect of the company's name (which was named after "Detective Comics," where Batman debuted) was rarely as de-emphasized as it was in this era, when the "DC Bullet" featured DC in the center of the logo circle but Superman at the top of the circle and National Comics on the bottom (talk about a cluttered logo). Batman's stories were mostly just riffs on ideas used in Superman comics of the era (Vicki Vale as their Lois Lane, Bat-Mite was their Mr. Mxyzptlk, etc.)
Though not much had changed in regard to terms of costume between films, the difference of the slightly more sleek symbol and the armor makes us think that Batman has decided that he needs to up his game, both in terms of fashion and fighting, and keep up with the kind of criminals that Gotham seems to be producing at an increasingly alarming rate.
Sasha Bordeaux: Assigned as Bruce Wayne's bodyguard, Sasha deduced that Bruce was Batman and briefly fought at his side. She was framed for the murder of Bruce's girlfriend Vesper Fairchild and later joined Maxwell Lord's Checkmate organization. In The OMAC Project, Bordeaux was turned into a cyborg OMAC, but this incident was later resolved. While Sasha and Batman kissed near the end of The OMAC Project, their relationship seemed to have passed on.
Jillian Maxwell: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1, during the beginning of his career, Bruce found himself attracted to a woman who called herself Jillian Maxwell after meeting her at a costume party. However, he later discovered the criminal record of a woman who had used many aliases to seduce young, wealthy men, then later arranged events that led to their deaths so she could claim their wealth. After Alfred told Bruce of this, he was heartbroken, but he kept an eye on the woman. When she used the identity Audrey Marguerite in Brazil, Bruce, as Batman, sent her a note, ordering her to confess all her crimes.
While most of Batman's romantic relationships tend to be short in duration, Catwoman has been his most enduring romance throughout the years. The attraction between Batman and Catwoman, whose real name is Selina Kyle, is present in nearly every version and medium in which the characters appear. Although Catwoman is typically portrayed as a villain, Batman and Catwoman have worked together in achieving common goals and are usually depicted as having a romantic connection.
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