Frank Miller's limited series The Dark Knight Returns (February–June 1986) returned the character to his darker roots, both in atmosphere and tone. The comic book, which tells the story of a 55-year-old Batman coming out of retirement in a possible future, reinvigorated interest in the character. The Dark Knight Returns was a financial success and has since become one of the medium's most noted touchstones. The series also sparked a major resurgence in the character's popularity.
After the success of Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan introduced the world to his quintessential version of Batman in The Dark Knight. Here we initially see the same suit worn in Begins, but then after being mauled by a couple of dogs, Bruce decides he needs a bit more protection and movement. Lucius Fox then introduces him to a new type of armor he’d been working on that had separated plates which gave him greater mobility.
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.
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.
The original suit worn by Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s Batman was exactly what one would expect from the time period. Taking the darkness of Tim Burton’s mind, mixing it with Batman and then throwing in Jack Nicholson as the Joker sold the entire set-up. Michael Keaton wore the suit better than just about anyone else who has donned the cape and cowl, becoming the perfect mix of Bruce Wayne and Batman.
For example, Gotham's police are mostly corrupt, setting up further need for Batman's existence. While Dick Grayson's past remains much the same, the history of Jason Todd, the second Robin, is altered, turning the boy into the orphan son of a petty crook, who tries to steal the tires from the Batmobile. Also removed is the guardian Phillip Wayne, leaving young Bruce to be raised by Alfred. Additionally, Batman is no longer a founding member of the Justice League of America, although he becomes leader for a short time of a new incarnation of the team launched in 1987. To help fill in the revised back story for Batman following Crisis, DC launched a new Batman title called Legends of the Dark Knight in 1989 and has published various miniseries and one-shot stories since then that largely take place during the "Year One" period. Various stories from Jeph Loeb and Matt Wagner also touch upon this era.
The coolest version in this film, however, came at its end, with the experimental "sonar suit." The coolest part about this suit is the fact that in one fell swoop, Batman not only beat Riddler at his own game, he activated some killer sonar tech which allowed him to pinpoint the exact spot he would need to throw his batarang to thwart Nygma’s mind reading world domination plan. It also just looked so sleek and menacing.
The daughter of the supervillain Ra's al Ghul, Talia's father has encouraged his daughter's relationship with the Dark Knight in hopes of recruiting Batman as the successor to his League of Assassins. Unlike Catwoman, Talia is more than willing to play second-fiddle to Bruce's mission. Talia is also notable as the mother of Bruce's son, Damian Wayne.
Batman is strongly disciplined, and he has the ability to function under great physical pain and resist most forms of telepathy and mind control. He is a master of disguise, multilingual, and an expert in espionage, often gathering information under the identity of a notorious gangster named Matches Malone. Batman is highly skilled in stealth movement and escapology, which allows him to appear and disappear at will and to break free of nearly inescapable deathtraps with little to no harm.
Batman is at times a member of superhero teams such as the Justice League of America and the Outsiders. Batman has often been paired in adventures with his Justice League teammate Superman, notably as the co-stars of World's Finest and Superman/Batman series. In pre-Crisis continuity, the two are depicted as close friends; however, in current continuity, they are still close friends but an uneasy relationship, with an emphasis on their differing views on crime-fighting and justice. In Superman/Batman #3 (Dec. 2003), Superman observes, "Sometimes, I admit, I think of Bruce as a man in a costume. Then, with some gadget from his utility belt, he reminds me that he has an extraordinarily inventive mind. And how lucky I am to be able to call on him."
Bruce subsequently returned in Morrison's miniseries Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, which depicted his travels through time from prehistory to present-day Gotham. Bruce's return set up Batman Incorporated, an ongoing series which focused on Wayne franchising the Batman identity across the globe, allowing Dick and Damian to continue as Gotham's Dynamic Duo. Bruce publicly announced that Wayne Enterprises will aid Batman on his mission, known as "Batman, Incorporated". However, due to rebooted continuity that occurred as part of DC Comics' 2011 relaunch of all of its comic books, the New 52, Dick Grayson was restored as Nightwing with Wayne serving as the sole Batman once again. The relaunch also interrupted the publication of Batman, Incorporated, which resumed its story in 2012–2013 with changes to suit the new status quo.
Batman was one of the few superhero characters to be continuously published as interest in the genre waned during the 1950s. In the story "The Mightiest Team in the World" in Superman #76 (June 1952), Batman teams up with Superman for the first time and the pair discover each other's secret identity. Following the success of this story, World's Finest Comics was revamped so it featured stories starring both heroes together, instead of the separate Batman and Superman features that had been running before. The team-up of the characters was "a financial success in an era when those were few and far between"; this series of stories ran until the book's cancellation in 1986.
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At the remains of the fallen Watchtower, Batman informs Superman and Wonder Woman that a new superhuman has entered Kahndaq. Assembling the Justice League with the help of Zatanna, Batman goes to Kahndaq and finds Superman fighting the new metahuman, Shazam. The Justice League of America also arrives at Kahndaq, causing animosity between the two groups. Doctor Light tries to stop the hostilities, but ends up absorbing Superman's solar energy and unintentionally attacks Wonder Woman. Overcome with rage, Superman vaporizes Doctor Light's head with his heat vision. This leads to the two Justice Leagues to begin fighting.
During "Final Crisis," Batman was seemingly killed by Darkseid. Instead, Darkseid's Omega Beams sent Batman back in time. This was all part of a time trap. The idea was that Darkseid knew that Batman would find a way to get back, so he devised a trap so that whenever Batman got back to his own time, he'd trigger a universally destructive explosion. Luckily, Batman figured this out in time and managed to avoid it. However, as he got to the present, he saw a glimpse of the future and saw the worldwide destruction caused by a group calling itself Leviathan.
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.
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.
Master Tactician & Strategist: He is a master strategist and tactician commonly utilizes very cunning tactics, strategies, and protocols to outwit his foes. He is also an excellent leader and occasionally commands the Justice League and the Outsiders. Cyborg refers to him as the "Greatest Tactician on the planet" and has listed him as such in his database. Batman is known as one of the greatest(if not the greatest) strategists and tacticians in the entire DC universe, challenged only by Deathstroke.
Just as the Black Pirate defeats Blackbeard, Hands puts up the shout - surrender or the boy dies. However, within seconds of the challenge, two of the pirates are dead by Miagani darts, leaving only Blackbeard and Hands. The Black Pirate demands that the two retreat. Then Jack Valor introduces the Black Pirate to the last of the Miagani Tribe. They recognize him, and let into the most sacred part of their cave, which is guarded by a statue of their patron spirit, "the Lord of Night and the Dark Sun", who is supposed to guard them against the day they call the "All-Over". At the back of the cave is the cape of the Lord of Night - the cape that Batman was wearing when he came back in time. The Black Pirate is struck by his memories.
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Bruce Wayne saves the woman from a tentacled creature, and she then nurses him back to health. Just as he passes out, he notices a necklace that has the Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman emblems he drew on the cave, back in the Paleolithic era. He finds himself in Gotham Colony in the Puritan era, where he assumes the identity of the witch-hunter Mordecai and solves a murder, but clashes with the witch-hunting Brother Malleus.
@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.
The boy suddenly re-appears wearing a domino mask of ash and a shield with a bat on it. He frees Bruce and gives him back his belt. From his utility belt, Bruce takes a medicine capsule and dons the pelt of a giant bat to wear on his body. Using the contents of his utility belt to stave off an attack by Savage and his mob, operating on instinct more than actual knowledge of various fighting techniques, Bruce defeats Vandal Savage returning the necklace to the boy just as an unexpected solar eclipse appears in the sky which Bruce reacts to and flees with the boy. Bruce jumps over a waterfall with his young partner, only to vanish at the bottom, somehow turning up in Puritan Era Gotham City. After he has vanished, Superman, Green Lantern, and Booster Gold appear in the past via Rip Hunter's time sphere, having tracked Bruce to the past. Superman confirms with his super-hearing that Batman isn't in this time. As they depart, Superman states that they have to catch up with Batman before he can return to the present on his own or the world will be in great danger. In the new era he arrives in, Bruce surfaces from the water and finds a woman, when they are suddenly attacked by a large, tentacled creature. Bruce raises his sword to defend himself and the woman.
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 quickly goes to the GCPD headquarters, where the Joker's latest attack took place. Previously, he had defeated the Joker and sent him to prison, where an unnamed person surgically removed his face. Later at the Batcave, Batman runs several traces for on previously collected samples of Joker Venom to see if any was found on the scene at police headquarters. As several of Batman's allies call, offering assistance in taking down the Joker, Batman declines, saying that whatever the Joker is planning, it is between him and Batman. In that moment, the Joker broadcasts a message on live TV, saying that he will kill Mayor Hady. The GCPD reinforces the City Hall to protect the Mayor, but the Joker poisons all the cops and security guards, leaving Batman, Commissioner Gordon and the Mayor as the only survivors. Batman investigates the chemical compounds used on the cops and finds three additional non-active chemicals: Aspirin, Chlorine, and Ethane. A, C, E. Batman realizes that the Joker is sending him back where it all started; to A.C.E. Chemicals. There, he finds a person dressed as the Red Hood. Batman is aware that the mysterious stranger is not the Joker, but suddenly, he is knocked aside by a giant wooden mallet. Batman falls into an empty chemical vat, while the stranger reveals herself as Harley Quinn. A chemical bath begins to pour into the vat, while Harley proclaims that the Joker is planning something not even she can comprehend.
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Eventually recovering and escaping, Batman started investigating both the toxin and its first victim. Discovering the latter to the Joe Chill, Batman learnt that Joker knew his identity and saved a family from being murdered in the same vein as his parents. With Joker terrorizing the city, he tried to forge an alliance with the Court of Owls to help stop the criminal's plan, only to be turned away. With help from Alfred's daughter Julia, Dick and Gordon, Batman discovered the substance Dionesium, which had given Joker regenerative capabilities and made him immune to the toxin. After Joker broke into the Batcave and attacked Alfred, Batman sent Grayson to distract the Clown Prince of Crime whilst he searched for a pool of Dionesium, eventually finding one after retracing Joker's escape route after his attempt to kill the entire Bat-Family.
Batman and Catwoman have had several romantic encounters in the New Earth continuity. Their most prominent love affair is perhaps from the storyline Batman: Hush, in which Bruce finally revealed his identity to Selina and invited her to become part of his life. Things went awry when Batman learned of a massive conspiracy organized by Hush and he decided he couldn't trust in her anymore, ending their relationship. However, in later storylines, like Batman: Heart of Hush, it has been shown that they still loved each other deeply.
Kathy Kane (Batwoman): First introduced as a female counterpart for Batman, Batwoman developed into a romantic partner in the Silver Age, where many Imaginary Stories featuring Kathy and Bruce getting married were published. Batwoman's love for Batman was never reciprocated and he only saw her as a good friend. On Earth-Two, Batwoman resigned to live without Batman's love, and in the Earth-One continuity, Kathy Kane was murdered by the League of Assassins. In the New Earth continuity, Kathy Kane was romantically interested in Batman in a couple of stories by Grant Morrison, who liked to use Silver Age content as reference in his works.
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Back in the 90s comics were prone to some wild publicity stunts to sell issues. The most notable events were the Death of Superman and a villain known as Bane breaking Batman's back. This forced Bruce Wayne to pass the mantle of Batman on to a man named Jean-Paul Valley. Valley ended up going a little crazy. He did not adhere to Batman's rule of "no killing" and made a lot of deadly modifications to the Batsuit. When Wayne got word of Valley's methods and Bane's crime-spree, he went on a spirit journey similar to his first quest to become Batman.
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Batman’s origin story is the departure point for many different renditions of the character. In initial versions, he’s the inscrutable almost anti-hero, and in others, such as the 1960s television series, he’s a much more levelheaded guy living in a much less corrupt city. The 1960s series leaned heavily on camp, and prompted some to think of killing off the character forever. However, interest in this superhero revived in the 1980s, first with famous graphic novelist Frank Miller’s limited comic book series The Dark Knight Returns and then with the 1989 Tim Burton film. Both Miller and Burton were resolved on dispatching the image of the law-abiding television series superhero to return to his much darker beginnings, though Burton did so with considerable humor.
Master Detective: He is considered as the "World's Greatest Detective", almost without peer. Bruce is capable of observation, forensic investigation, and inductive and deductive reasoning of the highest caliber. Human intuition is an unlearnable trait and one of Batman's most effective tools. Given any mystery, he can arrive at any conclusions with a fraction of the data. He has aided GCPD in solving hundreds of inconclusive crime.
All Batman origin stories tend to agree that the character was deeply wounded by witnessing the death of his parents at an early age. In many renditions the murderer was simply a mugger. Tim Burton’s film Batman differs in this respect to suggest it was the Joker who killed Batman’s parents. The loss of Bruce’s parents and the corrupt nature of Gotham City where Bruce lives, makes him seek a way of dispatching villains. Gotham City is often depicted as intensely corrupt in almost every aspect of its society. Not even the police force can be trusted, since many of them are on the take.
The popularity of the Batman TV series also resulted in the first animated adaptation of Batman in The Batman/Superman Hour; the Batman segments of the series were repackaged as The Adventures of Batman and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder which produced thirty-three episodes between 1968 and 1977. From 1973 until 1986, Batman had a starring role in ABC's Super Friends series; which was animated by Hanna-Barbera. Olan Soule was the voice of Batman in all these shows, but was eventually replaced during Super Friends by Adam West, who also voiced the character in Filmation's 1977 series The New Adventures of Batman.
Batman has become a pop culture icon, recognized around the world. The character's presence has extended beyond his comic book origins; events such as the release of the 1989 Batman film and its accompanying merchandising "brought the Batman to the forefront of public consciousness". In an article commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the character, The Guardian wrote, "Batman is a figure blurred by the endless reinvention that is modern mass culture. He is at once an icon and a commodity: the perfect cultural artefact for the 21st century."
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