The most remarkable of Batman's love interests in the early 1980s was Nocturna, aka Natalia Knight, created by Doug Moench. She was a jewel thief who briefly adopted Jason Todd and knew that Bruce Wayne was Batman. Natalia suffered from a rare "light sensitivity" disease and her skin was bleached white. Nocturna was said to use a special narcotic as a perfume, which caused every male to fall deeply for her. Batman was no exception, and the two of them started a relationship as they were both equally fascinated by the other. Eventually, Batman realized his love for Nocturna was an obsession caused by the drug and he struggled to stop thinking about her. Nocturna disappeared during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, after being stabbed by her brother, floating into the crimson sky of the Crisis in her balloon. She was presumed dead, although other versions of the character have appeared since, however they are different from the Pre-Crisis Nocturna.
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.

Batman is often treated as a vigilante by other characters in his stories. Frank Miller views the character as "a dionysian figure, a force for anarchy that imposes an individual order".[92] Dressed as a bat, Batman deliberately cultivates a frightening persona in order to aid him in crime-fighting,[93] a fear that originates from the criminals' own guilty conscience.[94] Miller is often credited with reintroducing anti-heroic traits into Batman's characterization,[95] such as his brooding personality, willingness to use violence and torture, and increasingly alienated behavior. Batman, shortly a year after his debut and the introduction of Robin, was changed in 1940 after DC editor Whitney Ellsworth felt the character would be tainted by his lethal methods and DC established their own ethical code, subsequently he was retconned as having a stringent moral code.[35][96] Miller's Batman was closer to the original pre-Robin version, who was willing to kill criminals if necessary.[97]

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