The Silver Age of Comic Books in DC Comics is sometimes held to have begun in 1956 when the publisher introduced Barry Allen as a new, updated version of The Flash. Batman is not significantly changed by the late 1950s for the continuity which would be later referred to as Earth-One. The lighter tone Batman had taken in the period between the golden and silver ages led to the stories of the late 1950s and early 1960s that often feature many science-fiction elements, and Batman is not significantly updated in the manner of other characters until Detective Comics #327 (May 1964), in which Batman reverts to his detective roots, with most science-fiction elements jettisoned from the series.
Batman is an expert in interrogation techniques and his intimidating and frightening appearance alone is often all that is needed in getting information from suspects. Despite having the potential to harm his enemies, Batman's most defining characteristic is his strong commitment to justice and his reluctance to take a life. This unyielding moral rectitude has earned him the respect of several heroes in the DC Universe, most notably that of Superman and Wonder Woman.
Tim Drake was barely more than a toddler when he sat in the stands at Haly's Circus and watched the Flying Graysons fall to their doom. Tim was transfixed as the Dark Knight swooped down to comfort young Dick Grayson. The moment was burned into his memory. Years later, Tim saw news reports of an unhinged Batman becoming more and more violent following the death of the second Robin, Jason Todd. Using his detective skills, Tim deduced the secret identity of Batman and the first Boy Wonder, Dick Grayson.
Utility Belt: Batman keeps most of his personal field equipment in his iconic yellow utility belt. Over the years, it has produced plastic explosives, nerve toxins, batarangs, smoke bombs, a fingerprint kit, a cutting tool, a grappling line-launcher, and a re-breather. Superman also entrusted Batman with a ring made of Kryptonite, should the Man of Steel ever need to be reined in (because of mind-control by a super-villain, etc.).
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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". Dressed as a bat, Batman deliberately cultivates a frightening persona in order to aid him in crime-fighting, a fear that originates from the criminals' own guilty conscience. Miller is often credited with reintroducing anti-heroic traits into Batman's characterization, 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. Miller's Batman was closer to the original pre-Robin version, who was willing to kill criminals if necessary.
Another example of a costume design that ended up working better when other artists drew it, if only because they toned down the odder elements of the design, is Jim Lee's design for Batman in the New 52. A lot of Lee's designs for New 52 characters involved the use of armor, even on characters who otherwise wouldn't seem to be prone to wearing armor (like Superman). Lee used a lot of the piping approach of the Batman Incorporated costume, but included it in the armor design and a utility "belt" that was just individual patches on the armor.
As Batman's ally in the Gotham City police, Commissioner James "Jim" Gordon debuted along with Batman in Detective Comics #27 and has been a consistent presence ever since. As a crime-fighting everyman, he shares Batman's goals while offering, much as the character of Watson does in Sherlock Holmes stories, a normal person's perspective on the work of Batman's extraordinary genius.
The third Robin in mainstream comics is Tim Drake, who first appeared in 1989. He went on to star in his own comic series, and currently goes by Red Robin, a variation on the traditional Robin persona. In the first decade of the new millennium, Stephanie Brown served as the fourth in-universe Robin between stints as her self-made vigilante identity The Spoiler, and later as Batgirl. After Stephanie Brown's apparent death, Drake resumed the role of Robin for a time. The role eventually passed to Damian Wayne, the ten-year-old son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, in the late 2000s. Damian's tenure as du jour Robin ended when the character was killed off in the pages of Batman Incorporated in 2013. Batman's next young sidekick is Harper Row, a streetwise young woman who avoids the name Robin but followed the ornithological theme nonetheless; she debuted the codename and identity of Bluebird in 2014. Unlike the Robins, Bluebird is willing and permitted to use a gun, albeit non-lethal; her weapon of choice is a modified rifle that fires taser rounds. In 2015, a new series began titled We Are Robin, focused on a group of teenagers using the Robin persona to fight crime in Gotham City.
Batman's body armored costume incorporates the imagery of a bat in order to frighten criminals. The details of the Batman costume change repeatedly through various decades, stories, media and artists' interpretations, but the most distinctive elements remain consistent: a scallop-hem cape; a cowl covering most of the face; a pair of bat-like ears; a stylized bat emblem on the chest; and the ever-present utility belt. Finger and Kane originally conceptualized Batman as having a black cape and cowl and grey suit, but conventions in coloring called for black to be highlighted with blue. Hence, the costume's colors have appeared in the comics as dark blue and grey; as well as black and grey. In the Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns films, Batman has been depicted as completely black with a bat in the middle surrounded by a yellow background. Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy depicted Batman wearing high-tech gear painted completely black with a black bat in the middle. Ben Affleck's Batman in the DC Extended Universe films wears a suit grey in color with a black cowl, cape, and bat symbol.
Peak Human Durability: His muscles and bones are far tougher and vastly denser than ordinary humans; making him extremely durable to certain degrees. Augmented by his iron forged willpower he can tolerate massive amount of physical pain and damage. His physique which is rigorously trained to the uttermost human limit and is extremely tough and resistant to damage, which allows him to survived dangers that would have killed most other people, like being slammed straight through thick reinforced concrete with little to no injury. He is able to withstand being stabbed and shot multiple times, as well as beatings from superhumans such as Killer Croc, Bane (on Venom), and withstand a few blows from Wonder Woman despite her vast superhuman strength. Also Bat,man seems to be highly resistant to the blunt trauma of surviving falls of considerable distance such as multi-story drops and falls.
O'Neil and Adams first collaborated on the story "The Secret of the Waiting Graves" in Detective Comics #395 (Jan. 1970). Few stories were true collaborations between O'Neil, Adams, Schwartz, and inker Dick Giordano, and in actuality these men were mixed and matched with various other creators during the 1970s; nevertheless the influence of their work was "tremendous". Giordano said: "We went back to a grimmer, darker Batman, and I think that's why these stories did so well ..." While the work of O'Neil and Adams was popular with fans, the acclaim did little to improve declining sales; the same held true with a similarly acclaimed run by writer Steve Englehart and penciler Marshall Rogers in Detective Comics #471–476 (Aug. 1977 – April 1978), which went on to influence the 1989 movie Batman and be adapted for Batman: The Animated Series, which debuted in 1992. Regardless, circulation continued to drop through the 1970s and 1980s, hitting an all-time low in 1985.
At dawn, the Black Pirate emerges from the cave with Jack Valor. Jack explains that he inherited the "Black Pirate" identity from his grandfather, and is unsure if he will continue with it. As an eclipse starts, the Black Pirate hands back the cloak and gives Jack the task of telling the Wayne family of Gotham what happened this day, as well as a commandment before disappearing: "Don't ever stop fighting."
One of the most iconic fictional characters in the world, Batman has dedicated his life to an endless crusade, a war on all criminals in the name of his murdered parents, who were taken from him when he was just a child. Since that tragic night, he has trained his body and mind to near physical perfection to be a self-made Super Hero. He's developed an arsenal of technology that would put most armies to shame. And he's assembled teams of his fellow DC Super Heroes, like the Justice League, the Outsiders and Batman, Incorporated.
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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The Batman television series, starring Adam West, premiered in January 1966 on the ABC television network. Inflected with a camp sense of humor, the show became a pop culture phenomenon. In his memoir, Back to the Batcave, West notes his dislike for the term 'camp' as it was applied to the 1960s series, opining that the show was instead a farce or lampoon, and a deliberate one, at that. The series ran for 120 episodes; ending in 1968. In between the first and second season of the Batman television series, the cast and crew made the theatrical film Batman (1966). The Who recorded the theme song from the Batman show for their 1966 EP Ready Steady Who, and The Kinks performed the theme song on their 1967 album Live at Kelvin Hall.
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.
With the amount of costumes he has now worn, we are primed for a ranking of Batman's comic book costumes. As a note on structure, we're only talking costumes he's worn in the "main" continuity, so no alternate reality costumes or possible future costumes. Also, no temporary one-off costumes, but we will count costumes worn by other people who have filled in for Bruce Wayne as Batman.
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.
The Earth-Two Batman, a character from a parallel world, partners with and marries the reformed Earth-Two Selina Kyle, as shown in Superman Family #211. They have a daughter named Helena Wayne, who becomes the Huntress. Along with Dick Grayson, the Earth-Two Robin, the Huntress takes the role as Gotham's protector once Bruce Wayne retires to become police commissioner, a position he occupies until he is killed during one final adventure as Batman.
A much better-looking suit than the normal BVS version, this suit also draws heavily, if not completely, from The Dark Knight Returns. This is a suit that, in context, was created for Batman to use against Superman. After the destruction of Metropolis in Man of Steel, Bruce held Superman personally responsible for everything. He figured that with all of his power, Superman should have been able to stop everything and had nowhere near as much collateral damage as there was.
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.
Weapon Master: Through his martial arts training, he has become an expert on virtually all types of weaponry. He is an exceptional swordsman as evident in his fight with Ra's al Ghul, his proficiency in Jui Jitsu can proclaim his swordsmanship skill. Proficient with most melee weapons because of his mastery of Okinawan Kobudo. He was trained and became extremely proficient in all arms. He soon learned expanded melee weapon techniques and he has learned expanded weapon/device sciences. He still practices during his combat sessions to keep his skills intact, though he prefers unarmed combat.
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Through unknown means, Batman and his allies found themselves in an alternate reality where Gotham City has become the safest city on Earth, where crime was non-existent. The city was under the protection of Batman and his partner/lover Catbird. Poison Ivy wreaked havoc across the city, saying that there was something wrong with the city, but Batman and Catbird stop her. Later, a man named Clayton Parker commits suicide despite Batman's efforts. At the Batcave, Bruce investigates Gotham's suicide rate, which is higher than any other place in America. Later, Bruce finds one of Ivy's thorns embedded on the back of his head. Then, he sees his parents' graves and returns to the cave. After analyzing his blood, Batman finds a drug in his system but he is ambushed by Catbird, who has brought his entire group of allies, Bluebelle and the Wings of Truth, Flying Fox, the Gothamite and, Brightbat. Batman attempts to reason with them, but they attack him. Not wanting to hurt his allies, Batman is forced to throw the fight. Later, Batman is outfitted with a straitjacked ant brought to a mental hospital headed by Jonathan Crane, who he believes is responsible for the mystery.