The specifics of Batman's life prior to the events of the trilogy are unclear, but it can be safely assumed that Bruce Wayne experienced the deaths of his parents and the subsequent years of training to become Batman, encountering villains such as the Joker, the Penguin, Poison Ivy, the Riddler and Black Mask before the throat-slash murders began.
Investigating a series of murders of Gotham City's homeless, the victims' throats having been slashed, Batman finds himself becoming unusually stronger while also developing an aversion to sunlight and going out in the day, accompanied by strange dreams about a mysterious woman appearing in his bedroom. After he surprises a killer just after the woman has killed a new victim, he notes that the body has only two pinpricks on the throat rather than the slashes he had seen earlier, prompting him to consider that there is more going on than he suspected. After talking with occult expert Ariane about the history and abilities of vampires, Batman enters a storm-drain to track the killer and discovers that the murders are being committed by a family of vampires, being barely saved from a group of vampires hiding in the sewers by another strange group. When another vampire appears and commands Batman's saviors to kill themselves, Batman attacks him and drives him into another part of the sewers, subsequently using his blood from an injury inflicted by his foe to draw a cross on the wall, forcing the two into a stalemate until daybreak.With his knowledge of vampires now official, Bruce Wayne wakes up to find that recent strange dreams he has been experiencing are visits by the renegade vampire Tanya- leader of a group of 'Others' who have rejected the methods of other vampires to protect the humans- who reveals that she is responsible for his recent changes; by biting him to infuse him with the vampire 'virus' without actually draining his veins, she has granted him the power necessary to oppose Dracula, the leader of the vampires, directly, something that none of her followers can do as all of them have been under his power at some point and thus remain susceptible to his orders. Having explained the situation to Commissioner Gordon, Batman led Dracula's minions into the Batcave, Tanya and her followers keeping them occupied while Batman destroyed the roof of the cave, exposing all vampires inside to sunlight, destroying them. With Wayne Manor having been sacrificed to ensure his identity remained a secret, Bruce and Alfred Pennyworth relocated to a brownstone in Gotham, Batman then using his new bat-like wings to fly and confront Dracula. After a prolonged battle, with Batman's silver batarangs providing him with little advantage against Dracula's raw strength, Batman eventually defeated Dracula by impaling him on a tree that was destroyed by lightning but at the cost of the last of his humanity as Dracula drained the last of his human blood from him. Although Bruce Wayne is declared officially dead- his will leaving a tenth of his estate to Alfred while the other nine-tenths are donated to a new foundation to help the homeless- Batman tells Alfred that, although Bruce Wayne is now gone, the Batman will live on forever, thanks to his new vampire powers.
Now a full vampire, Batman continues his work to protect the people of Gotham, sustaining himself via Tanya's blood substitute to avoid the need to feed on real blood. However, he soon learns that a small nest of vampires escaped the trap that sacrificed Wayne Manor, but is initially unaware that these vampires are now led by the Joker, the clown exploiting the vampires' inability to think beyond their next victim after their master's death, coordinating their feedings as he works to convert and take control of the city's criminal families. Despite Batman's constant struggle against his thirst for blood as the blood substitute becomes increasingly ineffective, he continues to hunt the vampires, aided directly by Selina Kyle (who becomes a werecat after being bitten by a vampire that turned into a wolf while hunting her), while Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, and a group of Gotham police turned vampire hunters worked to eliminate the vampires in the daylight. The human group managed to destroy the crime bosses in the day, while Batman and Selina took out the remaining vampires in a warehouse the following night when the Joker's last trap backfired on him.
Unfortunately, Catwoman is killed after successfully killing the vampire that turned her, intercepting a crossbow bolt that the Joker had tried to shoot Batman with. After realizing that the only person able to control his bloodlust is dead, the enraged and grief-stricken Batman turns his anger towards the Joker, draining him of all his blood after breaking his neck with a single blow. Horrified by what he has done, Batman fled the scene of the crime (after staking the Joker in the heart to prevent him returning as a vampire), leaving Gordon and Alfred a note encouraging them to drive a wooden stake through his heart to stop him, now that he has become a monster like Dracula.
Crimson MistEditHowever, the staking didn't kill Batman; in this continuity, staking merely immobilizes the vampire unless decapitation also takes place. As a result, Batman was left immobile but conscious in his coffin, gradually going insane from his body's physical decay and his insatiable longing for blood.
In Batman's absence, Gotham City becomes swamped with crime. Desperate for a solution, Alfred removes the stake in Batman's heart, hoping to give Gotham a savior again, convincing himself that his master cannot be evil considering that the Joker was his only victim. Although he is lucid enough to rebuke Alfred and leave without attacking him, Batman is now a slave to his vampire impulses.
The bloodthirsty former hero proceeds to slay most of his rogues' gallery for their blood, including Penguin, Riddler, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and Black Mask, all while taking care to decapitate his victims to prevent them from returning as vampires themselves. After Batman has left the heads of the Black Mask gang on the fences around Blackgate Penitentiary as a 'warning', he then proceeds to fly into Arkham Asylum and kill all the homicidal inmates, leaving Two-Face and Killer Croc as Gotham's only remaining villains.
With no other way to stop the vampire Batman, Two-Face forms an alliance with Commissioner Gordon and Alfred to combat Batman, the Dark Knight's former allies recognizing that, even if Batman only targets criminals, the fact that he was killing them in the first place nonetheless proved he was no longer the man he had been. Even Batman himself was uncertain how much of the man he once was still existed in this state, committing brutal murders while uncertain if they were motivated by his own bloodlust or intended to provoke Gordon and Alfred into attempting to destroy him. Tormented by grief and guilt at what he has become, Batman also broods on the certainty that he will eventually run out of criminals to feed on, and that, like Dracula before him, he will eventually create his own vampire brood in order to escape the loneliness of eternity; for the moment, he only intends to kill those who are themselves killers, and most of Blackgate's inmates (who are in for theft or less) do not deserve to die at his hands. However, he is convinced that he has taken in too much evil from his victims to be redeemed, while also reflecting that the world will be doomed if he is not stopped.Although the Gordon/Two-Face alliance was able to track Batman to his new lair in the damaged Batcave, with the intention of setting off explosives in the roof to expose Batman to the sun, after Batman was shot through the heart with a crossbow and sent falling into a cavern during the struggle, Two-Face and Killer Croc attempted to kill Commissioner Gordon and Alfred. Having recovered his master (the bolt only grazing Batman's heart rather than penetrating it), Alfred gives his life to give the badly-injured Batman the strength needed to save Gordon, still having faith in the Dark Knight, even after everything he has done. After killing Two-Face and Killer Croc, Batman convinces Gordon to set off the explosives, warning Gordon that he will go on to devour the human race if he is not prevented from killing again. Gordon is crushed by the falling rubble in the explosion. Having whispered a last apology to his old friend, Batman walks into the sunlight, hoping that he will finally have the peace he's been seeking since his transformation.
CountdownEditIn the Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer, the Challengers of the Beyond venture into a parallel earth. The Challengers of Beyond had actually arrived at Earth-43, and Donna Troy finds a dead Barbara Gordon, marked by Ray Palmer and with a stake through her heart. Barbara was turned into a vampire by Batman and was killed by Dick Grayson. Grayson has become obsessed with killing Batman ever since he murdered his parents, and after finally locating his crypt, he finds he can't bring himself to kill him, so Batman bites him and turns him into a vampire as well. The Challengers leave this Earth, with Dick now taking on a Robin-esque role as Batman's partner.
In Countdown: Arena, the Bat-Man later becomes one of three alternate versions of Batman, that fight to be in Monarch's army against the Monitors. Bat-Man wins his place in Monarch's army, turning one of the other Batmen during their fight.
ConvergenceEditDuring the Convergence event, when various cities from various alternate worlds were brought together by a higher power, this Batman was ordered to fight the Swamp Thing of Earth-1 by the entity responsible for bringing these worlds together. By this time, Batman was in a decayed state, but was only one of several vampires in Gotham, the city's population currently existing on a ratio of approximately two vampires for every one human, leaving them faced with the possibility that they would run out of food unless they moved on to other cities. Although still plagued by his thirst, Batman resisted the bloodlust to fight the other vampires but acknowledged that his Gotham may not deserve to survive when compared to Swamp Thing's. As a result, he suggested to Swamp Thing that his 'adversary' instead help him eliminate the other vampires, Swamp Thing's control of plantlife allowing him to turn his fingers into stakes and breath garlic on his enemies. After they defeated Gotham's vampire queen, most of the vampire population reverted to their human states, but Batman remained a vampire as he had been directly turned by Dracula and was therefore subject to different rules. Although Swamp Thing suggested that he could spare Batman, Batman rejected this offer as the risk of him surrendering to his bloodlust and starting a new plague was too great, instead asking Swamp Thing to join him in witnessing one last sunrise, the sunlight disintegrating his body as he thanked Swamp Thing for his aid.
Powers and AbilitiesEditLike all Batmen, the Batman of Earth-43 began his life as a human operating at the peak of physical and mental perfection, even proving capable of briefly standing up to a relatively newly-turned vampire despite his opponent's strength, although prolonged conflict against a vampire was obviously impossible. After his transformation into a vampire began, Bruce Wayne demonstrated greatly enhanced strength, able to lift a Mercedes up onto two wheels with only one hand, although he was still notably weaker than Dracula himself in a direct confrontation, relying on his silver batarangs to do damage in a simple physical fight. Prior to his transformation coming full circle, Batman developed bat-like wings that allowed him to fly with little effort.
After becoming a full vampire, Batman's powers were operating at their peak, his physical strength growing each night as he became more in touch with his vampire powers, only for his body and mind to become increasingly weakened as he fought his new natural urge for blood, initially relying on Tanya's blood substitute before it ceased to satisfy his thirst. He was now also capable of turning into a mist-like state when he wanted, although he rarely used this power, preferring to fly when traveling. He regularly went into action armed with wooden throwing daggers weighted with silver inside them. So long as he abstained from human blood, Batman was also immune to the traditional vampire weaknesses of holy water and crucifixes, although he was apparently still unable to go out in sunlight (Alfred expressed concern that the sun would be fatal, but it was never specified if this was the case or if daylight just made Batman uncomfortable now that he was a vampire). In this new form, Batman was functionally immortal, surviving being shot with no signs of long-term injury, and could even come back from being staked through the heart so long as his head was not removed.
However, the long-term paralysis and decay that resulted from the stake in his heart had a significant effect on Batman's mental state after he was restored. Although he apparently retained enough detective skills to deduce the Riddler's latest riddle, he was now consumed by his longing for blood, eagerly decapitating his old enemies after drinking their blood even as he privately brooded over his guilt and grief at what he had become, often reflecting in a grimly philosophical manner about his new state of corruption and its impact on his relationship with his enemies and allies. When flying, he also transformed into a bat-like monster rather than simply gaining wings in human form as he had before. When in human form, he appeared almost dry and physically frail as a result of the decay he had suffered while staked, although he retained enough raw physical strength to effortlessly throw off even the obviously physically powerful Killer Croc in a fight.
In other mediaEdit
- The Bat-Man of Earth-43 made a brief cameo in the recent cartoon Batman: The Brave and the Bold during the episode "Legends of the Dark Mite!". When Bat-Mite decides to change Batman's appearance and costume, he turns Batman into the Bat-Man of Earth-43, to which Bat-Mite remarks, "Imposing, but too dracula." Also, in the season one finale "Game Over for Owlman," where he teamed up with other parallel Earth versions of himself. The Bat-Man of Earth-43 had been recruited in an army of Batmen by the mainstream Batman to battle Owlman and his army of villains
- Batman & Dracula: Red Rain
- Red Rain: Blood Lust
- Night of the Bat
- Batman: Bloodstorm
- Batman: Crimson Mist
- Countdown: Arena
- Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer
- Justice Society of America#5
- Tales of the Multiverse: Batman - Vampire