- This page is about the original comic book character. For other uses, see Batman (Disambiguation).
- "Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot. So my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible... a . a... a bat! That's it! It's an omen. I shall become a bat!"
- ―Bruce Wayne[src]
Batman is a superhero published by DC Comics. Operating in Gotham City, he serves as its protector, using the symbol of a bat to strike fear into the hearts of criminals. Unlike other superheroes, Batman is often depicted to lack any "superpowers", instead using lifelong training and equipment to fight crime. His secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a rich playboy and philanthropist who swore to fight crime after witnessing his parents' brutal murder. He has served as a member of various teams, including the Justice League, the Justice Society of America and the Outsiders. Batman is also the founder and leader of various teams, including the Batman Family, Batmen of All Nations and Batman Incorporated. He also goes by numerous nicknames, including "The Dark Knight", "the Caped Crusader", "World's Greatest Detective" and the "Defender of Gotham".
Co-created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, Batman made his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939). He quickly became a popular character soon after his introduction, and eventually gained his own comic publication a year after his debut. As the decades wore on, differing takes on the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series utilized a camp aesthetic associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in Frank Miller's 1986 Dark Knight series. It and the success of director Tim Burton's 1989 Batman motion picture helped reignite popular interest in the character. A cultural icon, Batman is often considered one of the most well-known and popular superheroes of all-time. He has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media ranging from live-action television and film, various forms of animation, and video games.
For key points in Batman's history see Batman's publication history
Bruce Wayne is born to Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha Kane, two very wealthy and charitable socialites from Gotham City. Bruce was brought up in the wealthy splendor of Wayne Manor and leads a happy and privileged existence until roughly the age of eight. While returning home one night, his parents were killed by a small-time criminal named Joe Chill. After the incident, Bruce swears an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives.
As he grows up, Bruce engages in intense intellectual and physical training. He also travels abroad, training in various martial arts, fields of science, criminology and detective skills. After returning to Gotham, Bruce realizes that these skills alone would not be enough. "Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot", Wayne remarks, "so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible..." As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to assume the persona of Batman.
Golden Age (Earth-Two)
In the early strips, Batman's career as a vigilante initially earns him the ire of the police. He initially operates alone, using only street contacts and circumstantial allies in his investigations. Batman also comes into conflict with various criminals, including mad scientist Doctor Death, a vampire called the Monk, and criminal mastermind Professor Hugo Strange. During this period Wayne was engaged to actress Julie Madison, though this is called off after several encounters with the serial killer Clayface.
After witnessing the murders of circus acrobats called the Flying Graysons, Wayne takes in the couple's son Dick Grayson. The boy quickly joined him in his crusade as his sidekick Robin to help capture the criminal responsible for his parents' murder. Shortly afterwards, Batman comes into contact with costumed criminals like the Joker and Catwoman, who begin taking over the criminal underworld in Gotham.
Batman also becomes a founding member of the Justice Society of America, although he, like Superman, is an honorary member and thus only participates occasionally. Batman's relationship with the law thaws quickly, and he is made an honorary member of the Gotham City Police Department by its commissioner, James Gordon. During this time, butler Alfred arrives at Wayne Manor and after deducing the Dynamic Duo's secret identities joins their service.
Silver & Bronze Ages (Earth-One)
During 1956, the main continuity for DC moved to Earth-One after the introduction of the second Flash, Barry Allen. Though Batman's past and adventures remain the same, many elements are reinterpreted, including his upbringing by uncle Philip Wayne, a history operating as the original Robin, and Despite these, Batman and Robin retain similar tones, thought begin taking on enemies and criminals who utilize more fantastical gimmicks or advanced inventions. During it, the duo adopt a pet called Ace, who joins their crusade as "Bat-Hound", and begin receiving help from fellow vigilante Batwoman. This, along with additions of Bat-Mite and Bat-Girl, lead to the formation of the Batman Family.
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. Batman becomes a founding member of the Justice League of America, appearing in its first story in 1960s 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.
In 1969, Dick Grayson attends college as part of DC Comics' effort to revise the Batman comics. Additionally, Batman also moves from Wayne Manor into a penthouse apartment atop the Wayne Foundation building in downtown Gotham City, in order to be closer to Gotham City's crime. Batman spends the 1970s and early 1980s mainly working solo, with occasional team-ups with Robin and/or Batgirl. Batman's adventures also become somewhat darker and more grim during this period, depicting increasingly violent crimes, including the first appearance (since the early Golden Age) of an insane, murderous Joker, and the arrival of Ra's Al Ghul. In the 1980s, Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing.
In the final issue of Brave and the Bold in 1983, Batman quits the Justice League and forms a new group called the Outsiders. He serves as the team's leader until Batman and the Outsiders #32 (1986) and the comic subsequently changed its title.
Dark Age Batman (New Earth)
After the 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics rebooted the stories of some major characters in an attempt at updating them for contemporary audiences. Frank Miller retold Batman's origin in the storyline Year One from Batman #404-407, which emphasizes a grittier tone in the character. Though the Earth-Two Batman is erased from history, many stories of Batman's Silver Age/Earth-One career (along with an amount of Golden Age ones) remain canonical in the post-Crisis universe, with his origins remaining the same in essence, despite alteration.
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.
In 1988's "Batman: A Death in the Family" storyline from Batman #426-429 Jason Todd, the second Robin, is killed by the Joker. Subsequently, Batman takes an even darker, often excessive approach to his crime-fighting. Batman works solo until the decade's close, when Tim Drake becomes the new Robin. In 2005 writers resurrected the Jason Todd character and have pitted him against his former mentor.
Many of the major Batman storylines since the 1990s have been inter-title crossovers that run for a number of issues. In 1993, the same year that DC published the "Death of Superman" storyline, the publisher released the "Knightfall" storyline. In 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 to return to his role as Batman.
1994's company-wide crossover Zero Hour changes aspects of DC continuity again, including those of Batman. Noteworthy among these changes is that the general populace and the criminal element now considers Batman an urban legend rather than a known force. Similarly, the Waynes' killer is never caught or identified, effectively removing Joe Chill from the new continuity, rendering stories such as "Year Two" non-canon.
Batman once again becomes a member of the Justice League during Grant Morrison's 1996 relaunch of the series, titled JLA. While Batman contributes greatly to many of the team's successes, the Justice League is largely uninvolved as Batman and Gotham City face catastrophe in the decade's closing crossover arc. In 1998's "Cataclysm" storyline, Gotham City is devastated by an earthquake. Deprived of many of his technological resources, Batman fights to reclaim the city from legions of gangs during 1999's "No Man's Land." While Lex Luthor rebuilds Gotham at the end of the "No Man's Land" storyline, he then frames Bruce Wayne for murder in the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" and "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" story arcs; Wayne is eventually acquitted.
DC's 2005 limited series Identity Crisis, reveals that JLA member Zatanna had edited Batman's memories, leading to his deep loss of trust in the rest of the superhero community. Batman later creates the Brother I satellite surveillance system to watch over the other heroes. Its eventual co-opting by Maxwell Lord is one of the main events that leads o the Infinite Crisis miniseries, which again restructures DC continuity.
In Infinite Crisis #7, Alexander Luthor, Jr. mentions that in the newly-rewritten history of the "New Earth", created in the previous issue, the murderer of Martha and Thomas Wayne - again, Joe Chill - was captured, thus undoing the retcon created after Zero Hour. Batman and a team of superheroes destroy Brother Eye and the OMACs. Following Infinite Crisis, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake retrace the steps Bruce had taken when he originally left Gotham City, to "rebuild Batman". In the "Face the Face" storyline, Batman and Robin return to Gotham City after their year-long absence. At the end of the story arc, Bruce adopts Tim as his son. The follow-up story arc in Batman, "Batman & Son", introduces Damian Wayne, who is Batman's son with Talia al Ghul. Batman, along with Superman and Wonder Woman, reforms the Justice League in the new Justice League of America series, and is leading the newest incarnation of the Outsiders.
Batman was involved in a battle with Dr. Simon Hurt and the "Black Glove," a criminal organization dedicated to corrupting virtue, as they attempted to destroy Batman and everything for which he stands.
Using a mixture of physical and psychological attacks, the Black Glove tests Batman's resolve, forcing him to temporarily adopt the crazed persona of the "Batman of Zur-En-Arrh." He is then led to Arkham Asylum to face the Joker. Seemingly defeated, Batman is buried alive by the Black Glove, a group that includes Bruce Wayne's girlfriend, Jezebel Jet, who has betrayed him. With the assistance of Robin and Nightwing, he turns the tables on his foes. In a final confrontation with Dr. Hurt, Batman is caught in a helicopter crash.
The storyline concludes with both Batman's fate and the true identity of Dr. Hurt still up in the air. Hurt himself repeatedly claimed to be Thomas Wayne throughout the story, while Batman apparently believed him to be Mangrove Pierce, a crazed actor.
- Main article: Bruce Wayne (Clone)
In Final Crisis #6, Batman confronts Darkseid in the villain's bunker. He states that he will make an exception to his "no firearms" rule and shoots Darkseid using the bullet that killed Orion and hits Darkseid. As Darkseid dies he fires the Omega Sanction (which traps its victim's soul in a series of alternate lives, each worse than the one before it), from his eyes, and hits Batman. Before the Omega Sanction hits Batman he silently says, "Gotcha". It is unknown if ' Batman knew Darkseid shot the Omega sanction or he knew it was coming and accepted his fate. (Morrison notes that Batman's use of the gun is symbolic as “the root of the Batman mythos is the gun and the bullet that created Batman. So, Batman himself is finally standing there to complete that big mythical circle and to have the image of Batman up against the actual personification of evil and now he's got the gun and he's got the bullet. It seemed to me to work.") At the close of the penultimate issue in the series, Superman returns to Earth from the 31st century, where he was given access to the reality-altering Miracle Machine by Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes. In a fit of desperate rage, Superman attacks Darkseid's bunker, finding Batman's charred corpse within. The Dark Knight is seemingly dead. However, the Omega Sanction does not kill its victims: instead, it sends their consciousness traveling through parallel worlds, and at the conclusion of Final Crisis, it is made clear that this is the fate that has befallen the still-living Batman, as he watches the passing of Anthro in the distant past.
For the most part, Batman's family and friends come to believe that Bruce Wayne is indeed dead. The only exception to this is Bruce's adopted son Tim Drake, who believes firmly that Bruce is still alive. After having the Robin identity taken from him by Dick Grayson, the new Batman, and giving it to Bruce's son, Damian, Tim takes on the identity of Red Robin, and begins searching the world for signs that Bruce Wayne is still alive. While searching in Baghdad, Tim finds a wall painting of the Bat emblem that was painted by Bruce upon the passing of Anthro. Tim realizes that Bruce is not dead, but rather lost in time.
In Blackest Night, the villain Black Hand is seen digging up Bruce Wayne's body, stealing his skull, and recruiting it into the Black Lantern Corps. Deadman, whose body has also become a Black Lantern, rushes to aid the new Batman and Robin, along with Red Robin against the Gotham villains who have been reanimated as Black Lanterns, as well as their own family members. The skull was briefly reanimated as a Black Lantern, reconstructing a body in the process by Black Hand's lord, Nekron, to move against the Justice League and the Titans. After the Black Lantern Batman created several black power rings to attach to and kill the majority of the Justice League, the skull was returned to normal after Nekron explained it served its purpose as an emotional tether. Nekron also referred to the skull as "Bruce Wayne", knowing that the body was not authentic.
In Batman and Robin's third storyline, "Blackest Knight," it is revealed that the body left behind at the end of Final Crisis #6 was actually a clone created from a failed attempt by Darkseid to amass an army of Batmen. Because of this, the skull that was used by the Black Lantern Corps and reanimated by Nekron was a fake. Dick Grayson, thinking it was Bruce Wayne's real body, attempted to resurrect it in a Lazarus Pit only to be met with a fierce, mindless combatant. He then realized the truth about the body.
- Main article: Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
It is revealed in the Final Crisis that Bruce Wayne is not dead, but in fact, lost in time and amnesiac. Maintaining a presence in Gotham, Bruce would be sent to Paleolithic era, the Puritan witch-hunting era, the 17 century, the Wild West days, the years he grew up in, and finally the far future. During these travels, Bruce fights an early Vandal Savage, investigates a murder under the guise of a witch-hunter, fights the dreaded pirate Blackbeard, and arranged the meeting of his ancestors Alan Wayne and Catherin Van Derm. During these encounters, Bruce was chased by Darkseid's Hyper-Adapter, which had be sent following him as a fallback plan to wipe out the present day Earth. After an encounter with the Black Glove in the days following his parents' murder, Bruce gained access to Professor Carter Nichols' time machine and used it to travel to the End of the Universe.
Upon arrival, Bruce's memories returned to him, during which he realized Darkseid had simply used his Omega Beams to banish him through time intentionally. Each time jump built up Omega Energy that would have destroyed Earth when he returned to the present day. Having mitigated the plan with the time jump, Bruce was rescued by Superman, Rip Hunter, Green Lantern and Tim (now using the alias Red Robin). Merging with both the Hyper-Adapter and the robotic Architects, he returns within the Time Bubble so that the Justice League can remove the creature and throw it into the time stream. To remove the Omega Energy, Bruce goes into a medically induced coma. During it, he is offered a chance to embrace the Anti-Life Equation by Darkseid, though he refuses. Upon awaking, Bruce decides to not only return to Gotham but to spread Batman's operations outside of Gotham City.
Upon his return, Bruce Wayne goes public with the news that he has been funding his crusade the entire time, though does not inform Gotham that he is Batman. Sharing the identity with Dick (who had taken it whilst he was "dead"), Batman sets out to create a worldwide crime fighting organization known as Batman Incorporated. The idea behind the organization is that each country or region will have its own specific Batman that will be funded by Bruce Wayne and his business empire.
Post-Flashpoint Batman (Earth-Prime)
Due to the effects of Flashpoint, the entire history of DC Universe is completely rewritten, resulting in the move to "Earth-Prime". Batman's history remains relatively unchanged, though the timeframe of his operations are reduced to 6 years and many of his allies are placed in different situations. Most notably, Dick Grayson is restored as Nightwing, Barbara Gordon returns as Batgirl, Tim has only used the Red Robin identity, and his romantic relationship with Catwoman has been reduced to several rooftop encounters. As Bruce Wayne, he works with Mayoral candidate Lincoln March to rebuild the city.
Whilst investigating a murder, Batman discovers that a secret society known as the Court of Owls has been operating in Gotham City. After being trapped in a underground maze by the group, he defeats their Talon and organizes the Bat-Family to help fight the court. After defeating their Talons, Batman discovers that March has actually been a member of the Court who believes himself to be his brother. Able to defeat him, Batman investigates further to discover that his parents did have another child, but they died shortly after birth. Sometime later, the Joker comes out of hiding to attack both Batman and his allies, claiming to know their identities. This culminates in a confrontation in the Batcave, where Batman threatens to reveal the Joker's identity. Sometime later, Damian is killed by an insane clone under Talia's control called The Heretic. Donning the Suit of Sorrows, Batman defeats both of them, though remains in mourning for some time.
After the Earth is taken over by both evil counterparts from Earth-3, Batman works with Catwoman, Cyborg, Lex Luthor and Earth-3 counterpart defeat the Crime Syndicate and free the imprisoned Justice League members. During the mission, he learns the Crime Syndicate have exposed Nightwing's identity, forcing him to fake his death. Whilst Luthor and his allies work to defeat the Syndicate, Batman releases the Justice League with the help of the Martian Manhunter. After the incident, he arranges Dick to infiltrate Spyral whilst he rounds up Gotham's criminals who have taken over in his absence.
Sometime later, Scarecrow traps Batman and his allies in an idealized version of Gotham, though they manage to escape. Sometime later, a year long attempt is made by March to destroy his personal life, though Batman is able to foil him with help from his allies. After Damian and Talia's bodies are stolen by the League of Assassins, Batman discovers a plot by both Ra's al Ghul and Darkseid to resurrect them. Venturing to Apokolyps, he uses the Chaos Crystal to resurrect his son.
Batman is later attacked by the Justice League, who he discovers are under the Joker's control. After defeating them in the Justice Buster Batsuit, he discovers his enemy plans to destroy Gotham with an army of Jokerized citizens. During the incident, Batman learns the Joker knows his identity and that he's survived their various encounters with the use of Dionesium, the chemical that gives Lazarus Pits their resurrecting abilities. After recovering the chemical to cure the outbreak, he is presumed dead after battling Joker.
After his apparent death, Gordon leaves the role of Commissioner and becomes a new Batman, albeit one officially supported by the GCPD. Bruce Wayne is eventually discovered to have survived due to being exposed to Dionesium, though heavily amnesiac. Ignorant of his life of vigilantism, Bruce instead tried to settle down and find a life of happiness, reuniting with his old flame, Julie Madison.
After a new supervillain called Mr. Bloom apparently killed Gordon and took over Gotham, Bruce learnt about his life as Batman and, after talking to a stranger, returned to the Batcave for the first time since his final encounter with Joker. Unable to recover the skills required to fight Bloom and his underlings, he decided to use an experimental machine that would upload his memories and skills into a body, but at the cost of his new life. With help from Alfred and Julie, Bruce went through with the procedure and returned to Gotham as Batman. With help from Gordon and a street gang modeled after Robin, he was able to defeat Bloom and save the city once again. With Batman's return to Gotham, the GCPD shut down their Batmen project and reinstated Gordon as Commissioner.
After the incident under the caves, Batman decided to investigate Nth metal, believing there to be some connection between it, Dionesium and the Court of Owls. To that end, he approached the leader of the Robin street gang, Duke Thomas, and offered to train him into another hero, as opposed to another Robin. In reality, Bruce knew about his status as a metahuman and wished for him to help investigate the court's plans.
After the apparent death of Superman, Batman saw an individual dressed like the Flash appear before him in the Batcave. Insisting that he knew him, the individual urged Batman meet with Barry Allen before disappearing. Urged by his suspicions, Batman uncovered a button in one of the walls and met with Allen. Deciding to investigate this together, they began to suspect that ramifications to the timeline might have not been caused by Barry, but another influence. At some point, he discovered the Joker was still alive and captured the Clown Prince of Crime, holding him in the Batcave to help investigate the truth of Nth.
Batman reformed the Bat-Family with Batwoman and began training Duke to become another vigilante for Gotham. Whilst saving a falling airplane, Batman received help from two new heroes called Gotham and Gotham Girl, two metahumans with powers similar to Superman. Seeing them as a potential replacement for him, he took the duo under his wing and helped them on the path to becoming Gotham's new superheroes. However, after an encounter with Hugo Strange and Psycho Pirate, the two were rendered mentally damaged and, when Gotham attacked the city, Batman was forced to fight him until his powers drained his body, killing him. Taking Claire under his wing, Batman, with the help of the rest of the Bat Family, stopped an attack orchestrated by Strange, similar to one of their earliest encounters.
Whilst Claire's condition worsened, Batman tracked Psycho Pirate to Santa Prisca, where he discovered he was being used by Bane as a substitute to Venom. At Amanda Waller's suggestion, Bruce put together a team of supervillains to break into the island and recover the Psycho Pirate. Among the teammates was Catwoman, who was serving a life sentence after apparently killing 127 members of a terrorist organization. During the mission, they recollided their relationship and, during her last night of freedom, Batman learned that she was actually taking the blame for her friend Holly Robinson. When Bane attacked Gotham to recover Psycho Pirate, he employed the entire Bat-Family and Rogues Gallery, to protect him and Claire long enough to cure her of the Pirate's influence.
After an incident where the Justice League and Suicide Squad were forced to team up, Batman began constructing an new team of backstreet heroes to act as another team alternative for the League. After he was attacked by the Reverse-Flash, Batman would witness his apparent death and, with the Flash's help, decided to investigate what had caused the incident. Together, the two discovered the Flashpoint timeline had continued to exist and encountered that timeline's Batman, Thomas Wayne. As they escaped the timeline, his father urged Bruce to give up his life as Batman and find happiness. After this, Bruce proposed to Catwoman, which she accepted the proposal. Following this, they travelled to Khadym to extradite Holly, bringing them into conflict with Talia.
After the mission, Batman began following up on the Nth metal investigation. However, he realized that this was actually a plot by the Court of Owls to open a gateway to the Dark Multiverse, having been exposed to the necessary materials since reality's change. This brought twisted versions of himself gaining access to the universe, lead by Barbatos and the Batman Who Laughs. To defeat the threat, he worked with the Justice League and other superheroes. Batman also defeated the Batman Who Laughs, with the assistance of Joker.
After a separate confrontation with the Joker, Batman and Catwoman decided to marry as their alter-egos. However, Selina left him at the alter after a conversation with Holly, leaving him depressed. Shortly afterwards, KGBeast shot Dick, leaving him with amnesia. After tracking the assassin down and nearly killing the assassin, Batman learned that Bane had orchestrated it and his engagement to Selina to break him down mentally. Pursuing the lead further, this only pushed him into events that drained him further and led his allies to question his sanity.
After being locked up in Arkham Asylum by Bane and subjected to Fear Toxin infused nightmares, Batman finally learned that the Flashpoint Batman was also involved. However, both villains orchestrated their endgame, taking over Gotham and defeating him together. After the confrontation, Thomas tried to convince Bruce to resurrect his mother in a Lazarus Pit in the Arabian desert. Though he seemed to agree to the plan, he instead hid the body in the desert and fought his father. However, Bruce held back against Thomas, leading to his defeat.
Left to die, Bruce was barely able to escape and fled into the wilderness. At the point of death, he was discovered and rescued by Selina, who had also discovered Bane's conspiracy. After being nursed back to health, they agreed to work together to defeat the two villains and rekindled their relationship. Acquiring Clayface's help, Batman and Catwoman subdued the other villains and together defeated Bane. However, they were captured by Thomas, during which Bruce learned that Alfred had been killed. Though the sight was intended to finally break his will, this instead convinced Bruce to continue his mission and, no longer holding back, defeated his father. After the fight, he committed the Flashpoint Batman to Arkham.
The Joker War
After a confrontation with the Legion of Doom, Batman learned that a legion of assassins had been sent to Gotham and were targeting Catwoman, Penguin and Riddler. After defeating most the group, he learned that they and the Joker had been involved with a master criminal called the Designer. Believed dead after a meeting gone wrong, Batman learned that he'd planned schemes for the villains that had been abandoned after his death. Whilst Catwoman attempted to stop her plans to steal his fortune, Batman defeated Deathstroke and stopped Riddler's scheme. Tracking down "the Designer", Batman realized too late that these were actually a larger scheme by the Joker and to steal his fortune and turn it against him.
As Joker used the acquired resources to wage an endless war against Gotham's civil citizens and law enforcement organizations, Batman confronted his new sidekick Punchline, during which he was injected with a new toxin. Joker also used the Designer's gas to resurrect the bodies of all his victims, using them to attack him. Physically and mentally drained from the fight, Batman was rescued by Harley Quinn, who helped him purge Punchline's toxins from his body. Whilst recovering, Bruce resolved to become a better Batman by living within and operating within Gotham, rather than outside of it. After subduing Punchline, Batman contacted the rest of the Bat Family to help defeat Joker's forces.
In the aftermath of Joker's attacks, Batman donated his fortune to Lucius Fox and his family. He later abandoned Wayne Manor to set up operations within Gotham's Fort Graye neighborhood. During his early days, Batman learned that a Joker survivor called Bao Pham had become the murderous vigilante Clownhunter and that his former friend Ghost-Maker. After confronting the duo, he managed to convince them to help operate in Gotham City. Some time later, Batman learned from the Teen Titans that Damian had begun killing criminal. After stopping him from killing KGBeast, his son abandoned the Robin identity and left Gotham.
Following the Infinite Frontier event, Batman learns of a new criminal conspiracy led by the Scarecrow, leading him to seek out the Unsanity Collective. However, his focus on these lead to the Magistrate and Simon Saint to take over the city, using Peacekeepers to take over law enforcement. With the help of the Batman Family, the Dark Knight is able to defeat Scarecrow and disband the organization. In the aftermath, he helps clear the names of Batman Incorporated after they are implicated in a murder, during which he learns Lex Luthor has become their financer. After defeating both him and the Abyss, Batman gives the team's leadership to Ghost-Maker and helps foil an escape from Arkham Tower. He also reconnects with Damian and Talia whilst solving Ra's al Ghul's murder by a Deathstroke impersonator.
Batman, in most of his incarnations, is a dark and brooding hero with a personal vendetta against crime and injustice. Psychologically traumatized by the death of his parents, Batman has sworn to rid Gotham from the criminal elements that took his parents away from him. He is extremely pessimistic and suspicious, which often makes it difficult for him to trust people other than Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Lucius Fox, the Robins or the Batgirls.
Despite this, Batman has proved to have a great love for humanity, which was instilled by his parents. His father was a doctor, while his mother was a crusader against child abuse. Indeed, Batman's oath of vengeance is tempered with the greater ideal of justice. He refrains from killing, as he feels this would not make him any better than the criminals he fights. He is also a very prominent member of the Justice League and the founder of the Outsiders.
To protect his secret identity, Batman has constructed a fake persona he can use in his civilian identity. To the world at large, Bruce Wayne is a self-absorbed, irresponsible playboy and philanthropist. Only his closest allies know that this attitude is just an act.
- Main articles: Wayne Family and Kane Family and Batman Family
Throughout the years, Bruce Wayne's family has often changed, with member either appearing, been added, and retconned both in and out of continuity. Despite this, it is widely regarded that he has two different families: the biological Wayne Family and the surrogate Batman Family.
The two most important figures of the Wayne family are Bruce's parents Thomas and Martha Wayne, whos' murder served as the main factor that inspired activities as Batman. However, their charitable activities has also inspired him to use him to continue such causes, often to ensure he can improve the living conditions of Gotham's citizens. Several other members of the Wayne Family have also appeared over the years, such as his uncle Philip Wayne, aunt Agatha Wayne, various cousins such as Van Wayne, and propertied brothers like Thomas Wayne, Jr. and Lincoln March. The Waynes also share a vast history with Gotham City and the wider world of the DC Universe. Though his mother, Bruce's maternal family includes the Kanes, who's members have included various members tied to Gotham's past.
After DC's restructuring in the Post-Crisis continuities, Alfred Pennyworth's relationship has changed from serving just as his butler to also being Bruce's surrogate father and legal guardian. Though this, Bruce has become linked to the Pennyworth family, including Alfred's daughter Julia. Likewise, the Batman Family itself are widely considered part of Batman's surrogate family, with members either being adopted by him (such as Dick Grayson, Lance Bruner, Jason Todd, Cassandra Cain, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown and Duke Thomas) or tied to him via family relations (Kathy Kane, Bette Kane and Kate Kane).
Through relationships with several women, Bruce has had children, notably Helena Wayne, Echo, Bruce Wayne, Jr. and Aion (with Selina Kyle / Catwoman) and Tallant Wayne, Damian Wayne and Athanasia al Ghul (with Talia al Ghul). Sometimes this is due to scientific methods, such as the Damian clone, Heretic, and (in some continuities) Terry McGinnis / Batman Beyond and his brother Matt. Many of his children have also started crime-fighting activities, often alongside him or when he is unable to assume the identity of Batman. Some continuities also stated that Bruce will have descendants through them or through other children, many of whom will become Batmen or Batwomen of the future.
- Main article: Batman's Love Interests
Throughout the years, Batman has had many relationships with many women, most of which seem to last only a short time. These range from similar social standings and citizens of Gotham to allies and enemies alike. Bruce's relationships with woman has been complicated by his Batman identity, with them usually deteriorating because he does not tell them about his activities or, on the occasion he has, they cannot stand by his lifestyle. Though he has shared mutual attractions with allies, they usually go no further than flirting, due to commitments with other characters or brief stints that end as quickly as his civilian partnerships. Likewise, Batman has also shared romances with enemies, though they usually end due to their imprisonment or learning it to be part of their schemes.
Batman's most long standing relationship has often been with Selina Kyle/Catwoman, whom he's been attached to as both Bruce Wayne and Batman. The two have ranged from one-time encounter to full-time relationships as their civilian identities, though not always aware of the others' dual identity. On the times where Selina has learned this, there has been more acceptance compared with other partners. However, due to their different ideals and sides of the law, Batman and Catwoman have often been depicted as trying to tied the other to their point of view, though often unsuccessfully or part of a ruse. However, Catwoman's transition to anti-hero in recent years has often mitigated this crisis.
Other prominent romantic partners have included reporter Vicki Vale, actress Julie Madison, socialites Linda Page and Silver St. Cloud, and bodyguard Sasha Bordeaux. Batman has also shared relationships with allies like Wonder Woman, Kathy Kane, Black Canary, Zatanna and Lois Lane, and enemies like Talia al Ghul, Poison Ivy, Nocturna and the McKillen sisters.
- Main article: Category:Allies
Though often depicted as self-reliant, Batman has often worked heavily with various other heroes and allies in his activities. These have ranged from officials in Gotham City to heroes throughout the DC Universe.
The most prominent ally outside of the Batman family has often been Gotham City's Police Commissioner James Gordon, with whom Batman has worked to clean up crime and corruption in the city. His alliance with Gordon has often been depicted as both a undying trust to skeptical alignment. Batman's connection with Gordon has also ensured that he can operate more easily, often to investigate cases too big for the GCPD and ensuring he can assist the police in matters. Outside of Gordon, Batman has established working relationships with other members of the service, including Harvey Bullock, Renee Montoya, Crispus Allen and Jason Bard.
Through both his masked and civilian identity, Batman has also allied with various sections of Gotham's society, ranging from street-level contacts to officials of Gotham. These include various Gotham City Mayors, members of its council and prominent members of its social circles. Through Wayne Enterprises and its subsidiaries, Batman has also be able to obtain information and resources need to fight crime. Employees and associates like Lucius Fox and Harold Allnut have also helped maintain equipment and gadgets used in the field, in addition to keeping his identity secret. Batman also has received medical aid from family friend Dr. Leslie Thompkins, though she's often voiced disapproval of his lifestyle.
Batman's closest partnerships are often members of the Batman Family, including the various Robins and Batgirls. These have also branched out into other alliances with vigilantes and crime-fighters in Gotham, such as the Huntress, Onyx and Batwing. Batman has also worked with various superheroes in other cities across the United States, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, both the Barry Allen and Wally West incarnations of the Flash, and various members of the Green Lantern Corps. With many of these allies, he has also served as a founding member of superhero teams such as the Justice League, Justice Society of America and the Outsiders. Through international connections with other vigilantes around the world, Batman has established international crime-fighting organizations such as Batmen of All Nations and Batman Incorporated.
Alliances with other superheroes have also stretched to other publishers' characters, including Marvel Comics' characters (notably Spider-Man, the Hulk, Captain America and Daredevil), Image Comics' Spawn, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- Main article: Batman Rogues Gallery
Since his debut, Batman has made a large variety of enemies and foes, from small-time criminals to major players in Gotham's underworld. Some of these have also been major international players outside of the city, ranging from international gangs to terrorist cells.
Batman's arch-nemesis is generally considered to be the Joker, a clowned-themed criminal who's goals and motivations either change on a day or remain secret to anyone but himself. Often confronting him more than any other adversary (thus far), the two's relationship has often categorized as polar opposites: Batman being more serious and fighting for order while Joker is jovial and enjoys inflicting chaos onto Gotham's streets. Batman has also suffered perhaps the most tragedy in his battles with the Joker, including such as the murder of Jason Todd. In some adventures, Joker has attempted to drive Batman to kill him just to see whether he can push him over the edge.
Batman's costumed enemies are often referred to as his "Rogues Gallery", with some of its most notably including Catwoman, the Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, the Riddler, Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, Ra's al Ghul, Bane, Harley Quinn, Clayface, the Mad Hatter, Hugo Strange, Killer Croc, Deadshot and Hush. He has also taken on major crime lords like Rupert Thorne and Carmine Falcone, mad scientists like Doctor Death and Professor Milo, supernatural foes like Solomon Grundy and Doctor Hurt, and other members of superheroes' rogues galleries, like Lex Luthor and Deathstroke. Batman's foes most commonly operate in or target Gotham City, thus his operations focus mainly on it and the surrounding area.
Although he has no explicit superpowers, Batman often relies on "his own scientific knowledge, detective skills, and athletic prowess". Over years of intense training, Batman has developed the following skills and abilities:
- Peak Human Condition: Through intense training, specialized diet and meditation, Batman represents the absolute pinnacle of human physical prowess. His physical attributes is at the natural limits far above than that of an Olympic-level athlete that has ever competed. His strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, senses, healing and endurance are at the peak of human potential and perfection. Batman began his physical and mental conditioning when he was 10 and then intense physical training and weight lifting at age 12. He had mastered full body control by the time he was 18. Bruce Wayne, since the age of 15, has created a strict diet to enable his body to develop and operate at its most proficient, along with biofeedback treatments. Batman being able to perform amazing physical feats is due to his superior physique, and has often defeated opponents whose size, strength, or other powers greatly exceeded his own. He has spent his entire life in pursuit of physical perfection and has attained it through constant intensive training and determination. Following his recent exposure to Dionesium he has become much stronger and faster than ever before. He also has micro sleep, which he has mastered the art of power-naps and evolved it into what he calls micro sleep. Although these periods of sleeps are longer in duration (1 hour), they would be more replenishing and much harder to wake up from. Batman has also been shown to be capable of going over 4 days with no sleep at all.
- Peak Human Strength: In terms of brute strength, Batman is one of the strongest non-metahumans alive. 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. Following his recent Dionesium exposure he is even stronger. Hence, he can break steel chains and cuffs with ease, smash stone barehanded, punch down 3-inch chromium-steel doors, support a ceiling that weighed 1000 lbs over his head for an extended period of time, and rip metal prison bars with his bare hands. Batman has demonstrated enough strength to easily overpower dozens of men at once, effortlessly lifting a full grown man in the air with one arm and throwing him several meters, tear off an airplane door in mid-flight with one arm, slowing down a speeding car with his grapple gun, and even punch a SWAT officer through a brick wall with no strain, giving the officer internal injuries. Deathstroke a near-metahuman once stated that Batman "hits harder than most beings with superhuman strength." Batman also has more than strong enough to pull 5 men over in a tug-o-war match with one arm, kick a concrete pillar in half while his legs were damaged, lift an entire bench-press bar with one arm and throw it like a bowling-ball, kick a thick tree in half during his early days, and break or bend guns with his mere grip on many occasions, all performed with casual ease. During his exercise regimes, Batman could bench-press at least 1 ton (more or less), dumbbell curl tens of hundreds of pounds without even flinching, and do over 300 lbs of tricep extensions while injured. Using highly effective muscle control, Batman can apply practically superhuman force in his physical attacks, able to overpower Killer Croc and the Venom enhanced Bane (despite their superior strength).
- 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 during a brief tussle from Wonder Woman despite her vast superhuman strength. Also Batman seems to be highly resistant to the blunt trauma of surviving falls of considerable distance such as multi-story drops and falls, evident when he was stabbed numerous times then kicked out of a building and landed from 30-stories high with little injuries with no Batsuit or gadgets. Batman's durability allowed him to be completely unmoved by a chair being picked up and smashed against his head, and had unnoticeable injuries from a 10,000 volt electric shock. He also once took a bullet to the chest before his suit was armored and lived.
- Peak Human Speed: He can run and move at speeds comparable to the finest human athletes. In combat he is extremely agile and evasive, supplementing his strength with sheer speed to defeat his enemies, he could even match the master assassin Deathstroke's combat speed. Occasionally, Batman has shown enough speed to catch up or outrun a speeding car while running on foot. He is capable of moving faster than SWAT can align their weapons as evident that most men can't shoot or even aim guns fast enough to get a bead on him. Batman has outran a huge explosion, ran faster than GCPD could even see, catches up to a train, moves faster than an Olympic-had ever seen, and crosses 10 feet to punch down Hugo Strange so fast he could react. He is typically shown and described as running and moving so fast he is a blur.
- Peak Human Agility: His agility is greater than that of a Chinese acrobat and superior to an Olympic-gold athlete gymnast. He can flawlessly coordinate his body with perfect balance, flexibility, and dexterity. His main phase of movement is Parkour which he learned in France and uses it to scale the cities rooftops in an acrobatic manner. He is capable of completing a triple somersault, running across thin wire cable which showcased his balance. Bruce regularly practices his agility by practicing gymnastics blindfolded. Batman's balance is shown to be practically perfect when he ran across a thin wire-cable and has a lot of midair maneuverability. Bruce is shown multiple time to be able to jump very high and leap very far.
- Peak Human Stamina: Bruce's highly trained and developed body generates considerably less fatigue toxins and is much more resistant to fatigue toxins than normal humans, granting him exceptional endurance and lung capacity. His lung capacity is so great that he can hold his breath underwater for over 7 minutes with little to no strain. In his early days he once fought in a death gauntlet for 28 hours straight before collapsing from exhaustion. Batman has demonstrated exercising extensively with a rigorous training regime that lasted 1 hour, yet wasn't nearly satisfied. He can exert himself at peak capacity without slowing down for several hours before showing signs of fatigue or began tiring, evident on a few occasions when he fought days at a time; though was extremely exhausted physically and mentally. He is shown to be completely fine in falling -20 degree temperature and stand in a sub-zero temperature body of water without almost any clothes, survive in the vacuum of space for 24 seconds and easily withstands Planet Krypton-like conditions; which has 5 times Earth gravity.
- Peak Human Reflexes: Batman's reflexes are seemingly superhuman, and is far superior to normal humans. He is able to quickly react instantaneously to simultaneous attacks from multiple enemies and dodge rapid gunfire at point-blank range on many occasions, though he can get hit if there are to many to evade. Bruce's reflexes were honed to such a degree that he has caught one of Green Arrow's arrows in mid flight from behind when he tried to shoot him. Bruce himself mentally stated in mid-combat that he literally perceives bullets in slow motion, and normal humans moves are also telegraphed in slow motion to him, as evident on another incident when he noted that it takes less than a second for him to cripple 3 men. He has also been shown to catch a grenade and throw it back at the enemy, catch a speeding baseball at the last moment, disarm multiple gangsters before any of them could pull the trigger, block a crossbolt from only 5 feet away, dodge Supergirl's laser heat-vision and deflect 4 high-speed shuriken at once with one batarang.
- Peak Human Metabolism: Batman's natural healing, metabolism, immune system, are at the highest limits of human potential, which means he can heal much faster than normal humans, he is able to heal broken bones, fractures, torn muscles, gunshot, knife, puncture wounds and other major injuries all within a few weeks and minor injuries like cuts, scrapes and burns within a few hours to days. His immune system fights off microbes, infections, disorders, illnesses, sicknesses far better than normal (but is not immune). His healing time is very short, as he recovered from a broken back within an unknown amount of weeks. After undergoing the same treatment as the Joker, with the chemical compound Dionesium. Batman has developed the ability to recover from almost any injury, like acid being poured in his eyes. This included healing himself fully from all the scars and trauma he acquired over the years, increasing his strength and speed.
- Peak Human Senses: Through meditation, Batman's five senses are pushed at the highest limits of human perfection; meaning that his sense of sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste are very keen. At one time he was able to hear a sniper load his weapon from across the street a block over, hear an alarm three blocks away, hear the subtle movements of bats, see so far that Robin had to use binoculars to see with clarity and allegedly has the sight of an eagle; allowing him to see even the slightest shifts in the air enough to fight an invisible person. His awareness, instincts, and senses combined make him extremely alert to danger, bordering a sixth sense. Even Commissioner Gordon has commented saying "it's almost like he has a sixth sense". It is also implied that he has a slight ability to sense chi/ki.
- Master Martial Artist: Batman has entirely mastered and even perfected every single form of hand-to-hand combat known to man and is one of the finest human combatants Earth has ever known. He was trained around the world for years to master multiple martial arts. Master Kirigi stated to Bruce that he is a natural genius in fighting due to "his great violent nature inside of him". Even Karate Kid of the future was very surprised that Bruce adapted and learned future-style combat in seconds that he never even experienced. He has completely mastered all unarmed hand-to hand combat styles of martial arts including but not limited to MMA, Muay Thai, Escrima, Krav Maga, Capoeira, Savate, Yawyan, Taekwondo, Judo, Jui-jitsu Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Ninjutsu, Kendo, Fencing, Kenjutsu, Kali, Bojutsu, Wrestling, Francombat, Boxing, Kickboxing, Hapkido, Sambo, Wing Chun, Parkour, Shorin Ryu, Silat, Chin Na, Kyudo, Aikido, Varma Ati, Jeet Kune Do, Shaolin, Ba Gua, Hung Gar, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Kenpo, and Karate. His primary form of combat is a harmonious mixture of Jui-Jitsu, Taekwondo, Judo, Muay Thai, Savate, Karate, Kung Fu, Boxing, Capoeira, Krav Maga, Aikido, and Ninjutsu. Batman has proven he easily defeat a highly trained Green Beret within seconds, defeat multiple groups of armed opponents, fight evenly with Lady Shiva and Deathstroke multiple times, and defeat enemies that are physically superior to him through the use of sheer skill. He has also trained many other people to be the fighters they are (Nightwing, Red Hood, Tim Drake, and so on) and it can be inferred from him turning them into the fighters that they are that he is indeed a skilled fighter.
- Weapon Mastery: 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.
- Expert Marksman: Due in part to his training in Ninjutsu, Batman almost never misses his targets, 9/10 times he's successful. Bruce is a highly skilled expert marksman with throwing projectile weapons, archery and firearms when it comes to small, distant, moving or even invisible targets. He has been practicing such skills since the early days of his training and is almost on par with the Green Arrow in terms of accuracy and precision. He was shown to be able to flick a light switch on from a distance and hit a penny dropping in the air from a distance both done with a Batarang. He is equally skilled with firearms, though he doesn't like offensive guns and prefers not to use them. Bruce is also one of the world's top ten marksmen.
- Master Acrobat: Proficient in gymnastics and acrobatics, to the peak of human ability. He is particularly skilled in parkour and free running. He can perform impeccably precise acrobatic moves instinctively in combat, or whilst escaping a catastrophe, and can even dodge a superhuman individual's blows and sword-swings. He regularly practices his gymnastics and acrobatics blindfolded.
- Master Spy: His advanced and extensive Ninjutsu and law enforcement training has made him a master at stealth, espionage, infiltration, and sabotage. Bruce is capable of breaching very high-security facilities with ease and without being detected. Batman's stealth prowess is so great that he's capable of effortlessly breaking into a top-secret base a mile under Gotham City, infiltrate the President's White House in a short amount of time, breaking and entering into the Pentagon instantly, the maximum security Arkham Asylum, a Justice league facility, Cadmus' and Oracle's supposedly impenetrable hideout, and even the infamous Area 51 and Area 52 completely unnoticed. He has proven to be very familiar with military protocols and codes, as he casually anticipated and countered law enforcement/paramilitary tactics and strategies. Bruce has also learned how to pick various locks when he was in grade school.
- Disguise Mastery: Has mastered the art of disguise by the time he was 23. Has further learned Expanded Disguise techniques by the time he was 26. Batman has many aliases he uses to infiltrate the underworld or just to go undercover in public situations. His current aliases are: Matches Malone, Thomas Quigley, Ragman, Detective Hawke, Sir Hemingford Grey, Lester Krutz, Frank Dixon, Gordon Selkirk, and Mr. Fledermaus.
- Master Escapologist: He has been described as second only to Mister Miracle as an escape artist. He has been seen escaping from a Posey straitjacket in less than 52 seconds, and remarked afterwards that the time was way too slow for him. He has effortlessly escaped handcuffs casually on multiple occasions within seconds, even going as far as saying "they were a joke". When arrested and locked up in prison, Bruce quickly identified three ways to seamlessly escape his cell with no tools or gadgets at all.
- Master Intimidator: It is widely known that Batman has the ability to instill fear in others, even the people that know him best are intimidated by him, Batman regularly forces common criminals flee in terror, despite there is no evidence that he would actually kill anyone. Even those who aren't afraid of the likes of Superman fear Batman. His ability to inspire great fear made him eligible for induction into the Sinestro Corps, although he was able to fight off the power ring's control.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Batman's IQ is possibly well over 200; he is a brilliant, virtually peerless, detective, strategist, scientist, tactician, and commander; he is widely regarded as one of the keenest analytical minds on the planet. Given his lack of superpowers, he often uses cunning and planning to outwit his foes, rather than simply "out-fighting" them. Due to his mental training and being naturally gifted, he has acquired an an instant learning aptitude, parallel multitasking, eidetic/photographic memory, accelerated reading, and a more powerful memory. He is the second smartest person on Earth behind Lex Luthor. He is also a eclectic polymath genius. He has studied Biology, Technology, Mathematics, Physics, Mythology, Geography, & History. Gained degrees in Criminal Science, Forensics, Computer Science, Chemistry, and Engineering by the time he was 21. He has mastered Diverse Environmental Training, Security Systems, and illusion/sleight of hand by the time he was 23. He gained even more degrees in Biology, Physics, Advanced Chemistry, and Technology by the time he was 25. He has learned Forensic, Medical Sciences, Expanded Computer and Engineering Sciences, and Expanded Device Pool use of personal powered armor and system, database creation on underworld crime bosses, rogue's gallery foes and other supers; improved material sciences for body armor and micro-machinery by the time he was 26. Has also learned Advanced New Development in Forensic and Medical Sciences.
- Master Tactician: He is a master strategist and tactician commonly utilizes extremely cunning tactics, strategies, and protocols to outwit his foes. He is also an excellent leader and usually 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 who has enhanced mental performance. For these reasons he is listed as the one of the greatest living strategist and tactician in the entire multiverse and recognized as the Justice Leagues leader and tactical commander.
- Master Detective: He is considered the "World's Greatest Detective" 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. Batman regularly outsmart the highly intelligent Riddler and commonly uses his detective skills, deductive intuition to match the unpredictable Joker, and even able to deduce the mere physics and mechanics of a Green Lantern ring.
- Master Hacker: Batman can hack into almost any computer and learn what he needs from its database. Batman is at times, often helped by Oracle or Alfred with computer-related matters as he pales in comparison to their skills; this usually frees up his time to focus on other problems. Bruce was able to hack and record the mobile frequency of the Suicide Squad members brain bombs and deactivate them. He was easily able to hack and steal all data and information from Area 51 and NASA. Batman was able to hack and overload Cyborg's internal systems, putting him into a dream-like condition. He has the ability and skills to access any file or record on the planet including redacted, sealed, or highly-encrypted; including radio frequencies, bus, train, and plane schedules.
- Expert Interrogator: Batman is adept in the use of interrogation techniques, employing anything from law enforcement methods to outright torture. Several techniques have been seen, include hanging a person over the edge of a building by one leg or chaining a person upside down and beating them. He usually just plain uses his frightening appearance to get answers. "Fear is an excellent motivator" he once said.
- Expert Driver: Bruce has expertise in evasive driving and combat piloting a variety of vehicles from motorcycles, cars, boats, airplanes, and helicopters.
- Expert Tracker: Trained in hunting and tracking techniques by African Bushmen (the Ghost Tribes of the Ten-eyed Brotherhood, among others).
- Multilingualism: He is extremely fluent in English, Spanish, Japanese, German, Russian, Arabic, French, Latin, Cantonese, Mandarin, and much more.
- Indomitable Will: He has no known superhuman powers, but he does have an almost superhuman "force of will". Batman's unstoppable determination, sense of discipline and morale, and strength of will make him an extremely formidable opponent. This makes him able to function while tolerating massive amounts of physical pain, and also allows him to resist telepathy or mind control. His willpower is strong enough to operate a Green Lantern Ring when necessary. He is also unshakably devoted to his solemn vow never to kill, in spite of his vicious inner temptation to do so - the latter of which factors is displayed prominently when facing the Joker.
Batman's equipment often changes depending on the times and writers. The most utilized of these include the following:
- Batsuit: Batman's costume is composed of Kevlar and a small percentage of titanium; it is bulletproof and resistant to most forms of attack (explosions, blunt trauma, falls, etc.) It is also flame-retardant and insulated. The gloves and the boots are reinforced to nullify the impact of punches and kicks. Batman's gauntlets have retractable metallic blades on their sides. The cape is extremely light and can be used to glide long distances. The cowl is composed in small part by lead, which shields Batman's face from identification via x-rays. It has also an infrared viewer and auditory sensors. The cowl is outfitted with security systems (aggravating gas, electric blasts, etc.) like the utility belt. The mask is also a transmitter-receiver.
- Utility Belt: Batman keeps most of his personal field equipment in his iconic yellow utility belt. Over the years, it has produced grappling ropes, nerve toxins, batarangs, smoke bombs, explosives, investigation equipment, cutting tools, gasmasks and rebreathers. 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.).
- Batrope: Since his debut, Batman has often made use of a "silken cord" to traverse the rooftops of Gotham. It is often equipped or combined with either grappling hooks or batarangs to attach it onto objects. Since the 1980s, Batman has often used a Grapple Gun to fire and ascend the rope.
- Batarangs: Small bat-shaped throwing weapons. Originally based on Aboriginal Australian boomerangs, more recent years have depicted them as being similar to shuriken. Batman often made use of gadget variant Batarangs on multiple occasions, including explosive, electrically charged, remote-controlled and heated variants.
- Gas Capsules: Small miniature pellets containing chemical components that, when mixed, release airborne agents. These have often been depicted to contain incapacitating components, such as tear and knockout gas. Batman has more commonly used smoke-based variants, which release thick clouds of smoke to distract enemies or cover escapes.
- Batmobile: A modified car used for both high-speed pursuits and general travel. Batman often uses the Batmobile to patrol the streets of Gotham or as his general response to situations. The Batmobile is generally housed in the Batcave, though secret garages and maintenance points can be found around Gotham.
- Batplane: A custom jet engine used to patrol Gotham's skyline. The plan is the fastest of Batman's vehicles and is used for aerial pursuits. It is often stored in secret hanger located in or near the Batcave. Some stories and continuities have referred to the vehicle as "the Batwing".
- Batboat: A watercraft used to travel via the water. Stored within an underground dock at the Batcave, Batman uses the Batboat to deal with aquatic situations. In some stories, the Boat is capable of submerging underwater for deep-sea pursuits.
In Other Media
- Main article: Batman/In Other Media
Batman has appeared in various forms of media, ranging from theatrically released films, live-action television series, cartoons, video games, and various other forms. The character has been portrayed by many actors, including Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, and Robert Pattinson. Batman has also been voiced by other actors in animated films, cartoons and video games, including Olan Soule, Kevin Conroy, Rino Romano, Diedrich Bader, Troy Baker, Jason O'Mara, Jensen Ackles, and Anson Mount .
- Batman's origin story involving the murder of Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne has been retconned several times. It was originally established that the mugger had been named Joe Chill and Bruce was aware of this. Zero Hour changed this so that his identity was never revealed, symbolically strengthening the potential link between any criminal and the man who killed his parents. Following Infinite Crisis, Chill was identified and been arrested the very same night. This is expanded upon in a later story which showed Batman slowly driving Chill insane with mental torture before causing him to snap and commit suicide with the bullet meant for Bruce as a child. After the New 52, Chill escaped the law and Bruce tracked him down before leaving Gotham. However, rather than kill his parents' murder, Bruce spared Chill later made amends before his death.
- In Pre-Crisis stories Bruce Wayne had been a founding member of the Justice League of America. After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, they retconned that the founding members of the League were Aquaman, Black Canary, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. Batman was shown to have disdain for this group. Infinite Crisis changed this again so that he had been one of the founding members along with Superman and Wonder Woman.
- 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 by Talia.
- Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27, though this was later retconned to the Earth-Two version. His "Earth-One" incarnation first appeared in Batman #96, though several Golden-Age stories were retconned into his stories. Batman's first Post-Crisis appearance was during Batman: Year One in Batman #404. The current version (Prime Earth) first appeared in Flashpoint #5. However, following DC Rebirth and the Doomsday Clock miniseries, all four of the incarnations have been revealed to be the same version due to the nature of the DC Multiverse.
- 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 and the Batman Who Laughs. This has also lead to him not using firearms within his operations, though likely due to their involvement in his parent's murder.
- However, within his early storylines, including his debut, Batman would often kill his enemies or allow them to die, often not caring about whether they survived such incidents. This was only changed after his solo comic's first publication and the introduction of Robin, at the behest of editor Whitney Ellsworth. Despite this, it has been noted that Batman has often broke these "rules" in many stories without repercussion or acknowledgement, including the Modern Age. Some have gone to suggest that Batman will not kill with guns, something which the New-Earth Batman made an expectation to during Final Crisis.
- The movie which a young Bruce and his parents were seeing on the night of their murder is generally stated to be "Mark of Zorro" (the exact version varies). This is important because Bob Kane stated that he drew inspiration for Batman from seeing a screening of that very movie. He also drew inspiration from images of Leonardo da Vinci's flying machine. Some have also noted similarities between the character and the titular character in the 1920 play The Bat.
- Bruce's birthday is February 19th.
- It is generally believed that Batman first appeared in May 1939. In 2014, May 19th was used to mark his 75th anniversary.
- Batman doesn't drink alcohol to keep his physical state at his peak, but he tricks others around him by consuming ginger ale and pretending that it's alcohol.
- Whilst online, Batman uses the pseudonym JonDoe297.
- In 2005, Forbes.com listed Bruce Wayne as #7 on its list of fifteen wealthiest fictional characters, with a net worth of U.S 6.3-billion.
- Bruce's favorite meal is Mulligatawny soup.
- (Batman #47)
- (Batman: Year Two)
- (Batman #0)
- (Infinite Crisis #6)
- (Batman #673)
- (Batman: The Dark Knight (Vol. 3) #0)
- (Batman: Three Jokers)
- Secret Origins (Volume 2) #32
- (JLA: Year One #1)
- (JLA: Year One #2)
- Batman: Son of the Demon
- Dennis O'Neil interview at Comics Bulletin
- (Batman #656)
- DC Calendar 1976
- (Batman: Tenses #1), see excerpt
- (Detective Comics #845), see excerpt
- Forbes Fictional 15