This page is about the original comic book character. For other uses, see Batman (Disambiguation).
- "I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman!"
Batman has been Gotham City's protector for decades, CEO of Wayne Enterprises, Patriarch of the Bat Family and veteran member of the Justice League. Batman is a superhero co-created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger. The character made his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939). Batman is the secret identity of Bruce Wayne. Witnessing the murder of his parents as a child leads him to train himself to physical and intellectual perfection and don a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime. Batman operates in the Batcave, beneath Wayne Manor assisted by his butler Alfred Pennyworth. The Dark Knight fights an assortment of villains influenced by the characters' roots in film and pulp magazines. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use (to the best that he can) of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime.
Batman became a popular character soon after his introduction, and eventually gained his own title, "Batman". 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. That and the success of director Tim Burton's 1989 Batman motion picture helped reignite popular interest in the character. A cultural icon, Batman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from radio to television and film, and appears on a variety of merchandise sold all over the world. The Batman goes by numerous nicknames, such as The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, World's Greatest Detective and the Defender of Gotham.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Golden Age
- 1.3 Silver Age
- 1.4 Modern Batman
- 1.5 Knightfall
- 1.6 Batman R.I.P.
- 1.7 "Death"
- 1.8 Return
- 1.9 Flashpoint
- 1.10 New 52
- 1.11 DC Rebirth
- 1.12 The Joker War
- 1.13 Infinite Frontier
- 2 Personality
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Abilities
- 5 Paraphernalia
- 6 Gallery
- 7 In Other Media
- 7.1 Columbia serials
- 7.2 1966 TV series and film
- 7.3 Film
- 7.4 Television
- 7.5 Video Games
- 8 Notes
- 9 Trivia
- 10 References
For key points in Batman's history see Batman's career timeline
Bruce Wayne is born to Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, two very wealthy and charitable Gotham City socialites. Bruce was brought up in Wayne Manor and its wealthy splendor and leads a happy and privileged existence until the age of eight. While returning home one night, his parents were killed by a small-time criminal named Joe Chill.
Bruce Wayne swears an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He engages in intense intellectual and physical training; however, he 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.
In the early strips, Batman's career as a vigilante initially earns him the ire of the police. During this period Wayne has a fiancée named Julie Madison. Wayne takes in an orphaned circus acrobat, Dick Grayson, who becomes his sidekick, Robin. 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 Gotham City's police department. During this time, butler Alfred arrives at Wayne Manor and after deducing the Dynamic Duo's secret identities joins their service.
After the introduction of DC Comics' multi-verse in the 1960s, it is retroactively established that stories from the Golden Age star the Earth-Two Batman, a character from a parallel world. This version of Batman partners with and marries the reformed Earth-Two Catwoman, Selina Kyle (as shown in Superman Family #211) and fathers Helena Wayne, who, as the Huntress, becomes (along with the Earth-Two Robin) Gotham's protector once Wayne retires from the position to become police commissioner, a position he occupies until he is killed during one final adventure as Batman. Batman titles however often ignored that a distinction had been made between the pre-revamp and post-revamp Batmen (since unlike The Flash or Green Lantern, Batman comics had been published without interruption through the 1950s) and would on occasion make reference to stories from the Golden Age. Nevertheless, details of Batman's history were altered or expanded through the decades. Additions include meetings with a future Superman during his youth, his upbringing by his uncle Philip Wayne (introduced in Batman #208, Jan./Feb. 1969) after his parents' death, and appearances of his father and himself as prototypical versions of Batman and Robin, respectively. In 1980 then-editor Paul Levitz commissioned the Untold Legend of the Batman limited series to thoroughly chronicle Batman's origin and history.
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.
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 He appeared in the 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, leading to the foundation of Batman Incorporated.
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.
However, Flash managed to change reality once again, restoring Bruce back to life.
Bruce's involvement with Batman Incorporated extends to helping David Zavimbe (Batwing) set up operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as they investigate Dede Yeboah's murder. Barbara Gordon finally recovers after spending years in a wheelchair, and takes to the streets as Batgirl again. He has sexually interacted with Catwoman twice, the second time being recent. In recent events, he is once again the only Batman. The revelation of his secret identity to Catwoman has reportedly been erased. He has already been operating in Gotham several years before Superman's debut to the public. Bruce is also dating news reporter Charlotte Rivers.
Night of the Owls
Bruce has a meeting with mayoral candidate Lincoln March, but they are attacked by a mysterious assassin calling himself the Talon. Although Bruce and March survive the assassination attempt, the Talon escapes, and Bruce notices that he has a connection to the Court of Owls, a secret society that supposedly ruled Gotham City centuries ago.
Investigating the Talon, Batman discovers a mysterious room hidden at the Old Wayne Tower, which once served as the Owls' "nest". However, the building explodes with Batman inside. Escaping the explosion, Batman tracks the Talon down to a mysterious labyrinth that contains portraits of Gotham in the Wild West that also details Gotham's history. There, he is greeted by the Court of Owls.
For eight days, the Talon tortures Batman, who begins to solve the mystery that is presented to him, he realizes the court is trying to undermine him and his presence in Gotham by "breaking him". Batman comes to a room of caskets, but does not open them, wishing to solve the rest of the mystery first. Suddenly, the Talon impales him.
The Talon takes Batman to a room full of members of the Court, who decide to break Batman. The Talon continues attacking him, but Batman refuses to admit defeat, saying that the Talon is just another crook to him. Batman defeats the Talon but decides against killing him; instead, he escapes from the maze, although he loses consciousness.
Batman is reawakened by a girl named Harper Row, who he abruptly leaves. Returning to the Batcave, Batman finds the Talon's dead body, which Alfred and Nightwing had retrieved for Batman, who decides to examine it. Later, Nightwing meets up with Bruce, who reveals that the Talon is actually William Cobb, Nightwing's great-grandfather and that Nightwing was destined to be a Talon, a goal stopped by his adoption. The Court recovers from their encounter and decides to activate a small army of Talons they have decommissioned throughout the years.
Later, a group of Talons attack Wayne Manor, but Bruce defeats some of them because of their outdated fighting style. Wearing a new armored suit, Bruce prepares to fight the Talons while Alfred discovers the Court's forty targets and sends a radio message to the Batman Family and the Birds of Prey for help.
After a short battle, Batman defeats the Talons and heads out to Arkham Asylum to save Jeremiah Arkham from Black Mask. Then, Batman goes to save Lincoln March, but is too late and March is mortally wounded. Before he dies, however, March gives Batman a package that will make Gotham a better place. Resolute, Batman decides to burn down the Court of Owls' house.
Infiltrating the Powers Hotel, Batman interrogates Maria Powers, knowing she and her husband are members of the Court. Alfred traces Maria's phone call and Batman deduces the Court is at Harbor House, the old house he tried to investigate when he was a boy. When he enters the house, however, Batman finds that every member of the Court is dead. By the next day, Batman believes that the Court's death is some kind of setup, as all the Court's money was transferred to another account. Believing that the Court suffered a betrayal from the inside, Batman goes to the morgue, where he finds a note reading "Follow me to the Rabbit Hole?"
Batman goes to the Willowwood Home for Children, a place that housed children suffering from mental illnesses. Suddenly, he is captured in a net, and Lincoln March stands over him. Batman deduces that Lincoln March does not exist, he is just a paper man set up by the Court. The man in front of him is the Court's betrayer, and he took the Talons' serum to survive death. March is aware of Batman's dual life and reveals himself to be Thomas Jr., Bruce Wayne's brother. Although Bruce believes he does not have a brother, Thomas says that an accident had caused him to be born early, and Thomas and Martha Wayne had hid him away at Willowwood to heal. When Thomas and Martha died, Willowwood lost its funding and the place began treating its children cruelly. Blaming Bruce for their parents' deaths, Thomas puts on an owl suit of armor and frees Batman so that the brothers can have a final fight.
After a lengthy brawl through the skies of Gotham, March is trapped in an explosion intended to kill Bruce; no body is located. Bruce admits to Dick that although he is skeptical of March's claims and believes his parents would have told him had he had a brother, without March's body and a DNA test he is unable to conclusively prove or disprove March's claims. Still, Bruce says that even though the Court tried to destroy everything he believed in, there was one thing the Court could never break: his belief in his parents. Bruce knows that although the Court has been stopped for now, it will return; and he will be ready.
Death of the Family
Batman quickly goes to the GCPD headquarters, where the Joker's latest attack took place. Previously, he had defeated the Joker and sent him to prison, where an unnamed person surgically removed his face. Later at the Batcave, Batman runs several traces for on previously collected samples of Joker Venom to see if any was found on the scene at police headquarters. As several of Batman's allies call, offering assistance in taking down the Joker, Batman declines, saying that whatever the Joker is planning, it is between him and Batman. In that moment, the Joker broadcasts a message on live TV, saying that he will kill Mayor Hady. The GCPD reinforces the City Hall to protect the Mayor, but the Joker poisons all the cops and security guards, leaving Batman, Commissioner Gordon and the Mayor as the only survivors. Batman investigates the chemical compounds used on the cops and finds three additional non-active chemicals: Aspirin, Chlorine, and Ethane. A, C, E. Batman realizes that the Joker is sending him back where it all started; to A.C.E. Chemicals. There, he finds a person dressed as the Red Hood. Batman is aware that the mysterious stranger is not the Joker, but suddenly, he is knocked aside by a giant wooden mallet. Batman falls into an empty chemical vat, while the stranger reveals herself as Harley Quinn. A chemical bath begins to pour into the vat, while Harley proclaims that the Joker is planning something not even she can comprehend.
Attaching a protective mask, Batman creates a propulsion tunnel to blast through the vat. The propulsion blast allows Batman to escape, but the corrosion heavily damages his suit. Returning home, Batman sends a message to his allies to warn them that the Joker might be targeting them individually. At the manor, Bruce finds a cassette tape, in which the Joker reveals he has kidnapped Alfred. Batman later visits Gordon, who was designated as Joker's next victim. Gordon begins to bleed uncontrollably, so Batman sends him to the hospital. Knowing that the Joker is re-enacting his previous crimes, Batman goes to the Gotham Reservoir, the first place he faced the Joker in his current identity. There, the Joker traps Batman with cables, immobilizing. The Joker says that Batman's care for his allies has made him weak, so he plans to kill them all in the next 72 hours.
Lieutenant Bullock and a squad of cops arrive at the reservoir to take the Joker down, but the Joker uses his cellphone to order his men to attack the cops with rockets. Batman frees himself from the restraints and the Joker, but the Joker infects him with Joker Venom. With Batman momentarily distracted, the Joker kicks him off the bridge and into the Gotham River. Later, Batman awakens at the Batcave, having been rescued by the Batman Family. His allies (Nightwing, Robin, Red Robin, Batgirl, and even Red Hood) want Bruce to explain how did the Joker become aware of their identities. Batman believes he does not know and is only manipulating them because of his kidnapping of Alfred. He then tells a story about a previous encounter he had with the Joker in a blimp above the bay. During their fight, the Joker fell into the bay, but somehow, he placed a playing card in the Batboat. It didn’t have a tracking device or something like that, it was just a card. Despite the apparent breach of security, Batman believes there is no way the Joker could have entered the Batcave. Still, the others are unsure about this event. Batman has a new lead to follow: the Joker used a cellular signal to issue orders. While the cellphone was untraceable, the camera across the street from the store it was bought at identifies a man named Dylan McDyre. Batman crashes into McDyre’s home and interrogates him. McDyre reveals that the Joker had been threatening the families of the Arkham Asylum staff in order to maintain the appearance of normalcy at the asylum while he made changes, for whatever thing he is planning for Batman. More resolute than ever, Batman enters the asylum.
Batman makes his way through the asylum, overcoming Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow and Clayface. He finds Joker with Two-Face, Riddler, and Penguin, but before he can stop them, Joker shows him a video of Robin, Red Hood, Nightwing, Batgirl and Red Robin being captured. Joker orders Batman to take his place on his throne, an electric chair, to spare their lives, and Batman does so, receiving an electric shock
Joker hosts a mock dinner in the caves leading to the Batcave. Alongside a bound Batman, his allies are also bound at the table with their faces bandaged, and Batman is warned that escaping will agitate flints and ignite his gasoline-doused allies. Alfred, who has been gassed by the Joker, serves all but Batman with a cloche containing their severed faces. When Joker threatens to ignite the gasoline himself, Batman escapes and triggers a blaze, but uses an explosive and his knowledge of the cave system to blow open the cave roof, allowing water to rush in from above and douse the flames. Batman pursues Joker to the edge of a large drop. Batman claims that he knows Joker's true identity, but to prevent him from saying it, Joker purposefully knocks himself over the edge and falls out of sight. Batman reads Joker's book which he claimed contained the real identities of the Bat-family but it is blank. Meanwhile, the Bat-family are gassed and attack each other but manage to fight off the gas's influence. Later, in Wayne Manor, Batman tells a recovering Alfred that after finding the joker playing card in the cave, he confronted Joker about it in Arkham Asylum as Bruce Wayne. Joker failed to acknowledge him and Batman realized that he did not care who Batman was under his mask. In the present, Batman receives excuses from the Bat-family for them not coming to meet with him. Later, Batman studies the chemical makeup of the gas Joker used on the Bat-family and finds an inert isotope; the chemical compound "Ha".
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 straitjacket ant brought to a mental hospital headed by Jonathan Crane, who he believes is responsible for the mystery.
After spending some time in Arkham, Batman breaks out of his cell and help Ivy escape. Batman investigates Crane's lab and discovers Crane has created a new kind of toxin that creates the illusion of a perfect world, which he plans to release it into Gotham. Knowing Ivy is naturally immune to toxins, Batman uses a sample of her blood and some of her leaves to create an antidote. As soon as they are about to escape Arkham, however, Scarecrow ambushes them, having brainwashed Batman's allies.
Batman refuses to fight his friends and allows himself to be captured. Scarecrow infects him with a mind control toxin, but Batman had already taken an antidote, so he pretends to be under Scarecrow's control in order to foil his plan. Scarecrow reveals he will spread his new toxin across the Eastern Seaboard with blimps, so Batman slips the counteragent he developed into Scarecrow's toxin. Everyone infected is cured and Batman takes Scarecrow to prison. Batman later talks with Catwoman about the relationship they shared while they were in Gothtopia. Although Catwoman wants to have a relationship with Batman, he is not interested.
At the remains of the fallen Watchtower, Batman informs Superman and Wonder Woman that a new superhuman has entered Kahndaq. Assembling the Justice League with the help of Zatanna, Batman goes to Kahndaq and finds Superman fighting the new metahuman, Shazam. The Justice League of America also arrives at Kahndaq, causing animosity between the two groups. Doctor Light tries to stop the hostilities, but ends up absorbing Superman's solar energy and unintentionally attacks Wonder Woman. Overcome with rage, Superman vaporizes Doctor Light's head with his heat vision. This leads to the two Justice Leagues to begin fighting.
Superman stops the confrontation and asks to be arrested for Light's murder. Afterwards, Superman is taken to the A.R.G.U.S. complex and is placed in a cell. There, he asks Batman about the man he killed and Batman proceeds to tell him about Doctor Light and his family. Batman also tells Superman that Cyborg and Martian Manhunter are doing an autopsy to prove his death was not Superman's fault. Wonder Woman enters the cell and tells Batman about what happened with Pandora and her box. Batman believes the best help for Superman is through science to which Wonder Woman believes the answer is with the mythical box she believes is fact.
While examining Doctor Light's body, Zatanna states that there is no magical way of knowing if he triggered Superman's heat vision. The Phantom Stranger arrives and warns of Wonder Woman recruiting the Justice League Dark to help her locate Pandora, warning if they succeed, it will be the death of all. Batman, Flash, Aquaman, Shazam, Steve Trevor, the Justice League of America, Zatanna and the Phantom Stranger. Batman's group catches up to Wonder Woman and the Justice League Dark at the House of Mystery. Wonder Woman states that they need to find Pandora to find out what her box really is. Phantom Stranger reveals that the box has nothing to do with the way Superman is acting, angering Wonder Woman, who uses her lasso on him. He states that he does not know what caused Superman's condition, making Wonder Woman state that she is going after Pandora. She asks who wants to join her and the Justice League Dark, and recruits Hawkman, Aquaman, Stargirl, and Zatanna. As Wonder Woman and her group take their leave, Batman states that they should go after Wonder Woman, but the Phantom Stranger says they should talk to Doctor Light to get some answers.
Batman asks the Phantom Stranger to bring him to the afterlife so he can question Doctor Light about what really happened. The Phantom Stranger initially declines, but after hearing how Arthur Light was a family man, and left behind a wife and three daughters, he reconsiders. The Phantom Stranger takes Batman, Katana, and Deadman, who has left Wonder Woman, with him. Once through "Heaven's Basement", they arrive in a neighborhood of Heaven, that was created by the beliefs of a soul. However, Batman drifts off into a space of Heaven that he created. He creates a desired Christmas Eve setting he had as a young boy, imagining what it would be like with his dead parents. While the Phantom Stranger was rescuing them, Deadman was able to locate Doctor Light. Doctor Light had created a personal universe composed of light and is suspended in a globe-like "womb". Batman orders Katana to break the womb and frees Doctor Light, with the Phantom Stranger able to resuscitate him. When Batman questions him, the group learns that he doesn't remember anything about his death. The Phantom Stranger tells Doctor Light that he will try to free him from the afterlife, so he can be with his family. Weary of the end results, Doctor Light gives a piece of his soul to the Stranger in hopes that he can give it to his family as a final gift if he doesn't get out. As the group is ready to leave, Zauriel appears and dismisses Batman, Katana and Deadman.
Phantom Stranger is able to get Batman, Katana, and Deadman back to the House of Mystery, where they encounter Catwoman, Trevor, Vibe and the newest Green Lantern. Then, he disappears but not giving Batman and his allies one final message for them to find Madame Xanadu, as she knows the truth behind the box and who is after it, as he fades away.
A magical disturbance in the magical realms allows Deadman to locate Xanadu, so Batman and the assembled group travel to Xanadu's whereabouts: the Temple of Hephaestus. There, they find Constantine and Zatanna, who have taken the box from Pandora. The assembled heroes find both Madame Xanadu and her kidnapper, the leader of the Secret Society.
As the Justice Leagues converge on the Temple, the box infects everyone with evil thoughts, causing a fight. Batman obtains the box, but Superman attacks him. After a few moments, the box goes dormant. Atom reveals she is a traitor working for the Secret Society and that she infected Superman with Kryptonite, which caused him to attack Dr. Light. The Secret Society leader uses the box to open a portal to another universe. In that moment, the Crime Syndicate enters the Justice League's world.
While the Crime Syndicate imprisons the Justice Leagues inside the Firestorm Matrix, Batman, Catwoman and a critically injured Cyborg escape in a sewer system and go to S.T.A.R. Labs. There, they find Doctors Silas Stone and Thomas Morrow. As Batman and Catwoman explain their situation, they discover the Crime Syndicate has taken over the world and revealed Nightwing's identity. Batman decides to find Nightwing.
Batman and Catwoman go to the Batcave to obtain the weapons Batman has prepared against the Justice League, hoping they can be used against the Crime Syndicate. Afterwards, they make their way to the Wayne Enterprises building, where they come across Lex Luthor, Bizarro, Captain Cold, Black Manta and Black Adam. However, both groups are attacked by Power Ring, a member of the Crime Syndicate, and his henchmen. Batman uses a Sinestro Corps ring to fight Power Ring, but the ring's charge quickly runs out and Power Ring destroys the ring. But in that moment, Sinestro appears to confront Power Ring. Batman, Catwoman and Luthor's group combine forces and defeat Blockbuster, Copperhead, Giganta and Shadow Thief. Luthor also convinces Deathstroke to join their group; while Sinestro, who has killed Power Ring, joins them as well.
Batman and Luthor's group infiltrate the Justice League's destroyed Watchtower in order to confront the Crime Syndicate. There, they find Nightwing strapped to a Murder Machine, a containment device originally built to contain Doomsday. In that moment, the Crime Syndicate attacks them. Batman and Luthor attempt to free Nightwing from the machine as the others take on the Syndicate; however, they discover the machine is a detonator for a bomb, which can only be stopped if Nightwing's heart stops. Choosing to save the group's lives over Nightwing's, Luthor apparently kills him and the bomb is stopped. Angry, Batman attacks Luthor; however, the Syndicate's prisoner is revealed to be Alexander Luthor, who has the power of Mazahs.
After another battle Scarecrow, Batman returned to one of his safe-houses to recover, only for it to be attacked by Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman and Superman. Using his Justice Buster armor, he was able to defeat the group, though was almost killed by Superman. Whilst observing them, he discovered that they had been infected with a new toxin created by the Joker. Investigating the Clown Prince of Crime's former cell in Arkham, Batman was locked up within it by the criminal, who had been posing as a former orderly. Joker revealed that he had grown "bored" of the games with Batman and intended to kill the Dark Knight. Paralyzed by the gas, he was helpless whilst the Joker released an airborne form of the toxin used on the Justice League.
Eventually recovering and escaping, Batman started investigating both the toxin and its first victim. Discovering the latter to the Joe Chill, Batman learnt that Joker knew his identity and saved a family from being murdered in the same vein as his parents. With Joker terrorizing the city, he tried to forge an alliance with the Court of Owls to help stop the criminal's plan, only to be turned away. With help from Alfred's daughter Julia, Dick and Gordon, Batman discovered the substance Dionesium, which had given Joker regenerative capabilities and made him immune to the toxin. After Joker broke into the Batcave and attacked Alfred, Batman sent Grayson to distract the Clown Prince of Crime whilst he searched for a pool of Dionesium, eventually finding one after retracing Joker's escape route after his attempt to kill the entire Bat-Family.
Joker, however, had discovered the ruse sooner than he expected and followed him to the pool. Having already retrieved samples to create a cure to the toxin, Batman fought his arch nemesis for what seemed to be the last time, during which he and Joker sustained several grave injuries. With the cave collapsing from explosives set off, Batman stopped Joker from escaping by holding him away from the pool, which was blocked with the falling rock. With Gotham once again saved, Batman accepted that he would die and sent one last message to Julia, during which he refused her help to escape his fate. He and the Joker would seemingly die as the cave collapsed upon them.
After his apparent death, James Gordon would leave the role of Commissioner and become a new Batman, albeit one officially supported by the GCPD. Bruce Wayne was eventually discovered, having survived when exposed to Dionesium during his time burried, he suffered from amnesia, causing him to forget his entire life. Though he found Alfred and discovered his life after his parents' deaths, Bruce was not told of his life of vigilantism and seemed to remain ignorant of it, instead deciding to settle down and find a life of happiness 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. However, 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 (who had discovered the truth long ago), 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 the 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. After being captured by Thomas, he learned that Alfred had been killed after Damian disobeyed orders to infiltrate Gotham alone. Though the sight was intended to finally break his will, this instead convinced Bruce to continue his mission and 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 learned that the survivor of one of Joker's murders, Bao Pham, had become a murderous vigilante called Clownhunter. Confronting him, he offered to rehabilitate and urged him to give up the vigilante life. After learning that Damian had begun killing criminals, Batman helped the Teen Titans stop him from killing KGBeast. In the aftermath of the battle, his son abandoned the Robin identity and left Gotham. Batman also learned that his former-friend and international vigilante Ghost-Maker had come to Gotham to bring his own methods of crime fighting, having perceived the Joker War as a final failure. After stopping him from targeting Clownhunter, Batman made amends with the vigilante and convinced him to help patrol the city.
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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.
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, Jason Todd, Cassandra Cain and Tim Drake) 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 and Aion (with Selina Kyle / Catwoman) and 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 to 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. Though 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 at his hands. 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, 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.
- Peak Human Condition: Although Bruce has no superpowers, he relies on "his own scientific knowledge, detective skills, and athletic prowess. Through intense training, specialized diet, and meditation, The 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.
- Main article: Utility Belt
- 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 plastic explosives, nerve toxins, batarangs, smoke bombs, a fingerprint kit, a cutting tool, a Grapple Gun, 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.).
- Batarangs (Several Different Types), small, non-lethal explosives, smoke, and tear gas pellets. Batman has been known to use disruptors for firearms, mines, and Freeze technology.
In Other Media
1966 TV series and film
- See: Batman (Dozierverse)
- See: Batman (Burtonverse)
The Dark Knight Trilogy
- See: Batman (Nolanverse)
Justice League film universe
- See: Batman (Snyderverse)
The LEGO Movie Series
- See: Batman (Lego Movie)
Batman: The Animated Series
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Birds Of Prey
Beware the Batman
- See: Bruce Wayne (Gotham)
- See: Batman (Titans)
Batman: Arkham Series
- See: Batman (Arkhamverse)
LEGO Batman & DC Series
- See: Batman (Telltale)
- 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. Infinite Crisis said that it had been Joe Chill and he had been arrested the very same night, making this the current version. 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.
- In Detective Comics #27 (Batman's first appearance) Batman doesn't seem to care that he killed Alfred Stryker. Alfred falls into a vat of acid and Batman just says that it serves him right.
- 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 and raped.
- Batman's first appearance is in Detective Comics #27. His first Post-Crisis appearance in present continuity is during Batman: Year One in Batman #404.
- 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 murder 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.
- The New-Earth Batman made an exception to these rules during Final Crisis, when he shot Darkseid with a bullet made of Radion, which was supposedly capable of killing god-like beings such as the New Gods.
- 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.
- Bruce's birthday is February 19th.
- May 19th 2014 Marks 75th anniversary of Batman.
- 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.
- Forbes.com has 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: Year Two
- (Batman #0)
- (Infinite Crisis #6)
- (Batman #673)
- 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