- "As a man, I'm flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed. But as a symbol... as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting."
- ―Bruce Wayne[src]
Having witnessed his parents' death at the hands of a mugger as a child, Bruce traveled the world as an adult to train and understand the criminal mind in order to combat it. Mentored by Ra's al Ghul, Bruce later returned to Gotham and challenged the city's crime lords, employing unusual weapons and tactics as a mysterious black-garbed crusader. Despite being considered an outlaw by the GCPD, Batman defeated Carmine Falcone and The Scarecrow, and later battled against Ra's al Ghul and his plan to have Gotham tear itself apart through fear.
In continuing to shut down Gotham's organized crime, Batman encountered and defeated the most fearsome of his adversaries, the Joker, while losing his love interest Rachel Dawes in the process. His defeat of Harvey "Two-Face" Dent resulted in Batman going into hiding and taking the fall for Two-Face's crimes in order to maintain Dent's status as Gotham's "White Knight". As a result, Batman became a fugitive and Bruce turned into a recluse, not just as Batman but he also ended contact with associates such as Lucius Fox.
Eight years later, Batman returned to fight the mercenary Bane while entrusting his business and intimacy to Miranda Tate, not knowing that she was actually Talia, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul. After gaining the strength to escape imprisonment, Batman returned to defeat Bane and save Gotham from Talia completing her father's work. Faking his death, Bruce passed on his legacy to John Blake and left Gotham to start a relationship with Selina Kyle.
Origin and Early Life
- "Your parents' death was not your fault."
- ―Henri Ducard[src]
Later, Bruce accompanied his parents into the city to see a new monorail system they built that just opened up for the public. Throughout the ride, his parents explained that Gotham was suffering from an economic downturn and enduring deeper into very hard times. To help it's citizens, his father nearly bankrupted his company, Wayne Enterprises, to build the monorails to unite the city, with Wayne Tower as the system central core, but it didn't seem enough. While watching a performance of Mefistofele at the Gotham Opera House nearby with both his parents, Bruce got frightened by a scene featuring a bat-like monster (which reminded him of the bats that attacked him in the well) and asked to leave. Once outside, the family was confronted by a mugger named Joe Chill, who shot both of Bruce's parents for dead for causing the depression to drive him out of his job and fled just as police patrol showed up to shelter the now orphaned boy. Thomas' last words to his son were to not be afraid. At the police headquarters, one of the patrolmen, Sergeant James Gordon, did his best to comfort Bruce with a coat while Police Lieutenant Gillian Loeb was able to capture Chill. Taken back home to watch as his parents' bodies were buried outside, a distraught Bruce was left cared for by Alfred, who arranged that he won't be taken into social service care. He blamed himself for his parents' murder: if had he not been frightened, the Waynes would not have encountered Chill, though Alfred assured him it was no one's fault but Chill's.
At age twelve, Bruce's home-school days ended when he inherited enough money from his ancestors to give himself a first-class education and attend Mark Twain High School in Ossaville, a town closer than Gotham. When the principle told Alfred that there was nothing more the school staff could give the boy, Bruce was scheduled to do his schoolwork with a series of tutors. His favorite subject was drama since he loved to read plays, and asked Alfred a lot of questions about drama when he learned that the butler was a child actor while growing up in England. At age fourteen, Bruce became interested in sports when he learned of a teen soccer league that just formed in the neighborhood. Although not enrolled in any of the public schools, he was somehow able to join one of the teams, but quit after his second practice since he probably wasn't the locker room type. But Bruce still had an interest in other sports, and at age sixteen, he asked Alfred if they could try skiing. Having learned of a ski resort in Vermont, the old butler phoned for reservations at a nearby lodge for their trip. Driving there, however, became hazardous when he and Bruce were caught in the middle of a blizzard, so they didn't check into the lodge until ten, when the resort was already closed and scheduled to be reopened at around six in the morning. While Alfred relaxed at the lounge, Bruce decided to ski alone and snuck out of their room before hiking to the resort in his skiing equipment. But right when he started sliding out of control down the mountain, a night watchman caught him in the act and called the rescue patrol, who found Bruce unconscious at the bottom of a shallow gorge with a bloody gash across his forehead, one of his skis lying in two pieces nearby and the other canting his leg in an unnatural angle. He was taken back to the lodge with a cast for his leg and bandage on his forehead, and rested in bed until Alfred came to check on him. Because Bruce had a broken leg and slight concussion, a doctor who Alfred conferred with concluded that if the butler wanted to take the boy back to Gotham, he would need proper transportation. So, Alfred purchased a twin-rotor Sikorsky helicopter to return home with the bandaged Bruce, setting it down on a field next to Wayne Manor. That following week, the bandages came off, and the Wayne Family Physician pronounced the young Wayne intact again.
Bruce never thought of going skiing ever since, but his interests shifted to other athletics. He ordered a complete set of Olympic-grade gymnastics gear and spent most of the summer with an instructor learning how to use them. He swam in the Olympic-size pool dug behind the garden before breakfast and lifted weights for several months, but was never able to do archery or mediocre skating. Rachel sometimes joined him at the manor to swim, jump on the trampoline or hang out. Bruce enjoyed the visits until he left the city at age seventeen to attend Princeton University, where he studied Jungian archetypes and mono-myths. But he considered such topics absolutely nonessential to any conceivable life he wanted to lead, if it wasn't plain foolish. During class break one fine morning, Bruce waited under a clock tower at the campus center for a cute girl from his advanced calculus class, who promised to meet him there so he could lend her his notes in exchange for buying him coffee. She never showed, and he found his mind returning to the class he just finished, mainly on the story of Siddhartha that was told. Following his graduation and a car race that he won in Missouri, the young industrial heir returned to Gotham and turned down his arranged inheritance of Wayne Manor's ownership since it was already becoming a reminder of everything he lost, deciding to demolish the foundation just the way he felt it should be if he had his way. He let his heart weigh him down even more that afternoon, when he learned that Chill's prison sentence was being suspended in exchange for testifying against mob boss Carmine Falcone, who he shared a cell with. Intent on ensuring Chill didn't become reminder of disgrace under the eyes of the Wayne empire for what he did to his parents, Bruce waited outside the courtroom of Gotham City Courthouse with a gun under his sleeve to shoot and kill him with, but one of Falcone's henchwomen did so first. Rachel, who was now the city's assistant District Attorney, drove him to an alleyway in front of Falcone's restaurant to show him that things have grown much worse since the depression when Falcone rose to power from the criminal underworld, flooding the city with organized crime, and Chill would have been the justice system's ace in the hole against him. Bruce dismissed that idea by telling her about his foiled plan, and she expressed disgust for his blind vengeance without regard for justice.Realizing how right she was by throwing the gun into the harbor, Bruce confronted Falcone, who told him that he was ignorant of the nature of crime and he would never be able to face up against criminals as he didn't understand their world. Hoping to prove him wrong, Bruce got on a ferry with the intention of traveling the world to understand the criminal mind. Spending the first eighteen months as part of the ship's crew, he slept on rags at a corner of the engine room, ate what was left of everyone else's food and did work on deck by lifting heavy crate, pulling at cables, scraping paint of the hull and cleaning gunk from the bilges. Many of his much bigger and powerful crew mates, most notably the ship's bosun Hector, often tormented Bruce out of his witts, with each attack serving as a lesson. As the ship docked two miles offshore from Hong Kong, Bruce was sent on a dinghy to pick up a package from a Chinese national and return it to the ship. He waited until dawn at a small fisherman's pier that he tied his dinghy, but the package man never arrived and the freighter was gone. Luckily, Bruce was able to leave Hong Kong by sneaking into the engine room of a luxury liner and stowing away until it docked in Sydney. While there, he met with a young American named Zachary Dabb and helped him do charity work with the Aborigines, teaching the traveling billionaire a lesson on not to count on preparations in receiving gifts.
Leaving that following week on a ship that dropped him off in Tanga, Bruce wandered the filthy marketplace and stopped by a fruit vendor, stealing a plum from the basket and escaping down alleyway to give it to a poor boy to finish. Shortly later, he got himself by a tramp steamer, and in the following months journeyed through a lot of Africa and some of Asia until settling down in North Korea. There, he accepted training in Kuk Sool Won under a master who was about to retire in the Pujanryang Mountains before departing to South Korea, joining a gang of smugglers running flights into Pyongyang below radar and promising to some day hire them as a flight crew. Jumping off ship in Marrakesh, Bruce slept under a bridge for a couple night and signed onto a tanker bound for Great Britain. Upon arrival, he hung around London long enough to learn how to steal cars from the ship's cook, then shipped out on another freighter and found himself in Shanghai. One of the deckhands, nicknamed Stocky, had a way to make quick and easy money, which an interested Bruce saw as an opportunity to understand the kind of human deprived from the cherished. Together, they took a taxi to an airport on the city outskirts, where the job was to hijack a truck full of crates being loaded onto it by laborers, but Bruce began to feel fear of preparing to commit a crime for the first time and was exhilarated by it. The plan eventually succeeded, but both he and Stocky were cornered in a warehouse by police, who detained Bruce in a Bhutanese prison for the theft (ironically of Wayne Enterprises cargo), where he brawled with the inmates.
Training and Return Home
- "I seek … the means to fight injustice. To turn fear against those who prey on the fearful."
- ―Bruce Wayne [src]
The young billionaire continued begging for food and money until he had enough to make a telephone call to Alfred in the United States. By the time he arrived in Kathmandu two days later after stopping at Hector's place, he walked onto a landing strip as the Wayne Enterprises jet carrying Alfred landed and boarded it when the butler saw him. Throughout the plane ride back to Gotham, Bruce shared his idea to fight crime, hoping to show Gothamites that their city doesn't belong to crime and corruption. Alfred agreed to this by saying that during the depression, Bruce's parents believed that the example their monorail system represented would inspire the wealthy of Gotham to save their city, and in a way, their murders shocked the wealthy and powerful into action to do so. In Bruce's opinion, his idea may not be put in place as the Waynes' son, but as a symbol which he could be incorruptible, everlasting, and terrifying. Alfred assumed that as his master is taking on the criminal underworld, the symbol must be a persona meant to protect those he cared about, who he implied might not believe Bruce to be coming back after being gone for seven years; as it turned out, Wayne Enterprises' CEO, William Earle, declared Bruce dead to liquidate his shareholding (which had brought in an enormous capital) and take the company public, but Bruce was glad to have left the rest to Alfred. The plane refueled itself once in three days before reaching its destination back in Gotham City, and Bruce often wondered what dramas have been occurring on the city streets.
Overcoming His Worst Fear
Retaking residence in Wayne Manor, the last of the Waynes planned on making his return known to Gotham, but decided to first accomplish a few things without being scrutinized by gossip hounds, such as investigating the exact nature of the League of Shadows. Alfred spent the first five days back looking up the society in various libraries and universities, but when he met Bruce in a library on the sixth day, the butler implied that the reason why there was a lack of info on it is because some doubt the League's existence. So Bruce headed to Gotham University to meet with it's chief researcher, Sandra Flanders, to see if she could find anything about Ra's and his elite, since she enjoyed challenges. In the sparse information collected from Alfred, he came to learn that the League of Shadows was in existence for centuries, as mentioned by a piece of parchment copied from an Irish, a fragment sent from Paris to Berlin at the height of the French Revolution, a cryptic message sent from a clothier in London to a Manchester sea captain in 1866 and a monograph on secret societies done by an Oxford don in the early 20th century. Flanders' information, on the other hand, showed the translation of Ra's' name in Arabic ("Head of the Demon") and mentioned a story about Ra's himself written on a parchment that was acquired from North Africa and translated by an eccentric collector named Berthold Cavally, who died in a house fire in 1952 and the story was saved from the ashes by his nephew James and displayed at the Olympus Gallery in New York City. Using Alfred's credit card number, Bruce made reservation for a plane trip there and a hotel stay in the Manhattan Plaza.
At the gallery, the patrons refused to offer the parchment since it was being used to honor James Cavally's death in a plane crash that happened overnight, and one of the auctioneers, Wesley Carter, explained it couldn't be sold unless the patrons hear from Cavally's lawyers. But Bruce predicted that they would say no about selling the parchment and simply took it later that afternoon, sneaking his way out of the building to the rooftop undetected. Arriving back in Gotham, he and Alfred sat down in the Wayne Manor kitchen and saw the Cavally-discovered story theorized that Ra's was once a physician who lived centuries ago and was implored to save the son of an Arabian ruler known the Salimbok from death. He succeeded by lowering the prince into a death-reviving pit that drove him to the edge of insanity, killing the Physician's wife Sora. The furious Samlimbok had the Physician imprisoned with his wife's corpse in a cage lowered deep into another pit in the desert, but when the Physician escaped and bathed in his own stenchful pit, the substance within gave him immortal life. Bruce found it hard to believe, but nonetheless moved onto investigating key individuals in Gotham's justice system. He started this objection by spying on Gordon from a tailor shop as the sergeant and his corrupt partner, Det. Arnold Flass, were stopping at a liquor store, and then on Rachel as she was talking with her boss, District Attorney Carl Finch, were discussing at the courthouse about Falcone's buy on half of the city. While listing much about them from newspaper articles in the manor's living room, he spotted a giant bat flying overhead. This reminded Bruce of the bats he encountered in the well and headed down there into the caves below to overcome his worst fear. The bats living down inside that he was afraid of fluttered around him and welcomed him as an old friend to their home as Bruce became inspired by them to make the symbol he discussed with Alfred earlier into a vigilante persona, which he later called "the Batman".
Becoming The Bat
- Alfred Pennyworth: “Why bats, sir?”
- Bruce Wayne: “Bats frighten me. It's time my enemies share my dread.”
- ―Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth[src]
With his worst fear overcome, the young industrial heir decided that it was time to reestablish his connections to Wayne Enterprises. He arrived at Wayne Tower the next morning to find Earle at a board meeting about "what Thomas Wayne would have done", but checked in with the secretary, Jessica, to wait and see him. Jessica was pretty surprised to see Thomas Wayne's son in front of her and asked him to teach her indoor golf, thus making Earle frustrated after calling her on the comm twice yet shocked to come out of the meeting room to see Bruce alive. As word spread around Gotham about Bruce's return, he and Earle sat down and discussed the company going public. Bruce offered to be handsomely rewarded with his shares, but instead of looking to interfere with the corporation's ownership, he hoped to apply for a job within it. He asked to start at the Applied Sciences Division, and Earle made cheers to welcome the young Wayne home. While down at the workplace, the division's chief activist, former board member Lucius Fox, who helped build Gotham's monorail system with Bruce's father, introduced Bruce to many environmental and defense prototypes not in production, such as a caviler utility harness, a gas-powered magnetic grapple gun, and a bullet-proof Nomex survival suit made of caviler bi-weave. Finding the equipment useful for his mission as Batman, Bruce requested to borrow it for spelunking. He didn't want Earle to know about him borrowing such stuff, but the way Fox saw it, the equipment belonged to the billionaire anyway.
With Alfred's help, Bruce began construction on a secret base inside the Batcave, and the butler showed him a secret elevator leading from the cave up to Wayne Manor, explaining that his young master's great-great grandfather used it to hide escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. To turn his new caviler suit into Batman's self styled "Batsuit", Bruce upgraded it with unique gauntlets given to him during his League of Shadows training and spray-painted all black without carvings to make it unrecognizable to the Wayne Board, but first needed a bat mask to conceal his identity. Alfred suggested that if they ordered the main part of the mask's cowl from Singapore via a shell corporation, they would put it together from a large order to avoid suspicion. Testing his suit and harness on his first night out as a vigilante, Bruce used it to break into Gordon's office at the police station to ask him about Falcone's criminal operation to bring a shipment of drugs into the city every week and the Gotham City Police Department's inability to stop him. With the back of his head pressed on by a common office stapler (which was thought to be a pistol), Gordon explained without turning his head that he's payed up with the right people, and the only possible methods against would leverage against corrupt District Court Judge Juez Faden, whose best friendship with Falcone got him listed on the crimelord's payroll, and an assistant DA to provide it for prosecution. Bruce realized immediately that the DA in question could only be Rachel, and suggested that they form an alliance, but Gordon believed him to be "just some nut" and chased him alongside two other cops up to the roof of the building. Luckily, the ski-masked billionaire escaped their gunshots by soaring into the air, but since the suit didn't have wings, he ended up falling headfirst into the railing of another fire escape which collapsed in his grasp.
Realizing that the bat was to become was going to need wings, Bruce returned to Applied Sciences to request lightweight fabric to use for what he claimed was base-jumping. Knowing just the thing, Fox introduced him to a sheet of black "memory cloth" activated by electric currents from a thick canvas glove to change shape, but though Bruce thought the activist might be uncomfortable with the unusual requests, Fox replied that he didn't really care. So the the younger man borrowed it anyway, but in addition asked to have a directional microphone that he would later incorporate into Batman's mask and test out an armored vehicle that caught his eye which Fox called "the Tumbler", purchasing the latter in black. Later that night, Bruce began to test the microphone by using it to eavesdrop on a conversation between Falcone and Flass, in which the mob boss mentioned that the last of his drug shipments would be arriving at the docks on Thursday evening and asked the cop to meet him there. When Flass put in that word on the streets that Rachel was sniffing around in their operation, he and Falcone plotted to get her out of the way by having her mugged and assassinated. As soon as their shipment from Singapore arrived, Bruce and Alfred spent the next three days testing the thousand batter helmet-like bat masks to see if one of them was unbreakable enough, which one was. In addition, Bruce added to the Batsuit a utility belt cut from the harness and hooked the grapple guns in its buckle holsters, sewed for the canvas gloves electrical contacts in the fingers powered by a tiny but powerful battery on the wrists' undersides to straighten out the memory cloth, and carved from metal a set custom-made bat-shaped boomerangs that he dubbed Batarangs so that his criminal targets could share his dread.
With the same bat design spray-painted on the suit's chest, the construction of Batman was complete, but the drug shipment arrival was only a week away. So, the young billionaire decided to wait by leaving again for a brief vacation in northern California, where he saw sights in and around San Francisco and went hang gliding on Mt. Tamalpais for a few days. He did, though, think it as a mistake to leak his hang gliding plans since it would attract attention to the abilities he wanted to be kept hidden. But to his relief when he returned to Gotham by commercial carrier, no one saw him stop at several Falcone-owned areas to install tin microphones on the following night. At his last stop, located in Falcone's apartment near the theater district, Bruce listened as Falcone announced from inside that the next night was when the shipment would be docking, then went back to the Batcave to prepare Batman for his strike. Once the ship docked and Falcone's Thugs started unloading it, Batman spied on Falcone as he entrusted the drugs sewn inside stuffed bears to his men for them to take to their buyers and the drugs sewn inside stuffed rabbits to Flass for a purpose that the vigilante didn't quite hear. Wasting no time, Batman proceeded to disrupt the shipment, first making the thugs aware of his presence by pulling one of them, Steiss, into one of the open crates and descended upon two more, Bigger and Alfie. Finally emerging in the sight of the Falcone's remaining men, a firefight broke out and Batman was able to subdue every thug. Falcone tried to escape but found his limousine driver unconscious, leaving the vigilante on his heels enough time to grab him from inside and head-butt him, knocking him out. Leaving the mobster tied to a searchlight near his bound thugs which formed a makeshift Bat-Signal, Batman arrived at a monorail station and disrupted the rest of the crime family's attempt on Rachel's life, leaving her with the leverage she was looking for. By the time the police rounded up the Falcone crime family, Gordon began to take Batman's idea for an alliance seriously, and the vigilante watched from atop the district courthouse as millions of Gotham citizens saw him as their new hero.
Investigating the Fear Toxin ShipmentBatman's theatrics that night made quite an impression around the city, but a few were not very impressed that someone was taking the law in their own hands and being glorified by it. Though theatrics were sharp weapons to Bruce, Alfred suggested that they may be too sharp if it left serious injuries from his nights as Batman and get some of the billionaire's friends to wonder what he does for his time and money. Later the next day, when Earle invited Bruce to join him for dinner at Puccio's, the young Wayne drove there in his Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 with two beautiful young European women, Kiki and Soozey, as company. While talking about Batman's achievement and the police's "jealousy" of it with Earle and his friends, Bruce let Kiki and Soozey swim an inside pool nearby, but even though a maitre'd told him that they couldn't go in since the pool was a decoration and they didn't have swimwear, he told the waiter that he was going to make some changes before signing a check for ownership of the restaurant on the spot and joining the two women for their swim. On their way back to the Lamborghini, the three passed Rachel, who arrived for a casual blind date. Bruce tried to convince her that he wasn't who he seemed to be, but she noted that one isn't only who they are on the inside, but also how they act.
Suiting up again later that night, Batman stopped at Gordon's house while Gordon himself was taking out the trash. As the cop implied that Gotham's organized crime was getting jumpy since the vigilante stood up against Falcone, to which Batman complied that it was a start by adding in Falcone's deal with Flass on splitting the drug shipment in half so that those in toy bears went to the dealers, and that the he might get the answer for Gordon on where those in toy rabbits went from Flass. Before he left to do so, however, Batman was warned that the now Police Commissioner Loeb set up a massive task force to hunt him in his belief that the vigilante was dangerous, despite Gordon's belief that the crime-fighter was probably trying to help. Cornering Flass in an alleyway and hoisting him up 70 feet into the air with a cable, the bat-costumed man interrogated the corrupt cop until the latter finally explained that Falcone had to drugs driven to "special customers" for a couple of days before they went to the dealers, because there was something hidden within them that they required for an unknown purpose. When Batman asked what that was, Flass blurted out that he never went to the drop-off since it was in the Narrows, where cops only went when they were in force. Releasing Flass from the cable, Batman headed to the decaying river island and pinpointed drug drop-off point as the apartment of Dr. Jonathan Crane, a corrupt psycho-pharmacologist and chief administrator at the neighboring Arkham Asylum on Falcone's payroll. Before he could get his hands on the "unusual" drugs kept inside though, Crane came in with two of his thugs and told them to burn the evidence. The vigilante hiding in the shadows knocked both men out before they could do anything, only to be stopped when Crane came up from behind in a burlap gas mask, sprayed him with a powerful hallucinogen made from an organic compound within the drugs which he called "Fear Toxin", and lit him on fire with a cigarette lighter. Batman narrowly escaped with his life and mind intact by jumping out the window washing the flames off in rain, but the hallucination from the Fear Toxin was too great that he called Alfred and told him to come pick him up.
The hallucinations continued throughout the car ride home, but when Bruce awoke to find himself in bed on his 30th birthday two days later, Alfred had already used an anti-toxin developed by Fox to save him. Though Fox believed that his employer was simply getting himself drugged at nightclubs, Bruce asked if he could produce more of the cure. Rachel later came over to drop of her present to him but insisted not to come to the party due DA work that she had to catch up on, eventually leaving shortly afterwards after receiving a call from her office saying that Crane had just transferred Falcone to Arkham on suicide watch. Concerned, Bruce left the festivities to Alfred and suited up to follow her to the asylum. There, Batman listened through his microphone as Rachel observed Falcone's antics (such as the mob boss' mutters of the "external tormentor" persona Crane used for his burlap mask, "the Scarecrow") and accused Crane of corruption, but the sadistic psychiatrist gained the upper hand by taking her down to the nuthouse basement and showing her that he was experimenting the toxin, which was harmful only in vapor form, on his patients and having them pipe it into Gotham's water supply for his mysterious employer. Rachel tried to escape in an elevator, but the Scarecrow blocked her exit, poisoned her with the toxin and took her back downstairs as a captive. Batman saved her by subduing the Scarecrow's gang and attacked the Scarecrow himself by ripping off his mask and spraying him with his own poison, damaging the rest of his sanity. But right when he tried interrogating Crane about his employer, who the psychiatrist oddly claimed was the supposed dead Ra's al Ghul, the police arrived after receiving a call from one of the gang members and surrounded the asylum, so the vigilante carried Rachel to the rafters and met with Gordon up there once he entered the building first. Explaining what had happened, Batman insisted on giving her the anti-toxin when he got back to the Batcave, and instructed the sergeant to carry the assistant DA downstairs to a side allyway while the bat-costumed man signaled a swarm of bats to keep the policemen outside and SWAT team coming into the asylum busy while he made his exit. Then, the vigilante recollected Rachel from Gordon and put her into the parked Tumbler as they sped off from the Narrows. Few policemen led by Flass sped after him in a messy chase leading out of Gotham, only to lose sight of the vehicle when it drove into a clearing underneath an unfinished elevated road.
Administering the antidote to Rachel in the Batcave, Batman told her that she'll wake up at home with two vials of it for her to give to Gordon – one for the detective to inoculate himself, and another to mass-produce for the city's population. As she fell asleep, he thought to himself about loving such a person who he knew his whole life espite it assuming certain trust or fidelity obligations, such as abandoning what he began or subjecting her to continuing danger.
Stopping an Old Mentor from Flooding Gotham with Fear
Heading upstairs to Wayne Manor, Bruce instructed Alfred to drive the still-sleeping Rachel while he attended to the party guests. The birthday celebration was at full swing over for at least three hours until the the now 30-year-old billionaire came face to face with unexpected guests from his travels; a group of League of Shadows ninjas led by Ducard, who revealed himself to be the real Ra's al Ghul, and that the man killed earlier was a decoy. In response, Bruce tricked his guests into leaving for their safety by faking a drunken rant much to the League's amusement despite it being pointless since Batman's heroism at Arkham almost delayed their plan. When his student came to realize that the Scarecrow really was working for them after all, Ra's explained that the psychiatrist's toxin (which was derived from the organic compound found in the blue flower) was to be their method of destroying Gotham by distributing it undetected via Gotham's water supply and releasing it on the population so its citizens would destroy their own city in a state of panic. He elaborated on this by adding in that the exploits the League made throughout history were to correct humanity's recurring fits of decadence.
Bruce tried convincing him that Gotham wasn't beyond saving and should be given second chances, but Ra's signaled his men to setting the manor on fire and retorted that mankind would only see the error of their corrupt nature if an example was made out of the decadent of them, to which they would witness in horror once its most corrupt city destroyed itself and the League's way to move them back to harmony through Gotham proved to be unstoppable than last time; their last attack on the city was through the use of economics that eventually started the depression, but when Bruce's parents used his monorail system to make things better, their murders galvanized their wealthy allies into helping the city rebuild itself and Gotham, much to the League's frustration, limped on ever since. With the vigilante society now back to finish the job, no misguided idealists would be able to interfere, and Ra's warned that whoever successfully tried would get killed from behind. Bruce fought briefly with Ra's and his companions in the League, vowing to stop them, but was knocked down unconscious by falling debris. When he awoke a few minutes later, most of the League had already left, and Alfred had just returned and got past the League ninjas guarding the entrances to the burning mansion. Getting his master up from under the debris, the butler helped him into the elevator leading down to the Batcave just as Wayne Manor tumbled in ruins above them. Even though all hope was lost to the wounded billionaire, his guardian softly reminded him of what his father said about always having the strength to get up, indicating that he hadn't given up on his young master.
Batman returned to the Narrows in the Tumbler to see that the League had already set many psychotic criminals, including the Scarecrow, free from Arkham and started vaporizing the fear toxin onto the neighborhhood with a microwave emitter stolen from Wayne Enterprises. With most of the riot police battling who the lunatics already exposed to the drug, he he met with Gordon, who was already given the antitoxin from Rachel, and predicted to him that the League were planning to spread the poison on the the entire city by transporting the emitter on the elevated monorail train to Wayne Tower, causing a chain reaction within the city's central water-hub, located beneath the building, that would vaporize the rest of Gotham's water supply. In order to stop them, the vigilante left Gordon in control of the Tumbler before flying to the Narrows monorail station. Along the way, he spotted Rachel being chased alongside a little boy by inmates led by Falcone assassin Victor Zsasz and saved their lives by lifting them up onto a rooftop. Rachel stopped him for a second to ask who he really was underneath his mask, and Batman repeated what she said about one not only being who they are on the inside but also how they act, indirectly hinting his identity to her. By the time he landed at the station, the vaporizer was already aboard the monorail, and Ra's had four of his ninjas keep his vigilante pupil busy as he boarded to guide the train to its destination. Batman took down three of the warriors, but the last one tackled him over the monorail support's side railing onto the street, where a mob of drugged Narrows inhabitants attacked him. Luckily, he was able to reach for his grapple gun and aim it at the train carrying Ra's and the emitter, which pulled him along as it sped out of the incapacitated island, magnetizing the toxin with it and with Gordon racing ahead in the Tumbler.
Batman entered the front monorail cart via crashing into a passenger-side window and engaged Ra's in battle, where he broke his master's sword with the scallops of his gauntlets and kicked him against the vaporizer before turning to the driver's seat to slow the train's with the brake lever. However, Ra's came from behind and jammed the mechanism with the cane and overwhelmed his pupil by hurling with him over the microwave emitter and pinning him down. Though all hoped seemed lost for Batman as the monorail neared Wayne Tower's train station, the vigilante replied to his mentor's mocks about not being able to fight injustice in Gotham nor preventing the city's destruction by saying that their was no need to stop the train, and broke free of the martial artist's grasp just as Gordon toppled the elevated line using the Tumbler's missiles, demonstrating Ra's' lesson on minding one's own surroundings. Now finally learning to do the necessary, Batman refused to kill his old mentor nor bother to save him, and escaped by flying out of train car's imploded back door and into the night, leaving Ra's still aboard as the train missed the tower's monorail system entrance and crash to the ground in an explosion caused by the microwave emitter overloaded power core, killing him and stopping fear toxin vaporization spreading from the Narrows to the crash site.
Returning Gotham To Normal
Throughout the night, Batman became a public hero when his actions to stop the fear toxin from getting vaporized all over Gotham made the front page of the newspapers. But since the Tumbler was left in the Gordon's possession, the vigilante had Alfred come pick him up and called Fox on the butler's car phone to issue some instructions that would earn Bruce the controlling share as Wayne Enterprises and make the activist the company's new CEO, much to Fox's delight. Upon arrival, Alfred helped his young master into the guesthouse on the manor grounds, where Bruce changed out of the Batsuit and had a cup of Earl Grey with him for the last half hour before morning came. When Earle found out about being replaced with Fox once he saw the activist running a board meeting, the board called Bruce so that he could explain to the former CEO that as long as his company's future was secured, his roundabout means to ensure that projects like the microwave emitter didn't fall into the wrong hands would be what his father would have done to make Gotham a better and more moderate place. Earle was astounded to hear this, and received a quip from Fox, "Didn't you get the memo?". Once they reached the guesthouse after breakfast at a restaurant, Bruce asked Alfred if they could visit what was left of Wayne Manor, where the butler oversaw the start of the mansions reconstruction while his billionaire master sealed the dry well leading to the Batcave up with wooden boards and nails to prevent any of the construction workers from discovering the secret kept within. Rachel dropped by as he was finishing up on the well, and apologized for the terrible things she said to him on the day Chill died. Bruce, however, excepted them as true things because they helped him find his regard for justice, to which Rachel admitted that when she heard that her childhood best friend was back, she started to hope for their future marriage. But when she found out about his vigilante persona, and concluded that the wealthy boy she dated her whole life never spiritually returned, thus telling Bruce that if Gotham no longer needed Batman, they would be together. The young couple went up to the mansion ruins, where Bruce found his father's stethoscope among the ashes and decided to rebuild the foundation just the way it was. He eventually agreed to Alfred's suggestion on making improvements for the Southeast corner, and Rachel expressed joy for his heroic justice with regard for the law.
Later that night, Batman dropped by at Gordon's house to ask if the cop's forensics team finished examining the monorail car. In response, the sergeant informed him that everything was inconclusive due to something inside the vaporizer giving off extreme heat and causing the train to explode. Mostly everything was melted into slag but no human remains could be found, indicating that they were burned into dust. After disappearing from the cop's sight and regaining possession of the Tumbler from him, the vigilante drove downtown and perched on a Wayne Tower ledge to think about their conversation for an hour, including why there were no surprises. Although he saw the fire from the monorail car and knew it must've destroyed everything inside, he was almost certain that Ra's perished in the explosion and wondered about the chances that he hadn't. For almost a month, Batman was nothing but an empty costume hanging in the cave below the blackened ruins of the once-grand Wayne Manor, and Bruce stayed away from it and from Gotham City, keeping to the guesthouse he shared with Alfred and spending every week reading books recommended by Sandra Flanders. One night, finally, he left the guesthouse and picked his way through the mansion remains until he came to the caverns secret entrance. Alfred watched from an upstairs window as his master crossed the lawn and followed after some hesitation, asking if he decided to bring his vigilante persona back to life and join the urban legends. Bruce at first was reluctant to but observed why he should despite his butler's warnings of the greatest danger; that he should able to relinquish Batman before aging into a state where he would be a bit slower and not quite as agile nor strong, otherwise he would be grievously injured or humiliated.
Once removed from the Batcave, Batman continued his nightly patrols as winter came early to Gotham. On one such frosty night, Gordon unveiled a Bat-Signal for the police department to summon Batman with if needed following his promotion to police lieutenant, and met with the vigilante on the police station's roof near the floodlight to discuss the effects that his appearance had on the city. Loeb had finally disbanded the task force hunting the bat-masked figure after becoming amazed of what saving the city did for his image, and the impact of the Batman's actions started sending a terror through Gotham's criminal underworld, with corrupt authorities running scared and hope on the streets. However, the city had suffered an unstable tear in its infrastructure; the Narrows was lost to its madness and half of the lunatics released from Arkham by the League of Shadows, including the Scarecrow, remained at large. Even though they will have their hands full finding them all, Batman promised that they can bring Gotham back all together but was corrected by Gordon about the escalation in crime. Apparently, Batman's presence in the city not only showed its citizens into further action on ridding their streets of corruption, but also in a worsened way inspired many in the criminal underbelly to adopt similar theatrical tastes of their style. The cop gave his new vigilante friend an example of one such criminal reported to have committed armed robbery and a double homicide, leaving behind Joker playing cards at the crime scenes as calling cards. Batman promised to investigate, saying that Gordon will never have to thank him for what he already did for the city, and flew off into the night.
Bruce and Alfred spent the beginning of their winter vacation sealing off the Batcave themselves since no hired workmen could be trusted with not being to curious the secret within the vast caverns. Alfred made a study in the art of masonry and what he wasn't able to do in terms of physical labor. The meticulous planning and execution was done within a month, and Bruce called in architects and contractors to begin working on building an exact replica of the mansion destroyed by the fire. The builders got the foundation laid and part of the framing up when work was halted by the wort snowfall in ten years, and they agreed that winter wasn't the best time to be building. Bruce drove his Lamborghini into the city several times a month and filled the car's shotgun seat with an assortment of models actresses. None rode in the vehicle for more than a single evening, but they all received lavish gifts soon afterwards. Alfred flew to England to spend Christmas with his niece and returned on New Year's Eve to have some hot chocolate with his philanthropist master. When the snowfall finally stopped at noon on New Year's Day, Bruce made his way back into the Batcave with a sledgehammer to smash the masonry seals and retrieved his ninja outfit from inside. With Alfred watching, he buried a stain of Ra's blood gotten on the clothing into the ground next to his parents' graves so he could mourn the together for the life all three of them gave him, bowing his head until the beginning of his vigilante ego's legend ended with the sky darkening.
The Dark Knight
- Bruce Wayne: “People are dying Alfred. What would you have me do?”
- Alfred Pennyworth: “Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They'll hate you for it, but that's the point of Batman. He can be the outcast. He can make the choice no one else can make. The right choice.”
- ―Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth[src]
The night that the Joker and his thugs rob a mob-owned bank, multiple Batman impersonators interrupted a meeting between mobsters and the Scarecrow. The real Batman showed up and subdued everyone, but injuries suffered during the confrontation led him to design a new, more versatile suit of armor. Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon contemplated bringing new district attorney Harvey Dent in on their plan to eradicate the mob, and the possibility that Dent will become the hero to the people that Batman could not be. The next day, Bruce Wayne, presumably due to his late night, ended up sleeping during a business proposal from a Chinese mobster account named Lau. He later revealed that he deliberately allowed for Lau to come so he could get a closer look at his numbers, having already suspected that his business methods were dirty. At the same time, Bruce Wayne and Harvey both competed for the love of Rachel Dawes. Lau informed gang leaders that he had taken their money to Hong Kong to prevent the police and the district attorney from seizing it in an imminent bank raid. In order to ensure there wasn't anything suspicious about his absence from Gotham when trying to retrieve Lau, he also proceeded to have the entire Gotham Ballet group accompany him to a yacht vacation near Hong Kong. He then faked not being able to arrive while Lucius Fox scouted the building under the pretense of a business meeting with Lau, with Fox also proceeding to supply him with a blueprint of the layout of the building. Later that night, Batman then proceeded to infiltrate the building (thanks to a EMP device smuggled inside the building earlier) and, despite the arrival of several cops under Lau's payroll, succeeded in nabbing the corrupt businessman, and also ensuring his escape with a Fulton surface-to-air recovery system and a cargo plane.
After Batman successfully abducted Lau in Hong Kong and delivered him to the Gotham City police, the mobsters agreed to pay the Joker half of their money in return for killing Batman. When the Joker began killing off public officials, including Commissioner Loeb, despite the best efforts of the police and Batman to stop him, Wayne decided to turn himself in to the police. Before he could do so, Dent publicly admitted to being the Batman to draw the Joker out of hiding for the real Batman to capture. The Joker attempted to kill Dent during transport, but Gordon and Batman intervened in time to stop and arrest him and deliver him to the Major Crimes Unit as Godon is promoted to Commissioner by Mayor Anthony Garcia.With the Joker in custody, Batman and Gordon at first believed that his madness was over, but became alarmed when informed that Dent had gone missing. Desperate to find him, Batman interrogated the Joker until he revealed that Rachel and Dent have been taken to opposite sides of the city, far enough apart that Batman would not have time to save both of them. Batman sped off to save Rachel, while Gordon and the police headed after Dent. Unknown to them, the Joker had switched the locations, sending Batman after Dent and Gordon after Rachel. Batman arrived and rescued Dent just as both buildings exploded, although the left side of Dent's face was burned during the explosion. Gordon did not reach Rachel in time and she died in the explosion. In the hospital, Dent was driven to madness over the loss of Rachel, which he blames on Batman, Gordon and the Joker. The Joker freed Harvey from the hospital and convinced him to exact revenge on the cops, mobsters, Gordon and Batman.
- "I see now what I have to become to stop men like him."
- ―Bruce Wayne [src]
While "Harvey Two-Face" confronted the corrupt cops and the mobsters one by one, flipping a coin to decide their fates, the Joker burned Lau along with the mob's money. The Joker planted explosives on two ferries of evacuees and gave the passengers on board the chance to destroy the opposing vessel, one full of prison convicts and another with civilians, in order to save their own lives. Batman tracked the Joker to an uncompleted skyscraper. Batman prevented the Joker from blowing up the ferries when both vessels' occupants decide they would rather not sacrifice the lives of the passengers in the other vessel for their own.
Following a brief hand-to-hand fight which ended when the Joker pinned Batman in a scaffold, Batman threw the Joker off of the scaffold but saved him by grappling him. The Joker acknowledged that Batman really was incorruptible, but that Dent was not, and that he had unleashed Harvey's madness upon the city. Though Joker lost the fistfight, he would win "the battle for Gotham's soul". Batman found Gordon and his family with Dent at the building where Rachel died. Two-Face proceeded to judge Batman, himself, and Gordon's son through the chance of a coin flip, which he saw as the only fairness left in the world. Two-Face shot Batman in the stomach and judged himself innocent, but before he could determine the boy's fate, Batman tackled him over the side of the building, saving Gordon's son, but injuring his leg in the process.
- "He's the hero that Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight."
- ―Gordon to his son after Batman decides to take the blame for Dent's actions and death.[src]
As Dent lay dead on the ground, Batman and Gordon decided that the Joker would win if anyone found out about Dent's corruption and madness. Batman convinced Gordon to let him take all the blame for Dent's murders in order to preserve the former district attorney's image as Gotham's hero and give the city hope. As Gordon destroyed the Bat-Signal, a manhunt was issued for Batman. From that day onwards, the Batman was branded an enemy by the rest of Gotham. This was the last known sighting of the Batman before his return in The Dark Knight Rises.
The Dark Knight Rises
It has been eight years since Bruce Wayne has been Batman; having retired from the crime fighting lifestyle following his decision to take the blame for Harvey Dent's crimes. He has become reclusive for the past three years, rarely leaving Wayne Manor, and has been seen by few people in Gotham city. In addition he rarely has contact with Wayne Enterprises, choosing to leave the operations of the company to Lucius Fox, following a green energy fusion reactor project that was deemed a failure. He has developed multiple medical problems in the years since his tenure as the Batman and has been forced to walk with a cane; his leg was injured in the fall off the ledge after rescuing Gordon's son in The Dark Knight. He is in very poor physical condition, which worries Alfred about him fighting Bane.
On the eighth anniversary of the Dent Act, which led to over 1,000 inmates in connection to organized crime being locked up without parole at Blackgate Prison, the celebrations are held at Wayne Manor but Bruce only watches from a distance. As this is happening a maid, later to be revealed as Selina Kyle, is stealing Bruce's mother's pearl necklace from his private quarters. Bruce sneaks up behind her and confronts her, but she overpowers him and escapes with the necklace.During an investigation of the safe, Bruce discovers that the real target was his fingerprints and not the necklace. He returns to the Batcave for the first time in years and runs an analysis, only to be confronted by Alfred who asks him to move on with his life, which he hasn't done since he lost Rachel.
Opting to retrieve his mother's pearls, Bruce begins to track the thief via a GPS locator that was planted onto the pearls. He follows her to a gala where he encounters Miranda Tate and later Kyle herself. As he cuts in on her dance, Selina wonders why he didn't call the police. Bruce hints that he has a "powerful friend." She informs him that she only became a thief because she had to, but now she wants a fresh start so she can do what she wants to. Selina assumes that Bruce generally doesn't care about the world, but he counters that she's assuming too much. After she hints of "a storm coming", he takes the pearls back, but Selina is able to steal his car by claiming to be his wife.Shortly afterward, Wayne is visited by John Blake at Wayne Manor who tells him about the attack on James Gordon, revealing to him that he knows that he's Batman. Blake also lost his parents at a young age, and learned how to hide the anger, similar to putting on a mask. He warns him about another threat known as Bane and asks him again to return as Batman. As Blake leaves, Bruce has Alfred make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist at the same hospital Gordon is at. He climbs down to speak with Gordon wearing a Ski Mask. Gordon tells him that the Batman must return, He tells him about the army that Bane is forming. After that, he goes to the ball. He then meets with Lucius Fox regarding Wayne Enterprises. He tells Lucius that he is retiring. He then visits the Applied Sciences division which is off books, It is where all of his technology and vehicles are stored. Lucius shows him the further developments of the division in which multiple tumblers can be observed. Lucius also shows Bruce 'The Bat' vehicle.
Returning to the cave, Bruce puts on a sophisticated leg brace which returns his ability to walk without a cane. Against Alfred's advice, he dons his cape and cowl again and goes out to Gotham. As this is happening, Bane goes to a stock exchange and uses Bruce's stolen fingerprints to place a number of risky investments in his name. Which Batman fails to stop.
Bruce now as Batman chases after Bane and his mercenaries; however, he causes more problems with the police force opt to pursue him rather than the criminal as he was still the accused murderer of Harvey Dent. Batman escapes into the Bat, a giant aerial craft made by Lucius Fox, and flies away. He finds Selina Kyle holding John Daggett hostage and sees a group of Bane's thugs making their way towards her to kill her. She and Batman fight off the thugs until Bane himself appears, causing them to flee. Surprised that Batman is the "powerful friend," Selina informs him that she sold Wayne's fingerprints to Daggett. She quietly sneaks away, just like Batman would have.Bruce goes back to the Batcave and is confronted by Alfred, who now refuses to help him as he's "buried enough members of the Wayne family". Alfred threatens to quit if Bruce doesn't hang up his suit. Bruce retorts by saying he has nothing outside of Batman and that Rachel Dawes, his childhood friend, was going to be his future. Alfred then tells Bruce about the letter to Bruce from Rachel saying that she was going to marry Harvey Dent even if Bruce stopped being Batman and that he burned it to spare Bruce the pain. Bruce becomes angry and accuses Alfred of lying and tells him to leave, to which Alfred does in grief. Awaking the next morning, Bruce is stunned to learn that Alfred is no longer at the manor. Fox meets him there to tell him that not only is Bruce bankrupt, but Wayne Enterprises is losing money fast due to Bane's use of Wayne's fingerprints and that he needs to rely on Miranda Tate now or Daggett will gain control of the company. They decide to reveal the green energy project to Tate which was, in reality, a fully operational fusion reactor that was capable of powering Gotham for an indefinite period but could easily be converted to a nuclear bomb. Tate agrees to accept guardianship of the Reactor and Wayne Enterprises, while at a meeting at Wayne Enterprises, is forced to remove himself from the board as he is no longer in a position of leadership over the company. He then gets a lift by John Blake who he tells that anyone could be a hero, and the two discuss Bane's whereabouts. Bruce tells Blake to drop him at midtown, in which he goes to visit Selina Kyle. After a brief meeting with Selina regarding Bane's whereabouts, he returns to the Manor to find Tate there waiting. The two share an intercourse before Wayne leaves to find Bane.
Exploring the underground tunnels, Batman and Catwoman eventually locate Bane's hideout. Kyle has, however, double-crossed the Batman and locks him in a chamber with Bane himself. Kyle is surprised when Bane reveals Batman's true identity. Batman then starts to fight Bane, clearly losing to his superior strength and the fact that the mask he wears provides him with a drug that allows him to feel little to no pain. Batman still continues to fight and even uses an EMP device to turn off all the lights; however, this has no effect on Bane due his birth and molding in darkness and his undergoing the same training with Ra's al Ghul as Bruce Wayne. Bane quickly finds and beats Batman even further, punching him hard enough to break his mask. To add insult to injury, Bane triggers explosives above them, revealing themselves to be right below Applied Sciences. The League then takes possession of the Tumblers. Finally, Bane breaks Batman's back over his knee Bane orders his men to take Bruce Wayne to the Pit, a prison Bane controls in the Middle East.Bruce awakes from his unconscious state and finds Bane looking over him, informing him that he is going to complete what Ra's al Ghul started and is going to force Bruce to watch Gotham's destruction. He tells Wayne that he will be kept alive until Gotham's destruction, at which time he will be allowed to die with Bane specifically stating "You have my permission to die" at the time of Gotham's destruction. A doctor, who is also an inmate in the prison, says that he is going to help fix his back and hangs him up until Bruce can learn to stand. Bruce, while doing this, has a vision of Ra's al Ghul who tells him that he has a child and an heir. Bruce believes it to be Bane. Bruce later regains his ability to stand and sees men trying to escape the Pit. He tries to do so himself, but is too weak. He starts training, but continues to fail. While Bruce is resting for his next attempt the doctor that lives next to him tells him the story of how the child became incarcerated in the Pit and later escaped. Bruce realizes, from the story, he must attempt to escape the same way the child did. He tries a final time, remembering his own fall into the cave, and reaches a ledge where all fall. Bats fly out of a hole next to his head and Bruce feels a surge of strength go through him and he leaps off the ledge and grabs hold of the next standing stone. He continues his climb upwards and makes it out of the Pit, dropping a long rope down to give the other prisoners a way to escape.
He travels back to Gotham where he finds out that things have gotten much worse. He finds Selina, who saved a child who was being mugged, and tells her that he could help give her the Clean Slate - a device capable of removing all traces of a person from official documents and databases. The device was supposed to be her payment from Daggett, who claimed the software didn't exist. He agrees to give it to her on the condition that he helps him free the cops that have been trapped underneath the city. She reluctantly agrees and Bruce allows himself to be captured in order to locate Fox, who helps him get back his equipment from the Warehouse and a disruptor that will prevent the bomb from detonation. Upon retrieving his gear, Batman goes to the river in order to rescue Commissioner Gordon. Defeating the thugs, he tells Gordon to light a flare and put it on the fuse which leads up to a giant bat shape on the bridge, much to Bane's surprise.
Batman then rescues Blake and they liberate the cops from the sewers. Blake is tasked with evacuating as many people as they can. The freed police start an all out war in the middle of the streets and Batman and Bane confront one another on the steps of Gotham's City Hall. Batman starts to gain the upper hand as he starts punching away at Bane's mask, damaging it to the point it (temporarily) no longer functioned. He saves Miranda who had been taken hostage and interrogates Bane to tell him who has the trigger which will set off the bomb that would destroy the city, paraphrasing Bane's own taunt in the pit. Miranda then appears and stabs Batman between the ribs, before telling him that she is actually Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul. She revealed that she was the child who climbed out of the pit and that the man who helped her was Bane who was later rescued by Ra's for saving his daughter. She fixes Bane's mask and Bane straps a rope around Batman's neck. Batman pleads with her not to set off the bomb but she ignores him as she only wanted revenge upon the man and the city that destroyed her father. She presses the trigger, to no avail, as Gordon had gotten the disruptor to the bomb. She leaves to go find the bomb and make sure it detonates, as it is only minutes away from exploding.
Bane is about to kill Batman when Selina comes through on the Batpod and shoots Bane, killing him. Batman uses the Bat and flies after Talia while Catwoman goes after the escort tumbler vehicles. After the Tumblers are dealt with, Batman blasts the truck head-on, causing it to crash down on a lower level street. Talia, who is mortally wounded, tells him that she overrode the bomb so that nothing could stop it and flooded the compartment holding the stabilization equipment. Batman realizes that she is telling the truth and that it needs to be taken somewhere safe; realizing the only option is to take the bomb into the Atlantic Ocean. Selina kisses him goodbye and Gordon asks Batman who he is and he tells him by reminding him of the night of his parent's death: "A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy's shoulder to let him know that the world hadn't ended." As Gordon realizes the Batman's identity is Bruce Wayne, Batman flies away with the bomb attached to the Bat. The city watches in horror but also joy as Batman flies away with the bomb, making it to a safe distance before the bomb detonates.
Following the apparent death of Batman, he is identified as a hero and a statue is erected in his honor in the center of city hall. Meanwhile, at Wayne Manor, a small memorial service is held in Bruce Wayne's honor by the few men that knew the truth of his identity as Batman, made up of Alfred Pennyworth, John Blake, Lucius Fox, and Commisoner Gordon. A short while afterwards, Lucius Fox discovers that the Bat, which had a failing autopilot, had actually been repaired six months prior. Alfred, at a cafe in Florence, recalls his dream he had during Bruce's first disappearance regarding finding him happily at a cafe in Italy with a wife and maybe a couple kids. As Alfred sits he looks around to find Bruce sitting with Selina across the cafe. He smiles and nods at him, as does Bruce, having finally found peace and happiness after years of grief and sadness, Bruce had also passed his legacy to Blake who presumably took over as Batman.
In other media
Batman Begins and The Dark Knight novelizations
In the films' novelizations by Dennis O'Neil, Bruce was trained in back-alley fighting and Kata (Asian Marital Art) before meeting Ra's.
Batman: Gotham Knight
- "I'm willing to put my life on the line to do what I have to. But it has to be mine, no one else's."
- ―Bruce Wayne [src]
Bruce Wayne continued to serve justice as the Batman after the events of Batman Begins. There had been reports of people being attacked by an 8-foot-tall reptilian creature. Batman was certain that the Scarecrow's fear toxin was connected with these incidents and began an investigation in the sewers. Batman was suddenly attacked by the monster, Killer Croc, who had been injected with Scarecrow's fear toxin, thus infecting Batman with it. He defeated Croc and made his way deeper into the sewers where he encountered and confronted Scarecrow. He flooded Scarecrow's chamber and escaped with Cardinal O'Fallon, and Scarecrow just barely escaped.
An assassin named Deadshot, who took great pride in his work, was hired to assassinate James Gordon in an attempt to take out Batman. Batman managed to outsmart the assassin, and realized that there were some criminals that he may never understand, and whose lines he would never cross.
In a flashback in Batman: Gotham Knight he took lessons in ignoring pain.
- "You know how to fight six men, we can teach you how to engage six hundred. You know how to disappear, we can teach you to become truly invisible."
- ―Ra's al Ghul training Bruce Wayne[src]
Batman is a highly skilled martial artist having been trained by the League of Shadows and Ra's al Ghul personally in ninjutsu and other martial arts, Batman has achieved such feats as single handedly subduing a swat team and taking out a group of the league of shadows ninjas with minimal injury; even before his training with Ra's al Ghul. Bruce Wayne was able to fight an entire gang of convicts in a prison brawl with the guards locking him in solitary for the other inmates "protection".
Batman is also highly intelligent, being a brilliant detective (known by some as "the world's greatest detective"), and an expert planner. He has proven himself exceptionally good at stealth being able to disappear in the middle of people's sentences and sneaking up on others unexpectedly. With his vast wealth and company Batman has access to some of the world's greatest equipment and technology to improve his performance. Relying on intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime, Batman is a force greatly feared by Gotham's underworld.
- Ra's al Ghul: “Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.”
- Bruce Wayne: “That's why it's so important. It's what separates us from them.”
- ―Ra's al Ghul and Bruce Wayne[src]
Bruce Wayne is very dedicated and determined to his work of crime-fighting, sometimes employing illegal and morally dubious tactics (like torture) but ultimately for the good of Gotham. Despite his dark past and serious work, Bruce has displayed a sense of humor around his butler Alfred and a romantic side around his love-interest Rachel and other love interests, such as Miranda Tate and Selina Kyle. Although possessing great hate and anger towards criminals, he has proven himself a very caring and selfless person, constantly putting his life on the line to save innocent lives and bringing the most dangerous criminals to justice for society's protection.
Perhaps Bruce's strongest characteristic is his strong moral code to never kill, believing all men deserve a trial and to do so makes him no better than his enemies, because of this he was been noted by the Joker as being "incorruptible". Although he did let Ra's al Ghul die, coldly saying "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you", he has shown compassion for his enemies, such as when he saved his employee Mr. Reese from getting killed, who was just about to sell him out by telling the public he was Batman. Bruce Wayne has also shown himself to have a good deal of faith in people as evidenced in The Dark Knight when he was confident that the people on the ferries wouldn't blow each other up (which they didn't), which is contrast to the Joker believing people to be just as bad as him when under enough pressure.
To the public, Bruce Wayne takes on the facade of an irresponsible, fun-seeking playboy in order to avoid suspicion of his alter-ego, while as Batman he reveals his dark, intimidating personality in the form of a bat (his childhood fear for his enemies to dread) to frighten the criminals he stands against, believing theatricality to help him seem more than a man, but a symbol. Bruce Wayne's ultimate goal is to bring order and justice to Gotham city, as opposed to the Joker who's ultimate goal is to bring chaos and anarchy.
Bases of Operation and Residences
The Batcave was Batman's base of operations. It was a cave beneath Wayne Manor. It was first used in Batman Begins, in which it barely had any equipment. After Wayne Manor was rebuilt in The Dark Knight Rises, the Batcave was refurbished with a master computer, weapon and suit storage and a landing/parking area for vehicles.
When Wayne Manor was destroyed, Bruce moved into a penthouse in the city. This was where the Joker first searched for Harvey Dent and, according to Alfred, Bruce doesn't sleep in the Penthouse much. He hosted a fundraiser for Harvey at his penthouse, which was interuppted by the arrival of the Joker.
After Wayne Manor was destroyed, the Batcave cannot be used so Batman moves his operations to the Warehouse. It is also called the Bat-Bunker. It is in a secret underground Wayne Enterprises area full of containers. In a red container, Alfred goes down to find the Warehouse. It is long and wide. It contains a master computer, suit storage, server racks, weapon and gadget storages and parking areas for the Tumbler/Bat-pod.
- Main article: Batsuit (Nolan Films)
The Batsuit is the costume Batman wears to conceal his identity and to frighten criminals. This particular incarnation of the Batsuit is given the most complete description ever seen in a Batman film and possibly the comic books. The suit is derived from Lucius Fox's Research and Development program, within Wayne Enterprises' Applied Sciences Division. It is described by Fox as a "Nomex survival suit" originally intended for advanced military use, but, with its $300,000 price tag, was considered to be too expensive for the United States Army and military in general. Based on an advanced infantry armor system constructed from Nomex, the first layer of protection is an undersuit with built-in temperature regulators designed to keep the wearer at a comfortable temperature in almost any condition. The second layer of protection consists of armor built over the chest, calves, thighs, arms, and back.
This armor features a kevlar bi-weave that can stop slashing weapons and can also deflect any bullet short of a straight shot impact, and reinforced joints that allow maximum flexibility and mobility. The armor was then coated with a black latex material to dampen Bruce's heat signature, making him difficult to detect with night-vision equipment. Made of a graphite material, the cowl acts as a protective helmet. The cowl's Kevlar lining is supposed to be bulletproof. A manufacturing defect in the graphite used in the production of the first shipment of the cowl's components made its outer shell incapable of withstanding blunt trauma (a flaw Alfred demonstrates to Bruce Wayne using a baseball bat). Batman apparently takes on Falcone and his henchmen at the docks with the defective helmet. The second shipment was supposed to fix this problem. An advanced eavesdropping device is concealed within the cowl's right ear and enables Batman to listen in on conversations from a distance.
Batman's cape is made of "memory cloth," also developed by Lucius Fox. It is essentially flexible in its normal state, but becomes semi-rigid in a fixed form (Batman's wings in the movie) when an electric current is passed through it from the microcircuits in his right glove. Bruce also adds metal gauntlets with scallops on the forearms, an innovation derived from his experience as a pupil of Ra's al Ghul's organization, the League of Shadows. Mainly used to block against knives or other stabbing weapons, Bruce managed to surprise Ra's by breaking the blade of his ninjaken in multiple places with the gauntlets.
The Batsuit is changed in the next film The Dark Knight. In this new design, the bodysuit is made of hardened kevlar plates on a titanium-dipped fiber and is broken into multiple pieces of armor over a more flexible bodysuit for greater mobility. As a trade-off, however, the flexible armor leaves Batman more vulnerable to injury from bullets or knifes in favor of increased flexibility and lighter weight. The cowl of the Batsuit, which in previous film incarnations has been attached to the shoulder and neck, is now a separate component inspired by the design of motorcycle helmets, allowing the wearer to freely swivel and move his neck without moving the rest of his upper torso as was characteristic in all the previous cinematic versions of the Batsuit. Also, a strong electric current runs through it that prevents anyone except Bruce Wayne from removing it, further protecting his identity.
In this Batsuit, the iconic blades on the sides of Batman's gauntlets are now retractable and are capable of firing outwards as projectiles. The bat emblem is smaller than the one in Batman Begins and it is more similar to the Batman logo used in the posters.
Furthermore, unlike the Batsuit in Batman Begins, this suit does not have an external 'memory cloth' cape, but, rather, a concealed cape in compartments behind the shoulder blades, which eject, connecting to the suits limbs to provide a hang-glider-like functionality with a bat-motif design.
The second Batsuit also has sonar-vision, where signals emitted by mobile phones are converted into images in a similar way to sonar. In order to view the said images, white lenses fold down from Batman's cowl to cover his eyes. Aesthetically this gives Batman, for the first time in a live action film, the 'white eyed' appearance he is always depicted with in the comic-books and animated series.
The Batsuit used in The Dark Knight Rises was quite similar to the one used in The Dark Knight. It had a brighter look to it, which was visible during the first battle with Bane. The suit also looked to have a much more reinforced design, which makes it thicker and stronger.
The Utility Belt is a specialized belt Batman wears to equip his crime-fighting gear. The utility belt is a modified climbing harness, with magnetized impact-resistant pouches and canisters attached to the belt at ergonomic points for ease of reach. It carries a magnetic gas-powered grapple gun, an encrypted cell phone, Batarangs, a medical kit, smoke bombs, mini explosives, periscope, remote control for the Batmobile (the Tumbler), mini-cam, money, and other unspecified equipment. Batman removed the belt's shoulder and chest straps because they constricted his movements.
A Batarang is a roughly bat-shaped throwing weapon used by Batman. The name is a portmanteau of bat and boomerang. Although Batarangs are named after boomerangs, they are more similar to shurikens, fitting with Batman's training as a ninja. He used one to knock out a light in Batman Begins. In The Dark Knight Rises, Batman uses smaller and sharper Batarangs laced with sedative to pierce the necks of his opponents, and knock them out.
The grapple gun is a special item Batman uses to scale up or rappel down tall buildings, or swing between Gotham City skyscrapers on successive lines.
Similar to a grappling hook and speargun, the line gun uses a strong clamp attached to a high-tensil wire for scaling surfaces and/or traversing gaps. It can be recovered by releasing the clamp and rewinding the cable. It was based from one that is designed as compact climbing gear for commando units.
It is propelled with compressed air works with a magnetic Enterhaken. The thin climbing cable was tested on a load-carrying capacity of 350lbs.
The special sonic device is an artifact Batman uses to summon bats. When it is not used, it is equipped in the left boot heel. When used at a lower frequency the sound can cause people to have incapacitating headaches.
- Batmobile Tumbler
- The Bat
- Grey Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 Roadster (Batman Begins)
- Black Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 Coupe (The Dark Knight)
- Silver-Gray Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Coupe (The Dark Knight Rises)
- Rolls Royce Phantom (Driven by Alfred in Batman Begins)
- Bentley Arnauge (Driven by Alfred in The Dark Knight
- Bentley Continental Flying Spur (Driven by Alfred in The Dark Knight Rises)
- All Batman technology and equipment is based on experimental and/or suspended military technology and equipment projects.
- As Batman, Bruce speaks with a gruff voice because some people might know who he is by listening to his real voice.
- This version of Batman has a kill count of 14 people.
- Alfred Pennyworth, Rachel Dawes, Ra's Al Ghul, Talia Al Ghul, Jim Gordon, Catwoman/Selina Kyle, Bane, John Blake, and Lucius Fox are the only people who know that Bruce Wayne is Batman.
- Ra's Al Ghul has admitted that he considered Bruce to be his greatest student.
Behind the scenes
- Director Christopher Nolan explained that Bruce Wayne injured his leg in the fall at the end of The Dark Knight in the The Dark Knight Rises "The Journey of Bruce Wayne" special feature. "He has been damaged by his experiences as Batman. Doesn't know how to move on from them. And so very much The Dark Knight Rises deals with the consequences of character's actions. He's physically damaged, he's walking with a cane, he's hurt his leg in the fall that killed Harvey Dent."
- In both The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises end credits, Christian Bale is only credited with playing Bruce Wayne, and not Batman.
- Although in Latin America, Bruce Wayne's name had been translated into Spanish as "Bruno Díaz" ever since the first comic books, for the dubbing of the Nolan films he was left as "Bruce Wayne".
- This is so far the sole Batman franchise where Bruce Wayne finds peace and has a definitive end to his career as Batman (Discounting continuities where Batman dies in action for obvious reasons).
- Before Christian Bale was cast as Batman, many other actors were considered for the role, including Cillian Murphy, Ashton Kutcher, Hugh Dancy, Joshua Jackson, Eion Bailey, and Jake Gyllenhaal. While Bale won the part, Christopher Nolan liked Murphy's audition so much, he cast him as Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow.
- Bale's audition involved having to wear Val Kilmer's Batsuit from Batman Forever.
- Christian Bale lost his voice three times during filming after altering his voice while playing Batman.
- Christian Bale's trailer didn't have his name on the door but said "Bruce Wayne" instead.
- On the set, the costumed Christian Bale constantly had two people trailing him to keep the Batsuit smudge-free.
- Christian Bale having lost 65 pounds to play his anorexic 120 pound character in The Machinist, had to regain that weight and then some to play the muscular Batman/Bruce Wayne. Bale gained 100 pounds in 6 months, describing the experience as an unbearable physical ordeal.