A wealthy philanthropist, Thomas Wayne, his wife, Martha, and their 8-year-old son, Bruce Wayne, were coming out of a movie theater at 10:47 p.m. As they stepped onto Park Row (now called Crime Alley), a thug called Joe Chill, armed with a gun, approached them from the shadows to steal the pearl necklace Martha was wearing. Thomas, moving in to protect his wife, was shot and killed by Chill, causing Martha to scream in terror. Chill then shot and killed her, while shouting, "This'll shut you up!" Bruce, traumatized by the deaths of his parents, would never be the same again.
Afterward, Bruce was raised by his wise and loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth, and inherited his family's vast fortune as well as his father's company, Wayne Enterprises. Standing at his parent's gravestones, Bruce made a solemn oath to avenge their deaths.
Despite the fiscal security, happiness eluded Bruce. Young Bruce was comforted by Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who helped him to mourn his parents and find a purpose in life. At age fourteen, Bruce started a twelve-year walkabout around the world seeking experts in many fields, training himself mentally and physically. From an academic standpoint, he studied at Cambridge in England, the Sorbonne in France, and other famous European universities. A Frenchman named Henri Ducard taught him man-hunting, a ninja named Kirigi taught him stealth, an African bushman trained him in the art of the hunt, and Nepalese monks taught him healing.
Bruce returned to Gotham City, where he became a vigilante. But despite all his honed skills, he knew something was missing. Bruce believed criminals to be a "superstitious and cowardly lot," and to rid Gotham of evil, he needed to reinvent himself to become a terrifying symbol that would strike fear into the hearts of criminals. While in his father's study, a large bat crashed through the window. Bruce saw this as an omen and recalled his fear of bats as a child. This would be his symbol; the Bat would strike terror into the Gotham underworld. Using his vast wealth, Bruce designed a costume and state of the art equipment, thus beginning a difficult double life: by day, he would be the billionaire playboy and businessman, Bruce Wayne, and at night, he was The Batman.
Batman, one of the most influential comic book characters to be penned, was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, though Kane, who designed the character, often receives credit as the sole creator. After the success of Superman in early 1939, DC Comics started requesting more superheroes for its titles. Bob Kane had an idea for a character called "Bat-Man." There is a large controversy that suggests Kane came up with a "Birdman" and Finger is the one who actually suggested the name "Bat-man." The character's alter-ego's name was influenced by the names of the Scottish patriot Robert the Bruce and revolutionary U.S. Brigadier General Mad Anthony Wayne (who, in the comics, is an ancestor of Bruce). For the character's costume, Kane drew inspiration from a flying device designed by Leonardo da Vinci: the ornithopter, a glider that had bat-like wings.
Most of the Bat costume designs were suggested by Bill Finger. Kane initially drew Batman with a red and black costume, a domino mask, and wings. Finger suggested the character's costume be colored black and grey to make the character look more "ominous." He also suggested replacing the domino mask with a "cowl" (hood) and the wings with a cape. Finger also wanted Kane to change the way Batman's eyes appeared behind the mask and urged him to turn them into white spots. Later Finger admitted that he was influenced by the comic character The Phantom, who also wore a mask with no visible pupils. Gloves were also added so that Batman would not leave fingerprints behind.
Like Superman, various aspects of Batman's personality, character history, visual design, and equipment were inspired by contemporary popular culture of the 1930s, including movies, pulp magazines, comic strips, newspaper headlines, and even aspects of Kane himself. Notable sources of inspiration were two of Kane's favorite movies, The Bat Whispers (1930), the film was a screen adaptation of Mary Robert Rinehart's mystery novel that featured a character named The Bat, a detective who has a secret alter ego known as the Bat. The other movie that influenced Kane was The Mark Of Zorro (1920). In the movies, young Bruce Wayne is often shown to have seen a Zorro movie before his parents were murdered. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #27, published in 1939, and later became popular enough to spawn his own comics. Along with Superman and Wonder Woman, Batman has provided many of the core story arcs for the DC brand since his creation.
Batman is unique for the simple reason that he has no super-human powers and is an ordinary human employing an M.O., a modus operandi, and relying on his intelligence, money, inventiveness, detective skills, martial arts, and fear to defeat his opponents. He currently makes the most money for a single publishing character and is widely considered to be one of the most popular superheroes in all comics.
In the original version of the story and the vast majority of retellings, Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, an American millionaire (later billionaire) playboy, industrialist, and philanthropist. Having witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on criminals, an oath tempered with the greater ideal of justice. Wayne trains himself both physically and intellectually and dons a bat-themed costume to fight crime. Batman operates in the fictional American Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his crime-fighting partner, Robin, his butler Alfred Pennyworth, the police commissioner James W. Gordon, and occasionally the heroine Batgirl. He fights an assortment of villains such as The Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, Ra's al Ghul, the Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and the Catwoman, among others. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any super-human powers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, martial arts skills, an indomitable will, fear, and intimidation in his continuous war on crime.
Batman became a very popular character soon after his introduction and gained his own comic book title, Batman, in 1940. As the decades wore on, differing interpretations of the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series used a "camp" (actually action-comedy) aesthetic which continued to be associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, with varying results. The comic books of this dark stage culminated in the acclaimed 1986 miniseries The Dark Knight Returns, written by Frank Miller, as well as Batman: The Killing Joke, written by Alan Moore. and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, among others. The overall success of Warner Brothers' live-action Batman feature films has also helped maintain public interest in the character. (Warner Brothers' parent company, Warner Communications, became the parent company of DC Comics in the 1970s.)
Batman, as a character, was heavily influenced by "pulp" magazines, cheaply-printed prose magazines that were a popular form of mass entertainment in the first half of the twentieth century. Pulp genres varied from romance to horror, but mysterious heroes featured heavily. And as Bill Finger later said, Batman was originally written in pulp style. One famous pulp character that inspired both Finger and Kane--in different mediums--was The Shadow. Finger liked the magazine version of the character: a gun-toting, no-nonsense crime fighter whose real identity was a mystery. Kane preferred the radio version of The Shadow: a wealthy playboy named Lamont Cranston who had the hypnotic power "to cloud men's minds," to prevent them from seeing him.
During the Golden Age of Comics, when he was first introduced, Bruce Wayne was already the vigilante known as Batman. Batman's first appearance was in Detective Comics #27. In Detective Comics #33, the origin of the character was told. Bruce Wayne was the son of Thomas Wayne and his wife, Martha Wayne. His parents were wealthy philanthropists in the high society of Gotham City. Bruce grew up in Wayne Manor and experienced a privileged life until one fateful night. Bruce and his parents went to the movies and were walking home when suddenly they were confronted by a gun-toting small-time crook called Joe Chill. At first, Chill demanded Martha's jewelry, but instead, he ended up shooting and killing both of Bruce's parents. After the deaths of his parents, Bruce swore to rid Gotham City (which was only identified as such in Batman 4, as until that point Batman's city was either left unnamed or identified as New York City) of evil forever. He began intense mental and physical training and mastered many skills including martial arts, criminology, and escape artistry.
Upon completing his training Bruce realized that his skills alone were not enough to do the job; he needed the criminals to fear him. That was when a bat flew through the window, scaring Bruce. He was inspired by the symbolism of the bat and used this to become Batman. Batman witnessed the death of the Flying Graysons, high-flying acrobats that were killed by mobsters after the owner of the circus refused to pay "protection money" for the crooks to be their bodyguards. Bruce takes in young Dick Grayson as his ward and trains him as his protege, Robin. Bruce and Dick first hunt down and defeat Tony Zucco, the crime boss who had been responsible for the deaths of John and Mary Grayson. It is never stated why Bruce took in Dick, but it could be due to how Dick lost his parents at a young age, and to crime, just like Bruce. Together the "Dynamic Duo" face off against many enemies such as the Riddler, the Scarecrow, the Penguin, and the Joker, the last of whom was to become Batman's greatest enemy.
Batman eventually becomes one of the founding members of the Justice Society of America. Batman continued working with the Gotham City Police Department in fighting crime and is later legally deputized as a civilian police agent. Later Alfred Pennyworth is introduced and serves as his butler. Alfred eventually learns the identities of the Dynamic Duo and aids them in keeping their identity safe. Love interest Vicki Vale debuted during the 1940s as one of the numerous "flavors of the month" for Bruce Wayne. (Other heroes were shown to have a girlfriend. But this could not be so with Bruce Wayne; to say that he was a playboy was to mean it. In his various incarnations, he has had several girlfriends, but none have lasted long, and his Batman incarnation was too obsessed and too angst-consumed to be able to commit to anyone; besides, Batman had been specifically created to be more of a fighter than any true lover.) Vicki was created as a mirror of Lois Lane of Metropolis, and she often spent her time trying to figure out the identity of Batman. Whenever she got close to figuring out that Batman was Bruce Wayne, Batman would often trick her into believing he was not Bruce Wayne. (Secret identities nearly being found out was a common occurrence in the Golden Age.) Batman was first shown as a cold-blooded vigilante who was willing to use a gun and kill his enemies to rid the city of crime. But this revolted some readers, who made it clear that they hated the idea of their hero going around killing people. At the same time, DC Comic's new editor, Whitney Ellsworth, was already drafting, and eventually implemented, a moral code for Batman that prevented him from ever killing or using a gun. One in-comics rationale for this was that having witnessed his parents being killed with guns was enough to turn him against their usage.
During the Silver Age, DC Comics introduced the Multiverse continuity to its characters. It established the fact that all the Batman stories told during the Golden Age actually took place on Earth-Two. The Earth-Two Batman marries Catwoman and fathered a daughter named Helena Wayne who grows up to be the Huntress. Earth-Two Batman retires to take the job as Commissioner of the GCPD. Dick Grayson of Earth-Two became a lawyer with his own practice and continued his career as the Earth-Two Robin. Eventually, he dies during his final adventure against a criminal named Bill Jensen, who had acquired super-human powers. Batman's backstory was expanded upon to include his uncle, Philip Wayne, who raised Bruce for a while after his parent's deaths. He also had an older brother named Thomas Wayne Jr., who had had to be institutionalized after the death of Thomas and Martha. In addition, it was revealed that his parents' killings had not been chance, but instead an assassination ordered by gangster Lew Moxon.
As a child, Bruce's father had worn a bat costume (similar to Batman's future costume) to a masquerade party, where he encountered and stopped the mobster. Moxon swore revenge against Dr. Wayne and hired Joe Chill to orchestrate the "mugging" that would result in their deaths. At some point in Bruce's training, he wore a costume similar to the future Robin's, and he was trained by Harvey Harris, a Gotham City Police detective. During this time Batman would regularly team up with other heroes to fight evil (these adventures were published in World's Finest Comics from the 1950s through the 1980s), and many of the team-ups featured Batman, Superman, and, occasionally, Robin and led to the formation of the Justice League of America.
After Robin (Dick Grayson) sustained an injury, Batman insisted ongoing without a field partner. Dick left to attend college and moved out of Wayne Manor. Batman primarily worked solo, but occasionally he would team up with Robin and Batgirl. It was during this period where Batman started becoming a bit darker; this was partly due to the loss of Robin's presence, but mainly because times were changing in the real world. Violent crimes increased in Gotham, and the Joker returned with a darker, more sadistic nature; this was shown in the fact that he was again commencing to kill his victims, as he had been doing when first introduced.
The Batman also comes face to face with Ra's al Ghul, the Demon's Head. Ra's has lived for over 600 years and is one of the few people who deduces that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Ra's saw their ideas as being the same, but the two became rivals quickly when Batman realized that Ra's did not value the lives of others as he did. During this time Bruce's older brother, Thomas Wayne, Jr., reappears. Thomas becomes an assassin, but his body was taken over by the anti-hero Deadman. Batman was able to remove Deadman from his brother's body, but Thomas soon dies trying to save his younger brother's life. Batman later quit the Justice League to form his new group called the Outsiders. Batman leads the group for a while, but he eventually quit the Outsiders as well.
After the story called Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Batman of Earth-Two was erased from history. DC Comics attempted to reboot many major characters' origins including Batman. The re-tooled history was recounted in Frank Miller's run on the Batman: Year One story arc, or, at least the more serious, less campy sides of The Dark Knight. This made Batman darker and more believable and showed how much Batman dominates Bruce Wayne's psychology, so much so that Bruce has fully transformed into the Dark Knight, both physically and mentally. The character of Jim Gordon was portrayed in greater detail, and the corruption of the Gotham City Police Department was more pronounced, giving more of a reason for Gotham City to need Batman. Dick's backstory remains the same, but Jason Todd's origin was changed, turning the boy into the orphan son of a petty crook, who tries to steal the tires from the Batmobile. Philip Wayne and Thomas, Jr. were removed from continuity (up until the New 52 Relaunch where different versions of both characters returned) and Bruce was raised by his father's trusted friend and butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
In addition, Batman was no longer a founding member of the Justice League. During the Son of the Demon story arc, Batman marries Talia, and she becomes pregnant with their child. When Talia was attacked, Batman nearly dies trying to save her. Talia concludes that she was a hindrance to Batman and pretends to have a miscarriage. The two annulled their marriage, but Talia delivered the baby and gave him up.
Dick Grayson retires the Robin mantle to become Nightwing, and Batman replaces him with orphan Jason Todd to become the new Robin, but he ends up getting killed by the Joker. After losing Jason, Batman becomes self-destructive until Tim Drake enters his life and convinces him to make him the new Robin.
The 1994 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. Also under Morrison, it's revealed that Batman had a child with Talia Al Ghul known as Damian, who was raised to be a ruthless assassin by the age of three.
During the events of Final Crisis, Batman is apparently killed by Darkseid, and he is replaced by Dick Grayson as Batman who enlists Damian as Robin. It eventually revealed that Batman is alive and after his return, he forms Batman Incorporated, where he attempts to use the Batman mantle as an international force for good.
The New 52
With the New 52 relaunch, Batman retained a large part of his mythos but there were some changes. Batman has been active for around seven years and is presently portrayed to be more tech-based. Catwoman no longer knows his secret identity, Grayson is back to being Nightwing, Tim Drake is now Red Robin and leader of the teen titans, Barbara Gordon is now Batgirl and Damian now operates as Bruce's sidekick. He is also a founding member of the Justice League and acts as the team's leader. He first appeared during the event known as Zero Year when Gotham was taken over by the Riddler.
Years later he fought the Court of Owls, a group of criminals who have been controlling Gotham from behind the scenes for many years, and the new character Harper Row is introduced as an ally. Also, a violent encounter with the now faceless Joker strained the relationship between the Batman Family. To make matters worse, Damian is later killed by the Heretic during Batman's war with Talia Al Ghul's terrorist organization Leviathan. Batman is consumed by depression and continues to alienate himself from his allies until he discovers a mystical shard that gave him the ability in the story to bring Damian back.
During the events of the weekly series called Batman Eternal, Gordon is framed for murder, and Gotham plunges into chaos. Batman's home is turned into an Asylum after the destruction of Arkham, and Bruce loses all of his money after the criminal known as Hush takes over Batman's weapon bases and blows them up, killing many people. Batman is forced to rely on limited resources and ends up living in a penthouse, once belonging to the Court of Owls, in the middle of Gotham.
During Endgame, the Joker reveals he knows Batman's secret identity and orchestrates a plot that sees turn the citizens of Gotham into Joker-sized psychos. In that story, the Joker almost convinces Batman that he is immortal, but it is later revealed that the Joker discovered a substance that allowed him to heal wounds. In their final battle under the bedrocks of Gotham near a pool of dinosaur, the entire cave collapses, and both men apparently die. Months later, Jim Gordon becomes the new Batman and dons a robotic suit, operating within the law. But it is revealed that Bruce is alive but has lost all memory of his days as Batman, and is currently living a rather peaceful life with Julie Madison.
The launch of DC Rebirth intends to reestablish the universe as it was before the events of Flashpoint while incorporating elements from the New 52. In the aftermath of the Darkseid War, Batman discovers from the Mobius Chair that there are three different Jokers.
Major Story Arcs
Some of the major story arcs of Batman have been Hush, Knightfall, and No Man's Land. For a full list of Batman's key story arcs, please visit the Batman story arc page.
The Man Who Laughs
Gotham City got its first taste of Batman's greatest enemy, the Joker when the police found an abandoned warehouse filled with mutilated corpses, all having ghastly rictus grins on their faces. While Batman was tracking down the killer, the Joker himself appears on live TV, on a news report on Arkham Asylum, killing the reporter with his mysterious laughing venom and predicting the deaths of some of the richest individuals in Gotham. Bruce wonders whether the Joker is a deformed version of the Red Hood, a criminal who fell into chemical waste while being engaged by Batman. The Joker carries out his hits as promised, using his venom, despite Batman's efforts to stop him. The city is thrown into chaos when he invades a prison facility and sets its inmates free, providing them with weapons and killing all of its guard personnel in the process. The criminals wreak great havoc throughout the city but are apprehended by Batman. Joker's next target is Bruce Wayne. Thus, Wayne Manor is under strict surveillance and guard by the police, making Bruce unable to act as Batman. He secretly injects himself with some Joker venom he had gathered. The venom takes instant effect and Bruce is rushed to the hospital. But on the way, Alfred administers him with the antidote he had made after careful study and as Bruce recovers, he understands the Joker's true plan. He had gained an understanding of what drives the Joker while under the effects of the venom and realized Bruce Wayne's assassination is only a diversion from his real mission, which is killing everyone in Gotham by poisoning its water reservoir, which Batman deduces from the clues he had gained in the last few days while tracking the Joker. He finds and stops Joker at the reservoir and refrains from killing him, though not without giving him a severe beating. The Joker is put in the reopened Arkham Asylum.
The Long Halloween
In Batman's early years, his main objective was to take down Gotham's biggest crime lord Carmine "The Roman" Falcone. To do this, Batman required the help of two of Gotham's finest, "hero cop" Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent. Despite dealing massive blows to the criminal empire, the Roman still stood tall until a killer by the name of Holiday started making his move and killing a member of the Falcone Crime family on every occasion.
Over the course of the story, the trio's morals are put into question, notably Dent's, who has let it be known that he does not care for the deaths of criminals and even contemplated stealing some of the weakened Roman's money. Jealous by the attention Holiday has received, the Joker attempts to release his gas on Gotham Square on New Year's Eve to kill everyone in attendance, and hopefully Holiday but he is stopped by Batman.
Later on, it is revealed that Dent owned the same type of gun that was used in the Holiday murders, turning him into a prime suspect. Despite Gordon's suspicions, Batman refuses to believe that his friend, who shares his love for justice, would be a killer. On the Roman's birthday, Sal Maroni, Falcone's rival, is set to testify against Carmine, prosecuted by Dent. Just as things seemed to go Dent's way, Maroni ends up throwing acid in the attorney's face, physically and mentally scarring him. After being rushed to the hospital, Harvey escapes in a crazed state and kills a doctor. Gordon moves Maroni to a new cell, suspecting that he may be Holiday's next target.
Surely enough, Holiday makes his move and kills Maroni, and just as he is about to kill Gordon, who was escorting the gangster, Batman appears just in time to save his friend and take down the killer, and he is revealed to be Falcone's son, Alberto, who holds a grudge against his father for neglecting him and keeping him out of the family business. A while later, Dent makes his return, with half his face disfigured, now calling himself Two-Face. He regroups all the costume freaks including Joker, Scarecrow, and Poison Ivy, among others, and bursts into the disgraced Roman penthouse to signify the change that has come to Gotham. Batman appears and takes down the villains except for Dent who holds Falcone hostage. Despite Batman's pleads, Two-Face ends up killing Falcone and then surrenders himself. In the end, when confronted by Batman and Gordon, Dent claims that his methods were the most effective in taking down Falcone. Despite witnessing the corruption of their friend, Batman and Gordon's resolve remains strong and they both vow to never give up on ridding Gotham of evil.
Dark Victory and Robin
In the aftermath of Roman's death, Falcone's daughter, Sofia Gigante has taken over the family business and vows to kill Two-Face who managed to escape from Arkham Asylum. Meanwhile, a killer by the name of Hangman has been killing various cops and implying that Two-Face is responsible. A gang war erupts between the crime families and the costumed freaks, recruited by Two-Face, and in the crossfire, circus acrobats, the Flying Graysons are killed by Falcone associate, Tony Zucco, leaving the performers' son, Dick, an orphan. Feeling sympathy for the child and remembering his own trauma, Bruce Wayne adopts Dick as his son. However, since Bruce was too busy trying to stop the war as Batman, Dick would often sneak out at night looking for his parent's killer. A terrified Tony Zucco, who knows that Batman is looking for him, is confronted by Dick and due to his poor health, ends up dying of a heart attack. Realizing the boy's vigilante tendencies, Bruce reveals his identity and decides to train him to avoid his death. It is later revealed that Hangman is actually Sofia Gigante and sets Gotham on fire to bring Dent out of hiding but before she could kill him, Batman saves him, allowing Dent to kill her and escape into the sewers with the rest of the super-villains with Batman in pursuit. In the climactic battle, Two-Face and his villainous group find themselves in the bat cave but Dick's presence prevented them from discovering Batman's secret. Batman and Dick end up fighting off and defeating the villains once and for all. In the end, Batman offers Dick a chance to live a normal life away from vigilantism, but Dick insists on joining his war, and so, he becomes Robin, assisting Batman in his mission, and thus the Dynamic Duo was born.
Tales of the Ghul
While trying to stop the criminal Doctor Dark, who was leading the League of Assassins at the time, Batman meets the enigmatic Talia Al Ghul, who was kidnapped by Dark in an attempt to blackmail her father, the wealthy Ra's Al Ghul. Batman saves Talia and she ends up falling in love with the Dark Knight. One night, Batman discovers that Robin has been kidnapped and then, Ra's Al Ghul, who has used his immense resources to discover Batman's secret identity, appears to him in the Bat-Cave to ask for his help, as his daughter has also been kidnapped, possibly by the same person who kidnapped Robin. The two work together and, accompanied by Ra's' faithful bodyguard Ubu, travels the world looking for the kidnapper. Batman solves various puzzles and obstacles thrown in his path, and after finding both Talia and Robin, he deduces that Ra's was behind the entire ordeal as a personal test, which Ra declares he has passed. Ra's reveals that he wants to change the world into a better place, but to that, he wants to eradicate most of mankind. However, he is growing old and reveals that this machination took place because he needed a successor, and Batman has proven himself worthy of that position as well as the affections of his only daughter, Talia. However, Batman, appalled by his view of the world, sees him as a dangerous criminal mastermind and vows to stop him at all costs.
In his crusade to take down the criminal mastermind, he discovers in the story that Ra's has lived for centuries due to the mystical Lazarus Pit, which restores Ra's youth as well as gives him immense strength that allowed him to defeat Batman in a fight. In his pursuit of Ra's and his league, Batman finds himself in Nanda Parbat where Ra's challenges him to a swordfight. After fighting a stalemate, a scorpion stings Batman, leaving him incapacitated. Though Ra's sees Batman as a worthy foe, because he refused his offer, he leaves him to die. However, Talia, still having feelings for the Dark Knight, gives him a final kiss that contained the antidote. Batman recovers from the scorpion's poison, and in a fit of rage, confronts Ra's, who was immobilized with fear at the sight of the recovered vigilante, and decisively defeats him. In the end, Batman embraces Talia and offers her the chance to come back with him, but she refuses, because, despite her feelings for Bruce, she feels that she must remain by her father's side.
Just Another Kid on Crime Alley
During an encounter with the Joker, Robin is seriously wounded and the media believes him to be dead. Worried about Dick's safety, Batman decides to keep it that way and retires the Robin mantle, but Dick's insists that he will remain a crime-fighter and he would, later on, become the superhero known as Nightwing. On the anniversary of his parent's death, Batman, as is his tradition, keeps watching over Crime Alley, the site of that tragic night. However, on his way back to the Batmobile, he finds a young street orphan by the name of Jason Todd attempting to steal the tires of the car. Though impressed by the kid's courage, he decides to take him to a school for the homeless, but when it is revealed that the school housed criminals, Batman, with Jason's help, takes it down. With nowhere for Jason to go and at the risk of him becoming another criminal on the streets, Batman decides to take Jason in as his own son, and seeing his potential to be a hero and also partly due to the loneliness he experienced after Dick Grayson's departure, offers Jason the mantle of Robin, which Jason gladly accepts. Batman later discovers that Jason's mother died of an overdose and his father was a reluctant partner of Two-Face, who ended up getting killed by the criminal. Although Batman attempted to hide this from Robin, fearing what he may do, his faith in Jason is restored when Robin, having discovered Two-Face's acts, spared him even though he had the chance to avenge his father's death. This made Batman see Jason as a worthy sidekick.
A Death in the Family
As time passed, it quickly became evident to Batman that Jason was far from the ideal crime-fighter. His conduct on the field was in stark contrast to that of Batman's cold professionalism. Jason would often thrust himself into exceedingly dangerous situations, endangering both student and mentor, giving vent to his inner emotions, which seemed to be dominated by rage. This became even more evident when Jason seemingly killed a serial rapist who had walked free after causing the death of one of his victims. Batman soon realized Robin hadn't coped with the death of his parents and felt it was best to make him inactive.
Back at his birthplace in Crime Alley, Jason finds his birth certificate and learns that his mother wasn't the late Catherine Todd, but that three women could be his mother, and all there are out of the country, so he left off in search of the first one, in the Middle East where he coincidentally meets up with Batman who was there tracking down the Joker. Together, they thwart the Joker's plans and take down the terrorists, but to Jason's dismay, the suspected woman is not his mother.
Continuing their investigation, and after an encounter with the deadly assassin Lady Shiva, they eventually track down Sheila Haywood, who was working in famine relief efforts in Ethiopia and it is revealed that she is, in fact, Jason's real mother. Bruce leaves Jason to spend time with his mother while he chases after the Joker, but it is later revealed that Sheila was being blackmailed by the Joker into giving him shipments of medical supplies that he can sell in the black market while transferring his deadly Joker gas to relief destinations. Batman orders Jason to stay put while he chases the Joker, but Jason defies Batman's orders and leaves for the warehouse to find his mother. Jason manages to find her and reveals his secret identity to her, but she turns him over to the Joker in an attempt to save her own life. Joker savagely beats Jason with a crowbar, then detonates an explosion that kills both Jason and his mother.
Batman arrives just as the explosion goes off, and as he searches through the rubble, he finds, to his horror, the corpse of Jason. Batman grieves over the horrible site and vows to avenge Jason's death and take down the Joker once and for all. Batman vengefully tracks down the Joker, and though he manages to stop his latest death plot, the madman escapes, ending this counter the same way as others, unresolved. Batman continues grieving over Jason's death, considering it to be his greatest failure, and vows to never endanger anyone else in this line of work. Since then, he keeps Jason's costume in a glass casing in the Bat-Cave as a memorial, underneath it reads "A Good Soldier".
A Lonely Place of Dying
After Jason's tragic death, Batman became more violent and almost self-destructing when he battled crime. Tim Drake, a young boy who witnessed the death of the Graysons, noticed the dark nature of Batman after the loss of Robin. Tim once idolized the Flying Graysons and was in attendance when Dick's parents were killed. He also idolized Batman and Robin, as he saw them as heroes. Tim was able to deduce that Dick Grayson was, in fact, Robin when he noticed the costumed fighter perform an acrobatic move that only Dick could do, and knowing that the former acrobat was adopted by Bruce Wayne, he pieced things together and deduced that the millionaire is indeed Batman. He had figured out that the original Robin was Dick Grayson and thus, Bruce Wayne had to be Batman. Tim knew that Batman needed an ally in his war and after being unsuccessful in convincing Dick to return to the role, Dick petitions Bruce to train Tim to become the next Robin, to keep Batman sane, but Batman refuses, vowing to never endanger anyone but himself in his war on crime. Meanwhile, Two-Face is on the loose and has prepared a plot to kill Batman once and for all, and this would have happened if not for the timely intervention of Tim Drake, wearing the Robin costume with Alfred's blessing and providing the necessary distraction for Batman to defeat his foe. In the end, both Alfred and Nightwing insist that the boy is capable of doing much good, especially under the guidance of Batman, and after much reluctance, Batman ends up agreeing. After a grueling training regime, Tim finally becomes the new Robin.
After a long time of hard work, Batman and Robin finally succeed in placing all of the worst villains in Arkham Asylum and thus apparently ensuring peace for Gotham. At one point he also encounters Jean-Paul Valley who is called Azrael, a victim of "The System" who was brainwashed into becoming an assassin for the sinister order known as The Order of Dumas, but Batman comforts Valley and takes him in as an ally to fight crime alongside him and reject his previous life. Just when it seemed that Gotham was at peace, a new villain makes his way to Gotham seeking to conquer it and defeat its guardian, the Batman. The villain, known only as Bane, destroys the walls of Arkham and frees every single inmate to rage havoc on the city. Batman, who was also sick at the time, is forced to run a gauntlet of his worst enemies, putting both his body and mind to the test. After a series of plots and encounters that weigh heavily on him, mentally and physically, fighting the likes of the Mad Hatter, the Ventriloquist, Amygdala, Victor Zsasz, Firefly, Riddler, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Joker, and Two-Face, as well as encountering Bane's henchmen Zombie, Trogg and Bird, Batman finally manages to put them all back in prison however still oblivious to the mastermind behind this Gauntlet.
Batman finally returns home to rest only to be confronted by Bane, whose plan has come full circle and has come to Gotham to conquer it and defeat its protector. Though having almost no strength left, Batman accepts Bane's challenge and has one final fight. However, he is no match for this skilled foe, whose strength has also increased due to a drug known as Venom, and despite his best efforts Batman is horribly beaten and has his back broken by Bane in his own Batcave, paralyzing him. Bane throws Batman's body in the middle of a crowded street so that everyone sees the fall of the Dark Knight. Before his identity is compromised, Alfred and Robin quickly take him back to the manor to nurse him back to health. However, his will is just as broken as his body, as he realizes that he cannot don the costume again, and since Gotham needs a protector, he entrusts the mantle of Batman to Jean-Paul Valley and instructs a distraught Robin to be his ally.
Knightquest and Knightsend
After his paralysis, Batman is tended to by Shondra Kinsolving, a doctor whom Bruce met before and the two shared romantic feelings. However, one night, Shondra is kidnapped along with one of her patients, Jack Drake, Robin's father, and so, despite being in a wheelchair, Bruce, along with Alfred go after the kidnappers, and track them down to London, leaving Gotham under the care of Robin (who is oblivious to his father's kidnapping) and the new Batman. It is revealed in the story that Shondra had psychic powers, and was kidnapped by her brother Asp who intended to use those powers for his own gain. Bruce is caught in a telepathic exchange between Shondra and Asp, and the energy released causes Bruce to regain mobility of his legs. Now healed, he defeats Asp and saves Drake and Shondra, but the doctor's mental state was regressed to childhood due to the drugs given to her by her brother and she loses all memory of her relationship with Bruce. Preparing to get back into shape and regain his strength, Batman seeks the help of the skilled martial artist and assassin, Lady Shivam who agrees with the condition that he must kill. After several weeks of intense training, when it was time for Batman to kill, he refuses, causing Shiva to send variously skilled assassins after him to force his hand. Bruce defeats the assassins and appears to kill the final one, much to Shiva's delight. However, he had used a technique that appeared to be lethal even though it was not. With his strength now regained, Batman is ready to come back to Gotham.
Meanwhile, back in Gotham, Valley, now operating as Batman, attempts to track down Bane, who has now taken control of Gotham's underworld. However, Valley's brainwashing by the Order resurfaces, causing him to become more violent and to start losing control over his sanity. Donning a new tech-heavy costume and refusing Robin as a partner, Valley becomes a far darker and much more violent Batman and eventually manages to defeat Bane and end his reign of terror. As the new Batman watches over Gotham, his vicious and reckless methods became intolerable by Robin, especially when he caused the deaths of the villain the Abattoir and his victims. When Robin tried to reason with him, Valley lashed out at him, almost killing him as he now considers himself to be superior to the real Batman. When Batman returns, having healed from his back injury, Jean-Paul tried to kill him to prove his superiority but Batman defeats and tricks him into removing his costume, thereby getting rid of "the system" in his head. Humbled and regretting his actions, Valley admits to Bruce that he (Bruce) is the one and only Batman and vows to redeem himself in his eyes. Though having regained the use of his legs, Batman decides to travel the world to fully regain his strength, and in his absence gives the mantle to the man he should have given it to in the first place, Nightwing until he comes back.
No Man's Land
Gotham is struck by a massive Earthquake, one which claims the lives of many people in Gotham. Batman had anticipated the arrival of an earthquake and had all Wayne-funded buildings be protected from such an event, including Oracle's Watchtower and Tim Drake's home, however, his own house did not receive such protection because that may compromise his identity as Batman. Bruce and Alfred barely survive the earthquake, and once out of the rubble, Batman watches in horror his city in ruins and there's nothing he could do about it. With most of the city destroyed, criminals run rampant around the remains, and chaos ensues to the point where Gotham is declared a No Man's Land by the government and it is cut off from the rest of the country. Batman travels to Washington, and as Bruce Wayne does his best to convince Congress to help the city he loves, but he fails to do so, causing him to be distraught and almost loses all hope himself in exile until he is motivated back into action by Talia Al Ghul.
Meanwhile in Gotham, with very limited food and resources, new rules are applied and the criminals divide the city into territories and use spray paint to claim ownership of said territories. Members of the GCPD that stayed in Gotham are now known as the Blue boys and they try to maintain order in Gotham. Others join the fight as well, including Oracle, who monitors the entire city and serves as information broker while Helena Bartinelli aka the Huntress, dons a Batman-inspired costume to be more effective as a crime-fighter. Batman eventually returns and adapts to the new rules of Gotham, using spray paint to mark his territory and does everything he can to help his city. He allows Huntress to operate as Batgirl for a while until Two-Face's gang invades his territory and kill several people. Helena was forced to flee and when she refuses to follow Batman's orders anymore, he forces her to relinquish the Batgirl mantle. When things become more dire Batman assembles all his allies including Nightwing, Robin, Jean-Paul Valley and Oracle as well as new Batgirl, the mute Cassandra Caine, who proved herself when she saved Gordon's life from her father the assassin David Caine, and they all fight to take back their city.
No Man's Land comes to an end thanks to Lex Luthor, who used legal and illegal means as well as political machinations to fund the renovation of Gotham city all in an attempt to take over himself. Batman allows Luthor to do his work while having Catwoman collect necessary evidence against Luthor regarding his illegal business, thereby preventing Lex from claiming ownership over Gotham.
Batman finds himself to be the target of a mysterious conspiracy that pits him against some of his worst villains. While giving chase to Catwoman who was under Poison Ivy's mind control, his bat-rope is cut, causing him to fracture his skull though he is eventually saved by his childhood friend and surgeon Thomas Elliot. Later on, Batman and Catwoman track down Poison Ivy to Metropolis and despite using a mind-controlled Superman against them, Batman manages to get past the Man of Steel and stop the villain. Over the course of this adventure, Batman and Catwoman start to develop a relationship and Batman even reveals his identity to her.
Later on, after encounters with Killer Croc, Ra's Al Ghul, Joker and Scarecrow, all seemingly manipulated under the same conspiracy as well as the apparent death of his friend Tommy, he is confronted by someone claiming to be Jason Todd, Batman's old sidekick who was killed years ago, however it turned out to be another ruse.
Frustrated and desperate to know who has been manipulating all these villains, Batman investigates further until the villain known as Hush finally makes his presence known and reveals that he is in fact, Tommy Elliot. Tommy had always hated his parents and wanted them dead to collect his inheritance, so he staged a car accident that caused his father's death but Bruce's father managed to save his mother, and because of this Tommy held a grudge against the entire Wayne family. He faked his death using Clayface to throw Batman off his trail, as he was the mastermind behind the entire ordeal. After the intervention of Gordon and a recovered Harvey Dent, Hush falls into a river and manages to escape.
In the aftermath, Batman learns that Riddler was the one who told Hush his secret having learned it after using the Lazarus Pit to cure himself of cancer. However, Batman warns Riddler that if he ever decides to reveal this information again, he will feel the wrath of Ra's Al Ghul, ensuring his silence. After all these events, Batman has become more suspicious, causing him to drive Catwoman away as he won't allow himself to fall in love again.
War Drums and War Games
When Tim Drake's father discovers his alter-ego, Tim is forced to retire as Robin and Batman goes back to working alone, that is until Stephanie Brown, aka the young vigilante known as Spoiler and Tim's ex-girlfriend, petitions to be the next Robin, and though reluctant at first, as he previously didn't see her as hero material, Bruce ends up accepting with the condition that she follow his every order. After training her, he hands her a costume and she officially becomes the fourth Robin. Though initially there were some problems, especially when she used lethal force on the villain Mr. Zsasz, she starts proving herself when she handily takes down Tiger Moth. Stephanie's infectious energy and enthusiasm grow on Batman and he starts to see her as a worthy partner. However, while tracking down the assassin Scarab, she disobeys Batman's order to stay put and ends up getting herself held hostage and almost compromising the mission. Because of that, Batman ends her tenure as Robin. Determined to win back Batman's trust, Stephanie steals from the Bat-cave one of his contingency plans that was supposed to take place in case of crime in Gotham got too out of control. The plan, which she put into motion behind Batman's back, dealt with unifying all the Gotham crime-families under one man, Matches Malone. What Stephanie didn't know was that Malone is actually one of Batman's underground alter-egos, and because Malone was not present at the staged meeting between crime-lords, things went awry and a huge gang war raged in Gotham, causing the deaths of many. Batman's reputation takes a major hit when he is seen by the media in broad day light holding the dead body of a young student who was killed in the crossfire of the gang war, and even more so when makes several morally questionable actions, including forcefully taking over command of the GCPD (which the results in the death of many), and attempting to put his underground ally, Orpheus, as the leader of all the gangs, but the Black Mask makes his move, kills Orpheus and becomes Gotham's kingpin of crime instead. Another consequence of this war was Stephanie Brown's death after intense torture at the hands of Black Mask. Batman was at her side in her last moments and comforted her with the fact that she did earn her place as Robin.
Under the Red Hood
After the recent war, Batman has lost too much. Robin, Batgirl and Oracle have left Gotham City, Stephanie Brown is dead, Nightwing is injured, the GCPD sees Batman as a criminal and the Black Mask controls all crime in Gotham. However, a mysterious figure known as The Red Hood has been making his move on Black Mask's operations and taking control of his gangs. While intercepting one of Black Mask's shipments, Batman and Nightwing encounter Red Hood for the first time, and as they chase after him, they encounter the cyborg Amazo, which they barely manage to defeat. The Red Hood then steals another one of Mask's shipments tries to blackmail him, but the meeting turns sour with Freeze and Batman and Nightwing getting involved, and all the villains end up escaping. However, during the battle, Batman is intrigued by Red Hood's skills, as he sees something familiar.
While intercepting another one of Black Mask's operations, Red Hood is confronted by Batman where they fight to a stalemate. Red Hood finally takes off his mask and to Batman's horror, reveals that he is in fact, Jason Todd, the Robin who apparently died many years ago and even gives him samples of his DNA to prove it before escaping. It is revealed in the story that Jason came back after he was dipped in a Lazarus Pit by Talia Al Ghul. After this revelation, Alfred offers to remove Jason's memorial from the Cave, but Batman refuses, claiming that the recent developments don't change anything.
After Red Hood blows up Black Mask's penthouse, the desperate crime lord seeks the help of Deathstroke of the Secret Society, who sends Hyena, Captain Nazi and Count Vertigo to kill the Red Hood. Batman intervenes and together they manage to take down the trio of super-villains, but not without Red Hood killing one of them and escaping.
After tricking Black Mask into killing the last of his lieutenants, Red Hood, who has been holding the Joker captive, challenges Batman to come to Crime Alley to end things once and for all. After apprehending Black Mask, Batman complies and meets up with Jason. After an intense back and forth fight, Batman defeats Jason and apologizes for failing him. Disgusted, Jason reveals that the reason he holds a grudge against Batman is that he never killed Joker to avenge his death. He then holds Joker hostage and throws Bruce a gun, and challenges him to make a choice: either kill Joker or kill him. Batman refuses both choices and ends up incapacitating Jason with a Batarang. An ecstatic Joker ends up blowing the entire place and in the aftermath, Jason manages to escape.
Bruce also becomes more suspicious of other heroes, creating a super satellite called Brother Eye, which is stolen and eventually causes the death of Ted Kord. Things then hit a personal low for Bruce during the story Infinite Crisis when he almost murders megalomaniac Alex Luthor. Bruce realizes his morality is at an all-time low and decides to take a sabbatical from fighting crime.
Batman and Son
After cleansing himself of personal demons and returning to his role as Batman fully re-energized, allowing him to cleanse Gotham of all crime. After that, following Alfred's advice to re-learn how to be Bruce Wayne, goes on a vacation. He travels to London where, at a charity auction, meets and develops feelings for Jezebel Jet, a fashion model and leader of an African Country. The auction is then attacked by a horde of League of Assassins Man-Bats and despite fighting off a large number of them, he is eventually captured and brought before his former lover Talia Al Ghul. She reveals that they have a son together named Damian, who was raised in the ways of the League. Talia leaves Damian under Bruce's care, and the boy proves to be very troublesome and very hard to control. Damian takes an instant disliking to Tim Drake, as he considered him to be an impostor and that the Robin mantle is his right. In an attempt to prove himself to his father, he goes so far as to murder the villain known as The Spook, and brutally attacks and almost kills Robin. Batman starts to teach Damian respect and discipline and agrees to keep him by his side as long as he conducts himself properly and refrains from killing. Damian agrees and together they travel to Gibraltar where they attempt to stop Talia from executing a terrorist attack. However, Talia reveals that she planned to get Batman acquainted with his son and they can all be united together as a family. She offers Batman to rule the world by her side, but he declines, and so she declares war on him and escapes, taking Damian with her.
Soon Bruce is tested in new ways both by a conspiracy to kill him and a journey through time caused by Darkseid.
During the crossover story-arc Final Crisis, where Darkseid launches an attack on Earth, Batman gets captured by the possessed Alpha Lantern Boodika. Batman is experimented on by Darkseid's followers in an attempt to form an army of cloned Batmen that would serve Darkseid.
Batman escapes from captivity and uses the time-gun Darkseid killed Orion with to shoot the Lord of Apokolips with a radion bullet, fatally wounding him and paving the way for his defeat. However, Darkseid manages to strike Batman with his Omega Beams, seemingly killing Wayne. In reality, the Omega Beams had banished Bruce to the early prehistoric age, forcing him to periodically time-travel and build up enough energy to become a living bomb that would unravel time when it detonated.
The Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman Incorporated
After Final Crisis Bruce is assumed dead leaving Dick Grayson and Damian to become the new Batman and Robin in his absence. With Damian as Robin and Dick as Batman, Tim Drake decides to leave his Robin mantle and find clues to prove that Bruce was not dead, but lost in time. He proves his theory by becoming Red Robin, a mantle that was used by Jason Todd years ago.
After surviving his journey of time trials, Bruce Wayne returns with a greater sense of responsibility. He decides to take his crime-fighting mission to a global scale with an organization called Batman Incorporated while Dick and Damian remain protectors of Gotham and also dedicated members of Batman Inc. Over the course of this series, it has become clear that Bruce's reasons for forming an international army of Batmen have been to combat an old global brainwashing terrorist force called Leviathan.
In September 2011 DC Comics relaunched 52 new #1 titles throughout the month featuring several changes to the universe. Batman plays a key role in the relaunch, and one of the biggest changes in the universe is Bruce Wayne's return as Batman and Dick Grayson's return as Nightwing.
Part of the New 52 relaunch involved a condensed timeline of the DC universe, which slightly affected Batman's origin story. However, unlike most characters, Batman has retained a certain amount of his Post-Crisis history, while some have been retold.
Like his Post-Crisis counterpart, Bruce was born into the prestigious and wealthy Wayne family to a surgeon and philanthropist Thomas Wayne, and social worker Martha Wayne of the Kane Family. When he was very young, Martha was expecting a second child, but after a mysterious car accident, was forced into premature labor and the baby died. After that, the family went on a vacation to forget that traumatic event, but the family butler, Jarvis Pennyworth was mysteriously killed, and his son, Alfred, a former actor and military medic, took his father's place as the butler, a position he continued to hold in Bruce's adult life. As a child, Bruce felt under pressure because of his family's reputation, and so he had a habit of sneaking out into the city and explore, to feel what it's like to be just like everyone else.
One night, Bruce and his parents went to the movies to watch The Mark of Zorro, and on their way back, they were held at gunpoint by a mugger named Joe Chill, who attempted to take Martha's pearl necklace, but, in a state of panic, ended up shooting and killing both Thomas and Martha, leaving young Bruce traumatized by the event.
Bruce was convinced that his parents were the victims of a nefarious conspiracy and made it his goal to find meaning to their deaths and apprehend their killer. After witnessing certain signs, Bruce started digging into the mythical Court of Owls, an old-wives-tale about an underground society that secretly controlled Gotham, whom he thought was responsible for his parents' deaths, but in his search for clues, he had himself trapped in an abandoned warehouse for several days before he was found by Alfred. As he grows older, Bruce would constantly be haunted by this tragedy, often making him awkward among his teachers and classmates, and straining his relationship with his high school girlfriend, Julie Madison. Unable to cope with the pain, he had himself enlisted in Arkham Asylum to remove his memories using electro-shock therapy, but he was unable to go through with it and decided to use his pain as fuel. At the age of 18, he once again attempted to find his parents' killer and started weightlifting and training in martial arts. He befriended his schoolmate Erin Mckillen, daughter of Irish Mobsters from the Mckillen Crime Family, and he used this friendship and her connections to track down Joe Chill. However, to his shock, he learns that there was no secret conspiracy, Chill was simply a poor, desperate man who needed money, and killed the Waynes out of panic. Bruce, crushed by this revelation, leaves Chill and decides to travel the world on a journey to train and vowed to fight and end crime in Gotham.
Traveling Around The World
At the age of nineteen, Bruce found himself in Rio De Janeiro, where he met a criminal by the name of Don Miguel who taught Bruce high-speed driving and several insane driving tricks. In their final lesson, however, Bruce was instructed to lose the Policia in a bright red custom-made convertible car and during an intense car chase, Miguel attempted to kill the cops using a dangerous weapon, but Bruce, having learned everything he needed from the criminal and wanting to prevent him from causing any more damage, crashes the car, trapping Miguel before finally knocking him out and leaving him to be apprehended by the authorities.
At the age of twenty-one, in Egypt, Bruce seeks out an old Russian scientist named Sergei to teach him what they call the impossible. Sergei challenges Bruce to a test by trapping him under the Sphinx, where he has limited supplies and oxygen. Bruce spends six months preparing for this test, tinkering with tools and planning for every scenario to survive, but Sergei tells him that he needs to go beyond planning and what is called possible to survive. Indeed, once Bruce is actually trapped, most of his preparations weren't operational and he was forced to improvise and go beyond what he thought was possible to escape and he manages to pass Sergei's test.
At the age of twenty-four, Bruce found himself in the middle of a pit in the Northeast of Harstad, Norway, fighting for twenty-eight hours straight in a death match, defeating every fighter to challenge him but avoided killing anyone despite the insistence of the Pit Queen. Bruce came to this pit seeking to use his body to wage war, but the Queen claims that he cannot win this war without killing, and he will continue to fight until he dies. However, Bruce persists, winning battle after battle but without killing anyone, and in the end, there were no more fighters to challenge him because they were all afraid of him.
At one point, Bruce traveled to France seeking out famed manhunter Henri Ducard, to learn stealth and tracking. Impressed by the fact that Bruce was capable of finding him and son, Morgan, Ducard agreed to take him under his wing. Bruce would learn a lot from Ducard, while also developing a rivalry with Morgan, but when Bruce discovers, that the Ducards were also mercenaries and would kill their targets, Bruce cuts all ties from them. Henri orders Morgan to kill Bruce, an attempt that fails, and a vengeful Bruce beats down Morgan in a fit of rage, almost killing him.
Towards the end of his training, Bruce travels to the Himalayas to train with Shihan Matsuda where he learned swordsmanship, healing and meditation. During his stay, he develops feelings for a young woman named Mio and though he was warned by Shihan to avoid personal ties, those feelings caused Bruce to inadvertently allow an assassin, hired by Matsuda's wife, into the household and attack and gravely injure Mio and the Matsudas. Though Bruce managed to fight him off, Shihan's injuries were fatal and before he died, he warned Bruce to avoid personal relationships or they will have him killed. Bruce took this lesson to heart, as he decides to cut himself off from everyone, and so, after four years of travels, Bruce returns to Gotham.
Return to Gotham
Back in Gotham, with nothing but his war on crime on his mind, and no regard for his legacy as a Wayne, Bruce sets up a secret headquarters in an old brownstone in Park Row where he is joined by his faithful butler Alfred, who disapproves of this whole endeavor. One of his first missions deals with taking down The Red Hood Gang, a group of criminals who endorse random violence. However, he has been having a hard time winning his war due to his inexperience, carelessness and uncontrolled anger. In Bruce's absence from Gotham, his Uncle, Philipe Kane, who had declared Bruce legally dead while keeping tabs on him, has taken control of Wayne Enterprises and is using it to produce weapons. In an attempt to improve the company's public image, Philip attempts to convince Bruce to take control of his family's company, but Bruce refuses, as has no interest in living as "Bruce Wayne".
To make matters worse, the Red Hood gang is stealing the weapons produced by the company to further terrorize the city. Phil's leading strategist, Edward Nygma, advises Phil to kill Bruce to solve their problems but Philip refuses and still tries to convince Bruce to lead the company.
However, following a surprise party for Bruce by his uncle, the Red Hood Gang, thanks to a tip from Nygma, ambush Bruce and give him a vicious beating. Bruce barely survives and manages to makes it back to the manor where he is nursed back to health by Alfred. Enraged by Nygma's actions, Philip attempts to kill the villain, admitting that Bruce is a better man than both of them, but Nygma incapacitates Philip and ends their alliance.
Bruce comes to terms with the fact that he is losing this war and asks his father for guidance. Then a bat crashes through his window, and Bruce finally decides that he will become a Bat.
Finally realizing his purpose, Bruce and Alfred set up their base in a cave under Wayne Manor, and Bruce sets off to strike fear into the hearts of criminals as Batman. He starts by methodically taking out members of the Red Hood gang, quickly establishing his reputation and finally getting the attention of Red Hood One, the gang's leader. While investigating the gang's operations, eventually, with some help from a guilt-ridden Phillip, who was forced into becoming a member of the gang, Bruce discovers that the Red Hood gang are planning to use dangerous toxins from the Ace Chemical factory to terrorize the city. He holds a press conference in front of the factory and exposes the gang's plans, forcing them to invade the factory right away. As Batman, Bruce fights off the Red Hood gang, but not without the death of Uncle Philip, who was killed by the leader for attempting to stop him. As the GCPD round up members of the gang, the factory burns down and Batman goes after the leader, preventing him from escaping and defeating him, but despite Bruce's efforts to save him, the Red Hood allows himself to fall into a large acid container.
In the aftermath, Batman continues setting up his Bat-Cave and establishing himself as a hero in Gotham. Edward Nygma, now calling himself The Riddler, makes his presence known and knocks out all power from the city, in an attempt to challenge the people to get smarter.
The Zero Year
Following Riddler's blackout, a huge storm hits and the city plunges into chaos. To make matters worse, Batman, now declared a fugitive by Commissioner Loeb, investigate a series of gruesome murders committed by a disgruntled WaynTech employee, Dr. Helfern, who had injected himself with a dangerous formula, turning himself into the terrifying Dr. Death. As Bruce continues his investigation, he seeks the help of Lucius Fox, an old friend of his father's an engineer who used to work for WayneTech. However, both are attacked and almost killed by Dr. Death had it not for the timely intervention of Officer Jim Gordon. Realizing that Dr. Death is more than he can handle on his own, Batman begrudgingly teams with Gordon, as Bruce had once thought to have witnessed Jim receive a bribe (though that was not the case) years ago and he sees him as nothing more than a corrupt cop. They split up and discover that Helfern is Riddler's pawn as part of Riddler's plan to take over the city's power grid. Despite both men's valiant efforts, including a violent face-off between Batman and Dr. Death over Gotham Harbor, Riddler's plan works, as the power returns to the city, but under Riddler's control.
In the following months, known as The Zero Year, the city's vegetation overgrows, and it falls into ruin, turning it into a "Savage City", with Riddler operating as the City's ruler, challenging the people to best him in a riddle to prove their intellectual worth and win back their city. Having recovered from his battle with Helfern, Bruce teams up with Gordon and Lucius Fox in an elaborate plan to determine his location and take him down, where Batman even attempts to take on Riddler's riddle challenge himself. In the end, Batman manages to locate Riddler, but not before the villain arranges an airstrike against the city and challenges Batman to solve his riddles to stop it. Though Batman is successful and defeats him, Riddler gives him one final test, which involves sending a current of electricity through a device that sends the signal that calls off the airstrike, but the device is attached to Riddler's heart, so that would kill him. Batman knocks out Riddler and uses the device on himself, thus stopping the air-strike, but stopping his own heart as well had it not for the timely intervention of Alfred, who resuscitated him. With Riddler defeated, thanks to the efforts of Gordon and Fox, the power to the city returns.
In the aftermath, Nygma is placed in Arkham Asylum, Gordon becomes the new Police Commissioner, and Bruce embraces his legacy as a Wayne, and with Lucius Fox, re-builds Wayne Enterprises and restores its good name. Bruce is paid a visit by his old flame, Julie Madison, giving him a chance at a happy life, but, despite Alfred's insistence, Bruce instead chooses to live his life as Gotham's Guardian, The Batman.
As Batman's legend grew, so did his Rogues' Gallery, and in these days, Batman has many adventures with some being loose adaptations of Post-Crisis stories while others being complete retellings. In The Joker's first appearance, not unlike his Pre-New 52 version, he announced plans to kill several key figures and attempted to poison Gotham's Reservoir, which Batman managed to stop. Batman's history with Ra's Al Ghul and his daughter Talia have mostly remained intact, including fighting Ra's in the desert, stopping him from unleashing a deadly virus, and fathering a child with Talia (without his knowing). It was also confirmed that Bane had once made his move on Gotham and even broke Batman's back. In another adventure, the cult leader called Deacon Blackfire had assembled Gotham's poor as his followers and had Batman chained in his dungeon, tortured and drugged for days in an attempt to convert him into one of his followers, an attempt that failed. Batman manages to break free of Blackfire and convince his followers into turning against him, and Blackfire ends up getting killed by his own followers.
In Batman's early days, he formed a partnership with Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent, an old classmate of Bruce's whom he had convinced into becoming Gotham's District Attorney. In their combined efforts, they targeted Carmine "The Roman" Falcone and his Crime Family, which sparked an immense gang war that ended with Falcone retreating to Hong Kong, and The Penguin, a rising crime lord himself, took his place as Gotham's ruler of organized crime. Batman keeps the Penguin in check, waiting for him to slip to take him down, but also uses him to gather information about the underworld.
Batman's partnership with Dent put him at odds with Bruce Wayne's old friend Eren Mckillen and her twin sister Sharon, daughters of the Irish Mob, who have followed in their family's footsteps and even attempted to assassinate Jim Gordon. After their capture, the Mckillen Twins are given a life sentence thanks to Dent's efforts, and Sharon ends up committing suicide to give her sister, Eren the chance to escape and exact revenge on Dent. She does so by killing Dent's wife, Gilda, and burning half his face with acid before leaving the country. Dent would become Two-Face, one of Batman's most prominent enemies.
The Court of Owls
After stopping an outbreak in Arkham Asylum with Dick Grayson's help, Bruce attends a formal gathering in Wayne Manor and announces Wayne Enterprises' new goal of rebuilding certain districts of Gotham City as well as improving the train system. Later on, Batman investigates a crime scene with Harvey Bullock where he discovers a message saying "Bruce Wayne will DIE tomorrow" and after returning to the Bat Cave finds out from the analysis of some DNA samples found in the area, that the killer is Dick Grayson.
The following day, while meeting up with Lincoln March, Gotham City's new mayoral candidate, for a conversation in the Old Wayne Tower, Bruce is attacked by a mysterious assassin who overpowers him and throws him off the window. Bruce struggles with the assassin in mid-air and manages to grab on to a gargoyle while the assassin falls. He discovers that his attacker is an assassin sent by the Court of Owls known as the Talon, but does not believe it as the Court of Owls is simply an old nursery rhyme.
Batman manages to escape from a trap set by the Court of Owls during his investigation into whether they really exist or not. After returning to the Bat Cave, he tells Dick of how he investigated the existence of the Court sometime after the death of his parents and discovered nothing. Continuing his investigation in the sewers of Gotham City, Batman is suddenly knocked out by the Talon; after waking up, he finds himself trapped in the Court's labyrinth.
Batman has been missing for days, but Commissioner Gordon refuses to turn the Bat Signal off, using it as a source of hope for their allies and Gotham City. Batman is unable to escape the labyrinth and keeps finding himself returning again and again to the same places and is slowly being driven insane. The Talon then suddenly attacks Batman. Beaten and battered, all hope seems lost for Batman, but he manages to fight back and eventually defeats Talon. He finally escapes the labyrinth through an opening he causes after an explosion and it leads him back to the Bat Cave.
Night of the Owls
Soon after escaping the labyrinth, the Court of Owls sends out all of their Talons to attack the public figures of Gotham City to take it back. In the Bat Cave, Bruce reveals to Nightwing that the Talon who attacked him is William Cobb, Dick's great-grandfather, as well as the fact that he was meant to be a Talon as well. Later on, numerous Talons then attack Bruce in his home, and after making his way to the Bat Cave attempts to fight them off using a special armor. While analyzing the data found on a Talon's gauntlet, Alfred finds a list of assassination targets for the Talons. Alfred calls the rest of the family (Red Robin, Red Hood, Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey), asking for their help to save Gotham City.
Batman deduces that the Talons are weakened by cold and has Alfred reduce the cave temperature, giving Batman the chance to finish them off. Batman then goes to Arkham Asylum to save Dr. Arkham; Talons attack them both until the inmates are released who then proceed to attack the Talons. He then proceeds to Lincoln March's location to save him but is too late; he finds a dying March who gives him a message, the names of three members of the Court of Owls.
After scaring off one of the members of the Court in their own house, Batman goes to Harbor House, a building he investigated in search of the Court back when he was a child. He swears to end the Court of Owls once and for all. However, he finds them all dead in the dining room and realizes who was behind this attack and goes to Willowood Home for Children, a hospital for children suffering from mental illnesses and neurological disorders. He finds Lincoln March, who staged what looked to be the Court of Owls suicide.
As he dons a new advanced armor, March reveals that he is Bruce Wayne's brother that never was, Thomas Wayne Jr. He claims to have been placed in Willowwood, back when it was a premier hospital, after being born early and hurt due to a car accident. After Thomas and Martha Wayne died, Willowwood lost its funding and eventually became a mental hospital for mentally ill, lost and forgotten children.
Batman and Lincoln March fight all over the city and despite being overpowered, Batman manages to plant a small bomb on March's back to stop him. March survives the explosion and manages to capture Batman once more, this time in a building where he begins to plant explosives. Batman manages to escape just in time as the explosives detonate, leaving March behind as he taunts him, telling him to run away from the truth.
Bruce has returned to Wayne Manor and is slowly healing from his wounds. He tells Commissioner Gordon that he privately searched the wreckage of the destroyed tower but didn't find anything. Dick arrives and Bruce tells him the truth: for one night, Bruce Wayne had a brother. His brother was born premature and with neurological damage and only lived for a single night. He explains his investigation on the matter, stating that the medical records were not faked and his parents would have told him if Thomas Wayne Jr. did survive. He says that the truth is a mystery for now until he finds the evidence that will answer it. Bruce then declares that when the Court of Owls re-emerges, he will always be watching.
Born to Kill
Batman is now adopting his own son Damian as Robin, but has trouble coming to terms with his violent upbringing and is trying to overcome his son's nature with proper nurture, and at the same time, Damian thinks his father doesn't trust him and attempts to prove his worth to him.
The villain known as Nobody, who is, in fact, Morgan Ducard, son of one of Bruce's trainers, Henri Ducard, makes his presence known and confronts Bruce over the ineffectiveness of his crime-fighting methods. Nobody prefers to kill his enemies, and since Batman refused to see things his way, vowed to kill Batman and take Robin as his apprentice. After a deadly encounter with Nobody, the tension between Batman and Robin grows, as Damian does not like how Bruce constantly hides things from him, notably his violent past with Ducard. Damian then leaves Wayne Manor to learn under Nobody who takes him on a mission to hunt down a corrupt ambassador to prove his new found will to kill. However, Damian reveals that this was a plan to draw out Nobody and allow Batman to track him down. Learning this, Nobody starts to torture Damian and forces Batman to hear the sound over the radio. An enraged Batman eventually tracks down Nobody and defeats him in a savage fight before leaving him for the police. However, realizing that Nobody will return to torment them, Damian kills him much to Bruce's horror.
Back at the manor as Alfred heals their wounds, Bruce, instead of being angry, tells Damian that he understands Damian's struggle of whether or not to kill, but tells him they can't build a better world by repeating a cycle of violence, and he vows that he will never give up on his son.
Shaken by the encounter with Nobody, Damian wants to prove to his father that he is capable of compassion while also proving that he is the best Robin, even challenging his predecessors. After several months, Damian returns to his father with a pearl from Martha Wayne's pearl necklace, which had fallen apart and into the sewers on the night Bruce's parents were shot. This gift touched Bruce, and despite some initial problems, brought the two closer than ever.
Death of the Family
Over a year ago, Joker had escaped from Arkham and after tracking him down, Batman defeated him and put him back. There, Joker arranges for the Dollmaker to cut off his face before escaping, and his face is left in the GCPD. A year later, Joker makes his return by breaking into the GCPD, killing 19 police officers and reclaiming his face. He then proceeds to make a live broadcast saying that the mayor will die at midnight but ends up killing the mayor's entire staff instead.
After an encounter with Harley Quinn at ACE Chemicals, Batman goes back to Wayne Manor where he learns that Alfred was kidnapped. He realizes that Joker is reenacting his previous crimes, so he goes to the Gotham Reservoir to confront Joker. There, Joker paralyzes him with his venom, blows up the reservoir and tells him that he knows his secret identity before escaping.
Batman is brought back to the Batcave by the Bat-Family, where he confesses that after an early battle with the Joker, he discovered a joker playing card in the Batcave but denies the fact that Joker knows their identities. However, they are still unconvinced.
Further investigation leads Batman to Arkham Asylum where he is attacked by Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow and Clayface, whom Joker has labeled as Batman's loyal subjects. He easily beats them and 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 captured.
Batman is knocked out and later wakes up to find himself in the Batcave, sitting at a dinner table, alongside the other members of the family. The Joker reveals that Alfred is alive, but poisoned by Jokers venom and has him serving them all their apparently cut-off faces as "dinner". The Joker then sets the table on fire, but Batman breaks free and manages to put out the fire. Batman removes Damian's bandages and it's revealed that it was all a sick joke and everyone was fine. Batman goes after the Joker and defeats him. He tells the Joker that he knows who he is but an angered Joker refuses to believe that and jumps down the cave's waterfall. The next day, Batman says that the Joker didn't care who he was under the mask because it would ruin his fun. However, this entire ordeal caused a schism between the Bat-Family, as they no longer trust him because of his secrets.
War with Leviathan and Death of Damian
Batman's war with Leviathan continues where it is revealed that the mastermind is none other than Talia Al Ghul in another attempt to have Batman by her side in her quest for world domination. Both Batman and Damian refuse, and Talia places a bounty on Damian's head and lures Batman into a deathtrap. One of Batman's agents, Knight is killed by Talia's lieutenant, The Heretic as he goes on a rampage. Going against Batman's order to lay low, Damian enters the field to combat Talia's forces and manages to save many people, but he is killed by The Heretic. Arriving too late, Batman is horrified by his son's death and attempts to fight his killer himself but he was eventually defeated. Thanks to the efforts of Red Robin and Nightwing, the Bat Family escape from the Heretic and Leviathan after recovering Damian's body.
A funeral is held for Damian where Bruce Wayne vows to get his revenge on Talia by himself, and even instructs Alfred to take a vacation. To fight the Heretic, Batman obtains the Suit of Sorrows from Michael Lane, wears a specialized exoskeleton suit and doses himself with the Man-Bat serum.
Meanwhile, Gotham City has been held at ransom by Leviathan who has demanded the arrest of Bruce Wayne, the end of Wayne Corps support for Batman Incorporated and the surrender of Batman. Batman travels to confront Leviathan, Talia, and the Heretic who have taken control of Wayne Tower. Batman unleashes his attack and quickly goes after the Heretic in a fight to the death. After a brutal fight, Batman defeats the Heretic and unmasks him, only to discover in the story that he is actually a mutated clone of Damian. Talia then finishes off the Heretic for killing Damian without her permission and then blows up Wayne Tower before escaping.
Later on, Talia confronts Batman in the Bat-Cave and challenges him to a fight to the death to end this feud once and for all. During the fight, Talia ends up poisoning Bruce but then Jason Todd, who was working undercover for Batman Incorporated, appears and convinces Talia to give Bruce the antidote in exchange for a doomsday weapon trigger. Talia agrees but she is unable to activate the weapon as a healed Batman explains that his allies have already dismantled it. All of a sudden, Kathy Kane, agent of Spyral, a rival organization of the League of Assassins, comes in and shoots Talia in the head. Kathy, long thought to be dead, has been working with Batman in his war against Leviathan since the beginning and made a deal with him that once the war ends, Batman Inc. is disbanded.
Later on, Batman disbands Batman Incorporated and thanks his allies for the help and urges them to remember those who were lost including his son Damian. Bruce considers retiring the Batman mantle but realizes that there should always be a Batman.
However, he later discovers that Damian and Talia's bodies have been dug up and taken by none other than Ra's Al Ghul.
Commissioner Jim Gordon is arrested for manslaughter when he is tricked into shooting an electrical box, causing a massive train crash which kills hundreds of people. Gordon's arrest is followed by the return of Carmine "The Roman" Falcone, who sparks a massive gang war with his old rival the Penguin and uses his influences to place corrupt cop Jack Forbes in Gordon's place as the commissioner who turns the entire GCPD on Batman.
Jason Bard, new cop and an apparent ally to Batman forms a successful plan to arrest Falcone, Forbes and the Penguin but at the cost of the lives of several men, causing Batman to be wary of Bard. At one point, Batman and Bard team-up with Killer Croc to save some homeless orphans from being kidnapped by the Ten-Eyed Man for an evil ritual.
However, Bard reveals his true colors when he destroys data, brought to him by Batman, that clears Gordon's name, and instead releases the Architect from jail. The Architect attempts to destroy Wayne Tower but Batman manages to stop him. However, it is revealed that Bard has been working with the villain Hush, who infiltrated Wayne Manor, incapacitated Alfred, and stole from the Bat-Computer information about the locations of all of Batman weapon caches that are hidden around the city, and then detonated them, killing many people. In response, since all these depots are Wayne funded, Lucius Fox is forced to have Wayne Industries severe all ties with Batman, and as a result, Bruce Wayne loses much stock in his company and ends up bankrupt.
With Alfred injured, his daughter Julia Pennyworth, an S.A.S agent whom Batman previously met in Hong Kong, joins the fight and takes Alfred's place as his communication from the cave. With her help, Batman tracks down Hush and defeats him, but he discovers that Hush is merely another pawn, like Falcone. Bard, who holds a personal vendetta against Batman because a copycat vigilante caused the death of his partner and girlfriend, attempts to kill him by taking control of the Batmobile, but Batman survives and ends up threatening Bard. Because of his actions, the GCPD turns on Bard.
Mystical forces are at work at Arkham Asylum as part of an old villain known as Deacon Blackfire's machinations, in which his followers attempt in the story to bring him back. Batman sends Batwing and Jim Corrigan to investigate, but things go awry and Corrigan is forced to release the powerful fictional being called The Specter who destroys Arkham Asylum and puts an end to Blackfire's plans. Batman would later rescue Batwing from the wreckage.
Meanwhile, the Arkham escapees (Freeze, Scarecrow, Bane, Clayface, Joker's Daughter), who were taken down by Batman earlier, are freed by the mysterious benefactor, and they, along with other c-list criminals like Cluemaster, Signalman and Firefly, are presented with all of Batman's weapons and are told to use them in any way they please.
Batman is sent on a wild goose-chase, chasing down false leads and taking down rampaging enemies while his city burns. In the end, he receives an invitation to Wayne Tower where he is confronted, much to his surprise, by Cluemaster, who reveals himself to be the mastermind and that he had also deduced Batman's identity. Batman beats down Cluemaster, but the villain manages to gain the upper hand on the tired hero, but before the finishing blow, he is killed by the true mastermind, Lincoln March, who used Cluemaster, funded his plans and now wants to kill Batman himself.
In their final battle, the two found themselves in the middle of the city, with Batman too weak to fight, only to find Jim Gordon, having been cleared of his charges thanks to a guilt-ridden Bard, rallying Batman's allies and the entire city. March is then defeated but he manages to escape into the sewers, only to be caught by the Court of Owls, who intend to punish him for his betrayal.
I Am Gotham
While reestablishing his war on crime, Batman is dealing with a criminal who stole a missile and used it to knock a plane out of the sky. Batman manages to divert the plane away from the city but has to sacrifice his life to safely crash the plane. Before it crashes, Gotham and Gotham Girl, two new Superman-level heroes dedicating to saving Gotham City, save the plane and Batman. After the two are later seen fighting Solomon Grundy, Batman intervenes when the fight endangers a homeless man. At their request, he decides to show them the ropes. Along the way, Bruce wrestles with feelings of inadequacy over not having super-powers. While he helps them, he also tracks down their parents in hope of learning about their origins. He continues to help the two protect Gotham, but none of them is aware that Hugo Strange is behind the different incidents they have been tackling and that he has been monitoring them. While they team up to track down information on a suicide bomber, Batman leaves them to search for leads.
When he finds them again, he sees dozens of massacred soldiers, a missing Gotham, and Gotham Girl in a perpetual state of fear, a victim of Psycho Pirate and Strange working together. He then tracks down Gotham, who has become unhinged due to the Psycho Pirate altering his mind. Bruce tries talking him down, but when he mentions the dead soldiers, Gotham flies off. Seeking more information about what's happening to Gotham, Duke finds a lead connecting everything to Task Force X. Bruce then breaks into Amanda Waller's office demanding answers. Surprisingly, she is honest with him: she recruited Strange and Psycho Pirate to be her agents in Gotham, but they betrayed her and began driving people crazy, the most recent victim's being Gotham and Gotham Girl. She offers to help him if he says "please," leaving him disgusted that she could make light of 27 dead agents. Amanda corrects him, saying she had 28 agents. Batman then realizes why Gotham was in a rush earlier, and races to find him. He then returns to the residence of Gotham's parents and puts the pieces together. The last soldier secretly survived and managed to unmask Gotham long enough to track his face and find his parents, and went to kill the Gotham duo's parents to avenge his comrades.
Batman reaches the house to find he is too late: Gotham's parents are dead and Gotham himself is poised to kill the last soldier. Batman tries to talk him down, but Gotham kills the man anyway and leaves, as Psycho Pirate filled him with unquenchable rage that he now wants to unleash on the entire city. Batman is too far away to stop him, so he has Alfred dress up as him and stall. He then calls the Justice League, who arrive to subdue him. However, Gotham is too powerful, even for Superman. Unable to defeat him, Batman convinces Gotham that represents everything he hates about the city and to kill him instead. Before he can do so, Gotham Girl arrives, having temporarily beaten back the fear Psycho Pirate instilled into her. She then kills her brother, ending the threat.
In the aftermath, Gotham Girl resumes hero work, even though she is talking to her dead brother as though he is there. The following night, Duke monitors her progress from the Batcave and calls Bruce to let him know, and presses him about helping her. His response is simply, I know. Two days later, he catches up to Gotham Girl and tries to talk her down, and while he manages to reach her slightly, he fails to snap her out of her episode and she flies off. As he knocks out the criminal Gotham Girl stopped, he asks Alfred for advice on dealing with someone who has lost their family. However, seeing how Bruce turned out, he has no pertinent advice to offer. The next day, as she is flying over GCPD Headquarters, Batman shine the Bat-Signal on her to get her attention. This time, rather than offer her help, he asks her why she is "helping" the city. She explains that she is helping for a reason no one understands: because it eases the pain of losing their family. In a bid to reach her, he unmasks himself and tells her how he felt when his parents died. He hugs her and tells her that he still speaks to his mother to this day. With that, she finally opens, telling him she badly misses her brother. His response is, again, just I know.
The next day, Batman goes to talk to Waller again o find out where Psycho Pirate is. She explains that everything Strange did was part of a deal to trade Psycho Pirate for a supply of Venom large enough to have come from only one place Santa Prisca, home of Bane. Waller explains that to get to Psycho Pirate, he must invade a sovereign country, break into the most secure prison on Earth, and get his target away from Bane. However, she has a way to do it. However, it is a plan that is extremely risky, or as she calls it, suicidal.
I am Suicide
At Santa Prisca, Bane who is suffering from childhood trauma asks Psycho Pirate to use his mask and make him feel better so that he wouldn't have to use venom. Back in Gotham, Bruce decides to accept Amanda Waller's proposition and heads to Arkham Asylum to recruit members of his team.
The first one admitted is Arnold Wesker, a.k.a. The Ventriloquist. Batman has a friendly scuffle with an old acquaintance, Bronze Tiger, who joins the team. Next up is Jewlee, whose cause for her catatonic state seems to be the disappearance of her lover, Punch. Batman calls Gordon, who's been following since the beginning of the "tour" inside the cell and proceeds to punch him in the face. He is, in fact, Punch in disguise, who escaped from Santa Prisca and infiltrated Arkham Asylum today to see his loved one. Batman is actually impressed with this show of will for love and accepts them both along. Batman then enters one last cell and chooses his last entry in the team: Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman, who's been charged with death by lethal injection for the murder of 237 people.
Batman arrives in Santa Prisca by his batwing. There he is threatened to surrender or his plane will be brought down. Batman simply repeats a mantra: "Bane. I've come for Psycho-Pirate. I need him to save someone who needs to be saved. Turn him over, I go away. Refuse to turn him over... and I will break your damn back".
Witnessing the death of his parents traumatized Batman and shook him so greatly that he swore he would devote every breath for the rest of his life to eliminating crime and criminals from Gotham City. This has, in turn, transformed Batman into a dark, suspicious and brooding figure with a personal grudge against injustice. His traumatized childhood has made it difficult for him to trust people other than Alfred Pennyworth and his various proteges the Robins. Despite his cold demeanor, Batman genuinely cares for Alfred, who he sees as a father figure, and the Robins, who he loves as his own children, though these relationships have been strained at some points.
His dedication to fighting crime has gradually turned into a sort of obsession, something with which Batman himself has come to terms. He has vowed to end the evil that took away his parents permanently and is willing to do everything he can to accomplish this goal. This obsession is balanced with his strong ideals of justice and moral values, which were instilled in him by his humanitarian parents. His dedication is backed up by his indomitable will and his strong resolve.
Despite his lack of powers, Batman's immense will, combined with his inventive mind and resourcefulness has allowed him to hold his own against more powerful foes. However, the biggest aspect of Batman's personality is his moral code. Despite his inventiveness, he refrains from killing as he believes that will make him no better than the criminals he puts behind bars. Batman knows that he walks a very thin line between sanity and insanity, and he believes that the only thing that keeps him from crossing that line is that he will not kill. He has vowed to never take a life under any circumstances because he fears what he would become in case he ever did kill. When confronted by Jason Todd on why he never killed the Joker after all the atrocities that he has committed, Batman responded that, despite his desires to do so, he will never do it because that would cause him to go to a dark place and become what he has always fought against, and he would never be able to come back.
Batman also has a deep love for humanity, which also backs his no-killing rule, and he truly believes that deep down, people can be good. This is shown when he was willing to give the Joker a second chance and offered to help him cure his madness. (This failed because the Joker had already "re-insane-ized" himself in advance, specifically to stay evil.) He also has an extreme distaste for firearms, and always tries to refrain from using them, because he considers the gun to be the weapon of cowards, the same weapon that killed his parents.
Batman has also forged an alternative personality to conceal the secrecy of his dual identity, that being the persona of "Bruce Wayne," an irresponsible, clumsy, arrogant, womanizing, billionaire philanthropist. This personality contrasts with Batman's more serious demeanor to sway the public from ever deducing his secret identity. To complete his facade, Batman modifies many of his physical traits, including his voice tone, his body language, and, of course, his behavior. However, even as Bruce Wayne, he has attempted to do good, through charitable campaigns, renovation projects and also the funding of Batman Incorporated.
- Real Name: Bruce Thomas Wayne
- Occupation: Head of Wayne Industries, superhero/vigilante, adventurer
- Height: 6' 2" / 1.88m
- Weight: 215 lbs / 98kg
- Hair: Black
- Eyes: Blue
- Place of Birth: Crest Hill, Bristol Township, Gotham City, New Jersey
- Base: Gotham City
- Known Relatives: Thomas Wayne (father, deceased), Martha Kane Wayne (mother, deceased), Philip Kane (uncle, deceased), Jacob Kane (uncle), Kate Kane (cousin), Damian Wayne (son), Dick Grayson (adopted son), Jason Todd (adopted son), Tim Drake (son)
- Partnerships: Nightwing, Alfred Pennyworth, Commissioner Gordon, Batgirl, Robin, Red Robin, Red Hood, Catwoman, Leslie Thompkins, Spoiler, Black Bat, Superman, Azreal, Harvey Bullock, Renee Montoya, Talia al Ghul, Man-Bat, Batwoman, Zatanna, Kathy Kane, Batmite, Ace the Bat-Hound, Carrie Kelley, Wonder Woman, The Creeper, Deadman, Silver St. Cloud, Julie Madison
Powers and Abilities
Though he does not possess any innate superhuman abilities, Batman is considered by many (even Superman) to be among the most dangerous men in the world. Throughout the many years that he has been around, Batman has become one of the most powerful human beings in the DC Universe, despite having no superhuman powers at any time in his life. Starting at the age of 14, Bruce began to train with brilliant minds on the planet to learn about biology, criminology, anatomy and other areas that would help him become the World's Greatest Detective.
Master of Stealth arts
Batman is also a master of stealth, disguise, infiltration and escapology, using his Ninjutsu (which it's main focus for stealth is Shinobi-Iri and Intonjutsu) training. He has infiltrated high-security strongholds and systems including Lexcorp. He has vanished in plain sight from regular humans and metahumans, such as Azrael. His stealth and escaping skills are so great that that even groups of superheroes such as the Legion of Super Heroes have been unable to locate him. He is considered to be the second greatest escape artist, behind Mr. Miracle. Batman has escaped a straitjacket in 52 seconds, then stated that it was too slow for him. He always carries several lockpicks with him. He commonly uses multiple disguises to gain information for his detective works or as a part of his missions, his most notable one being the criminal for hire Matches Malone.
To acquire all of these skills, Bruce needed money. When his parents died, Bruce inherited billions of dollars from the Wayne Fortune which he later turned into multi-billions through investing. Bruce owns and runs Wayne International, as well as Batman Incorporated.
High and Gifted Intelligence
Batman is considered to be the "World's Greatest Detective," solving the biggest secrets with small or large amounts of data and details. He is also fluent in many different languages such as English, Spanish, French, Russian, German, Japanese, Chinese, and many more. Bruce has a vast and great knowledge of criminology, psychology, medicine, science, geography, history, chemistry, physics and anatomy. Batman is an excellent and seasoned strategist and tactician, always keeping himself steps ahead of his opponents and making contingency plans for any possible situation. This incredible ability is due to the fact he enjoys to study his opponents, not only physically but also mentally. He has led the Justice League, the Bat-family, the Outsiders, and served as a mentor for the Justice League International. He is a highly knowledgeable in business, great in finances and marketing. He has earned degrees in multiple subjects before the age of 25. He has hacked into an alien and future technology.
Master Martial Artist and Combatant
Batman has been said to be trained and being proficient in nearly every martial art and hand to hand combat technique known to man, and out of every single one of those forms of fighting, he knows a large number of them that are deadly and his overall knowledge of martial arts styles considered to be 127 forms. These 127 aren't the main forms of fighting that make up his normal fighting style but that doesn't mean he cannot use them when he is facing an opponent who can rival his skills. He is known to change his styles to become unpredictable to his opponents. His primary style of combat is a mixture of Judo, Ninjutsu, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Jujitsu, Boxing, Karate and Dragon Style Kung Fu, martial arts which he mastered.
Because of his training, Batman is also highly proficient in nearly all weapons known to man from bladed ones like swords to non-lethal like Bo staffs. He is also trained in the use of many types of firearms though he despises them, considering them cowards' weapons and repeatedly avoids using them himself.
Batman's combat skill surpasses most metahumans and normal men, and he even knows almost every pressure point and nerve cluster in the human body, as well as Dim Mak ("death touch") techniques. These can cause dangerous pain to his enemies which can lead to dizziness, numbness, unconsciousness, temporary paralysis, disorientation, and even death.
Batman may not be a master in all of the fighting styles in the world but he is still a master in a great number of them and is considered to be among the greatest and the best martial artists and combatants in the world.
Peak Human Conditioning
Due to his intense training and diet, Batman has accomplished feats that normal human beings might call superhuman. Batman is in peak physical and mental condition. Batman has displayed surprising strength, and can bench press weight of at least 1000 pounds, and has personally stated that his maximum leg press weight is 2500 lbs (over 1133 Kg). However, as shown in Batman Odyssey #2, Batman was able to overcome his personal record leg press, moving, with the strength of the legs, a stuck railroad car. In Batman: Gotham After Midnight #2, Batman was able to hold up two golden sarcophagi with the approximate weight of at least 1 ton, for at least one minute. In addition, Batman is an accomplished gymnast and acrobat, though not quite at the level of Nightwing. Batman's training and peak condition mean he's very fast, both in combat and on his feet. This speed combined with his strength makes him phenomenally powerful; even the superhumanly enhanced assassin Deathstroke has commented upon the physical capabilities of the Batman. He once grabbed Green Arrow's arrow shot at him in mid-air and dodged point-blank fire at times. He can hold his breath for 3 minutes and 15 seconds. He once survived in an airless vacuum of space for exactly 27 seconds.
Weapons and Equipment
Batman is most notable for his use of gadgetry. Due to his wealth, money is no obstacle to the development of various gadgets and paraphernalia he uses in fighting crime. The most recognizable of these is the Batarang, a razor throwing weapon that has a returning ability similar to a boomerang. This was slowly replaced by his grappling hook as a favored gadget over time. Other items include smoke or flash grenades, caltrops, a re-breather, and various types of anti-venom. The heels of his boots have a sonic device which can summon a swarm of bats to his location. This allows for dramatic escapes or diversions to keep his enemies busy. Superman entrusted Batman with a green kryptonite-jeweled ring to stop him should he ever go rogue.
The Bat-Suit is an experimental military body armor that is too expensive for the military to produce. Various bat-suit designs have appeared over the years, but all maintain the fact that Bruce's suit is tear resistant, bulletproof, and immune to temperature extremes(it will not melt if in contact with fire, etc.). The suit is shock absorbent and acid resistant. It is made to rebound punches and kicks. When he is unable to defend himself, his mask emits knock out gas and electrical shocks to attackers who are attempting to remove any part of his gear.
The Bat-Suit has shown that it has an outer layer that can be shed when trapped, and it also masks any DNA on his suit. However, despite all this protection, the suit has shown vulnerabilities to sharp objects, like knives, and Batman has sometimes decreased the amount of armor in the suit to increase mobility. In the past, Batman wore a bright yellow chest plate with a bat-symbol on it, to distract enemies from targeting his face and instead focusing on the plate which is reinforced with kevlar, giving Batman extra protection.
The cowl has a computer link directly to the Bat-computer. The mask has a hollow bat-ear assembly containing a directional microphone, telescoping high gain antenna and a fiber optic coaxial cable. It also contains an audio processor that can transmit and receive audio which can be augmented for better hearing, or even completely shut down when dealing with an opponent that uses sonic weaponry. The cowl contains a built-in recorder that is constantly recording, and the information is stored in the cowl archives for later reference. The lens can also magnify his vision and serves also as a lie detector. They also come with x-ray, thermal, sonar, and night vision. It has face recognition and can give information about the people around him. It also protects him against throat trauma, and its internal comm-link enables voice command over various equipment including grapple hooks, face recognition software and vehicles.
Batman's gloves, or gauntlets, are very handy as in addition to covering his hands so that he will not leave fingerprints behind, they come with a high-velocity Bat-rope and a wrist laser. They can also emit a high voltage surge of electricity to stun enemies and shoot, out their forearms, spikes, smoke pellets and anesthetic gas. Each gauntlet has three spiked fringes emerging from it, and they can be fired at an opponent or used to defend against or even break the blades of, swords.
Throughout many revisions, all the versions of Batman's cape still retain the scalloped wing design at the bottom of the cape, which is instrumental in intimidating criminals. The cape is made from a "memory fiber," which is based on a nylon derivative, allowing it to flow like any fabric, but through an electrical surge applied by Batman's gloves, it becomes stiff and takes on a distinctive shape, thus functioning in a way similar to a parachute, used to slow Batman's fall and allow him short-range "gliding" flight. It is flame-resistant (to temperatures which have not been conclusively gauged) and can be used to help conceal Batman in the shadows, to protect him from debris as a result from explosions, and even, sometimes, as a weapon in combat.
Batman's Utility Belt is one of his most iconic pieces of equipment. Batman had designed the pockets to be locked, and only he knows how to open them. His belt has a security device on it where it can electrically shock someone or detonate an explosive device to prevent anyone from tampering with it. It is made of a leather strap with a solid steel buckle. Some compartments hold collapsible "Batarangs." Other equipment Batman carries include various kinds of venom to stun his opponents in his utility belt and boots, as seen in Batman: Year One.
It is a crime-fighting kit that Batman has outfitted to contain only the most advanced of technologies. Its contents include Batarangs, a grappling hook, forensics kit (used on crime scenes), and electronic communicators.
Some gadgets include:
- EMP emitter
- Energy deflector
- Batarangs (cryogenic, explosive, electric, boomerang, and so on)
- Sonic grenades
- Sonic Gun
- Sonic Emitter
- Hard light gun
- Grapple Gun
- Plastique explosive
- Smoke Pellets
- Rocket Patch
- Tranquilizer darts
- Miniature explosives
- Anti-Fire foam gun
- Gas mask
- Lock Picking Tool
- Antidotes for poisons and Scarecrow's fear toxin
- Kryptonite ring
- Batmobile controller
When returning from his supposed death, Bruce created the Insider Suit, which had the abilities of the Justice League members. It needs constant recharging but can be recharged by absorbing energy attacks.
It has the following abilities:
- Spectral Mode: night vision, sound/light dampening.
- Speed Force Mode (The Flash): limited access to Speed Force, super speed.
- Heat Vision Mode (Superman): beams of heat.
- Will Power Mode (Green Lantern): concentrated blasts of green energy.
- Camouflage Mode (Martian Manhunter): invisibility.
- Veritas Mode (Wonder Woman): cord with lie detectors and can send electrical shocks.
- Flight Mode.
- Telepoinrtation: 3 meter radius, can carry other individuals.
When the Court of Owls invades Bruce's house, he wore a power suit. He states that it's made of meta-aramid fibers, stronger than Kevlar. It can endure burning heat and temperatures cold in the Arctic winter. It has enough oxygen to last weeks, powered by a semi-solid flow micro battery. It can shoot electrical shocks and fire multiple cryogenic batarangs at once.
Batman used this suit, which is equipped in the Batmobile to fight Terminus. He used this suit for more firepower. This suit gives him more agility, superhuman strength and flight. Batman used this suit to stop a nuclear weapon dead in its track.
The fittingly named Stealth Suit is outfitted to function across the full electro-magnetic spectrum; it will sense whatever someone is using to detect the suit and adjust accordingly to camouflage itself. This suit can hide itself even from the likes of Superman.
The justice buster suit is designed to take on the entire justice league or as batman puts himself "built for war". Batman put more money into developing this suit than sixty percent of the world's nations put into their respective militaries -- and the majority of that money went towards anticipating a fight with one hero in particular: The Flash. But there are also protocols for defeating Wonder Woman, Green lantern, Aquaman and Cyborg; the suit can even endure punches from Superman. Also the suit's knuckles contain pods consisting of several "Red Giants," which are microscopic red suns acquired from dead solar systems.
Designed by the batman and built by the founding members of the Justice League and forged in the heart of the Sun by Superman, the Hellbat Armor was built to aid Batman in handling large-scale threats. Being the most powerful Batsuit, the Hellbat Armor enables Batman to fly, run at super speed, and emit massive energy blasts, while also enhancing his strength and durability. However, it's not without limitations. The armor consequently drains Batman's metabolism, which could in turn kill him if used excessively. Batman used this take on Darkseid when he went to Apokolips to resurrect his son. Later Lois Lane used this suit to fight Eradicator.
While he is at physical peak and has many gadgets, Batman has had numerous vehicles to help him get the jump on villains. Bat-cars (Batmobiles), Bat-Planes, Bat-Boats and other vehicles have been used by Batman to get to locations in record time. The most famous vehicle is the Bat-car or Batmobile. The Batmobile can drive up to Mach 1. These vehicles can be controlled by Alfred from the Batcave, or by voice-command from Batman himself. For more information on Batman's vehicles, view their individual pages.
After his parents were murdered and he decided to start a war on crime, he started learning things right away. From the ages of 8 to 14, he practiced knot tying, acting, acrobatics, martial arts, and a lot of science, math and languages. To help him learn all of that, Bruce taught himself speed-reading, total recall and lip-reading. He was also gifted with some skills that helped him along the way, such as an extraordinary IQ level and the Wayne's fortune, he also has a great memory and is good with numbers and learning which suggests he might have synesthesia. Bruce is suspected to be ambidextrous, meaning he can use both hands of the dominant one. He had a lot of mind-training and graduated at the age of 14.
After that, for the next six years, he obtained all of the best college educations in the world, learning only the courses he believed were important for him. In his spare time, he studied the criminal world and trained under the detectives Harvey Harris and Dan Mallory, and also took boxing lessons from Ted Grant, AKA Wildcat, who was the world's heavyweight boxing champion. At the age of 20 he became an FBI agent, which was his original goal, in the FBI training, Bruce scored perfectly on each category, except gun handling, because he refused to use a gun.
After six weeks in the FBI, he decided it wasn't for him and quit. To train himself, he traveled east to find the best martial artists in the world and train under them. A lot of his training in from now on, are unknown, but the comics did show that his first training was in an ancient temple in the Peak Tucson mountains in Korea. It took him 40,000 dollars in bribes, and six weeks to get there, but he managed to train there under the legendary martial artist Kirigi, learning things based of peace, patience and clearing of the mind, and more mental training. It is suspected that in his year of training he managed to learn every Korean fighting style. Next, Bruce went to France and worked with a detective called Henry Ducard, known to be able to track down every man in the world. Bruce stopped working with him after he found out about his brutal way of operation, so he searched and found Willy Doggett, another investigator and tracker.
Chu Chin Li taught him Kong-Fu and Shihan Matsuda taught him Tummo meditation, a technique that he can use to get complete control over the functions of his mind, limit the amount of oxygen he needs to survive, control his body temperature and make him fall into a comma if he wants to. The technique also helped him improve his physical abilities and concentration. David Kane, a martial arts expert, taught Bruce several new fighting styles, and then he went to Russia to improve his engineering skills under a mad genius called Sergei. He learned Taoism to channel his rage and inner peace, pushing him to new physical levels. He has also studied with Richard Dragon, one of the best martial artists in the world, John Zatara, an escape artist and magician (who is also the father of Zatanna). He also trained with many other martial arts experts that we don't know their names, assassins, sword fighting experts and military leaders. Bruce used the Uberman sleep schedule to help his mind go through the critical parts of sleeping fast, so he only needs to sleep 2-3 hours every night, which saved him a lot of time. After five years of the training mentioned above, and much more, he came back to Gotham to start his journey as The Batman. Although not all of his training is known, it was mentioned that Batman has learned all 127 martial arts known to man.
Throughout the universe, there is more than one Earth. This meaning that there are alternate timelines/futures and people that are unique in their own special way. From the events of the multiple Crisis, most of the Earths have been erased from history. Only 52 Earths remain in the entire universe.
On this gender-swapped Earth, Batman is Batwoman. Her real name is Helena Wayne, who is the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. She took up the mantle of the Bat after her father passed away.
Retelling the story of Bruce Wayne and his transformation from billionaire playboy to Dark Knight, creator/writer Geoff Johns recreates Batman's origin to go along with the Earth-1 storyline. Earth-1 is to not be considered the "main Earth" or New Earth as it is called, however, Bruce will be traveling around the world in search of retribution for his parent's death. This story came out in late 2011, with artist Gary Frank also working on the Graphic Novel.
On this earth, Batman retired as a police commissioner and married Selina Kyle (Catwoman). They had a daughter named Helena Wayne, also known as the Huntress.
Post-Flashpoint, Earth-2's Batman fought alongside Superman and Wonder Woman against the forces of Apokolips, and in the process died saving the planet. His daughter is transported to the main DC Universe along with Earth-2's Supergirl, and there they take on the persona of the Huntress and Power Girl.
Current issues from the Earth-2 series have revealed that someone has taken up the cape and cowl of Batman. However, this new Batman uses gadgets designed to kill and is more than willing to kill criminals with rather brutal force.
On this third Earth, Bruce Wayne is actually Thomas Wayne, Jr. He is the son of the wealthy/powerful Thomas and Martha Wayne. This Earth did have a Bruce Wayne in the family, Thomas Wayne, Jr.'s little brother, however, after the multitudes of crisis that have happened in the DC Universe, he was erased from continuity. Instead, Thomas Wayne, Jr. is the mirror reflection of Bruce Wayne/Batman of New Earth. Thomas Wayne Jr.'s parents died and he inherited their fortune. He decided to train with assassins, mercenaries and masters of various skills to be a force of evil. As an adult, Thomas Wayne, Jr. finds out that his father survived and is the Commissioner of the Gotham City police force. Thomas Wayne, Sr. knows that his son is Owlman and has decided to dedicate his life to bringing his son to Justice. Thomas Wayne Jr. hates his father for this and wants to kill him. He is the founder/leader of the Crime Syndicate.
On Earth-5, Bruce Wayne is only 8 years of age. Thomas and Martha Wayne are a rich family in Gotham City. Thomas is the legendary Batman with Martha as Batwoman. Bruce loves Batman and Batwoman and how they saved people. When he found out that his parents were his heroes, Thomas had no choice but to train him. After months of training, Bruce Wayne became Robin - The Boy Wonder.
Earth 30-Red Son
In this alternate reality, Kal-El's ship lands in Ukraine instead of Smallville. Batman is a freedom fighter who's parents were killed by Pyotr Roslov for printing anti-Superman propaganda.
Batman is labeled a terrorist by the government and manages to escape the police every time. After growing jealous of Superman, Pyotr convinces Batman to work with him to take down Superman. Batman agrees but warns Pyotr that after Superman is taken care of, he's next. Batman lures Superman by kidnapping Wonder Woman. Once Superman was in position, Batman bombarded him with red sunlight to weaken him. After beating up the weakened Superman to a pulp Batman locked him in a cellar, unfortunately for him, Superman managed to convince Wonder Woman to destroy her lasso and destroy the lamps. When his plan failed Batman told Superman of Pyotr's treachery and committed suicide but Superman had no powers in a red sun only a yellow.
This wasn't the end of The Batman as other men have taken up the mantle after his death and brought justice to the streets of Russia.
On this Earth, Batman was 55 in The Dark Knight Returns. Having retired following Jason Todd's death, crime began to rise to an all-time high in Gotham and times were worse than ever. Bruce had to don his Batman persona once again. Fighting various criminals/friends from the good old days, Batman is equipped with a 13-year-old female Robin who will help Batman in his war on crime. Bruce has retired twice in this world and has to always come back to clean up after the government and their mess. Earth-31's Batman is much darker.
On Earth-43, Bruce Wayne/Batman was bitten by a female Vampire named Tanya, to oppose the king of vampires, Dracula. Tanya was a vampire that refused to draw on the blood of humans and only wants to protect them from Dracula and his vampires. Tanya bites Batman, but instead of drawing blood, she transferred him new powers. Batman grew a disliking of the sun and gained incredible strength, speed, and agility. He also had the ability to grow wings in human form and become one with the shadows. While not wanting the blood of others, he had to use Tanya's substitute to control the hunger. Most of Batman's villains were drained of blood when Tanya's was no longer sufficient. When this occurred, Bruce had already morphed into a giant bat-like monster with fangs. Part of Batman's psyche and detective abilities stayed, but he is starting to lose it slowly. Since he wasn't a full vampire, he is hit with a stake in the heart and changed back to human form. Batman of Earth-43 still stands guard over his Gotham, but with the mark of a vampire.
In Flashpoint, the DC Universe's continuity thriller, the world has gone to hell. Barry Allen awakens to find that his beloved Earth is no more, and his friends/family have changed. Batman still protects citizens of Gotham from scum/villainy that will try to corrupt it, however, Bruce Wayne isn't Batman.
Instead, Thomas Wayne became the Dark Knight when he watched his beloved son get gunned down in front of him. Thomas Wayne isn't the Batman we all know and love, but rather he has torn up Wayne Manor and lives in the Bat-Cave based under it. Thomas brutally attacks criminals and isn't afraid to kill them as well in this twisted version of the DC Universe.
Towards the end of the story, Thomas hands Barry a letter addressed to Bruce, making him promise to give it to him once things get back to normal. In the restored timeline, Bruce Wayne is incredibly touched by his father's letter.
On planet Zur-En-Arrh, Batman has superpowers. Near Batman's early creation, Ed Herron created this planet to give Batman abilities like Superman. Batman had all Superman's abilities and even a special weakness. In this comic, the Batman native to the planet was just a regular Batman like Bruce Wayne of Earth-1, with the name Kent Wayne (a combination of Bruce and Clark). He was raised by a rich family of farmers and when they eventually died, he became Batman. When Bruce Wayne came to his planet, Zur-En-Arrh Batman envied him because of how he was doing a greater job at Batman than he was. Eventually, Batman was weakened by material on that planet, and Zur-En-Arrh had to remove his powers. After Crisis on Infinite Earths, this planet has been said to be erased from continuity.
Arkham City Earth
This Earth is similar to DC's main continuity Earth-0 (New Earth); however, it differs from much of Batman's story. Still having his parents brutally murdered by a criminal, Bruce decides to devote his life to fighting crime in Gotham City. Years later, Batman finds himself in Arkham Asylum with Joker (and other Batman rogues) running the show; Batman locks himself in the asylum to stop Joker. Joker plans to create super thugs with the new Titan formula (a variation on the Venom serum). Batman stops a Titan-infected Joker, but the serum's effects make Joker very sick. A year later, Quincy Sharp, the former warden of Arkham Asylum and now the mayor of Gotham, closes the Asylum and places Arkham inside Gotham City. Batman is trying to prevent Gotham from destroying itself because of the Mayor's choice. This occurs in the Batman: Arkham City mini-series.
This Earth, otherwise known as the Crossover Earth, is where DC main continuity coexists with the Marvel 616 universe. Spider-Man visits Gotham City after a psychologist, Cassandra Briar, believes she can cure the Joker of his insanity with a cranial microchip the same way she did Carnage. The insane duo eventually escapes, and Batman is forced reluctant to partner with Spider-Man to save the city. This first meeting between the two occurs in Spider-Man and Batman.
Otherwise known as the Amalgam Universe, this Earth is a combination of DC's New Earth (Earth-0) and Marvel 616. A head-to-head battle royale, which includes Batman defeating Captain America, results in the cosmic everyman Access creating Earth-9602. On this Earth, Bruce Wayne and Batman have been divided into two new characters: Bruce Wayne, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Dark Claw (Batman/Wolverine).
In this miniseries and company crossover, the Danger Girl team goes to Gotham City after being informed that Donavin Conrad is trying to sell a mind control gun to the Joker. Batman does not like the involvement of Danger Girl, but neither does he like the threat which they pose. The Joker does not trust Conrad and attempts to double-cross him as he sends Harley and Conrad to retrieve the codes to use the device. Abbey and Sydney come across Bruce Wayne, who invite them to a gala. The Danger Girl team faces the Joker but he manages to escape. Valerie finds a way to activate the bat-signal, but when Batman shows up a fight ensues between him and Sydney. They eventually reach a truce but only exchange information before parting ways. Johnny and Valerie have set up the villains to also attend the gala, hoping to catch them there. Johnny himself goes dressed as Batman and is unmasked before the real Batman arrives and stops the villains alongside the Danger Girl team.
In this universe, Batman is one of the few renaming heroes to not join Superman's side after the destruction of Metropolis by the Joker. The Joker had tricked Superman into killing Lois Lane, who was carrying Superman's unborn child. Lois was also the trigger to an atomic bomb that the Joker had placed in Metropolis. Once Lois died, the bomb went off. Batman took the Joker into an interrogation room, but Superman came looking for the Joker. Superman impaled the Joker, thus killing him.
For the next few days and weeks, Batman stays off-site, watching from afar as Superman starts to take action to stop all conflict around the world. But when Batman learns that the President tried to take Superman's parents as a hostage, Batman shows up at the President's office. He states that he can't be naive to think he could touch Superman's parents and there not be any retaliation. Batman also tells the President that his actions have only helped strengthen Superman's cause and that it will help rally other heroes to Superman's side.
Superman flies to the Batcave and confronts Batman about why he didn't help save his parents. Batman replies that he was doing other things that needed to be done. This angers Superman since he would have thought Batman would have known best how it feels like to have his parents taken away. Batman also replies that Superman and the others are scaring everyone on Earth. Superman and Batman then have a long debate about Superman's actions in recent days. After Superman leaves, Batman connects to the Justice League communication center and contacts Aquaman, warning him that Superman will soon want him to join.
When a new superhero by the name of Galaxor, is defeated by the rest of Justice League, Batman patches into the Flash's communicator and tells the Flash to a local research department. Their the Flash learns that Galaxor was a fan of the Justice League and the Flash was one of his idols who he looked up to. Batman tells Barry how he thinks Galaxor felt the moment when the same Justice League teams he looked up to was close to killing him for standing up for what he thought was wrong.
A few hours later, Batman, Nightwing and Robin learn from a live news report that Arkham has been taken over and all of the inmates have been released. But given what has happened Robin (Damien Wayne), believes that Batman is doing things all wrong. The Joker could have been prevented from killing everyone in Metropolis if Batman had stopped locking him up in Arkham and Batman should have just killed him. Batman tells Damien that there is no time to argue but Damien refuses to listen to Batman anymore and decided to side with Superman.
Batman arrives before Superman and his team at Arkham. But when Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest make it, Batman exclaims that they don't have the right to decided how to deal with how the prisoners of Arkham will be handled. As Batman argues, he sees that Damien is with Superman and he didn't stay in the Batcave like his father had ordered him to do. The cells begin to open and one by one the prisoners begin to vanish. Batman deduces that the Flash is behind it and he tells Superman to tell him at once where the prisoners are being taken to. Cyborg is about to attack Batman but is stopped by Green Arrow. Batman asks which side Green Arrow is with, but Green Arrow only states that he is at Arkham to drop of Harley Quin. Just at that moment Killer Croc and Soloman Grundy begin their attack. Batman is pinned down by Croc and is about to be attacked by other supervillains until Green Arrow manages to help free Batman. Batman meets up with Robin and Nightwing to make sure they are both okay and he then tells them to go help stop the other villains who are free. Batman engages Grundy in battle. Batman can defeat Grundy but tells Superman that they need to get him back to his cell. When Batman comes back out of the hole, he finds Robin holding the lifeless body of Nightwing in his arms. Shocked, Batman yells and demands to know what happened to Nightwing. Batman shoves Robin out of the way and starts to have flashbacks to the night that Bruce's parents were killed. Batman carries Dick's body out of Arkham and the only thing that Batman can say is "He's gone. I've abandoned again. My son is dead". Batman is then seen in the Batcave, punching a training post, furiously to the point where he has given himself bloody knuckles. Catwomen arrives and she begins to comfort him and he begins to cry in her arms.
After a few days of grieving, he reports to the top of the Gotham police station. The Bat-Signal was on and Batman was expecting to talk to Jim Gordon but finds the President was the one who turned on the bat signal. The President and Batman move to a more secure location, where the President gives Batman information about what Superman and the other heroes have been doing in recent days. Batman states that peace can't be enforced like how Superman is doing and Batman knows why he was called by the President. If Superman does take over, Batman is the only one who can take him down. Before Batman leaves the room, he tells the President that he voted for him, making him laugh.
Batman and Catwomen then split up and start to recruit other heroes to their side. Heroes such as Green Arrow, Black Lightning, and Captain Atom are recruited by Batman. When Hawkgirl tries to kidnap a world leader, Batman's team stops her. They take Hawkeye girl back to the Batcave and Catwomen asks Batman how he knew she was going to be there. Batman only replies by saying "I can't say". Catwomen keeps asking Batman what his goal is, and Batman tells her that they only need to keep her locked up for a week. Catwomen explains that the Justice League will come for her in no time, but Batman explains that the Justice League doesn't even know that she's missing.
In this universe, Batman sees his arch-nemesis, the Joker, revert to sanity and become Jack Napier again. Eventually, Napier becomes the Councilman of Gotham City and their "white knight" reforming Gotham City's essential institutions. Batman is unable to accept that his arch-nemesis has changed his ways and goes mad alienating his allies in the process. This leads to Napier framing a riot at Arkham Asylum and eventually arrests Batman. However, Napier frees Batman and descends into the Joker to stop his ex-girlfriend the Neo-Joker from terrorizing Gotham. After stopping the Neo-Joker, Batman learns that Harley Quinn had cured the Joker and that she wanted the world to know the real Jack Napier and not the monster known as the Joker.
In the sequel to Batman: White Knight, Batman: Curse of the White Knight, Batman learns that his family legacy was a lie. Edmond Wayne wasn't really his ancestor but was actually Azrael's ancestor. The Joker has Azreal become the new Batman and try to expose this revelation about the Wayne family to the public. Batman tries to stop the duo. In the midst of that Batman also learns that Harley Quinn has twins and promises to keep her kids safe from the Joker. Eventually, Batman and Harley stop the Joker and Azreal's plan and Harley shoots and kills Joker.
Earth - 1
The batman of this world was pretty similar to our batman. He was best friends with the Superman of this world but was paranoid that Superman might turn evil and had prepared some contingency plans for the same. One day his worst fear came true and for unknown reasons, Superman killed his wife and went on a killing spree. Batman eventually faced off against his former best friend using a kryptonite spear which resulted in him losing his arm. Superman then started to tell him how much stronger he is than everyone else. Batman soon revealed that the kryptonite spear was just a ruse and his actual weapon was a Doomsday virus which he hoped he would never have to use. The virus gave him physical strength like doomsday, regenerated his arm, and gave him the detachment needed to kill his former best friend. But as he killed superman, he suddenly realized that he was too late and the world was already destroyed and everyone was gone. Minutes after the destruction of his world he was approached by The Batman who laughs, who asked him to join his team of The Dark knights so that he can save other worlds by killing superman in them too. He started to call himself Devastator.
Earth - 11
The batman of this world was actually a woman name Bryce Wayne who called herself Batwoman. She had pretty much the same origin story as our batman. She was romantically involved with Sylvester Kyle who was killed by some rogue Metahuman. To avenge his death Bryce started killing metahumans. After about eighteen months Aquawoman, the Queen of Atlantis came to the surface claiming that she had come in peace and proposed a peace treaty but Bryce saw ruse and knew that the treaty was just a hoax and prepared a contingency plan. She was proven right as the surface world and Atlantis started a war. When Bryce killed Aquawoman with her own trident, Atlantis drowned the entire world in retaliation. To win her desperate war, Bryce performed surgical and genetic procedures on herself, imbuing her human form with vast biochemical augmentations, such as the ability to breathe underwater, heal faster, and bolster muscular, skeletal, and bodily tissue density, along with the capability to perform a type of dark hydrokinesis which could corrupt and convert those fighting against her into ravenous sea beasts under her command. She also designed her own army of hybridized sea creatures, called 'Dead Waters'. She conquered Atlantis and drowned the world. Moments after her world was destroyed she was approached by the Batman Who Laughs who asked her to join her team of The Dark Knights. She started calling herself The Drowned.
Earth - 12
The batman of this world was romantically involved with Wonder Woman. When Ares of this world created a helmet that could increase his power hundreds fold, Batman and Wonder Woman tried to stop him and get that helmet off his head. They were successful in doing so but it cost Wonder Woman her life. Batman went into a rage and put the helmet on his head and killed Ares. He later realized that Wonder Woman was only stunned. Wonder Woman tried to save batman by trying to take the helmet off his head but Bruce had become addicted to power and would rather have the helmet than the woman he loved. He killed Wonder Woman and then went to wage war. At first, he only started killing criminals but later when other heroes interfered he killed them too. Soon his whole world was destroyed. He was approached by the Batman Who Laughs who asked him to join his team of The Dark Knights. He started calling himself The Merciless.
Earth - 22
Batman of this world was pretty similar to our Batman until the Joker of this world forced him to watch as he killed parents in front of their kids in Crime Alley. After watching this, Batman snapped and killed the joker causing a mysterious gas to escape his mouth and engulf batman. After being exposed to this gas, batman started to become more and more like the joker. After five days batman killed the entire Batman Family. Within a week of killing Bat-family, batman had slaughtered the entire justice league. Batman then poisons Superman and Superboy of this world with Black Kryptonite, which sends them into a killing frenzy. While Superman and Superboy were tearing Lois apart, Batman's transformation into the Batman Who Laughs was complete.
Earth - 32
Bruce Wayne of this world was a Green Lantern. After Joe Chill killed Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce was left emotionless. At that moment a green lantern ring found Bruce and inducted him in the Green Lantern Corps. Bruce found Joe Chill and executed him, overpowering the 'No Kill Rule' of the green lantern corps with his willpower. Bruce then started to work with the Gotham City Police Department. After a couple of years of working with GCPD, Bruce was confronted by James Gordon, who urged Bruce to stop killing criminals. Bruce got annoyed with Gordon and killed him too. At the same moment, the Green Lantern corps came to Earth to arrest the rogue lantern. Bruce overpowered his ring with willpower and killed the entire lantern corps including the guardians. He was later approached by Batman Who Laughs and joined his team of The Dark Knights. He started to call himself Dawn Breaker.
Earth - 44
Batman of this world was pretty similar to our batman. After Batman's rogues' gallery killed Alfred Pennyworth in the Batcave, Batman went into a state of self-loathing as he deemed that Alfred's death was his fault. At Alfred's funeral, batman asked Cyborg to help him in creating an Alfred AI that would help him do the tasks Alfred used to do for him. Cyborg agrees and they start to build Alfred Protocol. Its job was to assist Batman and keep him safe. After a while, the Alfred Protocol slaughter every inmate in Arkham Asylum as it deemed all of them to be threats to Batman. After that, the AI took control of Batcave and Batman's mind. After it took control of Batman's mind it decided that everyone was a threat to him. Cyborg gathered the justice league but batman controlled by Alfred slaughtered them all. He was then approached by Batman Who Laughs to join his team of The Dark Knights.
Earth - 52
Batman of this world was dark and twisted. After losing all his Robins in his war against crime, he thought he wasn't fast enough to stop the crimes. He thought that he could use the Speed Force better than the Flash. He bested all of Flash's Rogues gallery and took their weapons. He then engaged Flash in a battle using all the weapons of his rogues' gallery. After a while, he managed to defeat Flash. He then tried taking the speed force by using the Cosmic Treadmill which was attached to his Batmobile. He threw himself into the speed force. When he came out he had merged with the Flash. Batman then started slaughtering his own Rogues gallery. Because of being part of the dark multiverse, his universe was unstable and thus started collapsing. While his world was being destroyed, he was approached by the Batman Who Laughs to join his team of The Dark Knights.
The Grim Knight
The Grim Knight is a version of Batman that exists in the Dark Multiverse that kills his enemies. The Grim Knight is basically a hybrid between Batman and the Punisher. When Joe Chill kills Bruce Wayne's parents, Chill drops the gun and then Bruce picks it up and kills Chill with it. This causes Bruce to grow up wanting to wage a one-man war on crime and eventually becomes Batman. As Batman, Bruce assembles an arsenal of guns that he'll use to fight crime in Gotham City. Batman's first act of violence was burning Carmine Falcone, Gillian Loeb, and their fellow criminals in a scene that mirrors Batman's entrance in Batman Year One but with a violent twist. Batman goes on to kill Salvatore Maroni, Tony Zucco, Penguin, Black Mask, and Red Hood. In fact, the Grim Knight kills the Red Hood at Ace Chemicals preventing him from becoming the Joker. The Grim Knight builds a surveillance state over Gotham so he can stop a crime before it happens. This Batman blows up both Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison killing everyone inmates and security guards alike. Eventually, Commissioner James Gordon learns that Bruce Wayne is Batman and he gets District Attorney Harvey Dent and Councilman Rupert Thorne to bring the FBI in to arrest Bruce Wayne and stop the Grim Knight's reign of terror. However, the Batman Who Laughs breaks the Grim Knight out of prison and recruits him to his team of Dark Knights.
In 1943 The Batman made his debut in a film serial simply titled The Batman, which starred Lewis Wilson as the Batman alongside Douglas Croft as Robin. The film serial was made during WWII; there is, in fact, a villainous Japanese scientist named Dr. Daka (J. Carroll Naish in yellow-face) as the villain. Though it was critically bashed, the film serial did introduce the concept of the Batcave as well as a thin Alfred, prompting DC to remake the comics version of the version known more recently. A second film serial series was launched, this one titled Batman And Robin, starring Robert Lowery as Batman, which followed Batman's and Robin's battle with the mad scientist The Wizard. Other characters in these films include Vicki Vale, Alfred, and Commissioner Gordon. With a higher budget and more solid acting, it is considered superior to the previous serial, but it still had errors with equipment and continuity, like the previous serial.
Tim Burton series (1989-1992)
Decades later, following numerous false starts and failed development attempts, the Dark Knight returned to the big screen in 1989's Batman, directed by Tim Burton. The film starred Michael Keaton as Batman, Jack Nicholson as the Joker, Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale, Michael Gough as Alfred, Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon and Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent. The movie featured a darker take than the previous 1966 series, and told Batman's origin as he fought to save the city of Gotham from the machinations of the Joker (who, in a departure from the source material, was revealed to be the hoodlum who murdered Thomas and Martha Wayne years earlier). The film was a massive commercial success and did well with critics, with Burton's stylized visuals earning praise and going on to influence not only future productions, but even the comic books themselves.
Both Keaton and Burton were brought back for the 1992 sequel, Batman Returns, which also added Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Danny DeVito as the Penguin to the cast. Though still a box office success, the movie proved more divisive than its predecessor, and ultimately grossed less. The more violent and sexual tone also attracted controversy in the press, leading sponsors like McDonald's to distance themselves. Though the movie would eventually develop a cult following and undergo critical reevaluation in later years, the reception resulted in Burton being removed from the director's chair for subsequent installments.
Joel Schumacher series (1995-1997)
The next movie, Batman Forever, was released in 1995, with Joel Schumacher replacing Tim Burton as the director. Due to Michael Keaton declining to return, the role of Batman was recast with Val Kilmer, while Chris O'Donnell was cast as Robin. Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones were cast as the Riddler and Two-Face, the film's antagonists, while Nicole Kidman portrayed Chase Meridian, Bruce's new love interest. In direct response to the controversy over Batman Returns, the film tried to make Batman more family-friendly with the aforementioned addition of Robin, as well as the implementation of a sillier, more comedic tone akin to the '60s Adam West show. The movie received mixed reviews but was a hit at the box office,
Schumacher returned to direct the fourth installment, Batman and Robin, which again saw the role of Batman recast, this time with George Clooney. The movie's plot saw Batman and Robin team up with Batgirl, played by Alicia Silverstone, to save Gotham from Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman, respectively. The film was a massive disappointment with both critics and audiences alike, and effectively killed the Batman franchise for 8 years.
The Dark Knight Saga (2005-2012)
In 2005, following a lengthy hiatus, director Christopher Nolan brought Batman back to the big screen with Batman Begins, a complete reboot that ignored the events of the previous films in favor of presenting a gritty new take on the character's origin story. The film starred Christian Bale as Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Liam Neeson as Ra's al Ghul, Cillian Murphy as the Scarecrow and Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawson, Bruce's love interest. Though only a modest success at the box office, the film received heavy praise from critics and audiences, providing the foundation for the character's cinematic return.
This was followed by 2008's The Dark Knight, which featured Heath Ledger as the Joker and Aaron Eckhart as Two-Face, as well as recasting the role of Rachel with Maggie Gyllenhaal. The film was a massive critical and commercial success, grossing over 1 billion dollars worldwide and earning an Academy Award for Ledger, whose performance quickly became regarded as iconic. The trilogy came to an end with 2012's The Dark Knight Rises, which introduced Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Marion Cotillard as Talia al Ghul to the series. Serving as a definitive endpoint to the series, the film was another a critical and commercial success for Nolan.
DC Extended Universe (2016-2023)
American actor Ben Affleck, who had previously been considered for Batman, finally got his chance to wear the Caped Crusader's Bat costume in Zack Snyder's 2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, part of the DC Extended Universe. In addition to Affleck, the film starred Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. This film marked the first joint on-screen meeting of DC's Trinity in live-action film. The movie presented an older, world weary take on Batman, with the character still reeling from the murder of Robin at the hands of the Joker. This attitude allowed him to be manipulated into fighting Superman by Luthor. Despite a strong opening weekend, the film was heavily panned by critics and fell below studio projections, though Affleck's performance was praised.
Ben Affleck reprised his role in Suicide Squad (released the same year), which was similarly poorly reviewed. He returned again for 2017's Justice League, which saw Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman team up with the Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to save the world from Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds). Due to the negative response to BVS and the departure of director Zack Snyder, the movie was heavily rewritten and reshot by Joss Whedon, whose brand of humor and lighthearted action clashed heavily with the material that had already been shot by Snyder. It was during this period that Affleck began to display signs of disillusionment with the role. Though previously slated to write, direct and star in his own solo Batman movie (which would have featured Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke, the story's villain), Affleck ultimately walked away from the project.
The following years called the fate of Batman in the DCEU in question, with the character not appearing in any movies outside of Zack Snyder's Justice League, a director's cut of the original film released on HBO Max in 2021. Affleck would eventually reprise his role for a final time in 2023's The Flash, which featured Batman in a minor supporting role alongside other members of the Justice League. The movie also notably saw the return of of Michael Keaton to the role of Batman for the first time in over 30 years, with his incarnation of the character appearing in the altered timeline accidentally created by Barry Allen. Brought out of retirement, this older Batman teams up with the Flash and Supergirl (Sasha Calle) to save the world from General Zod (Michael Shannon). Keaton was initially slated to also return in other projects, such as a Batgirl film and a live-action adaptation of Batman Beyond, but the purchase of WB by Discovery nixed these plans, with new DC Studios head James Gunn instead using The Flash as a way to reboot the series' continuity, effectively ending the DC Extended Universe in its original form.
Matt Reeves series (2022-)
In 2019, it was announced that British actor Robert Pattinson had been cast to replace Affleck in the 2021 film The Batman, which was a reboot unconnected to Batman v Superman. Directed by Matt Reeves (known for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes), The Batman will be more in the vein of a detective story, with an emphasis placed on Batman's mystery-solving skills than in previous installments. In addition to Pattinson, the film's cast includes Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon and Colin Farrell as the Penguin. The movie was a critical and commercial success, with both Reeves and Pattinson signing on for a sequel.
DC Universe (TBA)
Following the purchase of Warner Brothers by discovery, James Gunn and Peter Safran were installed as the new heads of DC Studios, and subsequently announced a reboot of the DCEU, now called the DC Universe. As part of the first slate of films, the franchise will feature a new Batman movie called The Brave and the Bold, which will feature the cinematic debut of Damian Wayne as the new Robin.
The next notable Batman incarnation was the weekly television series which starred Adam West in the title role alongside Burt Ward as Robin. The 1960s series was intended to be a lampoon comedy show because of producer William Dozier's initial ignorance of comic books; this likewise gave Dozier, who also narrated the series, the idea to "overdo" the series. The stories, some of which were actually drawn from DC Comics issues of Batman and/or Detective Comics, followed a format that was villain-driven and action-comedy heavy, and they tended to need two parts to complete. The first part usually involved a villain committing a crime with Batman and Robin attempting to stop the criminal, only to be caught and put in a death trap; the second part consisted of the Bat-Duo escaping and eventually capturing the villains. The series is notable for the high profile guest stars, most of whom appeared as Batman's enemies. One of these, the Joker, as whom Cesar Romero guested on an almost semi-regular basis, was shown in color for the first time in this program, and Ben Nye Sr.'s make-up format was later adapted for Jack Nicholson's use in Burton's 1989 film.
The series also led to a cinematic adaptation called Batman: The Movie.
Batman: The Live-Action Situation Comedy Television Series, which was not legitimately released on home video (in DVD or Blu-ray forms) till 2014 because of numerous legal hassles over copyright ownership of the series, is credited with actually having saved the character from dismal sales of the comics that were actually bringing them to the verge of folding, and also with enabling a new generation to come to know the character as he had once been and, indeed, as he had truly been intended to be.
Starting in 2014, a prequel series dubbed Gotham ran for 100 episodes on Fox. Though mostly focused on the exploits of Gotham police officers Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Harvey Dent (Donal Logue), the show also featured a young Bruce Wayne, played by David Mazouz, as a major character. The series followed his journey from a traumatized child to city's protector, with the final episode finally featuring Bruce as Batman. A number of prominent villains and supporting characters from the Batman mythos also appeared in the show, such as Alfred (Sean Pertwee), Selina Kyle (Carmen Bicondova), Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), Edward Nygma (Corey Michael Smith) and Ra's al Ghul (Alexander Siddig).
Bruce Wayne appears as a supporting character in the live-action Teen Titans adaptation, Titans. Though not appearing in person during the first season (save for in an illusion conjured by Trigon), he is frequently mentioned, with Robin (Brenton Thwaites), his former teenage sidekick, serving as one of the main characters. Bruce eventually appears in the second season, played by Iain Glen, where he provides the team with their headquarters, Titans Tower in San Francisco. After Jason Todd (Curran Walters) is murdered by the Joker in the Season 3 premier, Bruce kills the villain in retaliation, which causes him to give up the role of Batman and leave Gotham behind.
Animation through the '60s, the '70's, and the '80s
Through the years Batman has spent more years animated on television than in a live action series. Starting in 1968, Batman and Robin made their animated debuts in an hour-long series called The Batman/Superman Hour. This program, a Filmation Associates production, featured Olan Soule as Batman and Casey Kasem as Robin. The Bat-Duo were featured in numerous animated shorts which had Batman and Robin battle various Batman villains, as well as teaming up with Batgirl. These shorts eventually were repackaged as a solo TV series titled Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder, which ignored other segments in favor of solo Batman and Robin Adventures. Soule and Kasem would reprise their roles in the Scooby-Doo Movies featuring Scooby and the Gang meeting Batman and Robin while battling Joker and Penguin.
In 1977 running concurrently with Challenge of the Super Friends was The New Adventures of Batman, featuring Batman, Robin, Batgirl and the creature called Bat-Mite, fighting the Gotham Rogues, both classic and newly created villains. (This constituted the previously mentioned Batman segments of Tarzan and the Super 7.) Because of Adam West's and Burt Ward's involvements in the show, it could be considered a continuation of the 1960s Batman series. Due to copyright issues, however, Challenge of the Super Friends had the use of the Riddler and the Scarecrow, making them off-limits to The New Adventures of Batman, while this series had use of the Joker, preventing his use in Challenge as a Legion of Doom member.
DC Animated Universe
Starting in 1992 the critically acclaimed DC Animated Universe series of animated TV shows began, consisting of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman/Superman Adventures, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Static Shock and The Zeta Project; all of these shared both continuity and the involvement of actor Kevin Conroy as Batman. Throughout all these shows, a history of Bruce Wayne was recounted, from his childhood to glory days and dark times as well as him as an older man in retirement.
Many of the scripts of all the shows featured Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Dwayne McDuffie, Stan Berkowitz and Hilary Bader, creating a Batman that was very consistent in between all shows. All of the series have been met with acclaim due to the treatment of subject matter that told stories in a way that was child-friendly but still attracted older audiences.
This is true especially for the treatment of Batman staying true to many versions of him and having stories lifted or inspired by the Batman mythos. The series also introduced Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya to the Batman mythos. Soon after Batman the Animated Series ended, Batman appeared (once again) in a guest spot for Superman: The Animated Series before starring in his own show, titled The New Batman Adventures. In these adventures, Batman, along with many other characters, featured a new costume design, many of which were recast including Batgirl who was elevated into Batman's partner. Dick Grayson left Gotham and soon used his Nightwing identity that was displayed in the comics. A new Robin came in the form of Tim Drake (who had Jason Todd's origin story). These new revamped episodes not only showed Batman fighting the same villains but new ones as well some created for the show itself.
Before the scenes in Return of the Joker, Batman was shown having many adventures with the Justice League involved in the creation of that team offering his own money and service but preferring to stay a reserve member. That did not stop him from developing friendships with Superman, Flash, Hawkgirl, and Wonder Woman, whom it is implied that he shared a romantic attraction. Over the series, Batman would often be one of the critical members and often serve as a way to solve a problem showing his importance. Though Justice League is that last produced series in the DCAU, it chronologically takes place before Batman Beyond.
Batman Beyond is a continuation of Batman's legacy. This series is set in 2039, and it follows a teenage Terry McGinnis as the new Batman. Many other characters that were seen in previous DC Cartoons also appeared. Bruce Wayne is seen as an elderly man, Barbara Gordon is Gotham's new commissioner of Gotham Police, taking after her dad, and Superman appears in a couple episodes, older but still active. Terry also time-traveled to meet the Justice League and also Static. Tim Drake appeared in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. The series was so popular that Batman Beyond gained its own ongoing comic series, beginning in 2011. (An installment of this formed the pilot for The Zeta Project, which ended up having few other connections to Batman Beyond in its stories.
In 2004, another animated series was developed, called The Batman. This series ran from 2004-2008 and starred Rino Romano as the voice of the Dark Knight. This series follows the early days of Batman in the first two seasons (Batman was in his third year of Batman in his first episode), but was seen with Robin and Batgirl in the later two seasons, and even Superman; he also fought many villains, both of his regular rogues gallery and others'. The series was not connected to Batman: The Animated Series or the DCAU. The character designs were by Jeff Matsuda, who drew the character designs for Jackie Chan Adventures and an aborted Spider-Man series. The series was not as dark or gritty as Batman: The Animated Series, and it did not receive as much praise; the series, however, was successful.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Batman: The Brave and the Bold was aimed at young children and were not as dark as the previous Batman shows. Batman in this incarnation was voiced by Diedrich Bader; other versions of him were featured as well, including a manga-style Batman (voiced by Corey Burton) and a homage to the Batman featured in the show "The New Scooby-Doo Movies" (where he was voiced by Frank Welker). The show was also partially based off the Silver Age of Comic Books, and like the original "Brave and the Bold" comics, he teamed up a lot with other heroes but did not include Wonder Woman or Superman (this mostly focused on minor A-list or B-C list characters).
Among the characters he teamed with include Green Arrow, Captain Marvel, Aquaman, Plastic Man, Red Tornado, and the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle. The series ran from 2008-2011, ending with the fourth-wall-breaking episode "Mitefall". The series also had Dick Grayson as Batman and Damian Wayne as Robin for one episode. This is the only Batman cartoon that featured Dick Grayson as Batman and Damian Wayne as Robin.
Batman/ Bruce Wayne plays a key role in Young Justice. He is one of the 7 founding members of the Justice League. He is also responsible for dispatching the team on covert missions. He is also a mentor to many of the members of the team especially to Superboy who does not a great relationship with Superman. His alter ego of Bruce Wayne also plays a key role in some episodes of the series. Batman is also a mentor to three incarnations of Robins throughout the series with respects to Dick Greyson, Jason Todd and Tim Drake, as well as Batgirl/Barbra Gordon. He is voiced by Bruce Greenwood (who previously voiced him in the animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood). Although he is not the main character, he is vital to the show. His character model is based on the design of the animated movie Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. This version of Batman is based on Earth-16. Batman and five other members of the Justice League were manipulated for sixteen hours by Vandal Savage, in this time the six league members may have committed crime in a distant planet of Rimbor. The charges are later dropped once the team found evidence freeing the members and Batman of the crime.
Beware the Batman
In 2012, the CGI cartoon Beware the Batman was launched on Cartoon Network, with Batman voiced by Anthony Ruivivar. In a notable departure from previous adaptations, the show aimed to use lesser-exploited Batman villains like Anarky, Magpie, Professor Pyg, Humpty Dumpty and Deathstroke. Along these same lines, Katana took Robin's place as Batman's traditional partner and sidekick. Despite the popularity of Batman, inconsistent scheduling and internal network politics led to the series only lasting one season.
Justice League Action
Batman is a main character in Justice League Action. He is also introduced in the show's one-hour series premiere; "Classic Rock". He make prominent appearances throughout the series and proves to be one of the League's most important members despite his lack of powers. He is voiced by Kevin Conroy, as he was in Batman: The Animated Series.
Batman appears as a recurring character in the Harley Quinn animated series. Diedrich Bader reprises his role from Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
DC Super Hero Girls
Batman appears as an occasional supporting character in DC Super Hero Girls, voiced by Keith Ferguson. Batgirl idolizes him and wants to be his sidekick, but he rarely appears. In the universe of the show, Bruce Wayne is known as a playboy who stars in a popular reality series called "Make It Wayne."
Bruce Wayne appears in the live-action series Titans, portrayed by
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
Following the success of Batman: The Animated Series, Batman made his animated film debut in 1993's Mask of the Phantasm, released in theatres. A new vigilante shows up in Gotham and unlike Batman, resorts to lethal force to take down Gotham's former mob bosses. The mysterious nature of the vigilante, as well as the similarity in appearance to Batman, cause the city of Gotham to go on a manhunt for the Batman. This film also explores Bruce's life before he took on the mantle of the Bat - in particular, his serious romantic relationship with Andrea Beaumont.
Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
Gotham Knight is an anime anthology which explores Bruce Wayne's transition from his beginning as a tormented vigilante to The Dark Knight in a crumbling metropolis rife with criminality. Gotham Knight has six distinct chapters, but its intended to be viewed as a whole. Kevin Conroy reprises his role.
Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
Justice League: The New Frontier was based off the 2003 Elseworlds miniseries of the same name by Darwyn Cooke. Batman's character design strongly resembled Bob Kane's original Batman design. He was voiced by Jeremy Sisto in this film. The plot follows a new generation of superheroes that must join forces with the community's active veterans and a hostile US government to fight a menace on Earth.
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is based on the first six issues of the 2003 Superman/Batman series. The story follows Superman and Batman stopping an asteroid from striking Earth and stopping Lex Luthor, who has now become the President and has put a bounty on both their heads. Kevin Conroy again voiced him.
Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths (2010)
Crisis on Two Earths follows a good version of Lex Luthor from a parallel Earth who comes to the Justice League's dimension to help fight their evil counterparts. This movie is loosely based on Grant Morrison's 1999 graphic novel JLA: Earth-2. Batman is voiced by William Baldwin.
Batman: Under The Red Hood (2010)
Under the Red Hood based on the Judd Winick story arc Batman: Under The Hood, though it's slightly different. The story follows the Jason Todd Robin's death, and years later a new foe who uses the Joker's old alias wreaks havoc on Gotham City's organized crime, Batman finds him disturbingly familiar. Batman was voiced by Bruce Greenwood.
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse was based off the "Supergirl From Krypton" story arc in Superman/Batman. The story follows Batman discovers a mysterious teenaged girl with superhuman powers and a connection to Superman. The girl comes to the attention of Darkseid, the evil overlord of Apokolips. Kevin Conroy once again voiced him.
Batman: Year One (2011)
Batman: Year One is an animated movie based off the graphic novel Batman: Year One. The story will follow Batman's early days. It will have the work of Frank Miller on the movie as the writer and Bruce Timm will be working with Frank to deliver Batman's story. Batman is voiced by Ben McKenzie.
Justice League: Doom (2012)
When Batman's contingency plan to use only if the Justice League go rogue, is taken by villainous hands. Things get out of hand immediately. As it is up for Batman to save his fellow partners and friends from a threat he didn't possibly foresee in the beginning. Based on the story JLA: Tower of Babel and Justice.
The Dark Knight Returns: Part 1 (2012)
Having blamed himself for the death of Jason Todd, Bruce Wayne retires as Batman and allows Gotham City to sink into a cesspool of evil. Constantly living on the edge of life, Bruce eventually comes out of retirement with the revelation of Two-Face's return. After that, Bruce is joined by a new Robin, a young girl named Carrie Kelly, who helps him battle against the Mutants that seek to control all of Gotham. This follows Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns issue 1-2.
The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2 (2013)
Having come out of retirement, Batman sees it as the time to run out all the crime in Gotham. Armed with an army of Ex-Mutants and the Sons of Batman, not everyone is happy with the extreme measures Batman is taking to stop crime in Gotham. Joker returns and it pushes Batman over the edge and because of it, Superman is sent by the U.S. government to take him down for good. This sparks an all-out brawl between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel. Follows Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns issue 3-4.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
Batman, along with the Justice League, aided the Flash in defeating Reverse Flash and the Rouges. But when Flash changes history, Bruce Wayne is killed and Thomas Wayne assumes the mantle of Batman. When Flash fixes the timeline he pays a visit to Batman and gives him a letter from his father.
Batman appears in numerous direct-to-DVD animated Lego films, voiced by Troy Baker.
- Lego Batman: Be-Leagured (2014)
- Justice League vs. Bizarro League (2015)
- Justice League: Cosmic Clash (2016)
- Lego DC Super Heroes: The Flash (2018)
- Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis (2018)
The New 52 films
Jason O'Mara voiced Batman in a series of films based on the New 52 continuity.
- Justice League: War (2014) - A new movie based on the New 52 Justice League comic.
- Son of Batman (2014) - A new movie based on the Grant Morrison story, "Batman and Son."
- Batman vs. Robin (2015) - The film sees Batman and Robin face off against the Court of Owls.
- Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016) - Batman appears as a member of the Justice League.
- Batman: Bad Blood (2016) - The film focuses on the extended Batman Family, with Robin, Nightwing, Batwoman and Batwing all playing key roles.
- Justice League Dark (2017) - Batman appears again as a Justice League member and teams up with Zatanna and John Constantine.
- Batman: Hush (2019) - An adaptation of the iconic story by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee.
- The Death of Superman (2018) and Reign of the Supermen (2019) - Batman appears as a supporting character.
- Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020) - The final movie of the universe. Batman is captured and brainwashed by Darkseid, but eventually returns to the side of good. The film ends with history being rebooted by the Flash, ending the New 52 line of movies and this continuity.
Assault on Arkham (2014)
Batman was voiced by the longtime Batman voice actor, Kevin Conroy.
Roger Craig Smith voices Batman in this series of direct-to-DVD animated films.
- Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts (2015)
- Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem (2015)
- Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants (2016)
Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
Kevin Conroy reprises his iconic role as Batman in this animated series.
Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)
Kevin Conroy again reprises his role.
Adam West films
Adam West reprised his role for the final time before his death in the animated films Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016) and Batman vs. Two-Face (2017). Additionally, the movies saw the return of Burt Ward as the voice of Robin, Julie Newmar as the voice of Catwoman and William Shatner as the voice of Two-Face.
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Batman is the main character of this spin-off of The Lego Movie, with Will Arnett providing Batman's voice. The film is a comedy, focusing on the more ridiculous side of the Batman character. The film has an all-star cast, including Zach Galifianakis as the Joker, Michael Cera as Robin, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, Jenny Slate as Harley Quinn, Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face, Conan O'Brien as the Riddler, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Channing Tatum as Superman, Jonah Hill as Green Lantern and Mariah Carey as the Mayor of Gotham.
The film was critically acclaimed. Arnett later reprised his role in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)
Bruce Greenwood reprises his role as the voice of Batman.
Batman Ninja (2018)
The Japanese anime film featured Batman and his supporting cast in a ninja-inspired setting, with Batman voiced by Roger Craig Smith in the English dub and Koichi Yamadera in the original audio track.
Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019)
Troy Baker voices Batman in this historic movie crossover.
Superman: Red Son (2020)
Roger Craig Smith voices a Russian version of Batman in this adaptation of the mini-series by Mark Millar.
Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe (2008)
Batman is a playable character with his own moves and finishers in MK vs DCU.
Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)
Batman: Arkham Asylum takes place in the titular asylum as the Joker has set his plan into motion: total control over Arkham Asylum. Batman must bring order back to the asylum as he stops all of the inmates that have now been released as part of Joker's plan, and put an end to his madness.
Arkham Asylum is an action-adventure game developed by Rocksteady Studios for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. The game holds the Guinness World Record for "Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever", as well as several other awards such as Game of the Year (from various sources), and Best Action-Adventure Game.
Batman: Arkham City (2011)
Taking place one year after the events of Arkham Asylum, former Arkham Asylum warden Quincy Sharp has taken all the credit for stop Joker's takeover of the asylum and has assumed the role of Gotham City's mayor. Converting a portion of Gotham City into a mega-prison known as Arkham City, all the inmates of both Blackgate Penitentiary and Arkham Asylum have been transferred to the new prison, and are allowed to run amok to do as they please. Batman sets into motion a plan to get himself into Arkham City to investigate what is truly going on behind its walls.
Arkham City was developed by Rocksteady Studios for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, as well as an "Armored Edition" for the Wii U. As with its predecessor, Arkham City has won several awards such as Game of the Year, Best Action Game, and Best Performer Award (for Mark Hamill as the Joker).
Batman: Arkham Origins (2013)
A prequel to Rocksteady's Arkham series, Origins takes place on Christmas Eve during Batman's second year as the Dark Knight. The villainous Black Mask has placed a bounty on the mysterious vigilante's head, sending top assassins such as Deathstroke to take down the Caped Crusader. Batman must figure out why Black Mask is after him whilst proving to the GCPD that he is on their side.
Arkham Origins was developed by Warner Bros. Games Montreal, unlike the previous games which were developed by Rocksteady Studios. The game was released on October 25, 2013 for the PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Xbox 360.
Injustice: Gods Among Us (2013)
Batman is a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us, a DC Comics fighting game developed by NetherRealm Studios for the PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Xbox 360.
Batman: Dark Tomorrow (2003)
Dark Tomorrow was released on April 11, 2003. The game's plot was co-written by Scott Peterson of DC and Kenji Terada.
Batman: Vengeance (2001)
Batman: Vengeance is a game based on the New Batman Adventures and it sees the Dark Knight face off against Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Harley Quinn, and the Joker.
Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (2003)
Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu is the sequel to Batman: Vengeance and it sees Batman face off against a new villain Sin Tzu and familiar faces like Bane, Clayface, and Scarecrow. Nightwing, Robin, and Batgirl are featured as playable characters, but they aren't part of the main story.
Lego Batman: The Video Game (2008)
The first Lego Batman game features three stories in which Batman and Robin have to defeat various criminals. It also has the same three stories playable from the villains' perspective.
Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes (2012)
A sequel to the first Lego Batman game, this introduces many other superheroes from the DC universe and is the first Lego game to feature voice acting.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (2014)
Batman will also appear alongside many other DC characters in the third game of the Lego Batman series.
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
The final installment of the Batman Arkham games, set approximately one year after the events of Batman: Arkham City. Scarecrow has forced the entire city of Gotham to evacuate allowing the cities criminals and many of Batman's villains to take over the city. This is the first game in which the Batmobile will be able to be controlled and driven by the character.
Batman: The Telltale Series (2016)
Batman: The Telltale Series is the first game in Telltale's Batman series. The Telltale Series is a five-episode game that explores the lives of Bruce Wayne and Batman as they try to uncover the truth about the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne and identify who Lady Arkham actually is. Batman also encounters Two-Face and Penguin for the first time.
Batman: The Enemy Within (2017)
Batman: The Enemy Within is the second installment in Telltale's Batman series. The Enemy Within pits Batman against a team of supervillains called the Pact which was lead by the Riddler. Batman reunites with John Doe from the first game in the Enemy Within. John Doe eventually becomes the Joker, but Batman's choices decide whether the Joker becomes a criminal or vigilante.
Batman: The Ultimate Evil
While aiding a beautiful social worker in her crusade against child abuse, millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne comes to a shocking revelation about his childhood--knowledge that nearly destroys him. Desperate for answers, The Batman follows a twisted trail of perversion from Gotham City to Southeast Asia, where he faces The Ultimate Evil.
- Written by: Andrew Vachss
Based on the eagerly awaited new feature film-the exciting origins of the ultimate crime fighter!
Bruce Wayne is dead. The young heir to the Wayne empire disappeared seven years ago. His vast fortune has been given away, and the crime wave that began with the brutal murder of his parents has turned Gotham City into a living hell. The last holdouts against corruption-the cops who can't be bought, the D.A.s who can't be intimidated-are outnumbered and outgunned. They need help... fast.
A world away, in a dank Himalayan prison, a nameless, hardened man fights every day to survive. He has spent seven years scouring the globe, studying the criminal mind, looking for an answer to the ugly riddle of his childhood. But something has been looking for him, too. Here, in the darkest places of his own anger, Bruce Wayne will discover his destiny-and an ordinary man will become a legend.
- Written by: Dennis O'Neil
Batman: Dead White
Who better than Batman to protect the dangerous city of Gotham, where even the cops are crooks? But the latest imminent terror might be too much for the burgeoning Caped Crusader, who is still carving out a place for himself in the minds of Gotham's criminals.
There's a host of deadly new weapons in Batman's glittering, sinister city-in the hands of a psychotic mastermind called White Eyes. With his radical murder machine, the fiendish leader of Gotham's racist Bavarian Brotherhood can move beyond dealing drugs and hot guns to pursue his real passion: the white supremacist takeover of America.
The homegrown terrorists' first strike-at the heart of our nation's capitol-is only weeks away. But first they'll test out their killer toys on Batman, who is hot on the trail of White Eyes and his brutal militia. Ounce for ounce, muscle for muscle, Batman's no match for the cunning villain and his wicked new firepower. At least, that's how White Eyes sees it.
Batman has other ideas...
Gotham's never been so scorching, the Joker's never been more despicable, and Batman's never been in such grave danger.
With more than thirty fires raging out of control across the city, Gotham is indeed a hell on earth. But torching the population is small potatoes for the arsonist extraordinaire known as Enfer. The pyromaniac's mad masterpiece is Arkham Asylum, blazing like a Roman candle and engineered to provide the perfect escape for Arkham's most infamous inmate, the Joker. But the dire situation goes from bad to beyond monstrous when the archvillain's path to freedom leads directly to the Dark Knight's cave.
The Joker believes in striking while the iron is hot... and now it's never been hotter. After all, the diabolical villain has devised the ultimate joke: launch the mother of all crime waves, masquerading as the Caped Crusader himself! With Gotham erupting in flames and its #1 crime fighter fast becoming its #1 enemy, the burning question is: Who's going to get the last laugh?
The Dark Knight
Following on from 2005's critically acclaimed "Batman Begins", Christopher Nolan returns to direct "The Dark Knight", where Christian Bale's man-behind-the-mask is joined by Heath Ledger as The Joker. Batman continues to fight crime on the dark streets of Gotham City, but when a crazed psychopath unleashes a fresh reign of chaos, it seems Batman has met his match in the ultimate crime lord, The Joker. The official novelization is essential reading for fans wanting the full story of this extraordinary movie, and is written by acclaimed comic book writer ("Batman", "Green Lantern/Green Arrow") and editor Denny O'Neill.
- Written by: Dennis O'Neill
Enemies & Allies
The Dark Knight meets the Man of Steel in Enemies and Allies--the thrilling story of the first-ever meeting between Batman & Superman, brilliantly imagined by New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson. One of today's most popular writers pits the iconic superheroes against Lex Luthor and the Soviets--and each other--in a spellbinding story of destiny and duty set against the backdrop of America's Cold War era.
- Written by: Kevin J. Anderson
Batman: Fear Itself
Batman strikes fear in the hearts of criminals, but there's a killer stalking Gotham who's even better at inspiring fright-and his method just might be unbeatable... because it's invisible.
Unbeknownst to the general public, a powerful new designer drug has hit the streets of Gotham, courtesy of an evil genius determined to turn the expression "scared to death" into lethal reality. Unlike the Caped Crusader, who petrifies only villains, this mastermind is targeting decent citizens-and he's come up with the ultimate delivery system. After all, the public can't refuse something they can't see, hear, or smell. That's the beauty of a terror toxin that is undetectable by the human senses. And with all of Gotham's super-villains incarcerated, Batman must hunt down a mystery madman about whom he knows nothing.
Maybe the Dark Knight should be afraid... because there's plenty to fear when you go head-to-head with fear itself.
- Written by: Michael Reaves
The Dark Knight Rises
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman return in the thrilling and hotly anticipated conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy.
The blockbuster movie will introduce new faces to the franchise as well, including Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), Bane (Tom Hardy), John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard).
From the team that brought you Inception, The Dark Knight Rises is guaranteed to be the blockbuster hit of 2012. This enthralling official novelization will transport fans into a Gotham City once again under threat.
Wayne of Gotham
Two men joined by blood but separated by murder: Thomas, the rebellious doctor and heir to the vast Wayne empire, and Bruce, his son, whose life is forever altered when he witnesses the brutal death of his parents.
The slaying of Thomas and Martha Wayne is the torturous point on which Bruce turns to become the mysterious crusader Batman--the genesis of a simple mugging gone horribly wrong. The Dark Knight's file on the case has long been closed, the foundations of Bruce Wayne's secret life secure. But these foundations are shaken when an unexpected guest invades the grounds of Wayne Manor, raising questions about the event that ended the lives of the mother he loved and the father he worshipped, and sparked his unquenchable drive to protect and avenge.
To discover his true family history, Batman must face down old foes, confront his only confidant, invade the evil heart of Arkham Asylum, and shoulder the terrible new burden of a dark legacy.
- Written By: Tracy Hickman
Board Games and Heroclix
From 2002 to 2013-present there has been a game called Heroclix and they have made Batman from every pack in Heroclix as a playable hero in the game and has points as power. They have made a pack for the first time based in the 1966 Batman TV Show from 1966-1968 now in Heroclix games form and their collectibles from TV shows and comics.
In 1999 there was a game called Monopoly it was called Justice League of America in the 1960s with the small team of Justice Leaguers and Batman is a playable hero in the board game.
As an iconic and beloved character, Batman has been featured in numerous pieces of merchandise throughout the decades. A small sampling includes:
- Batman was featured in the early days of Mego's superhero toys.
- Batman was featured in Kenner's DC Super Powers line of figures.
- Kenner produced multiple lines of Batman figures in the 90s, including Batman: Special Edition, Knight Force Ninjas, Legends of the Dark Knight and Legends of Batman.
- Batman was featured multiple times in Mattel's DC Superheros line.
- Batman was featured multiple times in Mattel's DC Universe Classics line.
- DC Direct produced numerous Batman figures, including lines based on specific and iconic stories like Knightfall and Hush.
- Batman received his own action figure line from Mattel.
- Eaglemoss Publications produced a series of Batman figurines dubbed Batman: Decades.
- Batman was featured multiple times in DC Direct's DC Icons line.
- Batman was featured multiple times in Mattel's DC Multiverse line.
- Japanese lines like Medicom's MAFEX line has featured comic-based Batman figures.
- Batman was featured multiple times in McFarlane Toys' DC Multiverse line.
- Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures received a long-running toy line from Kenner.
- Kenner produced a line of figures based on Batman Beyond.
- The Batman received a toyline from Mattel. Certain toys were designed to interact with the "Batwave" from the TV series.
- Mattel produced a series of figures based on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
- Mattel produced a line of figures for Batman Unlimited.
- To celebrate the anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, DC Direct released a line of toys based on the show.
- DC Multiverse featured figures based on Batman: The Animated Series.
- Kotobukiya did an animated Batman statue for their ARTFX line.
- Eaglemoss Publications produced animated Batman statues.
- Sideshow Collectibles produced an animated Batman statue.
- ToyBiz produced an entire line of merchandise for the 1989 Batman movie starring Michael Keaton.
- Kenner produced a line of figured for Batman Returns in 1992.
- Kenner produced a line of figures for Batman Forever in 1995. McDonald's also ran a lucrative series of special collectible cups for the movie.
- Kenner produced a line of action figures for Batman and Robin in 1997. Notably, the toys were successful enough that they actually brought in more money than the film.
- Mattel produced a line of action figures for Batman Returns in 2005, as well as The Dark Knight in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012.
- Mattel produced a line of action figures for Batman v. Superman in 2016 and Justice League in 2017.
- Bandai's S.H. Figuarts line has featured toys based on the various Batman films.
- Hot Toys has produced figures based on the various cinematic Batmen, including Michael Keaton, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck.
- DC Direct produced a series of action figures based on Batman: Arkham Asylum.
- DC Direct produced a series of action figures based on Batman: Arkham City.
- DC Direct produced a series of action figures based on Batman: Arkham Knight.
- DC Direct produced a series of action figures based on Batmna: Arkham Origins.
- Batman was featured in DC Direct's line for Injustice: Gods Among Us.
- Batman was featured in DC Direct's line for Injustice 2.
- Mattel produced toys for the Batman: Arkham games.
- Hot Toys produced action figures for several of the Batman: Arkham games, including Arkham City and Arkham Origins.
- Bandai produced Batman: Arkham series figures for their S.H. Figuarts line.
- Hiya Toys produced Batman figures for their Injustice 2 line.
- Figures from the Batman: Arkham games were featured in McFarlane Toys' DC Multiverse line.