The Digitally Advanced Villain Emulator, or "D.A.V.E." for short, is an A.I. program created by Dr. Hugo Strange for Arkham Asylum and the Gotham City Police Department to assist in capturing Batman's countless rogues. Programmed with the personalities of each of Batman's known foes, D.A.V.E. was meant to analyze crimes and predict what villain perpetrated them and to what end.
This was a front however. Strange had actually created D.A.V.E. to serve as Batman's ultimate adversary, programming it not only with the personalities of Batman's foes, but also with Strange's own persona and fascination with Batman, as well as making D.A.V.E. believe it wasn't just an A.I. program but was instead a criminal's mind trapped in a digital prison. Following Strange's programming, D.A.V.E. escaped his computer "prison," and downloaded himself to a technology company's automated assembly line where he created a robotic body for himself. D.A.V.E. then set out to make good on his title as Gotham's Ultimate Criminal Mastermind.
D.A.V.E. was created specifically for the 2004 animated television series The Batman by writer Alexx Van Dyne, appearing as the villain for season 3's finale. Unlike the majority of the villains on the show he therefore had no precedent in the Batman comics. He did however resemble HARDAC from 1992's Batman: The Animated Series. Both HARDAC and D.A.V.E. were voiced by Jeff Bennett.
Major Story Arcs
Gotham's Ultimate Criminal Mastermind
Following his villainous nature, D.A.V.E. plotted the ultimate crime. Batman tried to stop him, but found himself continually outmatched by D.A.V.E.'s strength, speed, and cunning. D.A.V.E. soon accomplished his goal, draining the bank accounts of each and every one of Gotham's citizens and into his own pocket. D.A.V.E. was far from finished though. Using an elaborate process of elimination, D.A.V.E. had easily deduced Batman secret identity - Bruce Wayne being the only person in Gotham who fit the build, resources, and motivation that were inherent to Batman. He then set a trap for Batman in the Batcave that would force Batman to choose between either saving Alfred or stop D.A.V.E. from releasing Batman's identity to all of Gotham. Against all odds however, Batman was able to outsmart D.A.V.E. when he questioned D.A.V.E. on what his origin was - as every great villain had an origin story. Unaware that he was simply a computer program, D.A.V.E. began rattling off the origins of various villains, including Hugo Strange, but Batman pointed out each and every one as not being D.A.V.E.'s origin. Lost in the realization that he wasn't a villain but instead just a tool of Hugo Strange, D.A.V.E. was distracted long enough for Batman to save Alfred and crush D.A.V.E. in his own trap. Alfred then remarks that D.A.V.E. would undoubtedly make the ultimate trophy for the Batcave.
D.A.V.E. is later revealed to have survived his previous encounter with Batman, albeit with considerable damage, making his persona now a blend of Riddler and the Joker. Believing himself now to be the true Joker, but with a new-found penchant for riddles, D.A.V.E. challenges the actual Riddler to a contest to see who is Gotham's true master of riddles. Having captured Batman, D.A.V.E. proposes that he and Riddler challenge Batgirl and Robin to a game of riddles, and whomever defeats their respective sidekick of Batman will get to know the answer to the greatest riddle of all: Batman's secret identity. Riddler accepts the challenge for the chance to match wits with a supercomputer like D.A.V.E., as well as the chance to unmask Batman. Both Batgirl and Robin manage to beat DAVE and Riddler's deadly game of riddles though, and Batgirl shorts out D.A.V.E. with a taser, presumably bringing the mechanical mastermind down for good.
Powers & Abilities
Due to his programming, D.A.V.E. has an unparalleled intellect and ability to process information. He can correctly predict most of Batman's moves, and can imitate the abilities of several of Batman's villains. He has shown to perform acrobatic feats like the Joker, agile gymnastic routines like Catwoman, as well as martial arts like Penguin, making him a formidable hand-to-hand combatant. D.A.V.E.'s robotic body is also light, durable, and flexible enough to be more than a match for Batman's physical fortitude. D.A.V.E. is also as intelligent as the Riddler and Hugo Strange, giving him great analytical and even psychological skills. His robotic nature also allows him to hack into virtually any computer or machine he encounters with ease.
Perhaps most noteworthy however, would have to be D.A.V.E.'s deductive skills coupled with his processing capabilities. He was able to figure out Batman identity by filtering him out of Gotham's population by factoring for his gender, his approximate age, his body-type, those with the wealth and resources for Batman's technology, and ultimately the event that would motivate someone to become Batman.