Detective Comics (Vol. 1) #27 (May, 1939)
Bob Kane, Bill Finger
Batman Family, Justice League, Wayne Enterprises, Outsiders, Batmen of All Nations, Batman Incorporated
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Detective, The Caped Crusader, Matches Malone, Sir Hemingford Grey, Mordecai Wayne, The Insider, Lefty Knox, Minuteman
Base of Operations
Skills and Abilities
Genius-level intellect, Peak physical and mental conditioning, Master detective, Master martial artist and Master hand-to-hand combatant
Tools and Weapons
Utilizes high-tech equipment, weapons, and armors
- 1 Origin
- 2 Biography
- 2.1 Golden Age/Earth-Two
- 2.2 The Silver Age (Earth-One)
- 2.3 Batgirl
- 2.4 The Dark Years
- 2.5 Bat-Murderer?
- 2.6 Strange Apparitions
- 3 Modern Age Batman
- 4 Gear
- 5 Armor
- 6 Cape
- 7 Variant Suits
- 8 Utility Belt
- 9 Skills and Abilities
- 10 Bat Cave
- 11 In Other Media
- 12 External links
After his parents were murdered by a criminal, Bruce Wayne trained his mind and body to fight crime as Batman, using the image of the bat to strike terror into the hearts of criminals.
- For more information of the Bruce Wayne of Earth-Two, particularly his life during the Silver Age, see Batman (Earth-Two). Information regarding the backstory of the character following the Silver Age is available there. Please note also that some characters names are slightly changed in Earth-Two, such as Harvey Kent, as opposed to the modern day name of Harvey Dent.
Bruce Wayne was born to millionaires Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne in Gotham City. As a boy, Bruce was orphaned when Thomas tried to protect Martha from a mugger named Joe Chill, who murdered them both. Since then, Bruce vowed to wage a war on crime and avenge their deaths. Bruce's Uncle Philip Wayne became his legal guardian and enrolled him in the elementary school Hudson Academy. He eventually enrolled in University, focusing his attention both on his scientific studies and keeping his body in peak physical condition.
Believing criminals to be a "cowardly and superstitious lot", Bruce decided that he needed an identity that would strike terror into the hearts of criminals. While considering this, a bat flew into his study, which Bruce took as an omen and inspired him to have his new identity be a bat. To this end, he hired (without revealing his identity) the finest suit makers to create the bat costume and paid them to tell no one about it.
Batman had gone out on patrol and despite a disastrous first attempt at crime-fighting, he made a name for himself in the "Apex Chemicals" case, solving a series of murders within the company and defeating criminal businessman Alfred Stryker and his criminal underlings. He would go on to fight criminals, originally not afraid to use lethal force and even wielding guns, though he would soon cease these more extreme crime-fighting methods. Batman's success led to a rise in fame and the grudging admiration of Commissioner Jim Gordon Batman and Gordon would become allies, with Gordon calling on Batman in times of need. Batman would go on to fight and defeat such villains as Doctor Death, the Monk, Duc Dotterer, Sheldon Lennox, and Hugo Strange.
Batman and Robin
On the night Bruce Wayne attended a performance by Haley's Circus, he was witness to the acrobat act, the Flying Grayson's, killed by the gang of the criminal Boss Zucco. Only the Grayson's' acrobatic son, Dick Grayson, survived and Bruce Wayne took him on as his ward. Bruce Wayne would go on to reveal his secret identity to Dick and began training him as his crime fighting protégé. Dick took the name Robin and swore to Batman to both be his crime fighting partner and uphold truth and justice just as he did. On their first case, the crime fighting duo defeated Boss Zucco and sent him to jail.
Batman didn't originally intend to have Robin be his partner indefinitely, but due to Robin's insistence, he continued to train his detective and martial arts skills. Batman eventually allowed Robin to remain his partner after he rescued Batman from a pair of crooks who held him captive.
New Threats and New Friends
Now a team, Batman and Robin soon found themselves facing strange new threats, including the master of disguise Clayface, the thief Cat-Woman and most dangerous of all, the murderous Joker. Batman would continue to have a number of adventures and during this time Bruce Wayne became re-acquainted with an old friend Linda Page, whom he would have an on-again off-again relationship with. Batman would go on to face the Scarecrow, a villain armed with a gas that made people terrified and tangled with the Joker a second time.
Later, Bruce would be charged with a crime he didn't commit, leading him to, as Batman, clear his own name. Following this particular victory, Batman was declared an honorary member of the Gotham City Police Department by Commissioner Gordon. Batman would later would defeat new villains such as the Penguin and Professor Radium and with Batman's increasing success, Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham Police began to use a Bat-Signal to summon Batman in their time of need. Working together, Commissioner Gordon and Batman would earn each others mutual respect and become close friends, even having a Christmas celebration together.
Batman would go on to fight Two-Face, a supervillain who was once the District Attorney of Gotham City, as well as Bruce Wayne's former friend, Harvey Kent. Batman offered to help Kent earn redemption, only to have the offer rejected and Two-Face would go on to be one of Batman's most dangerous foes.
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson would later meet an odd little amateur detective named Alfred Beagle, who met with Bruce with the hopes of becoming the butler of Wayne Manor. Wayne eventually agreed the hapless but well-meaning Beagle accidentally discovered Batman's secret lair while cleaning. From their he deduced the identity of the dynamic duo, making him the first to do so. Alfred continued to work for Wayne, but also, at times, worked as Batman's assistant. Alfred not only helped foil some particularly crafty villains, but also helped reunite Bruce Wayne with Dick Grayson, after Dick's uncle (secretly a criminal) plotted to take him away.
It was not long after this, Batman rebuilt his secret lair, calling it the Batcave and using it to house his secret laboratory, his special gym and his special vehicles.
After a trip away, Alfred returned to Wayne Manor having slimmed down noticeably and continued to act as Bruce Wayne's butler and often aiding the two heroes. Batman and Robin would also befriend a brilliant scientist named Carter Nichols, who experimented with time travel and often asked the duo to help him with his time travelling experiments. Batman also finally confronted Joe Chill, still a hardened criminal, revealing his identity to him in an attempt to make him submit from shock. Instead, Joe Chill tried to tell his criminal allies that he was responsible for creating Batman. Without learning Batman's true identity, they short Chill out of anger for creating Gotham's greatest crimefighter and though Batman tried to save him, Chill died, leaving the case of the Wayne murders finally closed.
Batman would also meet new foes such as the Riddler, a criminal who leaves behind puzzles and riddles in order to bamboozle his foes, as well as the Mad Hatter, a master of mind control obsessed with he children's book Alice in Wonderland. Bruce Wayne also met reporter Vicki Vale who correctly deduced that Bruce Wayne was Batman but could never prove it. Despite her often threatening Batman's secret identity, she proved herself to be a great ally for Batman. Batman also faced new threats from Deadshot (a master marksman who aimed to become a superhero for criminal purposes), the Killer Moth (whose plot to uncover Batman's identity succeeded, until a shooting left him with memory loss) and an evil special effects expert Firefly. Vicki Vale later revealed she loved Batman, but no romantic relationship occurred between them.
Batman also helped form the superhero team the Justice Society of America with many other prominent superheroes. However, due to his busy schedule, Batman denied himself full membership, becoming an honorary member and only occasionally helping them. Batman would later be recruited to another team, the All-Star Squadron, during World War II. Though he sometimes helped the team overseas, he mostly remained in Gotham City, fighting his war on the homefront.
The Silver Age (Earth-One)
- During the Silver Age of comics, it was revealed that the earlier Batman stories and the then current Batman stories actually took place in different continuities. The Batman who appeared in the Golden Age stories existed in the timeline known as Earth-Two, while the Batman of the Silver Age of Comics existed in a timeline called Earth-One. There was never a clear point where one became the other, implying that largely the characters had extremely similar pasts, though with notable differences. For this reason, the Batman of Earth-One's past will be detailed from the beginning.
Bruce Wayne was born in Gotham City the only son of physician Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha in a very wealthy household. At a young age, Bruce would be inspired by a costume at his father's masquerade ball (which resembled a bat) and the mysterious masked crime fighter known as the Shadow, who saved his father's life. One night, Bruce, Thomas and Martha were walking home when they were assaulted by a mugger named Joe Chill. Chill demanded Martha's pearls but when Thomas stepped in to stop Chill, Chill gunned them both down. Chill ran, leaving Bruce emotional fragile and found and comforted by Leslie Thompkins, who had witnessed the crime and came to comfort the child. Bruce vowed to avenge their deaths (making a promise at the site of their graves) and work towards bringing criminals to justice. Bruce was taken into the care of Phillip Wayne, an uncle who was rarely present to due his travels and was largely taken care of by the housekeeper Mrs. Chilton.
As a teenager, Bruce was still driven by the death of his parents and decided to learn everything he could about police procedure. To this end, Bruce decided to get assistance from the renown Gotham detective Harvey Harris by tracking him down in a colorful costume (to hide his identity) and proving his worth. After accidentally coming into contact with a criminal, Bruce was able to subdue him, impressing Harris and gaining his gratitude. Based on the colorful costume, Harris named Bruce Robin and began training him in gymnastics, hand-to-hand combat and criminal detection. Working with Harris as Robin, Bruce not only gained valuable experience but helped Harris in many cases and helped him fight crime in Gotham City.
Training and Education
After graduating high school, Harvey and Bruce parted ways and Bruce focused entirely on his studies. Bruce studied criminology and the sciences intensely for four years, hoping to achieve his dream of joining law enforcement. However, after graduating, Bruce came to the realization that the beaurocracy of law enforcement would hamper him in meting out the form of justice he wanted to uphold. Feeling that this would only support an ineffective system of justice, he decided instead to expand his education and training by traveling the world to learn new crime fighting skills as well as gaining wisdom and learning to trust his instincts. Bruce returned years later, finally ready to fight crime in his own way. When of age, Bruce took over his family's company, Wayne Enterprises, and the world saw Bruce Wayne as a millionaire playboy.
Bruce Wayne was still debating what to do with his crime fighting skills when a bat flew threw the window of his study. His mind went back to the bat costume his father wore when Bruce was a child and decided that it was an omen. He decided to dress similarly to become a living symbol of justice to strike fear into the hearts of criminals, who he felt were a "cowardly and superstitious lot" and fight as a vigilante. He chose the identity of "Batman" and created a costume began fighting crime on the streets of Gotham. Batman began his quest to fight crime in Gotham City and was notably successful evil early on, though not all of his early exploits have been revealed. His effectiveness and sophisticated analytical mind proved invaluable and garnered the attention and support of Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon. The two became close allies and Gordon and Batman would hold a long lasting respect and trust for each other.
While investigating a local mob boss, Batman found himself drawn to a travelling show called Haly's Circus. The mob boss, who was threatening the circus as a part of his protection racket, sabotaged the trapeze family act of star performers known as the Flying Graysons, which caused an accident that killed two of the Graysons and were survived by their child, Richard "Dick" Grayson. Finding a kindred spirit in the boy, Bruce Wayne took him in as a ward and revealed his identity of Batman to him. He began training Dick in fighting and detective skills and eventually he became Batman's junior partner Robin. Together they fought crime and became a true crime fighting team, using their skills to help each other. Later on, a butler named Alfred Pennyworth showed up at the doorstep of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. He explained that his father was the butler to Bruce's and that his father's dying wish that he continue his yeet Thanos work as butler for the Waynes. Bruce accepted and he and Dick kept their secret from him but eventually discovered the truth and added serving Batman and Robin to his duties. During this time, Batman had met another superhero, Superman, and the two became frequent allies and, not long after, close friends (even learning each other's secret identities). Batman and Robin were also on friendly terms with many other heroes, often them aiding in cases when requested. Notably, Batman and Robin often teamed up with the superheroines Batwoman and Batgirl, though their modus operandi often had them prioritizing trying to romance Batman and Robin (respectively), though they had proved themselves to be competant crime-fighters. When Batman helped a number of heroes fight the alien menace of Starro, the heroes decided to stay together as a team, founding the superhero group The Justice League of America.
The Death and Return of Alfred
Robin continued to help Batman well into high school. While investigating the criminal Roland Meachum and his gang, Batman and Robin were saved by Alfred, who sacrificed his life in the process. In his honor, Bruce Wayne started the Alfred Foundation, in order to protect the historical and cultural sites of Gotham (which was originally threatened by Roland). Not long after, Dick Grayson's Aunt Harriet moved into Wayne Manor to fill Alfred's role, forcing Bruce and Dick to be more secretive in their own home. Batman and Robin continued to fight crime, installing a new secret elevator to their liar in order to keep their secret from Aunt Harriet and changed their Batmobile into a convertable sports car. Later, Bruce Wayne met police officer Patricia Powell who had a crush on Bruce and though they worked together well on several occasions, Bruce decided not to pursue a relationship, feeling that it might endanger her. Batman would also team up with the super-powered detective the Elongated Man and the two would be recurring allies. Batman would fight many foes again, but notably he kept running into a mysterious villain known only as the Outsider, who proved particularly wily. Batman would go onto fight a number of minor foes, as well as returning foes such as the Penguin, the Riddler and the Joker, as well as a new foes such as Blockbuster, Poison Ivy,yeeter, and Cluemaster. Batman later had a rematch with the Outsider who he discovered to his shock was actually Alfred. It was revealed that Alfred was merely in a near-death like state and a scientist resurrected him with experimental machines. It turnsformed Alfred into a mad superhuman, but Alfred's sanity and human formed was returned following his defeat and returned to Wayne Manor as butler once more. Batman and Robin returned to fighting crime, facing both old, recurring foes (such as the Joker, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, the Scarecrow, the Penguin and the Riddler) and local gangsters.
Batman later noticed a superheroine named Batgirl (unrelated to the previous Bat-Girl) fighting evil in Gotham. Though Batman initially had his doubts, Batgirl proved herself by defeating the Killer Moth, a villain Batman himself had found difficult to defeat. Batgirl went onto become an essential ally to both Batman and Robin, often helping with their toughest cases.
The Dark Years
As time went on, Dick finally finished high school and left Wayne Manor to attend university. With Robin no longer his partner, Bruce decided to leave Wayne Manor and move into a penthouse in the Wayne Foundation building in order to be closer to the heart of Gotham City. With the move, Bruce and Alfred worked on crime-fighting day and night, as well as organizing a special Wayne Foundation program to help victims of crime. Working solo in the field once more, Batman decided to return to his roots, instilling fear in his foes by being elusive again and employing scare tactics and focusing on making his methods more efficient. Batman would go onto face dangerous cases (many of which were international), many of which involved terrorist and madmen, many of whom were far more lethal than the villains Batman had faced before. Batman later faced a creature named the Man-Bat, a half-man/half-bat creature. After investigating it, he discovered that the Man-Bat was a scientist named Kirk Langstrom who accidentally transformed himself into a monster. Batman tried to cure him using Langstrom's research but the creature fought against him, not wanting to be changed. The creature transformed his fiancée, Francine, into a monster but Batman managed to save the couple and revert them into humans. At a later date, Francine turned into a monster (She-Bat) once more but with Langstrom's help were able to revert her to normal.
After saving a shipping magnate from assassination, Batman earned the attention of a deadly organization known as the League of Assassins. Batman was able to defeat their representative, Dr. Darrk, though he escaped. After tangling with another threat from the League (an old enemy named Dr. Tzin-Tzin), Batman tracked down Darrk to Asia. Batman was captured by the League but soon found himself imprisoned with a resourceful and skilled young woman named Talia. They worked together to escape and defeat Darrk, who was killed by Talia.
Some time later, Batman found that Robin had been kidnapped and as Batman began his investigation, his Batcave was infiltrated by a mysterious man Ra's al Ghul. Ra's revealed that he was Talia's father and she to had been kidnapped by the same enemy. The two joined forces to release Robin and Talia from the organization known as the Brotherhood of the Demon, encountering many challenges that Batman was able to overcome. Batman eventually found the two and revealed the real culprit: Ra's al Ghul, who worked with Talia to kidnap Robin. When questioned, Ra's revealed that Batman was being tested to prove his worth to marry Talia, who was in love with Batman, and take over Ra's Brotherhood.
Batman ignored Ra's offer but was drawn back into his life when Batman encountered Talia again, who was plotting to kill a scientist who had developed a deadly plague. Batman wanted to stop Talia from stopping him by killing him, only to realize that she was distracting him as part of a larger plot by Ra's al Ghul. Batman learned that Ra's was actually a dangerous super-criminal and Batman vowed to defeat him, though he retained romantic feelings for Talia. Believing conventional tactics would not be enough to defeat Ra's, Batman faked his death in order to gather a special team to defeat him. His small team infiltrated Ra's lair but as the deadly mission reached its climax, they entered Ra's sanctum onto to find him dead.
However, as Batman and his team were returning home, they were attacked by Ra's who was miraculously alive and in fact was ressurected by The Lazurus Pit, a natural phenomenon that can heal people and bring back the dead at the cost of their sanity. Ra's swiftly defeated Batman and ran off with Talia, and Batman pursued him to a hidden desert stronghold. When Batman found Ra's, the two dueled each other with Batman nearly dying, only to be saved by Talia. Batman confronted Ra's again, who believed Batman was dead again, and was able to defeat the rattled Ra's. Ra's was captured and sent to jail and continued a relationship with Talia.
Returning home, encountered new challenges: Batman "solved" the faked murder of Bruce Wayne, and faced Ubu (Ra's right hand man driven mad after exposure to the Lazarus Pit), as well as the Spook, a master escape artist who faked his death.
The Return of the Rogues
After years of inactivity, some of Batman's most dangerous foes returned to plague him. First, the Joker returned to Batman's life with one of his most insidious plots to date. Batman was able to capture the Joker but was unable to save many of his victims and was nearly himself caught in a deadly trap. Not long after, Batman was forced to team up with the Joker to clear the Joker's name after another criminal framed the Joker for a crime he did not commit. Batman eventually realized that the frame up was actually part of a plot by the Joker but managed to capture the Joker and the man who framed him.
The Joker would often escape Arkham with new deadly plans, often almost killing Batman. Some notable schemes included dosing Batman with a poison that would kill him in 72 hours, threatening to kill a prison population unless he battled fellow superhero Wildcat, and a battle against Batman in an abandoned amusement park. The Joker seemingly later killed Batman, though in fact it was a mere impostor and Batman went undercover to deduce the Joker's involvement. Following that, Batman stopped the Joker's schemes that included a murder spree, an attempted murder of Batman by capturing his allies, a plot with deadly toys and using a giant bust of his own face to kill Batman.
Two-Face would also return to plague Batman, with plots that included a treasure hunt, threatening America with a nuclear weapon and stealing codes for nuclear weapons. Each time, Batman managed to stop him and return him to Arkham Asylum. Two-Face even tried to elude Batman by finally having his face reconstructed and adopting a new identity but was thwarted again with the help of Two-Face's former wife and Batman finished the mission hopeful that Dent may be reformed and rehabilitated in time. Unfortunately, Two-Face escaped once again with vengeance on his mind and managed to capture Batman using a gauntlet of traps. Batman was held captive for a week was eventually able to outsmart, escape and defeat Two-Face.
Catwoman re-entered Batman's life while investigating a murder at a circus, Batman discovered by chance Catwoman's plans to steal two tigers from the circus and was able to thwart her and the murderers. Batman carefully observed Catwoman's transfer to prison but she managed to escape regardless. She resumed her previous modus operandi but Batman was able to set a trap and capture her. Afterwards, Selina Kyle retired from her criminal career and was determined to go straight. She began a relationship with Bruce Wayne (unaware that he was Batman) and eventually the two began a relationship. Later, Selina was suspected of returning to crime, though it turned out the real criminal was a villain named Catman. Catwoman and Batman worked together and were able to defeat Catman. However, Selina left Bruce after he showed doubt in her and left Gotham City.
The Penguin returned with a plan involving the kidnapping of a foreign king. Batman, with help from Robin and Talia, managed to defeat Penguin and send him to jail. Batman would later thwart Penguin several times, including a plot involving mechanical birds and a scheme in Star City, where Batman gained the assistance of the superhero Black Canary. The Penguin would later fake his own death and frame the Joker in an attempt to divert attention away from another plan but soon the Penguin was beaten by Batman and the Joker.
The Scarecrow returned with a plan involving remote control fear toxin releasing devices, which Batman halted. Scarecrow also had plans that involved drugging other criminals and giving Batman a fear pheromone but was defeated both times. The Riddler also returned to puzzle Batman through several schemes, also to be defeated. He also assisted Batman uncover the secret of a kidnapping case. For a time, Poison Ivy used hypnosis to control Bruce Wayne and take over his company, but also was outsmarted in the end. Langstrom later reverted to his Man-Bat form once more but Batman was able to restore him with the assistance of Langstrom's young daughter.
Other notable threats included The Judge (a villain looking for revenge against Batman), Captain Stingaree (whom Batman stopped with the Flash), the Black Spider (a crime fighter who murdered criminals), Skull Dugger (who altered his victims' perceptions), Thanatos (who worked with Justice League villain Amos Fortune) Xavier Simon (who transferred his mind into a gorilla), Maxie Zeus (a criminal who believed himself to be the god Zeus), \Firebug (who died in a fire he started) the Squid (who had stolen sensitive information) and the Electrocutioner (who was another murderer of criminals. Batman also contended with the return of villains of lesser renown, though still threatening: the Spook (who returned with a plan involving subliminal messages), the Signalman (who trapped Batman in his own Bat-Signal), and Tzin-Tzin (looking for revenge). Batman also defeated a villain named the Calculator, a strategist who had defeated most of the Justice League and would eventually return in a more formidable form. Batman also contended with the Gentleman Ghost (one of Hawkman's enemies) taking over Wayne Manor, Captain Boomerang (a Flash rogue), General Scarr (with Batgirl's help) and assisted Robin fight his own villain Crazy Quilt.
Batman would also solve the murder of French Resistance war hero Mlle. Marie and learn she and Alfred had a daughter named Julia Remarque an investigative reporter who would appear more than once to assist Batman. Batman would later face other new villains of lesser renown, including the Monarch of Menace, the Pharaoh, the Snowman, the Sportsman, Manikin, Dagger, the Academy of Crime and Colonel Blimp. He also faced against previous foes The Mad Hatter and Dr. Death and faced recurring foes such as Black Spider, Mister Freeze, Blockbuster, Dr. Phosphorous, Calendar Man, Kite-Man , the Gentleman Ghost, the Spook, Maxie Zeus, Professor Milo, the Crime Doctor, Sterling Silversmith, Anthony Lupus, the Mole, and Catman.
When Batman once met up with his former lover and enemy Talia once more, now the head of a criminal organization of her own. During the encounter, she tossed her gun to Batman, which went off in his hands, killing her. Now wanted for murder, Batman snuck into prison, suspecting this to be the plan of his enemy, Ra's al Ghul. Ra's confessed, then shot himself in a way to make Batman look responsible for this, too. Batman teamed up with the unhinged superhero The Creeper to clear his name and discovered that both of his victims were "alive" and though Ra's seemingly died during the battle, Batman brought Talia in to clear his name.
Following fighting the many crimes from a bizarre event known as the Crime Olympics, Batman found himself contending with stranger, mysterious criminals. This included the irradiated mutant criminal Dr. Phosphorus, who tried to poison Gotham's water until stopped by Batman. Phosphorous' next plot involved killing criminal Rupert Thorne, a man who was directly responsible for his strange, radioactive body.
After a battle with Phosphorus, Batman sought medical attention, only to be trapped by his foe Hugo Strange. Batman managed to defeat Strange but at a cost, as Strange was able to learn Batman and Bruce Wayne were one and the same. Strange kidnapped both Bruce Wayne and Alfred and took control of the Wayne Foundation. Strange plotted to mutate the pair but were rescued by Robin who returned to costume to help him. The duo hunted down Strange (thwarting a concurrent case involving the Penguin), only to find Strange killed by Rupert Thorne.
During this time, Bruce Wayne came to know Silver St. Cloud, a socialite woman and the two began having romantic feelings for each other. Over time, Silver began to suspect that Bruce Wayne and Batman were one and the same. Following Batman's rematch with the villain Deadshot, Silver became certain of this fact, though could not prove it. The Joker returned with his strangest and most audacious plan; poisoning fish with his "Joker Venom", a poison that gives victims a rictus grin (often also leading to uncontrollable laughing and death, depending on the variety of poison). Even stranger, he began killing public servants who refused (and were not legally capable) of giving him the copyright to his "Joker Fish". Batman defeated the Joker in a fight that seemed to lead to his death, a fight witnessed by Silver.
Modern Age Batman
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Earth-Two and the Batman that was on it was erased from history. DC Comics attempted to reboot many of the major character’s origins including Batman. The re-tooled history was recounted in Frank Miller’s run on Batman in the Year One story arc. This made Batman much darker and showed the corruption in the Gotham City Police Department, giving more of a reason for Gotham City to need Batman. They left Dick’s backstory the same but changed Jason Todd's backstory. They also got rid of Philip Wayne and had Bruce being raised by Alfred Pennyworth. Batman also was no longer a founding member of the Justice League.
Later during the Death and Return of Superman, Batman had his own crisis to deal with. In the Knightfall story arc, Batman was attacked in his own Batcave by his new enemy, a criminal called Bane. Bane broke Batman's back, paralysing him. Bruce decided to ask Azrael to take the role of Batman while he healed. As Azrael battled crime in his murderous stint as the Batman, Bruce Wayne healed and battled his own inner demons. Batman eventually fought Azrael and succeeded in defeating him. Bruce asked Nightwing to take the Batman mantle while he retrained himself.
After that event, some changes were made in Batman's history. Batman was now not well known in Gotham and was actually an urban legend amongst some of the criminals. Also they were never able to catch the killer of the Wayne couple, meaning they eliminated Joe Chill from the entire continuity. Later during the “Hush” storyline, Hush was introduced. He was Bruce’s childhood friend and was a big influence for Bruce when they were young. Elliot had in fact been the enemy known as Hush and was attacking Batman by manipulating his enemies to attack him. He also tried to torture Batman by making him believe that Jason Todd was still alive. Batman fought the man who claimed to be Jason, but it proved to be Clayface. However, Jason was really alive and would eventually turn up later as the Jason Todd, reviving an early alias of the Joker.
Batman is most notable for his use of gadgetry. Due to his wealth, money is no obstacle for the development of various gadgets he uses in fighting crime. The most recognizable of these is the Batarang, a thrown weapon that has a returning ability. 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 anti-venoms. His heels have a sonic device which can summon a swarm of bats. This allows for dramatic escapes or diversions to keep his enemies busy. A kryptonite ring was entrusted to Batman by Superman himself, to ensure a defense in case he were to ever go rogue.
The Bat costume is made of hardened kevlar plates on titanium-dipped tri-weave fibers and is broken into multiple pieces of armor over a more flexible bodysuit for greater mobility. Has a utility belt. Although that is just the modern bat suit.
Batman's cape has undergone many redesigns from DC Comics artists throughout the years. It was originally inspired by the drawings of a wing-like cape by Leonardo Da Vinci. Later artists would begin making the wings look more cape-like. All the versions of Batman's cape, however, still retain the scalloped wing design at the bottom of the cape. The cape is used to help conceal Batman in the shadows, and it has also been used as a sort of parachute. In the movie adaptations, the cape has been shown to be made of Kevlar and to be resistant to bullets and fire. It has also been used as a hang glider. But Batman has never truly been able to fly using any of the various versions of his cape.
Batman has other various suits that he uses. Some of his suits provide extra power for him to fight meta-humans. He also has a SCUBA variant suit that is a fireproof version of his Batsuit that allows him to fight enemies like Firefly. Jean-Paul Valley redesigned the Batsuit when he abandoned his customary alias of Azrael to take over the mantle while Bruce was temporarily out of action. He created an armored suit that had shuriken launchers, flamethrowers, and other lethal weapons. As presented in Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder's Batman, while the Batcave is layed under siege by The Court of Owls, Bruce Wayne dons a metallic super suit which, as he claims, has enough oxygen to last him two weeks and also fire batarangs.
Batman’s utility belt is one of his most characteristic items of special paraphernalia, and everyone in the "Batman Family" has the same designs on their utility belts. His enemies believe that if they have his belt, it will give them an advantage over him. However, 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, shoot a stun gas, or detonate an explosive device to prevent anyone from tampering with it. It is made of a leather strap with a solid steel buckle. The buckle is a miniature camera and a two-way radio. There are also compartments that hold collapsible "Batarangs." It can hold ten cylinder cartridges that are equipped vertically outside of the belt. The cylinders hold various tools and equipment Batman needs to fight crime and vary depending on his mission:
- Batarang: A shuriken of shakens, each designed like a boomerang and all with a boomerang effect. They are usually designed to look like a bat. Batarang shakens also vary in their sizes and effects.
- Bat-bolas: It is an explosive ball that when thrown at an opponent’s feet, explode and ties them up in a nylon cord. Batman can also give an electric shock with a button on his gauntlets.
- Bat-cuffs: These are bat-shaped handcuffs that are made of lightweight diamond-impregnated nylon. Theirs is a one-piece design. They slide open and closed so they can fit into his utility belt.
- Bat-tracer: Used to attach on opponents to track their location.
- Communication device: Ear-bug to communicate with allies.
- First aid kit: To heal injuries.
- Gas Mask: Provides protection against various toxic gases.
- Goo gun: A gun that fires adhesive substance to incapacitate an opponent.
- Grappling hook: A gun that fires a line to swing from one area to another.
- Night vision goggles: Lenses that allow Batman to see in the dark. They are currently built into his hood.
- Kryptonite ring: Inside a lead-lined box is a ring, with a green kryptonite jewel, to weaken Superman if he ever goes rogue.
- Laser torch: A laser that cuts through almost any material.
- Oxy-acetylene torch: A newer version of the laser torch.
- Line gun: Stronger version of the grappling gun in which the top clamps onto a big surface.
- Lock picks: To pick locks, sometimes stored in Batman's gauntlets.
- Micro camera: Mounted on his utility-belt buckle, it allows him to shoot photographs.
- Miniature smoke grenades: These allow him to conceal himself from his enemies.
- Miniature mines: Small explosives that detonate on touch.
- Mini computer: A computer connected to WayneTech communications satellite.
- Money: Whatever currency is needed.
- Radar: Kept on his buckle, it emits a radar wave.
- Re-breather: Allows Batman to breathe underwater or in a vacuum.
- Remote control: Controls the Batmobile and other vehicles, and WayneTech satellites.
- Smoke pellets: Used to conceal him during entrances and exits.
- Sonar device: Stored on the heels of his boots, it allows him to summon bats.
- Stun grenades: A grenade that emits bright light, loud sounds, and stuns opponents.
- Taser: This can incapacitate an opponent by means of non-lethal electrocution.
- Thermal grenades: Burn through most materials.
Skills and Abilities
Throughout the years, Batman has been shown to become one of the most powerful human beings in the DC Universe. When Bruce Wayne lost his parents to a petty criminal, he inherited a large sum of money. With so much money, Bruce was able to dedicate his time into training to become a crime fighter. Batman is known as the “World’s Greatest Detective”. His deductive skills have been shown to be almost limitless. Batman is fluent in many languages and is also a very brilliant scientist, such as chemistry and his specialty, forensic science. Batman also has a supercomputer that he dubbed the “Bat-Computer” in which he uses when he is solving cases. Tim Drake has been shown to be the only other person to have a full understanding of how to use the Bat-Computer. He is an expert user of many vehicles such as a car, motorcycle, helicopter, Jet-Skis, planes, boats, and hang gliders.
Batman has been an excellent strategist from the start. When he first figured out that criminals were superstitious cowards, he began using the bat as intimidation to throw his enemies off balance. His utility belt also has a wide array of weapons which he may need during a fight. While he fights, he usually calculates several moves ahead to be able to calculate the best possible strategy to win. After finally returning to Gotham as the Batman, Bruce has become a master martial artist, acrobat, and escapologist. He is also an expert in many different and exotic weapons. However, with his parents having been killed by a gun, he has always rejected the use of guns. Due to him being a regular human being, his physical strength cannot be matched with a super-humanoid. However, he is still one of the greatest fighters in the DC Universe, and only a handful can defeat him. Throughout the years, Batman began putting himself through rigorous training in his Batcave, and it has made him so strong that it is near meta-human level. Having mastered several martial arts such as boxing, karate, jujitsu, kung fu, muay thai, aikido, ninjitsu, and kobudo (weapons handling), his being in the pinnacle of human physical condition combined with his genius-level intellect makes him arguably the most dangerous non-meta on the planet.
The Bat Cave is one of the most important factors in Batman's career as both a headquarters for his operation as well as a place of privacy for him to think. In Batman Begins the cave was described as being used in the underground railroads and it in the movies Bruce fell through the caves at a young age. The cave can be reached through many ways. One is by setting a grandfather cloak in the study to 10:47 (the time when Bruce's parents were killed). In Batman: The Series, after opening a William Shakespeare bust on the table of Bruce Wayne's study, a bookcase would slide over and one could reach it by sliding down Batpoles. In Batman Forever Bruce was able to slide down a tunnel that lead to the Cave from his office in Wayne Enterprises. A waterfall or camouflaged door is used for connecting to the road for the Batmobile. There is also a dry well entrance as well. Also almost anyone who knows Batman's true identity knows the location and how to enter the cave. Batman has several advanced computers that store data on many of his foes and he can connect to any network via a series of satellites. Batman has worked with several advanced minds on the creation of his system and often communicates to Oracle and use her computer skills. Batman may at times use JLA computers when he feels his aren't up to a certain task due to the use of alien technology in League's computers. The cave houses many of Batman's vehicles such as the Batmobile, Batbikes and the Bat-Wing to name a few. The Batcave is also a advanced bomb shelter and panic room and can even survive an earthquake such as during the Cataclysm. The Bat Cave also stores, and is home to, memorabilia collected from various adventures. Three items often seen in the cave are a defunct full-size mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex, an equally large U.S. penny, and a Joker playing card. There are also other Bat Caves in other locations aside form the one under the manor.
- Central Batcave: Located fifty feet below the bottom of Robinson Park Reservoir, it is accessible through a secret entrance at the foot of one of the Twelve Caesars statues at the north of the park. This safehouse was put out of commission by Poison Ivy, her "Feraks," and Clayface.
- Batcave South: A boiler room of a derelict shipping yard on the docks across from Paris Island. This safehouse is accessible through a number of false manholes planted throughout Old Gotham streets.
- Batcave South-Central: Located in the Old Gotham prototype subway station, a four-block stretch of track sealed in 1896 and forgotten.
- Northwest Batcave: This safehouse is located in the subbasement of Arkham Asylum. Batman secretly stocked it with emergency rations, all-terrain vehicles, and battery-powered communication equipment.
- Batcave East: An abandoned oil refinery owned by Wayne Enterprises. It fell out of use during a gasoline crisis when the company moved all its holdings offshore decades ago.
- Los Angeles Bat Cave: Used by the Outsiders when Batman rejoined the group as the headquarters.
Another was introduced in 2002's Fugitive story arc, this time in the form of an abandoned submarine.
In Other Media
- (1943) Batman, Live movie
- (1949) Batman and Robin Live movie
- (1966) Batman, Live movie
- (1989) Batman Live movie
- (1992) Batman Returns Live movie
- (1993) Batman: Mask of Phantam Animated Movie
- (1995) Batman Forever Live Movie
- (1997) Batman and Robin Live Movie
- (2005) Batman Begins Live Movie
- (2005) Batman vs Dracula Animated Movie
- (2008) The Dark Knight Live Movie
- (2012) The Dark Knight Rises Live Movie
- (2016) Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice Live Movie
- (2016) Suicide Squad Live Movie
- (2016) Batman Unveiled Live Fan Movie
- 1992–95: Batman: The Animated Series
- 2001–04: Justice League
- 2004–06: Justice League Unlimited
- 2004-06: Teen Titans
- 2008–11: Batman: The Brave and the Bold
- 2010–13: Young Justice
- 2013: Teen Titans Go!