Batman is the superhero protector of Gotham City, a man dressed like a bat who fights against evil and strikes terror into the hearts of criminals everywhere. In his secret identity he is Bruce Wayne, billionaire industrialist and notorious playboy. Although he has no superhuman powers, he is one of the world's smartest men and greatest fighters. His physical prowess and technical ingenuity make him an incredibly dangerous opponent. He is also a founding member of the Justice League and the Outsiders.
As a young child, Bruce Wayne watched his parents murdered before his eyes. Thomas and Martha Wayne were walking home from the Monarch Theater one night with their son, when they were held up at gunpoint by a mugger who demanded the pearl necklace that Martha was wearing. When Dr. Wayne refused to surrender it, both he and Martha were shot dead in the streets. The killer was a criminal known as Joe Chill. Fortunately, physician and social worker Leslie Thompkins was making a house call that night, and arrived to give loving comfort to the traumatized Bruce. He was then raised on the Wayne Manor estate, with help from the wise and loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce had very few friends during his childhood.
Bruce Wayne swore an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He spent his youth traveling the world, training himself to intellectual and physical perfection and learning a variety of crime-fighting skills, including chemistry, criminology, forensics, martial arts, gymnastics, disguise, and escape artistry.
At age 14, Bruce Wayne began his global sojourn, attending courses at Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and other European universities. However, he never stayed long and would often drop out after one semester. Beyond academia, Wayne successfully acquired various "practical" skills. While abroad, he studied and received training in multiple martial arts under various instructors and in different countries, man-hunting under Frenchman Henri Ducard, stealth and reconnaissance under the Japanese ninja Kirigi and other certified shinobi, hunting under the African Bushman (the Ghost Tribes of the Ten-Eyed Brotherhood, among others), hand-to hand combat under the tutelage of Ted Grant, a World Champion Boxer and David Cain, one of the world's premier assassins; traditional healing disciplines under Nepalese monks and even ventriloquism under skilled practitioners . Bruce was also trained in archery by Oliver Queen. At the age of 17, Bruce was trained by detective Harvey Harris to improve his detective skills. At age 20, he attempted to join the FBI, but after learning about its regulations and conduct, Wayne deducted that he would never be able to completely oppose crime while working within the legal system.
Bruce Wayne returned to Gotham City after many years of study and training with his body and mind developed to perfection. Despite having all of the skills and methods to fight crime, he still felt that there was something missing in the completion of his physical and mental arsenal. Wayne discovered the answer late one night while sitting in his manor. He recalled his fear of bats as a child after a large one crashed through one of the windows; he ultimately decided to make his appearance resemble a bat's. Wayne designed himself a costume equipped with experimental technology and set out against the crime and corruption that thrived in Gotham City.
Wayne's tactics to oppose crime as a vigilante at night proved successful leading him to become an urban legend in Gotham City. He revealed himself at a dinner of the most influential and corrupt figures in Gotham City and promised them all that their reigns on the city would eventually end. Wayne's first ally was assistant district attorney Harvey Dent. Most of the Gotham City Police Department was sent in force to capture him. He gained his most powerful ally when he met police lieutenant James Gordon, one of the few honest cops on the force. The two developed a working relationship operating outside of the law when they needed to.
Batman's presence in Gotham City generated a new breed of criminals, no longer the simple thugs and gangsters involved in Gotham Organized Crime, but more dynamic personalities. The first person inspired by him was Catwoman, a dangerous seductress using his style and methods towards her own ends. His next challenge was Dr. Hugo Strange, a mad scientist who had created Monster Men to do his bidding. He met his greatest nemesis when the Joker first appeared, a brilliant serial killer dressing like a clown and murdering people uncontrollably. He had been exposed to chemicals in an accident that drove him completely insane, and he swore revenge on Gotham for creating him. This confrontation led to the creation of the Bat-Signal, a giant spotlight displayed in the sky whenever there is danger and Batman is needed. There would be many more villains starting to appear within this time. The Scarecrow was an outcast who developed techniques to strike terror into the hearts of his victims for his own pleasure. The Riddler was another deranged genius who felt a psychological compulsion to demonstrate his intellectual superiority, and constructed elaborate crimes while delivering clues daring law enforcement to catch him. Poison Ivy attempted to destroy the city when an advanced connection to plant-life led her to wage a personal war against humanity. The psychotic Mister Freeze used dangerous experimental technology to take revenge against society when his wife died. Another crime boss appeared named the Penguin who acted as an eccentric criminal mastermind without any crippling mental illness other than a desire to prove himself. Many of these villains were kept in Arkham Asylum for the criminally insane.
The Long Halloween
Justice League Origins
There are several stories of the first time Batman met Superman, the greatest of his friends and allies. In the first version, Superman came to Gotham viewing Batman as a dangerous criminal and attempted to arrest him for his vigilante tactics. They were forced to work together tracking down the dangerous psychopath Magpie, and Superman realized that although his own style of crime-fighting was suitable for his environment, the Bat-Man did what he needed to do to protect his city. They both gained respect for each other, although they doubted they would ever work together again. In another version, they both met as Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent while they were forced to share a room on a cruise ship. They are made aware of each other's secret identities when both are called upon to fight threats including Deathstroke and the Crime Syndicate. Superman later introduced him to Wonder Woman when they teamed up against Ra's al Ghul and Bizarro, and she disliked Batman at first for his methods. She later gained respect for him after they fought together as a team for the first time. There was a great team-up between many heroes to fight the alien Appellaxian invaders, including these three along with Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. Eventually they would decide that they could better protect the planet if they permanently joined forces... and they became the Justice League of America.
Dick Grayson, the First Robin
Bruce Wayne was on an excursion to the circus when he witnessed another tragedy that would shape his life. The parents of a young acrobat named Dick Grayson were murdered by the gangster Tony Zucco. He saw both great potential and something of himself in the boy that night. Although Bruce knew he could never replace Dick's father, he adopted Grayson as his legal ward to help him and provide guidance where he didn't have any when he was that age. He eventually revealed his secret identity as Batman. Dick wanted justice for his parents, and he agreed to a regiment of rigorous physical and mental training so that he could become Batman's partner. After several months Dick was finally ready to take to the streets as Robin, fighting crime alongside his mentor. They swore an oath late one night that they would fight together against crime and corruption, never swerving from the path of righteousness. Batman had realized for the first time that he did not have to be alone in his crusade.
Before he could go into action regularly, Robin had to pass a final exam and he proved himself by taking down the gangster Joe Minette. Their first adventures as a dynamic duo were a remarkable change in tone, with Robin's lightheartedness alleviating the grim seriousness. Dick's first solo mission was stopping Mad Hatter in a sex trafficking ring while Bruce was indisposed. Everything changed when Robin was targeted by Two-Face. A double-gallows trap caused Robin to inadvertently cause the death of an innocent man, after which Two-Face beat him within an inch of his life using a baseball bat and made Batman watch. Batman refused to let Robin go out with him anymore after the boy recovered because he didn't want to put him in further danger. Dick had to prove again that he really wanted this life, demonstrating his competence and resolve.
Robin began teaming up with other young heroes and sidekicks, starting with a fight against Mr. Twister where he worked alongside Aqualad and Kid Flash. Speedy and Wonder Girl joined them to fight an evil being named Antithesis who was mind controlling their mentors. This group decided to call themselves the Teen Titans and would go on to a long career with Robin as one of their core members. As the leader of the Titans, Dick decided to give up his identity as Robin. This happened after an incident where Bruce had fired Dick as his partner after Robin was shot off a rooftop by the Joker. While he was doing some soul-searching, he met and talked with Superman who inspired him with a story about a Kryptonian vigilante named Nightwing. He reinvented himself using this new name and designing a new Nightwing costume, intending to honor all of the people who had shaped him into the man he had become.
When Bruce was invited to the Million Dollar Masquerade Ball, Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara crashed the party in a female version of Batman's costume to surprise her father, who was also attending the event. At the party, before she revealed herself to Gordon, Killer Moth and his henchmen crashed the party, gunning for Bruce Wayne. James Gordon was taken out quickly so Barbara decided to step in. Bruce Wayne was previously shoved out of the way by Barbara so that she could protect him and her unconscious adoptive father, thinking that Bruce was but a helpless bystander. She defeated Killer Moth, breaking a heel in the process. She was later named Batgirl by Killer Moth, which stuck, even though she stated that she would have preferred Batwoman. Directly after the confrontation with Killer Moth, Batgirl met Batman and Robin. Batgirl's first encounter with Batman and Robin proved to be unpleasant. While she was angry with Batman's automatic dismissal of her capabilities, she was repulsed by Robin having a romantic interest in her. Soon after that, Batgirl attempted to swing from rooftops, being saved by Robin, who told her that regular rope is not good for diving from forty feet in the air. Later, Robin sent Batgirl equipment, pretending that he believed in her and Batman didn't. In reality, Robin was sending them on the orders of Batman. She was later captured by Batman and Robin to be tested, an examination she failed in Batman's eyes, not being able to save the innocents in a holographic containment chamber. Batgirl later teamed up with Black Canary, her idol, and she finally gained some respect from Batman, while Robin still harbored a crush on her. She was introduced to James Gordon as Batgirl, one of Batman's protégés.
Batgirl's career came to an end after a few years, when the Joker shot and crippled her in an attempt to drive Commissioner Gordon insane. Although Batman eventually rescued Gordon and stopped the Joker, Barbara could never walk again. However, she didn't let this adversity stop her and Barbara eventually resumed her career as a crime-fighter using the alias of Oracle, a computer expert and information broker who assisted heroes on their never ending crusade.
Ra's al Ghul
Struggling against the League of Assassins, Batman met the beautiful Talia al Ghul when he rescued her from Doctor Darrk. Ra's al Ghul determined his secret identity through logical deduction and confronted him after Talia had been kidnapped again alongside Robin. Realizing that Ra's was behind this as a personal test, Batman confronted him and fought his bodyguard Ubu. Ra's explained that he was making sure he had found a worthy successor in the detective, as Talia had fallen in love with him. Batman eventually came to the conclusion that Ra's is a dangerous criminal who must be stopped at all costs, and declared war on him.
Batman quit the League when they refused to help him rescue Lucius Fox from Baron Bedlam in Markovia for political reasons. Determining that he needed a new team more concerned with justice than the way they were viewed by the world, he created the Outsiders as a black ops super-team to go where the League couldn't. This team involved Black Lightning, Geo-Force, Halo, Katana and Metamorpho.
Justice League International
Legends saw a new group of heroes form to fight against G. Gordon Godfrey after Justice League Detroit was disbanded, and they decided to form a new League together. Batman gathered Black Canary, Blue Beetle, Captain Marvel, Doctor Fate, Doctor Light, Guy Gardner, Martian Manhunter and Mister Miracle in the Secret Sanctuary to take leadership of them as a team. Maxwell Lord convinced the United Nations to grant them an international charter and they become Justice League International.
Jason Todd, Robin II
When Dick Grayson reached maturity, Bruce forced him to retire from the Robin persona. Shortly after this decision, Batman came across a young boy called Jason Todd, who had turned to crime out of necessity. Batman tried to help him by placing him at Ma Gunn's school, which was in fact a criminal hideout. Investigating Jason's background, Batman learned that the boy was an orphan. When Batman checked upon Jason, he realized the truth about the school and stopped the criminals with help from Jason, after which Batman took him under his wing and allowed him to become his new Robin.
With Jason as the new Robin, the new Dynamic Duo stopped various criminals like Two-Face, Magpie, the Penguin, Mime the Crime Doctor and Deacon Blackfire. Batman also worked together with Talia to stop the Penguin from spreading a lethal drug.
Around this time, Batman also confronted numerous threats on his own and faced new criminals like The Ventriloquist, The KGBeast, The Ratcatcher, The Corrosive Man and Kadaver, Cornelius Stirk and the Dumpster Slasher.
A Death in the Family
Over time, Batman realized Jason was behaving more aggressive towards criminals and this violence wound up being the cause of the death of a criminal. When Jason became an inconvenience while fighting crime, Batman restricted him from going out as Robin. In the meantime, Joker had escaped from Arkham and Batman followed the trail of the madman to the Middle East, where he also found Jason. Batman learned that Jason was looking for his real mother and when their missions crossed, they worked together to foil Joker's plans. Although they couldn't capture the Joker, Jason was reunited with his mother, Sheila Haywood. Unfortunately, she was being blackmailed by the Joker and the Dynamic Duo had to separate to deal with a double threat by the madman. While Batman went on to stop a deadly cargo of Joker Venom, Robin tried to save his mother, but he was captured and beaten by the Joker.
By the time Batman arrived at the crime scene, the warehouse where Jason and his mother were locked exploded and Batman couldn't save either of them. After dealing with the funeral arrangements for them, Bruce returned to Gotham, where he tracked down the Joker to the United Nations Building and learned the madman had become an Ambassador, which granted him diplomatic immunity. Batman was soon confronted by Superman, who was asked to prevent Batman from starting an international incident by attacking the Joker. Despite this, Batman continued his investigation and he confirmed Joker's involvement in Jason's death. Finally, when the Joker attempted to murder the people at the UN Building, he was stopped by Batman and Superman, but on his escape attempt, he fell to his apparent demise, but his body was not found.
Loner Vigilante and Tim Drake, Robin III
After the death of Jason, Batman mourned his loss and became a loner for quite a while; stopping threats like the alien invasion, Mr. Freeze, the League of Assassins, the Bonecrusher, Two-Face, and solving other minor cases. Batman also faced other strange incidents like the mysterious “Batman Killings”, the mystery of Tulpa, an ancient, dark and mystic ritual with help from the Demon, Etrigan, the threat of the Mud Pack, which resulted in the creation of the Ultimate Clayface, and finally he stopped the misguided vigilante Anarky. During one of his last acts as a loner, Batman was forced to take back Arkham Asylum from the many maniacs who had taken over the institution.
Following the death of Jason Todd, Batman became much more violent and aggressive while coping with the tragedy without someone to balance him out. A young man named Tim Drake figured out his secret identity using detective work, and determined that he needed a Robin to keep his darkness in check, just as Two-Face reappeared with new plans to kill the Dark Knight. Drake begged Dick Grayson to go back to his identity as Robin again when he was needed most. After explaining that he had deduced their identities by following Grayson's acrobatic career to Dick and Alfred Pennyworth, Tim was taken into the Batcave where it was suggested that he become the new Robin. Batman and Nightwing tracked down Two-Face, and he caught them in his underground death-trap. Tim took the Robin costume to rescue them and succeeded, although Batman argueed that he no longer needed a side-kick. Begrudgingly, as he proved himself and helped them defeat Two-Face, Bruce agreed to start training Tim Drake and take him on as his new crime-fighting partner.
Prelude to Knightfall
Batman (at the onset of a personal psychological mid-life crisis) was forced to deal, in rapid succession, with the returning villain Black Mask and his gang (who targeted Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox), a crazed killer called Metalhead,, and a sharpshooter assassin hired by Vincent Morelli to murder Commissioner Gordon. Batman began to feel he had lost his edge, especially after his failure to capture Black Mask. He found himself unable to meditate or even focus. As Bruce Wayne, he contacted holistic therapist Shondra Kinsolving for treatment. He also assigned Tim Drake to train Jean-Paul Valley in detective work to aid them as an ally, hoping he could prevent him from becoming a villainous threat. Despite the advice of everyone in his life, including Dr. Kinsolving, Bruce refused to rest, and continued to pursue his self-imposed duty despite his worsening condition. Bruce's condition was worsened by The General usurping power in Gotham's underworld and assaulting a police station, Cypher attacking companies' CEOs and The Riddler creating chaos in Gotham. Meanwhile, Robin found it difficult to work with Jean-Paul, due to the man's violent subconscious training and lack of social skills, and also found himself being shut out from working alongside Batman.
Bane, a brilliant tactical mastermind who had trained his body to physical perfection, came to Gotham City and dedicated himself to destroying Batman and taking over his territory. This villain was more driven and powerful than anyone he had ever faced before, and wanted to prove himself by defeating and breaking Batman. At their first meeting, Bane did not introduce himself but said that his name would eventually make him beg for mercy. Batman suggested that if he was threatening him, he should get in line behind everyone else.
Broken BatBane began his assault by organizing a massive break-out at Arkham Asylum with the help of his henchmen Bird, Trogg and Zombie. Aware that he would lose in a direct assault against Batman, Bane's plan consisted of weakening Batman by forcing him to deal with the deadly villains simultaneously. Among the freed inmates, there were numerous high-profile villains, which Batman took down one by one. Batman faced against great criminals like Poison Ivy, the Joker and the Scarecrow, as well as many lesser known villains, such as the Mad Hatter, The Ventriloquist, Amygdala, Firefly, Cavalier, and Mr. Zsasz. The scenario created a rift in the relationship between Robin and Batman, as Batman irrationally sought to face the outbreak alone -- Robin later asked Batman if he was even needed as his sidekick anymore. Batman became weaker and weaker as each criminal was put away. The rescue of Mayor Krol from the combination of the Joker and Scarecrow took Batman to his mental and physical limit: a dose of Scarecrow's fear gas made him relive the murder of Jason Todd, which he considered to be his greatest failure.
After saving the Mayor, Batman was confronted by Trogg, Zombie and Bird and he took them out with the last amount of energy left in him. Bane finally confronted him by breaking into Wayne Manor when Batman was at his weakest, beating him nearly to death in his weakened state and breaking his spine. Bane took his body downtown to Gotham Square and threw it from a rooftop to demonstrate his superiority to the populace. With Batman incapacitated, Bane assumed control of Gotham City's underworld and took over several illegal operations within it.
Who Rules the Night
After his defeat, Batman was rescued and his injuries were treated in the Batcave. When Bruce woke up, he was moved upstairs to Wayne Manor and Alfred summoned Dr. Shondra Kinsolving to tend Bruce's injuries, telling her that they happened in a car crash. As the city was in need of Batman, Bruce asked Jean-Paul to fill in for him, much to Tim's dismay. Around this time, Bruce started to develop feelings for Shondra and considered revealing his secret to her. Unfortunately, Shondra was kidnapped along with Jack Drake and Bruce couldn't stop the kidnappers, even though he tried.
Bruce investigated the evidence left behind by the kidnappers and with Oracle's help, he tracked them to the island of Santa Prisca. It was then that Bruce and Alfred started their quest to find Dr. Kinsolving and Jack Drake and upon arriving at Santa Prisca, Bruce acknowledged his love for Shondra.
Once in Santa Prisca, Bruce was joined by Bronze Tiger, Gypsy and Green Arrow; all temporary members of the Justice League Task Force. Working together, they tried to rescue Shondra and Jack, but they failed and the hostages were moved out of the island.
Bruce then tracked Shondra and Jack to London, as he learned about Shondra's connection to Benedict Asp. Disguised as an old aristocrat, Bruce investigated Asp's residence and failed to rescue Shondra, as he came to the wrong conclusion that she was criminally involved with Asp. Bruce managed to rescue Jack Drake, but learned that Shondra was somehow involved in the murder of an entire village and he swore to bring her to justice.
When his efforts to locate Shondra proved futile, Bruce dug into her past and managed to locate Shondra's foster mother, who revealed much about her past, before she was killed similarly to the people of the village. Bruce and Alfred returned to Gotham, where Bruce was told by doctors to rest. Despite this, Bruce was compelled to track down Asp and Shondra, which caused Alfred's resignation due to Bruce's recklessness. Using the identity of Sir Hemingford Gray, Bruce forced Asp to come to him as the criminal kidnapped Bruce. Asp took Bruce to his hideout, where he was reunited with Shondra and Bruce tried to rescue her, leading to a confrontation between Asp, Bruce and Shondra. Confused and still under the effects of drugs, Kinsolving tried to heal her brother, but instead she killed him. Filled with regret, Shondra used her powers to completely heal Bruce from his broken back. Unfortunately, the experience was too much for her mind and her psyche returned to that of a child permanently. Bruce Wayne bought a big residence, where Kinsolving could spend the rest of her days under the best medical care.
Finally back in Gotham, Bruce learned of the disastrous effects of Jean-Paul's actions as Batman and he decided to reclaim the mantle of the Bat. However, Bruce's physical condition was deteriorated after months of inactivity and he decided to start an intensive training to confront Jean-Paul and take back the mantle of Batman.
In order to regain his lost skills, Bruce sought help from the only master fighter he trusted: Lady Shiva. After weeks of rigorous training, Shiva wanted Bruce to learn a dealy technique, but when he refused, set a plan in motion in which Bruce would fight the Disciples of the Armless Master, who was murdered by Shiva as she wore the Mask of Tengu. Shiva then gave the mask to Bruce in order to lure the Disciples to him. Bruce confronted the first two Disciples and although they proved to be a great challenge, Bruce managed to defeat them, regaining some of his lost skills. However, he knew that it was not enough and he continued Shiva's trials. Like this, Bruce defeated the rest of the Disciples and every match became much easier than the last one, with minor exceptions in which luck was on Bruce's side.
On the final confrontation, Bruce realized that Shiva wouldn't stop sending fighters his way to challenge him unless he used the deadly technique she taught him. In order to get rid of her, Bruce pretended to use the leopard blow and deceived her, officially ending his training. Knowing that he was finally ready, Bruce dons the Batsuit, marking the return of the real Batman.Taking Nightwing and Robin along, Bruce tracked down Jean-Paul and confronted him in order to claim back his rightful position as Batman. Jean-Paul put up a fight and the struggle attracted the attention of the authorities. As the building they chose to battle was slowly consumed by the flames, they attached the Batrope to a nearby helicopter, which dragged them to the Gotham Bridge. The fight continued over the bridge, where Bruce managed to get the upper hand and caused Jean-Paul's drop into the river. After saving the people on the chopper, Batman tried to use the Batmobile, but it exploded due to a trap prepared by Jean-Paul.
Bruce avoided the explosion in the last minute and after talking to Robin, he went to Wayne Manor to challenge Jean-Paul for the last time. Bruce tried to talk sense into Jean-Paul, but he wouldn't listen and a confrontation started. Bruce managed to avoid violence and eventually forced Jean-Paul to remove his armor and admit his defeat. Bruce showed mercy at the end and allowed Jean-Paul to leave and start a new life while he continued with his own. After this victory, Bruce decided to return to the role of Batman, even though it might not be absolutely permanent.
The Timestream was damaged by Extant and Parallax working together, causing time to deteriorate and reality to break down throughout history during the Zero Hour crisis. A new Batgirl appeared from an alternate timeline where she had never been crippled, and went on to get romantically involved with Bruce. Alfred was temporarily replaced with his Earth-Two counterpart Alfred Beagle. There was another timeline he saw in which his parents were never killed by Joe Chill, and he wasted the time he could've spent with them tracking the mugger down anyway. Batman was killed by an entropy fissure that opened right on top of him as the universe died. The timeline was then rebooted at the Big Bang with changes in history that caused slight differences in Batman's continuity.
Bruce reaffirmed his partnership with Tim, resolving the tension caused by Bruce's unwillingness to accept help during the Arkham prison break. Bruce passed the mantle of Batman to Dick Grayson so he could re-evaluate what it would take to restore his perceived aura of invincibility.
Because of previous events, considerable time passed before Commissioner Gordon restored his trust in the idea of a Batman working for good. Gordon could tell that he was not looking at the original Batman (based on Jean-Paul's costume and Dick's height, and the fact that Jean-Paul was more than ready to kill people), and he refused to place blind trust in a costume after spending so long learning to trust the man. Numerous loose ends were tied up during this time, with Killer Croc, the Ventriloquist, Ratcatcher and Two-Face, along with many other, less notorious released inmates being returned to prison. During his time as Batman, Dick avenged his worst mistake from his days as Robin, when a mistake in a confrontation with Two-Face caused a man to die and nearly killed Bruce. He also came to appreciate the incredible physical and mental burden Bruce placed on himself in donning the Batsuit. During this time, a firm bond arose between Dick and Tim as they shared Wayne Manor together in Bruce and Alfred's absence.
When Bruce finally returned for good, he wore a sturdier (made of Kevlar), darker Batsuit and drove a new, state-of-the-art Batmobile. He again fought Colonel Vega, KGBeast and Dark Rider, in order to foil a plot to nuke Gotham City with a device the size and shape of a baseball. Batman made changes to his life as Bruce Wayne, his relationships with his 'family', planned to live without Alfred, and coped with the decision of making Jean-Paul his replacement.
Shortly after Batman's comeback, Azrael sent him a video tape showing the effects of a deadly and highly contagious virus named Ebola Gulf-A. Azrael told Batman that there would be an outbreak of the virus if he didn't stop it on time. The virus spread too fast among the citizens of Gotham and it was impossible for Batman and his allies to find a cure or develop a serum from the survivors' blood. The "clench", as the virus was known, decimated the population of Gotham and even Tim Drake was infected. The city was quarantined and the national guard was sent to control all of Gotham's access. It was later revealed that the Order of St. Dumas was responsible for creating the virus and for setting it free into the world. Azrael, together with Sister Lilhy, translated an old book from the Order of St. Dumas that contained the recipe to create a cure for the virus. Azrael delivered the cure to Gotham and the city was saved. The virus was under control, or at least it seemed that way.
The Ebola Gulf-A virus was not completely cured from those who were infected; it mutated into something more deadly. Batman sought Azrael's help on where to search for further information on the virus in order to develop a true cure. Batman's investigations lead him to Sudan where he had to face two of his deadliest enemies. Ra's al Ghul joined forces with Bane in order to spread a new strain of the virus taken from the Wheel of Plagues. Batman, Nightwing and Robin traveled around the world to prevent the League of Assassins from spreading the virus in major cities like Paris, Edinburgh, Calcutta, and Gotham City. Once in Gotham, Batman and Bane faced each other in a long awaited rematch, but this time Batman defeated Bane and saved Gotham from the menace of Ra's' new virus. With Oracle's help, Batman managed to find a cure, although a great number of citizens had died from the mutated virus. Bane appeared some time later with a new threat to Gotham: a nuclear weapon. Batman, Nightwing and Robin successfully stopped Bane and restored Gotham's normal "peace".
New World Order
Brought together through a fight against Doctor Destiny, Aquaman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman and Wonder Woman realized that Earth needed its greatest heroes working together and reformed the Justice League of America. Their first challenge was to prove themselves against a new superhero team called the Hyperclan who attempted to discredit them. Although the team were nearly overpowered by the Clan, Batman was able to outmanoeuvre the clan and expose their true identity as the White Martians, and the League stopped them from taking over the planet.
Gotham City was completely destroyed by an earthquake that reached magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter scale. Batman was trapped inside of his cave at the time and was nearly killed by falling rocks. The only properties that were not affected by the quake were those owned by Wayne Enterprises, not including Wayne Manor for geographic reasons. With his car crushed, Bruce was forced to scuba through underground streams before getting to the harbor and seeing his city in flames. Blackgate Prison had a break-out in the chaos, and Batman was able to put a stop to the rioting although many villains escaped in the process. He enlisted the Penguin's influence on organized crime to incorporate local gangsters into the rescue efforts for survivors in the wreckage. Teaming up with the GCPD he adopted the guise of Detective Hawke so he could drag people to safety in the daylight. A new villain named Quakemaster claimed to have generated the disaster, and held the city hostage for several million dollars, threatening to hit them again if they did not comply. In reality he had kidnapped seismologist Jolene Relazzo and was using her knowledge to plausibly take credit. Robin figured out that Quakemaster was a fraud; in reality it had been the Ventriloquist, and he was swiftly defeated. After the situation was stabilized, the body count had reached over one hundred thousand people. There were mass graves dug to burn the corpses and prevent spread of disease.
Mr. Wayne Goes to Washington
Bruce Wayne was called upon as Gotham's top citizen to speak on their behalf in front of the United States Congress in Washington, applying for federal assistance. His main competition was the ruthless and corrupt Senator Barclay Means. Nicholas Scratch also launched a smear campaign, attempting to convince America that the city wasn't worth saving. Bruce's testimony was a great speech delivered from the heart about the spirit of Gotham, its importance and the strong will of its people in dealing with adversity and helping to make the nation great. However, the negative sentiment was too great. There was not enough money in the federal budget, and they arrived at the conclusion that the negative elements would have to be isolated. Right before the ending of the trial, Mayor Grange was gunned down by an assassin. Everyone still living within city limits was given 48 hours to leave, excluding anyone with known connections to the criminal element. After that the bridges leading inside were destroyed, and the national guard was stationed to make sure that no one else got in or got out. Jeremiah Arkham was forced to release all the dangerously insane patients from Arkham Asylum into the streets.
No Man's Land
In response, the U.S government declared Gotham a "no man's land," destroyed all bridges leading to Gotham and forbade people from entering or exiting. The city was swiftly carved up by gangs and various supervillains Batman had battled over the years. Jim Gordon and several members of the Gotham police department stayed behind to protect civilians. Oracle and Huntress also ended up on the inside. Bruce Wayne left the city to lobby the government not to cut Gotham off, but failed. Gordon and his men waited for Batman's return, but by the time he returned more than three months later, they believed he had abandoned Gotham.
Huntress attempted to keep order, fashioning a Batgirl costume. She soon discovered that criminals feared her more as Batgirl than they did Huntress and succeeded in holding territory of her own. When Batman returned, he allowed her to continue to use the costume. However, when she failed to hold off Two-Face and his army of men and lost Batman's territory, she abandoned the costume.
Batman and James Gordon's officers worked separately to reclaim Gotham, piece by piece, by beating and subduing the gang leaders and then marking the reclaimed territory with graffiti. Poison Ivy took up residence in Robinson Park and Batman allowed her to remain there as long as she cared for the local orphans and distributed food.
Gordon allied with Two-Face, but Two-Face betrayed their alliance. Two-Face also hired David Cain to kill Gordon, but Cain was thwarted by his daughter Cassandra. Cassandra later took up the mantle as the third Batgirl to help clean up No Man's Land. Later, Two-Face kidnapped Gordon and put him on trial for breaking the alliance. Police officer Renee Montoya reached out to Two-Face's Harvey Dent persona, whose defense led to Gordon's acquittal. Dent's questioning concluded that Two-Face had essentially blackmailed Gordon into the alliance, hence making any alliance between them void.
The turning point for No Man's Land came when Lex Luthor arrived with helicopters to rebuild Gotham. However, Luthor's covert plan was to take the deeds and much of the property in Gotham, since the original deeds had been destroyed, and many of the owners had died in the earthquake. Lucius Fox discovered the original documents and notified Luthor. Luthor then attempted to kill Fox, but Batman intervened and told Luthor that Gotham was not for sale, warning him to leave.
The United States government reversed the No Man's Land order and allowed Gotham to rejoin the United States. Gordon and his surviving police officers were promoted. The Joker attacked police sergeant William Pettit's compound, killing Pettit and leaving the Huntress badly injured. The Joker later kidnapped all of Gotham's babies. When Sarah Essen-Gordon discovered the babies, the Joker murdered her. Batman later convinced a grief-stricken Commissioner Gordon not to kill the Joker, who gloated at Gordon about murdering his wife. Gordon shot Joker through one of his kneecaps instead and let Batman take him away to be incarcerated.
Tower of Babel
Realizing how dangerously wrong things could go if any of his friends were mind controlled or manipulated into doing evil, Batman began to study their weaknesses and develop contingency plans to neutralize them. Talia al Ghul broke into the Batcave and stole the plans from the Batcomputer. Ra's al Ghul began using these special methods to incapacitate every member of the League, while distracting the detective by stealing his parents' corpses. Ra's' plan was an attempt to thin the world's population using a machine that destroyed people's ability to process language worldwide. Bursting into the League of Assassins' base to fight Ra's and prevent his parents from being lowered into a Lazarus Pit, Batman realized that his plans had been stolen and warned everyone else. Recovering from defeat, the Justice League saved their aggression towards Batman's controversial actions and fought back with help from a defecting Talia. After saving the world, they voted to dismiss Batman from the League on grounds of distrust. Superman eventually convinced him that he needed to regain the team's trust to be accepted again, and Batman returned by revealing his secret identity to the rest of his allies.
Bruce Wayne: Fugitive
Bruce Wayne and his bodyguard Sasha Bordeaux were framed for the murder of Bruce's girlfriend, radio talk show host Vesper Fairchild. There was a trial and they were unable to defend themselves without revealing their secret identities. Escaping from custody, Bruce determined that he would become Batman permanently and allow Bruce Wayne to disappear completely. Eventually he realized that he was wrong to think he didn't benefit from the companies of his allies, and they proved his innocence by determining that the man who framed him was David Cain.
Tim Drake was forced to give up his career as Robin when his father Jack Drake discovered his identity. Stephanie Brown, formerly Spoiler, sought out the position and Batman agreed to take her on as his new Robin. She was fired shortly afterwards for disobeying his orders during a fight with Scarab.
Trying to impress Batman in the hopes of changing his mind, Spoiler activated one of his contingency plans to unite the entire Gotham underworld under Matches Malone, not realizing it was one of Bruce's other identities. The meeting between the big bosses turned bad and there was a shootout, creating a massive power vacuum in the city. Black Mask ended up taking control of organized crime throughout the entire city.
City of Crime
Batman had to deal with a new wave of old and new criminals in Gotham, all alone. One night, the death of a young girl named Haddie McNeil made Batman feel guilty and after capturing those responsible, a fire started at Crime Alley. After saving the most people he could at the fire, Batman tried to relieve his guilt over Haddie's death by taking the case of a missing girl by the name of Cassie Welles. On his quest to find this girl, Batman realized that there were many villains involved in the crime including the Penguin, Mister Freeze, the Ventriloquist, and a new threat: an army of men made of dirt. After this discovery, Batman tracked Freeze down and rescued a kidnapped girl from the psychopathic villain. Shortly after, Batman investigated an attack on the Ventriloquist and later he learned of Cassie's death. In a quest to find the truth he investigated the body and discovered that it wasn't the real Cassie. The army of masked attackers struck again and they revealed themselves as The Body. Batman was saved by the Penguin, who told Batman vital information about this new enemy.
Batman reached Crown Point and disguised himself as Donnie Maloy, a worker at the Waterfront Construction in order to learn the truth about The Body. After a week of trying, Bruce managed to befriend the leader of Crown Point and head of workers. Investigating further, he discovered that something mysterious was happening at the nearest park. After this, Bruce witnessed a madman become the source of a contagious fear. After another unsuccessful attempt to enter the park, Bruce decided to act and took down the leader of Crown Point before calling Alfred and asking him to bring him the Batsuit. As Batman, Bruce was finally able to get inside the park. In the park Batman learned the secrets of The Body and when he left the place, he was ready for a final battle. Batman attacked The Body and led them to their own base of operations and there, he destroyed the place with a giant explosion, eliminating The Body as well. Batman found the killer of Cassie Welles and everything was back to normal.
Under the Hood
As a result of Superboy-Prime punching the walls of reality during the Infinite Crisis, Jason Todd was resurrected as an amnesiac and crawled out of his own grave, eventually being taken in by Talia al Ghul who restored his personality through a Lazarus Pit. Distraught to find that Batman had not cared enough to avenge his death against the Joker, he took on the identity of Red Hood and vowed revenge.Red Hood began terrorizing the Gotham underworld to enlist Black Mask's soldiers into his own organization, allowing the drug trade to continue under his control with stricter restrictions. Batman and Nightwing met him for the first time when he blew up a shipment of weapons on a boat they had taken down, chasing him until he released a stolen Amazo prototype to fight them. Together they improvised and destroyed the android by taking out his individual components, while Red Hood used the distraction to steal another shipment containing several hundred pounds of Kryptonite. Mister Freeze was sent to reclaim the merchandise and all four of them fought it out until the Red Hood left, saying this had been a ploy to get his lay of the land. Batman began investigating the possibility that he was Jason in disguise, talking to his friends with knowledge of resurrection including Green Arrow, Jason Blood and Zatanna. Superman helped him confirm that it realistically could have happened. Red Hood teamed up with Onyx, although he betrayed her when she tried to stop the murder of several criminals. During a climactic fight between the two men, Jason revealed himself to Bruce and explained his intention to change the face of crime-fighting. To prevent hundreds of unnecessary tragedies, he would bring death to those who deserve it. Alfred asked if the old Robin costume should be removed from the Batcave, but Bruce insisted that this didn't change anything at all. Red Hood destroyed Black Mask's skyscraper headquarters with rockets, and Deathstroke appeared to offer his Secret Society of Super-Villains' services in killing Red Hood. Captain Nazi, Count Vertigo and Hyena were the hit squad sent to kill him, and Batman was deeply conflicted over whether or not he should save his former student. Bruce and Jason teamed up to defeat the three villains, but when they were done Jason murdered Captain Nazi and escaped.
Batman learned that Red Hood had captured the Joker and was holding him hostage, while Black Mask finally got into a massive fist-fight with the Hood over territory. Bruce and Jason confronted each other in Crime Alley, where they witnessed another tragedy across the river. Chemo was dropped as a living bomb onto Bludhaven by the Brotherhood of Evil, completely eradicating it. They argued about the philosophy and morality behind the rule against killing, and Jason explained that he never blamed Bruce for failing to save him; he blamed him for letting the Joker live and continue to kill thousands of people. If their positions had been switched, Jason would not have hesitated to avenge him and put the madman down. Holding a final ultimatum, Jason gave Batman a gun and threatened to shoot the Joker unless he was lethally stopped. Having an emotional breakdown at this point, Batman ricocheted a batarang off the wall and hit his student in the neck non-fatally to save his enemy. Joker took this opportunity to grab the gun and shot the explosives inside the building, detonating a massive explosion.
- See also: OMAC Project
Batman became paranoid about the super-hero community and developed a sentient satellite called Brother Eye to help monitor them, using a database of every secret identity he was aware of. This system was stolen by Maxwell Lord of Checkmate, who wanted to eliminate all super-humans by connecting it to the O.M.A.C. Project.
During the Infinite Crisis, Batman nearly broke his most sacred law. When it appeared that Alexander Luthor had killed longtime ally Dick Grayson, Batman knocked down Luthor and threatened to kill him with a gun. Fortunately, Dick was still alive, and Batman avoided making what would have been the worst decision of his life. Regardless, the incident shook Batman's reserve, and he realized that he had crossed the line. It was time to re-evaluate his identity and retrace the steps that forged him into the man he had become.
Batman, Nightwing and Robin went across the world together following the path of Bruce's original training as a family. Seeking to rid himself of the paranoia and fear that had corrupted him, he had his personal demons cut out in a desert ritual performed by the Ten-Eyed Men. This broke him down and forced him to rebuild himself from the start. Going through a spiritual purification ordeal called the 30 Days of Thögal in Nanda Parbat, he spent a month alone in the darkness and looked deeply into his own soul through induced hallucinations.
Face the Face
Batman returned to Gotham after his year of training, completely renewed and reinvigorated. Harvey Dent was trained to fight crime in his stead, and had become the city's resident vigilante protector. Commissioner Gordon turned on the Bat-Signal again and cheering broke out in the streets. Harvey Bullock began investigating a new serial killer taking out minor villains with two shots to the head, starting with KGBeast who was found dead in an alley. Poison Ivy was the first villain to appear again, holding new political motives that led her to attack corporate executives like Lucius Fox. Magpie was also found dead. Ventriloquist was the next victim, alongside his puppet Scarface. Batman decided that he needed someone working for him who could operate regularly during the daytime, and hired detective Jason Bard permanently on retainer. Dent was the main suspect and grew enraged when he was accused, although Batman believed it was not really him. Orca was the next victim found dead in the sewers, where her corpse was mutilated by a hungry Killer Croc. The only connection was that all victims were former enforcers for the Penguin, who had recently fled town. Bard discovered the assassin was a new Tally Man when he was attacked. Driven back to insanity by internal conflict, Harvey Dent poured acid over one side of his face and reverted to his Two-Face persona. Bard defeated the new Tally Man, and had him sent to Arkham Asylum. Batman was forced to take down Two-Face, who now blamed him for turning evil again. Great White Shark was revealed to be the mastermind behind the shootings, having taken over the underworld and started running it for himself out of Arkham. Bruce also decided to adopt the recently orphaned Tim Drake legally as his son.
Batman and Son
Having virtually eliminated all super-crime in Gotham with the energy from his recent vacation, Bruce went abroad. Alfred explained that he had become so consumed by Batman he forgot how to act as Bruce Wayne, and needed to relearn. At a charity function in London he met Jezebel Jet, an intelligent fashion model and ruler of an impoverished African nation whom he falls in love with immediately. The League of Assassins attacked Batman using a legion of ninjas transformed into Man-Bats by a serum stolen from Kirk Langstrom. Talia al Ghul took him prisoner and revealed that they had a son together she never told him about, introducing him to Damian Wayne. Bruce needed to take care of the child and teach him respect while he figured out Talia's plans, as Damian proved to be spoiled and petulant. Raised by the League, he was a master martial artist and proved extremely difficult to control, beating up Tim Drake and beheading the Spook to prove he could be Robin. Batman agreed to let Damian fight at his side rather than leave him alone, with the understanding that he would follow their no killing rules and obey orders. Talia was in Gibraltar, and they took the Bat-Rocket to get there before she could follow through with her terrorist attack. This turned out to have been an elaborate ploy to bring them together as a family, in the hopes that Bruce would return to her so they could put an end to all crime by ruling the planet together. Batman refused, so she declared war on him and they both disappeared during an explosion.
Three Ghosts of Batman
Bat-Cop, a strange man dressed as Batman wielding guns, fought the Joker and shot him in the face before disappearing. Joker believed the real Batman had changed the rules of their game, and was taken to the hospital where he psychologically transformed. Reinventing himself in a much darker and more brutal persona, he became an uncompromisingly malevolent creature of hatred.Jezebel Jet pursued a relationship with Bruce, sensing a deep connection between them. Looking into the mysterious disappearance of several prostitutes involving corrupt GCPD officers, Batman found they were trying to control and cover up a massive Bat-Bane on venom and monster men serum. Reminded of the other twisted impostor, he fought the huge foe and was pounded into the pavement. After a nightmare promising that a third ghost from his past would yet haunt him, he recalled the Black Casebook; a diary documenting all of the strange and bizarre adventures from his early career which couldn't be logically explained, including a similar situation. Beating the Bat-Bane in their next fight, Batman was stopped from finding further answers by the corrupt officers and left him to be taken into custody.
Bat-Devil made his appearance by storming into GCPD Headquarters demanding the Commissioner, when he was woken up as a sleeper agent. Shooting Batman in the chest, he sent him into cardiac arrest and a near-death Bruce began to hallucinate Bat-Mite. Strapped into an operating chair in Bat-Devil's sanctum, he deliriously dreamed of his encounters with Joe Chill and having tormented him into committing suicide. This began flashbacks to his prior experiences with hallucination, including the 30 Days of Thögal and the isolation chamber experiments conducted by Doctor Hurt. The three men were revealed to have been part of an experiment that tried and failed to create another Batman in case of his death; it was conducted by Doctor Hurt, who was said to be the devil himself trying simply to destroy good men and make slaves of others. Batman broke free of his restraints and attacked Bat-Devil, who escaped as police arrived, and Bat-Bane was shot dead. Bruce considered the extreme hypothetical of an ultimate villain targeting his weaknesses through vast conspiracy unseen until it's too late, and wondered if this adversary was showing itself to him.
Club of Heroes
Many years ago Batman had been part of a club involving super-heroes inspired by his legend from around the world. Knight and Squire from England were legacy heroes after the original Knight's death at the hands of his nemesis. The Musketeer from France accidentally killed an enemy and was sent to prison, then wrote a book about it. Sioux Indian hero Man-of-Bats was a doctor and had a strained relationship with his side-kick and son Raven Red. Wingman from Sweden refused to admit his origins and claimed that he was crime-fighting a year before everyone else. El Gaucho of Argentina had become a greatly-respected hero in his own right. The Ranger from Australia had developed a darker and more violent persona to keep up with the changing face of crime. Legionary from Rome had gotten way past his prime and lived in his glory days. They were all called together to a reunion at the island mansion of billionaire John Mayhew, although no one greeted them. A man appeared on video screen wearing Mayhew's severed face, challenging them to solve the mystery of his murder and save their own lives. They were fighting the Black Glove, an organization that placed bets on the struggle between good and evil. Legionary was stabbed to death twenty-three times like Caesar by an assailant. Everyone was a suspect as the house turned into a giant death-trap, using methods common to all of their respective villains. Wingman was the next body found burned to death. Ranger was discovered to be Wingman in disguise, having faked his death by switching bodies. Mayhew was still alive and they were revealed to have worked together, taking revenge on Batman for ruining their chance at greatness by dismissing the team. After shooting Wingman in the head, Mayhew died when the Black Glove punished him for his failure and blew up the island as everyone else escaped in his plane.
Heart of Hush
Hush reappeared in Gotham to destroy his nemesis before the Black Glove could take his victory, establishing an abandoned hospital as his headquarters and filling it with loyal mental patients. Shooting Doctor Aesop unexpectedly during a fight, he promised Bruce that no other villain would be allowed to harm him. Batman cautioned his allies to become paranoid, and Hush set his plans in motion, teaming up with the Scarecrow. A young orphan named Colin Wilkes was pumped full of venom and set on a rampage to distract attention from Hush's main plot. Hush kidnapped Catwoman and surgically removed her heart, leaving her barely alive on life support. The two men fought at the hospital, and Hush explained that he would shut off Catwoman's heart if attacked again. Then he revealed that he had undergone plastic surgery to look exactly identical to Bruce Wayne. Their fight took them to the Batcave after Batman secured the heart with Doctor Mid-Nite and Mister Terrific. Hush escaped permanent defeat after an explosion crippled him, although Catwoman used her resources to hunt down his entire fortune and destroy it, leaving him bankrupt. Bruce told Selina in her hospital bed that he loved her.
The Black Glove invited Batman and Jezebel Jet to a dance of death called the Danse Macabre, having clearly discovered his secret identity. Doctor Hurt had organized villains and madmen from across the world including the Joker, Le Bossu and the Club of Villains to finally put an end to Batman. Robin believed that Bruce was slowly starting to lose his grip on reality, although Alfred insisted that there was no stronger mind in the world. Hurt announced to his team that they would be creating a work of art in the complete and utter ruination of a noble human spirit; Thomas and Martha Wayne were discredited through slander published in the Gotham Gazette and the Club was sent out to attack his allies. Bruce finally collapsed into a mental break-down when he heard the trigger phrase Zur-En-Arrh spoken aloud, and villains stormed the Batcave The attack completely destroyed his mind; he was injected with weapons grade crystal meth and street heroin and then woke up as an amnesiac derelict on the streets.
A homeless man named Honor Jackson took him in and gave him a small radio he believed to be the Bat-Radia, although this was a hallucination and Jackson had died of a drug overdose the previous day. Nightwing was captured by Scorpiana and taken to Arkham Asylum where Bossu planned to lobotomize him. Pierrot Lunaire and Swagman went after Robin. Bruce stitched a new costume called the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh with Bat-Mite as a spiritual guide. This was a contingency plan he had prepared in case there was ever a direct attack on his mind, a stream-lined back-up personality that existed as Batman without Bruce Wayne. Taking out criminals across the city at unheard-of speed, he defeated King Kraken and interrogated Charlie Caligula. Hurt began wearing Thomas Wayne's Batman Costume and claimed that he was the real Thomas Wayne, having faked his own death years ago. Jeremiah Arkham was beaten and the Black Gloves took over his asylum. Commissioner Gordon came to investigate Wayne Manor personally and found himself caught in one of El Sombrero's death traps.
The Black Glove prepared Arkham Asylum while its richest members gathered to gamble on whether good or evil would triumph. Batman fought his way inside through henchmen, although he had to make the final journey alone as Bat-Mite was his last voice of reason and could not enter the door. Damian and Talia al Ghul got involved and rescued Gordon. Batman brutally fought the enraged Joker and then unmasked in front of him when he finally saved Jezebel, although she was revealed to have been part of the conspiracy all along. Joker killed a member of the Glove and placed his bet on good triumphing over evil. Buried alive in his cowl to be raised from the grave after incurring brain damage, Batman woke up, broke out of his coffin and rose through the dirt. The Bat-Radia was activated and it had been converted to send signals instead of receive, putting the asylum into lock-down through the Batcomputer. Nightwing woke up in time to break his restraints and punch out Bossu seconds before his lobotomy. Robin brought the Club of Heroes in to help clean up the city. Hurt tried to escape in a helicopter driven by Bat-Devil after swearing to continue destroying Batman unless he submitted, but Bruce refused and took the chopper down with his bare hands. There was a massive explosion over the water, but Batman survived and continued his fight against evil.
Simyan and Mokkari held him in their Evil Factory where they sedated him and slowly drained his character. Recognizing what was happening to him, Batman broke his psyche out of telepathic restraints and fought back against the system. Making his own mind into a weapon, he used all of the pain and trauma he had experienced to destroy their machines. Every single memory that Batman had driving his motivations, all of the raw emotional energy, was more stress than anything else could tolerate and the entire complex destroyed itself and nearly everything inside.
Batman went to the Command D bunker and challenged Darkseid, the ultimate personification of evil, as the Anti-Life destroyed reality around them. Although he had made a very solemn vow about firearms, he said that he was making a once-in-a-lifetime exception and shot Darkseid in the chest with the Radion Bullet. This was a reversal of the moment when evil struck down his parents in the streets, and this time, Batman stood with his smoking gun pointed at evil himself. The last thing he said was "gotcha." Right before dying, Darkseid blasted Batman with an Omega Sanction that seemingly killed him. Arriving moments too late, Superman recovered Batman's skeletal burnt corpse. Bruce Wayne was shown to have survived the Omega Sanction, and his body had been flung backward thousands of years in time. He was trapped in the Prehistoric Era, where he was present for the death of the first man Anthro, and drew cave paintings of his own insignia.
Battle for the Cowl
Naturally, following the events of the Final Crisis that left the Batman Family without their leader, Batman's allies were in disarray, Gotham criminals took advantage of his absence, and the question stood, "Is Batman gone?" Feeling a combination of obligation and hesitation, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake-Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, and Damian Wayne debated as to what the future of the Dark Knight should be, until an estranged Jason Todd turned up, having taken a twisted cowl (reminiscent of Jean-Paul Valley's) for himself. Todd decommissioned an arrogant Damian, making Dick, Tim, and Alfred feel an even greater sense of urgency to send the Caped Crusader back on the streets. However, Dick still refused, prompting Tim to hijack an old Batsuit himself and seek out Jason and his twisted Batcave. Jason managed to defeat Tim and severely injure him, leaving only Dick and Jason as the heir to the cowl. As Alfred provided medical care for Damian and Tim was barely escaping with his life, Dick and Jason fought long and hard until Jason, vowing that he would see Dick "much sooner than you think," plummeted off of a moving train into the depths of the river below. The conclusion of this struggle found Dick accepting his role as the new Batman, with the darkest Robin yet, Damian, by his side. Tim, however, was far away from Gotham, believing that Bruce was not actually dead. He took the mantle of the Red Robin, and explored the globe for clues as to where his adoptive father was.
Superman later returned the cowl from Bruce's remains to Nightwing and Robin, to be left in a memorial similar to the one Batman made for Jason. At Alfred's insistence, no public funeral was held for Batman, and Robin, refusing to believe he was dead, prevented them from declaring Bruce Wayne dead. Wayne's body was buried in an unmarked grave next to Thomas and Martha Wayne.
Some weeks later, as Gotham City was going through a rampant crime wave following Batman's disappearance, Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, the second Flash, who had returned during the Final Crisis, met each other at Wayne's grave for a private farewell to their friend. Although Hal was somber given the loss, coupled with the earlier losses of Arthur Curry and J'onn J'onzz, Barry reminded Hal that they, Superman, and Green Arrow all died and returned, and if anyone could beat the Reaper, it was the Dark Knight. Unfortunately, soon after they left, the criminal Black Hand, dug Wayne's skull out of the ground while reciting the Black Lantern Oath. Nekron later used a Black Lantern Ring to revive the skull and build it a form to tether an emotional connection to the heroes present, and had it spit out Black Lantern Rings that attached themselves to the resurrected heroes; Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Superboy, and Kid Flash, with two more failing to reach Barry Allen and Hal Jordan. Almost immediately after, much to Hal Jordan's surprise, Nekron released the skull from the ring and it returned to normal. After the Blackest Night, Hal and Barry returned to Bruce's grave to talk about what had transpired. After stating that "dead is dead from here on out," Hal said that Batman is the exception because the Black Lantern Batman they fought did not recognize any of them and was not really Bruce, proving that Tim Drake was right; Bruce was still alive, somewhere.
Sometime after the Blackest Night, at Jason Todd's behest, Dick (apparently unaware of Hal Jordan's post-Blackest Night conclusions) immersed Bruce's body in a Lazarus Pit. The body turned out to be one of Darkseid's Batman clones that he decided to keep as a perfect replica of Batman. However, its memories were warped and unstable and it went mad. After attacking Damian, the clone burned out and died. Dick finally accepted that Bruce was still alive somewhere.
Return of Bruce Wayne
However, before going out as Batman again, Bruce took over the identity of the vigilante Insider and started meeting his past friends and allies to learn how things had changed since his departure. His return called the attention of Ra's al Ghul and after a confrontation in Gotham, Bruce decided that it was time to reclaim the mantle of the Bat.
Doctor Hurt and Professor Pyg had taken Gotham by siege, fighting Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne. After defeating the 99 Fiends together, Bruce went after Hurt and the others went after Pyg. Trapping him in his own interrogation room to listen to Alfred's death, Hurt proclaimed that he was the devil and Batman would rot in purgatory. Bursting out of the prison, he delivered a final beat-down to Hurt and went to rescue Pennyworth. The Doctor escaped outside where he was defeated by the Joker and buried alive with a giant grin on his face. Having come to a new conclusion about the direction of his fight against crime, Bruce revealed in a press conference that he had been privately financing Batman for years and went public with Batman Incorporated.
Batman gathered his closest associates Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon, Stephanie Brown, and Damian Wayne in the Batcave and gave them all new assignments as the start of an army against crime. They would make their battle ideological, fighting the idea of crime with the idea of Batman and making sure there was nowhere for evil to hide. Lucius Fox was commissioned to make a private army of Batman Robots. Bruce tried Damian out and determined that they would not work well together on missions, insisting that he continue his position with Grayson as the Batman and Robin of Gotham City. These actions drew the attentions of the Leviathan Organization.
Batman traveled to Japan with Catwoman to recruit the crime-fighter Mister Unknown. They helped Mister Unknown defeat a Leviathan agent called Lord Death Man, and Mister Unknown became the new Batman of Japan. In France, Bruce Wayne recruited a Muslim called Nightrunner to become the Batman of Paris. Batman visited Argentina to recruit El Gaucho. They battled Leviathan agents El Papagayo, El Sombrero, and Scorpiana. This trail led them to an island prison, where Leviathan had released the aging Nazi super-criminal Doctor Dedalus. Bruce continued his expansion with Batwing in Africa, Black Bat in Hong Kong, Dark Ranger in Australia, Red Robin in charge of the Outsiders, and a mysterious new Wingman. During a visit to South Dakota, Bruce helped Man-of-Bats and Raven Red deal with the Leviathan agent Red Rippa. Bruce introduced Internet 3.0 to his investors, and Oracle defended it against Leviathan cyber-attacks. Batman and Batgirl went undercover to take down an evil finishing school. They stopped Son of Pyg, who was using the school to recruit for Leviathan. Doctor Dedalus trapped the entire team in a labyrinth to drive them insane, until Robin was forced to kill Dedalus. It was revealed that Dedalus was just a distraction, and the mastermind by Leviathan was Talia al Ghul.
This section of the history takes place during Flashpoint, a massive crossover event set in an alternate timeline to the mainstream DCU. History was completely changed when Professor Zoom finally found a way to erase his nemesis the Flash without harming his own legacy.
The timeline was drastically altered by Professor Zoom during Flashpoint. In this new version of history, Bruce was shot dead by Joe Chill in Crime Alley and his parents survived. Thomas Wayne swore revenge and became Batman after savagely beating Chill to death in the streets. Martha Wayne went mad with grief and became the Joker after carving a smile into her own face. Thomas Wayne met Barry Allen and they worked together to restore the timeline. Batman killed Professor Zoom and they successfully restored history to the way it was meant to be. Before erasing himself, Thomas wrote a message to his son and had the Flash deliver it. Bruce was brought to tears by the letter detailing how proud his father would have been to see him grow up into the man he had become.
This history is continued in The New 52 at Bruce Wayne (Prime Earth).
This section of the history takes place during Convergence, a massive crossover event revisiting characters from past eras and realities. The villains Brainiac and Telos plucked them from their own timeline and stored them together, causing them to cross over into each others' reality. Its precise chronological placement and canonicity may be unclear.
Two separate versions of Batman are taken to Convergence from Pre-Zero Hour, around the time when Jean Paul-Valley was still Batman and the Pre-Flashpoint Version. The villain Brainiac stole pre-Flashpoint Gotham City and pre-Zero Hour Metropolis and put them under the custody of Telos the Living Planet. The city was surrounded by a dome that trapped everyone inside and caused all superhumans to lose their powers.
During the course of a year, Pre-Flashpoint Batman and Robin struggled to maintain order. One night, Batman and Robin protected Poison Ivy's garden, a source of good for Gotham, from the Penguin's minions, but Red Hood's arrival caused friction between the dynamic duo. Batman stopped the fight in time for the dome around Gotham to disappear. Telos announced that all of the cities he captured would fight among each other for survival, forcing Batman and his allies to confront the Extremists.
It was only by setting their differences aside that Batman and his allies survived the confrontation and defeated their opponents. Bruce admitted to Damian that he did not know much about being a father, but he loved him and that was all that mattered. Damian understood and put the argument behind them both. Later, Batman re-met Superman (Clark Kent), who had also become a father by that time. The World's Finest acknowledged their responsibilities as fathers and decided to stand together, whatever happened.
After the fall of the dome, Bruce met an alternate version of his father, who had become his world's Batman. Their interaction was short, and Bruce and Thomas left to complete their respective missions, but not without saying kind words about one another.
When the evil sorcerer Deimos announced his plans to conquer Telos, Batman and his friends formed an alliance with other heroes on Telos to stop him. Deimos' death initiated a singularity that threatened to destroy the Multiverse, but a repentant Brainiac and a group of heroes were able to stop it by preventing the First Crisis from happening in the first place. Such an action restored the multiverse and released all of Telos' prisoners back into their respective homes, allowing Batman and his friends to resume their lives.
- See also: Possible Futures
Batman, in most of his incarnations, is a dark and grim hero with a personal vendetta against criminals. Traumatized by the death of his parents, Batman has sworn to rid Gotham from the criminal elements that took his parents from him. He is very paranoid and obsessive, which often makes it difficult for him to trust other people that aren't Alfred, the Robins, or the Batgirls.
Despite this, Batman has proved to have a great love for humanity, which was instilled by his parents. His father was a doctor, while his mother was a crusader against child abuse. Indeed, Batman's oath of vengeance is tempered with the greater ideal of justice. He refrains from killing, as he feels this would not make him any better than the criminals he fights. He is also a very prominent member of the Justice League and the founder of the Outsiders.
To protect his secret identity, Batman has constructed a fake persona he can use in his civilian identity. To the world at large, Bruce Wayne is a self-absorbed, superficial, irresponsible playboy and philanthropist. Only his closest allies know that this attitude is just an act.
Who is "The Real Man?"
The Bruce Wayne/playboy aspect of his character is a facade, while the masked and particularly dark, grim vigilante is marked as the "true" man. Usually, Batman is further separated from Bruce Wayne by the raspy and stony bass voice he usually assumes while costumed. However, although even Bruce considers Batman his 'real' identity, when he briefly contemplated abandoning Bruce Wayne to live only as Batman after the murder of Vesper Fairchild, his decision to act to protect a small-time thug from being caught in the crossfire helped him recognise that Bruce Wayne was equally important to him, as that action was based on what his father would have done. When Bruce and Batman were split into separate people by the wish-granting Id, Bruce retained the memory of Thomas and Martha Wayne's deaths, leaving him angry at the world with no way to channel that rage, while Batman began to gradually lose focus, lacking any actual drive to avenge deaths he no longer truly 'remembered' even if he still had his existing skills.
Another identity used by Batman is that of gangster "Matches Malone." Matches was a small-time arsonist who killed his brother and then committed suicide by burning himself to death. Becoming Matches allows Batman to operate within the criminal community as a respected member with pre-established credibility. Matches is often under suspicion of being a snitch to Batman however, and great lengths often have to be gone to maintain his "rep." Matches would later return to Gotham City, and reveal to Batman he had been innocent, and had faked his death. The real Matches was murdered by the Ventriloquist, for Batman's actions in his name, but Batman was able to preserve the identity and even avenge his death. He has since, when in the Malone persona, pursued it to the point of even being incarcerated as him in Blackgate Penitentiary.
Wayne guards his secret identity well, but several individuals know of his superhero alter-ego, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Lois Lane, The Flash (Jay Garrick, Barry Allen & Wally West), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner & Alan Scott), Aquaman (Arthur Curry), The Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz), Plastic Man (Patrick "Eel" O'Brien), Starman (Thom Kallor), Vixen (Mari McCabe), Zatanna Zatara, Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce), Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance), Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), Arsenal (Roy Harper), Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Catwoman (Selina Kyle), Red Hood (Jason Todd), Red Robin (Tim Drake), Oracle (Barbara Gordon), Black Bat (Cassandra Cain), Robin IV (Damian Wayne), his butler Alfred Pennyworth, and the kindly doctor Leslie Thompkins.
The villain Hush has attempted to take revenge on both sides of the Batman/Bruce Wayne persona, and he is noted throughout his run as a villain who has personal ties to Bruce Wayne and/or Batman; Hush is later revealed to be Thomas Elliot, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. Fortunately, most of Batman's enemies have dismissed the notion of Bruce Wayne as Batman because of Wayne's apparent dim-wittedness and self-absorption while the ones who do know prefer to keep the information to themselves for their own reasons. The Joker has had opportunities to learn himself, but he has always refused them, since it would personally rob the mystique of his enemy.
Relationships with allies
Batman is a normal human being who does not possess any superhuman abilities, but has character flaws that can be exploited by enemies.
As a young child, Bruce tended to be solitary and withdrawn, a condition only exacerbated by the murder of his parents. This led to his current state as a loner who would prefer to be on his own rather than rely on others. His difficulty in trusting others is a constant issue for him to overcome, and perhaps his only weakness.
His longest and closest relationship is with Alfred Pennyworth, who represents a father figure, confessor, and advisor. Alfred and he have clashed in the past, but share a deep and unbreakable bond. To the world at large, Bruce Wayne looks like a rich, good looking, dim-witted playboy. But there are times when Bruce has found love -- the beautiful Catwoman, Wonder Woman, Talia al Ghul, Vicki Vale, Sasha Bordeaux, Zatanna, and others, have all fallen in love with him. Bruce can love, it's just more difficult for him to after his parents' deaths.
Next to Alfred, his closest relationships are with his partners and students, the Robins and the Batgirls. Although they have not always been harmonious due to his nature as an often harsh, strict and emotionally withdrawn mentor, it is clear that he views the Robins as his sons, although he views Jason Todd as the son he failed.
James Gordon remains a close friend and staunch ally, although their relationship has also been challenged by Batman's secretive nature. Still, Gordon remains arguably Batman's best friend.
His relationship with other superheroes and metahumans has been complex. Though a long time member of both the Justice League and the Outsiders, and a close associate of the Justice Society and the Teen Titans, he also does not fully trust them. This (warranted or not) has led to his keeping files on how to defeat allies and friends in case they ever cross the line. This stems from events revealed in the Identity Crisis incident where his memory was erased by other members of the Justice League to cover up their roles in the mindwiping of Doctor Light, who had raped Ralph Dibny (Elongated Man)'s wife Sue. In the past, this information has been used against him and his allies, first by Ra's al Ghul, and then later by the OMAC Project.
Among the superhero community outside the Robins and Batgirls, he is closest to Superman and Wonder Woman, having a long established partnership with both heroes, as well as a romantic relationship with Wonder Woman. These relationships have never been smooth. Superman and Batman have often disagreed with each other over methods and trust. A particularly sour point was the arrival of Kara Zor-El; Superman believed Batman was being unnecessarily cautious about a potentially dangerous Kara, and Batman was shocked at Superman's willingness to reveal his secret identity to a girl with little actual memory of Krypton. Despite their disagreements, the two hold a deep respect for each other, to the extent that Superman has trusted Batman with a Kryptonite Ring to use against him in the event that the Man of Steel should fall under another's control, or simply turn against the world on his own.
Among all of the detectives in the super hero community, Batman appreciated Barry Allen's optimistic outlook; a man who saw his work as protecting the innocent, instead of damning the guilty.
Batman has occasionally been arrogant, treating many of his allies with various degrees of disrespect. He often imposes his exacting standards on others as he does himself. He also sometimes overestimates his own abilities, allowing foes to take advantage of that.
For the most part, Bruce does not engage in serious romance, preferring to focus in his superhero duties instead. However, Bruce occasionally softens his heart and has been romantically involved with the following women:
- Catwoman: Quite possibly Batman's best-known romance, the master thief Catwoman has been Batman's lover at several points of his life. Selina Kyle was inspired to don the costume of the Cat after seeing Batman in action, and later proved herself as both an adversary and ally to Batman. The two regularly flirted in costume and also dated in their civilian identities as socialites on occasion, though Selina was then unaware of Bruce's identity as Batman. After years of attraction, Bruce confided in Selina by telling her of his identity, and the two pursued a relationship. This was short-lived as Bruce determined that his commitment to justice could not allow him to get so close with anyone else. Despite this, they remain close friends and reliable allies. Catwoman's morally ambiguous nature represents a gray area in Batman's otherwise black and white life.
- Jezebel Jet: The supermodel and leader of a small nation in Africa, Jezebel Jet dated Bruce Wayne and eventually discovered his identity as Batman. She was later revealed to be an agent of the criminal organization Black Glove, who were plotting Batman's demise. She was killed at the hands of another of Wayne's lovers, Talia al Ghul.
- Julie Madison: Julie is the daughter of Norman Madison, a wealthy entrepreneur. She began a relationship with Bruce Wayne, but after discovering her lover's true identity, she left Gotham and joined the Peace Corps, relocating to Africa to help the needy as a missionary.
- Sasha Bordeaux: Officially hired as Bruce Wayne's bodyguard due to the demands of Wayne Enterprises, Sasha eventually learned the truth about his identity as Batman and assisted him on patrols until the two were accused of the murder of Vesper Fairchild. Although she kept Bruce's secret and never implicated him in the murder, the conclusion that she had been used prompted her to part company with him. The two later shared a kiss, but their relationship never progressed further than that.
- Shondra Kinsolving: Shondra was a doctor who helped Bruce Wayne to recover from his back injuries inflicted by Bane. Bruce started to develop feelings towards her and was ready to tell her about his secret identity as Batman, but she was kidnapped by her brother Benjamin Asplin. Bruce traveled around the world in his crippled state to find her and confess his feelings for her. When he finally found her, Bruce asked Shondra to marry him. After a struggle with her brother, Shondra was left mentally unable and Bruce took her to a care center, ensuring that she could have everything she needs.
- Silver St. Cloud: A wealthy Gotham socialite, Silver St. Cloud first met Bruce Wayne at a private party. They entered a romantic relationship and Silver later deduced Bruce's secret identity, causing her to break off the relationship as she couldn't bare the thought of losing him as a result of his crusade. Years later, the two met again and rekindled their romance, with Silver becoming accepting of his role as Batman. Her life was cut short, however, when the villain Onomatopoeia slit her throat.
- Talia al Ghul: Talia al Ghul is the daughter of the immortal terrorist and leader of the League of Assassins, Ra's al Ghul. Talia first met the Dark Knight when he rescued her from a usurper within the League of Assassins. She fell in love with the Batman, and Ra's al Ghul considered him the only man worthy of marrying his daughter and producing an heir to the League. This began a tumultuous relationship between Bruce and Talia, with her being as often an enemy to Batman as she is a lover. Talia later assumed control of the League of Assassins and introduced Bruce to his only biological child, a son she bore and raised in secret named Damian. After her plan to unite Bruce to her cause and rule the world at her side failed, Talia declared war on Batman. She led the Leviathan Organization and became a fierce foe in her own right.
- Vesper Fairchild: A popular radio talk show host in Gotham, Bruce and Vesper went on several dates, with Bruce acknowledging that he had deep feelings for her even if he tried to repress them. They were separated when Vesper left Gotham during No Man's Land, and her life was subsequently cut tragically short when she was killed by David Cain as part of a plan to frame Bruce Wayne for her murder.
- Vicki Vale: A reporter, photographer and television personality, Vicki Vale has been romantically involved with Bruce Wayne on multiple occasions. After his disappearance at the same time as Batman's, Vicki theorized that Bruce and Batman were one and the same. After presenting her findings to Bruce and proving her theory correct, she destroyed all evidence of his secret and offered to help him in his efforts.
- Wonder Woman: Diana spent a lot of time combat training against Batman alone together in the JLA, and this eventually developed into a flirtatious relationship. They were trapped in the past together during the Obsidian Age, and Diana nursed him back to health from the brink of death. They also shared a kiss together before what they believed was their final battle. The two set up their first date at Wayne Manor, but Bruce couldn't make it because he was crime-fighting. Eventually when they discussed their relationship together, they came to the conclusion that although they both loved each other, it would be best for them to remain friends. The events of the Blackest Night showed that Diana still has strong feelings for Bruce, as the strength of her love towards him allowed her to become a member of the Star Sapphire Corps.
- Zatanna Zatara: Bruce met Zatanna when he began training alongside her father, the powerful magician Giovanni Zatara. They maintained a close friendship as superheroes and partners, but had a major falling out after Bruce's discovery that Zatanna had mindwiped him at the request of the JLA. They eventually reconciled, and after Zatanna asked him why their relationship had never progressed further into romance, Bruce responded by telling Zatanna he hadn't wanted to bring her into his dark world.
- Indomitable Will: Although he has no superhuman powers, Batman's unstoppable determination and strength of will make him an extremely formidable opponent. This makes him able to function while tolerating massive amounts of physical pain, and also allows him to resist telepathy or mind control. His willpower is strong enough to operate a Green Lantern Ring when necessary.
- Intimidation: It is widely known that Batman has the ability to instill fear in others, to the extent that even the people that know him best are intimidated by him. Batman regularly forces common criminals to flee in terror despite there being no evidence that he would actually kill anyone. Even those who aren't afraid of the likes of Superman fear Batman. His ability to inspire great fear made him eligible for induction into the Sinestro Corps, although he was able to fight off the power ring's control.
- Interrogation: Batman is adept in interrogation techniques, often using law enforcement methods as well as torture. Several methods seen include hanging a person over the edge of a building by one leg or chaining a person upside down and beating them. He usually just uses his frightening appearance to get answers. Bruce summarized his methods with the statement: "Fear is an excellent motivator."
- Peak Human Condition: Through intense training, a specialized diet, and biofeedback treatments, Batman represents the pinnacle of human physical prowess. His physical attributes exceeded that of an Olympic level athlete. His strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes and coordination are at peak human perfection. Batman began his physical and mental conditioning when he was 11 and then intense physical training and weight lifting at age 12. He had mastered full body control by the time he was 18. Bruce Wayne, since the age of 15, has followed a strict diet to enable his body to develop and operate at its most proficient, along with biofeedback treatments (using portable/non portable machines to stimulate muscles to contraction). Batman has performed amazing physical feats due to his superior physique. He engages in an intensive regular regimen of rigorous exercise (including aerobics, weight lifting, gymnastics, and simulated combat) to keep himself in peak condition, and has often defeated opponents whose size, strength, or other powers greatly exceeded his own. He has spent his entire life in pursuit of physical perfection and has attained it through constant intensive training and determination.
- Peak Human Strength: Batman regularly bench-presses at least 1000 lbs. during his exercise routine. This allows him to be capable of amazing feats such as punching a SWAT officer through a brick wall. He's able to break thin steel handcuffs with his bare hands.
- Peak Human Reflexes: Bruce's reflexes were honed to such a degree that he has caught one of Green Arrow's arrows in mid flight when he tried to shoot him. He has also been able to dodge point blank gunfire.
- Peak Human Speed: He can run at speeds comparable to the finest competing athletes.
- Peak Human Endurance: His endurance is comparable to that of the finest Olympic Decathlon participant. His lung capacity is so great that he could hold his breath underwater for 3 minutes and 15 seconds. He can survive in the airless vacuum of space for exactly 27 seconds.
- Peak Human Stamina: At peak capacity, Batman can physically exert himself for only approximately an hour before the build up of fatigue toxins began to impair him.
- Peak Human Agility: His agility is above than that of a Chinese acrobat and an Olympic gold medalist gymnast. His main phase of movement was Parkour which he learned in France and used to scale the city's rooftops or on widow buildings in an acrobatic manner.
- Acrobatics: He is proficient in gymnastics and acrobatics.
- Martial Arts: Bruce is well trained in multiple martial arts; he is known as the man who has mastered many forms of martial arts. His primary form of combat is an idiosyncratic admixture of Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Muay Thai, Dragon Style Kung Fu, Boxing, Jujitsu, Ninjitsu and Capoeira.
- Weaponry: Through his martial arts training, he has become an expert on all melee weaponry. Wayne has displayed exceptional sword fighting capability and proficiency with knives, sticks and various other weapons. He practices during his combat sessions to keep his skills intact, but he prefers unarmed combat.
- Stealth: His Ninjutsu training has made him a master at stealth and capable of breaching high security facilities without being detected.
- Marksmanship: Wayne is an expert marksman. He is skilled with throwing projectile weapons, archery and firearms. He has been practicing such skills since the early days of his training and is almost on par with the Green Arrow in terms of accuracy.
- Genius Level Intellect: Batman is a brilliant, virtually peerless, detective, strategist, scientist, tactician, and commander; he is widely regarded as one of the keenest analytical minds on the planet. Given his lack of superpowers, he often uses cunning and planning to outwit his foes, rather than simply "out-fighting" them.
- Polymath: He has studied Biology, Technology, Mathematics, Physics, Mythology, Geography and History. Bruce gained degrees in Criminal Science, Forensic Sciences, Computer Sciences, Chemistry and Engineering by the time he was 21. He had mastered Diverse Environmental Training, Security Systems, and illusion/sleight of hand by the time he was 23. He gained even more degrees in Biology, Physics, Advanced Chemistry, and Technology by the time he was 25. He has also learned Medical Sciences and Expanded Computer and Engineering Sciences.[original research?]
- Eidetic Memory: Batman has total recall and can remember anything in great detail.
- Investigation: He is widely considered the World's Greatest Detective, capable of observation, forensic investigation, and inductive and deductive reasoning of the highest caliber. Human intuition is an unlearnable trait and one of Batman's most effective tools. Given any mystery, he can arrive at the correct conclusions with a fraction of the data.[original research?]
- Multilingualism: He is able to speak Spanish, French, Latin, German, Japanese, English, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek, Portuguese, Arabic, Sanskrit, Hindi, Thai, Farsi, and possibly more.
- Tactical Analysis: He commonly utilizes cunning tactics to outwit his foes, relying on his plans and experience to outmanoeuvre many of his superhuman friends and adversaries. Batman is known as one of the greatest strategists and tacticians in the universe.
- Leadership: He is known for having great leadership. He is leader of the Outsiders, the Batman Family and Batman Incorporated. He is also in charge of his company, Wayne Enterprises.
- Escapology: He has been described as second only to Mister Miracle as an escape artist. He has been seen escaping from a Posey straitjacket in less than 52 seconds, and remarked afterwards that the time was way too slow for his usual standards.
- Driving: Bruce is proficient at driving many vehicles like cars, motor bikes and trucks, and he is also skillful at driving jets, helicopters, auto boats and small ships.
- Tracking: Trained in hunting techniques by African Bushmen (the Ghost Tribes of the Ten-eyed Brotherhood, among others).
- Disguise: Had mastered the art of disguise by the time he was 23. Had further learned expanded disguise techniques by the time he was 26, through various instructions from Alfred. Batman has many aliases he uses to infiltrate the underworld or just to go undercover in public situations. Among his various aliases are: Matches Malone, Thomas Quigley, Ragman, Detective Hawke, Sir Hemingford Grey, Frank Dixon, Gordon Selkirk, and Mr. Fledermaus.
- Mechanical Aptitude: Proficient at combat driving. Has learned improved vehicle designs. Was trained and proficient in basic vehicles operations.
- Mechanical Engineering: Capable of designing and creating suits of armor capable of outracing missiles and protecting the wearer from its detonation at point blank range. Also, designed and created a highly powerful suit of armor known as the Hellbat armor, the latest version of which was used by Lois Lane to gain the upper hand in a fight against a powered-up Eradicator, who had just defeated Superman.
- Business Management: Bruce Wayne has extensive skills and experience in business management, has thorough understanding of financial marketing and management and is often seen as a example of a successful industrialist and businessman on a par with Lex Luthor.
- Single-Mindedness: Batman's drive to protect Gotham has been used against him on several occasions, most notably when Bane decided to confront Batman only after wearing him down by destroying Arkham Asylum, knowing that his foe would try and capture all the escaped inmates himself and thus push himself to the brink of exhaustion.
- Batsuit: The costume Batman wears is composed of reinforced Kevlar, Nomax and a small percentage of titanium; it's bullet-proof and resistant to various types of attack (explosions, impacts, falls, etc...). It's also heatproof. The gloves and the boots are reinforced to rebound the impact of punches and kicks. The gloves also have some metallic blades on their sides. The cape is designed to provide the wearer with controlled gliding functionality with the ability to change directions and heights while in mid-air. The mask has a small percentage of lead, which shields the Batman's face from x-ray powers or x-ray technology, and incorporates an infrared and night visor, auditory sensors and a sonar. The mask is accessorized with some security systems (aggravating gas, electric blasts, etc.), like the utility belt, and integrates a transmitter receiver device for voice and video.
- Utility Belt: Batman keeps most of his personal field equipment in a signature piece of apparel: a yellow utility belt. The utility belt has a button to call the Batmobile. Over the years it has contained items such as plastic explosives, nerve toxins, batarangs, smoke bombs, a fingerprint kit, a cutting tool, a grappling hook gun, torches, a "re-breather" breathing device, and lockpicks. Superman entrusted Batman with a ring made of kryptonite, to be used should the Man of Steel ever need to be reined in (due to being mind-controlled by a villain, etc.) The Kryptonite Ring is contained in a lead pocket, in order to shield Batman from its radiations. The belt also has its own automatic security systems.
- Batman's origin story involving the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne has been retconned several times. It was originally established that the mugger had been named Joe Chill and Bruce was aware of this. Zero Hour changed this so that his identity was never revealed, symbolically strengthening the potential link between any criminal and the man who killed his parents. However, it was later revealed that Batman did know that Joe Chill had killed his parents but Chill had supposedly been killed resisting arrest. Infinite Crisis changed this slightly to where Joe Chill had been arrested the very same night but taken alive. This is expanded upon in a later story which showed Batman slowly driving Chill insane with mental torture before causing him to snap and commit suicide with the bullet meant for Bruce as a child.
- In Pre-Crisis stories Batman had been a founding member of the Justice League of America. After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, this was retconned so that the founding members of the League were Aquaman, Black Canary, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. Batman was shown to have disdain for this group. Infinite Crisis changed this again so that he had been one of the founding members along with Superman and Wonder Woman.
- Batman sired a child with Talia al Ghul during their marriage, named Ibn al Xu'ffasch. Dennis O'Neil mentioned that this story was ignored from continuity around Zero Hour because it did not fit in well with the rest of the mythos. Infinite Crisis brings most of this back into continuity with the story Batman and Son by introducing Damian Wayne and stating that Batman was drugged and raped by Talia prior to his conception.
- Batman's first appearance is in Detective Comics #27. His first Post-Crisis appearance in present continuity is during Batman: Year One in Batman #404.
- Atmahn is the name given Batman when he acquired the powers of a god and oversaw the proto Earth-1 with Superman and Wonder Woman.
- Bruce Wayne rarely drinks alcohol. Dick Grayson has mentioned that he's seen Bruce drink less times than he can count on one hand. When Stephanie Brown died, he drank Purcell's 12-year-old bourbon.
- Batman's online screenname is JonDoe297.
- Bruce Wayne's favorite meal is Mulligatawny soup.
- Notable nicknames for Batman include: The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, The World's Greatest Detective, The Masked Manhunter, The Cowled Crimefighter, and simply The Bat.
- 3,272 Appearances of Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- 2,222 Images featuring Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- 413 Quotations by or about Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- Character Gallery: Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- ↑ Batman Confidential #54
- ↑ Batman #404
- ↑ Batman #673
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Batman: Blind Justice
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Batman #431
- ↑ Robin Vol 4 31
- ↑ Detective Comics #734
- ↑ Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight, 2nd edition, 2005, DK Publishing, ISBN 0-756-61121-0 
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #70
- ↑ Detective Comics Annual #2
- ↑ Batman #405
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Batman #406
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Batman #407
- ↑ Batman and the Monster Men
- ↑ Batman: The Man Who Laughs
- ↑ Batman: Lovers and Madmen
- ↑ Detective Comics (Volume 2) #1
- ↑ Batman Annual #19
- ↑ Detective Comics Annual #8
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual #3
- ↑ Batman: Snow
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #1
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #2
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #3
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #4
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #5
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #6
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #7
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #8
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #9
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #10
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #10
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #12
- ↑ Batman: The Long Halloween #13
- ↑ Man of Steel #3
- ↑ Superman/Batman Annual #1
- ↑ Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 Justice League of America #9
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 Justice League of America (Volume 2) #0
- ↑ Batman #436
- ↑ Batman #439
- ↑ Batman: Dark Victory #9
- ↑ Batman: Dark Victory #10
- ↑ Batman: Dark Victory #11-12
- ↑ Batman #437
- ↑ Batman: Dark Victory #13
- ↑ Detective Comics #38, see excerpt
- ↑ Batman Chronicles: The Gauntlet
- ↑ Robin: Year One #1
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #0
- ↑ Robin: Year One #2
- ↑ Robin: Year One #3
- ↑ Robin: Year One #4
- ↑ Brave and the Bold #54
- ↑ Teen Titans #53
- ↑ Teen Titans: Year One
- ↑ New Teen Titans #39
- ↑ Batman #408, see excerpt
- ↑ Nightwing Secret Files and Origins #1
- ↑ Tales of the Teen Titans #44
- ↑ Batman: The Killing Joke
- ↑ Suicide Squad #23
- ↑ Detective Comics #411
- ↑ Batman #232
- ↑ Batman #242
- ↑ Batman and the Outsiders #1
- ↑ Legends #6
- ↑ Justice League #1
- ↑ Justice League International #7
- ↑ Batman #408
- ↑ Batman #409
- ↑ Batman #410
- ↑ Batman #411
- ↑ Batman #401
- ↑ Detective Comics #568
- ↑ Batman #412
- ↑ Detective Comics #579
- ↑ Batman: The Cult
- ↑ Detective Comics Annual #1
- ↑ Detective Comics #590
- ↑ Detective Comics #591
- ↑ Detective Comics #583
- ↑ Detective Comics #584
- ↑ Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast
- ↑ Detective Comics #585
- ↑ Detective Comics #586
- ↑ Detective Comics #587
- ↑ Detective Comics #588
- ↑ Detective Comics #592
- ↑ Detective Comics #593
- ↑ Batman #414
- ↑ Batman #421
- ↑ Batman #424
- ↑ 94.0 94.1 Batman #426
- ↑ Batman #427
- ↑ Batman #428
- ↑ Batman #429
- ↑ Detective Comics #595
- ↑ Batman #431
- ↑ Batman Annual #13
- ↑ Detective Comics #596
- ↑ Detective Comics #597
- ↑ Batman #430
- ↑ Batman #432
- ↑ Many Deaths of the Batman
- ↑ Detective Comics #601
- ↑ Detective Comics #602
- ↑ Detective Comics #603
- ↑ Batman: The Mud Pack
- ↑ Detective Comics #608
- ↑ Detective Comics #609
- ↑ Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth
- ↑ Batman #440
- ↑ New Titans #60
- ↑ Batman #441
- ↑ New Titans #61
- ↑ Batman #442
- ↑ Batman #484
- ↑ Batman #485
- ↑ Batman #486
- ↑ Batman #487
- ↑ Batman #488
- ↑ Detective Comics #654
- ↑ Detective Comics #655
- ↑ Detective Comics #656
- ↑ Detective Comics #657
- ↑ Detective Comics #658
- ↑ Batman #490
- ↑ Batman #489
- ↑ Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1
- ↑ Batman #491
- ↑ Batman #495
- ↑ Batman #494
- ↑ Batman #492
- ↑ Detective Comics #659
- ↑ 136.0 136.1 Detective Comics #661
- ↑ Detective Comics #662
- ↑ Batman #493
- ↑ Showcase '93 #7
- ↑ Batman #496
- ↑ Detective Comics #663
- ↑ Batman #497
- ↑ Detective Comics #664
- ↑ Detective Comics #664
- ↑ Batman #498
- ↑ Detective Comics #665
- ↑ Batman #499
- ↑ Batman #500
- ↑ Justice League Task Force #5
- ↑ Justice League Task Force #6
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #21
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #22
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #23
- ↑ Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #59
- ↑ Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #60
- ↑ Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #61
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #7
- ↑ Batman #509
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #29
- ↑ Detective Comics #676
- ↑ Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #62
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #8
- ↑ Catwoman (Volume 2) #12
- ↑ Batman #510
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #30
- ↑ Detective Comics #677
- ↑ Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #63
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #9
- ↑ Zero Hour #4
- ↑ Batman #511
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #31
- ↑ Detective Comics #678
- ↑ Zero Hour #1
- ↑ Zero Hour #0
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #48
- ↑ Azrael #16
- ↑ Detective Comics #700
- ↑ Batman: Bane
- ↑ Justice League: A Midsummer's Nightmare
- ↑ JLA #1-4
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #73
- ↑ Batman #553
- ↑ Detective Comics #720
- ↑ Batman: Blackgate - Isle of Men #1
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #74
- ↑ Nightwing (Volume 2) #20
- ↑ Batman #554
- ↑ Detective Comics #721
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #53
- ↑ Batman #560
- ↑ Batman #561
- ↑ Batman #562
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #82
- ↑ JLA Secret Files and Origins #3
- ↑ JLA #43
- ↑ JLA #44
- ↑ JLA #45
- ↑ JLA #46
- ↑ JLA #50
- ↑ Batman: The 10-Cent Adventure #1
- ↑ Batman: Gotham Knights #25
- ↑ Batman #600
- ↑ Batman #605
- ↑ Batman #608
- ↑ Batman #609
- ↑ Batman #610
- ↑ Batman #611
- ↑ Batman #612
- ↑ Batman #613
- ↑ Batman #614
- ↑ Batman #615
- ↑ Batman #616
- ↑ Batman #617
- ↑ Batman #618
- ↑ Batman #619
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #124-125
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #126
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #128
- ↑ Batman: The 12-Cent Adventure #1
- ↑ Batman #633
- ↑ Detective Comics #800
- ↑ Detective Comics #801
- ↑ Detective Comics #802
- ↑ Detective Comics #803
- ↑ Detective Comics #804
- ↑ Detective Comics #805
- ↑ Detective Comics #806
- ↑ Detective Comics #807
- ↑ Detective Comics #808
- ↑ Detective Comics #811
- ↑ Detective Comics #812
- ↑ Detective Comics #813
- ↑ Detective Comics #814
- ↑ Infinite Crisis Secret Files and Origins #1
- ↑ Batman Annual #25
- ↑ Batman #635
- ↑ Batman #636
- ↑ Batman #637
- ↑ Batman #638
- ↑ Batman #639
- ↑ Batman #640
- ↑ Batman #641
- ↑ Batman #646
- ↑ Batman #647
- ↑ Batman #648
- ↑ Batman #649
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #4
- ↑ Batman #650
- ↑ Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #7
- ↑ 52 #30
- ↑ 252.0 252.1 52 #47
- ↑ Detective Comics #817
- ↑ Batman #651
- ↑ Detective Comics #818
- ↑ Batman #652
- ↑ Detective Comics #819
- ↑ Batman #653
- ↑ Detective Comics #820
- ↑ Batman #654
- ↑ 261.0 261.1 Batman #655
- ↑ Batman #656
- ↑ Batman #657
- ↑ Batman #658
- ↑ Batman #663
- ↑ Batman #664
- ↑ Batman #665
- ↑ Batman #672
- ↑ Batman #156
- ↑ Batman #673
- ↑ Batman #674
- ↑ Detective Comics #215
- ↑ Batman #667
- ↑ Batman #668
- ↑ Batman #669
- ↑ Detective Comics #846
- ↑ Detective Comics #847
- ↑ Detective Comics #848
- ↑ Detective Comics #849
- ↑ Detective Comics #850
- ↑ Batman #675
- ↑ Batman #676
- ↑ Batman #677
- ↑ Batman #678
- ↑ Batman #679
- ↑ Batman #680
- ↑ Batman #681
- ↑ Final Crisis #1
- ↑ Final Crisis: Requiem #1
- ↑ Final Crisis #2
- ↑ Batman #682-683, see excerpt
- ↑ Final Crisis #6, see excerpt
- ↑ Final Crisis #7, see excerpt
- ↑ Blackest Night #0
- ↑ Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1
- ↑ Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2
- ↑ Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #3
- ↑ Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4
- ↑ Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5
- ↑ Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #6
- ↑ Bruce Wayne: The Road Home
- ↑ Batman and Robin #16
- ↑ Batman: The Return #1
- ↑ Batman Incorporated #1
- ↑ Batman Incorporated #2
- ↑ Detective Comics Annual #12
- ↑ Batman Annual #28
- ↑ Batman Incorporated #3
- ↑ Batman Incorporated #4
- ↑ Batman Incorporated #5
- ↑ Batman Incorporated #6
- ↑ Batman Incorporated #7
- ↑ Batman Incorporated #8
- ↑ Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1
- ↑ Flash (Volume 3) #12
- ↑ Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance #3
- ↑ Flashpoint (Volume 2) #1
- ↑ Flashpoint (Volume 2) #5, see excerpt
- ↑ Convergence: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #2
- ↑ Convergence: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #2
- ↑ Convergence: Batman and Robin #1
- ↑ Convergence: Batman and Robin #2
- ↑ Convergence #2
- ↑ Convergence #8
- ↑ Batman #588-590
- ↑ Batman and the Mad Monk #6
- ↑ Batman #497
- ↑ Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #61
- ↑ Detective Comics #470
- ↑ Detective Comics #474
- ↑ Detective Comics #476
- ↑ Batman: Widening Gyre #6
- ↑ Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive? #1
- ↑ Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Ra's al Ghul #1
- ↑ JLA #66
- ↑ JLA #70
- ↑ JLA #74, see excerpt
- ↑ JLA #78
- ↑ JLA #80
- ↑ JLA #90
- ↑ Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2, see excerpt
- ↑ Green Lantern (Volume 4) #9, see excerpt
- ↑ Green Lantern (Volume 4) #17, see excerpt
- ↑ Batman Chronicles #11
- ↑ Batman #655, see excerpt
- ↑ Batman #601
- ↑ JLA 80-Page Giant #2
- ↑ Detective Comics #834
- ↑ JLA #4
- ↑ JLA: Welcome to the Working Week
- ↑ Detective Comics #776
- ↑ Detective Comics #518
- ↑ Batman #592
- ↑ JLA #61
- ↑ Batman: Year Two
- ↑ Batman #0
- ↑ Batman: The Ultimate Evil #1
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #6
- ↑ Batman #673
- ↑ Secret Origins (Volume 2) #32
- ↑ JLA: Year One #1
- ↑ JLA: Year One #2
- ↑ Batman: Son of the Demon
- ↑ Dennis O'Neil interview at Comics Bulletin
- ↑ Batman #656
- ↑ Trinity #29
- ↑ Batman #634
- ↑ Detective Comics #845, see excerpt
- ↑ Batman #701
|Batman Family member |
This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Batman, and a member of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Batman Family members" category.
|Outsiders member |
This character is or was primarily a member of the super-hero team known as the Outsiders, in any of its various incarnations. They are a black ops team dedicated to fighting evil and taking the fall in public opinion that bigger groups like the Justice League cannot, started by Batman to avoid being crippled by public relations needs. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Outsiders members" category.
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.