- Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot -- so I have to wear a disguise that will strike terror into their hearts! I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible, like a... a... a bat!
- -- Batman
- -- Batman
Many years ago, famed Gotham City physician Dr. Thomas Wayne, and his wife Martha lived with their two sons, Thomas Jr. and the younger Bruce. Thomas Jr. was more studious introverted and reserved, while Bruce was outgoing and extroverted easily displaying his affections and emotions more freely than his older brother. It would be their distinctive personalities that would guide how the Wayne sons would react to the the tragedy that would befall their family. When Bruce was a young child, his family attended a costume fundraiser. The theme of the party was creatures of the night. Dr. Wayne decided to masquerade as a bat, and wore a costume consisting of a pointed mask, and large, dark blue scalloped wings. The impressionable Bruce admired his father's outfit and openly asked if one day he might be able to wear such a fearsome costume. Dr. Wayne had no idea how prophetic the innocent question truly was.
During the party, several gangsters raided the mansion and recognized that Dr. Wayne was a physician. Kidnapping him, they brought him to an old warehouse where he was to perform emergency surgery on mob boss named Lew Moxon who had been suffering from a serious gunshot wound. Dr. Wayne knew that once he removed the bullet from Moxon's body, the gangster would likely kill him. Instead of performing the surgery, Dr. Wayne dove into the gangsters and managed to apprehend every one of them. He called the police and handed the thugs over to a young police lieutenant named James Gordon. The courts sentenced Moxon to ten years in prison. Moxon only served a few years in jail and upon release, he decided to pay a visit to Dr. Wayne. With a menacing sneer, he glibly told Dr. Wayne that he would find a way to get even with him – even if he had to use somebody else to do his dirty work.
A few weeks later, Dr. Wayne, Martha and young Bruce were walking home from a night out at the movies. A mugger named Joe Chill leapt from the shadows of Park Row and assaulted them, demanding the pearl necklace Martha was wearing. Dr. Wayne tried to fight back, but Joe shot him directly in the chest, killing him. He then turned his gun on Martha and viciously ended her life as well. Bruce stared on in horror, as his parents lied murdered beside him. Chill turned on his heel and ran from the alleyway. Bruce made a graveside promise that he would bring the lowly killer to justice and avenge their deaths. Years would pass before Bruce would learn the truth behind Joe Chill's actions.
Upon hearing of his parents' deaths back home, Thomas Jr. was instantaneously crushed and sank into a complete emotional and mental collapse that would last for years, forcing his Uncle Phillip – who was appointed Bruce's guardian – to commit him to a mental institution.
[Other stories state Thomas, Jr. had suffered brain injuries as a baby and was abandoned to life-long hospice care and was the YOUNGER brother to Bruce rather than the elder]
Bruce would largely forget about his brother due to the trauma and his uncle Philip Wayne lying that the catatonic Thomas Jr. had died. Bruce would not meet his brother again until far later in their adult lives.
Shortly after the funeral, Social Services handed Bruce over to the care of his uncle – Philip Wayne. He stayed at Philip's estate and became close friends with the housekeeper, Mrs. Chilton. Although he never knew it, Mrs. Chilton was also the mother of Joe Chill – the man who murdered his parents.
As Bruce became a teenager, he dedicated himself towards learning everything he could about police procedure. He decided to track down the city’s most famous private detective, Harvey Harris. Donning a bright red, yellow and green costume to conceal his identity, Bruce tracked Harris down, only to find a criminal waiting to ambush him. Bruce used a large advertising display piece to waylay the thug, saving Harvey's life. Harvey was so impressed with the teen's verve that he agreed to take him under his wing. Thinking the masked teenage boy looked as colorful as a robin redbreast in his costume, Harvey decided to call him Robin.
First Costumed Identity
As Robin, Bruce spent several weeks training under Harvey's tutelage. Harris instructed him on the finer points of criminal detection, and trained him in gymnastics, and hand-to-hand combat. Working together, the two became inseparable and in the span of just a few years, they managed to deal a marked blow against the criminal underworld.
When it was time for Bruce to enter college, he parted company with Harvey and threw himself into his studies. He specialized not only in criminology, but in the sciences as well. After four intense years, he was nearly ready to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a law-enforcement agent.
Upon graduation however, Bruce began to re-evaluate his future. He recognized the fact that law enforcement agencies were often the victims of an endless bureaucracy that hampered them from meting out true justice. He could not in good conscious follow such an ineffective path.
Bruce returned to his family's original estate, Wayne Manor, where he reunited with his father's old butler, Alfred Pennyworth. He was now old enough to assume control of his father's business interests at Wayne Enterprises, but there was still the unsettled matter of his graveside vow.
Genesis of the Bat
One evening, Bruce sat in his study pondering his dilemma when a bat flew into the room from an open window. Immediately, his mind harkened back to the image of his father, Thomas, dressed up as a bat-man at the costume party. It was an omen. He decided that he would become a living symbol to strike terror into the hearts of all criminals. He became the Batman.
It would be as Batman that Wayne began his personal crusade against the underworld forces that operated within Gotham city almost unchecked. Batman would prefer to intimidate and threaten rather than actually permanently hurt his opponents usually using nerve pressure attacks to defeat far stronger and larger opponents and outwit more numerous group adversaries.
Proving to be an effective crime fighter through sophisticated analytical and detective processes than the tried and true battering ram techniques of contemporary police, Batman began to gather the support of largely ineffective Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon.
The New Robin
It would be on one of the Batman's investigations that Batman was drawn to the traveling Haly's Circus that was being exploited by a local mob boss. Wayne would take in the then-orphaned Richard "Dick" Grayson and focus Grayson's anger into training and enhancing Grayson's skills, which would ultimately result in Grayson becoming Batman's junior partner, Robin. Together Wayne and Grayson would protect Gotham City from many costumed villains as well as many powerful crime lords and mob bosses including the notable and far reaching crime master Ra's al Ghul. Batman and Robin would also begin engaging in many far reaching cases outside of Gotham City, which would involve other heroes, most notably Superman.
Wayne as Batman would later join Superman and the other primary heroes in their attempt to repulse the invading Space alien Starro who planned on enslaving the entire planet Earth and its populace. It would be during this adventure that Wayne along with the other heroes would form the Justice League of America.
Robin was never asked to become part of the Justice League. In response to that exclusion, the Earth-One Robin forms the Teen Titans along with the other teenage "sidekicks" of the elder superheroes including Speedy (partner of Green Arrow), Wonder Girl (younger sister of Wonder Woman), Aqualad (partner to Aquaman) and Kid Flash (sidekick of The Flash).
Batman would continue to engage in many cases protecting Earth-One citizens from many different and exotic threats, but mostly remained a private detective fighting human level criminals. But his most intense personal case would be against the already dead noted anti-hero Deadman. It was during this case that Wayne found out his once catatonic brother, Thomas Wayne Jr., had seemingly recovered and was engaging in a somewhat reclusive live as an acrobat at a traveling circus. Actually Thomas had been manipulated by an undisclosed crime organization into becoming an active assassin and was using the circus as his cover. Batman learned of his existence and exposed the actual mastermind behind Thomas Jr.'s murder assignments and manipulation. Deciding that Thomas had effectively given up his right to life as a willing participant in various murders, Deadman took possession of Thomas's body to resume his career as an acrobat. Determined to give his brother at least a partial chance at recovery and redemption, Batman tracked down Deadman and demanded that the ghost relinquish his hold on Thomas Jr.'s body and fragmented persona. Deadman fought against Batman and Superman for control of the body, but lost control over it back to Thomas Jr. In a selfless act to protect the unaware Batman, Thomas Jr. dove in front of firing gunmen who were part of the same criminal group that he himself had been part of – saving his brother's life at the cost of his own.
Wayne would have many of the extreme cases that would directly effect him such as dealing with the Earth-Two Robin and Huntress. While Wayne was almost immediately accepted by the Earth-Two Wayne's daughter who affectionately referred to the Earth-One Wayne as her "Uncle Bruce", Wayne was not so well received by the adult version of his junior partner who felt that the Earth-One Wayne was another pretender to the role that the Earth-Two Wayne had originated. The Earth-Two Grayson's feeling was in part from his own feelings of failing as Batman II and that no one could really measure up to the Earth-Two Batman, especially not a Batman who was even younger than him. The Earth-Two Grayson and Earth-One Wayne would resolve their differences later on and team up on many occasions, though Grayson would never again adopt the role of Batman II.
The Earth-One Wayne would never actually meet his Earth-Two counterpart who was dying of cancer and was actually killed in battle. But the Earth-One Batman would occasionally venture to Earth-Two and meet with his extended family native to that reality. Wayne would continue on as Batman after his Robin left for college in many solo cases. He would continue on protecting and defending the Earth-One reality when the Crisis on Infinite Earths came to Earth-One. Like all the heroes and other powered beings who fought at the "Dawn of Time", Batman was saved from the erasure that compressed all five of the surviving realities into one universe. It would be in the last Crisis battles on the newly formed Primary Earth that the Earth-One Batman would find the incinerated remains of the Earth-Two Robin and Huntress who were killed by the Thunderers of the Anti-Monitor.
The Earth-One Batman was ultimately destroyed and reintroduced to match the new universe as a new person with a completely new history and origin.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Criminology: Batman is an expert in all fields relating to criminal investigation.
- Business Management
- Martial Arts: A superb hand-to-hand combatant, Batman has mastered several known martial arts forms.
- Indomitable Will: Possessed great mental strength. In one instance, Batman is captured and subjected to torture, part of a process called The Demolishment, including spending days in a sensory deprivation tank that had test subject go mad within two days. He survives by repeating the name "Joe Chill" over and over as a mantra to maintain his sanity.
- Utility Belt: The Batcave is equipped with a state-of-the-art computer network system, as well as the most advanced criminal analysis detection equipment available. When he is out fighting crime, Batman's greatest asset is his utility belt, which houses a wide variety of useful tools and gadgets.
- Batmobile: Batman utilizes a custom-made urban assault vehicle commonly referred to as the Batmobile. Over the years, he has used many different Batmobiles, all of which are equipped with different modifications to suit his present needs.
- Batarang: Batman believes that the mind is a combatant's single greatest weapon, but he also bolsters his offensive capabilities with a supply of razor-edged, collapsible Batarangs.
- This version of Bruce Wayne (Earth-One), including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the Multiverse in the 1985-86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series and is now considered apocryphal.
- The character of Batman was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Later versions of the character were developed further by several creators including Carmine Infantino, Dick Giordano, Dick Sprang and Dennis O'Neil.
- DC Comics has never made a clear distinction between when the Golden Age Batman stories end, and the Silver Age Batman stories begin. As such, there is also room for interpretation in determining which Bronze Age Batman stories carry over into the modern Post-Crisis environment and which ones should be considered apocryphal. Mike's Amazing World of DC indicates Batman #62 as the first appearance of the Earth-One Batman. It is believed by some, that this issue represents the earliest possible appearance of the Earth-One Batman.
- In the new Crime Syndicate of Amerika on the new Earth-Two Thomas Wayne, Jr. is the surviving Wayne brother and becomes the costumed adventurer known as Owlman, who, in keeping with the reverse world, blames his father for his mother's and brother's deaths but is later found to have survived the attempt on his life.
- Prior to becoming the Batman, Bruce Wayne fought crime as a teenager as Earth-One's first Robin.
- Superman claims that he has only once ever seen Batman truly express fear... and that was during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
- In a story published in 1957, Bruce Wayne briefly takes on the mantle of Starman in order to thwart Professor Milo, who had hypnotized him into a terrible phobia of bats. This 'Starman of 1951' was later retconned (post Crisis on Infinite Earths) to have been Charles McNider rather than Bruce, however.
- Bruce Wayne is also known as Bats, the Caped Crusader, the Cowled Crusader, the Dark Knight, the Dark Knight Detective, the Gotham Gangbuster, the Knock-Out King, the Masked Manhunter.
- Batman Family (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics
- Untold Legend of the Batman
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe II (Batman biography page)
- 1,575 Appearances of Bruce Wayne (Earth-One)
- 341 Images featuring Bruce Wayne (Earth-One)
- 57 Quotations by or about Bruce Wayne (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Bruce Wayne (Earth-One)
- Batman article at Wikipedia
- Batman article at Toonopedia
- Batman article at Supermanica
- Batman article at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
- Batman at the Guide to the Mythological Universe
- Batman feature page at DC Comics
- Batman: Yesterday, Today and Beyond
- Wipe the Blood Off My Name! Batman's Brother? -- from PostmodernBarney.com
- Discussion of Batman's Brother at Newsarama
- Earth-B Timeline -- theorizes that Batman's Brother really existed on an Earth other than Earth-One.
- Lorendiac's Lists: Who Knew Bruce Wayne Was Batman, Pre-Crisis?
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|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.