- Sometimes, I admit, I think of Bruce as a man in a costume. Then, with some gadget from his utility belt, he reminds me that he has an extraordinarily inventive mind. And how lucky I am to be able to call on him.
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), traditional healing disciplines under Nepalese monks and even ventriloquism under skilled practitioners . His knowledge of so many varied disciplines has made Wayne an unconventional and unpredictable individual. 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 would reveal himself at a dinner of the most influential and corrupt figures in Gotham City promising them all that their reigns on the city would eventually end. Wayne's first ally is assistant district attorney Harvey Dent. Most of the Gotham City Police Department is sent in force to capture him. He gained his most powerful ally when he met police officer 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.
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. Dick eventually left Gotham completely to attend college at Hudson University.
When Bruce is invited to the Million Dollar Masquerade Ball, Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara crashes the party in a female version of Batman's costume to surprise her father, who is also attending the event. At the party, before she reveals herself to Gordon, Killer Moth and his henchmen crash the party, gunning for Bruce Wayne. James Gordon is taken out quickly so Barbara decides to step in. Bruce Wayne was previously shoved out of the way by Barbara so that she can protect him and her unconscious adoptive father, thinking that Bruce is but a helpless bystander. She defeats Killer Moth, breaking a heel in the process. She was later named Batgirl by Killer Moth, which stuck, even though she states that she would have preferred Batwoman. Directly after the confrontation by Killer Moth, Batgirl meets Batman and Robin. Batgirl's first encounter with Batman and Robin proves to be unpleasant. While she is angry with Batman's automatic dismissal of her capabilities, she is repulsed by Robin having a romantic interest in her. Soon after that, Batgirl attempts to swing from rooftops, being saved by Robin, who tells her that regular rope is not good for diving from forty feet in the air. Later, Robin sends Batgirl equipment, pretending that he believes in her and Batman doesn't. In reality, Robin is sending them on the orders of Batman. She is 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 teams up with Black Canary, her idol, and she finally gains some respect from Batman, while Robin still harbors a small crush on her. She is introduced to James Gordon as Batgirl, one of Batman's protégés.
Ra's al Ghul
Struggling against the League of Assassins, Batman meets the beautiful Talia al Ghul when he rescues her from Doctor Darrk. Ra's al Ghul determines his secret identity through logical deduction and confronts him when Talia has 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 explains that he was making sure he had found a worthy successor in the detective, as Talia has fallen in love with him. Batman eventually comes to the conclusion that Ra's is a dangerous criminal who must be stopped at all costs, and declares war on him.
Batman quits the League when they refuse 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 quit the League and created the Outsiders as a black ops super-team to go where they couldn't. This team involves Black Lightning, Geo-Force, Halo, Katana and Metamorpho.
Dick Grayson was leader of the New Teen Titans when he decided to give up his identity as Robin because he was growing into a young man and wasn't a child any longer. This was in addition to an incident where Bruce had fired him 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.
Some weeks after firing Dick and him becoming Nightwing, it's the anniversary of Bruce's parent's death. He makes his annual visit to Crime Alley to pay his respects. The alley is remarkably quiet – it seems word of this regular visit has got around the criminal fraternity. Despite this, Batman discovers that a young kid named Jason Todd has stolen the tires from the Batmobile. Retrieving his property, Batman is persuaded not to hand Todd over to the police or social services. Instead, Jason is taken to Fay Gunn's School For Boys where, once Batman has left, he meets a hostile reception.
Jason Todd, arriving at Fay Gunn's School For Boys, discovers that it is a front for a school of crime. Batman, of course, believes it to be a fine, upstanding institution, as does Vicki Vale, one of numerous reporters to have taken an interest in the school. Both as Batman and Bruce Wayne, he also uses his contacts to track down Jason's parents. It seems that his mother, Catherine, died of a drug overdose recently, while his father is believed to have been killed by Two-Face. Willis Todd evidently discovered too late that this was one boss you should never double-cross.
That night, Batman comes across Jason once more removing the tires from parked cars, and is amazed to hear the young man's tale of the even more worrying curriculum of the school. He then soon interrupts Ma Gunn and her boys at an art museum and, with the unexpected help of Jason Todd, prevents them from stealing the 'Smile of Death' necklace for the Joker. Impressed with Jason, Batman decides to take the boy on as the new Robin.
Justice League International
Legends sees a new group of heroes form to fight against G. Gordon Godfrey after Justice League Detroit was disbanded, and they decide to form a new League together. Batman gathers 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 convinces the United Nations to grant them an international charter and they become Justice League International.
The Killing Joke
The Joker kidnaps Gordon, shoots and paralyzes his daughter Barbara, and imprisons him in a run-down amusement park. His henchmen then strip Gordon naked and cage him in the park's freak show. He chains Gordon to one of the park's rides and cruelly forces him to view giant pictures of his wounded daughter in various states of undress. Once Gordon completes the maddening gauntlet, the Joker ridicules him as an example of "the average man," a naive weakling doomed to insanity.
Batman arrives to save Gordon, and the Joker retreats into the funhouse. Gordon's sanity is intact despite the ordeal and he insists that Batman capture the Joker "by the book" in order to "show him that our way works." Batman enters the funhouse and faces the Harlequin of Hate's traps while the Joker tries to persuade his old foe that the world is inherently insane and thus not worth fighting for. Eventually, Batman tracks down the Joker and subdues him. Batman then attempts to reach out to him to give up crime and put a stop to their years-long war. The Joker declines, however, ruefully saying "It's too late for that... far too late." He then tells Batman a joke that was started earlier in the comic. The joke is funny enough to make the normally stone-faced Batman laugh. While they are laughing, Batman reaches across to the Joker who escapes.
A Death in the Family
Following the death of Jason Todd, Batman becomes much more violent and aggressive while coping with the tragedy without someone to balance him out. A young man named Tim Drake figures out his secret identity using detective work, and determines that he needs a Robin to keep his darkness in check. Two-Face reappears with new plans to kill the dark knight. Drake begs Dick Grayson to go back as Robin again when he's needed most. Explaining how he deduced their identities by following Grayson's acrobatic career to Dick and Alfred Pennyworth, Tim is taken into the Batcave where it is suggested that he become the new Robin. Batman and Nightwing track down Two-Face, and he catches them in his underground death-trap. Tim takes the Robin costume to rescue them and succeeds, although Batman argues that he no longer needs a side-kick. Begrudgingly as he proves himself and helps them defeat Two-Face, Bruce agrees 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) is forced to deal, in rapid succession, with the returning villain Black Mask and his gang (who target Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox), a crazed killer called Metalhead, and a sharpshooter assassin hired by Vincent Morelli to murder Commissioner Gordon. Batman begins to feel he has lost his edge, especially after his failure to capture Black Mask. He finds himself unable to meditate or even focus. As Bruce Wayne, he contacts holistic therapist Shondra Kinsolving for treatment. He also assigns Tim Drake, who had become the new Robin after deciding to fill the shoes of Jason Todd and being trained by Batman and Nightwing. He dons the mantle of Robin to rescue them both from a kidnapping. He is ordered by Batman to train Jean-Paul Valley in detective work to aid them as an ally, hoping to guide his brainwashing away from making him a villainous threat. Despite the advice of everyone in his life, including Dr. Kinsolving, Bruce refuses to rest, and continues to pursue his self-imposed duty despite his worsening condition. Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong, usurping power in Gotham's underworld and assaulting a police station, with Bruce's fatigue continuing to worsen. Meanwhile, Robin finds it difficult to work with Jean-Paul, due to the man's violent subconscious training and lack of social skills, and also finds himself being shut out from working alongside Batman.
Bane comes to Gotham City, a brilliant tactical mastermind who has trained his body to physical perfection and dedicated himself to destroying Batman and taking over his territory. This villain is more driven and powerful than anyone he has ever faced before, and wants to prove himself by defeating the best and breaking him. At their first meeting, Bane does not introduce himself but says that his name will eventually make him beg for mercy. Batman suggests that if he's threatening him, he should get in line behind everyone else.
Bane begins 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 consists of weakening Batman by forcing him to deal with the deadly villains simultaneously. Among the freed inmates, there are numerous high-profile villains, such as the Joker (who trapped Arkham's administrator Jeremiah Arkham), and the Scarecrow, as well as many less known villains, such as the Mad Hatter, The Ventriloquist, Firefly, Cavalier, and Mr. Zsasz. The scenario creates a rift in the relationship between Robin and Batman, as Batman irrationally seeks to face the outbreak alone -- in later issues, Robin asks Batman if he is even needed as his sidekick anymore. A later flashback to this time period shows Batman pursuing Two-Face alone, being trapped and kidnapped to stand a mock trial; he is saved only by a rescue attempt from Robin. Batman becomes weaker and weaker as each criminal is put away. The rescue of Mayor Krol from the combination of the Joker and Scarecrow takes Batman to his mental and physical limits: a dose of Scarecrow's fear gas makes him relive the murder of Jason Todd, which he considers to be his greatest failure.
Bane finally confronts him by breaking into Wayne Manor when Batman is at his weakest, beating him nearly to death in his weakened state and breaking his spine. Bane takes his body downtown to Gotham Square and throws it from a rooftop to demonstrate his superiority to the populace. With Batman incapacitated, Bane assumes control of Gotham City's underworld and takes over several illegal operations within it.
Who Rules the Night
After his defeat, Bruce Wayne enlists the aid of Dr. Shondra Kinsolving to rehabilitate him and asks Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael) to take up the mantle of Batman so that Gotham has a protector. Tim Drake argues with Bruce to allow Dick Grayson (the former Robin) to become Batman, as he is more experienced and mentally competent. However, Bruce says that Dick is his own man now, with his own responsibilities and would only do so reluctantly; Dick later expressed resentment at not being asked to stand in as Batman. Bruce's rationale for this decision is revealed in later issues - secretly, he doesn't want Dick to have to face Bane, as he knows Dick's character will compel him to try. Bruce gives Jean-Paul strict orders never to engage Bane in combat; indeed, when Jean-Paul faces Bane, only his modified gloves save him from being thrown to his death.
Soon after, Kinsolving and Tim's father Jack Drake are kidnapped and Bruce and Alfred leave the country to find them.
Paul is shown as a different but not dangerous Batman until an encounter with the Scarecrow, which culminates in Jean-Paul being infected by Scarecrow's fear gas and the "System" - his programming as Azrael - taking over, in order to combat Jean-Paul's fear. Following this, Jean-Paul is unable to shake the influence of the System, giving into it completely after his first defeat at Bane's hands, and being increasingly influenced by it during the rest of his tenure as Batman. Gradually, Jean-Paul alienates Robin with his paranoia and arrogance.
Jean-Paul, in his new mechanical Batsuit, confronts Bane in a vicious battle and prevails, although many innocent citizens were put at risk. Jean-Paul leaves Bane broken mentally and physically, although he struggles with the choice of whether to simply kill Bane or hand him over to the police. Stating that he will let Bane go to Blackgate Prison, Jean-Paul continues to watch over Gotham after the fight, but grows increasingly unstable.
Jean-Paul Valley as he becomes increasingly violent and mentally unbalanced as he replaces Bruce Wayne as Batman in Gotham. During this time, he drives Robin away because he believes Gotham post-Bane to be so tough that only violence could answer its criminals. Indeed, in several issues Robin is left horrified as Jean-Paul ferociously attacks common criminals, often with a weapon and sometimes nearly to death. This surge of violence from Gotham's defender put pressure on Batman's relationship with Police Commissioner Gordon, who begins to distrust and even fear the new Batman and eventually comes to realize he is not the original.
All of Jean-Paul's actions are compelled by "The System;" on numerous occasions, he experiences the ghosts of his father and the legendary St. Dumas giving him guidance and he is driven to near insanity by the time the saga ends. He repeatedly redesigns his Batman costume, adding more gadgets and lethal weapons, including metal claws, a laser, razor-sharp Batarangs and a flame-thrower. Eventually, he also adds a Bat-symbol, matching the one used for the series' logo. Valley becomes compelled by a desire to be a better Batman than Bruce Wayne, especially when he discovers his lack of interest in detective work caused him to make false assumptions about Catwoman (he thought she would sell a powerful nerve gas to terrorists when she merely wanted to dispose of it so it couldn't be used to hurt anyone).
His questionable behavior climaxes when he encounters the serial killer Abattoir, who is keeping an innocent prisoner in a secret torture chamber: Jean-Paul purposely lets Abattoir die, thereby condemning the prisoner to death as well. Other notable villains Jean-Paul faces include Mr. Freeze, Joker, and Clayface. Of these villains, the most notable encounters are with Catwoman and the Joker, both of whom could tell Valley wasn't the original Batman (Catwoman noticed he didn't give out Bruce's pheromones; Joker possesses a psychotic bond with Batman but also witnesses his less-graceful movements).
Bruce Wayne and Alfred's search for Jack Drake and Shondra Kinsolving, with whom Bruce Wayne falls in love in the midst of his rehabilitation sessions. Their investigation leads them to the Caribbean and then Great Britain. Kinsolving's brother-by-adoption Benedict Asp kidnapped her to use her special powers to kill people at a distance. Asp demonstrates this new form of mass murder on a small English village. When Bruce Wayne finds Kinsolving, he finds himself caught in the middle of a telekinetic tug-of-war between Asp and Kinsolving. The battle climaxes with her refocusing her energy to defeat Asp, with a side effect of the battle being that Bruce's broken spine becomes healed. However, the drugs forced onto her by Asp, combined with the effects of the fight with Asp, reduce her mind to that of a child, and Wayne reluctantly puts her into a mental institution.
Bruce eventually leaves England to return home to a civilian life in Gotham, but Alfred remains in England, not wanting to see Bruce Wayne damage his body further. He does not return to Gotham until a while later, when Dick Grayson persuades him to do so in later issues.
Bruce Wayne realizes that his skills are considerably diminished after spending so much time in his wheelchair, and he must undergo a serious training regiment before he is ready to take his position back from his dangerously unstable successor. He asks Lady Shiva to become his instructor, and she agrees under the condition that he perform a killing blow for her. It takes several difficult weeks for him to regain his edge in combat, and all the while he still refuses to kill, so Shiva prepares a new challenge. She murders the Armless Master wearing a Mask of Tengu representing the Bat Spirit, knowing that his Seven Disciples will come to avenge him. Bruce puts on the mask for the remainder of his training, and is forced to deal with these great martial arts masters in increasing order of skill until he has completely regained his skills as a fighter. The last man is the most formidable warrior, and after defeating him Bruce seemingly kills him with a deadly leopard blow strike. Robin and Nightwing are horrified to see him commit murder, but Lady Shiva is satisfied and allows him to graduate from her instruction without further conflict. Bruce reveals that the man is not actually dead, but he had to convince Shiva that he had taken a life. Now that he is returned to his former glory, he puts on his costume once again to take back his city from the impostor. He immediately challenges Azrael.
When they eventually all meet, mass fighting and gunfire ensue. The battle ends with Selkirk's helicopter crashing into the Gotham Narrows Bridge; Jean-Paul falls aflame into the Gotham River. Bruce and Catwoman save Selkirk and his aides just before the helicopter explodes from the leaking fuel. When Bruce tries to find Jean-Paul using the Batmobile, it explodes. Nightwing fears Bruce dead and takes his vengeance out on Jean-Paul on a party boat. The police arrive in time to prevent Nightwing from murder, but Jean-Paul escapes. However, to his shock, Jean-Paul finds Bruce waiting at Wayne Manor.
The final battle of the Knightfall saga takes place between Jean-Paul Valley and Bruce Wayne in the caverns surrounding the Batcave: rather than beating Jean-Paul at hand-to-hand combat, Bruce outwits him by escaping into a passage too narrow for Jean-Paul to go through in his armor, thus forcing him to remove most of it. Bruce then opens a hatch to the outside, which covered the very hole he fell into as a child, allowing sunlight to enter the night lenses in Jean-Paul's helmet. After being momentarily blinded, Jean-Paul removes his cowl, sees Bruce standing over him in the original Batman costume and concedes defeat, saying "You are Batman... and I am nothing." Bruce comforts Jean-Paul, who leaves to wander the streets of Gotham, homeless and destitute. Bruce decides not to take Jean-Paul to the police because it was his decision to make Jean-Paul the Batman.
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 is killed by an entropy fissure that opens right on top of him as the universe dies. The timeline is rebooted at the Big Bang with changes in history that cause slight differences in Batman's continuity.
Bruce reaffirms his partnership with Tim, resolving the tension caused by Bruce's unwillingness to accept help during the Arkham prison break. Bruce passes the mantle of Batman to Grayson so he can re-evaluate what it will take to restore his aura of invincibility. This begins the Prodigal storyline, a reference to Dick Grayson essentially being Bruce's prodigal son; Bruce had adopted Dick after his parents were murdered.
Because of the events of Knight Saga and Prodigal, considerable time passes before Commissioner Gordon restores his trust in the idea of a Batman working for good. Gordon can tell that he is 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 refuses to place blind trust in a costume after spending so long learning to trust the man. The Prodigal storyline was utilized as a way of tying up the numerous loose ends that Knightfall left, with Killer Croc, the Ventriloquist, Ratcatcher and Two-Face, along with many other, less notorious released inmates being returned to prison. In doing so, Dick avenges 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 comes to appreciate the incredible physical and mental burden Bruce places on himself in donning the Batsuit. During the story, a firm bond arises between Dick and Tim as they share Wayne Manor together in Bruce's and Alfred's absence.
When Bruce finally returns for good, he wears a sturdier (made of Kevlar), darker Batsuit and drives a new, state-of-the-art Batmobile. He again fights 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. Troika comes from the Russian word for Triad. The saga also shows how Batman makes changes to his life as Bruce Wayne, his relationships with his 'family', plans to live without Alfred, and copes with the decision of making Jean-Paul his replacement.
New World Order
Brought together through a fight against Doctor Destiny, Aquaman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman and Wonder Woman realize that Earth needs its greatest heroes working together and reform the Justice League of America. Their first challenge is to prove themselves against a new superhero team called the Hyperclan who attempt to discredit them. They are revealed as White Martians, and the League stops 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. 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 down 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 a 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. His 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 this nation great. But 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 (Batman) left the city to lobby the government to not cut Gotham off, but failed. Gordon and his men waited for his return, but by the time he returned more than three months later, they believed he had abandoned Gotham.
Huntress attempts to keep order, fashioning a Batgirl costume. She soon discovers that criminals fear her more as Batgirl than they do Huntress and succeeds in holding territory of her own. When Batman returns, he allows her to continue to use the costume. However, when she fails to hold off Two-Face and his army of men and loses Batman's territory, she abandons the costume.
Batman and James Gordon's officers work separately to reclaim Gotham, piece by piece, by beating and subduing the gang leaders and then marking the reclaimed territory with graffiti. Various subplots emerge through the battles. Poison Ivy took up residence in Robinson Park and Batman allowed her to remain there as long as she cared for the orphans and distributed food.
Gordon once allied with Two-Face, but Two-Face betrayed the alliance. Two-Face also hired David Cain to kill Gordon, but Cain is thwarted by his daughter Cassandra. Cassandra later takes up the mantle as the third Batgirl to help clean No Man's Land up. Later, Two-Face kidnapped Gordon and put him on trial for breaking the alliance. Police officer Renee Montoya reaches out to Two-Face's Harvey Dent persona, whose defense leads to Gordon's acquittal, Dent's questioning concluding that Two-Face had essentially blackmailed Gordon into the alliance and hence making any alliance between them void.
The turning point for No Man's Land came with Lex Luthor arrived with his 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 discovers the original documents and notifies Luthor. Luthor then attempts to kill Fox, but Batman intervenes and tells Luthor that Gotham is not for sale, warning him to leave.
The United States government reverses the No Man's Land order and allows Gotham to rejoin the United States. Gordon and his surviving police officers were promoted. In the final scenes of the comic, the Joker attacks Petit's compound. Petit is killed and the Huntress barely survives. The Joker later kidnaps all of Gotham's babies. When Sarah Essen Gordon discovers the babies, the Joker murders her. Batman later convinces a grief-stricken Gordon to not kill The Joker, who gloats at Gordon about murdering his wife. Gordon shoots Joker through one of his kneecaps instead and lets 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 begins to study their weaknesses and develop contingency plans to neutralize them. Talia al Ghul breaks into the Batcave and steals them from the Batcomputer. Ra's al Ghul begins using these special methods to incapacitate every member of the League, while distracting the detective by stealing his parents' corpses. This is a distraction for his attempt to thin the world population using a machine that destroys 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, he realizes that his plans have been stolen and warns everyone else. Recovering from defeat, they save their aggression towards Batman's controversial actions and fight back with help from a defecting Talia. After saving the world, they vote to dismiss Batman from the League on grounds of distrust. Superman eventually convinces him that he needs to regain the team's trust to be accepted again though, and Batman returns by revealing his secret identity to the rest of his allies.
Bruce Wayne: Fugitive
Bruce Wayne and his bodyguard Sasha Bordeaux are framed for the murder of Vesper Fairchild. There is a trial and they are unable to defend themselves without revealing their secret identities. Escaping from custody, he determines that he will become Batman permanently and Bruce Wayne will disappear completely. Eventually he realizes that he was wrong to think he didn't benefit from the companies of his allies, and they prove his innocence by determining that the man who framed him was David Cain.
Tim Drake is forced to give up his career as Robin when his father Jack Drake discovers his identity. Stephanie Brown, formerly Spoiler, seeks out the position and Batman agrees to take her on as his new Robin. She is fired for disobeying his orders during a fight with Scarab.
Trying to impress Batman, Spoiler activates one of his contingency plans to unite the entire Gotham underworld under Matches Malone, not realizing it's one of Bruce's other identities. The meeting between the big bosses turns bad and there's a shootout, creating a massive power vacuum in the city. Black Mask ends up taking control of organized crime throughout the entire city.
Under the Hood
Jason Todd is resurrected as an amnesiac and crawls out of his own grave, eventually taken in by Talia al Ghul who restores his personality through a Lazarus Pit. Distraught to find that Batman had not cared enough to avenge his death against the Joker, he takes on the identity of Red Hood as his own man. This resurrection is explained as a result of Superboy-Prime punching the walls of reality during Infinite Crisis.Red Hood begins 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 meet him for the first time when he blows up a shipment of weapons on a boat they had taken down, chasing him until he releases a stolen Amazo prototype to fight them. Together they improvise and destroy the android by taking out his individual components, while Red Hood uses the distraction to steal another shipment containing several hundred pounds of Kryptonite. Mister Freeze is sent to reclaim the merchandise and all four of them fight it out until the Hood leaves, saying this had been a ploy to get his lay of the land. Batman begins investigating the possibility that he is Jason in disguise, talking to his friends with knowledge of resurrection including Green Arrow, Jason Blood and Zatanna. Superman helps him confirm that it realistically could have happened. Red Hood teams up with Onyx, although he betrays her when she tries to stop the murder of several criminals. During a climactic fight between the two men, Jason reveals himself to Bruce and explains his intention to change the face of crime-fighting. To prevent hundreds of unnecessary tragedies, he will bring death to those who deserve it. Alfred asks if the old Robin costume should be removed from the Batcave, but Bruce insists that this doesn't change anything at all. Red Hood destroys Black Mask's skyscraper headquarters with rockets, and Deathstroke appears to offer his Secret Society of Super-Villains' services. Captain Nazi, Count Vertigo and Hyena are the hit squad sent to kill him, and Batman is deeply conflicted over whether or not he should save his former student. Bruce and Jason to team up to defeat the three villains, but when they're done Jason murders Captain Nazi and escapes.
Batman learns that Red Hood has captured the Joker and is holding him hostage, while Black Mask finally gets into a massive fist-fight with the Hood over territory. Bruce and Jason confront each other in Crime Alley, where they witness another tragedy across the river. Chemo is dropped as a living bomb onto Bludhaven by the Brotherhood of Evil, completely eradicating it. They argue about the philosophy and morality behind the rule against killing, and Jason explains 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 gives Batman a gun and threatens to shoot the Joker unless he is lethally stopped. Having an emotional breakdown at this point, Batman ricochets a batarang off the wall and hits his student in the neck non-fatally to save his enemy. Joker takes this opportunity to grab the gun and shoots the explosives inside the building, detonating a massive explosion.
- See also: OMAC Project
Batman turns paranoid about the super-hero community and develops a sentient satellite called Brother Eye to help monitor them, using a database of every secret identity he is aware of. This system is stolen by Max Lord of Checkmate, who wants 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 may have 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 is today.
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 turns on the Bat-Signal again and cheering breaks out in the streets. Harvey Bullock begins investigating a new serial killer taking out minor villains with two shots to the head, starting with KGBeast found dead in an alley. Poison Ivy is the first villain who appears again, holding new political motives that lead her to attack corporate executives like Lucius Fox. Magpie is also found dead. Ventriloquist is the next victim, alongside his puppet Scarface. Batman decides that he needs someone working for him who can operate regularly during the daytime, and hires detective Jason Bard permanently on retainer. Dent is the main suspect and grows enraged when he is accused, although Batman believes it was not really him. Orca is the next victim found dead in the sewers, where her corpse was mutilated by a hungry Killer Croc. The only connection is that all victims were former enforcers for the Penguin, who recently fled town. Bard discovers the assassin is a new Tally Man when he's attacked. Driven back to insanity by internal conflict, Harvey Dent pours acid over one side of his face and reverts to the Two-Face persona. Bard defeats the new Tally Man, and has him sent to Arkham Asylum. Batman is forced to take down Two-Face, who now blames him for turning evil again. Great White Shark is revealed to be the mastermind behind the shootings, having taken over the underworld and started running it for himself out of Arkham. Bruce decides 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 goes abroad. Alfred explains that he's become so consumed by Batman he's forgotten how to act as Bruce Wayne, and must relearn. At a charity function in London he meets Jezebel Jet, an intelligent fashion model and ruler of an impoverished African nation whom he falls in love with immediately. The League of Assassins attacks him using a legion of ninjas transformed into Man-Bats by a serum stolen from Kirk Langstrom. Talia al Ghul takes him prisoner and reveals that they had a son together she never told him about, introducing him to Damian Wayne. Bruce must take care of the child and teach him respect while figuring out her plans, as Damian proves to be spoiled and petulant. Raised by the League he is a master martial artist and proves extremely difficult to control, beating up Tim Drake and beheading the Spook to prove he can be Robin. Batman agrees to let Damian fight at his side rather than leave him alone, with the understanding that he will follow their no killing rules and obey orders. Talia is in Gibraltar, and they take the Bat-Rocket to get there before she can follow through with her terrorist attack. This turns out to have been an elaborate ploy to bring them together as a family, in the hopes that Bruce will return to her so they can put an end to all crime by ruling the planet together. Batman refuses, she declares war on him and they both disappear during an explosion.
Three Ghosts of Batman
Bat-Cop, a strange man dressed as Batman wielding guns, fights the Joker and shoots him in the face before disappearing. Joker believes the real Batman has changed the rules of their game, and is taken to the hospital where he psychologically transforms. Reinventing himself in a much darker and more brutal persona, he becomes an uncompromisingly malevolent creature of hatred.Jezebel Jet pursues a relationship with Bruce, sensing a deep connection between them. Looking into the mysterious disappearance of several prostitutes involving corrupt GCPD officers, Batman finds they are trying to control and cover up a massive Bat-Bane on venom and monster men serum. Reminded of the other twisted impostor, he fights the huge man and is pounded into the pavement. After a nightmare promising that a third ghost from his past will yet haunt him, he recalls 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 is stopped from finding further answers by the corrupt officers and leaves him to be taken into custody.
Bat-Devil makes his appearance by storming into GCPD Headquarters demanding the Commissioner when he is woken up as a sleeper agent. Shooting Batman in the chest, he sends him into cardiac arrest and near-death Bruce begins to hallucinate Bat-Mite. Strapped into an operating chair in Bat-Devil's sanctum, he deliriously dreams of his encounters with Joe Chill and having tormented him into committing suicide. This begins 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 are 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 is said to be the devil himself trying simply to destroy good men and make slaves of others. Batman breaks free of his restraints and attacks Bat-Devil, who escapes as police arrive and Bat-Bane is shot dead. Bruce considers the extreme hypothetical of an ultimate villain targeting his weaknesses through vast conspiracy unseen until it's too late, and wonders if this adversary is 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 are 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 is a doctor and has a strained relationship with his side-kick and son Raven Red. Wingman from Sweden refuses to admit his origins and claims that he was crime-fighting a year before everyone else. El Gaucho of Argentina has become a greatly-respected hero in his own right. The Ranger from Australia has developed a darker and more violent persona to keep up with the changing face of crime. Legionary from Rome has gotten way past his prime and now lives in his glory days. They are all called together to a reunion at the island mansion of billionaire John Mayhew, although no one greets them. A man appears on video screen wearing Mayhew's severed face, challenging them to solve the mystery of his murder and save their own lives. They are fighting the Black Glove, an organization that places bets on the struggle between good and evil. Legionary is stabbed to death twenty-three times like Caesar by an assailant. Everyone's a suspect as the house turns into a giant death-trap, using methods common to all of their respective villains. Wingman is the next body found burned to death. Ranger is discovered to be Wingman in disguise, having faked his death by switching bodies. Mayhew is still alive and they are 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 dies when the Black Glove punishes him for his failure and blows up the island as everyone else escapes in his plane.
Heart of Hush
Hush reappears in Gotham to destroy his nemesis before the Black Glove can 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 promises Bruce that no other villain will be allowed to harm him. Batman cautions his allies to become paranoid, and Hush sets his plans in motion teaming up with Scarecrow. A young orphan named Colin Wilkes is pumped full of venom and set on rampage to distract attention from the main plot. Hush kidnaps Catwoman and surgically removes her heart, leaving her barely alive on life support. The two men fight at the hospital, and Hush explains that he will shut off Catwoman's heart if attacked again. Then he reveals that he has undergone plastic surgery to look exactly identical to Bruce Wayne. Their fight takes them to the Batcave after Batman secures the heart with Doctor Mid-Nite and Mister Terrific. Hush escapes permanent defeat after an explosion cripples him, although Catwoman uses her resources to hunt down his entire fortune and destroy it, leaving him bankrupt. Bruce tells Selina in her hospital bed that he loves her.
The Black Glove invites Batman and Jezebel Jet to a dance of death called the Danse Macabre, having clearly discovered his secret identity. Doctor Hurt has 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 believes that Bruce is slowly starting to lose his grip on reality, although Alfred insists that there is no stronger mind in the world. Hurt announces to his team that they will be creating a work of art in the complete and utter ruination of a noble human spirit; Thomas and Martha Wayne are discredited through slander published in the Gotham Gazette and the Club is sent out to attack his allies. Bruce finally collapses into a mental break-down when he hears the trigger phrase Zur-En-Arrh spoken aloud, and villains storm the Batcave The attack completely destroyed his mind, he's injected with weapons grade crystal meth and street heroin then wakes up as an amnesiac derelict on the streets. A homeless man named Honor Jackson takes him in and gives him a small radio he believes to be the Bat-Radia, although this is a hallucination and Jackson had died of a drug overdose the previous day. Nightwing is captured by Scorpiana and taken to Arkham Asylum where Bossu plans to lobotomize him. Pierrot Lunaire and Swagman go after Robin. Bruce stitches a new costume called the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh with Bat-Mite as a spiritual guide. This is a contingency plan he had prepared in case there was ever a direct attack on his mind, a stream-lined back-up personality that exists as Batman without Bruce Wayne. Taking out criminals across the city at unheard of speed, he defeats King Kraken and interrogates Charlie Caligula. Hurt begins wearing Thomas Wayne's Batman Costume and claims that he is the real Thomas Wayne, having faked his own death years ago. Jeremiah Arkham is beaten and the Black Gloves takes over his asylum. Commissioner Gordon comes to investigate Wayne Manor personally and finds himself caught in one of El Sombrero's death traps. The Black Glove prepares Arkham Asylum while its richest members gather to gamble on whether good or evil will triumph. Batman fights his way inside through henchmen, although he must make the final journey alone as Bat-Mite is his last voice of reason and cannot enter the door. Damian and Talia al Ghul get involved and rescue Gordon. Batman brutally fights the enraged Joker and then unmasks in front of him when he finally saves Jezebel, although she is revealed to have been part of the conspiracy all along. Joker kills a member of the Glove and places his bet on good triumphing over evil. Buried alive in his cowl to be raised from the grave after incurring brain damage, Batman wakes up and breaks out of his coffin and rises through the dirt. The Bat-Radia is activated and it has been converted to send signals instead of receive, putting the asylum into lock-down through the Batcomputer. Nightwing wakes up in time to break his restraints and punch out Bossu seconds before his lobotomy. Robin brings the Club of Heroes in to help clean up the city. Hurt tries to escape in a helicopter driven by Bat-Devil after swearing to continue destroying Batman unless he submits, but Bruce refuses and takes the chopper down with his bare hands. There is a massive explosion over the water, but Batman survives and continues his fight against evil.
Battle for the Cowl
Naturally, following the events of "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, and Damian Wayne debated as to what the future of the Dark Knight should be, until an estranged Jason Todd turned up as having taken a twisted cowl (which seems reminiscent of Jean-Paul Valley) 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, is far away from Gotham, believing that Bruce is not actually dead. He has taken the mantle of the Red Robin, and is currently exploring the globe for clues as to where his adoptive father is.
Superman later returned the cowl on the 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 uses a Black Lantern Ring to revive the skull and build it a form to tether an emotional connection to the heroes present and has it spit out Black Lantern Rings that attach themselves to the resurrected heroes; Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Superboy, Kid Flash, with two more failing to reach Flash (Barry Allen) and Hal Jordan. Almost immediately after, much to Hal Jordan's surprise, Nekron releases the skull from the ring and it returns to normal. After the Blackest Night, Hal and Barry return to Bruce's grave to talk about what transpired. After stating that "dead is dead from here on out," Hal says 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 is 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 turns out to be one of Darkseid's Batman clones that he decided to keep as perfect replica of Batman. However, its memories are warped and unstable and it goes mad. After attacking Damian, the clone burns out and dies. Dick finally accepts that Bruce is still alive somewhere.
Return of Bruce Wayne
Doctor Hurt and Professor Pyg have taken Gotham by siege, fighting Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne. After defeating the 99 Fiends together, Bruce goes after Hurt and the others go after Pyg. Trapping him in his own interrogation room to listen to Alfred's death, Hurt proclaims that he is the devil and Batman will rot in purgatory. Bursting out of the prison, he delivers a final beat-down to Hurt and goes to rescue Pennyworth. The doctor escapes outside where he is 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 reveals in a press conference that he has been privately financing Batman for years and goes public with Batman Incorporated.
Batman gathers his closest associates in the Batcave and gives them all new assignments as the start of an army against crime, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon, Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne. They will make their battle ideological, fighting the idea of crime with the idea of Batman and making sure there is nowhere for evil to hide. Lucius Fox is commissioned to make a private army of Batman Robots. Bruce tries Damian out and determines that they will not work well together on missions, insisting that he continue his position with Grayson as the Batman and Robin of Gotham City. These actions draw the attentions of the Leviathan organization. His first visit takes him to Japan alongside Catwoman, where he tries to recruit Mr. Unknown and finds him murdered by a villain named Lord Death Man. Jiro Osamu is the hero's successor and avenges his mentor before being sworn in as the first new member. Nightrunner is the next member chosen, a Muslim who becomes the Batman of Paris.
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 is shot dead by Joe Chill in Crime Alley and his parents survive. Thomas Wayne swears revenge and becomes Batman after savagely beating Chill to death in the streets. Martha Wayne goes mad with grief and becomes the Joker after carving a smile into her own face. Thomas Wayne meets Barry Allen and they work together to restore the timeline. Batman kills Professor Zoom and they successfully restore history to the way it was meant to be. Before erasing himself, Thomas writes a message to his son and has the Flash deliver it. Bruce is brought to tears by the letter of how proud his dad would've been to see him grow up into the man he's become.
The DC Universe heavily changed its continuity into the DCnU following the events of Flashpoint in 2011. This was part of an effort to make storylines more accessible to newer readers, beginning with the New 52. This new timeline combines elements from the DCU, Vertigo Universe and Wildstorm Universe while drastically changing the origins and histories of characters.
Bruce is still a core member of the Justice League of America including Aquaman, Cyborg, The Flash, Green Lantern, Superman and Wonder Woman. He begins patrolling Gotham with his son Damian Wayne as Robin for the first time, and they fight his mentor Henri Ducard's son Nobody. Despite their antagonistic relationship, he is sexually involved with Catwoman. Bane organizes a massive breakout at Arkham Asylum, making the villains stronger using super-steroids. Extending his involvement with Batman Incorporated, he helps Batwing track down a serial murderer named Massacre in Africa. In their first mission, he assists Justice League International in taking down Peraxxus.
Night of the Owls
Batman begins to investigate a conspiracy that is believed to have secretly controlled Gotham for centuries, the Court of Owls fabled in nursery rhyme. They send an undying assassin called the Talon to kill him after Wayne Enterprises announces a massive new direction for the city. Bruce is captured after learning too much and sentenced to death in their giant maze, where he spends a week alone without food and learns that they've killed many Waynes before. Regaining strength through the memory of his dead ancestor Alan Wayne, he defeats the Talon and escapes. It's revealed that Haly's Circus has been training assassins for years, and Dick Grayson was almost used by the Court before Bruce adopted him. The Court recovers from their encounter and decides to activate a small army of Talons they have decommissioned throughout the years.
Later, a group of Talons attack Wayne Manor, but Bruce defeats some of them due to their outdated fighting style. Wearing a new armored suit, Bruce prepares to fight the Talons while Alfred discovers the Court's fourty targets and sends a radio message to the Batman Family and the Birds of Prey for help. After a short battle, Batman defeats the Talons and heads out to Arkham Asylum to save Jeremiah Arkham from Black Mask. Then, Batman goes to save mayoral candidate Lincoln March, but is too late and March is mortally wounded. Before he dies, however, March gives Batman a package that will make Gotham a better place. Resolute, Batman decides to burn down the Court of Owls's house. Infiltrating the Powers Hotel, Batman interrogates Maria Powers, knowing she and her husband are members of the Court. Alfred traces Maria's phone call and Batman deduces the Court is at Harbor House, the old house he tried to investigate when he was a boy. When he enters the house, however, Batman finds that every member of the Court is dead. By the next day, Batman believes that the Court's death is some kind of setup, as all the Court's money was transfered to another account. Believing that the Court suffered a betrayal from the inside, Batman goes to the morgue, where he finds a note reading "Follow me to the Rabbit Hole?" Batman goes to the Willowwood Home for Children, a place that housed children suffering from mental illnesses. Suddenly, he is captured in a net, and Lincoln March stands over him. Batman deduces that Lincoln March does not exist, he is just a paper man set up by the Court. The man in front of him is the Court's betrayer, and he took the Talons's serum to survive death. March is aware of Batman's dual life and reveals himself to be Thomas Jr., Bruce Wayne's brother. Although Bruce believes he does not have a brother, Thomas says that an accident had caused him to be born early, and Thomas and Martha Wayne had hid him away at Willowwood to heal. When Thomas and Martha died, Willowwood lost its funding and the place began treating its children cruelly. Blaming Bruce for their parents's deaths, Thomas puts on an owl suit of armor and frees Batman so that the brothers can have a final fight. After a lengthy brawl through the skies of Gotham, March is trapped in an explosion intended to kill Bruce; no body is located. Bruce admits to Dick that although he is skeptical of March's claims and believes his parents would have told him had he had a brother, without March's body and a DNA test he is unable to conclusively prove or disprove March's claims. Still, Bruce says that even though the Court tried to destroy everything he believed in, there was one thing the Court could never break: his belief in his parents. Bruce knows that although the Court has been stopped for now, it will return; and he will be ready.
Steve Trevor of the Justice League's government liaison A.R.G.U.S. is kidnapped and they fight a super-villain named Graves. Justice League International loses U.N. approval when civilians die in a strike by the Burners, a terrorist group led by Breakdown. The JLI is disbanded when Brother Eye takes control of OMAC and destroys them, taunting Batman that he has a new master. He also assists Justice League Dark against Cain when they fight a vampire apocalypse in Gotham alongside Andrew Bennett.
Death of the Family
Batman quickly goes to the GCPD headquarters, where the Joker's latest attack took place. Previously, he had defeated the Joker and sent him to prison, where an unnamed person surgically removed his face. Later at the Batcave, Batman runs several traces for on previously collected samples of Joker Venom to see if any was found on the scene at police headquarters. As several of Batman's allies call, offering assistance in taking down the Joker, Batman declines, saying that whatever the Joker is planning, it is between him and Batman. In that moment, the Joker broadcasts a message on live TV, saying that he will kill Mayor Hady. The GCPD reinforces the City Hall to protect the Mayor, but the Joker poisons all the cops and security guards, leaving Batman, Comissioner Gordon and the Mayor as the only survivors. Batman investigates the chemical compounds used on the cops and finds three aditional non-active chemicals: Aspirin, Chlorine, and Ethane. A, C, E. Batman realizes that the Joker is sending him back where it all started; to A.C.E. Chemicals. There, he finds a person dressed as the Red Hood. Batman is aware that the mysterious stranger is not the Joker, but suddenly, he is knocked aside by a giant wooden mallet. Batman falls into an empty chemical vat, while the stranger reveals herself as Harley Quinn. A chemical bath begins to pour into the vat, while Harley proclaims that the Joker is planning something not even she can comprehend.
Attaching a protective mask, Batman creates a propulsion tunnel to blast through the vat. The propulsion blast allows Batman to escape, but the corrosion heavily damages his suit. Returning home, Bruce finds a cassette tape, in which the Joker reveals he has kidnapped Alfred. Batman later visits Gordon, who was designated as Joker's next victim. Gordon begins to bleed uncontrollably, so Batman sends him to the hospital. Knowing that the Joker is reenacting his previous crimes, Batman goes to the Gotham Reservoir, the first place he faced the Joker in his current identity. There, the Joker traps Batman with cables, immobilizing. The Joker says that Batman's care for his allies has made him weak, so he plans to kill them all in the next 72 hours.
Lieutenant Bullock and a squad of cops arrive at the reservoir to take the Joker down, but the Joker uses his cellphone to order his men to attack the cops with rockets. Batman frees himself from the restraints and the Joker, but the Joker infects him with Joker Venom. With Batman momentarily distracted, the Joker kicks him off the bridge and into the Gotham River. Later, Batman awakens at the Batcave, having been rescued by the Batman Family. Continuing his research, Batman interrogates Dylan McDyre, who admits the Joker is waiting for Batman at Arkham Asylum. Batman then goes to the asylum, ready to stop whatever the Joker has planned.
Batman makes his way through the asylum, overcoming Mr Freeze, Scarecrow and Clayface. He finds Joker with Two-Face, Riddler and Penguin, but before he can stop them, Joker shows him video of Robin, Red Hood, Nightwing, Batgirl and Red Robin captured. Joker orders Batman to take his place on his throne-an electric chair-to spare their lives, and Batman does so, receiving an electric shock.
Joker hosts a mock dinner in the caves leading to the Batcave. Alongside a bound Batman, his allies are also bound at the table with their faces bandaged, and Batman is warned that escaping will agitate flints and ignite his gasoline-doused allies. Alfred, who has been gassed by the Joker, serves all but Batman with a cloche containing their severed faces. When Joker threatens to ignite the gasoline himself, Batman escapes and triggers a blaze, but uses an explosive and his knowledge of the cave system to blow open the cave roof, allowing water to rush in from above and douse the flames. Batman pursues Joker to the edge of a large drop. Batman claims that he knows Joker's true identity, but to prevent him from saying it, Joker purposefully knocks himself over the edge and falls out of sight. Batman reads Joker's book which he claimed contained the real identities of the Bat-family but it is blank. Meanwhile the Bat-family are gassed and attack each other but manage to fight off the gas's influence. Later, in Wayne Manor, Batman tells a recovering Alfred that after finding the joker playing card in the cave, he confronted Joker about it in Arkham Aslyum as Bruce Wayne. Joker failed to acknowledge him and Batman realized that he did not care who Batman was under his mask. In the present, Batman receives excuses from the Bat-family for them not coming to meet with him. Later, Batman studies the chemical makeup of the gas Joker used on the Bat-family and finds an inert isotope; the chemical compound "Ha".
- 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.
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), Plastic Man (Patrick "Eel" O'Brien), Arsenal (Roy Harper), Starman (Thom Kallor), Vixen (Mari McCabe), Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce), Aquaman (Arthur Curry), Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Catwoman (Selina Kyle), Red Hood (Jason Todd), Red Robin (Tim Drake), Oracle (Barbara Gordon), Robin IV (Damian Wayne), The Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz), and his butler Alfred Pennyworth. The kindly Doctor Leslie Thompkins also is aware of Bruce's secret identity.
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 lead 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, 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 some others. They have all fallen in love with him. Bruce can love, it's just more difficult for him to after his parents.
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 punishment of Doctor Light (Arthur Light), who had raped Ralph Dibny's (Elongated Man's) wife. 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 Superman and 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.
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 a serious romance, preferring to focus in his superhero duties instead. However, Bruce occassionally softens his heart and has been involved with the following women:
- Catwoman: Quite possibly Batman's best-known romance, Catwoman has been Batman's lover at several points of his life. Although they are clearly in love with one another, a relationship between the two has been proven difficult to maintain, due to Batman's commitment to justice and Catwoman's occassional returns to thievery. Despite this, they remain close friends and reliable allies.
- Jezebel Jet:
- Julie Madison:
- Sasha Bordeaux:
- Silver St. Cloud:
- Talia al Ghul:
- Vesper Fairchild
- Vicki Vale:
- Wonder Woman: spent a lot of time combat training against Batman alone together in the JLA, and this eventually turned into a flirtatious relationship. They were trapped in the past together during 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 stay friends. Blackest Night shows that she still has strong feelings for Bruce, when the strength of her emotions allowed her to become a member of the Star Sapphire Corps.
- Zatanna Zatara:
- Charlotte Rivers: Bruce's current girlfriend. Charlotte is a news reporter who has not shown any serious interest in discovering Batman's identity. Although they have been dating for an unspecified amount of time, Bruce has yet to reveal his secret to her.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- 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, even the people that know him best are intimidated by him. 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 plain uses his frightening appearance to get answers. "Fear is an excellent motivator" he once said.
- Peak Human Conditioning: Through intense training, specialized diet, and biofeedback treatments, Batman represents the pinnacle of human physical prowess. His physical attributes exceeded that of any Olympic level athlete that has ever completed. 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 has mastered full body control by the time he was 18. Bruce Wayne, since the age of 15, has created 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 engaged 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.
- 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 could run at speeds comparable to the finest competing athletes.
- Peak Human Endurance: His endurance was comparable to that of the finest Olympic Decathlon participant. His lung capacity was 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 Agility: His agility was greater 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 that to scale the cities rooftops in an acrobatic manner.
- Master Acrobat: He is proficient in gymnastics and acrobatics.
- Master Martial Artist: Bruce is well trained in multiple martial arts, he is known as the man who has mastered 127 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.
- Weapons Master: Through his martial arts training, he has become an expert on all melee weapons. 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.
- Master of Stealth: His Ninjutsu training has made him a master at stealth and capable of breaching high security facilities without being detected.
- Expert Marksman: Wayne is an expert marksman skilled. 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, & History. Gained degrees in Criminal Science, Forensic sciences, Computer Sciences, Chemistry and Engineering by the time he was 21. He has 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 had learned Forensic Sciences, Medical Sciences, Expanded Computer and Engineering Sciences,[original research?] and Expanded Device Pool use of personal powered armor and system, database creation on underworld crime bosses, rogue's gallery foes and other supervillains; improved material sciences for body armor and micro-machinery by the time he was 26. Has also learned Advanced New Development in Forensic and Medical Sciences.
- Master Detective: He is widely considered as 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?]
- Multilingual: He is able to speak Spanish, French, Latin, German, Japanese, English, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek, Portuguese, Arabic, Sanskrit, Hindi, Thai and possibly more.
- Master Tactician and Strategist: He commonly utilizes cunning tactics to outwit his foes. He is an excellent leader and at times commands the Justice League and the Outsiders, Batman is known as one of the greatest strategists and tacticians in the dc universe, and once even Aquaman stated the same.
- Escapologist: 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 him.
- Multi Vehicular Driving Skills: Bruce is proficient at driving many vehicles like cars, motor bikes, trucks and he is also skillful at driving jets, helicopters and auto boats and small ships.
- Tracking: Trained in hunting techniques by African Bushmen (the Ghost Tribes of the Ten-eyed Brotherhood, among others).
- Master of Disguise: Has mastered the art of disguise by the time he was 23. Has further learned Expanded Disguise techniques by the time he was 26. Batman has many aliases he uses to infiltrate the underworld or just to go undercover in public situations. His current aliases are: Matches Malone, Thomas Quigley, Ragman, Detective Hawke, Sir Hemingford Grey, Frank Dixon, Gordon Selkirk, and Mr. Fledermaus.
- Ventriloquism: Batman is able to project his voice to sound as though it is coming from other places.
- Expert Mechanic and Vehicular Driver: Proficient at combat driving. Has learned improved vehicle designs. Was trained and proficient in basic vehicles operations.
- Business Management: Bruce Wayne has extensive skills and experience in business management and has through understanding of financial marketing and management and is often known as a example of successful industrialist and businessman on par to Lex Luthor.
- Peak Human Strength: Batman engages in an intensive exercise regimen, and because of this, his strength, like all other physical attributes, is at the peak of human perfection. He is shown to be able to bench-press at least 1000 lbs.
- Batsuit: The costume Batman wears is composed by reinforced Kevlar and a little percentage of titanium; it's bullet-proof and resistant to various types of attack (explosions, impacts, falls, etc...). It's also flame-retarding and insulating. The gloves and the boots are reinforced to rebound the impact of punches and kicks. The gloves have also 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 little percentage of lead, which shields the face of Batman from x-ray powers or x-ray technology, and incorporates an infrared and night vision viewer, 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 de 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 car in a few appearances on Justice League, and a command for teleportation. 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, and a "re-breather" breathing device. Superman had 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 has also its own automatic security systems.
Batarangs (several different types), small explosives, smoke and tear gas pellets, taser device.
- 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. Infinite Crisis said that it had been Joe Chill and he had been arrested the very same night, making this the current version. 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, they retconned 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 pretty much raped.
- 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.
- 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.
- Forbes.com has listed Bruce Wayne as #8 on its list of fifteen wealthiest fictional characters, with a net worth of U.S 6.5 Billion.
- 3,231 Appearances of Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- 1,728 Images featuring Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- 301 Quotations by or about Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- Character Gallery: Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- Batman at DCComics.com
- Batman (Bruce Wayne) at Wikipedia.org
- Dark Knight Shift: Why Batman Could Exist--But Not for Long Scientific American article on the "reality" of someone becoming Batman.
- The Origin of Batman at DC Comic's Heroes and Villains Page
- Batman article at Toonopedia
- Batman article at Supermanica
- Batman at DCU Guide
- Batman page at DC Comics
- Batman: Yesterday, Today and Beyond
- Batman: The Dark Knight
- The Batman at the Guide to the Mythological Universe
- Batman and Religion at Adherents
- Who Knows Batman Is Bruce Wayne?
Discover and Discuss
- Search this site for:
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- ↑ Batman #404
- ↑ Batman #673
- ↑ Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight, 2nd edition, 2005, DK Publishing, ISBN 0-756-61121-0 
- ↑ Batman #405
- ↑ Batman #406
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 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
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 Justice League of America #9
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 Justice League of America (Volume 2) #0
- ↑ Justice League (Volume 2) #1
- ↑ 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 #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
- ↑ Batman #217
- ↑ Detective Comics #411
- ↑ Batman #232
- ↑ Batman #242
- ↑ Batman and the Outsiders #1
- ↑ New Teen Titans #39
- ↑ Batman #408, see excerpt
- ↑ Nightwing Secret Files and Origins #1
- ↑ Tales of the Teen Titans #44
- ↑ Legends #6
- ↑ Justice League #1
- ↑ Justice League International #7
- ↑ Batman: The Killing Joke
- ↑ Batman #426
- ↑ Batman #427, see excerpt
- ↑ Batman #428
- ↑ Batman #429
- ↑ Batman #440
- ↑ New Titans #60
- ↑ Batman #441
- ↑ New Titans #61
- ↑ Batman #442
- ↑ Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1
- ↑ Batman #491
- ↑ Batman #497
- ↑ Batman #509
- ↑ Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #62
- ↑ Robin (Volume 4) #8, see excerpt
- ↑ Catwoman (Volume 2) #12
- ↑ Zero Hour #4
- ↑ Batman #511
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #31
- ↑ Detective Comics #678
- ↑ Zero Hour #1
- ↑ Zero Hour #0
- ↑ 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 #20
- ↑ Batman #554
- ↑ Detective Comics #721
- ↑ Robin #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
- ↑ Batman Annual #25
- ↑ Infinite Crisis Secret Files and Origins #1
- ↑ 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 Week #30
- ↑ 146.0 146.1 52 Week #47
- ↑ Detective Comics #817
- ↑ Batman #651
- ↑ Detective Comics #818
- ↑ Batman #652
- ↑ Detective Comics #819
- ↑ 'Batman #653
- ↑ Detective Comics #820
- ↑ Batman #654
- ↑ 155.0 155.1 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
- ↑ Batman and Robin #16
- ↑ Batman: The Return #1
- ↑ Batman Incorporated #1
- ↑ Batman Incorporated #2
- ↑ Detective Comics Annual #12
- ↑ Batman Annual #28
- ↑ Flash (Volume 3) #12
- ↑ Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance #3
- ↑ Flashpoint (Volume 2) #1
- ↑ Flashpoint (Volume 2) #5, see excerpt
- ↑ Justice League: Origin
- ↑ Batman: Faces of Death
- ↑ Nightwing: Traps and Trapezes
- ↑ Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection
- ↑ Teen Titans: It's Our Right to Fight
- ↑ Red Hood and the Outlaws: REDemption
- ↑ Justice League (Volume 2) #7
- ↑ Batman and Robin: Born to Kill
- ↑ Catwoman: The Game
- ↑ Batman: Knight Terrors
- ↑ Batwing: The Lost Kingdom
- ↑ Justice League International: The Signal Masters
- ↑ Batman: The Court of Owls
- ↑ Batman (Volume 2) #8
- ↑ Detective Comics (Volume 2) #9
- ↑ Batman (Volume 2) #9
- ↑ Batman (Volume 2) #10
- ↑ Batman (Volume 2) #11
- ↑ Justice League: The Villain's Journey
- ↑ Justice League International: Breakdown
- ↑ Justice League International (Volume 3) Annual #1
- ↑ I, Vampire: Rise of the Vampires
- ↑ Detective Comics (Volume 2) #1
- ↑ Batman (Volume 2) #13
- ↑ Batman (Volume 2) #14
- ↑ Batman (Volume 2) #15
- ↑ Batman (Volume 2) #16
- ↑ Batman (Volume 2) #17
- ↑ Batman #588-590
- ↑ 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
- ↑ 243.0 243.1 Batman #655, see excerpt
- ↑ JLA #4
- ↑ JLA: Welcome to the Working Week
- ↑ Batman: Year Two
- ↑ Batman #0
- ↑ 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
- ↑ Batman #634
- ↑ Detective Comics #845, see excerpt
- ↑ Forbes Fictional 15
|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.