- Could they all be right? Could my pursuits be the work of some evil force? Am I condemned to be forever estranged from mankind, even in my research?
- — Bruce Wayne src
He was orphaned at a young age when his father, Dr. Thomas Wayne, and mother were killed on the way home from the theater by the masked highwayman Mr. Van Klooster. Bruce swore to kill the man who killed his parents, which would later conflict with his Hippocratic Oath when he became a doctor like his father. Studying at the local university, Bruce was often chided by the elder Doctor Seltsam for his isolation and expensive research. He used his inherited fortune to purchase the local structure known as Mad Ludwig's Castle.
During this time Bruce corresponded by letter with his dearly beloved Julia Lavenza, who worked as a tutor in Naples. Julia decided to move closer to Bruce to be a comfort during his research. Bruce was horrified upon finding this out late from his manservant Alfredo, fearing Julia would be killed by the local highwaymen. He arrived in time to stop a robber who mysteriously knew her name and nearly beat the man to death. They reported this incident to Burgermeister Gordon who suspected a larger conspiracy at work.
Despite Julia's presence Bruce continued to isolate himself in his work, moving the experiments to his castle when they proved too expensive for the university. He finally invited Doctor Seltsam over to see his accomplishments and introduced the hybrid Bat-Hound. Bruce explained that in studying biological energy he had learned to isolate specific traits of animals and combine them with each other. Seltsam was outraged at this blasphemous abomination and left, threatening to inform the university unless this was stopped.
That night Alfredo broke through an old floor and discovered an underground passageway below the castle. Exploring this they discovered it lead to the anatomical vaults under the university. Bruce was shocked to discover specimens dating back 15 years. Among these he found his father's preserved brain and decided to steal it. He determined that he would use his knowledge of biological energy and create an idealized body for his father's brain then bring it to life. Bruce grew increasingly distant from Julia, attempting to send her home although she refused. He also told Seltsam he would dismantle his laboratory.
On a stormy night Bruce and Alfredo lifted the giant body onto the rooftop where it was animated by lightning. Julia arrived and begged Bruce to let her in, but he sent her away again. They removed the bandages and discovered that their resurrection was successful but Thomas Wayne was no longer his old self. He was harmed by exposure to light, afraid of the darkness, and could only scream unintelligible gibberish. Determining this was a failure, he decided to dissect the creature and apologize to Julia. However, a conversation with Seltsam made him realize he had failed to account for his father's brain damage during the murder. Bruce returned to the castle and injected his father with the biological energy of a bat, hoping this would heal his mind and make him more comfortable in the night. He also designed a bat costume to help his father adjust. The early stages of the transformation drove his father crazy and Thomas Wayne escaped into the forest.
In the following weeks Thomas Wayne, now known as the Bat-Man, terrorized the town while murdering local highwaymen. Alfredo and the Bat-Hound were sent out to hunt for him. Eventually they found him and Bruce was able to barely stop his father from killing another soul. However, he recognized this highwayman as the robber who killed his parents. Mr. Van Klooster was able to escape after hinting that he worked for someone. Bruce took his father back to the castle.
The Bat-Man broke out again and kidnapped Julia from her home. Meanwhile, Alfredo and the Bat-Hound were kidnapped by Mr. Van Klooster and his employer. Bruce rode out into the night to look for Julia and found an angry mob with torches. They blamed Bruce for the monster and attacked him, forcing him to flee. Bruce followed clues that lead him to Doctor Seltsam's private laboratory where he found Alfredo. Inside he discovered Seltsam performing experiments on his victims, killing Van Klooster. Bruce attacked Seltsam, who admitted that he was working with the local highwaymen and had Thomas Wayne murdered as a rival. The highwaymen had been providing him with live bodies to use in his unethical research. The building began to collapse while Seltsam tried to escape, but the Bat-Man burst in carrying Julia. The Bat-Man attacked Seltsam and held the building up while everyone else escaped, then they both perished underneath it. His last word, reaching out to Bruce, was "son." Bruce had believed his father a mindless monster because of the kidnapping, but in the end realized that Thomas Wayne was leading him to vengeance the only way he knew how. Burgermeister Gordon arrived with the mob, having shown them Seltsam was the real villain, and Bruce explained that Seltsam was destroyed by the Bat-Man.
- This version of Bruce Wayne is analogous to the character Victor Frankenstein in the original novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
- 1 Appearances of Bruce Wayne (Castle of the Bat)
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