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'''[[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 of America|Justice League]] and the [[Outsiders]].
 
'''[[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 of America|Justice League]] and the [[Outsiders]].
   
[[File:Batman 404.jpg|right|200px|thumb|Bruce Wayne's parents murdered before his eyes.]]
+
[[File:Batman 404.jpg|left|200px|thumb|Bruce Wayne's parents murdered before his eyes.]]
 
===Early Life===
 
===Early Life===
 
As a young child, when he was six, Bruce Wayne fell through a dilapidated well to a cave full of bats on his estate, [[Wayne Manor]], which frightened him, until his father rescued him. Then, two years later, when he was eight, Bruce watched his parents murdered before his eyes. [[Thomas Wayne (New Earth)|Thomas]] and [[Martha Wayne (New Earth)|Martha Wayne]] were walking home from the theater one night with their son, when they were held up at gunpoint by a mugger and shot dead in the streets.<ref name="Batman 404">''{{c|Batman #404}}''</ref> The killer was a criminal known as [[Joseph Chilton (New Earth)|Joe Chill]], and he was arrested the very same night he murdered them.<ref>''{{c|Batman #673}}''</ref> Fortunately, medical doctor and social worker [[Leslie Thompkins (New Earth)|Leslie Thompkins]] was there to give loving comfort to the traumatized Bruce. He was then raised on the [[Wayne Manor]] along with the wise and loyal butler, [[Alfred Pennyworth (New Earth)|Alfred Pennyworth]]. Bruce had very few friends during his childhood.
 
As a young child, when he was six, Bruce Wayne fell through a dilapidated well to a cave full of bats on his estate, [[Wayne Manor]], which frightened him, until his father rescued him. Then, two years later, when he was eight, Bruce watched his parents murdered before his eyes. [[Thomas Wayne (New Earth)|Thomas]] and [[Martha Wayne (New Earth)|Martha Wayne]] were walking home from the theater one night with their son, when they were held up at gunpoint by a mugger and shot dead in the streets.<ref name="Batman 404">''{{c|Batman #404}}''</ref> The killer was a criminal known as [[Joseph Chilton (New Earth)|Joe Chill]], and he was arrested the very same night he murdered them.<ref>''{{c|Batman #673}}''</ref> Fortunately, medical doctor and social worker [[Leslie Thompkins (New Earth)|Leslie Thompkins]] was there to give loving comfort to the traumatized Bruce. He was then raised on the [[Wayne Manor]] along with the wise and loyal butler, [[Alfred Pennyworth (New Earth)|Alfred Pennyworth]]. Bruce had very few friends during his childhood.

Revision as of 17:42, August 17, 2010

     

Quote1 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. Quote2
Superman src

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.

Batman 404

Bruce Wayne's parents murdered before his eyes.

Early Life

As a young child, when he was six, Bruce Wayne fell through a dilapidated well to a cave full of bats on his estate, Wayne Manor, which frightened him, until his father rescued him. Then, two years later, when he was eight, Bruce watched his parents murdered before his eyes. Thomas and Martha Wayne were walking home from the theater one night with their son, when they were held up at gunpoint by a mugger and shot dead in the streets.[1] The killer was a criminal known as Joe Chill, and he was arrested the very same night he murdered them.[2] Fortunately, medical doctor and social worker Leslie Thompkins was there to give loving comfort to the traumatized Bruce. He was then raised on the Wayne Manor along with the wise and loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce had very few friends during his childhood.

Training

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, and disguise.

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 acquired more "practical" skills. While abroad, Wayne learned 127 major styles of combat, from Aikido to Yaw-Yan. Frenchman Henri Ducard made him an apprentice in man-hunting. The ninja Kirigi, and other ninja shadow masters, schooled Wayne in stealth and the ways of the shadow warrior. African Bushman (the Ghost Tribes of the Ten-Eyed Brotherhood, among others) taught hunting techniques, while Nepalese monks revealed healing arts [3]. He even learned ventriloquism from practitioners of the art. His knowledge of so many varied disciplines has made Wayne an unconventional and unpredictable opponent. When he was 20, he attempted to join the FBI, but he learned it would be impossible to fight crime and evil within the legal system.

Bruce Wayne 014

Without warning it comes... crashing through the window of your study... and mine...

Batman Begins

 
Main article: Batman: Year One
Bruce Wayne returned to Gotham City after many years of training, with his body and mind developed to perfection. He had all of the skills and methods to fight crime, but there was still something missing. Late one night sitting in his manor, he tried to figure out what he could use to strike terror into the hearts of criminals.
File:James Gordon 013.jpg
At that moment a giant bat crashes through his window, and he remembers being scared of them as a child... he determines that he shall become a Bat.[1] Designing himself a costume equipped with experimental technology, he sets out to against the crime and corruption making sure there is no hiding place for evil. Having become an urban legend, he reveals himself at a dinner of the most influential and corrupt and tells them that their reign is finished. His first ally is assistant district attorney Harvey Dent.[4] Most of the Gotham City Police Department is sent in force to capture him.[5] He gained his most powerful ally when he met police officer James Gordon, one of the few honest cops on the force, even when he saves his son, James Jr. from a kidnapping. With him and Dent's help, he exposes extreme corruption in the force leading to Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb's office and drove a major blow to the organized crime syndicate led by Carmine "The Roman" Falcone, thanks to the betrayal and testimony of Gordon's now ex-partner, Detective Arnold John Flass. Flass was off the force, Loeb was forced to retire, and the Roman's power was for the first time given a crippling blow...just a little bit. They developed a working relationship operating outside of the law when they needed to.[6]

Rogues Gallery

 
Main article: Batman Villains
Joker 0017

Batman's first fight against the Joker

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.[6] His next challenge was Dr. Hugo Strange, a mad scientist who had created Monster Men to do his bidding.[7] 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.[8][9] 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.[10] 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.[11] Poison Ivy attempted to destroy the city when an advanced connection to plant-life led her to wage a personal war against humanity.[12] The psychotic Mister Freeze used dangerous experimental technology to take revenge against society when his wife died.[13] 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

Gotham Organized Crime 01

Batman, Dent and Gordon

  Batman and his trusted allies James Gordon and Harvey Dent met up on the rooftop of police headquarters one night, and they swore that they would bring down the organized crime syndicates led by Carmine "The Roman" Falcone and Sal Maroni that were completely controlling their town. Although it was necessary to bend the rules in their efforts, they agreed that they would never break them, and become as bad as the evil they fought against.[14] Meanwhile a serial killer named Holiday began stalking prominent mafiosos and shooting them dead. There was suspicion immediately cast on the three men in the triumvirate, and the possibility that it might be someone trying to remove their competition.[15] Gotham's new breed of criminals was replacing the traditional gangsters, and the underground was slowly being taken over by costumed freaks with no respect for the old ways. Batman's presence is arguably the cause of this.[16] Amongst the killings Falcone's son Alberto was murdered.[17]
Batman Villains 0021

Two-Face and the "costumed freaks"

Bruce Wayne went on his first date with Selina Kyle around this time, who flirted with him as Catwoman by night unaware of his alter-ego.[18] In his desperation, the Roman changed the game by employing super-villains in his activities. Falcone and Maroni each believed the other was responsible for Holiday, and their gang wars tore Gotham apart.[19] Harvey Dent became a leading suspect because of his vindictive attitude towards criminals.[20] Bruce Wayne was also suspected of involvement with the Roman's organization and arrested.[21] His father Thomas Wayne had reluctantly performed emergency surgery on a young Carmine Falcone for bullet wounds and indebted him... making him indirectly responsible for the Roman's empire. Bruce's trial proved his innocence thanks to the testimony of Alfred Pennyworth.[22] Dent later admitted this was a mistake, and Maroni brought himself into custody with the intention of spilling his secrets before he was killed.[23] At the trial, Maroni smuggled in a bottle of acid and threw it at Dent's face during the prosecution, leaving him horribly disfigured. This also drove him insane, and he killed a doctor escaping from the hospital.[24] Shortly after this, Carla Viti, head of the Viti Crime Family is assassinated by Holiday. They arrive at the conclusion that Harvey Dent was Holiday, and Batman attempts to find him after he escapes. While Gordon is transporting the gangster to a different cell, Holiday appears and shoots Sal Maroni in the head, finally revealing his real identity... Alberto Falcone, having faked his own death.[25] Batman is disguised as the guard accompanying them, and he beats Holiday down before taking him into custody. Harvey Dent reappears calling himself Two-Face after the nature of his personal tragedy, taking a team of villains into the Roman's private office. As the two leaders showdown, Batman arrives and puts most of the criminals down, but he is unable to stop Two-Face from shooting Carmine Falcone twice in the head. The three men, Batman, Gordon and Dent, have a final meeting on the rooftop of police headquarters. Dent is accused of betraying the things he believed in, but he insists that his methods were the only ones that actually got rid of the Roman and he did what he needed to. He's then arrested, and although Batman and Gordon have seen one of the best men they knew completely broken, they still maintain that Gotham City can be saved and ridden of evil. Neither of them is willing to give up.[26] After this, Janice Porter would become the new D.A. of Gotham, and Falcone's son Mario would return to the U.S. after being deported to Italy.

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.[27] 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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30] Eventually they would decide that they could better protect the planet if they permanently joined forces... and they became the Justice League of America.[31]

Batman Family

 
Main article: Batman Family

Robin

Robin Dick Grayson 0012

Robin's first appearance.

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.[32] He saw both great potential and something of himself in the boy that night, and although he knew he could never replace his 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.[33][34] One night, Dick returned to the circus but was nearly killed by a gangster named Eddie Skeevers. Fortunetely, Dick was saved thanks to the intervention of Batman. Bruce later revealed his secret identity as the Caped Crusader, once Dick was finally brought to safety.[35] 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. They succeed in revealing Zucco's complicity, but he supposedly dies of a heart attack before his arrest. [36] After several months Dick was finally ready to take to the streets as Robin, fighting crime alongside his mentor. Dick quickly proved himself by assisting Batman in a battle against the Hangman and Two-Face.[37] They swore an oath late that 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.[38][39]

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.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42][43] 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.[44] Dick had to prove again that he really wanted this life, demonstrating his competence and resolve.[45]

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.[46] 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.[47][48] Dick eventually left Gotham completely to attend college at Hudson University.[49]

Batgirl

 
Main article: Batgirl: Year One

When Bruce is invited to the Million Dollar Masquerade Ball, Comissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara crashes the party in a girl version of Batman's costume, to upset 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 proteges.

Nightwing Vol 2 105

Nightwing

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.[50] 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.[51] 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.[52] 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.[53]

Batman 408

Jason Todd while attempting to steal the tires of the Batmobile

Jason Todd

Some weeks after firing Dick and him becoming Nightwing, it's the aniversery 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.

File:Batman Joker HAHA.jpg

The Killing Joke

 

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 naïve 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 Joker'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 Joker. Joker escapes.

A Death in the Family

Robin Jason Todd 0024

Death of Jason Todd

  Batman begins having problems with Robin's attitude, when the boy gets increasingly violent and careless during their crimefighting. The boy is still grieving over the deaths of his parents Catherine and Willis Todd, and Bruce takes him off active duty until he can keep himself in check. Jason learns through old records that the mother he knew was actually his step-mother, and his estranged birth-mother is still alive. Robin visits the middle east to track down his remaining parent and Batman comes along attempting to hunt down the recently escaped Joker.[54] Searching across several countries eventually leads them to a doctor named Sheila Haywood, and Jason is reunited with her at last.
Joker 0081

Joker beats Robin with a crowbar.

They learn that Joker is actually blackmailing the woman over an operation she botched several years ago, and is planning to steal the area's medical supplies and replace them with lethal laughing gas. Jason is betrayed by his mother when he tries to rescue her, and the Joker beats him within an inch of his life using a crowbar. The two of them are tied up in a warehouse set with a time bomb... and it explodes before they can escape.[55] Batman arrives moments too late, and finds to his horror that both of them were killed in the explosion. Bruce feels responsible for the death of his young partner, having endangered him by bringing him into this lifestyle. There is a funeral held back in Gotham, but it must be kept quiet so that people don't link him to his secret identity. Batman is determined to take retribution against the Joker, because this time he has gone completely too far and his insanity can no longer be used as an excuse. Superman arrives to prevent him from doing anything he's going to regret, and Batman is so angry that he punches him in the face. They discover that while he was overseas, Joker was actually offered a position as the United Nations ambassador for Iran and now has complete diplomatic immunity.[56] Batman is intent on having their final confrontation, and putting an end to his nemesis once and for all... he comes to see the villain's first political speech. Naturally, this is part of a plot to murder every single delegate with poisonous gas. Batman and Superman stop the massacre together, and Batman chases the Joker to his helicopter where they struggle in the air. The vehicle begins to crash, and Batman is barely able to dive out and save himself before the entire thing explodes. Joker's body is nowhere to be found, and Batman remarks angrily that this is the same way every conflict they have ends... unresolved.[57]

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.

Knightfall

Bane 0020

Bane breaks the Bat.

 
Main article: Knightfall

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.[58]

Broken Bat

Bane freeing all of the maximum-security inmates of Arkham Asylum, a notorious psychiatric facility in Gotham City. 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 Victor 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. After this encounter, Bane makes his move and attacks Batman at Wayne Manor, where he is most vulnerable as his alter-ego. By this time, Bane had deduced the secret identity of Batman. The fight between Bruce Wayne and Bane ends in Bane breaking Wayne's back over his knee;[3] 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.

Knightquest

The Crusade

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).

The Search

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.

KnightsEnd

Mask of Tengu 002

Bruce wears the Mask of Tengu

Bruce Wayne realizes that his skills are gone 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 moves, but 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.[59] The last man is the most formidable warrior, and after defeating him Bruce seemingly kills him with a deadly leopard blow strike.[60] 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.[61] He immediately challenges Azrael.[62]

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[4], 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.

Aftermath

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.

It's revealed in the later No Man's Land storyline that Bruce also used this time to set up contingency bases throughout Gotham.

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 KG Beast, 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.

He is found on the street by Bruce Wayne, and given money to leave Gotham to travel the world and find his purpose as had Bruce. His journeys take him to Europe, where he uncovers conspiracies within the Brotherhood of St. Dumas which had brainwashed him. Later, he returns to Gotham to aid Batman.

Batman and Bane later have a rematch, in which Bane is now in leagues with Ra's Al Ghul!

Azrael is tasked by Batman to track down the recently-resurfaced Bane. After meeting, the two men struggle, and Bane gets the upper hand with the aid of a small band of Santa Priscan soldiers and his old henchman Bird. He restrains Azrael and injects him with Venom, with the plan of using him as a super soldier to take over Santa Prisca. Azrael is able to resist addiction to the drug and eventually conquers Bane and flies him back to Gotham City. They arrive just as the massive earthquake occurs. Bane attempts escape but is unable; as a last-ditch effort he unsuccessfully tries to convince Azrael to form a partnership. Instead, Azrael reaffirms his dedication to Bruce Wayne.

Destruction of Gotham City

Cataclysm

Batman Cataclysm TP

Cataclysm

 
Main article: Batman: Cataclysm

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.[63] The only properties that were not affected by the quake were those owned by Wayne Enterprises, not including Wayne Manor for geographic reasons.[64] His car crushed, Bruce was forced to scuba through underground streams before getting to the harbor and seeing his city in flames.[65] 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.[66] He enlisted the Penguin's influence on organized crime to incorporate local gangsters into the rescue efforts for survivors in the wreckage.[67] Teaming up with the GCPD he adopted the guise of a Detective Hawke so he could drag people to safety in the daylight.[68] 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.[69] In reality he had kidnapped seismologist Jolene Relazzo and was using her knowledge to plausibly take credit.[70] 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.[71]

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.[72] 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.[73] 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.[74] Jeremiah Arkham was forced to release all the dangerously insane patients from Arkham Asylum into the streets.[75]

No Man's Land

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Batman during No Man's Land

 
Main article: 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, tells Luthor that Gotham is not for sale, and warns 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.

Hush

 
Main article: Batman: Hush
Batman Catwoman kiss 01

Catwoman's proposal

Bruce Wayne realized that he was in the center of a malevolent shadow conspiracy targeting his life one night when his batline was cut in mid-air by a thrown batarang and he barely survived the descent from the rooftops.[76] Tommy Elliot, his out-of-touch closest childhood friend who had grown into a skilled surgeon, repaired the damage and saved his life.[77] Soon afterward the tires on the Batmobile were shot out by a sniper during a mission that led to a dangerous crash. At the same time he became romantically involved with the reformed Catwoman after saving her life from Killer Croc. They shared a passionate kiss together and gave into the feelings they had both been experiencing for years.[78] Having begun to open up emotionally again, he reopened ties with his old friend Tommy and began working more closely with Catwoman in the field as a partner, teaming up with her to fight Poison Ivy.[79] Ivy mind-controlled Superman and the two were forced to fight against the most powerful being on the planet... Batman was able to combat Superman's brute force by using superior tactics and his Green Kryptonite Ring. Catwoman kidnapped Lois Lane and put her in mortal danger so Superman would be forced to break the hold and rescue her. After they caught Ivy by having Krypto track her down, Clark felt reassured that he had given the one weapon that could hurt him to the right person.[80]
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Fighting Superman

During an excursion to the opera that was interrupted by Harley Quinn staging a robbery, Tommy Elliot appeared to be shot in the heart and killed by the Joker.[81] This drove Batman into a furious rage, and in his grief-stricken state he intended to beat the villain to death as he should have done many years before to prevent so much senseless tragedy, stopped only by Commissioner Gordon until his senses returned.[82] Harvey Dent reappeared in Gotham no longer insane having gone through surgery to fix his face, and wanting to return to his former position as district attorney. Bruce took advice from Nightwing that if he was truly going to pursue a meaningful relationship with Selina he would need to open up to her, and to her surprise he made the decision to reveal his secret identity.[83]
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Hush revealed

Further investigation led him to suspect Ra's al Ghul might have answers about the unseen hand coordinating recent events, so Batman abducted his daughter Talia al Ghul and held her hostage. Besting Ra's in a sword-fight only allowed him to learn that there had been recent unauthorized access to the Lazarus Pits and the League of Assassins was desperate to kill whomever was responsible. Catwoman was almost killed by Lady Shiva trying to stop her from rescuing Talia, but Batman acknowledged that the love he felt for Selina made it worth being emotionally vulnerable about her.[84] A fight against Scarecrow led him to Gotham Cemetery where the mysterious man finally revealed himself to be Jason Todd, a grown adult and apparently back from the dead, furious that Bruce had let him die.[85] After lengthy physical combat he realized he had been tricked by Clayface. Consultation with Oracle on surveillance equipment found in the Batcave revealed that he had been betrayed by his former employee, mechanical genius Harold Allnut. When he set up a meeting with Harold the man broke down in tears over the treachery, because he had been given happiness and expensive surgery that repaired his voice and freakish looks making him finally normal. At that moment, two shots rang out and Harold was murdered.[86] The mysterious villain finally revealed himself as Hush, Bruce's friend Tommy who had faked his death using Clayface and masterminded this elaborate scheme to take revenge on the Wayne Family in a personal vendetta. Hush would have killed Batman if not for the intervention of Gordon at the behest of Dent, formerly a co-conspirator, who betrayed Hush now that he had gone sane again. Tommy Elliot fell into the harbor and escaped before they capture him. Batman realized that there must have been another mind pulling strings, and deduced that the Riddler had been working with Hush and manipulating the other villains the entire time. Riddler was the one who had broken into the Lazarus Pits to cure his cancer, and in the ensuing fit of madness figured out that Batman was Bruce Wayne. But a riddle that everyone knows the answer to is worthless, so his psychosis would not allow him to tell anyone else about it. Afterwards Batman also ended his romantic affair with Catwoman, realizing that he couldn't allow anyone to get that close to him in his line of work, but hoped that someday in the future he would be able to.[87]

Supergirl

When finding Kryptonite in the Gotham City bay, Batman came across a large ship in the water. It's later revealed that inside was Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin from Krypton. For a while, in the begining of her arrival into Clark's life, Batman didn't beleive she was the real Kara Zor-El. Batman also beleived that she may be a threat.

After Batman and Superman fight off some Amazonian warriors in Metropolis, it's revealed that Diana wants to take her to Themyscia to train her. While there, Superman and Wonder Woman do not see eye to eye on the training or even Kara being on the island.

Later, a army of cloned Doomsdays attack the island, which turns out to be a distraction formed by Darkseid to kidnap the Kryptonian girl. Batman recovers a body, that of which is a Amazonian. They soon discover Darkseid has kidnapped Kara and they go for help, bringing in Big Barda into the mix.

They go to Apocalypse to find that Kara has been brain washed by Darkseid and has gone against the four heroes. Superman is then forced to use a Kryptonite ring to fight his cousin. While Superman and Kara battle, Batman confronts Darkseid with Mr. Miracle's weapons. Although this almost costs Batman's life.

Clark takes Kara to Smallville, where she will meet Clark's parents. When they get there, they are greeted by a furious Darkseid who disinagrates Kara after her attempt at saving Clark's life. This enrages Clark into almost killing Darkseid, but instead sends him into the Phantom Zone inside the Mother Box. It was planned, though, that Supergirl would be evaperated into ashe. She turned up alive, though, using her super speed to get out of the way and leave a pile of ashe behind, to trick Darkseid. Batman eventually learns to trust Kara and even trains her. She has even said that she considers Batman along with Superman and Wonder Woman as her foster parents.

Batman was at her introduction to the other heroes where the JLA, JSA, and the Teen Titans along with the Outsiders all gathered to celebrate Kara becoming Supergirl!

Jason's Revenge

 
File:Batman 084.jpg

When Superboy-Prime alters reality from the paradise dimension in which he is trapped (six months after his death), Jason is restored to life and breaks out of his coffin, but collapses thereafter and is hospitalized. After spending a year in a coma and subsequently as an amnesiac vagrant, he is recognized by Talia al Ghul, who restores his health and memory by immersing him in a Lazarus Pit in which her father Ra's al Ghul is also bathing. It is suggested at that time that exposure to the Pit's energies together with Al Ghul might have affected Jason's personality. On Talia's advice, Jason determines his death was never avenged, and prepares to confront Batman by traveling across the globe in the same path of trainings as his mentor.

When Batman expresses no remorse for sparing the Joker's life after Jason was killed, Jason is further angered and takes up the mantle of the Red Hood.

Shortly after the events of War Games and War Crimes, Jason Todd reappears in Gotham City as the Red Hood, hijacking a shipment of Kryptonite from Black Mask. In the midst of a battle with Batman, Nightwing, and Mr. Freeze, the Red Hood gives them the Kryptonite back, and tells them he has gotten what he truly wanted: a "lay of the land." Shortly afterward, the Red Hood finds the Joker (driven out of Gotham by Hush) and beats him with a crowbar just as the Joker had beaten Jason. Despite the violence of the beating, Jason has the Joker saved, intending to use him later against Batman.

The Red Hood assumes control over several gangs in Gotham City and starts a one-man-war against Black Mask's criminal empire. Over all, he strives to cleanse the city of its corruption, such as drug dealing and gang violence, and to kill the Joker in revenge for his own death. Because of his anti-heroic activities he repeatedly comes to blows with Batman and several of his allies. A Robin mask was found in the Batmobile, which never belonged to Dick or Tim, but it was of the style that Jason wore as Robin. Around this time, Batman discovers that Jason's coffin has always been empty, and he begins to question whether or not Jason had actually died. Despite his return, Jason's Robin costume remains in its memorial display case in the Batcave; when Alfred asked if Bruce wanted the costume removed, Bruce replied that the return of Jason "doesn't change anything at all."

Jason, the murderous Nightwing, knowing that Tim Drake has not only replaced him as Robin, but is reportedly a better Robin than he had been, Jason breaks into Titans Tower to confront Tim. Wearing an altered version of his own Robin costume, Jason quickly immobilizes the other Titans and strikes Tim down in the Tower's Hall of Fallen Titans. Furious that no memorial statue was made for him (despite his short tenure as a Titan), Jason demands that Tim tell him if he is really as good as Jason has been told. Tim says "Yes" and passes out. As he leaves, Jason tears the 'R' emblem from Tim's chest. In the Epilogue, Jason has apparently developed a grudging respect for his replacement as he states, "I'll admit. He's good". Jason is also left wondering if perhaps he would have been a better Robin and better person had he a life like Tim's and friends like the Titans[2].

Jason's return crescendos when he kidnaps the Joker and holds him hostage, luring Batman to Crime Alley, the site of their first meeting. Jason asks Batman why he has not avenged his death by killing the Joker, and Batman tells Jason that he will never cross that line. An enraged Jason explains that Joker deserves it, because he has done evil in the past and, according to Jason, is "doing it because he took me away from you". Despite this, Batman explains that it is not too hard for him to kill the Joker, it would be too easy; he has never once not fantasized about taking the Joker somewhere private and torturing him for maybe weeks before finally killing him, but refuses to go to that place. Jason offers Batman an ultimatum: Jason will kill the Joker unless Batman kills Jason first. Holding the Joker at gunpoint, Jason throws a pistol to Batman and begins to count to three while standing behind the Joker, leaving Batman with only a headshot if he wants to stop Jason pulling the trigger. At the last moment, Batman throws a batarang that cuts down an object and slices Jason's neck. The Joker takes advantage of the situation, detonating nearby explosives that engulf the platform they are on and send them plunging into the bay.

Infinite Crisis/One Year Later

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. [88] 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.

To this end, he departed Gotham City on a quest to "kill the bat". Along with Robin and Nightwing, he traveled to the Middle East where he re-honed his martial prowess under the tutelage of a desert cult known as the Cult of the Ten-Eyed Men. [89]

Batman returned to Gotham City with a stronger sense of self, and a clear optimistic view of the future. Batman even battled with many of his enemies capturing most of them (these events were mentioned in Batman 655 which may contradict with other stories) with the exception of Joker who was shot in the face by a dying crazed police officer wearing a Batman costume the Joker was then sent to Arkham. Bruce began a flirtatious relationship with Jezebel Jet a supermodel and leader of a small nation. Batman's new found optimism was challenged however when he found himself united with Damian Wayne his alleged son with villainess Talia al Ghul. Batman attempted to become a father figure to Damian, but quickly realized that the young boy's mind was already diseased by a violent upbringing he attacked Tim Drake, Bruce Wayne's adopted son and Alfred Pennyworth Bruce believed that the boy was sent to sabotage him. Their time together was short as his mother Talia held the British wife hostage with an army of her ninjas injected with Kirk Langstorm's man bat serum in Gibraltar. Batman with the help of Langstorm who created an antidote with the British army fought Talia's legion on a tanker. After the battle he asked Talia of her motives she responded by saying she wished for her Damian and the Caped Crusader to be one family when Batman said he did not consider her his love anymore she responded by detonating the tanker, Talia and Damian both survived.

New Joker/Three Ghosts of Batman

File:ThreeGhostsofBatman.jpg

On one particular night Batman found himself attempting to solve the murders of many of Gotham's underground this included midgets, clowns all were old henchmen of the Joker who was still recovering from his shot to the face. It was then made clear Joker was tearing away at his past and was responsible for the murders of his old henchmen. Batman hypothesized that the Joker was changing in personality as well as appearance. When Batman confronted Harley Quinn while he saved one more minion he attempted to talk sense in the woman who made it clear she and Joker believed Batman shot Joker. Harley escaped from Batman and went to Arkham, Batman then arrived to Arkham and saw Joker, who had just received new facial reconstruction surgery making him appear much more hideous with a speech impediment. Joker was going to attempt to slice Harley's mouth open to prove he had truly changed. Batman stopped the attack and fought the Joker who was about to escape Arkham before he was shot in the shoulder by Harley now in tears, Batman dragged Joker presumably back to his cell. After dealing with the aftermath of Joker and the ninja man bats Bruce began a real relationship with Jezebel Jet the two became close both were even orphans. After returning to Gotham Batman attacked a meeting between a pimp and two corrupt GCPD officers, when Batman asked one of the prostitutes in the pimp's employ she told him that many women were being taken to a "monster on smack" in a abandoned building. When Batman entered the building he saw many dead women and one alive on heroin Batman then saw the monster in question, a giant wearing a Batman costume but with a mask that resembled his nemesis Bane. The Bat-Bane (who appeared to have superhuman strength) then proceeded to violently attack Batman leaving him knocked out on the street. As Batman laid unconscious on the street the same prostitute he spoke to drove Batman as he woke up he asked to be driven to a location in a subway, Batman then walked out to a elevator that took him to his penthouse in Gotham city. As Batman was tended to by Alfred and Tim it was clear to Batman someone was planning against him and it involved his Blackcase book journals the contents of which contained adventures to bizarre to have occurred. It was clear that the Bat-Bane was pumped full of venom and Hugo Strange's monster men serum it seemed that Batman may have encountered three individuals dressed as Batman before the first was the man who shot Joker Bat Bane was the second Batman believed he may have fought the three at some point. Robin then went to defeat the Bat Bane alone before he was joined by Batman the combination of the two then beat the Bat Bane before they could capture him they were interrupted GCPD officers suggesting that they were involved with the Bat Bane, Batman distracted the cops by detonating his Batmobile and left.

The Island of Mister Mayhew

Sometime later Batman and Tim were invited to a reunion of the Batmen of All Nations on John Mayhew's (their former benefactor's) island. The Club of heroes had changed over the years in addition to meeting The Knight and Squire. There was also Gaucho. The Musketeer, who had been incarcerated at some point and is now retired. Man-of-Bats, who has become an alcoholic. The former Little Raven, Raven Red. Legionary who has become over weight and retired. Dark Ranger and Wingman who now holds Batman in contempt and claims he became Batman a year before Bruce. Soon the group of heroes was gathered in a meeting room where they saw a man wearing John Mayhew's dismembered face who said all were part of a game that the "Black Glove" was playing all the heroes were in danger. The first victim was Legionary it becomes clear that there was some tension between Batmen of all Nations members and it was clear one was helping the murderer. It was then made clear that Wingman was helping the murderer who was in fact John Mayhew the game being played was between the Black Glove and John Mayhew his life for Batman's. Wingman is killed by Mayhew and Batman is able to stop Mayhew from escaping by stealing his plane he and the remaining members escape the island as it is destroyed by the Black Glove along with Mayhew.

The Third Batman

As the relationship between Bruce and Jezebel grows the two arrange a date in Gotham but it is interrupted by an assault on Gotham Central by the third Batman after the man who shot Joker and Bat-Bane. It is clear the Third Batman named Michael Lane is delusional he has no idea what year it is (still believing Commissioner Vane to be in charge) and claims he was recently activated. As Gordon tries to reason with Lane he takes Gordon hostage on the Gotham Central rooftop Batman arrives he tries to save Gordon but Lane well prepared shoots Batman in the chest resulting in Batman having a heart attack and hallucinating of the Bat-Mite. While Batman has his heart attack he remembers things from his past particularly an experiment he participated in for NASA that left him temporarily insane. Bruce is then bought back from the brink of death by Lane himself. Lane then proceeds to torture Batman saying the man who experimented on Batman in the experiment turned Lane and the other two Batmen into what they became as replacements in case Batman ever died it was also made apparent that the scientist was insane, the "Devil" as Lane called him. The few GCPD officers who kept Bat Bane reveal to Gordon that they were all police volunteers for a program under Police Commissioner Vane and the military's watch that would replace Batman in case he ever died but all the experiments resulted in officer Joseff Muller's crazed state that had him attack Joker, Officer Branca's mutated Bat Bane form and Lane's delusional state of mind. These police officers felt the obligation to protect their fellow officers and kept Gordon in the dark as it happened when he was demoted to a patrol man. During Lane's torture Batman escapes and fights back against Lane. Lane's backup was Branca whom he bought with him on the attack on the GCPD before Branca can fight Batman he is shot in the head and killed by his fellow officers. Batman chases down Lane but he escapes Batman leaving a warning that something will happen to Batman. Sometime later Bruce Wayne and Jezebel Jet go on another date in a restaurant it is clear to Jet that Bruce is hiding something from her and she wishes he would treat her with some respect demanding to know what is going on his life the restaurant is robbed before the two can continue their conversation by a multi eyed criminal called "The Fiend with Nine Eyes" he captures Jezebel as his henchmen attack Bruce. Bruce then escapes to attack The Fiend with Nine Eyes. He frees Jet then proceeds to attack The Fiend demanding to know who the Black Glove is believing this to be part of some conspiracy against him. As he beats the Fiend Jezebel Jet realizes that Bruce's secret is that he is Batman.

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"Batman of Zur-En-Arrh."

Batman R.I.P.

 
Main article: Batman R.I.P.

Dr. Simon Hurt and the Black Glove,made up of the riches people on the world then make their attack on Batman a culmination of years of preparation as Hurt was the scientist who experimented on Batman years ago. They make a bet that they can ruin the soul of Batman and kill him.

Using a mixture of physical and psychological attacks, the Black Glove tests Batman's resolve, forcing him to temporarily adopt the crazed persona of the "Batman of Zur-En-Arrh." He is then led to Arkham Asylum to face the Joker. Seemingly defeated, Batman is buried alive by the Black Glove, a group that includes Bruce Wayne's girlfriend, Jezebel Jet, who has betrayed him. With the assistance of Robin and Nightwing he turns the tables on his foes. In a final confrontation with Dr. Hurt, Batman is caught in a helicopter crash.

The storyline concludes with both Batman's fate and the true identity of Dr. Hurt still up in the air. Hurt himself repeatedly claimed to be Thomas Wayne throughout the story, while Batman apparently believed him to be Mangrove Pierce, a crazed actor. To further add to the confusion, a multitude of clues dropped throughout Morrison's run actually seem to suggest that Dr. Hurt is, in fact, the Devil himself.

Final Crisis

Death of Batman 02

Bruce Wayne's corpse

 
Main article: Final Crisis

Batman must solve the murder of a New God when Orion is killed in Metropolis by a Radion Bullet. This is part of a greater plot by Darkseid to control the Multiverse using the Anti-Life Equation during Final Crisis.[90] Libra, prophet of the Religion of Crime, kills Martian Manhunter. At the funeral, he pays his respects by placing a Choco on his departed friend's grave.[91] Investigating the killings, he was taken prisoner by another dark servant Granny Goodness posing as Kraken of the Alpha Lantern Corps.[92]

Death of Batman 01

Omega Sanction

They intend to use Bruce Wayne to create a clone army of Batmen, using his body and mind as the template for perfect soldiers. Simyan and Mokkari hold him in their Evil Factory where they sedate him and slowly drain his character. Recognizing what is happening to him, Batman breaks his psyche out of telepathic restraints and fights back against the system. Making his own mind into a weapon, he uses all of the pain and trauma he's experienced to destroy their machines. Every single memory that Batman has driving his motivations, all of the raw emotional energy, is more stress than anything else can tolerate and the entire complex destroys itself and nearly everything inside.[93]

Batman challenges Darkseid, the ultimate personification of evil, as the Anti-Life destroys reality around them. Although he made a very solemn vow about firearms, he says that he is making a once-in-a-lifetime exception... and shoots Darkseid in the chest with the Radion Bullet. This is a reversal of the moment when evil struck down his parents in the streets... and this time, Batman stands with his smoking gun pointed at evil himself. The last thing he says is "gotcha." Right before dying, Darkseid blasts Batman with an Omega Sanction that seemingly kills him. Arriving moments too late, Superman recovers Batman's skeletal burnt corpse.[94]

Bruce Wayne is shown to have survived the Omega Sanction, and his body has been flung backward thousands of years in time. He is trapped in the Prehistoric Era, where he is present for the death of the first man Anthro, and draws cave paintings of his own insignia.[95]

Battle for the Cowl

 

Naturally, following the events of "Final Crisis" that left the Batman Family without their leader. The family was in disarray, Gotham criminals took advantage of Batman's 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 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.

Blackest Night

Black Lantern Batman 01

Black Lantern Corps

 
Main article: Blackest Night

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.[96] 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.

Some time 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.

Bruce Wayne 019

The Return of Bruce Wayne

The Return of Bruce Wayne

 

Taking place immediately following the last page of Final Crisis #7, Bruce Wayne (apparently amnesic) walks out of the cave where Anthro died and is discovered by a tribe of primitives led by Vandal Savage, who attempts to kill Wayne in the belief that he is a member of the 'Sky People', based on him having arrived at the same time as the rocket that was launched by the Daily Planet staff prior to the use of the Miracle Machine.

Wayne is freed by a younger member of the tribe who returns his utility belt to him. He then finds the pelt of a giant bat to wear. Using the contents of the belt to stave off an attack by Savage and his mob, operating on instinct more than actual knowledge, Batman and the boy flee. Wayne jumps over a waterfall with his young partner, only to vanish at the bottom, somehow turning up in Puritan Era Gotham City. After he has vanished, Superman, Green Lantern and Booster Gold appear in the past via Rip Hunter's time sphere, having tracked Bruce to the past. Superman confirms with his super-hearing that Batman isn't in this time. As they depart, Superman states that they have to catch up with Batman before he can return to the present on his own or the world will be in great danger. In the new era he arrives in, Bruce surfaces from the water and finds a woman, when they are suddenly attacked by a large, tentacled creature. Bruce raises his sword to defend himself and the woman.

Wayne saves the woman, who in turn nurses Wayne back to health. Just as he passes out, he notices she wears the Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman emblems he drew on the cave, back in the Paleolithic era. He finds himself in Gotham Colony, where he assumes the identity of the witch-hunter Mordecai and solves a murder, but clashes with the witch-hunting Brother Malleus.

Meanwhile, at Vanishing Point, at the end of time, Booster Gold, Rip Hunter, Green Lantern and Superman consult the "archivist," who explains that time is like a tangled loom, continually branching off and intersecting.

At the end of the issue, the archivist is revealed to be an older version of Batman himself, who steals Rip Hunter's time bubble and leaves the heroes to experience the death of the universe, Superman pleading with him to stop. Superman reveals that, when Darkseid sent Batman back in time, he erased Bruce's memories but turned him into an unspecified 'doomsday weapon', knowing that Batman's powerful survival instincts would lead him back to the twenty-first century, at which point Darkseid's 'trap' will be triggered.

Back at the village of Gotham, Annie is being hanged by Malleus, citing her crimes as a witch. She tells him he'll pay though, as she knows his real name: Nathaniel Wayne. She curses him and all his line until the end of time, and is then dropped to her death.

Elsewhere, Bruce emerges from a large body of water, loudly yelling Annie's name. He stumbles onto the sand of a beach, right under the boot of Blackbeard, the pirate.[11]

A memory unfolds - Darkseid's final showdown with the Batman, and the Batman being struck with the Omega Beams. All of this comes with a single injunction: "Remember".

On the shore of Bristol Bay, the dreaded pirate Edward "Blackbeard" Thatch has just sunk the ship of the vigilante known as the Black Pirate. Two men came out of the drink - a young man who won't speak, and a defiant black-haired fellow. Blackbeard rounds on the black-haired man, accuses him of being the Black Pirate, and demands that he take him to the fabled treasure of the Miagani, in the caves above Gotham Town. When the black-haired man says he is not the Black Pirate, Blackbeard pulls out the accouterments of the Black Pirate, which were also pulled off the ship. At the appeal of the young man, Blackbeard and the black-haired man agree to go to the caves.

On the way, the young man, who introduces himself as cabin boy Jack Loggins, tells them that when the Pilgrims came over, the last of the Deer People joined their one-time brothers, the Bat-People, in the caves of Gotham. Blackbeard wonders at the possibility of ransoming Loggins, but the black-haired stranger shoots this down, pointing to the callouses on Loggin's hands and the general state of his clothes.

On the way down, the black-haired stranger notices the drawings he made, all those years ago. Loggins meanwhile recounts the lore of the perils they are soon to face: The Whistling Demon, The Breath of The Bat, The Bridge of Bones and The River of Night. Blackbeard tells him to shut up, but the stranger works out the first trap - a set of hidden people armed with darts, who aim by echolocation. Soon they come to the second trap: the Breath of the Bat - methane from dissolving bat droppings. The stranger orders them to douse their torches, but one man scuffs his shoe on a flint stone, causing a spark which almost kills them all.

Meanwhile, in the present day, Batman and Robin are investigating in Bludhaven. Wonder Woman has put the Justice League on Black alert - when Batman makes his way to the present, something terrible will happen. Red Robin recounts how the current Batman found the cape of the original in a cave, 11,000 years old by radiocarbon dating. A set of strange holes in the hood match to a brainwashing helmet in Command-D in Bludhaven. The word is out - Batman is alive, and the world is doomed...

Back in the past, Loggins corners the stranger, and admits that he is Jack Valor, grandson of John Valor, the original Black Pirate. Valor hands over the costume of the Black Pirate, but Blackbeard rounds on the two and wants to know what they are talking about. The stranger makes a grand show of falling into the river. They make the rest of the walk to the Bridge of Bones in silence. At the edge, they are attacked once by the darts of the Bat-People. And on the other side of the bridge, he appears - the Black Pirate. Blackbeard takes aim, but somehow misses, and the two men begin their duel in earnest. Meanwhile, the First Mate, Hands, grabs "Loggins" and crosses the Bridge of Bones.

Just as the Black Pirate defeats Blackbeard, Hands puts up the shout - surrender or the boy dies. However, within seconds of the challenge, two of the pirates are dead by Miagani darts, leaving only Blackbeard and Hands. The Black Pirate demands that the two retreat. Then Jack Valor introduces the Black Pirate to the last of the Miagani Tribe. They recognize him, and let into the most sacred part of their cave, which is guarded by a statue of their patron spirit, "the Lord of Night and the Dark Sun", who is supposed to guard them against the day they call the "All-Over". At the back of the cave is the cape of the Lord of Night - the cape that Batman was wearing when he came back in time. The Black Pirate is struck by his memories.

At dawn the Black Pirate emerges from the cave with Jack Valor. Jack explains that he inherited the "Black Pirate" identity from his grandfather, and is unsure if he will continue with it. As an eclipse starts, the Black Pirate hands back the cloak and gives Jack the task of telling the Wayne family of Gotham what happened this day, as well as a commandment before disappearing: "Don't ever stop fighting."

Blackbeard was reported hanged two months later. According to Jack's diary, he continued with the Black Pirate identity for many years, saving lives, including the woman who became his wife. They moved to Philadelphia and he left the costume behind. However, he did not visit the Wayne family until years later. They took his diary and placed it in a capsule, along with something he swore never to tell another living soul about. And yet, though Valor did his duty, he felt on the way back as though something terrible would one day rise from his actions...

By the late 19th century, a group of Gotham criminals had incurred the ire of caped mystery horseman. So they hired the deadliest gunman in the Americas to defend them: the man known as Jonah Hex... When Jonah enters the city, he is met by the man who has hired him; Vandal Savage, currently weak from a cancer in his intestines, who wants Hex to eliminate the man who has been attacking his men. While Savage attempts to torture a woman whose family have been entrusted with a box, marked with the symbol of the bat, that they are to keep sealed until its owner comes to claim it. During the subsequent fight, the masked man unintentionally leads the woman to Thomas Wayne as he is about to commit suicide due to his current dejection about life, the two quickly forming an attraction for each other. As the woman returns the box to the masked man -recognizing his identity from a necklace that he took from her great-grandmother-, he opens the box, only to be subsequently shot by Hex and fall into the ocean, Hex concluding that he will finish his contract regardless. Over the next century, Wayne Manor is built after Wayne's wife dies in childbirth, Wayne developing it according to his wife's desires to honor the bat-man who saved them, culminating in the dark man stumbling out of a Gotham alley in the city in the 1930s, still bleeding from Hex's shot.[97]

Personality

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 preestablished 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.[98] He has since, when in the Malone persona, pursued it to the point of even being incarcerated as him in Blackgate Penitentiary.

Secret Identity

Bruce Wayne 001

Bruce Wayne at the opera

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 Lanterns Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner & Alan Scott, Plastic Man (Patrick "Eel" O'Brien), Red Arrow (Roy Harper), Vixen )Mari McCabe), Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce), Aquaman (Orin/Arthur Curry), Green Arrow (Oliver "Ollie" Queen), Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Red Hood (Jason Todd), Robin III (Tim Drake), Oracle (Barbara Gordon), 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.

Several villains have discovered his true identity over the years, most notably eco-terrorist Ra's al Ghul, Hugo Strange, the Riddler, Catwoman (Selina Kyle), the Scarecrow, and Bane.

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.

Batman 003

The Batman

Personality & Relationships

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 reached Bruce's heart and have 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, 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 no 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 unneccessarily 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 though, the two hold a deep respect for one another, often considering each other their best friend. Clark even refers to Bruce as such by mouth numerous times throughout their various team-ups.

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.

Romantic Relationships

Batman 050

Batman and Catwoman


Abilities

  • Indomitable Will: He has no known superhuman powers, but he does have an extreme, almost superhuman "Force of Will".
  • 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.
  • 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, The Batman represented the pinnacle of human physical prowess. His physical attributes exceeded that of any Olympic level athlete that has ever completed.[citation needed] 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. Wayne abstains entirely from drinking alcohol,[citation needed] though he presented Bruce Wayne, his alter ego, as a borderline alcoholic (he created this illusion by drinking ginger ale and pretending it is champagne). Batman's refusal to drink was directly linked to keeping his body in its absolute best. 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: He was seen breaking steel chains and cuffs [106], supporting 1010lbs ceiling [107], bending steel metal bars with his hands [108], even punched a SWAT officer through a brick wall [109] He utilizes his strength/power so effectively, that a near-meta such as Deathstroke comments that Batman "hits harder than most beings with superhuman strength."
  • 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] His lung capacity was so great that he could hold his breath underwater for 3 minutes and 15 seconds.[110]
  • Peak Human Agility: His agility was greater than that of a Chinese acrobat and an Olympic gold medalist gymnast.[citation needed] His main phase of movement was Parkour which he learned in France and used that to scale the cities rooftops in an acrobatic manner.[citation needed]
  • Peak Human Durability: He has been shot numerous times, but wears kevlar lined body armor.
  • Weapons Master: Through his martial arts training, he has become an expert on virtually all types of weaponry. He is an exceptional swordsman as evident in his fight with Ra's al Ghul, his proficiency in jui jitsu can proclaim his swordsmanship skill. Proficient at knife throwing, Escrima, & melee weapons mastery, having mastered Kobudo.[citation needed] He was trained and became proficient in all arms. He soon learned expanded melee weapon techniques and he has learned expanded weapon/device sciences. He still practices during his combat sessions to keep his skills intact, though he prefers unarmed combat.
  • Master of Stealth: His Ninjutsu training has made him a master at stealth capable of breaching high security facilities with ease and without being detected.
  • Expert Marksman: Due to his training in Ninjitsu, Batman almost never misses his targets, 9/10 times he's succesful.[citation needed] He has been practicing accuracy since the early days of his training and is almost on par with the Green Arrow in terms of accuracy.[citation needed]
  • Genius-Level Intellect: (IQ 192 [111])Batman is a brilliant, virtually peerless, detective, strategist, scientist [112], tactician, and commander; he is widely regarded as one of the keenest analytical minds [113] 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.[citation needed] Gained degrees in Criminal Science, Forensics, Computer Science, Chemistry and Engineering by the time he was 21.[citation needed] He has mastered Diverse Environmental Training, Security Systems, and illusion/sleight of hand by the time he was 23.[citation needed] He gained even more degrees in Biology, Physics, Advanced Chemistry, and Technology by the time he was 25.[citation needed] He has learned Forensic, 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 supers; improved material sciences for body armor and micro-machinery by the time he was 26.[citation needed] Has also learned Advanced New Development in Forensic and Medical Sciences.[citation needed]
  • 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 any conclusions with a fraction of the data.[original research?]
  • Multi-lingual: He is able to speak Spanish, French, Latin, German, Japanese, English, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, and possibly more.[citation needed]
  • 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.
  • Escapologist: He has been described as second only to Mister Miracle as an escape artist.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]
  • Aviation: Has been seen flying the various versions of the Batplanes with ease and flying a helicopter.
  • Tracking: Trained in hunting techniques by African Bushmen (the Ghost Tribes of the Ten-eyed Brotherhood, among others).[citation needed]
  • Master of Disguise: Has mastered the art of disguise by the time he was 23.[citation needed] Has further learned Expanded Disguise techniques by the time he was 26.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]
  • Expert Mechanic and Vehicular Driver: Proficient at combat driving. Has learned improved vehicle designs. Was trained and proficient in basic vehicles operations.

Equipment

 
Main article: Utility Belt

Bat-Suit: The costume Batman wears is composed by 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 super-light and it can be used to glide. The mask has a little percentage of lead, which shields the face of Batman from x-ray powers or x-ray technology; it has also an infrared viewer and auditory sensors, which improve Batman's senses. The mask, is also accessorized with some security systems (aggravating gas, electric blasts, ecc...) like the utility belt. The mask is also a transmitter receiver.

Utility Belt: Batman keeps most of his personal field equipment in a signature piece of apparel, a yellow utility belt. 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, 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.).

Transportation

Batmobile, Batwing, Batboat, Batcycle.

Weapons

Batarangs (several different types), small explosives, smoke and tear gas pellets.

  • Bruce's birthday is February 19th.[124]
  • Batman does not drink alcohol.[125]
  • Batman's online screenname is JonDoe297.[126]
  • Forbes.com has listed Bruce Wayne as #7 on its list of fifteen wealthiest fictional characters, with a net worth of U.S 6.5 Billion.[127]

Related

External Links

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Batman #404
  2. Batman #673
  3. Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight, 2nd edition, 2005, DK Publishing, ISBN 0-756-61121-0 [1]
  4. Batman #405
  5. Batman #406
  6. 6.0 6.1 Batman #407
  7. Batman and the Monster Men
  8. Batman: The Man Who Laughs
  9. Batman: Lovers and Madmen
  10. Batman Annual #19
  11. Detective Comics Annual #8
  12. Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual #3
  13. Batman: Snow
  14. Batman: The Long Halloween #1
  15. Batman: The Long Halloween #2
  16. Batman: The Long Halloween #3
  17. Batman: The Long Halloween #4
  18. Batman: The Long Halloween #5
  19. Batman: The Long Halloween #6
  20. Batman: The Long Halloween #7
  21. Batman: The Long Halloween #8
  22. Batman: The Long Halloween #9
  23. Batman: The Long Halloween #10
  24. Batman: The Long Halloween #10
  25. Batman: The Long Halloween #12
  26. Batman: The Long Halloween #13
  27. Man of Steel #3
  28. Superman/Batman Annual #1
  29. Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity
  30. 30.0 30.1 Justice League of America #9
  31. 31.0 31.1 Justice League of America (Volume 2) #0
  32. Batman #436
  33. Batman #439
  34. Batman: Dark Victory #9
  35. Batman: Dark Victory #10
  36. Batman: Dark Victory #11-12
  37. Batman #437
  38. Batman: Dark Victory #13
  39. Detective Comics #38, see excerpt
  40. Batman Chronicles: The Gauntlet
  41. Robin: Year One #1
  42. Robin #0
  43. Robin: Year One #2
  44. Robin: Year One #3
  45. Robin: Year One #4
  46. Brave and the Bold #54
  47. Teen Titans #53
  48. Teen Titans: Year One
  49. Batman #217
  50. New Teen Titans #39
  51. Batman #408, see excerpt
  52. Nightwing Secret Files and Origins #1
  53. Tales of the Teen Titans #44
  54. Batman #426
  55. Batman #427, see excerpt
  56. Batman #428
  57. Batman #429
  58. Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1
  59. Batman #509
  60. Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #62
  61. Robin (Volume 4) #8, see excerpt
  62. Catwoman (Volume 2) #12
  63. Batman: Shadow of the Bat #73
  64. Batman #553
  65. Detective Comics #720
  66. Batman: Blackgate - Isle of Men #1
  67. Batman: Shadow of the Bat #74
  68. Nightwing #20
  69. Batman #554
  70. Detective Comics #721
  71. Robin #53
  72. Batman #560
  73. Batman #561
  74. Batman #562
  75. Batman: Shadow of the Bat #82
  76. Batman #608
  77. Batman #609
  78. Batman #610
  79. Batman #611
  80. Batman #612
  81. Batman #613
  82. Batman #614
  83. Batman #615
  84. Batman #616
  85. Batman #617
  86. Batman #618
  87. Batman #619
  88. Infinite Crisis #7
  89. 52 Week #30
  90. Final Crisis #1
  91. Final Crisis: Requiem #1
  92. Final Crisis #2
  93. Batman #682-683, see excerpt
  94. Final Crisis #6, see excerpt
  95. Final Crisis #7, see excerpt
  96. Blackest Night #0
  97. Template:Cite comic
  98. Batman #588-590
  99. JLA #66
  100. JLA #70
  101. JLA #74, see excerpt
  102. JLA #78
  103. JLA #80
  104. JLA #90
  105. Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2, see excerpt
  106. http://img109.imagevenue.com/img.php?loc=loc127&image=827_batcuff.jpg & http://img44.imagevenue.com/img.php?loc=loc239&image=73f_batchain1.jpg
  107. http://img21.imagevenue.com/img.php?loc=loc244&image=77c_bat1000.jpg
  108. http://img103.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=85185_batgirlpunch3_122_968lo.jpg
  109. [2]
  110. JLA #4
  111. World's Finest Vol 1 160 September 1966 letters column of this issue [3]
  112. 1939 Batman Origin, "Legend of the Batman" [4]
  113. JLA: The Ultimate Guide to the Justice League of America, 1st edition, 2002, DK Publishing, ISBN 0-789-48893-0 [5]
  114. Batman: Year Two
  115. Batman #0
  116. Infinite Crisis #6
  117. Batman #673
  118. Secret Origins (Volume 2) #32
  119. JLA: Year One #1
  120. JLA: Year One #2
  121. Batman: Son of the Demon
  122. Dennis O'Neil interview at Comics Bulletin
  123. Batman #656
  124. [6]
  125. Batman: Tenses #1, see excerpt
  126. Detective Comics #845, see excerpt
  127. Forbes Fictional 15


Batman Family 0001
Batman Family member
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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 0001
Outsiders member
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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 0002
Justice League member
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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.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Justice League of America members" category.

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