Quote1 Sgt. Essen informed me that Wayne's parents were murdered by a mugger when he was eight years old. That's enough motive, I suppose, to make a man dress like Dracula and assault criminals... Quote2
James Gordon

Early Life

Batman is the alter-ego of Bruce Wayne, a billionaire industrialist and philanthropist who was driven to fight crime after his parents, the physician Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha Wayne, were murdered before his eyes at the age of eight by Joe Chill. The killer was later arrested after fleeing the scene [1]. 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 estate by uncle Philip Wayne[citation needed] along with the wise and loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce only had a few friends during his childhood.


Bruce Wayne swore an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He spent his youth traveling the world, training himself to intellectual and physical perfection and learning a variety of crime-fighting skills, including chemistry, criminology, forensics, martial arts, gymnastics, and disguise.

At age 14, Bruce Wayne began his global sojourn, attending courses at Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and other European universities [2]. 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.[citation needed] Frenchman Henri Ducard made him an apprentice in manhunting. 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 practioners 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.

Enter -- The Bat!

After returning to Gotham City in his early twenties, Wayne made several harrowing and near-fatal forays into the world of crime-fighting before donning his now familiar costume. In part, the costume was inspired by another tragic accident of his life that would have a profound impact on who he would become — at the age of eight, he fell down a cavern, located beneath Wayne Manor (later to become the Batcave), that was swarming with bats. He was thereafter haunted by the event, despite the timely arrival of his father. After a particularly near-fatal brush with the criminals of Gotham (his last encounter before donning the cape and cowl), he sat in his father's study questioning his mission and seeking direction. A bat crashed through the window, and he took it as a sign that he should take on the appearance of a bat to strike fear into the criminal element, whom he thought to be "a superstitious, cowardly lot."

In keeping with the "dark" nature of bats, Batman usually operates primarily at night. Batman was considered an urban legend and not believed by the citizens of Gotham City to actually exist; however, Batman was "outed" in the War Games incident, when his live image was broadcast over the news as he made a brief daytime appearance in front of a violence-overtaken high school in Gotham.

Whenever he is needed, the Gotham City police activate a "Bat-Signal" (a searchlight with a bat-shaped insignia over the lens) that shines into the night sky.

Recent Events

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. [4] 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. [5]

Batman returned to Gotham City with a stronger sense of self, and a clear optimistic view of the future. This optimism was challenged however when he found himself united with Ibn al Xu'ffasch (anglicized as 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. Their time together was short, and Damian eventually returned to his mother.


Death of Batman 02

Wayne's corpse recovered by Superman after being burnt to death by Darkseid (Final Crisis #6 (2009)

In the hidden bunker, Batman escapes and confronts Darkseid. He states that he will make an exception to his "no firearms" rule and shoots Darkseid using the bullet that killed Orion and shoots Darkseid. As Darkseid gets shot he fires the Omega Sanction (which traps its victim's soul in a series of alternate lives, each worse than the one before it), from his eyes, and hits Batman, before the Omega Sanction hits Batman he silently says "Gotcha".[6]

Superman having just returned from the 31st Century, where he was given access to the ultimate weapon, the Miracle Machine, a reality-altering device created by Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Upon seeing what has become of the earth, Superman goes into a rage as begins to use large blasts of his Heat Vision to decimate Darkseids forces en masse. He makes his way to the hidden bunker and attacks Darkseid, finding the charred corpse of Batman within. Bruce Wayne/The Batman/The Dark Knight is dead.

Life After Death

It is later reveled unbeknownst to anyone that the Omega Sanction does not really kill its victims, it instead sends their consciousness through time and space to alternate realities and times. Bruce Wayne still lives, albeit lost in time somewhere in the far distant past, where he was able to view the death of Anthto.[7]


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


Secret Identity

Wayne guards his secret identity well, but several individuals know of his superhero alter-ego, including Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash (Wally West), Green Lanterns John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, and Alan Scott, Plastic Man (Patrick "Eel" O'Brien), Red Arrow, Vixen, Black Lightning Aquaman (Orin/Arthur Curry), Green Arrow (Oliver "Ollie" Queen), Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Jason Todd, (aka Robin, aka The Red Hood), Robin (Tim Drake), Oracle (Barbara Gordon), The Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz), and his butler Alfred. 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), 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.


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, Andrea Beaumont, 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, the two hold a deep respect for each other.

Batman has occasionally been arrogant, treating many of his allies with various degrees of disrespect. He often imposes his exacting standards on others as he does himself. He also sometimes overestimates his own abilities, allowing foes to take advantage of that.



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.

Master Acrobat: Proficient in gymnastics and acrobatics.

Peak Human Conditioning: Through intense training, specialized diet, and biofeedback treatments, The Batman represents the pinnacle of human physical prowess. His physical attributes exceed that of any Olympic level athlete that has ever competed.[citation needed] His strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes and coordination are at peak human perfection. Batman began his physical and mental conditioning when he was 11 and then intense physical training and weight lifting at age 12. He has mastered full body control by the time he was 18. Wayne abstains entirely from drinking alcohol,[citation needed] though he presents Bruce Wayne, his alter ego, as a borderline alcoholic (he creates this illusion by drinking ginger ale and pretending it is champagne). Batman's refusal to drink is 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 engages in a 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 is arguably the "strongest" Non-Meta on Earth. He has been seen to be breaking steel chains and cuffs [9], supporting 1010lbs ceiling [10], bending steel metal bars with his hands [11], even punched a SWAT officer through a brick wall [12], benched pressed 846lbs and held it for 6 secs, military pressed(standing overhead lift) a weight of 605lbs, he has punched through ice blocks, kicked down trees with a single kick, held Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) (who weighs 185lbs) with one arm without breaking a sweat, lifted three adult men on his body without tiring, and can leap phenomenal distances. His leg press is also over 1000 lbs as evident his ability to leap considerable heights and distances. He has ripped a roof off a car with his bare hands before.
  • Peak Human Reflexes: Bruce's reflexes have been 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 can dodge point blank gunfire and has done so many times.
  • Peak Human Speed: He has run at speeds greater than the finest competing athletes,[citation needed] and can run faster than 35 miles per hour.[citation needed]
  • Peak Human Endurance: His endurance is greater than an Olympic Decathlon.[citation needed] His lung capacity is so great that he has held his breath underwater for 5 mins.[citation needed] He can exert himself at peak capacity for an hour without rest before showing any signs of fatigue.[citation needed]
  • Peak Human Agility: His agility is greater than that of a Chinese acrobat and an Olympic gold medalist gymnast.[citation needed] His main phase of movement is Parkour which he learned in France and uses this to scale the cities rooftops in an acrobatic manner.[citation needed]
  • Peak Human Durability: He has been shot numerous times and has shown no great deal of pain, been attacked by Superman and Wonder Woman and survived. Darkseid has punched and thrown him into walls.

Martial Arts Master: Batman is one of the finest human combatants Earth has ever known. He has learned 127 major styles of combat outside the United States.[citation needed] He trained in the US for various martial arts for 3 years.[citation needed] He became 2st and 3nd degree black belt in Karate, Judo, Jujitsu, Aikido by the time he was 18.[citation needed] At age 18, he left US to further study martial arts under specialized masters. Proficient black belt of various master degrees in Savate (French Kickboxing) and Kung Fu.[citation needed] He studied commando style operations with small mercenary units. He has mastered combat training and blind fighting. Batman has been highly trained, and has mastered, all of the world's most lethal martial arts. While abroad he also mastered Ninjitsu, Muay Thai, Kobudo, Yaw-Yan, Dragon Style Kung Fu, & Tae Kwon Do.[citation needed] He has also been trained by Wildcat, who is formerly the Heavyweight Champion of the World, in the art of Boxing. Superman has him listed as a Class 12 fighter, whereas Karate Kid is listed as a Class 15 fighter.[citation needed] Batman thinks he's much better than Karate Kid and has even fought him to a stand still. Batman has learned many fighting styles, but his primary form of combat[citation needed] is an idiosyncratic admixture of Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Muay Thai, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, and Ninjitsu.[citation needed] He also has extensive knowledge of pressure points as evident in Hush volume one. All of these martial arts mastered make Batman in the top 5 premier Martial artists of the DC Universe.[citation needed]

  • 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] Was trained and became proficient with all small arms.[citation needed] 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 Ninjitsu training has made him a master at stealth capable of breaching high security facilities with ease and without being detected, even by Superman and an army of White Martians.[citation needed]
  • 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] He has deflected a bullet with a batarang before.[citation needed]

Genius-Level Intellect: (IQ 192 [13]) Batman is a brilliant, virtually peerless, detective, strategist, scientist [14], tactician, and commander; he is widely regarded as one of the keenest analytical minds [15] 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. Having studied the ancient [Art of War] texts by Sun Tzu, Batman has learned how to formulate incredible strategies.
  • 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] He is able to use a ballpoint pen to escape from a straitjacket with chains wrapped around him.[citation needed] Has even boasted that he could use a ballpoint pen to pick the locks at Fort Knox.[citation needed]
  • Aviation: Has been seen flying the various versions of the Batplanes with ease and flying a helicopter. Thanks to Maritan Manhunter, Batman has full knowledge of how to pilot a Martian Carrier Spaceship.[citation needed]
  • Photographic Memory: Batman has total recall and can remember anything in great detail.[citation needed]
  • 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.


Main article: 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.).


Batmobile, Batwing, Batboat, Batcycle.


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

In a graphic novel entitled Batman: Son of the Demon, Batman sires an illegitimate child with Talia al Ghul named Ibn al Xu'ffasch who goes up to become a crime fighter in his own right as an adult. According to editor Denny O'Neil, these "Son of the Demon" graphic novels, as well as Kingdom Come stories that the adult Ibn appears in, are considered non-canon, and does not fit into the continuity of the mainstream DC Universe.[citation needed]

Recently however, writer Grant Morrison began scripting a storyline bringing the character of Ibn al Xu'ffasch (specifically called Damian in the current mainstream storyline) into the primary continuity. The canonical Ibn/Damian's relationship to Bruce Wayne, if any, has yet to be clarified.[16]

Related Articles


External Links


  1. Infinite Crisis #6
  2. Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight, 2nd edition, 2005, DK Publishing, ISBN 0-756-61121-0 [1]
  3. Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight, 2nd edition, 2005, DK Publishing, ISBN 0-756-61121-0 [2]
  4. Infinite Crisis #7
  5. 52 Week Thirty
  6. Final Crisis #6
  7. Final Crisis #7
  8. Batman #588-590
  9. &
  12. [3]
  13. World’s Finest Vol 1 160 September 1966 letters column of this issue [4]
  14. 1939 Batman Origin, "Legend of the Batman" [5]
  15. JLA: The Ultimate Guide to the Justice League of America, 1st edition, 2002, DK Publishing, ISBN 0-789-48893-0 [6]
  16. Batman #655

Batman Family 0001
Batman Family member
DC Rebirth Logo

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.

Justice League 0002
Justice League member
DC Rebirth Logo

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.

Outsiders 0001
Outsiders member
DC Rebirth Logo

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.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.