- People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can't do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man, I'm flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed, but as a symbol...as a symbol I can be incorruptible. I can be everlasting.
- — Batman src
When he was eight years old, Bruce falls into a cave while playing with his friend, Rachel Dawes, where he encounters a swarm of bats. Later, he accompanies his parents to a production of Mefistofele, which features actors dressed as bats. Having developed a fear of bats from his accident, he urges his parents to leave the opera. Outside the theatre, they are mugged by Joe Chill, who proceeds to kill the parents. Although Chill is later arrested, Bruce blames himself for his parents' murders.
Years later, Bruce returns to Gotham City from Princeton University, intent on killing Chill, whose prison sentence is being suspended in exchange for his testimony against mobster Carmine Falcone. Before he can act, a woman posing as a reporter kills Chill for Falcone. Bruce tells his childhood friend Rachel Dawes about his plan, and she expresses disgust for his disregard for justice, stating that his father would be ashamed of him. Bruce confronts Falcone, who tells him that he is ignorant of the nature of crime, so Bruce decides to travel the world in order to gain understanding of the criminal mind. After nearly seven years, he is detained for theft in a Bhutanese prison, where he meets Henri Ducard. Ducard invites Bruce to join an elite vigilante group, the League of Shadows, led by Ra's al Ghul. Bruce is freed and travels to a mountaintop to begin his training with the League. Bruce overcomes his childhood fear of bats in the process. When he is ordered to execute a criminal and learns of Ra's intention to destroy Gotham, he refuses and escapes by lighting the League's temple on fire, killing Ra's in the process. Bruce rescues an unconscious Ducard from the wreckage and leaves him at a village.
Bruce returns to a Gotham City ruled by Falcone, and plots his war against the city's corrupt system. He seeks the help of Rachel, now an assistant district attorney, and police sergeant Jim Gordon, who consoled him after his parents' murder. After reestablishing his connections to Wayne Enterprises (now run by William Earle) Bruce acquires, with the help of former board member Lucius Fox, a prototype armoured car and an experimental armoured suit. In his first night, he disrupts a drug shipment, and leaves Falcone tied to a searchlight, forming a makeshift Bat-Signal. He also disrupts an assassination attempt on Rachel, leaving her with evidence against a judge on Falcone's payroll. While investigating the drugs in the shipment, Batman is stunned by Dr. Jonathan Crane, an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist on Falcone's payroll, who sprays him with a powerful hallucinogen. Bruce's butler Alfred Pennyworth rescues him, using an anti-toxin developed by Fox to save him. Crane later poisons Rachel after showing her that the toxin, which is lethal in vapour form, is being piped into the city water supply. Batman saves her and attacks Crane with his own poison. When the police arrive at Arkham to arrest Crane, Batman escapes with Rachel in the Batmobile. After administering the antidote to her in the Batcave, he gives her two vials of it for Gordon – one for inoculating himself and the other for mass-production.
Later, in Wayne Manor, Bruce is confronted at his birthday celebration by a group of League of Shadows ninjas led by Ducard, who reveals himself to be the real Ra's al Ghul, and that the man killed earlier was a decoy. Ra's, who had been conspiring with Crane the entire time, plans to destroy Gotham by distributing the toxin via the city's water supply, and vaporizing it with a microwave-emitter stolen from Wayne Enterprises. Bruce dismisses his guests by insulting them while pretending to be drunk, and fights briefly with Ra's while the League set fire to the Manor. At the last minute, Bruce escapes the inferno with Alfred's help. Batman arrives at the Narrows section of Gotham to aid the police in battling psychotic criminals, including Crane, now calling himself "Scarecrow", whom the League set free. Rachel is briefly confronted by Crane, but quickly wards him off with a taser before being chased by more inmates. After saving her, Batman reveals his identity to her, and leaves Gordon in control of the Batmobile to stop the elevated train used to transport the weapon to the city's central water-hub. Batman battles Ra's aboard the train, then escapes just as Gordon topples the elevated line using the Batmobile's autocannons, leaving Ra's to crash to the ground and perish in the explosion.
Following the battle, Batman becomes a public hero. Bruce gains control of Wayne Enterprises and installs Fox as the new CEO, firing Earle. However, he is unable to hold onto Rachel, who cannot reconcile her love for Bruce with his dual life as Batman. Newly-promoted Lieutenant Gordon unveils a Bat-Signal for Batman. Gordon mentions that they will have their hands full finding all of the psychopaths released from Arkham by Ra's, and in particular notes a criminal who also has "a taste for the theatrical" and leaves Joker playing cards at all of his crime scenes. Batman promises to investigate it. As Batman is leaving, Gordon mentions that he has not thanked Batman for what he has done. Batman replies that Gordon will never have to, and flies off into the night.
In Gotham City, the Joker robs a mob-owned bank with his accomplices, whom he tricks into killing each other. That night, Batman interrupts a meeting between the Chechen, a Gotham mobster, and the Scarecrow, but suffers wounds from the Chechen's dogs, allowing the Chechen to escape and prompting Batman to redesign his Batsuit. Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon contemplate including new district attorney Harvey Dent in their plan to eradicate the mob, as he could be the public hero Batman cannot be. However, Batman wonders if Dent can be trusted. Bruce runs into Rachel Dawes and Dent, who are dating, and after talking to Dent, he realizes he is sincere and decides to host a fundraiser for him.
Mob bosses Sal Maroni, Gambol and the Chechen meet with other underworld gangsters to discuss both Batman and Dent. Lau, a Chinese mafia accountant, informs them that he has hidden their money and fled to Hong Kong in an attempt to prevent Gordon's plan to seize the mobsters' funds. The Joker arrives unexpectedly, offering to kill Batman in return for half of the mob's money, an offer the mobsters refuse. In Hong Kong, Batman captures Lau and delivers him to the Gotham City police, where Lau agrees to testify against the mob. In retaliation, the mobsters hire the Joker to kill Batman and Lau. The Joker issues an ultimatum to Gotham, stating that if Batman does not reveal his identity to the public, people will die each day. When Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb, Judge Surillo, who was presiding over the mob trials, and Gordon are murdered, the public's increasing pressure prompts Wayne to decide to reveal his identity. Before he can, Dent announces at a press conference that he himself is Batman and is arrested as part of a plan to draw the Joker out of hiding. The Joker attempts to ambush the police convoy carrying Dent, but Batman and Gordon, the latter whom had faked his death, intervene and capture him. In recognition of his actions, Gordon is appointed police commissioner.
Later that night, Dent and Rachel disappear. At the police station, Batman interrogates the Joker, who reveals that their police escorts were on Maroni's payroll, and have placed them in warehouses rigged with explosives on opposite sides of the city — far enough apart so that Batman cannot save them both. Batman leaves to save Rachel, while Gordon and the police head after Dent. With the aid of a smuggled bomb, the Joker escapes police custody with Lau. Batman arrives to save Rachel but instead finds Dent. Batman successfully saves Dent, but the ensuing explosion disfigures Dent's face. Gordon arrives at Rachel's location too late, and she is killed when the bomb detonates. In the hospital, Dent's grief drives him to madness. Aboard a cargo ship, the Joker burns Lau to death atop a pile of the mob's money and has the Chechen killed, before taking control of his men. The Joker goes to the hospital and convinces Dent to exact revenge on the corrupt cops and mobsters responsible for Rachel's death, as well as Batman and Gordon. The Joker frees Dent—who allows the Joker to live after flipping his coin—then blows up the hospital and hijacks a bus filled with patients.
Out of the hospital, Dent goes on a personal vendetta confronting Maroni and the corrupt cops one by one, also deciding their fates with the flip of a coin. The Joker announces to the public that anyone left in Gotham at nightfall will be subject to his rule. With the bridges and tunnels out of the city closed due to a bomb threat by the Joker, authorities begin evacuating people by ferry. The Joker places explosives on two of the ferries—one ferry with convicts, who were evacuated in an effort to keep the Joker from freeing them, and the other with civilians—telling the passengers the only way to save themselves is to trigger the explosives on the other ferry; otherwise, he will destroy both at midnight. Meanwhile, Batman locates the Joker and the hostages he has taken. Realizing the Joker has disguised the hostages as his own men, Batman is forced to attack both Gordon's SWAT team and the Joker's henchmen in order to save the real hostages.
Meanwhile, the Joker's plan to destroy the ferries fails after the passengers on both decide not to destroy each other. Batman locates and subdues the Joker, preventing him from destroying both ferries, but refuses to kill him. The Joker acknowledges that Batman is truly incorruptible, but that Dent was not, and that he has unleashed Dent upon the city. Leaving the Joker for the SWAT team, Batman leaves in search of Dent. At the remains of the building where Rachel died, Batman finds Dent holding Gordon and his family at gunpoint. Dent judges the innocence of Batman, himself, and Gordon's son through three coin tosses. Because of the first two flips, he shoots Batman in the abdomen and spares himself. Before Dent can determine the boy's fate, Batman, who was wearing body armor, tackles him over the side of the building. Gordon's son is saved, but Batman and Dent fall, and Dent is killed. Batman and Gordon realize that the morale of the city would suffer if Dent's murders became known. Batman persuades Gordon to preserve Dent's image by holding "Batman" responsible for the murders. Gordon destroys the Bat-Signal, and a manhunt for Batman begins.
In Gotham City, 8 years after the manhunt for Batman, the city is at peace. Organized Crime has disappeared, and Bruce Wayne has retired from his job as Batman, and has become a recluse. In a party at Manor Manor celebrating the Dent Act and the clean city, he watches from his roof. Later, he meets a maid, Selina Kyle whom steals his mother's pearls, steals his fingerprints, and kidnaps a Congressmen. She later gives them to Phillip Stryver, an assistant to Bruce's business rival John Daggett.
Bruce searches for Selina on his supercomputer in the Batcave, which had been rebuilt and discuses with Alfred about his current condition and the way he's been living. John Blake, an orphan cop stops by and tells Bruce he knows who he was, and Tells him that some " details " might need help. He gets his leg checked, goes to a party where Selina is, and takes the pearls back, only to lose his car. At the same time, Miranda Tate urges him to restart the nuclear reactor project, which he shut down because he learned it could become a weapon. Later, Bane attacks the Gotham Stock Exchange and bankrupts Wayne Enterprises and Wayne. In response to this, Bruce puts back on the cape and cowl, and Batman returns to Gotham City, although being chased by the entire police force and barely escaping with Lucius Fox's new invention, a winged vehicle he calls " The Bat " .
At this point, Alfred, concerned for Bruce reveals he burned the letter Rachel gave him , which said that she would marry Harvey Dent, and not be with him. The result is Alfred resigning, doing so dissuade him. Bruce, concerned that Daggett would take over Wayne Enterprises, and thus the reactor, asks Miranda Tate to take over. Bruce promises the software Kyle needs to erase her criminal record, and later, Batman agrees to give it to her if she takes him to Bane, only to be betrayed. Bane and Batman fight, but due to having not seen action in 8 years and Bane being in peak condition, he was ultimately outmatched and Bane breaks Batman's back, and puts him in a foreign and ancient prison, where Bane reveals his intentions to destroy Gotham with the League of Shadows.
As Gotham burns, the inmates reveal the story of how Ra's al Ghul's child, whom was born in the prison escaped. Bruce assumes the child is Bane. A few months later, he recovers and trains, before escaping and returning to Gotham. He gets help from all his allies (except Alfred) to stop the bomb from detonating. As Batman, he frees the cops, before they clash with Bane's forces. Batman and Bane duel once more, with Batman winning this time due to his training, but Tate stabs him in an act of betrayal. She reveals herself to be Talia al Ghul, and thus the child who escaped the Pit. She reveals her plans to finish her father's work and attempts to destroy Gotham, but Gordon blocks the signal and Talia goes to find the bomb. Kyle kills Bane, and the two of them track Talia. They knock her truck down, and make it crash, but she remotely destroys the reactor. With both villains dead, Batman takes the Bomb over the bay, where it explodes.
Batman and Bruce Wayne are presumed dead, but the former is honored as a hero in the eyes of Gotham City. Wayne Manor becomes an orphanage, Fox learns Bruce fixed the Bat's Autopilot, and Gordon sees the Bat-Signal fixed. Alfred goes to Florence, to see Bruce is okay, and with Selina, proving that Rachel was wrong, and that he has finally moved on from Gotham and Batman once and for all.
- Aviation: Batman can fly the Bat with ease.
- Driving: Proficient at combat driving. Has learned improved vehicle designs. Was trained and proficient in basic vehicles operations.
- Throwing Through his training, the Batman has become skilled in throwing projectiles weapons, archery as well as a gun that shoots out bombs.
- Genius Level Intellect: Bruce is highly intelligent in multiple fields. He was able to reprogram and fix the autopilot switch. He changed the concept of Fox sonar, and scattered like a virus to all phones in town, as well as using the microphones, which were connecting them to a generator of high frequency receiver, thus creating a sonar capable of mapping the entire Gotham.
- Indomitable Will: He has no known superhuman powers, but he does have an extreme, almost superhuman "Force of Will". He has also been described as "truly incorruptible." After his first fight against Bane, Bruce needed all concentration to recover himself and try to save Gotham City again, in special to escape of The Pitch.
- Interrogation: Using his intimidating appearance and voice he is able to get information out of people as well as tactics such as hanging people upside down from a building or even pushing them off a building.
- Intimidation: Batman has the ability to instill fear in others, even the people that know him best are intimidated by him. He also uses theatrics such as smoke and the Batsuit to strike fear following his training from the League of Shadows.
- Investigation: Bruce is a brilliant detective and highly skilled at gathering evidence, such as the ballistics and fingerprints from a Joker crime scene.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced)
- Weaponry: Through his martial arts training, he has become an expert on many types of weaponry.
- Swordsmanship: As part of his League training, Bruce also received training in sword fighting with Ra's himself.
- Throwing Through his training, the Batman has become skilled in throwing projectiles weapons.
- Firearms: Although Bruce never used a live ammunation he was fluent with guns that used other kind of projectiles such as a gun that shoots out bombs.
- Stealth: His training has made him a master at stealth capable of disappearing into the shadows and sneaking up on unsuspecting prey.
- Peak Human Condition: Bruce was able to defeat Bane on their final fight.
- This version of the character is exclusive to the continuity of the Nolanverse film series and is an adaptation of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The original character was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane and first appeared in Detective Comics #27.
- Bruce Wayne/Batman was portrayed by Christian Bale in the movies Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises. Gus Lewis portrayed the young Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins. For the related animated film Batman: Gotham Knight, Kevin Conroy voiced the adult Bruce Wayne/Batman and Hynden Walch voiced Bruce as a child.
- All Batman technology and equipment is based on experimental and/or suspended military technology and equipment projects.
- As Batman, Bruce speaks with a gruff voice because some people might know who he is by listening to his real voice.
- 7 Appearances of Bruce Wayne (Nolanverse)
- 46 Images featuring Bruce Wayne (Nolanverse)
- 2 Quotations by or about Bruce Wayne (Nolanverse)
- Character Gallery: Bruce Wayne (Nolanverse)
|Batman Family member |
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League of Assassins member