This page is about the original comic book character. For other uses, see Batman (Disambiguation).
- "I am justice, I am the night, I am Batman!"
Batman has been Gotham's protector for decades, CEO of Wayne Enterprises, Patriarch of the Bat Family and veteran member of the Justice League. is a superhero co-created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger and published by DC Comics. The character made his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939). Batman is the secret identity of Bruce Wayne. Witnessing the murder of his parents as a child leads him to train himself to physical and intellectual perfection and don a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime. Batman operates in Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his sidekick Robin and his butler Alfred Pennyworth, and fights an assortment of villains influenced by the characters' roots in film and pulp magazines. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use (to the best that he can) of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime.
Batman became a popular character soon after his introduction, and eventually gained his own title, Batman. As the decades wore on, differing takes on the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series utilized a camp aesthetic associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in the 1986 miniseries Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by writer-artist Frank Miller. That and the success of director Tim Burton's 1989 Batman motion picture helped reignite popular interest in the character. A cultural icon, Batman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from radio to television and film, and appears on a variety of merchandise sold all over the world. The Batman goes by numerous nicknames, such as The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, World's Greatest Detective and the Defender of Gotham.
For key points in Batman's history see Batman's career timeline.
Batman's history has undergone various revisions, both minor and major. Few elements of the character's history have remained constant. Scholars William Uricchio and Roberta E. Pearson noted in the early 1990s, "Unlike some fictional characters, the Batman has no primary urtext set in a specific period, but has rather existed in a plethora of equally valid texts constantly appearing over more than five decades."
The central fixed event in the Batman stories is the character's origin story. As a little boy, Bruce Wayne is shocked to see his parents, the physician Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha Wayne, being murdered by a mugger in front of his very eyes. This drives him to fight crime in Gotham City as Batman.
A young Bruce Wayne can also be seen in his bedroom praying, strongly hinting him to be a Christian just like his Mother. Pearson and Uricchio also noted beyond the origin story and such events as the introduction of Robin, "Until recently, the fixed and occurring and hence, canonized, events have been few in number," a situation altered by an increased effort by later Batman editors such as Dennis O'Neil to ensure consistency and continuity between stories.
In Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics #27, he is already operating as a crime fighter. Batman's origin is first presented in Detective Comics #33 in November 1939, and is later fleshed out in Batman #47. As these comics state, Bruce Wayne is born to Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, two very wealthy and charitable Gotham City socialites. Bruce is brought up in Wayne Manor and its wealthy splendor and leads a happy and privileged existence until the age of eight, when his parents are killed by a small-time criminal named Joe Chill on their way home from the movie theater. Bruce Wayne swears an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He engages in intense intellectual and physical training; however, he realizes that these skills alone would not be enough. "Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot", Wayne remarks, "so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible..." As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to assume the persona of Batman.
In early strips, Batman's career as a vigilante initially earns him the ire of the police. During this period Wayne has a fiancée named Julie Madison. Wayne takes in an orphaned circus acrobat, Dick Grayson, who becomes his sidekick, Robin. Batman also becomes a founding member of the Justice Society of America, although he, like Superman, is an honorary member and thus only participates occasionally. Batman's relationship with the law thaws quickly, and he is made an honorary member of Gotham City's police department. During this time, butler Alfred arrives at Wayne Manor and after deducing the Dynamic Duo's secret identities joins their service.
After the introduction of DC Comics' multi-verse in the 1960s, it is retroactively established that stories from the Golden Age star the Earth-Two Batman, a character from a parallel world. This version of Batman partners with and marries the reformed Earth-Two Catwoman, Selina Kyle (as shown in Superman Family #211) and fathers Helena Wayne, who, as the Huntress, becomes (along with the Earth-Two Robin) Gotham's protector once Wayne retires from the position to become police commissioner, a position he occupies until he is killed during one final adventure as Batman. Batman titles however often ignored that a distinction had been made between the pre-revamp and post-revamp Batmen (since unlike The Flash or Green Lantern, Batman comics had been published without interruption through the 1950s) and would on occasion make reference to stories from the Golden Age. Nevertheless, details of Batman's history were altered or expanded upon through the decades. Additions include meetings with a future Superman during his youth, his upbringing by his uncle Philip Wayne (introduced in Batman #208, Jan./Feb. 1969) after his parents' death, and appearances of his father and himself as prototypical versions of Batman and Robin, respectively. In 1980 then-editor Paul Levitz commissioned the Untold Legend of the Batman limited series to thoroughly chronicle Batman's origin and history.
Batman meets and regularly works with other heroes during the Silver Age, most notably Superman, whom he began regularly working alongside in a series of team-ups in World's Finest Comics, starting in 1954 and continuing through the series' cancellation in 1986. Batman and Superman are usually depicted as close friends. Batman becomes a founding member of the Justice League of America, appearing in its first story in 1960s Brave and the Bold #28. In the 1970s and 1980s, Brave and the Bold became a Batman title, in which Batman teams up with a different DC Universe superhero each month.
In 1969, Dick Grayson attends college as part of DC Comics' effort to revise the Batman comics. Additionally, Batman also moves from Wayne Manor into a penthouse apartment atop the Wayne Foundation building in downtown Gotham City, in order to be closer to Gotham City's crime. Batman spends the 1970s and early 1980s mainly working solo, with occasional team-ups with Robin and/or Batgirl. Batman's adventures also become somewhat darker and more grim during this period, depicting increasingly violent crimes, including the first appearance (since the early Golden Age) of an insane, murderous Joker, and the arrival of Ra's Al Ghul. In the 1980s, Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing.
In the final issue of Brave and the Bold in 1983, Batman quits the Justice League and forms a new group called the Outsiders. He serves as the team's leader until Batman and the Outsiders #32 (1986) and the comic subsequently changed its title.
After the 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics rebooted the stories of some major characters in an attempt at updating them for contemporary audiences. Frank Miller retold Batman's origin in the storyline Year One from Batman #404-407, which emphasizes a grittier tone in the character. Though the Earth-Two Batman is erased from history, many stories of Batman's Silver Age/Earth-One career (along with an amount of Golden Age ones) remain canonical in the post-Crisis universe, with his origins remaining the same in essence, despite alteration.
For example, Gotham's police are mostly corrupt, setting up further need for Batman's existence. While Dick Grayson's past remains much the same, the history of Jason Todd, the second Robin, is altered, turning the boy into the orphan son of a petty crook, who tries to steal the tires from the Batmobile. Also removed is the guardian Phillip Wayne, leaving young Bruce to be raised by Alfred. Additionally, Batman is no longer a founding member of the Justice League of America, although he becomes leader for a short time of a new incarnation of the team launched in 1987. To help fill in the revised back story for Batman following Crisis, DC launched a new Batman title called Legends of the Dark Knight in 1989 and has published various miniseries and one-shot stories since then that largely take place during the "Year One" period. Various stories from Jeph Loeb and Matt Wagner also touch upon this era.
In 1988's "Batman: A Death in the Family" storyline from Batman #426-429 Jason Todd, the second Robin, is killed by the Joker. Subsequently, Batman takes an even darker, often excessive approach to his crime-fighting. Batman works solo until the decade's close, when Tim Drake becomes the new Robin. In 2005 writers resurrected the Jason Todd character and have pitted him against his former mentor.
Many of the major Batman storylines since the 1990s have been inter-title crossovers that run for a number of issues. In 1993, the same year that DC published the "Death of Superman" storyline, the publisher released the "Knightfall" storyline. In the storyline's first phase, the new villain Bane paralyzes Batman, leading Wayne to ask Azrael to take on the role. After the end of "Knightfall", the storylines split in two directions, following both the Azrael-Batman's adventures, and Bruce Wayne's quest to become Batman once more. The story arcs realign in "KnightsEnd", as Azrael becomes increasingly violent and is defeated by a healed Bruce Wayne. Wayne hands the Batman mantle to Dick Grayson (then Nightwing) for an interim period, while Wayne trains to return to his role as Batman.
1994's company-wide crossover Zero Hour changes aspects of DC continuity again, including those of Batman. Noteworthy among these changes is that the general populace and the criminal element now considers Batman an urban legend rather than a known force. Similarly, the Waynes' killer is never caught or identified, effectively removing Joe Chill from the new continuity, rendering stories such as "Year Two" non-canon.
Batman once again becomes a member of the Justice League during Grant Morrison's 1996 relaunch of the series, titled JLA. While Batman contributes greatly to many of the team's successes, the Justice League is largely uninvolved as Batman and Gotham City face catastrophe in the decade's closing crossover arc. In 1998's "Cataclysm" storyline, Gotham City is devastated by an earthquake. Deprived of many of his technological resources, Batman fights to reclaim the city from legions of gangs during 1999's "No Man's Land." While Lex Luthor rebuilds Gotham at the end of the "No Man's Land" storyline, he then frames Bruce Wayne for murder in the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" and "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" story arcs; Wayne is eventually acquitted.
DC's 2005 limited series Identity Crisis, reveals that JLA member Zatanna had edited Batman's memories, leading to his deep loss of trust in the rest of the superhero community. Batman later creates the Brother I satellite surveillance system to watch over the other heroes. Its eventual co-opting by Maxwell Lord is one of the main events that leads to the Infinite Crisis miniseries, which again restructures DC continuity.
In Infinite Crisis #7, Alexander Luthor, Jr. mentions that in the newly-rewritten history of the "New Earth", created in the previous issue, the murderer of Martha and Thomas Wayne - again, Joe Chill - was captured, thus undoing the retcon created after Zero Hour. Batman and a team of superheroes destroy Brother Eye and the OMACs. Following Infinite Crisis, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake retrace the steps Bruce had taken when he originally left Gotham City, to "rebuild Batman". In the "Face the Face" storyline, Batman and Robin return to Gotham City after their year-long absence. At the end of the story arc, Bruce adopts Tim as his son. The follow-up story arc in Batman, "Batman & Son", introduces Damian Wayne, who is Batman's son with Talia al Ghul. Batman, along with Superman and Wonder Woman, reforms the Justice League in the new Justice League of America series, and is leading the newest incarnation of the Outsiders.
Batman was involved in a battle with Dr. Simon Hurt and the "Black Glove," a criminal organization dedicated to corrupting virtue, as they attempted to destroy Batman and everything for which he stands.
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.
- Main article: Bruce Wayne (Clone)
In Final Crisis #6, Batman confronts Darkseid in the villain's bunker. He states that he will make an exception to his "no firearms" rule and shoots Darkseid using the bullet that killed Orion and hits Darkseid. As Darkseid dies 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". It is unknown if ' Batman knew Darkseid shot the Omega sanction or he knew it was coming and accepted his fate. (Morrison notes that Batman's use of the gun is symbolic as “the root of the Batman mythos is the gun and the bullet that created Batman. So, Batman himself is finally standing there to complete that big mythical circle and to have the image of Batman up against the actual personification of evil and now he's got the gun and he's got the bullet. It seemed to me to work.") At the close of the penultimate issue in the series, Superman returns to Earth from the 31st century, where he was given access to the reality-altering Miracle Machine by Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes. In a fit of desperate rage, Superman attacks Darkseid's bunker, finding Batman's charred corpse within. The Dark Knight is seemingly dead. However, the Omega Sanction does not kill its victims: instead, it sends their consciousness traveling through parallel worlds, and at the conclusion of Final Crisis, it is made clear that this is the fate that has befallen the still-living Batman, as he watches the passing of Anthro in the distant past.
For the most part, Batman's family and friends come to believe that Bruce Wayne is indeed dead. The only exception to this is Bruce's adopted son Tim Drake, who believes firmly that Bruce is still alive. After having the Robin identity taken from him by Dick Grayson, the new Batman, and giving it to Bruce's son, Damian, Tim takes on the identity of Red Robin, and begins searching the world for signs that Bruce Wayne is still alive. While searching in Baghdad, Tim finds a wall painting of the Bat emblem that was painted by Bruce upon the passing of Anthro. Tim realizes that Bruce is not dead, but rather lost in time.
In Blackest Night, the villain Black Hand is seen digging up Bruce Wayne's body, stealing his skull, and recruiting it into the Black Lantern Corps. Deadman, whose body has also become a Black Lantern, rushes to aid the new Batman and Robin, along with Red Robin against the Gotham villains who have been reanimated as Black Lanterns, as well as their own family members. The skull was briefly reanimated as a Black Lantern, reconstructing a body in the process by Black Hand's lord, Nekron, to move against the Justice League and the Titans. After the Black Lantern Batman created several black power rings to attach to and kill the majority of the Justice League, the skull was returned to normal after Nekron explained it served its purpose as an emotional tether. Nekron also referred to the skull as "Bruce Wayne", knowing that the body was not authentic.
In Batman and Robin's third storyline, "Blackest Knight," it is revealed that the body left behind at the end of Final Crisis #6 was actually a clone created from a failed attempt by Darkseid to amass an army of Batmen. Because of this, the skull that was used by the Black Lantern Corps and reanimated by Nekron was a fake. Dick Grayson, thinking it was Bruce Wayne's real body, attempted to resurrect it in a Lazarus Pit only to be met with a fierce, mindless combatant. He then realized the truth about the body.
It is revealed in the Final Crisis that Bruce Wayne is not dead, but in fact, lost in time.
He appeared in the Paleolithic era, the Puritan witch-hunting era, the Pirate era, the Wild West, the 1980s (but in a Film-Noir sense), and finally, the present day.
In a paleolithic Gotham, a primitive tribe simply known as The Deer people encounters a shirtless amnesiac Bruce Wayne equipped with his utility belt in his hand emerging surrounded by a swarm of bats from the cave where Anthro recently died. The tribe of the Deer people mistakenly believe Bruce to be a Bat God dubbed him as The Man of Bats after discovering a set of markings featuring the insignia of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman inscribed on the cave wall next to the body of Anthro. Bruce, still uncertain of where he is, takes notice of a somewhat familiar crashed rocket ship upon investigating he discovers the contents: Superman's cape (the only thing left intact), a destroyed bat signal, and a shredded copy of the Daily Planet which was launched by the Daily Planet staff prior to the use of the Miracle Machine.
One of Men of the tribe finds a necklace in the hand of Anthro's possession, which belonged to a woman of their family, which he vows will not leave their family's possession. The young Boy of the tribe takes the Man of Bats belt to prevent him from running off, because he thinks the Man of Bats is their savior. Suddenly the Deer people are attacked by The blood Mob! led by Vandal Savage, who kills everyone in the tribe except the boy who Bruce saves by getting himself captured instead. Both Bruce and the rocket ship referred to as 'The Sky Cart' is dragged back to the Blood Tribe encampment, where Chief Savage vows to eat Bruce alive in the morning in the belief that he is a member of the 'Sky People', based on him having arrived at the same time as the rocket ship. While tied down in the center of the encampment, next to the corpse of a giant bat. Bruce begins to remember fragments of a mantra - superstition and criminals, symbols used against the cowardly, surrender to an ideal. A dark and terrible bat, to fight injustice.
The boy suddenly re-appears wearing a domino mask of ash and a shield with a bat on it. He frees Bruce and gives him back his belt. From his utility belt, Bruce takes a medicine capsule and dons the pelt of a giant bat to wear on his body. Using the contents of his utility belt to stave off an attack by Savage and his mob, operating on instinct more than actual knowledge of various fighting techniques, Bruce defeats Vandal Savage returning the necklace to the boy just as an unexpected solar eclipse appears in the sky which Bruce reacts to and flees with the boy. Bruce 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.
Bruce Wayne saves the woman from a tentacled creature, and she then nurses him back to health. Just as he passes out, he notices a necklace that has the Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman emblems he drew on the cave, back in the Paleolithic era. He finds himself in Gotham Colony in the Puritan era, 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.
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 Alan Wayne as he is about to commit suicide because of his current dejection about life, the two quickly form 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.
Reviving in a hospital in the 1930s, Bruce meets Marsha, a woman who claims that she wants to employ him as a detective to investigate the death of her friend, Martha Wayne, providing him with a 1930s suit to wear as he carries out his investigations. Meeting with Martha's parents, Bruce learns of Thomas Wayne's apparent infidelity and his connection to various orgies, but remains suspicious that he is not being told the whole truth. After Wayne is provided with a Bat-costume to wear during the final stages of his investigation- the same costume worn by Thomas Wayne long ago-, he tracks 'Marsha' to a graveyard, where it is revealed that she is a member of the Black Glove, who believes that she will be granted eternal youth if she ritually sacrifices the 'Bat-Man', having selected the amnesiac Bruce as the perfect sacrifice as nobody will miss him. Despite his confusion and weakness, Wayne fights off the Black Glove before Carter Nichols's time machine teleports him to the end of time, leaving the Glove without a sacrifice. Bruce returns to the JLA Watchtower as a twisted cybernetic Batman.
Return as Batman
The cybernetic Batman is a hybrid of Bruce Wayne and the 'architects' infused with Omega Sanction radiation. As a result, the architect's AI allows Wayne to adapt his weapons and suit to each of the Justice League members that attack him- immobilizing everyone quickly. With most of the League incapacitated, Tim Drake locks himself in with Wayne and tries to reason with him. Wayne subconsciously begins remembering every aspect of his life, including Drake, acknowledging him as 'Robin'. When Drake informs him of events that have occurred in his absence (Grayson taking over as Batman, Damian Wayne becoming the new Robin), Wayne demands he stop trying to force him to remember as this is what Darkseid wants. Wonder Woman appears and uses her lasso to contain Bruce and force him into revealing everything that's going on- namely Darkseid's true plan. Bruce explains that he knew of Darkseid's plan to use the Omega Sanction to send him slowly forward through time, and that his solution was to simply forget his existence. Every clue left to maintain the Wayne legacy was his 'Plan B'. Once Wayne would return to present time and subdue the Sanction/Architects from trying to destroy the universe, he would use every foundation he laid through time to regain the memories he forced himself to forget.
As he tells everyone this, a voice begins demanding Wayne to cease because he is 'disturbing father'. The voice is the Sanction, father being Darkseid, found within the netherworld of gods, observing the final stages of his plan as a voice repeats to him that something is wrong. Superman, Hal Jordan, Booster Gold, and Rip Hunter return from the end of time to find Hunter's stolen time sphere that the Architect/Bruce Wayne took from them. With help from Superman, Bruce ultimately breaks free of the architect AI and imprisons it within the sphere. Bruce Wayne's 'Plan A' turns out to be stealing Hunter's time sphere deliberately to capture the AI/Sanction so Bruce could activate its self-destruct sequence in present day- voiding its existence within time and ending Darkseid's plan-, noting that, by luring it to the present rather than allowing it to proceed to the end times, he turned a creature that could destroy existence into just another monster for his friends and allies to defeat. The plan succeeds, and Bruce falls into a coma. While the JLA members purge Bruce's body from the Omega energy, Bruce has a vision of himself, bloody and beaten, sitting in a chair in Wayne Manor commenting that if he rings his bell, Alfred will come and patch him up. Darkseid appeals to Wayne one last time to embrace the finality of Anti-Life, to which Bruce rings the bell- creating a metaphorical reverberation of the note that defeated Darkseid during Final Crisis. Wayne awakens from the coma, purged of the radiation. He dons his cape and cowl once again, commenting that Gotham's disease has spread beyond its borders. And that once again, Batman is needed.
Upon his return, Bruce Wayne goes public with the news that he has been funding The Batman's crusade the entire time. Although Bruce Wayne still holds the mantle of the Bat, he leaves Dick Grayson as Gotham's Dark Knight, and sets out to create a world wide crime fighting organization known as Batman Incorporated. The idea behind the organization is that each country or region will have its own specific Batman, and will be funded by Bruce Wayne and his business empire.
In this new world, young Bruce was killed by Joe Chill instead of his parents. Bruce's death left their parents heartbroken, causing his father Thomas to become Batman while Martha became the Joker.
However, Flash managed to change reality once again, restoring Bruce back to life.
Bruce's involvement with Batman Incorporated extends to helping David Zavimbe (Batwing) set up operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as they investigate Dede Yeboah's murder. Barbara Gordon finally recovers after spending years in a wheelchair, and takes to the streets as Batgirl again. He has sexually interacted with Catwoman twice, the second time being recent. In recent events, he is once again the only Batman. The revelation of his secret identity to Catwoman has reportedly been erased. He has already been operating in Gotham several years before Superman's debut to the public. Bruce is also dating news reporter Charlotte Rivers.
Night of the Owls
Bruce has a meeting with mayoral candidate Lincoln March, but they are attacked by a mysterious assassin calling himself the Talon. Although Bruce and March survive the assassination attempt, the Talon escapes, and Bruce notices that he has a connection to the Court of Owls, a secret society that supposedly ruled Gotham City centuries ago.
Investigating the Talon, Batman discovers a mysterious room hidden at the Old Wayne Tower, which once served as the Owls' "nest". However, the building explodes with Batman inside. Escaping the explosion, Batman tracks the Talon down to a mysterious labyrinth that contains portraits of Gotham in the Wild West that also details Gotham's history. There, he is greeted by the Court of Owls.
For eight days, the Talon tortures Batman, who begins to solve the mystery that is presented to him, he realizes the court is trying to undermine him and his presence in Gotham by "breaking him". Batman comes to a room of caskets, but does not open them, wishing to solve the rest of the mystery first. Suddenly, the Talon impales him.
The Talon takes Batman to a room full of members of the Court, who decide to break Batman. The Talon continues attacking him, but Batman refuses to admit defeat, saying that the Talon is just another crook to him. Batman defeats the Talon but decides against killing him; instead, he escapes from the maze, although he loses consciousness.
Batman is reawakened by a girl named Harper Row, who he abruptly leaves. Returning to the Batcave, Batman finds the Talon's dead body, which Alfred and Nightwing had retrieved for Batman, who decides to examine it. Later, Nightwing meets up with Bruce, who reveals that the Talon is actually William Cobb, Nightwing's great-grandfather and that Nightwing was destined to be a Talon, a goal stopped by his adoption. The Court recovers from their encounter and decides to activate a small army of Talons they have decommissioned throughout the years.
Later, a group of Talons attack Wayne Manor, but Bruce defeats some of them because of their outdated fighting style. Wearing a new armored suit, Bruce prepares to fight the Talons while Alfred discovers the Court's forty targets and sends a radio message to the Batman Family and the Birds of Prey for help.
After a short battle, Batman defeats the Talons and heads out to Arkham Asylum to save Jeremiah Arkham from Black Mask. Then, Batman goes to save Lincoln March, but is too late and March is mortally wounded. Before he dies, however, March gives Batman a package that will make Gotham a better place. Resolute, Batman decides to burn down the Court of Owls's house.
Infiltrating the Powers Hotel, Batman interrogates Maria Powers, knowing she and her husband are members of the Court. Alfred traces Maria's phone call and Batman deduces the Court is at Harbor House, the old house he tried to investigate when he was a boy. When he enters the house, however, Batman finds that every member of the Court is dead. By the next day, Batman believes that the Court's death is some kind of setup, as all the Court's money was transferred to another account. Believing that the Court suffered a betrayal from the inside, Batman goes to the morgue, where he finds a note reading "Follow me to the Rabbit Hole?"
Batman goes to the Willowwood Home for Children, a place that housed children suffering from mental illnesses. Suddenly, he is captured in a net, and Lincoln March stands over him. Batman deduces that Lincoln March does not exist, he is just a paper man set up by the Court. The man in front of him is the Court's betrayer, and he took the Talons' serum to survive death. March is aware of Batman's dual life and reveals himself to be Thomas Jr., Bruce Wayne's brother. Although Bruce believes he does not have a brother, Thomas says that an accident had caused him to be born early, and Thomas and Martha Wayne had hid him away at Willowwood to heal. When Thomas and Martha died, Willowwood lost its funding and the place began treating its children cruelly. Blaming Bruce for their parents' deaths, Thomas puts on an owl suit of armor and frees Batman so that the brothers can have a final fight.
After a lengthy brawl through the skies of Gotham, March is trapped in an explosion intended to kill Bruce; no body is located. Bruce admits to Dick that although he is skeptical of March's claims and believes his parents would have told him had he had a brother, without March's body and a DNA test he is unable to conclusively prove or disprove March's claims. Still, Bruce says that even though the Court tried to destroy everything he believed in, there was one thing the Court could never break: his belief in his parents. Bruce knows that although the Court has been stopped for now, it will return; and he will be ready.
Death of the Family
Batman quickly goes to the GCPD headquarters, where the Joker's latest attack took place. Previously, he had defeated the Joker and sent him to prison, where an unnamed person surgically removed his face. Later at the Batcave, Batman runs several traces for on previously collected samples of Joker Venom to see if any was found on the scene at police headquarters. As several of Batman's allies call, offering assistance in taking down the Joker, Batman declines, saying that whatever the Joker is planning, it is between him and Batman. In that moment, the Joker broadcasts a message on live TV, saying that he will kill Mayor Hady. The GCPD reinforces the City Hall to protect the Mayor, but the Joker poisons all the cops and security guards, leaving Batman, Commissioner Gordon and the Mayor as the only survivors. Batman investigates the chemical compounds used on the cops and finds three additional non-active chemicals: Aspirin, Chlorine, and Ethane. A, C, E. Batman realizes that the Joker is sending him back where it all started; to A.C.E. Chemicals. There, he finds a person dressed as the Red Hood. Batman is aware that the mysterious stranger is not the Joker, but suddenly, he is knocked aside by a giant wooden mallet. Batman falls into an empty chemical vat, while the stranger reveals herself as Harley Quinn. A chemical bath begins to pour into the vat, while Harley proclaims that the Joker is planning something not even she can comprehend.
Attaching a protective mask, Batman creates a propulsion tunnel to blast through the vat. The propulsion blast allows Batman to escape, but the corrosion heavily damages his suit. Returning home, Batman sends a message to his allies to warn them that the Joker might be targeting them individually. At the manor, Bruce finds a cassette tape, in which the Joker reveals he has kidnapped Alfred. Batman later visits Gordon, who was designated as Joker's next victim. Gordon begins to bleed uncontrollably, so Batman sends him to the hospital. Knowing that the Joker is re-enacting his previous crimes, Batman goes to the Gotham Reservoir, the first place he faced the Joker in his current identity. There, the Joker traps Batman with cables, immobilizing. The Joker says that Batman's care for his allies has made him weak, so he plans to kill them all in the next 72 hours.
Lieutenant Bullock and a squad of cops arrive at the reservoir to take the Joker down, but the Joker uses his cellphone to order his men to attack the cops with rockets. Batman frees himself from the restraints and the Joker, but the Joker infects him with Joker Venom. With Batman momentarily distracted, the Joker kicks him off the bridge and into the Gotham River. Later, Batman awakens at the Batcave, having been rescued by the Batman Family. His allies (Nightwing, Robin, Red Robin, Batgirl, and even Red Hood) want Bruce to explain how did the Joker become aware of their identities. Batman believes he does not know and is only manipulating them because of his kidnapping of Alfred. He then tells a story about a previous encounter he had with the Joker in a blimp above the bay. During their fight, the Joker fell into the bay, but somehow, he placed a playing card in the Batboat. It didn’t have a tracking device or something like that, it was just a card. Despite the apparent breach of security, Batman believes there is no way the Joker could have entered the Batcave. Still, the others are unsure about this event. Batman has a new lead to follow: the Joker used a cellular signal to issue orders. While the cellphone was untraceable, the camera across the street from the store it was bought at identifies a man named Dylan McDyre. Batman crashes into McDyre’s home and interrogates him. McDyre reveals that the Joker had been threatening the families of the Arkham Asylum staff in order to maintain the appearance of normalcy at the asylum while he made changes, for whatever thing he is planning for Batman. More resolute than ever, Batman enters the asylum.
Batman makes his way through the asylum, overcoming Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow and Clayface. He finds Joker with Two-Face, Riddler, and Penguin, but before he can stop them, Joker shows him a video of Robin, Red Hood, Nightwing, Batgirl and Red Robin being captured. Joker orders Batman to take his place on his throne, an electric chair, to spare their lives, and Batman does so, receiving an electric shock
Joker hosts a mock dinner in the caves leading to the Batcave. Alongside a bound Batman, his allies are also bound at the table with their faces bandaged, and Batman is warned that escaping will agitate flints and ignite his gasoline-doused allies. Alfred, who has been gassed by the Joker, serves all but Batman with a cloche containing their severed faces. When Joker threatens to ignite the gasoline himself, Batman escapes and triggers a blaze, but uses an explosive and his knowledge of the cave system to blow open the cave roof, allowing water to rush in from above and douse the flames. Batman pursues Joker to the edge of a large drop. Batman claims that he knows Joker's true identity, but to prevent him from saying it, Joker purposefully knocks himself over the edge and falls out of sight. Batman reads Joker's book which he claimed contained the real identities of the Bat-family but it is blank. Meanwhile, the Bat-family are gassed and attack each other but manage to fight off the gas's influence. Later, in Wayne Manor, Batman tells a recovering Alfred that after finding the joker playing card in the cave, he confronted Joker about it in Arkham Asylum as Bruce Wayne. Joker failed to acknowledge him and Batman realized that he did not care who Batman was under his mask. In the present, Batman receives excuses from the Bat-family for them not coming to meet with him. Later, Batman studies the chemical makeup of the gas Joker used on the Bat-family and finds an inert isotope; the chemical compound "Ha".
Through unknown means, Batman and his allies found themselves in an alternate reality where Gotham City has become the safest city on Earth, where crime was non-existent. The city was under the protection of Batman and his partner/lover Catbird. Poison Ivy wreaked havoc across the city, saying that there was something wrong with the city, but Batman and Catbird stop her. Later, a man named Clayton Parker commits suicide despite Batman's efforts. At the Batcave, Bruce investigates Gotham's suicide rate, which is higher than any other place in America. Later, Bruce finds one of Ivy's thorns embedded on the back of his head. Then, he sees his parents' graves and returns to the cave. After analyzing his blood, Batman finds a drug in his system but he is ambushed by Catbird, who has brought his entire group of allies, Bluebelle and the Wings of Truth, Flying Fox, the Gothamite and Brightbat. Batman attempts to reason with them, but they attack him. Not wanting to hurt his allies, Batman is forced to throw the fight. Later, Batman is outfitted with a straitjacked and brought to a mental hospital headed by Jonathan Crane, who he believes is responsible for the mystery.
After spending some time in Arkham, Batman breaks out of his cell and help Ivy escape. Batman investigates Crane's lab and discovers Crane has created a new kind of toxin that creates the illusion of a perfect world, which he plans to release it into Gotham. Knowing Ivy is naturally immune to toxins, Batman uses a sample of her blood and some of her leaves to create an antidote. As soon as they are about to escape Arkham, however, Scarecrow ambushes them, having brainwashed Batman's allies.
Batman refuses to fight his friends and allows himself to be captured. Scarecrow infects him with a mind control toxin, but Batman had already taken an antidote, so he pretends to be under Scarecrow's control in order to foil his plan. Scarecrow reveals he will spread his new toxin across the Eastern Seaboard with blimps, so Batman slips the counteragent he developed into Scarecrow's toxin. Everyone infected is cured and Batman takes Scarecrow to prison. Batman later talks with Catwoman about the relationship they shared while they were in Gothtopia. Although Catwoman wants to have a relationship with Batman, he is not interested.
At the remains of the fallen Watchtower, Batman informs Superman and Wonder Woman that a new superhuman has entered Kahndaq. Assembling the Justice League with the help of Zatanna, Batman goes to Kahndaq and finds Superman fighting the new metahuman, Shazam. The Justice League of America also arrives at Kahndaq, causing animosity between the two groups. Doctor Light tries to stop the hostilities, but ends up absorbing Superman's solar energy and unintentionally attacks Wonder Woman. Overcome with rage, Superman vaporizes Doctor Light's head with his heat vision. This leads to the two Justice Leagues to begin fighting.
Superman stops the confrontation and asks to be arrested for Light's murder. Afterwards, Superman is taken to the A.R.G.U.S. complex and is placed in a cell. There, he asks Batman about the man he killed and Batman proceeds to tell him about Doctor Light and his family. Batman also tells Superman that Cyborg and Martian Manhunter are doing an autopsy to prove his death was not Superman's fault. Wonder Woman enters the cell and tells Batman about what happened with Pandora and her box. Batman believes the best help for Superman is through science to which Wonder Woman believes the answer is with the mythical box she believes is fact.
While examining Doctor Light's body, Zatanna states that there is no magical way of knowing if he triggered Superman's heat vision. The Phantom Stranger arrives and warns of Wonder Woman recruiting the Justice League Dark to help her locate Pandora, warning if they succeed, it will be the death of all. Batman, Flash, Aquaman, Shazam, Steve Trevor, the Justice League of America, Zatanna and the Phantom Stranger. Batman's group catches up to Wonder Woman and the Justice League Dark at the House of Mystery. Wonder Woman states that they need to find Pandora to find out what her box really is. Phantom Stranger reveals that the box has nothing to do with the way Superman is acting, angering Wonder Woman, who uses her lasso on him. He states that he does not know what caused Superman's condition, making Wonder Woman state that she is going after Pandora. She asks who wants to join her and the Justice League Dark, and recruits Hawkman, Aquaman, Stargirl, and Zatanna. As Wonder Woman and her group take their leave, Batman states that they should go after Wonder Woman, but the Phantom Stranger says they should talk to Doctor Light to get some answers.
Batman asks the Phantom Stranger to bring him to the afterlife so he can question Doctor Light about what really happened. The Phantom Stranger initially declines, but after hearing how Arthur Light was a family man, and left behind a wife and three daughters, he reconsiders. The Phantom Stranger takes Batman, Katana, and Deadman, who has left Wonder Woman, with him. Once through "Heaven's Basement", they arrive in a neighborhood of Heaven, that was created by the beliefs of a soul. However, Batman drifts off into a space of Heaven that he created. He creates a desired Christmas Eve setting he had as a young boy, imagining what it would be like with his dead parents. While the Phantom Stranger was rescuing them, Deadman was able to locate Doctor Light. Doctor Light had created a personal universe composed of light and is suspended in a globe-like "womb". Batman orders Katana to break the womb and frees Doctor Light, with the Phantom Stranger able to resuscitate him. When Batman questions him, the group learns that he doesn't remember anything about his death. The Phantom Stranger tells Doctor Light that he will try to free him from the afterlife, so he can be with his family. Weary of the end results, Doctor Light gives a piece of his soul to the Stranger in hopes that he can give it to his family as a final gift if he doesn't get out. As the group is ready to leave, Zauriel appears and dismisses Batman, Katana and Deadman.
Phantom Stranger is able to get Batman, Katana, and Deadman back to the House of Mystery, where they encounter Catwoman, Trevor, Vibe and the newest Green Lantern. Then, he disappears but not giving Batman and his allies one final message for them to find Madame Xanadu, as she knows the truth behind the box and who is after it, as he fades away.
A magical disturbance in the magical realms allows Deadman to locate Xanadu, so Batman and the assembled group travel to Xanadu's whereabouts: the Temple of Hephaestus. There, they find Constantine and Zatanna, who have taken the box from Pandora. The assembled heroes find both Madame Xanadu and her kidnapper, the leader of the Secret Society.
As the Justice Leagues converge on the Temple, the box infects everyone with evil thoughts, causing a fight. Batman obtains the box, but Superman attacks him. After a few moments, the box goes dormant. Atom reveals she is a traitor working for the Secret Society and that she infected Superman with Kryptonite, which caused him to attack Dr. Light. The Secret Society leader uses the box to open a portal to another universe. In that moment, the Crime Syndicate enters the Justice League's world.
While the Crime Syndicate imprisons the Justice Leagues inside the Firestorm Matrix, Batman, Catwoman and a critically injured Cyborg escape in a sewer system and go to S.T.A.R. Labs. There, they find Doctors Silas Stone and Thomas Morrow. As Batman and Catwoman explain their situation, they discover the Crime Syndicate has taken over the world and revealed Nightwing's identity. Batman decides to find Nightwing.
Batman and Catwoman go to the Batcave to obtain the weapons Batman has prepared against the Justice League, hoping they can be used against the Crime Syndicate. Afterwards, they make their way to the Wayne Enterprises building, where they come across Lex Luthor, Bizarro, Captain Cold, Black Manta and Black Adam. However, both groups are attacked by Power Ring, a member of the Crime Syndicate, and his henchmen. Batman uses a Sinestro Corps ring to fight Power Ring, but the ring's charge quickly runs out and Power Ring destroys the ring. But in that moment, Sinestro appears to confront Power Ring. Batman, Catwoman and Luthor's group combine forces and defeat Blockbuster, Copperhead, Giganta and Shadow Thief. Luthor also convinces Deathstroke to join their group; while Sinestro, who has killed Power Ring, joins them as well.
Batman and Luthor's group infiltrate the Justice League's destroyed Watchtower in order to confront the Crime Syndicate. There, they find Nightwing strapped to a Murder Machine, a containment device originally built to contain Doomsday. In that moment, the Crime Syndicate attacks them. Batman and Luthor attempt to free Nightwing from the machine as the others take on the Syndicate; however, they discover the machine is a detonator for a bomb, which can only be stopped if Nightwing's heart stops. Choosing to save the group's lives over Nightwing's, Luthor apparently kills him and the bomb is stopped. Angry, Batman attacks Luthor; however, the Syndicate's prisoner is revealed to be Alexander Luthor, who has the power of Mazahs.
After another battle Scarecrow, Batman returned to one of his safe-houses to recover, only for it to be attacked by Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman and Superman. Using his Justice Buster armor, he was able to defeat the group, though was almost killed by Superman. Whilst observing them, he discovered that they had been infected with a new toxin created by the Joker. Investigating the Clown Prince of Crime's former cell in Arkham, Batman was locked up within it by the criminal, who had been posing as a former orderly. Joker revealed that he had grown "bored" of the games with Batman and intended to kill the Dark Knight. Paralyzed by the gas, he was helpless whilst the Joker released an airborne form of the toxin used on the Justice League.
Eventually recovering and escaping, Batman started investigating both the toxin and its first victim. Discovering the latter to the Joe Chill, Batman learnt that Joker knew his identity and saved a family from being murdered in the same vein as his parents. With Joker terrorizing the city, he tried to forge an alliance with the Court of Owls to help stop the criminal's plan, only to be turned away. With help from Alfred's daughter Julia, Dick and Gordon, Batman discovered the substance Dionesium, which had given Joker regenerative capabilities and made him immune to the toxin. After Joker broke into the Batcave and attacked Alfred, Batman sent Grayson to distract the Clown Prince of Crime whilst he searched for a pool of Dionesium, eventually finding one after retracing Joker's escape route after his attempt to kill the entire Bat-Family.
Joker, however, had discovered the ruse sooner than he expected and followed him to the pool. Having already retrieved samples to create a cure to the toxin, Batman fought his arch nemesis for what seemed to be the last time, during which he and Joker sustained several grave injuries. With the cave collapsing from explosives set off, Batman stopped Joker from escaping by holding him away from the pool, which was blocked with the falling rock. With Gotham once again saved, Batman accepted that he would die and sent one last message to Julia, during which he refused her help to escape his fate. He and the Joker would seemingly die as the cave collapsed upon them.
After his apparent death, James Gordon would leave the role of Commissioner and become a new Batman, albeit one officially supported by the GCPD. Bruce Wayne was eventually discovered, having survived when exposed to Dionesium during his time burried, he suffered from amnesia, causing him to forget his entire life. Though he found Alfred and discovered his life after his parents' deaths, Bruce was not told of his life of vigilantism and seemed to remain ignorant of it, instead deciding to settle down and find a life of happiness with his old flame, Julie Madison.
After a new supervillain called Mr. Bloom apparently killed Gordon and took over Gotham, Bruce learnt about his life as Batman and, after talking to a stranger, returned to the Batcave for the first time since his final encounter with Joker. However, unable to recover the skills required to fight Bloom and his underlings, he decided to use an experimental machine that would upload his memories and skills into a body, but at the cost of his new life. With help from Alfred and Julie (who had discovered the truth long ago), Bruce went through with the procedure and returned to Gotham as Batman. With help from Gordon and a street gang modeled after Robin, he was able to defeat Bloom and save the city once again.
With Batman's return to Gotham, the GCPD shut down their Batmen project and reinstated Gordon as Commissioner. After the incident under the caves, Batman decided to investigate Nth metal, believing there to be some connection between it, Dionesium and the Court of Owls. To that end, he approached the leader of the Robin street gang, Duke Thomas, and offered to train him into another hero, as opposed to another Robin. In reality, Bruce knew about his status as a metahuman and wished for him to help investigate the court's plans.
After the apparent death of Superman, Batman saw an individual dressed like the Flash appear before him in the Batcave. Insisting that he knew him, the individual urged Batman meet with Barry Allen before disappearing. Urged by his suspicions, Batman uncovered a button in one of the walls and met with Allen. Deciding to investigate this together, they began to suspect that ramifications to the timeline might have not been caused by Barry, but another influence. At some point, he discovered the Joker was still alive and captured the Clown Prince of Crime, holding him in the Batcave to help investigate the truth of Nth.
Batman reformed the Bat-Family with Batwoman and began training Duke to become another vigilante for Gotham. Whilst saving a falling airplane, Batman received help from two new heroes called Gotham and Gotham Girl, two metahumans with powers similar to Superman. Seeing them as a potential replacement for him, he took the duo under his wing and helped them on the path to becoming Gotham's new superheroes. However, after an encounter with Hugo Strange and the Psycho Pirate, the two were rendered mentally damaged and, when Gotham attacked the city, Batman was forced to fight him until his powers drained his body, killing him. Taking Claire under his wing, Batman, with the help of the rest of the Bat Family, stopped an attack orchestrated by Strange, similar to one of their earliest encounters.
Whilst Claire's condition worsened, Batman tracked Psycho Pirate to Santa Prisca, where he discovered he was being used by Bane as a substitute to Venom. At Amanda Waller's suggestion, Bruce put together a team of supervillains to break into the island and recover the Psycho Pirate. Among the team mates was Catwoman, who was serving a life sentence after apparently killing 127 member of a terrorist organization. During the mission, they recoiled their relationship and, during her last night of freedom, Batman learnt that she was actually taking the blame for her friend Holly Robinson. When Bane attacked Gotham to recover Psycho Pirate, he employed the entire Bat-Family and Rogues Gallery, to protect him and Claire long enough to cure her of the Pirate's influence.
After an incident where the Justice League and Suicide Squad were forced to team up, Batman began constructing an new team of backstreet heroes to act as another team alternative for the League. After he was attacked by the Reverse-Flash, Batman would witness his apparent death and, with the Flash's help, decided to investigate what had caused the incident. Together, the two discovered the Flashpoint timeline had continued to exist and encounter that timeline's Batman, Thomas Wayne. With his father urging him to give up his life as Batman, Bruce decided to settle down and became engaged to Catwoman.
Dark Knights: Metal
Too little too late, Bruce realized that the Court of Owls was using him to open the gateway to the Dark Multiverse. He was then confronted by, the Dark Knights and is captured by Barbatos. He is trapped in a false world created by Barbatos and currently remains there.
Batman, in most of his incarnations, is a dark and brooding hero with a personal vendetta against crime and injustice. Psychologically traumatized by the death of his parents, Batman has sworn to rid Gotham from the criminal elements that took his parents away from him. He is extremely pessimistic and suspicious, which often makes it difficult for him to trust people other than Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Lucius Fox, the Robins or the Batgirls.
Despite this, Batman has proved to have a great love for humanity, which was instilled by his parents. His father was a doctor, while his mother was a crusader against child abuse. Indeed, Batman's oath of vengeance is tempered with the greater ideal of justice. He refrains from killing, as he feels this would not make him any better than the criminals he fights. He is also a very prominent member of the Justice League and the founder of the Outsiders.
To protect his secret identity, Batman has constructed a fake persona he can use in his civilian identity. To the world at large, Bruce Wayne is a self-absorbed, irresponsible playboy and philanthropist. Only his closest allies know that this attitude is just an act.
Powers and Abilities
There are a plethora of superheroes without superpowers but of them all the Batman character relies on "his own scientific knowledge, detective skills, and athletic prowess." In the comic books, Batman is regarded as one of the world's greatest detectives. During Grant Morrison's first story-line in JLA, Superman describes Batman as "the most dangerous man on Earth," able to defeat a team of super-powered aliens all by himself in order to rescue his imprisoned teammates. He is also a master of disguise, often gathering information under the identity of Matches Malone, a notorious gangster. Through intense training, specialized diet, and biofeedback treatments, Batman represented the pinnacle of human physical prowess. His physical attributes exceeded that of most Olympic level athlete that ever competed. His strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and coordination are at peak human perfection.
- Peak Human Conditioning: Through intense training, specialized diet, and biofeedback treatments, The Batman represented the absolute pinnacle of human physical prowess. His physical attributes is at the natural limits far above than that of an Olympic level athlete that has ever competed. His strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, senses, healing and endurance are at the peak of human potential. Batman began his physical and mental conditioning when he was 10 and then intense physical training and weight lifting at age 12. He had mastered full body control by the time he was 18. Bruce Wayne, since the age of 15, has created a strict diet to enable his body to develop and operate at its most proficient, along with biofeedback treatments (using portable/non-portable machines to stimulate muscles to contraction). Batman being able to perform amazing physical feats is 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. His physique and conditioning has been restored and further improved in terms of strength, speed, stamina, durability, reflexes, and vitality following his exposure to the Dionesium Formula.
- Peak Human Strength: In terms of brute strength, Batman is one of the strongest non-metahumans alive. He can break steel chains and cuffs with relative ease, support a ceiling that weighed 1000 lbs over his head, and rip steel metal bars apart with his hands. This strength also extends to his legs allowing him to jump high up and far forward without a running start. Batman has demonstrated enough strength to overpower dozens of men at once, effortlessly lifting a full grown man in the air with one arm, and throwing them several meters on multiple occasions, he even punched a SWAT officer through a brick wall. Deathstroke a near-metahuman once stated that Batman "hits harder than most beings with superhuman strength." During his exercise regimes, he could bench-press 1 Ton (more or less). Using highly effective muscle control, Batman can apply near superhuman force in his physical attacks, able to overpower Killer Croc and the Venom enhanced Bane (despite their superior strength).
- Peak Human Reflexes: Batman's reflexes are near superhuman, and is far superior to normal humans. He is able to quickly react to instantaneously to simultaneous attacks from multiple enemies and dodge rapid gunfire at point-blank range, though he can get hit if there are to many to evade. Bruce's reflexes were honed to such a degree that he has caught one of Green Arrow's arrows in mid flight from behind when he tried to shoot him.
- Peak Human Speed: He can run and move at speeds comparable to the finest human athletes. In combat he is extremely agile and evasive, supplementing his strength with sheer speed to defeat his enemies, he could even match the master assassin Deathstroke's superhuman speed in combat. With noticeable effort he once caught up to a speeding car with gadgets.
- Peak Human Durability: His muscles and bones are much more harder and denser than average humans, augmented by his iron forged will power allow him to tolerate massive amount of physical pain. His physique which is rigorously trained to the uttermost human limit and is extremely tough and resistant to damage, allow him to survived dangers that would have killed most other people. He is able to withstand being stabbed and shot multiple times, as well as hits from superhumans such as Killer Croc and Bane (even with Venom). Also Batman seems to be resistant to the blunt trauma of high falls such as falling a couple stories from a building.
- Peak Human Stamina: Bruce's highly trained and developed body generates considerably less fatigue toxins than the musculature of most humans, enabling him to gain exceptional endurance and lung capacity. His stamina is comparable to that of the absolute finest human athlete. He has shown a lung capacity feat that is so great that he can hold his breath underwater for over 7 minutes. In his early days he once fought in a gauntlet for 28 hours straight before collapsing from exhaustion. Batman has demonstrated exercising extensively with a rigorous training regime that lasted 1 hour, yet wasn't nearly satisfied. He can exert himself at peak capacity without slowing down for several hours before showing signs of fatigue or began tiring.
- Peak Human Agility: His agility is greater than that of a Chinese acrobat and superior to an Olympic-level athlete gymnast. He can coordinate his body with flawless balance, flexibility, and dexterity. His main phase of movement is Parkour which he learned in France and uses it to scale the cities rooftops in an acrobatic manner. He is capable of completing a triple somersault.
- Peak Human Healing: Batman's natural healing speed and efficiency are at the highest limits of human potential, which means he can heal much faster than normal humans, he is able to heal broken bones, fractures, torn muscles, gunshot, knife, puncture wounds and other major injuries all within very few weeks and minor injuries like cuts, scrapes and burns within a few hours to days. His immune system fights off all known microbes, infections, diseases, disorders, illnesses, sicknesses, poisons, toxins, drugs, etc. far better than normal, and his healing time is very short, as he recovered from a broken back in a few weeks.
- Peak Human Senses: Through meditation Batman's five senses are pushed at the highest limits of human perfection; meaning that his sense of sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste are naturally enhanced and are very keen. At one time he was able to hear a sniper load his weapon from across the street a block over. His enhanced senses make him extremely alert to danger.
- Indomitable Will: He has no known superhuman powers, but he does have an almost superhuman "force of will". Batman's unstoppable determination, sense of discipline and morale, and strength of will make him an extremely formidable opponent. This makes him able to function while tolerating massive amounts of physical pain, and also allows him to resist telepathy or mind control. His willpower is strong enough to operate a Green Lantern Ring when necessary.
- Intimidation: It is widely known that Batman has the ability to instill fear in others, even the people that know him best are intimidated by him. Even those who aren't afraid of the likes of Superman fear Batman. His ability to inspire great fear made him eligible for induction into the Sinestro Corps, although he was able to fight off the power ring's control.
- Expert Inquisitor: Batman is adept in the use of interrogation techniques, employing anything from law enforcement methods to outright torture. Several techniques have been 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."
- Expert Acrobat: Proficient in gymnastics and acrobatics, to the peak of human ability. He is particularly skilled in parkour and free running.
- Master Martial Artist: Batman is one of the finest human combatants Earth has ever known. He was trained around the world for years to master multiple martial arts. Master Kirigi stated to Bruce that he is a natural genius in fighting due to "his great violent nature inside of him". Even Karate Kid of the future was very surprised that Bruce adapted and learned future-style combat in seconds that he never even experienced. He has completely mastered all unarmed hand-to hand combat styles of martial arts including MMA, Muay Thai, Escrima, Krav Maga, Capoeira, Savate, Yawyan, Taekwondo, Judo, Jui-jitsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Ninjutsu, Kendo, Fencing, Kenjutsu, Kali, Bojutsu, Wrestling, Francombat, Boxing, Kickboxing, Hapkido, Sambo, Wing Chun, Parkour, Shorin Ryu, Silat, Chin Na, Kyudo, Aikido, Varma Ati, Jeet Kune Do, Shaolin, Ba Gua, Hung Gar, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Kenpo, and Karate. His primary form of combat is a harmonious mixture of Jui-jitsu, Taekwondo, Judo, Muay Thai, Savate, Karate, Kung Fu, Boxing, Capoeira, Krav Maga, Aikido, and Ninjutsu.
- Weapon 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 with most melee weapons because of his mastery of Okinawan Kobudo. He was trained and became extremely 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 Guerrilla Warfare: His advanced and extensive Ninjutsu and law enforcement training has made him a master at stealth, espionage, infiltration, and sabotage. Bruce is capable of breaching very high-security facilities with ease and without being detected. Batman's stealth prowess he is capable of breaking into a top-secret base a mile under Gotham City and even the infamous Area 51 completely unnoticed. He has proven to be very familiar with military protocols, as he anticipated and countered law enforcement and paratrooper tactics and strategies.
- Expert Marksman: Due in part to his training in Ninjutsu, Batman almost never misses his targets, 9/10 times he's successful. Bruce is an expert marksman that is skilled with throwing projectile weapons, archery and firearms. He has been practicing such skills since the early days of his training and is almost on par with the Green Arrow in terms of accuracy and precision. He was shown to be able to hit a light switch on from a distance with a batarang.
- Genius-Level Intellect: (Batman's IQ is possibly well over 200) Batman is a brilliant, virtually peerless, detective, strategist, scientist, tactician, and commander; he is widely regarded as one of the keenest analytical minds on the planet. Given his lack of superpowers, he often uses cunning and planning to outwit his foes, rather than simply "out-fighting" them. Due to his mental training and being naturally gifted he has acquired an an instant learning aptitude, parallel multitasking, eidetic/photographic memory, accelerated reading, and a more powerful memory.
- Polymath: He has studied Biology, Technology, Mathematics, Physics, Mythology, Geography, & History. Gained degrees in Criminal Science, Forensics, Computer Science, Chemistry, and Engineering by the time he was 21. He has mastered Diverse Environmental Training, Security Systems, and illusion/sleight of hand by the time he was 23. He gained even more degrees in Biology, Physics, Advanced Chemistry, and Technology by the time he was 25. He has learned Forensic, Medical Sciences, Expanded Computer and Engineering Sciences, 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. Has also learned Advanced New Development in Forensic and Medical Sciences.
- Master Detective: He is considered as the "World's Greatest Detective", almost without peer. Bruce is 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.
- Multilingualism: He is extremely fluent in English, Spanish, Japanese, German, Russian, French, Latin, Cantonese, Mandarin, and possibly more.
- Master Tactician & 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. He is an excellent leader and at times commands the Justice League and the Outsiders, Batman is known as one of (if not the greatest) the strategists and tacticians in the DC universe.
- Master Escapologist: He has been described as second only to Mister Miracle as an escape artist. He has been seen escaping from a posey straitjacket in less than 52 seconds, and remarked afterwards that the time was way too slow for him.
- Expert Pilot: Has been seen flying the various versions of the Batplanes with ease and flying a helicopter.
- Expert Tracker: Trained in hunting techniques by African Bushmen (the Ghost Tribes of the Ten-eyed Brotherhood, among others).
- Master of Disguise: Has mastered the art of disguise by the time he was 23. Has further learned Expanded Disguise techniques by the time he was 26. Batman has many aliases he uses to infiltrate the underworld or just to go undercover in public situations. His current aliases are: Matches Malone, Thomas Quigley, Ragman, Detective Hawke, Sir Hemingford Grey, Lester Krutz, Frank Dixon, Gordon Selkirk, and Mr. Fledermaus.
- Expert Mechanic and Driver: Batman is proficient at combat driving. He has also pioneered improved vehicle designs. In addition, he has been trained and is proficient in basic vehicular operations.
- Micro Sleep: Batman has mastered the art of power-naps and evolved it into what he calls micro sleep. Although these sleeps are longer in duration (1 hour), they would be more replenishing and much harder to wake up from. Batman has also been shown to be capable of going up to almost 80 hours with no sleep at all.
- Peak Human Strength: Batman engages in an intensive exercise regimen, and because of this his strength, like all other physical attributes, are at the peak of human perfection. He can press/lift close to 1000 lbs, and has in some cases demonstrated enough strength to rip steel bars from their moorings, and snap high-strength handcuffs with ease.
Thomas Wayne (father; deceased)
Martha Wayne (mother; deceased)
Alfred Pennyworth (surrogate father)
Dick Grayson (adoptive son)
Damian Wayne (son)
- Main article: Utility Belt
- Bat-Suit: Batman's costume is composed of Kevlar and a small percentage of titanium; it is bullet-proof and resistant to most forms of attack (explosions, blunt trauma, falls, etc.) It is also flame-retardant and insulated. The gloves and the boots are reinforced to nullify the impact of punches and kicks. Batman's gauntlets have retractable metallic blades on their sides. The cape is extremely light and can be used to glide long distances. The cowl is composed in small part by lead, which shields Batman's face from identification via x-rays. It has also an infrared viewer and auditory sensors. The cowl is outfitted with security systems (aggravating gas, electric blasts, etc.) like the utility belt. The mask is also a transmitter-receiver.
- Utility Belt: Batman keeps most of his personal field equipment in his iconic yellow utility belt. Over the years, it has produced plastic explosives, nerve toxins, batarangs, smoke bombs, a fingerprint kit, a cutting tool, a grappling line-launcher, and a re-breather. Superman also entrusted Batman with a ring made of Kryptonite, should the Man of Steel ever need to be reined in (because of mind-control by a super-villain, etc.).
Batarangs (Several Different Types), small, non-lethal explosives, smoke, and tear gas pellets. He is also known to have a Grapnel Gun, a Line Launcher, a Batclaw, and disruptor for firearms, mines, and Freeze technology.
In Other Media
1960s TV series and film
- See: Batman (Adam West)
- See: Batman (Val Kilmer)
Batman & Robin
DC Extended Universe
- See: Batman (Ben Affleck)
The LEGO Movie/The Lego Batman Movie
- See: Batman (Will Arnett)
Batman: The Animated Series
- See: Batman (The Batman)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Birds Of Prey
Beware the Batman
Batman: Arkham Series
- See: Batman (Arkhamverse)
LEGO Batman Series
Batman: The Telltale Series
- See: Batman (Telltale)
- Batman's origin story involving the murder of Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne has been retconned several times. It was originally established that the mugger had been named Joe Chill and Bruce was aware of this. Zero Hour changed this so that his identity was never revealed, symbolically strengthening the potential link between any criminal and the man who killed his parents. Infinite Crisis said that it had been Joe Chill and he had been arrested the very same night, making this the current version. This is expanded upon in a later story which showed Batman slowly driving Chill insane with mental torture before causing him to snap and commit suicide with the bullet meant for Bruce as a child.
- In Detective Comics #27 (Batman's first appearance) Batman doesn't seem to care that he killed Alfred Stryker. Alfred falls into a vat of acid and Batman just says that it serves him right.
- In Pre-Crisis stories Bruce Wayne had been a founding member of the Justice League of America. After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, they retconned that the founding members of the League were Aquaman, Black Canary, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. Batman was shown to have disdain for this group. Infinite Crisis changed this again so that he had been one of the founding members along with Superman and Wonder Woman.
- Batman sired a child with Talia al Ghul during their marriage, named Ibn al Xu'ffasch. Dennis O'Neil mentioned that this story was ignored from continuity around Zero Hour because it did not fit in well with the rest of the mythos. Infinite Crisis brings most of this back into continuity with the story Batman and Son by introducing Damian Wayne and stating that Batman was drugged and pretty much raped.
- Batman's first appearance is in Detective Comics #27. His first Post-Crisis appearance in present continuity is during Batman: Year One in Batman #404.
- In most interpretations, Batman has a moral code against killing or maiming his enemies, believing that doing so will make him no better than the criminals he fights. Some storylines have also depicted him losing his sanity after "breaking" this rule, including the Batman: Red Rain trilogy. This has also lead to him not using firearms within his operations, though likely due to their involvement in his parent's murder.
- However, within his early storylines, including his debut, Batman would murder his enemies or allow them to die, often not caring about whether they survived such incidents. This was only changed after his solo comic's first publication and the introduction of Robin, at the behest of editor Whitney Ellsworth.
- The New-Earth Batman made an exception to these rules during Infinite Crisis, when he shot Darkseid with a bullet made of Radion, which was supposedly capable of killing god-like beings such as the New Gods.
- The movie which a young Bruce and his parents were seeing on the night of their murder is generally stated to be "Mark of Zorro" (the exact version varies). This is important because Bob Kane stated that he drew inspiration for Batman from seeing a screening of that very movie. He also drew inspiration from images of Leonardo da Vinci's flying machine.
- Bruce's birthday is February 19th.
- May 19th 2014 Marks 75th anniversary of Batman.
- Batman doesn't drink alcohol to keep his physical state at his peak, but he tricks others around him by consuming ginger ale and pretending that it's alcohol.
- Whilst online, Batman uses the pseudonym JonDoe297.
- Forbes.com has listed Bruce Wayne as #7 on its list of fifteen wealthiest fictional characters, with a net worth of U.S 6.3-billion.
- Bruce's favorite meal is Mulligatawny soup.
- ↑ Batman: Year Two
- ↑ (Batman #0)
- ↑ (Infinite Crisis #6)
- ↑ (Batman #673)
- ↑ Secret Origins (Volume 2) #32
- ↑ (JLA: Year One #1)
- ↑ (JLA: Year One #2)
- ↑ Batman: Son of the Demon
- ↑ Dennis O'Neil interview at Comics Bulletin
- ↑ (Batman #656)
- ↑ DC Calendar 1976
- ↑ (Batman: Tenses #1), see excerpt
- ↑ (Detective Comics #845), see excerpt
- ↑ Forbes Fictional 15