Batman

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Batman is the champion of Gotham City in the DC Universe.

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Batman (Pre-Crisis, Earth-2)

The Batman of Earth-2.

Originally Bruce Wayne, son of wealthy doctor Thomas and Martha Wayne. After seeing his father shot by criminal Joe Chill- causing his mother to die of a heart attack at the sight- young Bruce vowed to fight a war against crime. Raised by his uncle Phillip, Bruce trained himself in body and mind through adulthood- becoming an Olympic-level athlete, an escape artist, a master of martial arts and disguise, and a supreme detective. Claiming his inheritance, Bruce moved back to Wayne Manor, and took on Alfred Beagle as his butler. One night, a bat crashed through his window- seeing it as an omen, Bruce decided to become like a bat, a creature to strike fear in criminals. Bruce Wayne became Batman.

Using his fortune, Wayne created a vast crime-fighting arsenal, including the devices and weapons on his utility belt, the Batmobile, the Batplane and his base, the Batcave. (Early on, he also had twin guns, but later abandoned their use.) As Bruce Wayne, Batman cultivated a playboy image. During his career as a crimefighter in Gotham City, Batman made many enemies, including the Joker, the Catwoman and Two-Face, but also found allies in Commissioner Gordon (who deputized him) and his ward Robin. In addition to his distinguished heroic career in Gotham, Batman was a founding member of the Justice Society of America.

However, Batman eventually decided to semi-retire in the late 1950s, settling down with a reformed Selina Kyle. Instead, he fought crime as Commissioner Gordon's successor in the Gotham City Police Department. Unfortunately, although Bruce and Selina had a daughter, Helena Wayne, Selina died after being forced back into crime by an old fellow-criminal. Wracked with irrational guilt, Bruce Wayne completely retired his Batman identity.

A short time later, Batman was forced to go into action one final time when a super-powered criminal attacked Gotham. Despite the aid of the Justice Society, Batman had to sacrifice his life to save his city. Thus ended the career of one of Earth's greatest heroes.

Batman (Pre-Crisis, Earth-1)

The Batman of Earth-1.

Largely similar to the Earth-2 version. Both of Bruce Wayne's parents were killed by Joe Chill, who was acting under the command of crime boss Lew Moxon- revenge for Thomas Wayne's incriminating testimony against Moxon. Bruce attempted at one point to fight crime as a lawyer, but rejected that route because it would limit him too much. Bruce's Batman identity was also subconsciously influenced by a bat costume his father once wore, in addition to the window-crashing bat. His butler was Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce Wayne played the role of a socialite for a time, but later settled down to run Wayne Enterprises and the Wayne Foundation. Later still, he left both roles to focus more on his crime-fighting.

Batman's foes also included Ra's al Ghul, the Scarecrow and Poison Ivy, while his allies included Batgirl. His ward eventually abandoned the Robin identity to become Nightwing, so he took on another ward, Jason Todd, who became the new Robin. Batman worked with the Justice League of America, but later resigned to found a team of his own called the Outsiders.







Batman (Post-Crisis)

After his parents were shot by a criminal in Gotham City's "Crime Alley" when he was a child, young Bruce Wayne vowed to avenge them. Training himself for years with the best in every field he would need for his crusade, he returned to Gotham, the perfect weapon to fight a war on crime. After his first night as an anonymous vigilante ended in miserable failure, a brooding Bruce returned to Wayne Manor, trying to figure out what was missing. When a bat crashed through his window, he was inspired, realizing that he needed to inspire fear in criminals by becoming something more than a man- he would become the Batman.

For years, Batman fought a variety of both mundane and bizarre costumed villains, including the Joker, Two-Face, Catwoman, the Penguin and more. He found an ally in Commissioner Gordon, although the general populace thought of him as an urban legend. He also took on young Dick Grayson as a partner, Robin, who eventually broke off on his own and became Nightwing. He also gained an occasional ally in Batgirl. Dick was succeeded by young street punk Jason Todd.

Both Batgirl and Robin's careers were cut short by the Joker, who paralyzed Batgirl and killed Todd. Batman became determined not to take on another partner, but Tim Drake's own determination eventually led Batman to take him on as the new Robin. Later, Batman was driven to the point of exhaustion stopping the villains Bane released from Arkham Asylum, and broke Batman's back. Bruce passed on the mantle of Batman to Azrael while he recuperated with the help of Lady Shiva. Upon his return, he discovered that Azrael had become a much more violent Batman, and led his allies to take him down. After Nightwing took over the role for a brief stint, Bruce returned to being Batman.

Although he was never a full member of the original Justice League of America, Batman did help found the new version of the team created after the incidents with the Know Man and the Hyperclan. Not long after, Gotham was hit with crisis after crisis, from a plague called the Clench to an earthquake that left it abandoned by the U.S. government. Batman persevered with the help of his allies, including Robin, Oracle and the Huntress. His efforts to create emergency countermeasures to defeat the League were eventually stolen by Ra's al Ghul, leading to a loss of trust which got him kicked out of the League. He rejoined to heal the breakdown of the team after he left, revealing his secret identity to the other members as a gesture of good faith.

After accidentally sparking a gang war, the fact of Batman's existence was revealed to the public. Still, he continues to battle crime in Gotham City.

Kingdom Come

In an alternate future, Batman made Gotham City safe by patrolling it with an army of robot Bat-Knights. He refused to join Superman's Justice League of the World, and instead formed his own group of largely non-powered heroes. Ostensibly, his goal was to oppose Superman, but his true goal was to blow the lid off Lex Luthor's schemes against the League and the world. However, he was unable to prevent a brainwashed Captain Marvel from releasing the criminals within the Gulag.

After an appeal from Superman, he sent in his group to try to help quell the war between the new and old generations of heroes. He was one of the few survivors after the fearful United Nations used a nuclear weapon on the superbeings, and he became godfather to Superman and Wonder Woman's son. He also travelled back in time with them to save newborn Jonathan from Gog.

Overview

He was listed as a Class-12 fighter in the files of the Fortress of Solitude in terms of martial artist and close-quarter-combat skills. (Justice League of America v2 #8)

He kept a log of strange events that did not fit with the normal understanding of the world with these being recorded in the Black Casebook. (Batman v1 #665) He later established a new file known as the White Casebook that contained his writings on his various allies in Gotham City. (Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Batman and Robin v1 #1)

Notes

  • In Batman v1 #256 (1974), it was shown that Bruce Wayne in different circumstances would have adopted a different superhero identity had he not seen the bat. Among the identities he was shown to take included the Scorpion, the Stingray, the Owl, the Shooting Star and the Iron Knight.
  • In Bruce Wayne: The Road Home v1 (2010), he briefly operated under the guise of the Insider who was equipped with a masked suit with a number of superhuman abilities such as heat vision, camouflage, brief super-speed and a teleporter.

Alternate Versions

  • In Justice League of America v2 #25 (2008), an alternate version of the character was shown who went by the name of Paladin instead with this one created in a world made by Anansi. The trickster god weaved a world where a young Bruce Wayne on the night his parents were killed had picked up the gun and shot their murderer. He became a ruthless vigilante who used a gun to kill criminals in Gotham City who was wanted by the law and never joined the Justice League.

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