Batman, otherwise known as Bruce Wayne, was a Gotham City vigilante who rose up to fight common criminals, metahuman threats, and eventually even gods, extra-dimensional entities and intergalactic tyrants.
On the way home from seeing the film The Mark of Zorro, Bruce watched as his parents were gunned down by a mugger. Some say that Bruce died that night with his parents, and in his place, Batman was born. (Batman once told Wonder Woman that he hadn't been a "kid" since he was eight years-old.) Young Master Bruce was taken home to Wayne Manor, where he was raised by the Waynes' faithful friend and butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
Bruce learned many arts and sciences with the goal of eliminating the crime that took his parents from him. He learned from masters in their fields, such as escape artistry from Zatara and martial arts from Yoru Sensei in Japan and The Master in Nanda Parbat. While he trained with Zatara, he and his mentor's daughter Zatanna became very close (the two would go on to work together in the Justice League).
Bruce very nearly gave up his plan to become a force for justice in the night when he nearly found happiness with Andrea Beaumont. When Andrea walked out of his life, he became even more determined and dove headfirst onto the path of becoming Batman.
On a night like many others before and since, Bruce sat reliving his parents' murder. While absorbed in this horrific daydream, a bat crashed through the window of his study. It was then that his obsession and plan was given form. He would become the bat, he would be the night and strike fear into those who preyed on the innocent.
Batman spent years keeping the people of Gotham City safe from common criminals and bizarre villains. He had several partners and occasional imitators, such as Batwoman,, but his most common partner was Barbara Gordon, who had officially taken the job at his side as Batgirl. While on another mission, Batman would rescue the young Tim Drake from Two-Face, who had made an attempt to kill the boy. The young boy found himself inspired by Bruce's desire to stand up to people like Two-Face. In combination with his own rebellious nature, Tim would unwittingly steal the Robin costume from the Batcave and take up the mantle as the second Robin. Receiving Tim as his new sidekick, Batman gave the young boy three rules: "Rule number one: You give me everything you've got. Rule number two: Then you give me more. And rule number three: I make the rules."
For a short amount of time, Dick Grayson returned to Gotham as Nightwing to assist his former mentor. While he was a welcome addition, the two of them never truly seemed to forget the argument that caused Dick to leave. Despite this, the partnership remained stable. Nightwing would spend a decent amount of time in Gotham, but he would later leave to establish himself in another city.
Batman would later find himself in Metropolis, having followed the Joker to the city. While his long-time nemesis struck a deal with Lex Luthor, Batman would find himself working with Superman to thwart the plot. After foiling the Joker's plans to kill the Man of Steel and destroy Metropolis, he would return to the city a couple of times to stop villains from his own rogue's gallery. He would also form an unlikely partnership with the young Static when another case brought the heroes into one another's home city. While these two partnerships did not usually start off well, Batman would eventually learn to respect their abilities and would trust both of them with his secret identity.
It is later revealed that Batman was acquainted with many more of the world's greatest heroes. This group of heroes would later come together to foil an alien plot to take over Earth. Forming a new partnership, they became the founding members of the Justice League.
Saving the World
Over the course of a few months, Batman had detected several security breaches in Wayne Tech's deep-space monitoring network. While investigating the Wayne Tech Metropolis sub-station, he encountered three scientists speaking a strange language. These scientists tampered with the station's antenna and, when confronted, displayed superhuman strength and resilience. Though Superman arrived to assist, he was incapacitated by J'onn J'onzz' telepathic contact, while Batman was unable to prevent the scientists from destroying the antenna. After the antenna's destruction, Superman gave Batman a signal watch to call him for help if he needed it. Batman tracked the scientists to an abandoned S.T.A.R. Labs facility where he found the scientists being held in stasis pods. He was attacked by a shape-shifting sentry and rendered unconscious, but not before signaling Superman with the watch.
Superman found the unconscious Batman at the S.T.A.R. Labs facility, just as a meteor crashed to Earth in Metropolis Park. Superman left Batman with an ambulance crew and flew off to investigate the meteor. Just as the medic was about to look under Batman's mask, he reached up and grabbed her hand, saying "Don't even think about it."
When the Imperium's attack walker emerged from the meteor, incapacitated Superman and began raining destruction down on Metropolis, Batman took off in the Batwing, which he seemed to have summoned while lying on the gurney. Batman began firing missiles on the walker, and then two more walkers emerged from the meteor. When military air and armor units arrived on the scene, Batman followed Superman, who had mysteriously left the battle without explanation.
Batman tracked Superman to a military base in the mountains outside Metropolis where they found more humans in stasis pods and the imprisoned J'onn J'onzz. After freeing J'onzz and learning of the Imperium, the trio were stopped by Imperium forces posing as military personnel. Outnumbered, Batman fled with the incapacitated J'onzz in the Batwing while Superman covered their escape. The Batwing was pursued by Imperium craft and shot down, but rescued by John Stewart and Hawkgirl before the crippled Batwing crashed. Batman witnessed the other heroes battling the Imperium craft and the appearance of Wonder Woman. The Flash arrived at the end of the battle, having retrieved the Batwing's severed wing. After J'onzz informed the assembled heroes of the Imperium's invasion of Mars, their eventual defeat and their inadvertent release by Earth astronauts, the Imperium's factories began manufacturing smoke to block out the sun's rays.
The heroes split up to disable the factories. Batman went to Giza, Egypt with Wonder Woman and J'onzz. The trio infiltrated the factory and found the Ion Matrix Crystal, a vital component of the plant. Batman and Wonder Woman provided a diversion to allow J'onzz to remove the crystal. As he removed the crystal, J'onzz was incapacitated by Imperium forces. Batman then covered Wonder Woman and J'onzz's escape from the plant, but was himself trapped inside and cornered by Imperium forces. J'onzz reported that Batman was dead, but in truth, he had mentally shielded Batman to prevent the Imperium forces from detecting him.
Batman remained hidden until the Imperium arrived on Earth. He then revealed himself and reversed the ion charge in the Ion Matrix Crystal, causing the plant to burn off the smoke it had been producing. With the sun shining again, the heroes defeated the Imperium and freed their human prisoners, then mopped up the remaining Imperium forces around the globe.
Inspired by a general's speech about vigilance and the possible return of the invaders, Batman had the Watchtower constructed by Wayne Enterprises, hiding the funding as a "line item in the aerospace R&D budget." Batman invited the other six heroes who had repelled the invaders to the station. With this, the seven heroes formed the Justice League. Claiming he wasn't a "people person", Batman did not officially join the League, though he did offer to be on call when the League needed his help.
Batman was quick to place himself in danger, despite the awe-inspiring powers of his teammates. During the Atlantis Usurpation, Batman put a stop to the melting of the polar ice caps. On another occasion, Batman single-handedly defeated five dangerous criminals before being taken prisoner by an Amazon-trained criminal.
During his time with the Justice League, Batman showed his distrust of Superman. After Superman was brainwashed by Darkseid and when Batman had to pull Superman back later when he attempted to end Darkseid's life, Batman began carrying a piece of Kryptonite, which he acquired from Lex Luthor. However, Batman still held a deep respect for the Man of Steel, especially after he had seemingly died at the hands of Toyman. But, regardless of his respect, Batman remained stubborn in his disbelief in Superman's death, and refused to mourn for him for quite a while.
During the Thanagarian Invasion of Earth, Batman was forced to reveal his identity to his teammates. After successfully retaking the Watchtower from Thanagarian forces, Batman piloted the Watchtower through the Earth's atmosphere in an attempt to plunge it into a Hyperspace Bypass, a city-wide machine that would generate a wormhole through Earth. As Batman lost consciousness due to the heat surrounding him, Superman rescued him as the Watchtower destroyed the Bypass.
With the Watchtower's destruction and Hawkgirl's resignation from the League, Batman and the five other members reformed the Justice League with a new Watchtower and an expanded roster of heroes. Batman was instrumental in recruiting Green Arrow who, along with other human Justice League members, helped keep the League from becoming an autonomous metahuman army. He also succeeded in demonstrating to Amanda Waller that Cadmus was being used as a tool to further Lex Luthor's personal agenda to discredit and destroy the Justice League.
Batman's partnerships would end following Robin's kidnapping by the Joker and Harley Quinn. Tracking them to the abandoned Arkham Asylum, the Joker revealed that he had brainwashed and genetically altered Tim to resemble the Joker's own son, and had learned Batman's secret identity. Vowing to break the Joker, the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime had their final fight. In the end, however, the Joker was killed by Tim with a weapon intended for Batman. After Tim was mentally restored, Batman forbade him from ever being Robin again, and later ended his partnership with Batgirl.
In his middle age, suffering from the effects of a hard life of crime-fighting, Batman developed a powered suit that augmented his physical abilities and allowed him to continue the never-ending battle for a while longer. At this time, his corporate rivalry with Derek Powers began, and Wayne Enterprises resisted a bid for corporate takeover.
Injuries suffered through the long decades of physical punishment and an ailing heart finally took their toll, and even the suit couldn't compensate any longer. While attempting to rescue his old friend Veronica Vreeland's daughter Bunny from kidnappers, Batman was forced to point a gun at a common thug to save Bunny and himself. After being forced to rely on the weapon of his parents' cowardly murderer, Batman was ashamed and vowed to never again wear the cowl.
Passing the Mantle of the Bat
When Bruce hung up the mantle of Batman, Gotham City was without a Dark Knight for several years. Bruce became a recluse, shut off in Wayne Manor. During one of his yearly pilgrimages to the spot where his parents were murdered, he met a dog that he saved from a Jokerz; Bruce took the dog in and named him Ace. Bruce also withdrew from the day-to-day operations of Wayne Enterprises, a decision that left the company vulnerable to a takeover by Derek Powers and caused Bruce much regret.
Chance brought teenaged Terry McGinnis to the gates of Wayne Manor, where he learned of Bruce's past secret life. After Terry suffered the loss of his father, Bruce reluctantly agreed to allow him to take up mantle of Batman. He then served as a mentor and informant for the successor to his legacy.
For years, Bruce coordinated with Terry, supplying advice and direction from the Batcave while Terry worked in the field. He also ran the labs and developed new gadgets for Terry to use in the new crusade against crime. During their adventures, Bruce would help Terry defeat modern adversaries and even some of his own rogues, such as Mr. Freeze, Ra's al Ghul, and the Joker, reborn through a chip implanted in Tim Drake all those years ago.
The elderly Bruce occasionally ventured into the field to support Terry. His sense of duty and self-sacrifice ever present, he once donned a suit of armor to rescue Terry from Inque, despite Inque's metahuman power and the strain produced on his already-damaged heart.
As Bruce continued to age, he suffered a kidney failure. When it was discovered that Terry was not just a suitable donor but a perfect one, their relationship reached its weakest point; Terry, like Dick Grayson before him, felt betrayed, manipulated and outright used. He set off to uncover the truth from someone willing to reveal it.
Terry confronted Amanda Waller and learned the truth about his heritage. Years earlier, Waller realized the world would always need a Batman. Taking fate into her own hands (unbeknownst to Bruce), she gathered a sample of Bruce's DNA, after a battle that left Batman in need of medical attention. Using her Cadmus connections, Waller injected a nanotech solution into Warren McGinnis that would replicate his genetic material into an exact copy of Bruce's. Thus, Terry was born, Bruce's biological son, sharing half his genetic code.
Terry returned to Wayne Manor with a new sense of purpose. Bruce wondered about the fate of Gotham, and Terry replied, "I've got it covered. Always." Their relationship seemed repaired; Bruce had truly become the father Terry had lost long ago.
The Savage Time
Vandal Savage created an alternate timeline by interfering with the historical events of World War II. In this alternate timeline, Bruce Wayne's parents were killed for speaking out against Savage's brutal regime. Thus, Bruce became Batman, the leader of the resistance movement against the regime.
When the Justice League from the original timeline appeared on Earth, Batman helped them escape from the authorities and learned of their timeline. He assisted the League in breaking into the facility where the time portal had appeared. However, Batman did not accompany the League into the past to thwart Savage; he preferred to stay behind and continue to run the resistance in case the League failed.
The Once and Future Thing, Part Two: Time, Warped
When Batman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman followed Chronos into the future, they were immediately hijacked by a group of enhanced Jokerz. After being rescued by the future Justice League members, they met up with the elderly Bruce Wayne. Although Static reasoned that, whilst planning to take down Chronos, the fact that the elder Bruce existed meant that Batman would live through the event and that they would eventually succeed, Bruce pointed out he had no memory of ever traveling to the future and meeting his older self or of anything else that was happening that day.
Bruce aided the League's members in locating Chronos. When Terry was killed by Dee Dee, Bruce was visibly saddened. These events, however, were erased and therefore never occurred, although Green Lantern and Batman retained memory of the experience.
Batman's Secret Identity
While Batman kept his identity a closely guarded secret, there were a number of individuals to whom he had either revealed his identity or had discovered it:
Bruce Wayne has rarely had anything that could be described as a committed relationship, mainly because he is unwilling to ever get close to someone in case they are ever put at risk. During his training under Zatara, the magician's daughter Zatanna, developed a crush upon him and she in turn was viewed as a good friend. This was noted to an extent that when he planned to leave to continue training elsewhere, Zatanna attempted to stop him from leaving by handcuffing him (however he quickly got out of them and escaped before she could turn around). Due to him using the alias of 'John Smith' she never knew his real name until at some point after their reunion (where he rescued her as Batman), he revealed it to her. They would later both be part of the expanded Justice League. However their relationship never went past being good friends, which Zatanna herself noted.
Bruce's first true love is often viewed as Andrea Beaumont, who Bruce apparently loved so much that he was willing to give up his promise of avenging his parents and marry her. This was changed however, when Andrea broke off their engagement and left for Europe due to her father owing money to the mob (in her letter, she lied to Bruce by saying she was "too young" and "needed time"). Years later as Batman, she reappeared in Gotham at the same time the costumed murderer known as The Phantasm was killing off mob bosses. In reality it turned out to be Andrea behind the persona, killing off the same mob that killed her father and prevented their potential happiness. After an intense battle with The Joker, Andrea disappeared with the lunatic and left a locket with a picture of her and Bruce in the Batcave, leaving him heartbroken. Later meetings between the two would be more hostile and a far older Andrea would later be recruited as part of Project Batman Beyond to kill young Terry McGinnis's parents and create a new Batman. However she refused due to killing being against Bruce's beliefs and proved she still respected him.
He is known for frequently having on and off relationships with several criminals. The most famous of which being Selina Kyle who Bruce has even dreamt about what life could be like if he married her. However, they have always been prevented from having a true relationship with him due to them both being on opposite sides of the law, much to the disappointment of both. The other prominent one being Talia whose standing with her father has prevented anything further from happening between the two. He almost married Susan Maguire, who was later revealed to be a creation of Poison Ivy and thus he may not have actually loved her, but instead was effected by pheromones. He even briefly seduced the villainess, Cheetah, when she was assigned to guard him after being captured.
He had a brief time with Lois Lane during his stay in Metropolis, with Lois even considering moving back to Gotham with him, however that changed when she discovered he was Batman.
During his time in the Justice League, he and Wonder Woman were noted as having a growing affection for each other among other team-mates (such as Hawkgirl and John Stewart) which was supposedly brought on by Batman acting very concerned when Diana was believed killed during their first incident with Gorilla Grodd. Later, during the Thanagarian Invasion in order to hide themselves from pursuing soldiers as civilians, they posed as two lovers in a restaurant which resulted in them both embracing in a deep kiss. It is also likely Diana respected his warrior side. He himself would later admit that 'maybe' he had feelings for Diana when Zatanna implied so.
He is also noted to have had an implied relationship with Barbara Gordon (despite their age difference), but after The Joker's abduction of Tim Drake, he broke off all ties with his colleagues and Barbara went her separate ways.
Powers & Abilities
Batman, though considered a "superhero," had no metahuman abilities. He was, however, at the peak of human physical and mental conditioning, having extensively studied the sciences, technology, martial arts, detection and many other disciplines under masters of their respective fields.
Batman was a master of stealth and infiltration (all the more remarkable given that he stands 6'3" and weighs 240 lbs), and often revealed himself to his enemies when they least suspected him to. This also allowed him to just disappear from allies in mid-sentence, a habit that frequently annoyed the likes of Commissioner Gordon ("one of these days I'm gonna nail his feet to the ground") and Harvey Bullock ("I wonder how the Commish puts up with that").
With his martial arts prowess, occasionally augmented by technology, Batman was usually more than a match for any foe he encountered, human or otherwise.
Batman's mental powers were equally strong. He once manipulated the super-genius Ultra-Humanite into fighting with the nearly mindless Solomon Grundy. On at least two occasions, he overcame the temptation to live in a fantasy world with his "ideal" life, in order to save the day. On another, he overpowered the mind control of Doctor Destiny, who had simultaneously overpowered the minds of nearly the entire Justice League, despite previously not sleeping for three nights in a row.
Perhaps Batman's greatest ability was his mind. He was one of the foremost detectives on Earth (Ra's al Ghul always addressed him as "Detective" and Andrea Beaumont stated he was the "World's Greatest Detective"), possessing one of the sharpest analytical minds  and skill in multiple fields of science, as well as speaking several foreign languages. As a member of the Justice League, he contributed much of the technology that kept it going, including the Watchtower and Javelins. In addition to his fighting abilities, his contributions to the team as a scientist, a detective and a strategist have proved invaluable time and again.
As the head of Wayne Enterprises, Bruce Wayne had access to cutting-edge technology, and Batman made good use of it in his field equipment.
- See dedicated article: Batsuit
Batman's Utility Belt had compartments to hold several items, the contents of which change according to his needs, and often include items such as flashlights, laser cutters, underwater rebreathers, binoculars, a fingerprinting kit, remote controls for his vehicles, and more.
Batman had used several vehicles in the course of his crimefighting career, including:
Batman is the only character to appear in every DCAU TV show at least once. He also was mentioned in and influenced the webtoon Gotham Girls. This is somewhat parallel to the Mainstream Comics Batman who, according to Wizard Magazine, is the only DC superhero to appear in every monthly title.
- The movie which Bruce and his parents were watching before the murders was The Mark of Zorro, which was an inspiration to both Bob Kane and Bill Finger to create the Batman persona.
Appearances and References
|Members of the Justice League|
|Batman • The Flash • The Green Lantern • Hawkgirl • J'onn J'onzz • Superman • Wonder Woman|
|Aquaman • The Atom • Atom-Smasher • Aztek • B'wana Beast • Black Canary • Blue Devil • Booster Gold • Captain Atom • Captain Marvel • Commander Steel • The Creeper • The Crimson Avenger • Crimson Fox • Dove • Dr. Fate • Dr. Light • Dr. Mid-Nite • Elongated Man • Etrigan • Fire • Green Arrow • Gypsy • Hawk • Hourman • Huntress • Ice • Long Shadow • Metamorpho • Mr. Terrific • Nemesis • Obsidian • Orion • Plastic Man • Question • The Ray • Red Tornado • Rocket Red • Sand • Shining Knight • Speedy • Stargirl • Starman • Steel • S.T.R.I.P.E. • Supergirl • Johnny Thunder • Thunderbolt • Vibe • Vigilante • Vixen • Waverider • Wildcat • Zatanna|