Batman
Overview
Batman is a fictional character created by the artist Bob Kane
Bob Kane
Bob Kane was an American comic book artist and writer, credited as the creator of the DC Comics superhero Batman...

 and writer Bill Finger
Bill Finger
William "Bill" Finger was an American comic strip and comic book writer best known as the uncredited co-creator, with Bob Kane, of the DC Comics character Batman, as well as the co-architect of the series' development...

. A comic book superhero
Superhero
A superhero is a type of stock character, possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers", dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas —...

, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics
Detective Comics
Detective Comics is an American comic book series published monthly by DC Comics since 1937, best known for introducing the iconic superhero Batman in Detective Comics #27 . It is, along with Action Comics, the book that launched with the debut of Superman, one of the medium's signature series, and...

#27 (May 1939), and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

. Originally referred to as "The Bat-Man" and still referred to at times as "The Batman", he is additionally known as "The Caped Crusader", "The Dark Knight", and the "World's Greatest Detective," among other titles.

In the original version of the story and the vast majority of retellings, Batman's secret identity
Secret identity
A secret identity is an element of fiction wherein a character develops a separate persona , while keeping their true identity hidden. The character also may wear a disguise...

 is Bruce Wayne, an American millionaire (later billionaire) playboy, industrialist, and philanthropist.
Quotations

Early cinema

Batman (serial)|Batman (1943)

The camp years, featuring Adam West|Adam West and Burt Ward|Burt Ward

Batman (TV series)|Batman (1966–1968 TV series)

The Tim Burton|Tim Burton films

Batman (1989)|Batman (1989)

The Joel Schumacher|Joel Schumacher films

Batman Forever (1995)

The Christopher Nolan|Christopher Nolan films

Batman Begins (2005)

Encyclopedia
Batman is a fictional character created by the artist Bob Kane
Bob Kane
Bob Kane was an American comic book artist and writer, credited as the creator of the DC Comics superhero Batman...

 and writer Bill Finger
Bill Finger
William "Bill" Finger was an American comic strip and comic book writer best known as the uncredited co-creator, with Bob Kane, of the DC Comics character Batman, as well as the co-architect of the series' development...

. A comic book superhero
Superhero
A superhero is a type of stock character, possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers", dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas —...

, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics
Detective Comics
Detective Comics is an American comic book series published monthly by DC Comics since 1937, best known for introducing the iconic superhero Batman in Detective Comics #27 . It is, along with Action Comics, the book that launched with the debut of Superman, one of the medium's signature series, and...

#27 (May 1939), and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

. Originally referred to as "The Bat-Man" and still referred to at times as "The Batman", he is additionally known as "The Caped Crusader", "The Dark Knight", and the "World's Greatest Detective," among other titles.

In the original version of the story and the vast majority of retellings, Batman's secret identity
Secret identity
A secret identity is an element of fiction wherein a character develops a separate persona , while keeping their true identity hidden. The character also may wear a disguise...

 is Bruce Wayne, an American millionaire (later billionaire) playboy, industrialist, and philanthropist. Having witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on crime, an oath tempered with the greater ideal of justice. Wayne trains himself both physically and intellectually and dons a bat
Bat
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera "hand" and pteron "wing") whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly,...

-themed costume in order to fight crime. Batman operates in the fictional American Gotham City
Gotham City
Gotham City is a fictional U.S. city appearing in DC Comics, best known as the home of Batman. Batman's place of residence was first identified as Gotham City in Batman #4 . Gotham City is strongly inspired by Trenton, Ontario's history, location, atmosphere, and various architectural styles...

, assisted by various supporting characters including his crime-fighting partner, Robin
Robin (comics)
Robin is the name of several fictional characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, originally created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson, as a junior counterpart to DC Comics superhero Batman...

, his butler Alfred Pennyworth
Alfred Pennyworth
Alfred Pennyworth is a fictional character that appears throughout the DC Comics franchise. The character first appears in Batman #16 , and was created by writer Bob Kane and artist Jerry Robinson. Alfred serves as Batman’s tireless butler, assistant, confidant, and surrogate father figure...

, the police commissioner Jim Gordon
James Gordon (comics)
James Worthington Gordon, Sr. is a fictional character, an ally of Batman that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #27 , and was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane...

, and occasionally the heroine Batgirl
Batgirl
Batgirl is the name of several fictional characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, frequently depicted as female counterparts to the superhero Batman...

. He fights an assortment of villains such as the Joker
Joker (comics)
The Joker is a fictional character, a comic book supervillain published by DC Comics. He is the archenemy of Batman, having been directly responsible for numerous tragedies in Batman's life, including the paralysis of Barbara Gordon and the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin...

, the Penguin
Penguin (comics)
Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot III is a DC Comics supervillain and one of Batman's oldest, most persistent enemies. The Penguin was introduced by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, making his debut in Detective Comics #58 .The Penguin is a short, rotund man known for his love of birds and his...

, the Riddler
Riddler
The Riddler is a fictional character, a comic book character and supervillain published by DC Comics, and an enemy of Batman. Created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang, the character first appeared in Detective Comics #140 ....

, Two-Face
Two-Face
Two-Face is a fictional comic book supervillain who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. and is an enemy of Batman. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #66 , and was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger....

, Poison Ivy and Catwoman
Catwoman
Catwoman is a fictional character associated with DC Comics' Batman franchise. Historically a supervillain, the character was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, partially inspired by Kane's cousin, Ruth Steel...

. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers
Superpower (ability)
Superpower is a popular culture term for a fictional superhuman ability. When a character possesses multiple such abilities, the terms super powers or simply powers are used...

; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, martial arts skills, an indomitable will, fear, and intimidation in his continuous war on crime.

Batman became a very popular character soon after his introduction and gained his own comic book title, Batman
Batman (comic book)
Batman is an ongoing comic book series featuring the DC Comics hero of the same name. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #27, published in May 1939. Batman proved to be so popular that a self-titled ongoing comic book series began publication in the spring of 1940...

, in 1940. As the decades wore on, differing interpretations of the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman
Batman (TV series)
Batman is an American television series, based on the DC comic book character of the same name. It stars Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin — two crime-fighting heroes who defend Gotham City. It aired on the American Broadcasting Company network for three seasons from January 12, 1966 to...

television series used a camp
Camp (style)
Camp is an aesthetic sensibility that regards something as appealing because of its taste and ironic value. The concept is closely related to kitsch, and things with camp appeal may also be described as being "cheesy"...

 aesthetic which continued to be 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 The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller
Frank Miller (comics)
Frank Miller is an American comic book artist, writer and film director best known for his dark, film noir-style comic book stories and graphic novels Ronin, Daredevil: Born Again, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City and 300...

, while the successes of Tim Burton
Tim Burton
Timothy William "Tim" Burton is an American film director, film producer, writer and artist. He is famous for dark, quirky-themed movies such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet...

's 1989 film Batman
Batman (1989 film)
Batman is a 1989 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, directed by Tim Burton. The film stars Michael Keaton in the title role, as well as Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl and Jack Palance...

and Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan
Christopher Jonathan James Nolan is a British-American film director, screenwriter and producer.He received serious notice after his second feature Memento , which he wrote and directed based on a story idea by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Jonathan went to co-write later scripts with him,...

's 2005 reboot Batman Begins
Batman Begins
Batman Begins is a 2005 American superhero action film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale as Batman, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Tom Wilkinson,...

also helped to reignite popular interest in the character. A cultural icon
Cultural icon
A cultural icon can be a symbol, logo, picture, name, face, person, building or other image that is readily recognized and generally represents an object or concept with great cultural significance to a wide cultural group...

, 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 such as toys and video games. The character has also intrigued psychiatrists with many trying to understand the character's psyche and his true ego in society. In May 2011, Batman placed second on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time, after Superman
Superman
Superman is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective...

.

Creation

In early 1939, the success of Superman
Superman
Superman is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective...

 in Action Comics
Action Comics
Action Comics is an American comic book series that introduced Superman, the first major superhero character as the term is popularly defined...

prompted editors at the comic book division of National Publications
National Publications
National Publications was one of the companies that would later become DC Comics. The corporation was originally two companies: National Allied Publications and Detective Comics.They two merged in the 1930s to become...

 (the future DC Comics) to request more superheroes for its titles. In response, Bob Kane
Bob Kane
Bob Kane was an American comic book artist and writer, credited as the creator of the DC Comics superhero Batman...

 created "the Bat-Man." Collaborator Bill Finger
Bill Finger
William "Bill" Finger was an American comic strip and comic book writer best known as the uncredited co-creator, with Bob Kane, of the DC Comics character Batman, as well as the co-architect of the series' development...

 recalled "Kane had an idea for a character called 'Batman', and he'd like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane's, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of ... reddish tights, I believe, with boots ... no gloves, no gauntlets ... with a small domino mask
Domino mask
A domino mask is a small, rounded mask covering only the eyes and the space between them. Since the 18th century, the domino mask is worn during carnival. Venetian Carnival masks were known as domini because they resembled French priests' winter hoods, being black on the outside and white on the...

, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign ... BATMAN."

Finger offered such suggestions as giving the character a cowl
Cowl
This article is about the garment used by monks and nuns. For other uses, see Cowl or Cowling .The cowl is an item of clothing consisting of a long, hooded garment with wide sleeves. Originally it may have referred simply to the hooded portion of a cloak...

 instead of a simple domino mask, a cape instead of wings, and gloves, and removing the red sections from the original costume. Finger said he devised the name Bruce Wayne for the character's secret identity: "Bruce Wayne's first name came from Robert Bruce
Robert I of Scotland
Robert I , popularly known as Robert the Bruce , was King of Scots from March 25, 1306, until his death in 1329.His paternal ancestors were of Scoto-Norman heritage , and...

, the Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 patriot. Bruce, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock ... then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne
Anthony Wayne
Anthony Wayne was a United States Army general and statesman. Wayne adopted a military career at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and fiery personality quickly earned him a promotion to the rank of brigadier general and the sobriquet of Mad Anthony.-Early...

." He later said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk
Lee Falk
Lee Falk, born Leon Harrison Gross , was an American writer, theater director, and producer, best known as the creator of the popular comic strip superheroes The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician, who at the height of their popularity attracted over a hundred million readers every day...

's popular The Phantom
The Phantom
The Phantom is an American adventure comic strip created by Lee Falk, also creator of Mandrake the Magician. A popular feature adapted into many media, including television, film and video games, it stars a costumed crimefighter operating from the fictional African country Bengalla.The Phantom is...

, a syndicated
Print syndication
Print syndication distributes news articles, columns, comic strips and other features to newspapers, magazines and websites. They offer reprint rights and grant permissions to other parties for republishing content of which they own/represent copyrights....

 newspaper comic-strip character with which Kane was familiar as well.

Various aspects of Batman's personality, character history, visual design, and equipment were inspired by contemporary popular culture of the 1930s, including movies, pulp magazines, comic strips, newspaper headlines, and even aspects of Kane himself. Kane noted especially the influence of the films The Mark of Zorro
The Mark of Zorro (1920 film)
The Mark of Zorro is a 1920 silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks and Noah Beery. This genre-defining swashbuckler adventure was the first movie version of The Mark of Zorro...

(1920) and The Bat Whispers
The Bat Whispers
The Bat Whispers is a mystery film directed by Roland West, produced by Joseph M. Schenck, and released by United Artists.-Plot:A mysterious criminal by the name of "The Bat" eludes police and then finally announces his retirement to the country, while a wealthy Cornelia Van Gorder takes up...

(1930) in the creation of the iconography associated with the character, while Finger drew inspiration from literary characters Doc Savage
Doc Savage
Doc Savage is a fictional character originally published in American pulp magazines during the 1930s and 1940s. He was created by publisher Henry W. Ralston and editor John L...

, The Shadow
The Shadow
The Shadow is a collection of serialized dramas, originally in pulp magazines, then on 1930s radio and then in a wide variety of media, that follow the exploits of the title character, a crime-fighting vigilante in the pulps, which carried over to the airwaves as a "wealthy, young man about town"...

, and Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

 in his depiction of Batman as a master sleuth and scientist.

Kane, in his 1989 autobiography, detailed Finger's contributions to Batman's creation:
Kane signed away ownership in the character in exchange for, among other compensation, a mandatory byline on all Batman comics. This byline did not, originally say "Batman created by Bob Kane"; his name was simply written on the title page of each story. The name disappeared from the comic book in the mid-1960s, replaced by credits for each story's actual writer and artists. In the late 1970s, when Jerry Siegel
Jerry Siegel
Jerome "Jerry" Siegel , who also used pseudonyms including Joe Carter, Jerry Ess, and Herbert S...

 and Joe Shuster
Joe Shuster
Joseph "Joe" Shuster was a Canadian-born American comic book artist. He was best known for co-creating the DC Comics character Superman, with writer Jerry Siegel, first published in Action Comics #1...

 began receiving a "created by" credit on the Superman titles, along with William Moulton Marston
William Moulton Marston
Dr. William Moulton Marston , also known by the pen name Charles Moulton, was an American psychologist, feminist theorist, inventor and comic book writer who created the character Wonder Woman...

 being given the byline for creating Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman is a DC Comics superheroine created by William Moulton Marston. She first appeared in All Star Comics #8 . The Wonder Woman title has been published by DC Comics almost continuously except for a brief hiatus in 1986....

, Batman stories began saying "Created by Bob Kane" in addition to the other credits.

Finger did not receive the same recognition. While he had received credit for other DC work since the 1940s, he began, in the 1960s, to receive limited acknowledgment for his Batman writing; in the letters page of Batman #169 (February 1965) for example, editor Julius Schwartz
Julius Schwartz
Julius "Julie" Schwartz was a comic book and pulp magazine editor, and a science fiction agent and prominent fan. He was born in the Bronx, New York...

 names him as the creator of the Riddler
Riddler
The Riddler is a fictional character, a comic book character and supervillain published by DC Comics, and an enemy of Batman. Created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang, the character first appeared in Detective Comics #140 ....

, one of Batman's recurring villains. However, Finger's contract left him only with his writing page rate and no byline. Kane wrote, "Bill was disheartened by the lack of major accomplishments in his career. He felt that he had not used his creative potential to its fullest and that success had passed him by." At the time of Finger's death in 1974, DC had not officially credited Finger as Batman co-creator.

Jerry Robinson
Jerry Robinson
Jerry Robinson is an American comic book artist best known for his work on DC Comics' Batman line of comics during the 1940s.He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2004.-Career:...

, who also worked with Finger and Kane on the strip at this time, has criticized Kane for failing to share the credit. He recalled Finger resenting his position, stating in a 2005 interview with The Comics Journal
The Comics Journal
The Comics Journal, often abbreviated TCJ, is an American magazine of news and criticism pertaining to comic books, comic strips and graphic novels...

:
Although Kane initially rebutted Finger's claims at having created the character, writing in a 1965 open letter to fans that "it seemed to me that Bill Finger has given out the impression that he and not myself created the Batman, t' [sic
Sic
Sic—generally inside square brackets, [sic], and occasionally parentheses, —when added just after a quote or reprinted text, indicates the passage appears exactly as in the original source...

] as well as Robin and all the other leading villains and characters. This statement is fraudulent and entirely untrue." Kane himself also commented on Finger's lack of credit. "The trouble with being a 'ghost' writer or artist is that you must remain rather anonymously without 'credit'. However, if one wants the 'credit', then one has to cease being a 'ghost' or follower and become a leader or innovator."

In 1989, Kane revisited Finger's situation, recalling in an interview,

Early years

The first Batman story, "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate," was published in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Finger said, "Batman was originally written in the style of the pulps," and this influence was evident with Batman showing little remorse over killing or maiming criminals. Batman proved a hit character, and he received his own solo title in 1940, while continuing to star in Detective Comics. By that time, National was the top-selling and most influential publisher in the industry; Batman and the company's other major hero, Superman, were the cornerstones of the company's success. The two characters were featured side-by-side as the stars of World's Finest Comics
World's Finest Comics
World's Finest Comics was an American comic book series published by DC Comics from 1941 to 1986. The series was initially titled World's Best Comics for its first issue; issue #2 switched to the more familiar name...

, which was originally titled World's Best Comics when it debuted in fall 1940. Creators including Jerry Robinson
Jerry Robinson
Jerry Robinson is an American comic book artist best known for his work on DC Comics' Batman line of comics during the 1940s.He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2004.-Career:...

 and Dick Sprang
Dick Sprang
Richard W. "Dick" Sprang was an American comic book artist and penciller, best known for his work on the superhero Batman during the period fans and historians call Golden Age of Comic Books. Sprang was responsible for the 1948 redesign of the Batmobile and the original design of the Riddler, who...

 also worked on the strips during this period.

Over the course of the first few Batman strips elements were added to the character and the artistic depiction of Batman evolved. Kane noted that within six issues he drew the character's jawline more pronounced, and lengthened the ears on the costume. "About a year later he was almost the full figure, my mature Batman," Kane said. Batman's characteristic utility belt
Batman's utility belt
Batman's utility belt is one of the most characteristic portions of Batman's costume. Similar belts are used by the various Robins, Batgirls, and other members of the Batman family.-History:...

 was introduced in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), followed by the boomerang
Boomerang
A boomerang is a flying tool with a curved shape used as a weapon or for sport.-Description:A boomerang is usually thought of as a wooden device, although historically boomerang-like devices have also been made from bones. Modern boomerangs used for sport are often made from carbon fibre-reinforced...

-like batarang and the first bat-themed vehicle, the Batplane
Batplane
The Batplane, later known as the Batwing, is the fictional aircraft for the comic book superhero Batman. The vehicle was introduced in "Batman Versus The Vampire, I", published in Detective Comics #31 in 1939, a story which saw Batman travel to continental Europe...

, in #31 (September 1939). The character's origin was revealed in #33 (November 1939), unfolding in a two-page story that establishes the brooding persona of Batman, a character driven by the death of his parents. Written by Finger, it depicts a young Bruce Wayne witnessing his parents' murder at the hands of a mugger. Days later, at their grave, the child vows that "by the spirits of my parents [I will] avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals."

The early, pulp-inflected portrayal of Batman started to soften in Detective Comics #38 (April 1940) with the introduction of Robin
Robin (comics)
Robin is the name of several fictional characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, originally created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson, as a junior counterpart to DC Comics superhero Batman...

, Batman's kid sidekick. Robin was introduced, based on Finger's suggestion Batman needed a "Watson" with whom Batman could talk. Sales nearly doubled, despite Kane's preference for a solo Batman, and it sparked a proliferation of "kid sidekicks." The first issue of the solo spin-off series
Batman
Batman (comic book)
Batman is an ongoing comic book series featuring the DC Comics hero of the same name. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #27, published in May 1939. Batman proved to be so popular that a self-titled ongoing comic book series began publication in the spring of 1940...

 was notable not only for introducing two of his most persistent antagonists, the Joker
Joker (comics)
The Joker is a fictional character, a comic book supervillain published by DC Comics. He is the archenemy of Batman, having been directly responsible for numerous tragedies in Batman's life, including the paralysis of Barbara Gordon and the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin...

 and Catwoman
Catwoman
Catwoman is a fictional character associated with DC Comics' Batman franchise. Historically a supervillain, the character was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, partially inspired by Kane's cousin, Ruth Steel...

, but for a story in which Batman shoots some monstrous giants to death. That story prompted editor Whitney Ellsworth
Whitney Ellsworth
Fredric Whitney Ellsworth was an American comic book editor, and sometime writer and artist for DC Comics during the period known to historians and fans as the Golden Age of Comic Books...

 to decree that the character could no longer kill or use a gun.

By 1942, the writers and artists behind the Batman comics had established most of the basic elements of the Batman mythos. In the years following World War II, DC Comics "adopted a postwar editorial direction that increasingly de-emphasized social commentary in favor of lighthearted juvenile fantasy." The impact of this editorial approach was evident in Batman comics of the postwar period; removed from the "bleak and menacing world" of the strips of the early 1940s, Batman was instead portrayed as a respectable citizen and paternal figure that inhabited a "bright and colorful" environment.

1950s and early 1960s

Batman was one of the few superhero characters to be continuously published as interest in the genre waned during the 1950s. In the story "The Mightiest Team in the World" in Superman
Superman (comic book)
Superman is an ongoing comic book series featuring the DC Comics hero of the same name. The character Superman began as one of several anthology features in the National Periodical Publications comic book Action Comics #1 in June 1938...

#76 (June 1952), Batman teams up with Superman for the first time and the pair discovers each other's secret identity. Following the success of this story, World's Finest Comics was revamped so it featured stories starring both heroes together, instead of the separate Batman and Superman features that had been running before. The team-up of the characters was "a financial success in an era when those were few and far between"; this series of stories ran until the book's cancellation in 1986.

Batman comics were among those criticized when the comic book industry came under scrutiny with the publication of psychologist Fredric Wertham
Fredric Wertham
Fredric Wertham was a Jewish German-American psychiatrist and crusading author who protested the purportedly harmful effects of violent imagery in mass media and comic books on the development of children. His best-known book was Seduction of the Innocent , which purported that comic books are...

's book Seduction of the Innocent
Seduction of the Innocent
Seduction of the Innocent is a book by German-American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, published in 1954, that warned that comic books were a negative form of popular literature and a serious cause of juvenile delinquency. The book was a minor bestseller that created alarm in parents and galvanized...

 in 1954. Wertham's thesis was that children imitated crimes committed in comic books, and that these works corrupt the morals of the youth. Wertham criticized Batman comics for their supposed homosexual overtones and argued that Batman and Robin were portrayed as lovers. Wertham's criticisms raised a public outcry during the 1950s, eventually leading to the establishment of the Comics Code Authority
Comics Code Authority
The Comics Code Authority was a body created as part of the Comics Magazine Association of America, as a tool for the comics-publishing industry to self-regulate the content of comic books in the United States. Member publishers submitted comic books to the CCA, which screened them for adherence to...

. The tendency towards a "sunnier Batman" in the postwar years intensified after the introduction of the Comics Code. It has also been suggested by scholars that the characters of Batwoman
Batwoman
Batwoman is the name of several fictional characters, female counterparts to the superhero Batman. The original version was created by Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff. Her alter ego is Kathy Kane. This character appears in publications produced by DC Comics and related media beginning in Detective...

 (in 1956) and the pre-Barbara Gordon
Barbara Gordon
Barbara Gordon is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics and in related media, created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino...

 Bat-Girl
Bette Kane
Bette Kane is a fictional character in the . She first appeared in the sixties as "Betty Kane", the Bat-Girl. Later, her name was modified to "Bette Kane" and she took on the mantle of Flamebird.-Pre-Crisis:...

 (in 1961) were introduced in part to refute the allegation that Batman and Robin were gay, and the stories took on a campier, lighter feel.

In the late 1950s, Batman stories gradually became more science fiction-oriented, an attempt at mimicking the success of other DC characters that had dabbled in the genre. New characters such as Batwoman, Ace the Bat-Hound
Ace the Bat-Hound
The comic book character Ace the Bat-Hound was the canine crime-fighting partner of Batman and Robin in DC Comics of the 1950s and 1960s. Ace debuted in Batman #92...

, and Bat-Mite
Bat-Mite
Bat-Mite is a fictional character appearing in stories published by DC Comics. Bat-Mite is an Imp similar to the Superman villain Mister Mxyzptlk...

 were introduced. Batman's adventures often involved odd transformations or bizarre space aliens. In 1960, Batman debuted as a member of the Justice League of America
Justice League
The Justice League, also called the Justice League of America or JLA, is a fictional superhero team that appears in comic books published by DC Comics....

 in The Brave and the Bold
The Brave and the Bold
The Brave and the Bold is the title shared by many comic book series published by DC Comics. The first of these was published as an ongoing series from 1955 to 1983...

 #28 (February 1960), and went on to appear in several Justice League comic series starting later that same year.

"New Look" Batman and camp

By 1964, sales on Batman titles had fallen drastically. Bob Kane noted that, as a result, DC was "planning to kill Batman off altogether." In response to this, editor Julius Schwartz
Julius Schwartz
Julius "Julie" Schwartz was a comic book and pulp magazine editor, and a science fiction agent and prominent fan. He was born in the Bronx, New York...

 was assigned to the Batman titles. He presided over drastic changes, beginning with 1964's Detective Comics #327 (May 1964), which was cover-billed as the "New Look". Schwartz introduced changes designed to make Batman more contemporary, and to return him to more detective-oriented stories. He brought in artist Carmine Infantino
Carmine Infantino
Carmine Infantino Carmine Infantino Carmine Infantino (born May 24, 1925, in Brooklyn, New York is an American comic book artist and editor who was a major force in the Silver Age of Comic Books...

 to help overhaul the character. The Batmobile
Batmobile
The Batmobile is the automobile of DC Comics superhero Batman. The car has evolved along with the character from comic books to television and films. Kept in the Batcave, which it accesses through a hidden entrance, the Batmobile is a gadget-laden vehicle used by Batman in his crime-fighting...

 was redesigned, and Batman's costume was modified to incorporate a yellow ellipse behind the bat-insignia. The space aliens and characters of the 1950s such as Batwoman, Ace, and Bat-Mite were retired. Batman's butler Alfred was killed off (though his death was quickly reversed due to fan response) while a new female relative for the Wayne family, Aunt Harriet, came to live with Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.

The debut of the Batman
Batman (TV series)
Batman is an American television series, based on the DC comic book character of the same name. It stars Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin — two crime-fighting heroes who defend Gotham City. It aired on the American Broadcasting Company network for three seasons from January 12, 1966 to...

 television series in 1966 had a profound influence on the character. The success of the series increased sales throughout the comic book industry, and
Batman reached a circulation of close to 900,000 copies. Elements such as the character of Batgirl
Batgirl
Batgirl is the name of several fictional characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, frequently depicted as female counterparts to the superhero Batman...

 and the show's campy
Camp (style)
Camp is an aesthetic sensibility that regards something as appealing because of its taste and ironic value. The concept is closely related to kitsch, and things with camp appeal may also be described as being "cheesy"...

 nature were introduced into the comics; the series also initiated the return of Alfred. Although both the comics and TV show were successful for a time, the camp approach eventually wore thin and the show was canceled in 1968. In the aftermath, the Batman comics themselves lost popularity once again. As Julius Schwartz noted, "When the television show was a success, I was asked to be campy, and of course when the show faded, so did the comic books."

Starting in 1969, writer Dennis O'Neil
Dennis O'Neil
Dennis J. "Denny" O'Neil is an American comic book writer and editor, principally for Marvel Comics and DC Comics in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and Group Editor for the Batman family of books until his retirement....

 and artist Neal Adams
Neal Adams
Neal Adams is an American comic book and commercial artist known for helping to create some of the definitive modern imagery of the DC Comics characters Superman, Batman, and Green Arrow; as the co-founder of the graphic design studio Continuity Associates; and as a creators-rights advocate who...

 made a deliberate effort to distance Batman from the campy portrayal of the 1960s TV series and to return the character to his roots as a "grim avenger of the night." O'Neil said his idea was "simply to take it back to where it started. I went to the DC library and read some of the early stories. I tried to get a sense of what Kane and Finger were after."

O'Neil and Adams first collaborated on the story "The Secret of the Waiting Graves" (Detective Comics #395, January 1970). Few stories were true collaborations between O'Neil, Adams, Schwartz, and inker Dick Giordano
Dick Giordano
Richard Joseph "Dick" Giordano was an American comic book artist and editor best known for introducing Charlton Comics' "Action Heroes" stable of superheroes, and serving as executive editor of then–industry leader DC Comics...

, and in actuality these men were mixed and matched with various other creators during the 1970s; nevertheless the influence of their work was "tremendous." Giordano said: "We went back to a grimmer, darker Batman, and I think that's why these stories did so well... Even today we're still using Neal's Batman with the long flowing cape and the pointy ears." While the work of O'Neil and Adams was popular with fans, the acclaim did little to help declining sales; the same held true with a similarly acclaimed run by writer Steve Englehart
Steve Englehart
Steve Englehart is an American novelist. In his earlier career he was a comic book writer best known for his work at Marvel Comics and DC Comics, particularly in the 1970s...

 and penciler Marshall Rogers
Marshall Rogers
Marshall Rogers was an American comic-book artist best known for his work at Marvel and DC Comics in the 1970s, particularly as one of the illustrators of Batman and Silver Surfer...

 in Detective Comics #471–476 (August 1977 – April 1978), which went on to influence the 1989 movie Batman and be adapted for Batman: The Animated Series
Batman: The Animated Series
Batman: The Animated Series is an American animated series based on the DC Comics character Batman. The series featured an ensemble cast of many voice-actors including Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Arleen Sorkin, and Loren Lester. The series won four Emmy Awards and was nominated...

, which debuted in 1992. Regardless, circulation continued to drop through the 1970s and 1980s, hitting an all-time low in 1985.

The Dark Knight Returns and later

Frank Miller
Frank Miller (comics)
Frank Miller is an American comic book artist, writer and film director best known for his dark, film noir-style comic book stories and graphic novels Ronin, Daredevil: Born Again, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City and 300...

's limited series
The Dark Knight Returns (February–June 1986), which tells the story of a 50-year old Batman coming out of retirement in a possible future, reinvigorated the character. The Dark Knight Returns was a financial success and has since become one of the medium's most noted touchstones. The series also sparked a major resurgence in the character's popularity.

That year Dennis O'Neil took over as editor of the Batman titles and set the template for the portrayal of Batman following DC's status quo-altering miniseries
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Crisis on Infinite Earths is a 12-issue American comic book limited series and crossover event, produced by DC Comics in 1985 to simplify its then 50-year-old continuity...

. O'Neil operated under the assumption that he was hired to revamp the character and as a result tried to instill a different tone in the books than had gone before. One outcome of this new approach was the "Year One
Batman: Year One
"Year One", later referred to as "Batman: Year One", is an American comic book story arc written by Frank Miller, illustrated by David Mazzucchelli, colored by Richmond Lewis, and lettered by Todd Klein...

" storyline in
Batman #404–407 (February–May 1987), in which Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli
David Mazzucchelli
David Mazzucchelli is an American comic book artist and writer. His latest work is the award-winning graphic novel, Asterios Polyp.-Career:...

 redefined the character's origins. Writer Alan Moore
Alan Moore
Alan Oswald Moore is an English writer primarily known for his work in comic books, a medium where he has produced a number of critically acclaimed and popular series, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell...

 and artist Brian Bolland
Brian Bolland
Brian Bolland is a British comics artist, known for his meticulous, detailed linework and eye-catching compositions. Best known in the UK as one of the definitive Judge Dredd artists for British comics anthology 2000 AD, he spearheaded the 'British Invasion' of the American comics industry, and in...

 continued this dark trend with 1988's 48-page one-shot 
Batman: The Killing Joke
Batman: The Killing Joke
Batman: The Killing Joke is an influential one-shot superhero graphic novel written by Alan Moore and drawn by Brian Bolland. First published by DC Comics in 1988, it has remained in print since then, and has also been reprinted as part of the trade paperback DC Universe: The Stories of Alan...

, in which the Joker, attempting to drive Commissioner Gordon insane, cripples Gordon's daughter Barbara
Barbara Gordon
Barbara Gordon is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics and in related media, created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino...

, and then kidnaps and tortures the commissioner, physically and psychologically.

The Batman comics garnered major attention in 1988 when DC Comics created a 900 number
Premium-rate telephone number
Premium-rate telephone numbers are telephone numbers for telephone calls during which certain services are provided, and for which prices higher than normal are charged. Unlike a normal call, part of the call charge is paid to the service provider, thus enabling businesses to be funded via the calls...

 for readers to call to vote on whether Jason Todd
Jason Todd
Jason Peter Todd is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Jason first appeared in Batman #357 and became the second Robin, sidekick to the superhero Batman, when the previous Robin went on to star in The New Teen Titans under the moniker of Nightwing.Though...

, the second Robin, lived or died. Voters decided in favor of Jason's death by a narrow margin of 28 votes (see
Batman: A Death in the Family
Batman: A Death in the Family
"A Death in the Family" is a Batman comic book story arc first published in the late 1980s which gave fans the ability to influence the story through voting with a 900 number. "A Death in the Family" ran in Batman #426-429, published in 1988-1989...

). The following year saw the release of Tim Burton
Tim Burton
Timothy William "Tim" Burton is an American film director, film producer, writer and artist. He is famous for dark, quirky-themed movies such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet...

's
Batman
Batman (1989 film)
Batman is a 1989 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, directed by Tim Burton. The film stars Michael Keaton in the title role, as well as Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl and Jack Palance...

feature film, which firmly brought the character back to the public's attention, grossing millions of dollars at the box office, and millions more in merchandising. However, the three sequels, Tim Burton's Batman Returns
Batman Returns
Batman Returns is a 1992 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, it is the sequel to Burton's Batman , and features Michael Keaton reprising the title role, with Danny DeVito as the Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman.Burton originally did not...

and director Joel Schumacher
Joel Schumacher
Joel T. Schumacher is an American film director, screenwriter and producer.-Early life:Schumacher was born in New York City, the son of Marian and Francis Schumacher. His mother was a Swedish Jew, and his father was a Baptist from Knoxville, Tennessee, who died when Joel was four years old...

's
Batman Forever
Batman Forever
Batman Forever is a 1995 American superhero film directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Tim Burton. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is a sequel to Batman Returns , with Val Kilmer replacing Michael Keaton as Batman...

and Batman & Robin, did not perform as well at the box office. The Batman movie franchise was rebooted with director and co-writer Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan
Christopher Jonathan James Nolan is a British-American film director, screenwriter and producer.He received serious notice after his second feature Memento , which he wrote and directed based on a story idea by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Jonathan went to co-write later scripts with him,...

's
Batman Begins
Batman Begins
Batman Begins is a 2005 American superhero action film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale as Batman, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Tom Wilkinson,...

in 2005 and The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

in 2008. In 1989, the first issue of Legends of the Dark Knight
Legends of the Dark Knight
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, commonly referred to as simply Legends of the Dark Knight is a DC comic book featuring Batman. It was launched in 1989 with the popularity of the Batman movie, following on from Frank Miller's Batman: Year One...

, the first new solo Batman title in nearly fifty years, sold close to a million copies.

The 1993 "Knightfall" story arc introduced a new villain, Bane
Bane (comics)
Bane is a fictional character who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 , and was created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, and Graham Nolan. Bane has been one of Batman's more physically and intellectually powerful foes...

, who critically injures Bruce Wayne. Jean-Paul Valley, known as Azrael
Azrael (comics)
Azrael is the name of several fictional characters in the DC Comics universe. They are a group of assassins who were created by The Order of St. Dumas to "enforce god's will"...

, is called upon to wear the Batsuit during Wayne's convalescence. Writers Doug Moench
Doug Moench
Douglas Moench , better known as Doug Moench, is an American comic book writer notable for his Batman work and as the creator of Black Mask, Moon Knight and Deathlok.-Biography:...

, Chuck Dixon
Chuck Dixon
Charles "Chuck" Dixon is an American comic book writer, best known for long runs on Batman titles in the 1990s.-Biography:Dixon grew up in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area, reading comics of all genres...

, and Alan Grant worked on the Batman titles during "Knightfall," and would also contribute to other Batman crossovers throughout the 1990s. 1998's "Cataclysm
Batman: Cataclysm
"Cataclysm" is an 18 chapter DC Comics crossover story arc that ran through the various Batman family comics from March to May, 1998. The plot of the storyline centers around Gotham City being hit by a massive earthquake, the epicenter of the which is less than a mile from Wayne Manor...

" storyline served as the precursor to 1999's "No Man's Land", a year-long storyline that ran through all the Batman-related titles dealing with the effects of an earthquake-ravaged Gotham City. At the conclusion of "No Man's Land", O'Neil stepped down as editor and was replaced by Bob Schreck
Bob Schreck
-Career:One of Shreck's earliest jobs in comics was art director at Comico. For much of the 1990s Schreck was an editor at Dark Horse Comics, and went on to found Oni Press in 1997. Then he went over to work as an editor at DC Comics, where he worked on the Batman comics and the All Star titles,...

.

Another writer who rose to prominence on the Batman comic series, was Jeph Loeb
Jeph Loeb
Joseph "Jeph" Loeb III is an American film and television writer, producer and award-winning comic book writer. Loeb was a producer/writer on the TV series Smallville and Lost, writer for the films Commando and Teen Wolf and was a writer and Co-Executive Producer on the NBC TV show Heroes from its...

. Along with longtime collaborator Tim Sale, they wrote two miniseries ("The Long Halloween" and "Dark Victory") that pit an early in his career version of Batman against his entire rogue's gallery (most notably Two-Face, whose origin was re-envisioned by Loeb) while dealing with various mysteries involving serial killers Holiday and the Hangman, of which the former was the subject of intense debate and speculation amongst Batman fans. In 2003, Loeb teamed with artist Jim Lee
Jim Lee
Jim Lee is a Korean-American comic book artist, writer, editor and publisher. He first broke into the industry in 1987 as an artist for Marvel Comics, illustrating titles such as Alpha Flight and Punisher War Journal, before gaining a great deal of popularity on The Uncanny X-Men...

 to work on another mystery arc: "Batman: Hush
Batman: Hush
Hush is a 2002-2003 comic book story arc that ran through the Batman monthly series. It was written by Jeph Loeb, penciled by Jim Lee, inked by Scott Williams and colored by Alex Sinclair. The story depicts a mysterious stalker called Hush, who seems intent on sabotaging Batman from afar, and it...

" for the main Batman book. The twelve issue storyline saw Batman and Catwoman running the gauntlet against Batman's entire rogue's gallery, including an apparently resurrected Jason Todd, while seeking to find the identity of the mysterious supervillain Hush. While the character of Hush failed to catch on with readers, the arc was a sales success for DC. As the storyline was Jim Lee's first regular comic book work in nearly a decade, the series became #1 on the Diamond Comic Distributors
Diamond Comic Distributors
Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. is the largest comic book distributor serving North America. They transport comic books from both big and small comic book publishers, or suppliers, to the retailers. Diamond dominates the direct market in the United States, and has exclusive arrangements with most...

 sales chart for the first time since Batman #500 (October 1993) and Jason Todd's appearance laid the groundwork for writer Judd Winick
Judd Winick
Judd Winick is an American comic book, comic strip and television writer/artist and former reality television personality...

's subsequent run as writer on
Batman, with another multi-issue epic, "Under the Hood," which ran from Batman #637–650.

In 2005, DC launched
All-Star Batman and Robin, a stand-alone comic series set outside the existing DC Universe. Written by Frank Miller and drawn by Jim Lee, the series was a commercial success for DC Comics though widely panned by critics for its writing.

Starting in 2006, the regular writers on
Batman and Detective Comics were Grant Morrison
Grant Morrison
Grant Morrison is a Scottish comic book writer, playwright and occultist. He is known for his nonlinear narratives and counter-cultural leanings, as well as his successful runs on titles like Animal Man, Doom Patrol, JLA, The Invisibles, New X-Men, Fantastic Four, All-Star Superman, and...

 and Paul Dini
Paul Dini
Paul Dini is an American writer and producer who works in the television and comic book industries. He is best known as a producer and writer for several Warner Bros./DC Comics animated series, including Star Wars: Ewoks, Tiny Toon Adventures, Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated...

, with Grant Morrison reincorporating controversial elements of Batman lore (most notably, the science fiction themed storylines of the 1950s Batman comics, which Morrison revised as hallucinations Batman suffered under the influence of various mind-bending gases and extensive sensory deprivation training) into the character. Morrison's run climaxed with "Batman R.I.P.", which brought Batman up against the villainous "Black Glove" organization, which sought to drive Batman into madness. "Batman R.I.P." segued into Final Crisis
Final Crisis
Final Crisis is a crossover storyline that appeared in comic books published by DC Comics in 2008, primarily the seven-issue miniseries of the same name written by Grant Morrison. Originally DC announced the project as being illustrated solely by J. G. Jones; artists Carlos Pacheco, Marco Rudy and...

(also written by Morrison), which saw the apparent death of Batman at the hands of Darkseid
Darkseid
Darkseid is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 and was created by writer-artist Jack Kirby....

. In the 2009 miniseries
Batman: Battle for the Cowl
Batman: Battle for the Cowl
Batman: Battle for the Cowl is a 2009 comic book storyline published by DC Comics, consisting of an eponymous, three issue miniseries written and penciled by Tony Daniel, as well as a number of tie-in books. The central story details the chaos in Gotham City following the "Batman R.I.P." and "Final...

, Wayne's former protégé Dick Grayson becomes the new Batman, and Wayne's son Damian becomes the new Robin. In June 2009, Judd Winick returned to writing Batman, while Grant Morrison was given his own series, titled Batman and Robin
Batman and Robin (comic book)
Batman and Robin is an American comic book ongoing series, created by Grant Morrison and featuring Batman and Robin. The debut of the series followed the events of "Batman R.I.P.", Final Crisis, and "Battle for the Cowl" in which the original Batman, Bruce Wayne, apparently died at the hands of DC...

.

In 2010, the storyline Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne is a 6-issue American comic book limited series published by DC Comics beginning in May 2010 to November 2010, written by Grant Morrison and featuring a team of rotating artists starting with Chris Sprouse and Frazer Irving.The series picks up from Batman and Robin...

 saw Bruce travel through history, eventually returning to the present day. Although he reclaimed the mantle of Batman, he also allowed Grayson to continue being Batman as well. Bruce decided to take his war on crime globally, which is the central focus of
Batman Incorporated. DC Comics would later announce that Grayson would be the main character in Batman, Detective Comics and Batman and Robin, while Wayne would be the main character in Batman Incorporated. Also, Bruce appeared in another ongoing series, Batman: The Dark Knight
Batman: The Dark Knight
Batman: The Dark Knight is an American comic book ongoing series, written and penciled by David Finch and featuring Batman. One of two new ongoing titles to feature Bruce Wayne after the "Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne" storyline, The Dark Knight will depict Bruce Wayne's life in Gotham City...

.

2011 "New 52" relaunch

In September 2011, DC Comics' entire line of superhero books, including its
Batman franchise, was canceled and relaunched with new #1 issues as part of its New 52 reboot. Bruce Wayne is the only character to be identified as Batman and will be featured in Batman, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin, and Batman: The Dark Knight. Dick Grayson returns to the mantle of Nightwing and appears in his own ongoing series. While many characters have their histories significantly altered to attract newer, younger readers, Batman's history remains mostly intact. Batman Incorporated will be relaunched in 2012 to complete the "Leviathan" storyline.

Fictional character biography

Batman's history has undergone various revisions, both minor and major. Few elements of the character's history have remained constant. Scholars William Uricchio
William Uricchio
William Uricchio is a media scholar who teaches at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Utrecht University. He has written about Batman, Fernsehsender Paris, Vitagraph Studios, and "city symphony" film. His research often centers on "moments of transition and the dynamics that accompany them,"...

 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
Origin story
In comic book terminology, an origin story is an account or back-story revealing how a character or team gained their superpowers and/or the circumstances under which they became superheroes or supervillains....

. As a little boy, Bruce Wayne is horrified and traumatized to see his parents, the physician Dr. Thomas Wayne
Thomas Wayne
Thomas Wayne is a fictional character in the Batman series of comic books. Dr. Thomas Wayne was the father of Bruce Wayne, and husband of Martha Wayne, as well as a gifted surgeon and philanthropist...

 and his wife Martha
Martha Wayne
Martha Wayne is a fictional character of the Batman series of comic books, published by DC Comics. She is Dr. Thomas Wayne's wife and mother of Bruce Wayne. When she and her husband are murdered during a holdup, young Bruce swears to avenge their deaths by fighting crime...

, being murdered by a mugger in front of his very eyes. This drives him to fight crime in Gotham City
Gotham City
Gotham City is a fictional U.S. city appearing in DC Comics, best known as the home of Batman. Batman's place of residence was first identified as Gotham City in Batman #4 . Gotham City is strongly inspired by Trenton, Ontario's history, location, atmosphere, and various architectural styles...

 as Batman. Pearson and Uricchio also noted beyond the origin story and such events as the introduction of Robin, "Until recently, the fixed and accruing 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.

Golden Age

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 (Nov. 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
Gotham City
Gotham City is a fictional U.S. city appearing in DC Comics, best known as the home of Batman. Batman's place of residence was first identified as Gotham City in Batman #4 . Gotham City is strongly inspired by Trenton, Ontario's history, location, atmosphere, and various architectural styles...

 socialites. Bruce is brought up in Wayne Manor
Wayne Manor
In DC Comics, Wayne Manor is a fictional setting, the personal residence of Bruce Wayne, who is also Batman. The residence is typically depicted as a huge stately mansion on grounds outside Gotham City, maintained by the Wayne family's servant, Alfred Pennyworth...

, with 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
Joe Chill
Joe Chill is a fictional character in the DC Comics Batman series. He is best known for murdering young Bruce Wayne's parents , thus making him indirectly responsible for Batman's existence....

 while on their way home from a 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 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 take on the persona of Batman.

In early strips, Batman's career as a vigilante earns him the ire of the police. During this period Wayne has a fiancée named Julie Madison
Julie Madison
Julie Madison is a fictional character in the DC Universe, best known as Batman's first significant love interest.-Original version:Julie Madison first appeared in Detective Comics #31 only four issues after Batman's own debut...

. 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
Justice Society of America
The Justice Society of America, or JSA, is a DC Comics superhero group, the first team of superheroes in comic book history. Conceived by editor Sheldon Mayer and writer Gardner Fox, the JSA first appeared in All Star Comics #3 ....

, 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
Gotham City Police Department
The Gotham City Police Department is a fictional police department servicing Gotham City, as depicted in comic books published by DC Comics, in particular those tied into the Batman books.-History of GCPD:...

. During this time, butler Alfred Pennyworth arrives at Wayne Manor, and after deducing the Dynamic Duo's secret identities joins their service.

Silver Age

The Silver Age of Comic Books
Silver Age of Comic Books
The Silver Age of Comic Books was a period of artistic advancement and commercial success in mainstream American comic books, predominantly those in the superhero genre. Following the Golden Age of Comic Books and an interregnum in the early to mid-1950s, the Silver Age is considered to cover the...

 in DC Comics is sometimes held to have begun in 1956 when the publisher introduced Barry Allen as a new, updated version of The Flash
Flash (comics)
The Flash is a name shared by several fictional comic book superheroes from the DC Comics universe. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert, the original Flash first appeared in Flash Comics #1 ....

. Batman is not significantly changed by the late 1950s for the continuity which would be later referred to as Earth-One
Earth-One
Earth-One is a name given to two fictional universes that have appeared in American comic book stories published by DC Comics...

. The lighter tone Batman had taken in the period between the Golden and Silver Ages led to the stories of the late 1950s and early 1960s that often feature a large number of science-fiction elements, and Batman is not significantly updated in the manner of other characters until Detective Comics #327 (May 1964), in which Batman reverts to his detective roots, with most science-fiction elements jettisoned from the series.

After the introduction of DC Comics' multiverse
Multiverse (DC Comics)
The DC Multiverse is a fictional continuity construct that exists in stories published by comic book company DC Comics. The DC Multiverse consists of numerous worlds, most of them outside DC's main continuity, allowing writers the creative freedom to explore alternative versions of characters and...

 in the 1960s, DC established that stories from the Golden Age star the Earth-Two Batman
Batman (Earth-Two)
The Batman of Earth-Two is a parallel version of the DC Comics superhero, who was introduced after DC Comics created Earth-Two, a parallel world that was retroactively established as the home of characters which had been published in the Golden Age of comic books...

, 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
Superman Family
Superman Family was a DC Comics comic book series which ran from 1974 to 1982 featuring stories starring supporting characters in the Superman comics...

 #211) and fathers Helena Wayne
Huntress (Helena Wayne)
The Bronze Age Huntress was Helena Wayne, the daughter of the Batman and Catwoman of Earth-Two, an alternate universe established in the early 1960s as the world where the Golden Age stories took place...

, who, as the Huntress, becomes (along with Dick Grayson, the Earth-Two Robin
Robin (Earth-Two)
Robin of Earth-Two is an alternate version of the fictional DC Comics superhero Robin, who was introduced after DC Comics created Earth-Two, a parallel world that was retroactively established as the home of characters which had been published in the Golden Age of comic books...

) 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
Green Lantern
The Green Lantern is the shared primary alias of several fictional characters, superheroes appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The first Green Lantern was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Martin Nodell in All-American Comics #16 .Each Green Lantern possesses a power ring and...

, 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, January/February 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
Paul Levitz
Paul Levitz is an American comic book writer, editor and executive. The president of DC Comics from 2002–2009, he has worked for the company for over 35 years in a wide variety of roles...

 commissioned the
Untold Legend of the Batman limited series
Limited series
A limited series is a comic book series with a set number of installments. A limited series differs from an ongoing series in that the number of issues is determined before production and it differs from a one shot in that it is composed of multiple issues....

 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
World's Finest Comics
World's Finest Comics was an American comic book series published by DC Comics from 1941 to 1986. The series was initially titled World's Best Comics for its first issue; issue #2 switched to the more familiar name...

, 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
Justice League
The Justice League, also called the Justice League of America or JLA, is a fictional superhero team that appears in comic books published by DC Comics....

, 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
DC Universe
The DC Universe is the shared universe where most of the comic stories published by DC Comics take place. The fictional characters Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are well-known superheroes from this universe. Note that in context, "DC Universe" is usually used to refer to the main DC continuity...

 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 his mansion, Wayne Manor
Wayne Manor
In DC Comics, Wayne Manor is a fictional setting, the personal residence of Bruce Wayne, who is also Batman. The residence is typically depicted as a huge stately mansion on grounds outside Gotham City, maintained by the Wayne family's servant, Alfred Pennyworth...

 into a penthouse apartment
Penthouse apartment
A penthouse apartment or penthouse is an apartment that is on one of the highest floors of an apartment building. Penthouses are typically differentiated from other apartments by luxury features.-History:...

 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 the Joker as a homicidal psychopath
Psychopathy
Psychopathy is a mental disorder characterized primarily by a lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deceptiveness. Psychopaths are highly prone to antisocial behavior and abusive treatment of others, and are very disproportionately responsible for violent crime...

, and the arrival of Ra's al Ghul
Ra's al Ghul
Ra's al Ghul is a DC Comics supervillain and is one of Batman's greatest enemies. His name in Arabic has been translated in the comics as "The Demon's Head" and references the name of the star Algol. Created by writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams, he was introduced in Batman #232's...

, a centuries-old terrorist who knows Batman's secret identity. In the 1980s, Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing
Nightwing
Nightwing is a name that has been used by several fictional characters in the DC Comics Universe. It was conceived as a Kryptonian analogue to the character of Batman, with Nightwing's frequent partner Flamebird based on Robin...

.

In the final issue of Brave and the Bold in 1983, Batman quits the Justice League and forms a new group called the Outsiders
Outsiders (comics)
The Outsiders are a fictional DC Comics superhero team. As its name suggests, the team consists of superheroes who allegedly do not fit the norms of the mainstream superhero community, namely the Justice League....

. He serves as the team's leader until
Batman and the Outsiders #32 (1986) and the comic subsequently changed its title.

Modern Batman

After the 12-issue limited series
Limited series
A limited series is a comic book series with a set number of installments. A limited series differs from an ongoing series in that the number of issues is determined before production and it differs from a one shot in that it is composed of multiple issues....

 
Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics retconned the histories of some major characters in an attempt at updating them for contemporary audiences. Frank Miller retold Batman's origin in the storyline "Year One
Batman: Year One
"Year One", later referred to as "Batman: Year One", is an American comic book story arc written by Frank Miller, illustrated by David Mazzucchelli, colored by Richmond Lewis, and lettered by Todd Klein...

" 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
Jason Todd
Jason Peter Todd is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Jason first appeared in Batman #357 and became the second Robin, sidekick to the superhero Batman, when the previous Robin went on to star in The New Teen Titans under the moniker of Nightwing.Though...

, 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 Pennyworth. 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 backstory for Batman following Crisis, DC launched a new Batman title called Legends of the Dark Knight
Legends of the Dark Knight
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, commonly referred to as simply Legends of the Dark Knight is a DC comic book featuring Batman. It was launched in 1989 with the popularity of the Batman movie, following on from Frank Miller's Batman: Year One...

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
Jeph Loeb
Joseph "Jeph" Loeb III is an American film and television writer, producer and award-winning comic book writer. Loeb was a producer/writer on the TV series Smallville and Lost, writer for the films Commando and Teen Wolf and was a writer and Co-Executive Producer on the NBC TV show Heroes from its...

 and Matt Wagner
Matt Wagner
Matt Wagner is an American comic book writer and artist, best known as the creator of the series Mage and Grendel.-Career:...

 also touch upon this era.

In 1988's "Batman: A Death in the Family
Batman: A Death in the Family
"A Death in the Family" is a Batman comic book story arc first published in the late 1980s which gave fans the ability to influence the story through voting with a 900 number. "A Death in the Family" ran in Batman #426-429, published in 1988-1989...

" storyline from
Batman #426–429 Jason Todd, the second Robin, is killed by the Joker. Subsequently Batman begins exhibiting an excessive, reckless approach to his crime-fighting, a result of the pain of losing Jason Todd. Batman works solo until the decade's close, when Tim Drake
Tim Drake
Timothy "Tim" Drake is a superhero who appears in comic books published by DC Comics and in related media. The character was created by Marv Wolfman and Pat Broderick. From 1989 to 2009, he was known as Robin in the Batman comics, becoming the third character to take up the identity...

 becomes the new Robin. In 2005, writers resurrected the Jason Todd character and have pitted him against his former mentor as the murderous vigilante the Red Hood
Red Hood
Red Hood is the alias used by several fictional characters, usually antagonists for Batman in the DC Universe.-Joker:The Red Hood first appeared in Detective Comics #168 "The Man Behind the Red Hood" . In the original continuity, the man later known as the Joker was a master criminal going by the...

.

Many of the major Batman storylines since the 1990s have been inter-title crossovers that run for a number of issues. In 1993, DC published both "The Death of Superman
The Death of Superman
"The Death of Superman" is a 1992 comic book storyline that occurred in DC Comics' Superman titles. The completed multi-issue story arc was given the title The Death and Return of Superman....

" storyline and "Knightfall" . In the Knightfall storyline's first phase, the new villain Bane paralyzes Batman, leading Wayne to ask Azrael
Azrael (comics)
Azrael is the name of several fictional characters in the DC Comics universe. They are a group of assassins who were created by The Order of St. Dumas to "enforce god's will"...

 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 the role.

The 1994 company-wide crossover Zero Hour
Zero Hour (comics)
Zero Hour: Crisis in Time is a five-issue comic book limited series and crossover storyline published by DC Comics in 1994. In it, the former hero Hal Jordan, who had until then been a member of the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps, mad with grief after the destruction of...

 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
Joe Chill
Joe Chill is a fictional character in the DC Comics Batman series. He is best known for murdering young Bruce Wayne's parents , thus making him indirectly responsible for Batman's existence....

 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
Batman: Cataclysm
"Cataclysm" is an 18 chapter DC Comics crossover story arc that ran through the various Batman family comics from March to May, 1998. The plot of the storyline centers around Gotham City being hit by a massive earthquake, the epicenter of the which is less than a mile from Wayne Manor...

" storyline, Gotham City is devastated by an earthquake and ultimately cut off from the United States Government afterwards. Deprived of many of his technological resources, Batman fights to reclaim the city from legions of gangs during 1999's "No Man's Land".

Meanwhile, Batman's relationship with the Gotham City Police Department changed for the worse with the events of "Batman: Officer Down" and "Batman: War Games/War Crimes"; Batman's long-time law enforcement allies Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock
Harvey Bullock (comics)
Harvey Bullock is a fictional character from DC Comics' Batman titles.-Fictional character biography:Prior to the 1984-85 DC maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths, Bullock is a crooked police detective under instructions from Gotham City's Mayor Hamilton Hill to sabotage Commissioner Gordon's career...

 are forced out of the police department in "Officer Down", while "War Games" and "War Crimes" saw Batman become a wanted fugitive after a contingency plan of his to neutralize Gotham City's criminal underworld is accidentally triggered, resulting in a massive gang war that ends with the sadistic
Sadistic personality disorder
Sadistic personality disorder is a diagnosis which appeared only in an appendix of the revised third edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . The current version of the DSM does not include it, so it is no longer considered a valid...

 Black Mask
Black Mask (comics)
Black Mask is a fictional character in the DC Comics universe. An enemy of Batman, he first appeared in Batman #386 . Black Mask was created by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake.-Dark beginning:...

 the undisputed ruler of the city's criminal gangs. Other troubles come for Batman in the form of Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor is a fictional character, a supervillain who appears in comic books published by DC Comics, and the archenemy of Superman, although given his high status as a supervillain, he has also come into conflict with Batman and other superheroes in the DC Universe. Created by Jerry Siegel and...

 (secretly behind the events of "No Man's Land"), who seeks revenge for Bruce Wayne cancelling all of his company's government contracts upon Luthor being elected President of the United States. Luthor arranges for the murder of Batman's on-again, off-again love interest Vesper (introduced in the mid-1990s) during the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" and "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive
Bruce Wayne: Fugitive
"Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" is a storyline that ran through the Batman comic books in 2002. The story directly follows the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" story.-Bruce Wayne: Murderer?:...

" story arcs. Though Batman is able to clear his name, he loses another ally in the form of his new bodyguard Sasha, who is recruited into the organization known as "Checkmate" while stuck in prison due to her refusal to turn states evidence against her employer. While he was unable to prove that Luthor was behind the murder of Vesper, Batman does get his revenge with help from Talia al Ghul
Talia al Ghul
Talia al Ghul is a fictional character in the DC Comics universe, the now-estranged daughter of the supervillain Ra's al Ghul, a love interest of Batman, and the mother of his son Damian Wayne, the fifth Robin...

 in Superman/Batman
Superman/Batman
Superman/Batman was a monthly comic book series published by DC Comics that features the publisher's two most popular characters: Batman and Superman...

#1–6: not only does he bring down Lex Luthor's Presidency but also engages in a hostile take-over of Luthor's corporate holdings, bankrupting
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

 the villain in the process.

DC's 2005 limited series
Limited series
A limited series is a comic book series with a set number of installments. A limited series differs from an ongoing series in that the number of issues is determined before production and it differs from a one shot in that it is composed of multiple issues....

 
Identity Crisis reveals that JLA member Zatanna
Zatanna
Zatanna Zatara is a fictional character in the DC Comics universe. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Murphy Anderson, Zatanna first appeared in Hawkman vol. 1 #4...

 had edited Batman's memories to prevent him from stopping the League from lobotomizing
Lobotomy
Lobotomy "; τομή – tomē: "cut/slice") is a neurosurgical procedure, a form of psychosurgery, also known as a leukotomy or leucotomy . It consists of cutting the connections to and from the prefrontal cortex, the anterior part of the frontal lobes of the brain...

 Dr. Light
Doctor Light (Arthur Light)
Doctor Arthur Light is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. He is the third individual to have adopted the persona of Doctor Light, after a Golden Age foe of Doctor Mid-Nite and Arthur's associate Jacob Finlay...

 after he raped Sue Dibny
Sue Dibny
Susan "Sue" Dearbon Dibny is a fictional character from DC Comics associated with the Elongated Man. Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, the character first appeared in Flash vol. 1 #119...

. This served as a retcon for Batman's complete distrust for his fellow superheroes after he remembers, which, under writers such as Mark Waid in the "Tower of Babel" arc in JLA, manifested itself in the form of Batman keeping extensive files on how to kill his fellow superheroes. Batman later creates the Brother I
OMACs
The OMACs are a fictional type of powerful cyborg that exist in the DC Comics universe...

 satellite surveillance system to watch over and if necessary, kill the other heroes. It is eventually co-opted by Maxwell Lord
Maxwell Lord
Maxwell Lord IV is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. He is a shrewd and powerful businessman who was very influential in the formation of the Justice League International in DC Comics.-Before the League:...

, who then kills superhero Blue Beetle
Blue Beetle (Ted Kord)
Blue Beetle is the second Blue Beetle, a superhero who was originally published by Charlton Comics and later picked up by DC Comics...

 to keep him from alerting the Justice League of the existence of Batman's murderous creation. The revelation of Batman's creation and his tacit responsibility for Blue Beetle's death becomes a driving force in the lead-up to the Infinite Crisis
Infinite Crisis
Infinite Crisis is a 2005 - 2006 comic book storyline published by DC Comics, consisting of an eponymous, seven-issue comic book limited series written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Phil Jimenez, George Pérez, Ivan Reis, and Jerry Ordway, and a number of tie-in books...

miniseries, which again restructures DC continuity. In Infinite Crisis #7, Alexander Luthor, Jr.
Alexander Luthor, Jr.
Alexander Luthor Jr. is a DC Comics character who turned from a hero to a villain. Created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, Alexander has a prominent role in the DC Universe storylines Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis....

 mentions that in the newly rewritten history of the "New Earth
Multiverse (DC Comics)
The DC Multiverse is a fictional continuity construct that exists in stories published by comic book company DC Comics. The DC Multiverse consists of numerous worlds, most of them outside DC's main continuity, allowing writers the creative freedom to explore alternative versions of characters and...

", 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, though at the very end Batman reaches his apparent breaking point when Alexander Luthor Jr. seriously wounds Nightwing. Picking up a gun, Batman nearly shoots Luthor in order to avenge his former sidekick, until Wonder Woman convinces him to not pull the trigger.

Following
Infinite Crisis, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson (having recovered from his wounds), and Tim Drake retrace the steps Bruce had taken when he originally left Gotham City, to "rebuild Batman." In the Face the Face
Batman: Face the Face
"Face the Face" is an eight-issue Batman story arc written by James Robinson with art by Leonard Kirk, Andy Clarke, Don Kramer, Keith Champagne, Michael Bair, and Wayne Faucher. It was originally published in Detective Comics #817-820 and Batman #651-654 by DC Comics from May through August 2006...

storyline, Batman and Robin return to Gotham City after their year-long absence. Part of this absence is captured during Week 30 of the 52 series, which shows Batman fighting his inner demons. Later on in 52, Batman is shown undergoing an intense meditation ritual in Nanda Parbat
Nanda Parbat
Nanda Parbat is a fictional city in the DC Comics universe. Nanda Parbat first appeared in Strange Adventures #205 , and was created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino, the creators of Deadman.-History:...

. This becomes an important part of the regular
Batman title, which reveals that Batman is reborn as a more effective crime fighter while undergoing this ritual, having "hunted down and ate" the last traces of fear in his mind.

At the end of the "Face the Face" story arc, Bruce officially adopts Tim (who had lost both of his parents at various points in the character's history) as his son. The follow-up story arc in
Batman, Batman & Son
Batman & Son
"Batman & Son" is a comic book story arc from DC Comics by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, featuring Batman in the monthly title of the same name. It ran from September to December 2006....

, introduces Damian Wayne
Damian Wayne
Damian Wayne is a fictional character in the . Damian is the child of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, and thus the grandson of Batman villain Ra's al Ghul....

, who is Batman's son with Talia al Ghul
Talia al Ghul
Talia al Ghul is a fictional character in the DC Comics universe, the now-estranged daughter of the supervillain Ra's al Ghul, a love interest of Batman, and the mother of his son Damian Wayne, the fifth Robin...

. 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
Outsiders (comics)
The Outsiders are a fictional DC Comics superhero team. As its name suggests, the team consists of superheroes who allegedly do not fit the norms of the mainstream superhero community, namely the Justice League....

.

Grant Morrison
Grant Morrison
Grant Morrison is a Scottish comic book writer, playwright and occultist. He is known for his nonlinear narratives and counter-cultural leanings, as well as his successful runs on titles like Animal Man, Doom Patrol, JLA, The Invisibles, New X-Men, Fantastic Four, All-Star Superman, and...

's 2008 storyline,
Batman R.I.P.
Batman R.I.P.
Batman R.I.P. is a comic book story arc published in Batman #676-681 by DC Comics. Written by Grant Morrison, penciled by Tony Daniel, and with covers by Alex Ross, the story pits the superhero Batman against the Black Glove organization as they attempt to destroy everything for which he stands...

, featuring Batman being physically and mentally broken by the enigmatic "Black Glove," garnered much news coverage in advance of its highly promoted conclusion, which would supposedly feature the death of Bruce Wayne. The original intention was, in fact, not for Batman to die in the pages of "R.I.P.," but for the story to continue with the current DC event Final Crisis
Final Crisis
Final Crisis is a crossover storyline that appeared in comic books published by DC Comics in 2008, primarily the seven-issue miniseries of the same name written by Grant Morrison. Originally DC announced the project as being illustrated solely by J. G. Jones; artists Carlos Pacheco, Marco Rudy and...

 and have the death occur there. As such, a two-issue bridge arc was designed called "Last Rites" that showed Batman survive his helicopter crash into the Gotham City River and return to the Batcave, only to be summoned to the Hall of Justice by the JLA to help investigate Orion's death. This in turn led into the events of "Final Crisis" (which began publication during the conclusion of "Batman RIP"), where Batman is kidnapped by Granny Goodness
Granny Goodness
Granny Goodness is a fictional character, a deity and supervillain published by DC Comics. Created by Jack Kirby, Granny Goodness was modeled on comedienne Phyllis Diller and first appeared in Mister Miracle vol...

. "Last Rites" told the tale of Batman being mentally probed by Darkseid
Darkseid
Darkseid is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 and was created by writer-artist Jack Kirby....

's minions Mokkari and Simyon, in an attempt to cull the personality traits that make Batman the successful superhero that he is in order to transplant them into cloned bodies. The plan fails due to the clones, unable to handle the stress and grief Batman processes on a daily basis choose to kill themselves rather than endure such a tortured existence. The two-parter concludes with a major "Final Crisis" plot point, as it is revealed that Batman kept the bullet used to kill Orion in his utility belt.

The Batman's apparent death occurs in Final Crisis #6 when he confronts Darkseid. Batman announces that he will break his "no gun" rule while facing the villain. Wielding a sidearm made by Apokolips
Apokolips
In the DC Comics fictional shared Universe, Apokolips is the planet ruled by Darkseid, established in Jack Kirby's Fourth World series. It is also integral to many DC Comics stories. The planet is considered the opposite of New Genesis....

, Batman shoots Darkseid in the chest with a bullet made of Radion (the same bullet used to kill Orion), just as Darkseid unleashes his Omega Sanction, or the "death that is life", upon Batman. However, the Omega Sanction does not actually
kill its target, but sends its consciousness into parallel worlds
Parallel universe (fiction)
A parallel universe or alternative reality is a hypothetical self-contained separate reality coexisting with one's own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a "multiverse", although this term can also be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute reality...

. Although the presence of Batman's corpse would suggest that he is dead, at the conclusion of
Final Crisis it is revealed that Batman has been sent to the distant past where he is able to watch the passing of Anthro
Anthro (comics)
Anthro is a fictional character published by DC Comics. Anthro was created by cartoonist Howard Post; he first appeared in Showcase #74, .-Publication history:...

.

The three-issue
Battle for the Cowl miniseries, ('cowl' referring to Batman's mask) sees those closest to Wayne compete for the "right" to assume the role of Batman. Eventually, Grayson reluctantly assumes the role. Tim Drake takes on the identity of Red Robin
Red Robin (comics)
Red Robin is a name that has been used by several fictional characters in the DC Comics Universe.On the alternate world of Kingdom Come, a middle-aged Dick Grayson reclaims the Robin mantle and becomes Red Robin. His uniform is closer to Batman's in design, rather than any previous Robin uniform...

, questing around the world searching for Bruce Wayne, who he believes is still alive.

In
Blackest Night, the villain Black Hand
Black Hand (comics)
Black Hand is a DC Comics supervillain and a recurring foe to Green Lantern. He first appeared in Green Lantern #29 and was created by John Broome and Gil Kane...

 is seen digging up Bruce Wayne's body, stealing his skull, and recruiting it into the Black Lantern Corps
Black Lantern Corps
The Black Lantern Corps is a fictional organization of revenants appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The group is composed of deceased fictional characters that seek to eliminate all life from the DC Universe.-Publication history:...

. Deadman
Deadman
Deadman is a fictional character, a comic book superhero in the DC Comics universe. He first appeared in Strange Adventures #205 , and was created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino.-Publication history:...

, 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
Nekron
Nekron is a comic book supervillain appearing in books published by DC Comics, specifically those related to Green Lantern. Created by Mike W. Barr, Len Wein and Joe Staton, the character, who exists as an embodiment of Death, first appeared in Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #2...

, 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
Batman and Robin (comic book)
Batman and Robin is an American comic book ongoing series, created by Grant Morrison and featuring Batman and Robin. The debut of the series followed the events of "Batman R.I.P.", Final Crisis, and "Battle for the Cowl" in which the original Batman, Bruce Wayne, apparently died at the hands of DC...

s third storyline, "Blackest Knight," it is revealed that the body left behind at the end of Final Crisis
Final Crisis
Final Crisis is a crossover storyline that appeared in comic books published by DC Comics in 2008, primarily the seven-issue miniseries of the same name written by Grant Morrison. Originally DC announced the project as being illustrated solely by J. G. Jones; artists Carlos Pacheco, Marco Rudy and...

#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
Lazarus Pit
A Lazarus Pit is a fictional natural phenomenon in the . They are primarily found in the Batman titles and are commonly used by Ra's al Ghul for their restorative powers.-Fictional history:...

 only to be met with a fierce, mindless combatant. He then realized the truth about the body.

Morrison's storyline continues with the miniseries Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne is a 6-issue American comic book limited series published by DC Comics beginning in May 2010 to November 2010, written by Grant Morrison and featuring a team of rotating artists starting with Chris Sprouse and Frazer Irving.The series picks up from Batman and Robin...

. In the miniseries, Bruce travels through time from the prehistoric
Prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

 era back to present-day Gotham. However, the Dark Knight must overcome unforeseen obstacles: unbeknownst to the hero, Darkseid turned him into a living doomsday weapon when he sent him back in time, which forces Batman's allies to stop him. Thanks to his allies, Batman is able to foil Darkseid's final plan and return to the present.

After Bruce's return, he returns to his role as the Dark Knight on a global scale, thus allowing Dick and Damian to continue as Gotham's Dynamic Duo. This is seen in the new ongoing series Batman Incorporated, where Batman will form an army of heroes that will serve as the Batman on every country of the world. To this end, Bruce publicly announces that Wayne Enterprises will aid Batman on his mission, known as "Batman, Incorporated." Also, Batman is the protagonist in the new title Batman: The Dark Knight
Batman: The Dark Knight
Batman: The Dark Knight is an American comic book ongoing series, written and penciled by David Finch and featuring Batman. One of two new ongoing titles to feature Bruce Wayne after the "Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne" storyline, The Dark Knight will depict Bruce Wayne's life in Gotham City...

, which will be written and drawn by David Finch. This new title details Batman's most recent adventures in Gotham to investigate about the disappearance of his friend Dawn Golden, in an environment of mysticism and magic.

The New 52 relaunch

In September 2011, Batman, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin and Batman: The Dark Knight were relaunched as part of The New 52
The New 52
The New 52 is a 2011 revamp and relaunch by DC Comics of its entire line of ongoing monthly superhero books, in which all of its existing titles were cancelled, and 52 new series debuted in September 2011 with new #1 issues. Among the series being renumbered are Action Comics and Detective Comics,...

, DC's line-wide reboot of every one of its books. In the new series, Bruce Wayne is the sole character to be identified as Batman while Dick Grayson returns to the Nightwing identity.

Characterization

Batman's primary character traits can be summarized as "wealth; physical prowess; deductive abilities and obsession." The details and tone of Batman comic books have varied over the years due to different creative teams. Dennis O'Neil noted that character consistency was not a major concern during early editorial regimes: "Julie Schwartz
Julius Schwartz
Julius "Julie" Schwartz was a comic book and pulp magazine editor, and a science fiction agent and prominent fan. He was born in the Bronx, New York...

 did a Batman in Batman and Detective and Murray Boltinoff did a Batman in the Brave and the Bold and apart from the costume they bore very little resemblance to each other. Julie and Murray did not coordinate their efforts, did not pretend to, did not want to, were not asked to. Continuity was not important in those days."

The driving force behind Batman's character is from his childhood. Bob Kane and Bill Finger discussed Batman's background and decided that "there's nothing more traumatic than having your parents murdered before your eyes." Despite his trauma, he is driven to train to become a brilliant scientist and train his body into absolute physical perfection to fight crime in Gotham City
Gotham City
Gotham City is a fictional U.S. city appearing in DC Comics, best known as the home of Batman. Batman's place of residence was first identified as Gotham City in Batman #4 . Gotham City is strongly inspired by Trenton, Ontario's history, location, atmosphere, and various architectural styles...

 as Batman, an inspired idea from Wayne's insight into the criminal mind. Another of Batman's characterizations is a vigilante; in order to stop evil that started with the death of his parents, he must sometimes break laws himself. Although manifested differently by being re-told by different artists, it is nevertheless that the details and the prime components of Batman's origin have never varied at all in the comic books, the "reiteration of the basic origin events holds together otherwise divergent expressions". The origin is the source of the character's traits and attributes, which play out in many of the character's adventures.

Batman is often treated as a vigilante by other characters in his stories. Frank Miller views the character as "a dionysian
Dionysus
Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

 figure, a force for anarchy
Anarchy
Anarchy , has more than one colloquial definition. In the United States, the term "anarchy" typically is meant to refer to a society which lacks publicly recognized government or violently enforced political authority...

 that imposes an individual order." Dressed as a bat, Batman deliberately cultivates a frightening persona in order to aid him in crime-fighting, a fear that originates from the criminals' own guilty conscience
Conscience
Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment of the intellect that distinguishes right from wrong. Moral judgement may derive from values or norms...

.

Bruce Wayne

In his secret identity, Batman is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy businessman who lives in Gotham City. To the world at large, Bruce Wayne is often seen as an irresponsible, superficial playboy who lives off his family's personal fortune (amassed when his family invested in Gotham real estate before the city was a bustling metropolis) and the profits of Wayne Enterprises
Wayne Enterprises
Wayne Enterprises is a company in the DC Universe, owned by Bruce Wayne and run by his business manager, Lucius Fox. It was founded by merchant ancestors of the Wayne family in the 17th century as a merchant house, although the company changed when the heir of Judge Solomon Wayne, Alan, utilized...

, a major private technology firm that he inherits. However, Wayne is also known for his contributions to charity, notably through his Wayne Foundation, a charity devoted to helping the victims of crime and preventing people from becoming criminals. Bruce creates the playboy public persona to aid in throwing off suspicion of his secret identity, often acting dim-witted and self-absorbed to further the act. Among the more noted measures he uses to maintain the facade is pretending he is a heavy drinker by claiming his glasses of ginger ale
Ginger ale
Ginger ale is a carbonated soft drink flavored with ginger. Dr. Thomas Cantrell, an American apothecary and surgeon, claimed to have invented ginger ale and marketed it with beverage manufacturer Grattan and Company. Grattan embossed the slogan "The Original Makers of Ginger Ale" on its bottles...

 are strong beverages; Bruce is actually a strict teetotaler
Teetotalism
Teetotalism refers to either the practice of or the promotion of complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages. A person who practices teetotalism is called a teetotaler or is simply said to be teetotal...

 to maintain his physical fitness and mental acuity.

Writers of both Batman and Superman stories have often compared the two within the context of various stories, to varying conclusions. Like Superman, the prominent persona of Batman's dual identities varies with time. Modern age comics have tended to portray "Bruce Wayne" as the facade, with "Batman" as the truer representation of his personality (in counterpoint to the post-Crisis Superman, whose "Clark Kent
Clark Kent
Clark Kent is a fictional character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Appearing regularly in stories published by DC Comics, he debuted in Action Comics #1 and serves as the civilian and secret identity of the superhero Superman....

" persona is the 'real' personality, and "Superman" is the 'mask'). In Batman Unmasked, a television documentary about the psychology of the character, Associate Professor of Social Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA. It was founded in 1919 as the "Southern Branch" of the University of California and is the second oldest of the ten campuses...

, and an adjunct behavioral scientist at the Rand Corporation Benjamin Karney
Benjamin Karney
Benjamin Karney is a Professor of Social Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an adjunct behavioral scientist at the Rand Corporation. He is an expert on interpersonal relationships and has done extensive research on marriage...

, notes that Batman's personality is driven by Bruce Wayne's inherent humanity; that "Batman, for all its benefits and for all of the time Bruce Wayne devotes to it, is ultimately a tool for Bruce Wayne's efforts to make the world better".

As noted in the Will Brooker book, Batman Unmasked, "the confirmation of Batman's identity lies with the young audience...he doesn't have to be Bruce Wayne; he just needs the suit and gadgets, the abilities, and most importantly the morality, the humanity. There's just a sense about him: 'they trust him... and they're never wrong."

Finger came up with the name "Bruce Wayne" for the superhero's secret identity. In Jim Steranko's History of the Comics, vol. 1, Bill Finger reveals, "Bruce Wayne's first name came from Robert Bruce
Robert I of Scotland
Robert I , popularly known as Robert the Bruce , was King of Scots from March 25, 1306, until his death in 1329.His paternal ancestors were of Scoto-Norman heritage , and...

, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock...then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne
Anthony Wayne
Anthony Wayne was a United States Army general and statesman. Wayne adopted a military career at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and fiery personality quickly earned him a promotion to the rank of brigadier general and the sobriquet of Mad Anthony.-Early...

."

In T. James Musler's book Unleashing the Superhero in Us All, he explores the extent to which money is important in Bruce Wayne's life.

Dick Grayson

While Wayne traveled through time to get back to the present, Dick Grayson
Dick Grayson
Dick Grayson is a fictional superhero that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger and illustrator Jerry Robinson, he first appeared in Detective Comics #38 in April 1940....

 became the new Batman. This was the second time he had taken on the mantle in Bruce Wayne's absence, albeit the first time (when Wayne was recovering from his broken back) reluctantly. After Wayne's "death", Dick stated that he had no problem becoming Batman, but Wayne had left a prerecorded message telling him not to take up the mantle and to continue fighting crime as Nightwing with Robin at his side. Realizing that Gotham still needed the Dark Knight, Dick retired his Nightwing mantle to become the new Batman. With Wayne's return and plans to launch Batman worldwide, Dick remained the Batman of Gotham City. After the events of Flashpoint, Dick will return to being Nightwing.

In an interview with IGN
IGN
IGN is an entertainment website that focuses on video games, films, music and other media. IGN's main website comprises several specialty sites or "channels", each occupying a subdomain and covering a specific area of entertainment...

, Morrison details that having Grayson as Batman and Damian Wayne
Damian Wayne
Damian Wayne is a fictional character in the . Damian is the child of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, and thus the grandson of Batman villain Ra's al Ghul....

 as Robin will be a "reverse" of the normal dynamic between Batman and Robin, with, "a more light-hearted and spontaneous Batman and a scowling, badass Robin." Morrison explains his intentions for the new characterization of Batman: "Dick Grayson is kind of this consummate superhero. The guy has been Batman's partner since he was a kid, he's led the Teen Titans, and he's trained with everybody in the DC Universe. So he's a very different kind of Batman. He's a lot easier; a lot looser and more relaxed."

Skills, abilities, and resources

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 stories Batman is regarded as one of the world's greatest detectives; if not the world's greatest crime solver. In Grant Morrison's first storyline in JLA, Superman describes Batman as "the most dangerous man on Earth," able to defeat a team of superpowered aliens by himself in order to rescue his imprisoned teammates. He is a master of disguise, often gathering information under the identity of Matches Malone, a notorious gangster. Additionally, the Batman has been repeatedly described as one of the greatest martial artists in the DC Universe, having either trained with or fought against the very best of them including such notables as Lady Shiva
Lady Shiva
Lady Shiva is a fictional comic book character co-created by Dennis O'Neil and Ric Estrada, and published by DC Comics. She first appeared in Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter as an antagonist of Richard Dragon...

, Bronze Tiger
Bronze Tiger
Bronze Tiger is a fictional character, a superhero in the DC Universe. He is a martial artist who first appeared in Dragon's Fists, a novel by Dennis O'Neil and Jim Berry, starring Richard Dragon. His first DC Comics appearance was in Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter.-Early years:Ben Turner comes...

, and Richard Dragon
Richard Dragon
Richard Dragon is a fictional character created by Dennis O'Neil and Jim Berry in the novel Dragon's Fists under the pseudonym "Jim Dennis." O'Neil later adapted the character for DC Comics in the comic book Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter....

. However, Batman's most defining skill and power is his strong commitment to justice and an unwillingness to kill any life, regardless of the situation he is faced with. This unyielding moral aptitude has earned him the respect of several heroes in the DC Universe, most notably that of Superman and Wonder Woman.

Costume

Batman's costume incorporates the imagery of a bat in order to frighten criminals. The details of the Batman costume change repeatedly through various stories and media, but the most distinctive elements remain consistent: a scallop-hem cape, a cowl covering most of the face featuring a pair of batlike ears, and a stylized bat emblem on the chest, and the ever-present utility belt. The costumes' colors are traditionally blue and grey, although this colorization arose due to the way comic book art is colored. Finger and Kane conceptualized Batman as having a black cape and cowl and grey suit, but conventions in coloring called for black to be highlighted with blue. This coloring has been claimed by Larry Ford, in Place, Power, Situation, and Spectacle: A Geography of Film, to be an inversion of conventional color-coding symbolism, which sees "bad guys" wearing dark colors. Batman's gloves typically feature three scallops that protrude from long, gauntlet-like cuffs, although in his earliest appearances he wore short, plain gloves without the scallops. A yellow ellipse around the bat logo on the character's chest was added in 1964, and became the hero's trademark symbol, akin to the red and yellow "S" symbol of Superman. The overall look of the character, particularly the length of the cowl's ears and of the cape, varies greatly depending on the artist. Dennis O'Neil said, "We now say that Batman has two hundred suits hanging in the Batcave so they don't have to look the same . . . Everybody loves to draw Batman, and everybody wants to put their own spin on it."

Equipment

Batman uses a large arsenal of specialized gadgets in his war against crime, the designs of which usually share a bat motif. Batman historian Les Daniels
Les Daniels
Leslie Noel Daniels III, known as Les Daniels was an American writer.-Background:He attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he wrote his master's thesis on Frankenstein, and he worked as a musician and as a journalist.-Career:He was the author of five novels featuring the...

 credits Gardner Fox
Gardner Fox
Gardner Francis Cooper Fox was an American writer best known for creating numerous comic book characters for DC Comics. Comic-book historians estimate that he wrote over 4,000 comics stories....

 with creating the concept of Batman's arsenal with the introduction of the utility belt in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939) and the first bat-themed weapons the batarang
Batarang
A batarang is a roughly bat-shaped throwing weapon used by the DC Comics superhero Batman. The name is a portmanteau of bat and boomerang, and was originally spelled baterang. Although they are named after boomerangs, batarangs have become more like shuriken in recent interpretations...

 and the "Batgyro" in Detective Comics #31 and #32 (September; October, 1939). Batman's primary vehicle is the Batmobile
Batmobile
The Batmobile is the automobile of DC Comics superhero Batman. The car has evolved along with the character from comic books to television and films. Kept in the Batcave, which it accesses through a hidden entrance, the Batmobile is a gadget-laden vehicle used by Batman in his crime-fighting...

, which is usually depicted as an imposing black car with large tailfin
Tailfin
The tailfin era of automobile styling encompassed the 1950s and 1960s, peaking between 1957 and 1960. It was a style that spread worldwide, as car designers picked up styling trends from the US automobile industry where it was the golden epoch of American autodesign.General Motors design chief...

s that suggest a bat's wings. Batman's other vehicles include the Batplane
Batplane
The Batplane, later known as the Batwing, is the fictional aircraft for the comic book superhero Batman. The vehicle was introduced in "Batman Versus The Vampire, I", published in Detective Comics #31 in 1939, a story which saw Batman travel to continental Europe...

 (aka the Batwing), Batboat
Batboat
The Batboat is the fictional personal watercraft of comic book superhero Batman.-Comics:In Sub-Level 6 of the Batcave, there's an aqua-dynamic hydrofoil/submersible on both the navigable Gotham River and the Atlantic Ocean's waters.-Background:Early in his career, while investigating arms dealers...

, Bat-Sub, and Batcycle
Batcycle
The Batcycle is the fictional personal motorcycle of comic book superhero Batman. In the comic book universe, Batman's personal Batcycle is a modified street-bike with a 786 cc liquid-cooled V-4 engine. It contains a computer-controlled carburetor and bulletproof wind-guard.-Batman :The Batcycle...

.

In proper practice, the "bat" prefix (as in batmobile or batarang) is rarely used by Batman himself when referring to his equipment, particularly after some portrayals (primarily the 1960s Batman live-action television show
Batman (TV series)
Batman is an American television series, based on the DC comic book character of the same name. It stars Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin — two crime-fighting heroes who defend Gotham City. It aired on the American Broadcasting Company network for three seasons from January 12, 1966 to...

 and the Super Friends
Super Friends
Super Friends is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes, which ran from 1973 to 1986 on ABC as part of its Saturday morning cartoon lineup...

animated series) stretched the practice to campy
Camp (style)
Camp is an aesthetic sensibility that regards something as appealing because of its taste and ironic value. The concept is closely related to kitsch, and things with camp appeal may also be described as being "cheesy"...

 proportions. The 1960s television series Batman has an arsenal that includes such "bat-" names as the bat-computer, bat-scanner, bat-radar, bat-cuffs, bat-pontoons, bat-drinking water dispenser, bat-camera with polarized bat-filter, bat-shark repellent
Shark repellent
A shark repellent is any method of driving sharks away from an area, object, person, or animal. Shark repellents are one category of animal repellents.-Overview:Shark repellents have been of interest to human beings for many years, for a number of reasons...

 bat-spray, and bat-rope. The storyline "A Death in the Family" suggests that given Batman's grim nature, he is unlikely to have adopted the "bat" prefix on his own.

Batman keeps most of his field equipment in a utility belt. Over the years it is shown to contain a virtually limitless variety of crime-fighting tools. Different versions of the belt have these items stored in either pouches or hard cylinders attached evenly around it. A typical major exception to the range of Batman's equipment are conventional firearm
Firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

s, which he refuses to use on principle considering that weapon class was the instrument of his parents' murder. Modern depictions of Batman have him compromise for practicality by arming his vehicles mainly for the purpose of removing obstacles or disabling enemy vehicles.

Bat-Signal

When Batman is needed, the Gotham City police activate a searchlight
Searchlight
A searchlight is an apparatus that combines a bright light source with some form of curved reflector or other optics to project a powerful beam of light of approximately parallel rays in a particular direction, usually constructed so that it can be swiveled about.-Military use:The Royal Navy used...

 with a bat-shaped insignia over the lens called the Bat-Signal which shines into the night sky, creating a bat-symbol on a passing cloud which can be seen from any point in Gotham. The origin of the signal varies, depending on the continuity and medium.

In various incarnations, most notably the 1960s Batman TV series
Batman (TV series)
Batman is an American television series, based on the DC comic book character of the same name. It stars Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin — two crime-fighting heroes who defend Gotham City. It aired on the American Broadcasting Company network for three seasons from January 12, 1966 to...

, Commissioner Gordon also has a dedicated phone line, dubbed the Bat-Phone, connected to a bright red telephone (in the TV series) which sits on a wooden base and has a transparent cake cover on top. The line connects directly to Batman's residence, Wayne Manor
Wayne Manor
In DC Comics, Wayne Manor is a fictional setting, the personal residence of Bruce Wayne, who is also Batman. The residence is typically depicted as a huge stately mansion on grounds outside Gotham City, maintained by the Wayne family's servant, Alfred Pennyworth...

, specifically both to a similar phone sitting on the desk in Bruce Wayne's study and the extension phone in the Batcave.

Batcave

The Batcave is Batman's secret headquarters, consisting of a series of subterranean caves beneath his mansion, Wayne Manor. It serves as his command center for both local and global surveillance, as well as housing his vehicles and equipment for his war on crime. It also is a storeroom for Batman's memorabilia. In both the comic Batman: Shadow of the Bat
Batman: Shadow of the Bat
Batman: Shadow of the Bat was a comic book series featuring Batman, published by DC Comics. The series ran for 96 issues, from 1992 to 2000. The stories took place in Batman's then-current continuity along with Detective Comics and Batman, in contrast to Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, which...

(issue #45) and the 2005 film Batman Begins
Batman Begins
Batman Begins is a 2005 American superhero action film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale as Batman, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Tom Wilkinson,...

, the cave is said to have been part of the Underground Railroad
Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists,...

. Of the heroes and villains who see the Batcave, few know where it is located.

Supporting characters

Batman's interactions with the characters around him, both heroes and villains, help to define the character. Commissioner
Chief of police
A Chief of Police is the title typically given to the top official in the chain of command of a police department, particularly in North America. Alternate titles for this position include Commissioner, Superintendent, and Chief constable...

 James "Jim" Gordon
James Gordon (comics)
James Worthington Gordon, Sr. is a fictional character, an ally of Batman that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #27 , and was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane...

, Batman's ally in the Gotham City police, debuted along with Batman in Detective Comics #27 and has been a consistent presence since then. Later on, Batman gained Alfred as his butler and Lucius Fox
Lucius Fox
Lucius Fox is a fictional character appearing in Batman comic books by DC Comics. He was created by Len Wein and John Calnan, and first appeared in Batman #307 . As a supporting character, he acts as Bruce Wayne's business manager who supposedly unknowingly runs the business interests that supply...

 as his business manager and apparently unwitting armorer
Armorer
An armourer or armorer is a member of a military or police force who maintains and repairs small arms and weapons systems, with some duties resembling those of a civilian gunsmith....

. However, the most important supporting role in the Batman mythos is filled by the hero's young sidekick Robin. The first Robin, Dick Grayson, eventually leaves his mentor and becomes the hero Nightwing, though he and Batman would still continue to work together. The second Robin, Jason Todd
Jason Todd
Jason Peter Todd is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Jason first appeared in Batman #357 and became the second Robin, sidekick to the superhero Batman, when the previous Robin went on to star in The New Teen Titans under the moniker of Nightwing.Though...

, is badly beaten and then killed in an explosion set by the Joker, but later returns as an adversary. Tim Drake
Tim Drake
Timothy "Tim" Drake is a superhero who appears in comic books published by DC Comics and in related media. The character was created by Marv Wolfman and Pat Broderick. From 1989 to 2009, he was known as Robin in the Batman comics, becoming the third character to take up the identity...

, the third Robin, first appeared in 1989 and went on to star in his own comic series. Alfred, Bruce Wayne's loyal butler, father figure, and one of the few to know his secret identity, "[lends] a homey touch to Batman's environs and [is] ever ready to provide a steadying and reassuring hand" to the hero and his sidekick.

Batman is at times a member of superhero teams such as the Justice League of America and the Outsiders. Batman has often been paired in adventure with his Justice League teammate Superman, notably as the co-stars of World's Finest and Superman/Batman
Superman/Batman
Superman/Batman was a monthly comic book series published by DC Comics that features the publisher's two most popular characters: Batman and Superman...

series. In pre-Crisis continuity, the two are depicted as close friends; however, in current continuity, they have a mutually respectful but uneasy relationship, with an emphasis on their differing views on crime-fighting and justice. In Superman/Batman
Superman/Batman
Superman/Batman was a monthly comic book series published by DC Comics that features the publisher's two most popular characters: Batman and Superman...

#3 (December 2003), Superman
Superman
Superman is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective...

 observes, "Sometimes, I admit, I think of Bruce as a man in a costume. Then, with some gadget from his utility belt, he reminds me that he has an extraordinarily inventive mind. And how lucky I am to be able to call on him."

Batman is involved romantically with many women throughout his various incarnations. These range from society women such as Julie Madison
Julie Madison
Julie Madison is a fictional character in the DC Universe, best known as Batman's first significant love interest.-Original version:Julie Madison first appeared in Detective Comics #31 only four issues after Batman's own debut...

, Vicki Vale
Vicki Vale
Victoria Vale is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appears in Batman #49 , and was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.-1940s-1960s:...

, and Silver St. Cloud
Silver St. Cloud
Silver St. Cloud is a fictional character who appears in Batman comics set in the . She is a recurring love interest of Batman/Bruce Wayne, debuting in Detective Comics #470, written by Steve Englehart. The issues featuring her earlier appearances have been collected in trade paperback form as...

, to allies like Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman is a DC Comics superheroine created by William Moulton Marston. She first appeared in All Star Comics #8 . The Wonder Woman title has been published by DC Comics almost continuously except for a brief hiatus in 1986....

 and Sasha Bordeaux
Sasha Bordeaux
Sasha Bordeaux is a fictional character in the DC Universe. She was at first primarily associated with Batman, and has subsequently evolved an association with Checkmate in two of its incarnations...

, to even villainesses such as Catwoman
Catwoman
Catwoman is a fictional character associated with DC Comics' Batman franchise. Historically a supervillain, the character was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, partially inspired by Kane's cousin, Ruth Steel...

 and Talia al Ghul
Talia al Ghul
Talia al Ghul is a fictional character in the DC Comics universe, the now-estranged daughter of the supervillain Ra's al Ghul, a love interest of Batman, and the mother of his son Damian Wayne, the fifth Robin...

, with the latter of whom he sired a son, Damian, and with the former of whom sired a daughter, Helena (on Earth-Two). While these relationships tend to be short, Batman's attraction to Catwoman is present in nearly every version and medium in which the characters appear. Authors have gone back and forth over the years as to how Batman manages the 'playboy' aspect of Bruce Wayne's personality; at different times he embraces or flees from the women interested in attracting "Gotham's most eligible bachelor."

Other supporting characters in Batman's world include former Batgirl Barbara Gordon
Barbara Gordon
Barbara Gordon is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics and in related media, created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino...

, Commissioner Gordon's daughter who, now using a wheelchair due to a gunshot wound inflicted by the Joker, serves the superhero community at large as the computer hacker
Hacker (computer security)
In computer security and everyday language, a hacker is someone who breaks into computers and computer networks. Hackers may be motivated by a multitude of reasons, including profit, protest, or because of the challenge...

 Oracle; Azrael, a would-be assassin who replaces Bruce Wayne as Batman for a time; Cassandra Cain
Cassandra Cain
Cassandra Cain is a fictional character in the , one of several who has served as Batgirl, an important character in the Batman comic book franchise. Cassandra's backstory presents her as the daughter of assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva, she was deprived of speech and human contact during her...

, an assassin's daughter who became the new Batgirl, Huntress
Huntress (comics)
The Huntress is a name used by several characters in DC Comics.The Golden Age Huntress is a supervillainess, while the Bronze Age and Modern Age Huntresses are superheroines....

, the sole surviving member of a mob family turned Gotham vigilante who has worked with Batman on occasion, Stephanie Brown
Spoiler (comics)
Stephanie Brown is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #647 and was created by Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle....

, the daughter of a criminal who operated as the Spoiler and temporarily as Robin, Ace the Bat-Hound, Batman's Canine partner; and Bat-Mite, an extra-dimensional imp who idolizes Batman.

Enemies

Batman faces a variety of foes ranging from common criminals to outlandish supervillains. The list is one of the most recognizable in popular culture, many of them mirror aspects of the Batman's character and development, often having tragic origin stories that lead them to a life of crime. Batman's "most implacable foe" is the Joker
Joker (comics)
The Joker is a fictional character, a comic book supervillain published by DC Comics. He is the archenemy of Batman, having been directly responsible for numerous tragedies in Batman's life, including the paralysis of Barbara Gordon and the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin...

, a psychopathic, clown-like criminal who, as a "personification of the irrational", represents "everything Batman [opposes]." Other long time recurring antagonists include Catwoman
Catwoman
Catwoman is a fictional character associated with DC Comics' Batman franchise. Historically a supervillain, the character was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, partially inspired by Kane's cousin, Ruth Steel...

, the Scarecrow
Scarecrow (comics)
The Scarecrow is a fictional character, a supervillain, that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in World's Finest Comics #3 and was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane...

, the Penguin
Penguin (comics)
Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot III is a DC Comics supervillain and one of Batman's oldest, most persistent enemies. The Penguin was introduced by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, making his debut in Detective Comics #58 .The Penguin is a short, rotund man known for his love of birds and his...

, Two-Face
Two-Face
Two-Face is a fictional comic book supervillain who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. and is an enemy of Batman. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #66 , and was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger....

, the Riddler
Riddler
The Riddler is a fictional character, a comic book character and supervillain published by DC Comics, and an enemy of Batman. Created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang, the character first appeared in Detective Comics #140 ....

, Mr. Freeze
Mr. Freeze
Mr. Freeze, real name Dr. Victor Fries , is a DC Comics supervillain, an enemy of Batman. Created by Bob Kane, he first appeared in Batman #121 ....

, Poison Ivy, and Ra's al Ghul
Ra's al Ghul
Ra's al Ghul is a DC Comics supervillain and is one of Batman's greatest enemies. His name in Arabic has been translated in the comics as "The Demon's Head" and references the name of the star Algol. Created by writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams, he was introduced in Batman #232's...

, among many others.

Cultural impact

Batman has become a pop culture icon, recognized around the world. The character's presence has extended beyond his comic book origins; events such as the release of the 1989 Batman film and its accompanying merchandising "brought the Batman to the forefront of public consciousness." In an article commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the character, The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

wrote, "Batman is a figure blurred by the endless reinvention that is modern mass culture. He is at once an icon and a commodity: the perfect cultural artefact for the 21st century." In addition, media outlets have often used the character in trivial and comprehensive surveys — Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

magazine estimated Bruce Wayne to be the 9th-richest fictional character with his $5.8 billion fortune, several places after Iron Man
Iron Man
Iron Man is a fictional character, a superhero in the . The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee, developed by scripter Larry Lieber, and designed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby, first appearing in Tales of Suspense #39 .A billionaire playboy, industrialist and ingenious engineer,...

, who is at 6. BusinessWeek
BusinessWeek
Bloomberg Businessweek, commonly and formerly known as BusinessWeek, is a weekly business magazine published by Bloomberg L.P. It is currently headquartered in New York City.- History :...

listed the character as one of the ten most intelligent superheroes appearing in American comics. Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

 named Batman as one of The 20 All Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture. He also was placed on AFI's 100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains from the 1989 feature film
Batman (1989 film)
Batman is a 1989 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, directed by Tim Burton. The film stars Michael Keaton in the title role, as well as Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl and Jack Palance...

 by the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

.

In other media

The character of Batman has appeared in various media aside from comic books. The character has been developed as a vehicle for newspaper syndicated comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

s, books, radio dramas, television, and several theatrical feature films. The first adaptation of Batman was as a daily newspaper comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

 which premiered on October 25, 1943. That same year the character was adapted in the 15-part serial Batman
Batman (serial)
Batman is a 15-chapter serial, released in 1943 by Columbia Pictures. The serial starred Lewis Wilson as Batman and Douglas Croft as Robin. J. Carrol Naish played the villain, an original character named Dr. Daka. Rounding out the cast were Shirley Patterson as Linda Page , and William Austin as...

, with Lewis Wilson
Lewis Wilson
Lewis G. Wilson was an American actor from New York City who was most famous for being the first actor to play the DC Comics character Batman in live action ....

 becoming the first actor to portray Batman on screen. While Batman never had a radio series of his own, the character made occasional guest appearance in The Adventures of Superman
The Adventures of Superman (radio)
The Adventures of Superman was a long running radio serial that originally aired from 1940 to 1951, adapted from the DC Comics character. ....

starting in 1945 on occasions when Superman voice actor Bud Collyer
Bud Collyer
Bud Collyer was an American radio actor/announcer who became one of the nation's first major television game show stars...

 needed time off. A second movie serial, Batman and Robin
Batman and Robin (serial)
Batman and Robin is a 15-chapter serial released in 1949 by Columbia Pictures. Robert Lowery played Batman, while Johnny Duncan played Robin...

, followed in 1949, with Robert Lowery
Robert Lowery (actor)
Robert Lowery was an American motion picture, television, and stage actor who appeared in over seventy films.-Early life:...

 taking over the role of Batman. The exposure provided by these adaptations during the 1940s "helped make [Batman] a household name for millions who never bought a comic book."

In the 1964 publication of Donald Barthelme
Donald Barthelme
Donald Barthelme was an American author known for his playful, postmodernist style of short fiction. Barthelme also worked as a newspaper reporter for the Houston Post, managing editor of Location magazine, director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston , co-founder of Fiction Donald...

's collection of short stories "Come Back, Dr. Caligari", Barthelme wrote "The Joker's Greatest Triumph." Batman is portrayed for purposes of spoof as a pretentious French-speaking rich man.

The Batman
Batman (TV series)
Batman is an American television series, based on the DC comic book character of the same name. It stars Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin — two crime-fighting heroes who defend Gotham City. It aired on the American Broadcasting Company network for three seasons from January 12, 1966 to...

television series, starring Adam West
Adam West
William West Anderson , better known by the stage name Adam West, is an American actor best known for his lead role in the Batman TV series and the film of the same name...

, premiered in January 1966 on the ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 television network. Inflected with a camp
Camp (style)
Camp is an aesthetic sensibility that regards something as appealing because of its taste and ironic value. The concept is closely related to kitsch, and things with camp appeal may also be described as being "cheesy"...

 sense of humor, the show became a pop culture phenomenon. In his memoir, Back to the Batcave, West notes his dislike for the term 'camp' as it was applied to the 1960s series, opining that the show was instead a farce
Farce
In theatre, a farce is a comedy which aims at entertaining the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include word play, and a fast-paced plot whose speed usually increases,...

 or lampoon
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

, and a deliberate one, at that. The series ran for 120 episodes, ending in 1968. In between the first and second season of the Batman television series the cast and crew made the theatrical release Batman
Batman (1966 film)
Batman, often promoted as Batman: The Movie, is a 1966 film based on the Batman television series, and the first full-length theatrical adaptation of the DC Comics character of the same name. Released by 20th Century Fox, the film starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The film was...

(1966). The Kinks
The Kinks
The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in 1964. Categorised in the United States as a British Invasion band, The Kinks are recognised as one of the most important and influential rock acts of the era. Their music was influenced by a...

 performed the theme song from the Batman series on their 1967 album Live at Kelvin Hall
Live at Kelvin Hall
Live at Kelvin Hall is a 1967/68 live album by British rock group The Kinks. It was recorded at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, Scotland, in early 1967. The album was released in August 1967 in the US , and January 1968 in the UK...

. The popularity of the Batman TV series also resulted in the first animated adaptation of Batman in the series The Batman/Superman Hour
The Batman/Superman Hour
The Batman/Superman Hour is a Filmation animated series that was broadcast on CBS from 1968 to 1969. Premiering on September 14, 1968, this 60-minute program featured new adventures of the DC Comics superheroes Batman, Robin and Batgirl alongside shorts from The New Adventures of Superman and The...

; the Batman segments of the series were repackaged as The Adventures of Batman
The Adventures of Batman
The Adventures of Batman is an animated series produced by Lou Schiemer's Filmation studios. It showcased the 12-minute Batman segments from The Batman/Superman Hour, sometimes broken up by and surrounding another cartoon from Filmation's fast growing stream of superhero stars...

and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder which produced thirty-three episodes between 1968 and 1977. From 1973 until 1986, Batman had a starring role in ABC's Super Friends
Super Friends
Super Friends is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes, which ran from 1973 to 1986 on ABC as part of its Saturday morning cartoon lineup...

series, which was animated by Hanna-Barbera
Hanna-Barbera
Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. was an American animation studio that dominated North American television animation during the second half of the 20th century...

. Olan Soule
Olan Soule
Olan Soule was an American character actor with hundreds of credits in films, radio, commercials, television and animation.-Early life:...

 was the voice of Batman in all these series, but was eventually replaced during Super Friends by Adam West, who voiced the character in Filmation
Filmation
Filmation Associates was an American production company that produced animation and live action programming for television during the latter half of the 20th century. Located in Reseda, California, the animation studio was founded in 1963...

's 1977 series The New Adventures of Batman
The New Adventures of Batman
The New Adventures of Batman is an animated series produced by Filmation in 1977 featuring the DC Comics superheroes Batman and Robin, and Batgirl. The current distributor is Warner Bros. Television due to parent company Warner Bros's ownership of DC Comics, which publishes the Batman titles...

.

In 1989, Batman returned to movie theaters in director Tim Burton
Tim Burton
Timothy William "Tim" Burton is an American film director, film producer, writer and artist. He is famous for dark, quirky-themed movies such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet...

's Batman
Batman (1989 film)
Batman is a 1989 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, directed by Tim Burton. The film stars Michael Keaton in the title role, as well as Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl and Jack Palance...

starring Michael Keaton
Michael Keaton
Michael John Douglas , better known by the stage name Michael Keaton, is an American actor known for his early comedic roles, most notably his performance as the title character of Tim Burton's Beetlejuice . Keaton is also famous for his dramatic portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman in Tim Burton's...

 as the title character. The film was a huge success; not only was it the top-grossing film of the year, but at the time was the fifth highest-grossing film in history. The film spawned three sequels: Batman Returns
Batman Returns
Batman Returns is a 1992 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, it is the sequel to Burton's Batman , and features Michael Keaton reprising the title role, with Danny DeVito as the Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman.Burton originally did not...

(1992), Batman Forever
Batman Forever
Batman Forever is a 1995 American superhero film directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Tim Burton. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is a sequel to Batman Returns , with Val Kilmer replacing Michael Keaton as Batman...

(1995), and Batman & Robin (1997), the latter two of which were directed by Joel Schumacher
Joel Schumacher
Joel T. Schumacher is an American film director, screenwriter and producer.-Early life:Schumacher was born in New York City, the son of Marian and Francis Schumacher. His mother was a Swedish Jew, and his father was a Baptist from Knoxville, Tennessee, who died when Joel was four years old...

 instead of Burton, and replaced Keaton as Batman with Val Kilmer
Val Kilmer
Val Edward Kilmer is an American actor. Originally a stage actor, Kilmer became popular in the mid-1980s after a string of appearances in comedy films, starting with Top Secret! , then the cult classic Real Genius , as well as blockbuster action films, including a supporting role in Top Gun and a...

 and George Clooney
George Clooney
George Timothy Clooney is an American actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter. For his work as an actor, he has received two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award...

, respectively. The second Schumacher film, while a box office success, failed to outgross any of its predecessors and was critically panned, causing Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 to cancel the planned fifth film, Batman Triumphant, and place the film series on hiatus.

In 1992, Batman returned to television in Batman: The Animated Series
Batman: The Animated Series
Batman: The Animated Series is an American animated series based on the DC Comics character Batman. The series featured an ensemble cast of many voice-actors including Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Arleen Sorkin, and Loren Lester. The series won four Emmy Awards and was nominated...

, which was produced by Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 and broadcast on the Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 television network. The Emmy Award
Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

-winning series was praised for its darker, more serious treatment than previous cartoons; author Les Daniels
Les Daniels
Leslie Noel Daniels III, known as Les Daniels was an American writer.-Background:He attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he wrote his master's thesis on Frankenstein, and he worked as a musician and as a journalist.-Career:He was the author of five novels featuring the...

 described the series as "[coming] as close as any artistic statement has to defining the look of Batman for the 1990s." The success of Batman: The Animated Series led to the theatrical spin-off film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is a 1993 animated superhero film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, and is a spin-off of the Emmy Award-winning Batman: The Animated Series...

(1993), as well as various other series set in the same continuity
DC animated universe
The DC Animated Universe is a fan term that refers to a series of popular animated television series and related spin-offs produced by Warner Bros. Animation which share the same continuity. Most of these series are adapted from DC Comics properties...

, including Superman: The Animated Series
Superman: The Animated Series
Superman: The Animated Series is an American animated television series starring DC Comics' flagship character, Superman. The series was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and aired on The WB from September 6, 1996 to February 12, 2000. Warner Bros...

, The New Batman Adventures
The New Batman Adventures
The New Batman Adventures is the successor to Batman: The Animated Series produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Although bearing different character designs and animation styles, both shows take place in the same continuity, with TNBA set two years after BTAS. The series aired on The WB from...

, Justice League
Justice League (TV series)
Justice League is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes which ran from 2001 to 2004 on Cartoon Network. The show was produced by Warner Bros. Animation. It is based on the Justice League of America and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics...

, and Justice League Unlimited
Justice League Unlimited
Justice League Unlimited is an American animated television series that was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and aired on Cartoon Network. Featuring a wide array of superheroes from the DC Comics universe, and specifically based on the Justice League superhero team, it is a direct sequel to the...

. As with Batman: The Animated Series, each of these productions featured Kevin Conroy
Kevin Conroy
Kevin Conroy is an American stage, screen, and voice actor, best known for his acclaimed voice role as Batman in numerous animated television series, feature films, and video games that make up the DC Animated Universe.-Early life:...

 as the voice of Batman. The futuristic series Batman Beyond
Batman Beyond
Batman Beyond is an American animated television series created by Warner Bros. Animation in collaboration with DC Comics as a continuation of the Batman legacy...

was also set in the same continuity as Batman: The Animated Series, and featured a newer, younger Batman voiced by Will Friedle
Will Friedle
William Alan "Will" Friedle is an American actor, voice actor and comedian. He is best known for his comedic roles, most notably the underachieving elder brother Eric Matthews on the long-running TV sitcom Boy Meets World from 1993 to 2000...

. In 2004, a new animated series titled The Batman
The Batman (TV series)
The Batman is an American animated television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. It ran from 2004 to 2008, on the Saturday morning television block Kids' WB...

made its debut with Rino Romano
Rino Romano
Rino Romano is a Canadian voice actor who has portrayed Batman in the animated series The Batman, Spider-Man in Spider-Man Unlimited, and Tuxedo Mask in the English dub of the anime Sailor Moon...

 as the title character. In 2008, this show was replaced by another animated series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Batman: The Brave and the Bold is an American animated television series based in part on the DC Comics series The Brave and the Bold which features two or more super heroes coming together to solve a crime or foil a super villain...

, with Diedrich Bader
Diedrich Bader
Karl Diedrich Bader , better known as Diedrich Bader, is an American actor, voice artist and comedian. Many know him for his roles as Oswald Lee Harvey on The Drew Carey Show, Lawrence from the film Office Space, the Tae Kwon Do instructor Rex from Napoleon Dynamite, Tank "Shredder" Evans in Surf's...

 as Batman. In 2013, a new CGI
Computer-generated imagery
Computer-generated imagery is the application of the field of computer graphics or, more specifically, 3D computer graphics to special effects in art, video games, films, television programs, commercials, simulators and simulation generally, and printed media...

-animated series titled Beware the Batman
Beware the Batman
Beware the Batman is an upcoming American computer-animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero, Batman. The series is set to air in the United States on Cartoon Network starting in 2013, as part of their upcoming DC Nation block...

will make its debut.

In 2005, Batman Begins
Batman Begins
Batman Begins is a 2005 American superhero action film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale as Batman, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Tom Wilkinson,...

, a reboot of the film series, was released; directed by Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan
Christopher Jonathan James Nolan is a British-American film director, screenwriter and producer.He received serious notice after his second feature Memento , which he wrote and directed based on a story idea by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Jonathan went to co-write later scripts with him,...

 and starring Christian Bale
Christian Bale
Christian Charles Philip Bale is an English actor. Best known for his roles in American films, Bale has starred in both big budget Hollywood films and the smaller projects from independent producers and art houses....

 as Batman. Its sequel, The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

(2008), set the record for the highest grossing opening weekend of all time in the U.S., earning approximately $158 million, and became the fastest film to reach the $400 million mark in the history of American cinema (eighteenth day of release). These record breaking attendances saw The Dark Knight listed as the third-highest domestic grossing film of all time with $533 million, bested only by Titanic
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

and Avatar. Another sequel, The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises is an upcoming epic superhero film. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film will be the third and final installment in Nolan's Batman film series, and is a sequel to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight...

,
is expected to be released in 2012, and is said to be the final Batman film to feature Nolan and Bale as director and leading actor, respectively.

Homosexual interpretations

Controversy has arisen over various sexual interpretations made regarding the content of Batman comics in the early decades. Homosexual interpretations have been part of the academic study of Batman since psychologist Fredric Wertham
Fredric Wertham
Fredric Wertham was a Jewish German-American psychiatrist and crusading author who protested the purportedly harmful effects of violent imagery in mass media and comic books on the development of children. His best-known book was Seduction of the Innocent , which purported that comic books are...

 asserted in his Seduction of the Innocent
Seduction of the Innocent
Seduction of the Innocent is a book by German-American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, published in 1954, that warned that comic books were a negative form of popular literature and a serious cause of juvenile delinquency. The book was a minor bestseller that created alarm in parents and galvanized...

in 1954 that "Batman stories are psychologically homosexual." He claimed, "The Batman type of story may stimulate children to homosexual fantasies
Sexual fantasy
A sexual fantasy, also called an erotic fantasy, is a fantasy or pattern of thoughts with the effect of creating or enhancing sexual feelings; in short, it is "almost any mental imagery that is sexually arousing or erotic to [an] individual"...

, of the nature of which they may be unconscious." Wertham wrote, "Only someone ignorant of the fundamentals of psychiatry and of the psychopathology
Psychopathology
Psychopathology is the study of mental illness, mental distress, and abnormal/maladaptive behavior. The term is most commonly used within psychiatry where pathology refers to disease processes...

 of sex can fail to realize a subtle atmosphere of homoeroticism
Homoeroticism
Homoeroticism refers to the erotic attraction between members of the same sex, either male–male or female–female , most especially as it is depicted or manifested in the visual arts and literature. It can also be found in performative forms; from theatre to the theatricality of uniformed movements...

 which pervades the adventures of the mature 'Batman' and his young friend 'Robin.'"

Andy Medhurst wrote in his 1991 essay "Batman, Deviance, and Camp" that Batman is interesting to gay audiences because "he was one of the first fictional characters to be attacked on the grounds of his presumed homosexuality," "the 1960s TV series remains a touchstone of camp," and "[he] merits analysis as a notably successful construction of masculinity."

Creators associated with the character have expressed their own opinions. Writer Alan Grant has stated, "The Batman I wrote for 13 years isn't gay. Denny O'Neil's Batman, Marv Wolfman
Marv Wolfman
Marvin A. "Marv" Wolfman is an award-winning American comic book writer. He is best known for lengthy runs on The Tomb of Dracula, creating Blade for Marvel Comics, and The New Teen Titans for DC Comics.-1960s:...

's Batman, everybody's Batman all the way back to Bob Kane... none of them wrote him as a gay character. Only Joel Schumacher might have had an opposing view." Writer Devin Grayson has commented, "It depends who you ask, doesn't it? Since you're asking me, I'll say no, I don't think he is ... I certainly understand the gay readings, though." While Frank Miller has described the relationship between Batman and the Joker as a "homophobic
Homophobia
Homophobia is a term used to refer to a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards lesbian, gay and in some cases bisexual, transgender people and behavior, although these are usually covered under other terms such as biphobia and transphobia. Definitions refer to irrational fear, with the...

 nightmare," he views the character as sublimating
Sublimation (psychology)
In psychology, sublimation is a mature type of defence mechanism where socially unacceptable impulses or idealizations are consciously transformed into socially acceptable actions or behaviour, possibly converting the initial impulse in the long term...

 his sexual urges into crimefighting, concluding, "He'd be much healthier if he were gay." Burt Ward
Burt Ward
Burt Ward is an American television actor and activist. He is best known for his portrayal of Robin in the television series Batman and its theatrical film spin-off.-Early life:...

, who portrayed Robin in the 1960s television show, has also remarked upon this interpretation in his autobiography Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights; he writes that the relationship could be interpreted as a sexual one, with the show's double entendre
Double entendre
A double entendre or adianoeta is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first meaning is straightforward, while the second meaning is less so: often risqué or ironic....

s and lavish camp also possibly offering ambiguous interpretation.

Such homosexual interpretations continue to attract attention. One notable example occurred in 2000, when DC Comics refused to allow permission for the reprinting of four panels (from Batman #79, 92, 105 and 139) to illustrate Christopher York's paper All in the Family: Homophobia and Batman Comics in the 1950s. Another happened in the summer of 2005, when painter Mark Chamberlain displayed a number of watercolors depicting both Batman and Robin in suggestive and sexually explicit poses. DC threatened both artist and the Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts gallery with legal action if they did not cease selling the works and demanded all remaining art, as well as any profits derived from them.

External links


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