Though regarded by many Gothamites as an "urban legend" built on superstition and fear of the city's darkened streets, Bruce Wayne knows all too well that the Batman is a cold, hard reality of his own fabrication. Since his parents' death in Gotham's dreaded "Crime Alley," Wayne has spent his life in pursuit of physical and mental perfection in order to wage unrelenting war on crime. Watching over Gotham's streets from its gargoyles and parapets, the Dark Knight is the city's last best hope against evil. And it is this obsession that drives the Batman, for Wayne has vowed that no innocent should suffer the pain he has endured.
When the Venom-fueled Bane destroyed Arkham Asylum and unleashed its inhabitants on an unwary Gotham, Bruce Wayne learned that his obsession might be more than he can endure. Driving himself past the point of exhaustion to capture Arkham's most dangerous inmates, Batman led himself right into the clutches of Bane, who had deduced his identity and invaded the sanctity of Wayne Manor and the Batcave. There, surrounded by all the trophies and weapons of his crusade, Bruce Wayne was defeated, his back broken and his spirit destroyed. Crippled and wheelchair-bound, the humbled Wayne left Jean Paul Valley his costume and began an arduous quest to regain his strength and will to fight, including calling upon the beautiful but deadly Lady Shiva to retrain him in the fighting skills he had spent years mastering.
Upon learning that Valley had become a darker, more violent vision of Batman, Wayne returned to Gotham to forcibly reclaim the mantle of the Dark Knight. Shortly thereafter, Bruce Wayne departed Gotham once again, leaving the city's custodianship in the hands of his former partner Dick Grayson for a brief time. When Wayne finally did return, it was for good, adopting a darker look and stronger arsenal to reflect the changes in his body and mind Bane's attack had wrought upon him. Since that time, he has returned to the Gotham night and attempted to rebuild his life as both Bruce Wayne and Batman, in addition to reaffirming his relationships with Tim Drake, Dick Grayson and Alfred. In the aftermath of Bruce Wayne's flight from the law as an accused murderer, Batman and his crime fighting crew have become a stronger fighting unit than ever