BATMAN

Real Name: Bruce Wayne

Occupation: Multimillionaire Industrialist and Philanthropist

Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record

Identity: Secret

Other Aliases: "Matches" Malone, Sir Hemingford Grey, others too numerous to list

Place Of Birth: Gotham City, New York

Marital Status: Single

Known Relatives: Thomas Wayne (father, deceased); Martha Wayne (mother, deceased), Philip Wayne (uncle), Jack Wayne (grandfather), Laura Elizabeth Wayne (great-grandmother)

Group Affiliations: Justice League of America, formerly Justice League International and the Outsiders 

Base of Operations: Gotham City, New York

First Appearance: Detective Comics #27 

History: Bruce Wayne is the only son of prominent Gotham City doctor Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha Wayne. Two events in his childhood forever scared the future of Bruce. The first was when he accidentally fell through a hole in the grounds of his ancestral home Wayne Manor and found himself in a cave system that ran under the house full of bats. For years afterwards Bruce would catch sight of one particularly large bat over and over again.

The second and most tragic event happened just after the family had left a showing of the classic film "The Mark of Zorro" at the cinema and was walking back to their home. A mugger named Joe Chill confronting them demanded that they handed over their valuables. Thomas Wayne put up a struggle and in the process, both he and his wife were shot dead. Chill ran off leaving the shocked Bruce alone with the bodies of his dead parents. First on the scene was physician Leslie Thompkins who sought to look after Bruce. In later years, a rumor came up that Chill was acting on orders of crime lord Lew Moxon seeking vengeance on Thomas Wayne for evidence that had sent Moxon to jail, but this has yet to be confirmed.

Thomasís brother Phil Wayne was named Bruceís guardian and with the help of Thompkins, the family manservant Alfred Pennyworth and Mrs. Chilton, Joe Chillís own estranged mother. They raised him as best they could. For days after the funeral Bruce was unsettled, it came to a head one night when he ran to his parents grave and swore his vengeance on the criminal world and to correct the circumstances that spawned them. On that night Bruce Wayne in a sense ceased to exist and his all-consuming crime fighting career was born.

Bruce put his utmost into his schoolwork and upon graduation he left the US to travel the world learning from the brightest and the best in each field of specialty. He also traveled to remote schools on the Far East and studied for years under the masters of the various martial arts. Upon returning to the United States, he set out on a fact-finding mission into the depraved parts of Gotham City's seedier districts to see how the criminal element had evolved. While there he became involved in a street brawl where he was seriously injured. He managed to make his way back to Wayne Manor and slumped in his study slowly bleeding he considered the situation. He was injured because the local criminals would not fear him as a plain common man on the street, yet his instinct and research always maintained that criminals were a superstitious and cowardly lot. While contemplating the best way to instill fear into criminals, Bruce sat before a bust of his father as a large bat flew into the room through an open window and perched on a bust of his father. Inspired by the omen, he decided to become a dark creature of the night, a figure born in shadows, known as the Batman. 

With the help of Alfred, Bruce dynamited a path from the house down to the massive caverns beneath the estate and from there he began planning and designing the weaponry and costume that would give him the edge against the criminals and would instill terror upon sight. Before long the Gotham City Police Department began to receive reports and keeping a file on a large bat shaped creature attacking and harrying the local hoods and criminals. The corrupt police force at that time lead by the corrupt Gillian B. Loeb sought to hunt down the Batman, but one lone lieutenant by the name of James Gordon who was one of the few straight cops began a long running professional relationship with the Batman. Honest and dedicated to his work, Gordon was appalled by the rampant corruption in the police department. In the beginning, he was intimidated enough to arrest the Batman, but he changed his opinion on the dark knight detective after Batman risked his life to save an elderly lady. With Batmanís help, Gordon would bring a downfall of to Loebís corrupt police commission and advance on to the rank of Captain. Finally reaching the ranks of police commissioner, Gordon put an end to the police pursuit of the Batman.

Rapidly, Batman started to grow more professional and competent. He became the focus of the fight against crime in Gotham and acted as a catalyst for the emergence of a string of similar vigilantes across the United States such as the second Black Canary, who took their lead from the human figure in the night rather than the superhuman figure of Superman. Always operating on the edge of the law and inside of it when possible it was not long before Batman clashed intellects with the figure that would become his archenemy and one of the most deadly criminals in the world, the Joker. About this time Batman started to run into the mysterious Catwoman, while there was an attraction between them neither would admit to it, they remained on opposite sides of the law.

In the second year of his career Batman faced the Reaper, Gothamís original dark vigilante, who had returned to Gotham City and sought to kill criminals whereas the Batman would seek to hand them over to the police. Sometime during this time, he ran aground of the elderly Joe Chill once more and came to terms with unresolved issues of his past. The following year proved to be a turning point in the Batman's career when he teamed up with the orphaned circus acrobat Dick Grayson who became the first Robin and sidekick of Batman.

The next couple of years after the first appearance of Robin were a dramatic change of direction for the Batman who had previously spent most of his time fighting normal criminals but now he faced an entire pantheon of sociopathic criminals such as the Penguin, Riddler, the Scarecrow and the femme fatale Poison Ivy. Shortly after Dick Grayson left for collage and began spending more time with the Teen Titans, Batman transferred his operation temporally to a penthouse in the city above the Wayne Foundation headquarters, it was during this time that Batman would first encounter Talia, daughter of Ra's Al-Ghul a six hundred year old criminal mastermind who sought to rid the natural world of the infestation of mankind. There is a definitive romantic element between Bruce and Talia but she is so devoted to her father then nothing ever becomes of it. Ra's and Batman respect each other and Ra's has even asked Batman to join him, but Bruce's dedication to the law has meant that he has at times had to thwart Ra's' plans despite working with him against common enemies at other times.

A growing circle of other heroes occasionally helped the pairing of Batman and Robin. Batman has tolerated and recognized Batgirl and the Outsiders, a superhero team that Batman was instrumental in creating. He has also begrudgingly worked alongside Spiderman in excursions into New York City. Shortly afterwards, Batman and Robin split over a philosophical dispute that criminals were getting more dangerous and Batman did not want to endanger Robin anymore than he had to. Robin, however, changed his identity to Nightwing and returned to his position as leader of the Titans.

The Batman for a time operated with a second Robin, a young street kid by the name of Jason Todd whose father had been killed by Two Face, a fact that Batman kept from him for a period of time. Todd was more rebellious than Grayson and had a lot of misdirected anger than Bruce tried to channel into fighting crime. It reached the point where Todd was grounded by Wayne rather than let this hothead loose in the deadly world of Gotham City. Shortly afterwards Todd was murdered by the Joker while looking for his natural mother who he never knew he had, but she was also murdered at the same time.

The loss of Todd turned the Batman into a darker figure than ever, he dived into his work returning to the solitary figure that he was before he teamed up with a sidekick. During this period the Batman developed a second wave of enemies such as the Ventriloquist and Kadaver, he also took in a tragic figure called Harold once the armor for the Penguin he now works in the Bat-Cave designing and up keeping much of the Batman's weaponry. The dark drive of the Batman was noticed by young Tim Drake, a boy that had actually managed to work out Batman's secret identity via close observation of the gymnastic aabilities of Robin I (Tim had been watching the circus the day that Dick's parents were murdered). Tim set out to try and convince Dick that he should return to being Robin because Batman needed a stabilizing presence, someone for him to watch out for. In the process Tim accidentally became the third Robin III.

Refusing to make previous mistakes, the Batman insisted that Tim train with the same people that taught himself. Tim also studied under some that Batman had never encountered. The result was a third Robin who is much nearer Batman's own abilities than that of the second and perhaps even the first.

Batman faced the toughest moment of his career when already pushed to the limit by a mass breakout of Arkham Asylum and then had to face the massively powerful Bane who broke Bruce's back. While Bruce recovered from his injuries Azrael took over the mantel of the Batman, however, his mental conditioning started to kick in and made him more and more unstable to the point where he was on the edge of executing criminals. It was at this stage that Bruce managed to take back the mantle by taking down Azrael.

Now back as Batman full time, he has also started working with more heroes again developing quite a circle of vigilantes in and around Gotham including Nightwing, a third Robin, a new Huntress, a second Azrael, Oracle (formerly Batgirl) and sometimes even Catwoman. The Batman also serves as an adviser and occasional active member of the new JLA.

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 210 lbs.

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Black      

Strength Level: Batman possesses the normal human strength level of a man of his size, height and build who engages in extensive regular exercises.

Known Superhuman Powers: None

Abilities: There can be little doubt that the Batman is the most extensively trained and skilled personal combatant alive in the world today. While others might excel and best him in individual areas, few others (with the possible exception of Lady Shiva or Captain America) can match his martial prowess. His escapology skills are second only to Scott Free or Houdini. He is a world level forensic scientist and strategist. On top of all of this is his main ability as the greatest living detective, having been trained by detectives around the world in observation and deduction.

Batman has trained himself to the highest pinnacle of human endurance. An Olympic-class athlete in all forms of physical combat, he is an unparalleled martial artist in unarmed combat.

Weaponry/Paraphernalia: To boost his already matchless physical abilities, Batman employs a number of weapons and gadgets such as custom boomerangs called Batarangs, smoke grenades, razor sharp throwing blades, lightweight grapnels, lock picks, the list goes on. Most of this armory is stored in his Utility Belt or upon his person. He always tailors his arsenal depending on the threats that he might face. His actual costume is a combination Kevlar/Flame-weave composite that is highly resistant to concessive force and fire, it also resistant to an extent of small arms fire.

The cape itself serves as a prop so that it makes him more dramatic and therefore terrifying figure, it also helps that criminals often shoot for the huge visible mass of the cape rather than the smaller target of the actual Batman.

Transportation: The Batman mainly relies on the Batmobile, a sleek black high-powered car on indiscernible make and model that is heavily armor-plated and is capable of speeds up to 225 mph or 350 mph with an afterburner. It has over gone several variations and updates over the years, especially since the earthquake in Gotham City. Apart from the Batmobile, Batman has also used various Bat-boats and aerial craft such as custom hand gliders, personal gyrocopters, helicopters and a specialized F4 known as the Bat-plane. He now only really used the Bat-plane when working with the League preferring to use the Batmobile in and around Gotham.

The vehicles, weaponry, forensic labs, workshops and trophy rooms of the Batman are all located in the cavern system beneath Wayne Manor that is known as the Batcave. It is here that is located the Bat-Computer with its extensive criminal database and external connections, it is often updated remotely by Oracle.

Microwave links to most of the vehicles enable Batman to access the Bat-Computer from almost anywhere in the world. Also in the cave are reminders of some of the Batman's earlier career including a mechanical T-Rex, the hood the Joker wore as the Red Hood, a giant Lincoln's head penny and a pride of place for the costume of the late Jason Todd as a memorial.

Comments: Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger