Multimillionaire Industrialist and Philanthropist
Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
"Matches" Malone, Sir Hemingford Grey, others too numerous to list
Gotham City, New York
Thomas Wayne (father, deceased); Martha Wayne (mother, deceased), Philip Wayne
(uncle), Jack Wayne (grandfather), Laura Elizabeth Wayne (great-grandmother)
Justice League of America, formerly Justice League International and the
Gotham City, New York
Detective Comics #27
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.
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.
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.
Weight: 210 lbs.
Batman possesses the normal human strength level of a man of his size, height
and build who engages in extensive regular exercises.
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
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
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
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.
Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger