Batman is the costumed alter-ego of billionaire Bruce Wayne who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Alternately known as the Caped Crusader and the Darknight Detective, Batman has become one of the most recognizable fictional characters in the world. Whether he is operating alone in Gotham City or alongside members of the Justice League, Batman wages a never ending war on crime.
Bruce Wayne is the son of wealthy industrialist Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha. After a trip to the theater when Bruce was but a boy, the family took a shortcut down a dark alley and were accosted by a street thug. Thomas and Martha Wayne died that night and in a way so did young Bruce. In his place, Batman was born, as Bruce dedicated his life to fighting crime.
Bruce used his considerable fortune to finance his war on the criminal element, attending the finest schools in the world and training under the tutelage of the greatest criminologists and masters of a variety of different fighting styles. He spent his life honing both his body and his mind to keen perfection, all for the purpose of avenging his parents and ensuring that what happened to them wouldn't happen to anyone else. Inspired by a bat which flew through the window of his study one night, Bruce realized that criminals are a cowardly, superstitious lot and decided to use the bat as a symbol with which to strike fear into their hearts. Thus, Batman was born, Darknight Detective and scourge of the underworld.
Over the years, Batman has formed several alliances with other costumed heroes, becoming a key member of the Justice League and forming his own team, The Outsiders. In addition, he has taken several young children -- victims of violent crime much like himself -- under his wing and trained them in the art of crimefighting. All three boys have operated under the masked identity of "Robin" and along with other Gotham crimefighters such as Batgirl, have allowed Batman to form the family that was taken from him.
Batman is remarkable for the fact that while he has no superhuman abilities, he is still able to "hang with the big dogs" such as Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. The reason for this is his astonishing intellect. He may not be able to fly or move asteroids out of orbit like some of his costumed compatriots, but Batman more than makes up for it with his ability to out think practically anyone on the planet. Batman is generally regarded as the world's greatest detective and a master of numerous different fighting techniques including ju-jitsu, jeet kune do and Akido.
Operating out of The Batcave, a high-tech crime lab located in the miles and miles of underground caverns beneath Wayne Manor, Batman uses bleeding edge technology in his battle against crime. He carries a utility belt equipped with a variety of devices to aid him, including lockpicks, underwater breathing apparatus and Batarangs: a bat-shaped version of a boomerang with razor-sharp edges. Batman's primary mode of transportation is the Batmobile, a gadget-laden vehicle which usually features some sort of bat-motif such as tailfins or a bat's head hood ornament.
Comic and Movie Appearances
Batman was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger (though Finger's contributions remained uncredited for years) and first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (1939). He has continually appeared in Detective Comics, his own series and a slew of other titles published by DC Comics since then, including Justice League of America, The Outsiders, the Brave & the Bold.
Batman's made his initial film appearances in two low budget serials released in 1943 and 1949. He was once again brought to life in the campy television series which ran from 1966 to 1968 and in animated form throughout the 1970s along with other iconic DC heroes in the Super Friends series and in his own show.
The success of Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film brought the Dark Knight back to his pulpy roots and spawned a slew of successful animated series' which continue today as well as several sequels which inevitably veered back to the campier side of the character.
In 2005, director Chris Nolan once again re-imagined Batman as a dark avenger of the streets with Batman Begins and it's wildly successful sequel, The Dark Knight.
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