Batman is the alter-ego of Bruce Wayne, a billionaire industrialist and philanthropist who was driven to fight crime after his parents, the physician Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha Wayne, were murdered before his eyes at the age of eight by Joe Chill. The killer was later arrested after fleeing the scene . Fortunately, medical doctor and social worker Leslie Thompkins was there to give loving comfort to the traumatized Bruce. He was then raised on the Wayne Manor along with the wise and loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce only had a few friends during his childhood one who would become his deadliest enemy.
Bruce Wayne swore an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He spent his youth traveling the world, training himself to intellectual and physical perfection and learning a variety of crime-fighting skills, including chemistry, criminology, forensics, martial arts, gymnastics, and disguise.
At age 14, Bruce Wayne began his global sojourn, attending courses at Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and other European universities. However, he never stayed long and would often drop out after one semester. Beyond academia, Wayne acquired more "practical" skills.
While abroad, Wayne learned 127 major styles of combat, from Aikido to Yaw-Yan. Frenchman Henri Ducard made him an apprentice in man-hunting. The ninja Kirigi, and other ninja shadow masters, schooled Wayne in stealth and the ways of the shadow warrior. African Bushman (the Ghost Tribes of the Ten-Eyed Brotherhood, among others) taught hunting techniques, while Nepalese monks revealed healing arts . He even learned ventriloquism from practitioners of the art. His knowledge of so many varied disciplines has made Wayne an unconventional and unpredictable opponent. When he was 20, he attempted to join the FBI, but he learned it would be impossible to fight crime and evil within the legal system.
After returning to Gotham City at the age of 25, after twelve years of training, Wayne was swiftly acquainted with the corruption and violence of Gotham. Wayne made several harrowing and near-fatal forays into the world of crime-fighting before donning his now familiar costume. In part, the costume was inspired by another tragic accident of his life that would have a profound impact on who he would become — at the age of eight, he fell down a cavern, located beneath Wayne Manor (later to become the Batcave), that was swarming with bats. He was thereafter haunted by the event, despite the timely arrival of his father. After a particularly near-fatal brush with a pimp and police of Gotham, along with some prostitutes (his last encounter before donning the cape and cowl), he sat in his father's study questioning his mission and seeking direction. A bat crashed through the window, and he took it as a sign that he should take on the appearance of a bat to strike fear into the criminal element, whom he thought to be "a superstitious, cowardly lot."
Soon, Batman makes his first appearance, taking down a group of thieves. Eventually, he made it up the ladder to attacking Detective Flass, the then Lt., James Gordon’s partner, after witnessing Flass' corruption of him accepting a drug dealer's bribe. Then, Batman crashes a dinner party between Gotham's corrupted politicians and its crime bosses. Eventually, Bruce's time as Batman gets him in trouble with the Gotham City police, as Commissioner Loeb orders Gordon to bring him down by any means.
As Gordon tries in vain to catch him, Batman attacks Falcone, stripping him naked and tying him up in his bed after dumping his car in the river, further infuriating the mob boss. Assistant district attorney Harvey Dent becomes Batman’s first ally, while Detective Sarah Essen and Gordon, after Essen suggested Bruce Wayne as a Batman suspect, witness Batman save an old woman from a runaway truck. Essen holds Batman at gunpoint while Gordon is momentarily dazed, but Batman disarms her and flees to an abandoned building.
Claiming the building has been scheduled for demolition, Loeb orders a bomb dropped on it, forcing Batman into the fortified basement, abandoning his belt as the explosives inside catch fire. A trigger-happy SWAT team led by Brandon is sent in, who Batman attempts to trap in the basement. They soon escape and, after tranquilizing Brandon, Batman dodges as the rest open fire, barely managing to survive after two bullet wounds. Enraged as the team’s carelessly fired bullets injure several people outside, Batman beats the team into submission and, after using a device to attract the bats of his cave to him, he flees amid the chaos.
Batman sneaks into Falcone’s manor, overhearing a plan against Gordon, but is interrupted when Selina Kyle, a ex-prostitute who is inspired by Batman, hoping to build a reputation after her robberies were pinned on Batman, attacks Falcone and his bodyguards, aided from afar by Batman. Identifying Falcone’s plan as the morning comes, the uncostumed Bruce leaves to help.
While leaving home, Gordon spots a motorcyclist enter his garage. Suspicious, Gordon enters to see Johnny Vitti, Falcone’s nephew, and his thugs holding his family hostage. Gordon decisively shoots the thugs and chases Vitti, who has fled with the baby. Bruce Wayne, on a motorcycle, also rushes out to chase Vitti. Gordon blows out Vitti's car tire and fights him hand-to-hand till both of them and James Gordon Junior fall over the side. Bruce leaps over the railing and saves the baby.
Near the end of Batman's first year, Flass turns on Loeb, supplying Dent with evidence and testimony, and Loeb resigns. Peter Gorgan takes Loeb's place as police commissioner. Sometime during this, Batman takes down the first Red Hood, who later supposedly becomes The Joker. Batman also has his first encounter with Hugo Strange, who is turning Arkham Asylum inmates into violent giants with the funding by Sal Maroni, who Harvey Dent is trying to link to the corrupted cops. At the same time, Bruce meets his love, Julie Madison. Then he faces the mystical Mad Monk.
At the end of Batman's first year as a active hero, Gordon is promoted to captain and stands on the rooftop waiting for to meet Batman to discuss somebody called The Joker, who is plotting to poison the reservoir.
Several crimes are committed throughout Gotham, all consisting of corpses with mutilated faces! The first one is in a warehouse, the next is a news reporter, who is shown reporting on the reopening of Arkham Asylum then begins laughing, literally to death, with a large grin matching that of what Batman and Gordon witnessed in the warehouse. During the news report, Joker, at this time not using his new name, appears on-screen announcing he will kill Cladridge at midnight. This makes Bruce leave his party and meet up with Gordon at Arkham as Batman.
On a cell wall, the Joker has written, "One by One, they'll hear my call. Then this wicked town, will follow my fall." Gordon then has police stationed in Cladridge's house to protect him. Cladridge begins laughing as his face turns pale white. Batman crashes down through a window, but is too late to save Cladridge. Meanwhile on the streets of Gotham, the Joker enters the Williams Medical Center. After killing the security guards, he arms the inmates and releases them onto the streets. Batman arrives and stops several inmates, and reveals his existence to the people on the streets.
While Bruce is researching in the Batcave, the Joker appears on television again to make a similar threat, this time on Jay W. Wilde. Batman deduces that Cladridge was killed with a time-released poison and tells Gordon to run a blood test on Wilde. Gordon does so, but nothing is found. Gordon is at Wilde's estate with other officers when a police helicopter crashes outside the estate. The Joker then appears and releases poison smoke bombs into the building (all of the officers and Batman have gas masks.) Batman captures the Joker, but he escapes and Wilde is killed.
Bruce then disguises himself as a reporter and goes to the Ace Chemical Processing Plant. While undercover, he interviews several workers, one of which has patches of white on his face similar to the Joker's skin. When asked about his appearance, the worker replies that it came from the chemical waste created from the plant spilling onto his face, and goes on to mention that another worker, who had stuck his entire hand into a vat of the waste, had dyed his arm hairs green.
The Joker makes another television appearance with a similar threat. This time, he plans to kill Judge Thomas Lake and Bruce Wayne. Police officers are at both men's houses; however, Gordon is at Lake's. Bruce starts laughing and turns white, but his butler, Alfred Pennyworth, administers a shot to slow his heart rate to slow the spread of the poison. Meanwhile, a gang of armed men dressed as clowns drive onto Lake's property where a shoot-out takes place. Bruce, while under the poison, hallucinates of the night his parents were murdered. He awakens, fully recovered, in an ambulance. Another gang of armed men dressed as clowns shoot at the ambulance. Bruce dresses up as Batman and exits the ambulance unnoticed and defeats the clowns.
Batman takes a police motorcycle and contacts Gordon via radio. He tells Gordon that Bruce Wayne is alive and that he figured out the Joker's plan. He tells Gordon to have the water to the city shut off. Gordon contacts the reservoir, but receives no answer. Batman heads there himself to stop the Joker from poisoning the water supply. He takes out the Joker's clown-thugs. Batman meets up with the Joker, who successfully poisons the city's water supply, but Batman, having previously rigged the viaduct with explosives, detonates it, preventing the poisoned water from going into the city. Batman engages in a quick fight with the Joker, defeats him by disarming his hammer, and briefly contemplates dropping him into the poisoned water to avenge all those whom he killed. However, he cannot bring himself to do so, and instead has the Joker imprisoned at the newly reopened Arkham Asylum. Batman meets with Gordon on top of police headquarters and unveils to him the new Bat-Signal.
Batman responds to a signal from police captain James Gordon. They meet atop the roof of police headquarters and Gordon informs him that the Dean of Gotham University and his four regents had been murdered. The victims all suffered from cardiac arrest, their faces displaying looks of abject horror. They had been literally scared to death. The only clue left at the crime scene was a single piece of straw. Batman takes the evidence and begins investigating the case.
Batman sneaks into the records room at Gotham University and learns about a former professor of psychology named Jonathan Crane. Crane had been dismissed after a violent demonstration in the study of fear resulted in the injury of a student. Batman finds the street address to Crane's apartment and goes to investigate. While there, his foot catches on a tripwire, which activates a spring-loaded scarecrow dummy to leap out at him. Batman kicks the head off the scarecrow, but upon closer inspection, finds himself exposed to a powerful hallucinogen that cause him to relive the death of his parents. Though caught off guard, Batman succeeds in escaping the apartment just as a timed explosive detonates.
Jonathan Crane meanwhile, having taken up the costumed identity of the Scarecrow, attempts to make his mark on the Gotham underworld. Using his fear gas as an incentive, he convinces industrialist James B. Fontana to hire him to eliminate his competitors. The Scarecrow then begins targeting the three men whose business interests are threatening Fontana's livelihood.
Batman later reconvenes for a second meeting with Captain Gordon. The two exchange information and Batman learns about the Joker's attacks against Fontana's rivals. He sets a trap for the Scarecrow and the two soon come to blows. The Scarecrow sprays his fear toxin at Batman, but the dark knight detective has taken precautions against such an attack and defeats him. The Scarecrow is then admitted to Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane where he shares a cell with other notorious patients such as the Joker and Two-Face.
Superman and Batman meet each other for the first time. Batman is on the trail of the criminal known as Magpie. He is interrupted in a lead by Superman who regards him as an outlaw. Rather than risk capture, Batman informs Superman that should the latter make any attempts to come near him, a signal will be activated that will trigger a bomb and kill a person somewhere in the city. The two are forced to work together and eventually capture Magpie. In the end, Batman reveals to Superman that the endangered person is Batman himself. Superman departs cautioning Batman against crossing any further lines. Batman admits to himself of a respect for Superman’s innate goodness and wonders if, in a different reality, they could have been friends.
During the rise of the Justice League, in which Flash II (Barry Allen), Black Canary II (Dinah Lance), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Aquaman (Arthur Curry), and Martian Manhunter create, Batman, along with Superman, pop up from time to time, along with Green Arrow. But during the events of the JLA's first year, the story of how Superman and Batman met Wonder Woman develops.
In keeping up his secret identity, Clark Kent misses the train to take him to work, something he does three times a week. A gunshot is heard from that train and Clark appears as Superman and finds the victim: the train's driver. As the train speeds up uncontrollably, Superman tries to grab the side of the train but it already plummets off the curve toward the ground. But Superman manages to catch it, before it hits the ground. Superman tracks the trajectory of the bullet that killed the driver, but finds nothing. In the distance, shadowy figures track his movements, and later that night, those figures break into S.T.A.R. Labs. They make sure Superman is not around to stop them, but a shadow appears and stops them anyway. The media believes Superman was the one who stopped the thieves, but wonders why he decided to leave them hogtied. In Antarctica, other shadowy figures track down and dig out a creature created by Lex Luthor: Bizarro. Clark receives a tip from an old friend, and he meets him in his limousine. Bruce was the one who captured the S.T.A.R. Labs thieves, as he explains that he has been on the trail of an exclusive cartel that can obtain any type of weapon calling themselves "the Purge". The thieves were after kryptonite, and Bruce needs his help in the decryption of a LexCorp disc, where the thieves will steal next.
An Amazon woman, who calls herself "Diana", passes her "audition" by fighting several shadowy figures. A man from the shadows offers her a position with The Purge. Clark breaks the code on the disk and discovers that The Purge was after something called "Project Replica". He knows what it means, and goes to one of the locations to see it gone. Covered in heavy, thick chains, Bizarro sits as the shadowy man enters: Ra's Al Ghul. Calling Bizarro his "friend", he talks him into joining the Purge and adds that no one will ever harm him again. He is unlocked, and is given a medallion that says "Bizarro #1". In the Batcave, Batman informs Superman that the man behind The Purge is Ra's Al Ghul, an eco-terrorist. Bats once had connections inside Ghul's network, but they disappeared. He knows whatever he's doing, it's big.
"Diana" and members of The Purge meet with a street gang in Gotham. Inspect the "merchandise", Batman takes down the Purge, and soon does the same with the gang. When he goes after "Diana", Batman is able to fend off most, but not all, of her attacks. Finally, "Diana" knocks him out and escapes. Recovered, Batman uses one of the Purge members to get answers. Not able to get anything, a golden lasso wraps around the man and he starts spilling his guts. Diana doesn't approve of Batman's aggressive methods, but he isn't seeking approval. Superman tries to play peacemaker while he introduces one to another, and why they are here. After bringing him up to speed, Batman gives the two heroes a psychological sketch of Ra's and wants to question the Purge member further, using Wonder Woman's lasso. She agrees, if he doesn't brutalize the suspect. After getting the man's name, rank and serial number, the three learn the missile is in Gotham, but doesn't know the location. When they're finished, Batman breaks the man's jaw.
Batman and Wonder Woman get at each other's throats over Batman's brutality toward the man they question. Diana is taken aback, though, when Batman reveals the "Diana" wearing an eagle crest like Diana's. Batman departs, leaving Wonder Woman to question how Superman could consider such a man a friend. Below Gotham, Ra's enters his Lazarus Pit, where "Diana" learns he is much older. Ra's learns from her that she is from Themyscira, and her name is Artemis. In the Batcave, Batman explains to Superman that the total of missiles are half a dozen, meaning there is four left. He is also informed that in twenty-four hours, 95% of the world's communication satellites will pass within in five cubic miles of each other. Something no one, except Ra's, is aware of. If Ra's detonates a missile in the center, the world will be thrown into a communications blackout. As Superman goes out to take care of the missile in Bulgaria; Batman reveals something he didn't tell him: the location of Ra's Al Ghul.
Seeing a group of guards out cold, Artemis is attacked by Batman, and finally gets the upper hand against her. Just as Bizarro is about to kill Diana, Batman appears and hurts Bizzaro with an explosive that hurts his eyes. Blinded, he files off as Batman fights Ra's and beats him. Until, Ubu surprises Batman in order for Ra's to escape. Freeing Diana, Batman and Wonder Woman make their way deep into the complex until Diana gets weakened from the fumes of the Lazarus Pit. Batman goes to work on the missile as one of Ra's followers, Sybil, attacks him. Diana, still weak, fights her but is stabbed. Batman cries for the Amazon, just as Sybil falls to her death and Batman stops the missile. Diana enters the Pit just as Superman arrives. When she emerges, the fact that the Pit causes anyone to go insane at first leads Diana to go out against Superman and Batman just as she leaves.
Worried about her, Superman and Batman travel to Themyscira to see how Diana is doing. Breaking off the harness and gliding down, Batman finds Diana after taking her bath. Overcome by her beauty he rushes forward and kisses her, but Diana, surprised, decks the Dark Knight. Suddenly, Amazonian soldiers surround Batman, but Superman descends before a fight can break out. Diana informs them that these men are here to speak to her, and they need to do so in private. On the atoll, Diana apologizes for her hasty departure from Gotham and assumes the Purge is still active. Batman is quick to realize that Ra's will have to change his plans. Superman is go find Bizarro and Diana will try to find anything she can. In the Gobi, Artemis learns that Ra's new plan is to find a new remote location as their headquarters: Themyscira. Diana asks her mother, Hippolyta, about the rogue Amazon, and she reveals a group of Amazons known as the Bana-Mighdall. Superman finds out where Bizarro is when Batman's tracking device is being interfered by extreme cold. Wonder Woman meets Batman, as Bruce Wayne, indicating that she knew who he really was. And it is with him that she figures that with a rogue Amazon as his ally, Themyscira would be the perfect target as Ra's new location.
At Ra's headquarters, Superman comes out of nowhere and fights Bizarro and buries Bizarro into a mountain side. Ra's meets with Superman and tells him of two airplanes that are about to be destroy in Metropolis. Not wanting to believe him, Superman leaves to make sure things are well in his city. Ra's and Bizarro resume prepping their forces to invade Themyscira. Superman arrives in Metropolis in time to see two airplanes preparing to crash into the Lexcorp building. He grabs one plane and manages to maneuver it into the second one and the two planes crash into the lake. Superman takes off once more. Ra's forces reach Themyscira, and the Amazons prepare for battle. A sonic device knocks Bizarro out as Wonder Woman and Batman descend onto the scene. As Batman battles Bizarro, and Wonder Woman and Ra's duel, Artemis leads the attack against Themyscira. However, she can't fight her own people, so she fights against Ra's forces. Soon, Superman comes in and disables all the helicopters and finds Artemis. Wonder Woman finally defeats Ra's and helps Batman against Bizarro until Superman comes in, burns Bizarro's hand off, and punches off several times into a volcano. The battle ends when the three disable all the remaining weapons and send all to the bottom of the water.
Returning to their homes, Superman can't believe how they almost had a disaster, as Wonder Woman can't find the rogue Amazon, and Batman knows Ra's Al Ghul will return as it has happened before. But all of them agree that without each of them meeting the others, would it have happened differently. Each of them consider the others friends. In an epilogue, Ra's Al Ghul's body is found by his daughter, Talia Al Ghul. Artemis begins her journey home after spending a few months on the other side of Themyscira aka Paradise Island. And below the ocean, the severed hand of Bizarro glows an eerie red, becoming red kryptonite.
In the six months that took place between Batman: Year One and Batman: The Long Halloween were mainly the above and also his first fights with characters such as Mr. Freeze, Riddler, Poison Ivy, and Man Bat. He also had some involvment with the newly established Justice League of America. The JLA was established by Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Black Canary (Dinah Lance), The Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter.
Carmine "The Roman" Falcone and his mafia family hold Gotham City in an iron grip. However, the Falcone mob is in desperate need of a means to launder their ill-gotten gains, and the Roman sees the Gotham City Bank as a likely source. To that end, he has used his influence on several members of the bank's board of directors, including bank president Richard Daniel, to persuade them to accept his family's business. Falcone takes advantage of the occasion of his nephew's wedding to similarly convince Bruce Wayne, but Bruce refuses. Bruce is eager to leave and pursue his regular night activities, until he meets up with Selina Kyle, who convinces him to stay. Meanwhile Gotham district attorney Harvey Dent has been in the basement parking garage of the Roman's home, copying down the license plate numbers of various cars. The Roman's goons beat him to a pulp, warning him to lay off for his own sake. Luckily, Bruce and Selina soon arrive, on their way home for the evening, and help him to his feet. Harvey brushes himself off and curtly walks away. Although Selina asks Bruce if he has further plans for the evening, Bruce claims he is tired and leaves.
Dent meets up with Captain Jim Gordon of the Gotham City Police Department later that night and the two discuss possible means of bringing the Roman down, including involving Batman. Similarly, Bruce and Selina meet again in the Roman's penthouse, this time in their costumed guises of Batman and Catwoman. The Roman puts a million dollar bounty on their heads. Batman chases Catwoman through the city but she eludes him even as she dodges questions regarding her motivations against the Roman. Batman gives up the chase to answer a Bat-signal sent out by Dent and Gordon. The three enter a pact to bend the rules if necessary, but never break them. Batman then disappears, but he leaves behind the Roman's ledger, an incriminating piece of evidence from the penthouse. Soon, Bruce is in a meeting of the board of Gotham City Bank, protesting the position of the other members in favor of accepting the money. When he proves unable to sway them, Batman pays a visit to Richard Daniel, the bank president, warning him to keep the Falcone money out. Daniel subsequently resigns from his position and Bruce steps in. In August, Falcone orders his nephew Johnny to come home from his honeymoon to take care of the problem. In September, Johnny kills Daniel, gunning him down as he steps out of a theatre.
On Halloween, Johnny Viti is shot twice in the head by an unknown assailant while taking a bath. The perpetrator leaves behind the murder weapon, a .22 caliber pistol with the nipple of a baby bottle used as a crude silencer, as well as a jack-o-lantern. That night Dent, Gordon and Batman discuss the murder, and Dent lets it be known that he couldn't care less about the death of a mafia hitman. The three discuss the particulars of the murder and toss about possible suspects, when Batman notices that their conversation is being eavesdropped upon. Catwoman, listening in from the rooftop, offers to help Batman hit the Roman where it hurts the most: his money. Catwoman's information leads Batman and Dent to a warehouse on Gotham Harbor, where they discover that the Roman has stockpiled over $20 million. Dent contemplates stealing some of it, but Batman dissuades him, and they together set fire to the warehouse and destroy the money to strike a blow that Falcone cannot ignore. Dent cheerfully returns home to help his wife Gilda give out candy to trick-or-treaters. As he is rummaging through his mail, a bomb hidden inside a package goes off and blows the house sky high, with Dent and Gilda barely surviving. For months afterward, on certain holidays, the "Holiday killer" continues murdering members of the Falcone crime family.
On New Year's Eve, the Joker intends to release his Joker venom gas on Gotham Square at midnight, killing the crowd and hopefully Holiday. To that end the Joker has hijacked a plane and killed the flight crew. Batman arrives just as the Joker is taking off and hitches onto the plane. As Batman fights with the Joker in mid-air, Harvey Dent is working late on the Holiday case. Just as he is leaving, his new assistant, Vernon Fields, comes in with new information on the Roman case. He has searched old police files and discovered a connection between Carmine Falcone and Bruce Wayne. On Falcone's yacht in Gotham Harbor, the Roman is talking with rival Sal Maroni during the former's New Year's party. Maroni says that the Holiday killings have been bad for business and that they should put aside their differences to put an end to it. Falcone subtly suggests that Maroni might be behind Holiday, using as evidence the fact that the hits have all been on members of the Falcone family. Just then, Falcone's son Alberto falls overboard, shot by Holiday.
Above the city, just as the clock strikes midnight, Batman battles the Joker and aims the plane toward the harbor. At the last possible moment he grabs the Joker and leaps to the nearby clock atop a skyscraper. The plane harmlessly splashes down into the water and Gotham is saved. The murders continue, and soon it is August 2, Falcone's birthday, and the date on which Maroni is going to trial to testify against him. Before Dent can head for court, however, Gilda stops him, disturbed by something she has found in the basement: a .22, just like one of Holiday’s guns. Dent claims that it’s simply evidence he brought home from work. Batman has other things on his mind than the trial, namely finding the Riddler, whom Holiday let live on April Fool’s Day. Batman tracks him down and challenges his connection to Holiday. Riddler explains that the Roman hired him to find out who Holiday was but kicked him out when the solutions he gave were less than satisfactory. This information leads Batman to posit that maybe Riddler was left alive to spread the word that the Roman was looking for Holiday.
On the day of Maroni's trial, Fields surreptitiously hands him a bottle of what appears to be heartburn medicine. When Dent inquires if the Roman ordered the attempt on his life, Maroni fakes a coughing fit and reaches for the bottle — which is actually acid. Maroni hurls it at Dent, hideously disfiguring half of his face. Dent is rushed to the hospital but, once there, he stabs a doctor and escapes. Meanwhile, Viti's mother Carla, investigating the coroner’s files on the Holiday victims, becomes one herself.
As of Labor Day, Dent has been hiding out in Gotham’s sewers for a month, and crosses paths with Solomon Grundy. At first Grundy attacks him, but when Dent begins reciting the nursery rhyme from which Grundy received his name, he stops and calms down. Gordon, meanwhile, has come to the conclusion that Dent is Holiday. Batman refuses to acknowledge it, but Gordon demands to hear the truth from Dent himself. Batman first searches at Falcone’s penthouse, asking him if he knows where Dent is. The Roman accuses him of knowing that Dent was Holiday but standing aside while he killed, because criminals were the only victims. Batman departs and seeks out Catwoman, demanding to know why she is so interested in Falcone. She refuses to answer, and runs away. Batman confronts Gilda next about her husband’s whereabouts, inquiring about the .22 they found. Batman tells her that he found gun metal shavings on Dent's workbench, as if he had filed away the serial numbers there, but Gilda can provide no explanation. Batman finally ends up at Arkham Asylum, talking to Julian Day, the Calendar Man. Batman tells him that they know Dent is Holiday but not how to find him. Calendar Man suggests that, it being a holiday, there is only one option as to the location of Holiday.
That night Gordon, at Batman’s request, moves Maroni to a new cell. The Calendar Man tells Batman that Maroni is most likely destined to be Holiday’s next victim. Sure enough, the Calendar Man's prediction comes true when Holiday surfaces to shoot Maroni twice in the head during the prisoner transfer, and his bodyguard several times in the chest. Holiday turns his gun on Gordon, who can only helplessly stare up into the face of the man about to kill him: Alberto Falcone. The bodyguard leaps up. It is Batman, who was wearing a kevlar vest. Batman beats Alberto so severely it almost kills him, but Gordon stops him. Alberto is placed under arrest and jailed. A few days later his father comes to visit in jail and offers his assistance. He tells Alberto that he can get him out if he will plead guilty to Maroni’s murder alone and drop any notion of being “Holiday.”
Alberto spurns his father, saying that Gotham now belongs to the "freaks", and he is one of them. On Halloween, Jim and Barbara Gordon go to visit Gilda, who is left wondering where her husband is and if he is even still alive. Meanwhile, there has been a breakout at Arkham. All of the inmates have been set free by a solitary figure who, after flipping a coin, decides to leave Calendar Man in his cell. Falcone is furious over Alberto’s unwillingness to accept his help, which has subsequently led to his impending execution for the Holiday murders. As he is ranting in the kitchen to Sofia, the lights cut out suddenly. The two explore the house with their guns drawn, finding guards dead all around. They burst into the Roman’s office to find all of the Arkham escapees there, along with The Joker, Solomon Grundy, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Penguin, Catwoman, Poison Ivy and their mysterious leader, who reveals himself to be Harvey Dent, whose appearance and speech now reflects his half badly scarred face.
Dent is about to kill Falcone when Batman drops in, taking down the villains one by one under the cover of a smokescreen. The distraction allows Dent the opportunity to grab Falcone, and he faces down Batman with a gun to the mobster's head. When Batman appeals to Dent to let Carmine go, Harvey tells him that his name is now "Two-Face". He then flips his coin, which lands scarred side up. Two-Face shoots Falcone twice in the head. Sofia screams and rushes forward to attack Two-Face, but Catwoman stops her. The two wrestle and fall through a glass window. Outside, Catwoman grabs onto a ledge, but Sofia plunges to the ground many stories below. Two-Face knocks Batman out and goes to take revenge upon Fields for helping Maroni scar him. Batman finds Fields' dead body later and, following the Bat-signal to the police department, then discovers Two-Face on the roof ready to turn himself in. Two-Face says that justice has been done now that he has killed the Roman. As Gordon slaps the cuffs on him, Two-Face drops one final bombshell as they take him away; he tells them that there were two Holiday killers.
Later Gordon and Batman discuss what Two-Face might have meant with his final statement, since Alberto has confessed to all the Holiday murders. Batman postulates that, since Two-Face killed the Roman on Halloween, he was the second killer. Gordon goes home to his wife and says that he has to keep fighting for the good of Gotham, despite what it has cost. Batman similarly says to himself that he must keep up his work, for the sake of the promise he made to his parents on the night of their deaths. In the extended edition of the story it is revealed that Alberto avoids the gas chamber and that after being declared insane, is sent to Arkham Asylum, where he occupies a cell across from the Calendar Man's.
On Christmas Eve, Gilda is packing up boxes for her move away from Gotham, but before she leaves, she takes a box down the basement furnace. She describes aloud to herself how she read in Dent's case files about the removal of the serial numbers of guns and how baby bottle nipples could be used as silencers. She then removes from the box a .22 pistol and drops it into the flames of the heater, along with a familiar-looking hat and coat. And she claims that she took it upon herself to start the Holiday killings, in an attempt to end the Roman’s hold on Gotham and thus lighten Dent's caseload so that they could have a child. Her belief is that Dent took up the killings on New Year’s Eve and that Alberto is lying to the police with his confession. She also says that she knows Dent will eventually be cured and that they will reconcile, because she believes in him.
Batman captured and imprisoned Alberto Falcone, the serial killer known as Holiday. Months later, a mass breakout at Arkham Asylum occurred, orchestrated by Pino and Umberto Maroni, the sons of Sal "The Boss" Maroni. The breakout is staged so in the confusion, the two can find Harvey "Two-Face" Dent and kill him as a peace-offering to Sofia Gigante Falcone. In the aftermath, Alberto is granted conditional parole based on his actions during the riot. Soon after, police officers began to die, one on each major holiday, with crude hangman games pinned to their hung corpses.. and the facts suggesting that Harvey Dent is the killer.
The new district attorney, Janice Porter, began working on the case while Alberto was put up by his enigmatic brother Mario, who had just returned from exile in Italy. Alberto also took in his sister, Sofia, who barely survived an encounter with Catwoman in The Long Halloween and was confined to a wheelchair due to her injuries. Sofia nevertheless continued to manage the flagging Falcone empire.
As the Hangman's spree of terror escalated, so too did Two-Face's war with Sofia and her family. The collateral damage of the war included the parents of Dick Grayson, a twelve-year-old orphan, who was taken in by the twenty-year-old Bruce Wayne. Dick was placed in an uncaring juvenile services system, on the grounds that social services was full. He got beaten up by a number of the inmates, and he was later sent to a Catholic orphanage. Bruce Wayne rescued Dick by adopting him as his ward, because the boy did not want to replace his deceased father with the billionaire. Frustrated by the lack of attention from his new guardian and the mystery still surrounding his parents' death, Dick sneaked out of Wayne Manor one evening to solve the crime on his own - only to stumble into Batman, who was also investigating the murder. After waking up in the Batcave, he is shocked to learn that Bruce is really the Batman. They succeed in revealing Zucco's complicity, but he supposedly dies of a heart attack before his arrest. Seeing a reflection of himself in Dick; that he could temper compassion with a thirst for justice, Batman made the young orphan the offer of a lifetime; the chance to become his crime-fighting partner. Dick chose the name Robin, and his training began.
Robin's origin had a typological connection to Batman's in that both witnessed the crime-related deaths of their parents, creating an urge to battle the criminal underworld. This provided a bond and understanding between the two.
Bruce taught Dick fighting techniques and detective skills for a grueling 6 months. Finally, Dick had to pass a final test - "the Gauntlet". Dick had to elude the Dark Knight on the streets of Gotham for one night - from sundown to sunset - without any outside help. Dick succeeded, simultaneously bringing Gotham gangster Joe Minette to justice. Dick took to the streets as Batman's full-fledged partner in crime-fighting: Robin, the Boy Wonder.
Two-Face enlists the aid of his fellow 'freaks' to destroy the remainders of Gotham's mafia; his lieutenants included Joker, Scarecrow, The Penguin, The Riddler, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, The Mad Hatter, and Solomon Grundy. Mario, who had an alliance with Janice Porter, was soon faced with isolation as Porter began a secret affair with Two-Face and was eventually slain by him. At the same time, however, Two-Face saved Gordon's life when the Hangman tried to hang him on the Batsignal, stating that he wasn't the killer.
The endgame of the battle came on the following Halloween; Sofia revealed that she was never disabled, and that she committed the Hangman murders, targeting all the cops- whether honest or crooked- who had helped Harvey Dent's career. She then suffocated Alberto to death. She opened the gas lines and set Gotham City ablaze to smoke out Two-Face, who was hiding in the sewers. Saved by Batman, Two-Face turned on Sofia and shot her to death. Escaping to a cordoned-off subterranean area, Two-Face (along with Freeze, Ivy, and the Joker) found themselves in the Batcave.
Batman's secrets would have been laid bare except for the timely intervention of Dick, who had been training in secret. Wearing his old circus uniform, he made his debut as Robin and helped Batman defeat most of the villains. When at last stood Two-Face and Batman, Two-Face stated that Gotham belonged to him. The Joker appeared at the last moment, shooting Two-Face, who falls off a cliff. Robin then helps incapacitate Joker. Elsewhere, Mario Falcone, a lonely broken man, burns down his mansion having lost everything.
Batman offers Dick a chance to escape the neverending crusade against crime. Dick refuses and Batman declares that the two are now Batman and Robin. Batman states that he still is following the oath he made to his parents but now he is not alone.
Dick enjoyed his first year as Robin, regarding the job as an adventure until a confrontation with Two-Face served as a rude awakening for the young hero. Two-Face had captured the new District Attorney and Batman, and had each suspended from a hangman's noose in a 'double gallows death-trap'. Robin, in trying to save the D.A., used a batarang to cut the rope of the noose. It worked, but Robin didn't account for Dent's obsession with the number two -- it was a two-fold trap, and the floor gave way, dropping the D.A. into the water, where the man drowned. Robin was unable to prevent his death, and received a beating at the hands of Two-Face. A beating witnessed by Batman, still tied up on the platform trying to free himself. Eventually, Batman was able to free himself and apprehend Two-Face. This event, however, scarred the young crime-fighter, and haunts him even today. Rather than see Dick be further endangered, Batman "fires" his partner, sidelining the Boy Wonder for a time.
When the first team of Teen Titans had formed with Robin (Dick Grayson), Aqualad (Garth), and Kid Flash (Wally West), it had been due to their mentors pushing them aside and making them feel inferior.
After the mentors had been cured of their mind control, Batman, Flash, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman (whose sidekick, Donna Troy joined the team later on), supported them to create this team, since Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman were part of the Justice League at this time and thought it sutable for their sidekicks to have their own team to help fight crime they, themselves, can't handle on their own.
When Bruce is invited to the Million Dollar Masquerade Ball, Comissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara crashes the party in a girl version of Batman's costume, to upset her father, who is also attending the event. At the party, before she reveals herself to Gordon, Killer Moth and his henchmen crash the party, gunning for Bruce Wayne, who is secretly Batman. James Gordon is taken out quickly so Barbara decides to step in. Bruce Wayne was previously shoved out of the way by Barbara so that she can protect him and her unconscious adoptive father, thinking that Bruce is but a helpless bystander. She defeats Killer Moth, breaking a heel in the process. She was later named Batgirl by Killer Moth, which stuck, even though she states that she would have preferred Batwoman. Directly after the confrontation by Killer Moth, Batgirl meets Batman and Robin. Batgirl's first encounter with Batman and Robin proves to be unpleasant. While she is angry with Batman's automatic dismissal of her capabilities, she is repulsed by Robin having a romantic interest in her. Soon after that, Batgirl attempts to swing from rooftops, being saved by Robin, who tells her that regular rop is not good for diving from forty feet in the air. Later, Robin sends Batgirl equipment, pretending that he believes in her and Batman doesn't. In reality, Robin is sending them on the orders of Batman. She is later captured by Batman and Robin to be tested, an examination she failed in Batman's eyes, not being able to save the innocents in a holographic containment chamber. Batgirl later teams up with Black Canary, her idol, and she finally gains some respect from Batman, while Robin still harbors a small crush on her. She is introduced to James Gordon as Batgirl, one of Batman's proteges.
Dick has grown up to be 17, making Batman 25. When Batman and Robin confronted The Joker, Dick was shot in the arm, scaring Batman into officially fire Dick from being his sidekick. He tells Dick if he leaves for good, he needs to retire his role as Robin once and for all. After this, Dick doesn't know what to do. He goes and looks for guidance through Superman, who tells him a story of a Kryptonian known as "Nightwing". Dick decided to take on a new name: Nightwing!
Some weeks after firing Dick and him becoming Nightwing, it's the aniversery of Bruce's parent's death. He makes his annual visit to Crime Alley to pay his respects. The alley is remarkably quiet - it seems word of this regular visit has got around the criminal fraternity. Despite this, Batman discovers that a young kid named Jason Todd has stolen the tires from the Batmobile. Retrieving his property, Batman is persuaded not to hand Todd over to the police or social services. Instead, Jason is taken to Fay Gunn's School For Boys where, once Batman has left, he meets a hostile reception.
Jason Todd, arriving at Fay Gunn's School For Boys, discovers that it is a front for a school of crime. Batman, of course, believes it to be a fine, upstanding institution, as does Vicki Vale, one of numerous reporters to have taken an interest in the school. Both as Batman and Bruce Wayne, he also uses his contacts to track down Jason's parents. It seems that his mother, Catherine, died of a drug overdose recently, while his father is believed to have been killed by Two-Face. Willis Todd evidently discovered too late that this was one boss you should never double-cross.
That night, Batman comes across Jason once more removing the tyres from parked cars, and is amazed to hear the young man's tale of the even more worrying curriculum of the school. He then soon interrupts Ma Gunn and her boys at an art museum and, with the unexpected help of Jason Todd, prevents them from stealing the 'Smile of Death' necklace for the Joker. Impressed with Jason, Batman decides to take the boy on as the new Robin.
Joker kidnaps Gordon, shoots and paralyzes his daughter Barbara, and imprisons him in a run-down amusement park. His henchmen then strip Gordon naked and cage him in the park's freak show. He chains Gordon to one of the park's rides and cruelly forces him to view giant pictures of his wounded daughter in various states of undress. Once Gordon completes the maddening gauntlet, the Joker ridicules him as an example of "the average man," a naïve weakling doomed to insanity.
Batman arrives to save Gordon, and the Joker retreats into the funhouse. Gordon's sanity is intact despite the ordeal and he insists that Batman capture the Joker "by the book" in order to "show him that our way works". Batman enters the funhouse and faces the Joker's traps while the Joker tries to persuade his old foe that the world is inherently insane and thus not worth fighting for. Eventually, Batman tracks down the Joker and subdues him. Batman then attempts to reach out to him to give up crime and put a stop to their years-long war. The Joker declines, however, ruefully saying "It's too late for that... far too late". He then tells Batman a joke that was started earlier in the comic. The joke is funny enough to make the normally stone-faced Batman laugh. While they are laughing, Batman reaches across to Joker. Joker escapes.
Jason Todd's relationship with Batman has turned sour of late and his battles with criminals are almost suicidal. Batman decides that he turned Jason into Robin even before the boy had come to terms with the death of his parents. He therefore relieves him from duty. Jason resents this and storms out refusing to discuss the issue of his parents.
While walking through his old neighborhood, he meets Mrs. Walker, a friend of his parents, who gives him his father's old papers and other documents, including photos and articles relating to his family. Among them, Jason finds his birth certificate and a gut-wrenching surprise: the name of the mother has been almost blotted out, but the initial is "S", not "C" as in Catherine Todd, the woman Jason knew as "Mom".
He concludes that she was in fact a stepmother and resolves to find his biological one. His father's address book gives the name of three women whose first name starts with "S" and he tracks their whereabouts using the Batcomputer; but all three are based in the Middle East and Africa. Jason therefore runs away from home to find them.
Meanwhile the Joker has escaped yet again from Arkham Asylum, leaving a trail of death behind him. Batman discovers that he somehow obtained a nuclear weapon and will sell it to terrorists. He tracks him to civil war-torn Lebanon where he and Jason meet up. They foil an attempt by Arab terrorists to destroy Tel Aviv using a nuclear missile sold to them by the Joker. Sharmin Rosen, a Mossad agent who was at the scene, and whom Jason was tracking, denies ever giving birth in Gotham City.
Another of the suspected "mothers" is none other than Batman's old acquaintance Lady Shiva, whom they track down to a terrorist training camp. It is only with Robin's help that Batman overcomes her in a fight that proves almost fatal for him. Using a truth drug they get her to admit that she is not the mother.
They then go to Ethiopia, which is in the middle of a famine, and meet the third "suspect": Sheila Haywood, an aid worker. She proves to be the right one and she and Jason have an emotional reunion. However, unknown to Batman and Robin, Sheila used to perform illegal abortions in Gotham and has been blackmailed by the Joker into giving him the medical supplies her agency has in a nearby warehouse.
Not only is he denying the medical supplies to the starving in order to sell them on the black market, but the Joker also replaces them with his laughing gas which, once set off, will kill thousands of people.
Sheila herself has been embezzling from the aid agency and, as part of the cover-up, hands her own son (now in his Robin costume) over to the Joker. The Joker brutally batters him with a crowbar. Robin is soon lying unconscious in a pool of blood, which the Joker complacently remarks is "a bit messy". He then leaves him and Sheila in the warehouse with a time bomb.
Sheila and Robin try desperately to get out of the warehouse but are still inside as the bomb goes off. Batman arrives too late to save them and they die from their injuries.
The bodies are taken back to Gotham for burial. Since none of their relatives can be found the only ones attending the service are Bruce Wayne and three friends, butler Alfred Pennyworth, Commissioner Gordon and his wheelchair-bound daughter Barbara, herself a victim of the Joker.
Blaming himself for Jason's death, a guilt-ridden Batman resolves to carry on alone. He even turns down Alfred's suggestion to involve Dick Grayson, his original partner.
The Joker himself, meanwhile, has met none other than the Ayatollah Khomeini, who offers him a position in the Iranian government. The Joker leaves a house filled with dead bodies and an address which Batman easily finds. The address is that of the United Nations building in New York.
While waiting outside the building, Batman meets Superman, who has been sent by the State Department. Superman tries to convince him to leave, and his evasive attitude and refusal to answer questions leads Batman to punch him. Superman asks Batman about Jason, and at this point the Joker turns up: he is to be Iran's representative at the UN.
Ralph Bundy, a CIA contact, tells Batman to keep away from the Joker since it could start a diplomatic incident, which the government would rather avoid. The Joker has diplomatic immunity and any crime he has committed has been swept under the carpet.
He is due to give a speech to the General Assembly and Bruce Wayne uses his high-level contacts in order to get in as an unofficial observer. The Joker appears dressed in Arab clothes and he and Wayne exchange glances.
The Joker makes his speech claiming that he and the Iranians are treated with disrespect by the rest of the world. He announces that they will not take any more of such treatment and releases his deadly laughing gas over the Assembly.
However, a security guard breaks up the Joker's weapon and inhales all the gas, clearing the hall. It turns out to be Superman in disguise. He flies out of the building in order to get rid of the gas while Batman and the Joker fight it out.
The Joker gets out of the building and into a helicopter sent to him by his sponsors. Batman gets in and, during the fight that follows, one of the Joker's henchmen opens fire with a machine gun. The bullets fly everywhere, hitting everyone, including the Joker and the pilot, who loses control and crashes into the sea.
Superman saves Batman, who tells him to find the Joker's body; unsurprisingly, the archcriminal's corpse is nowhere to be found. Batman laments that everything between him and the Joker ends that way: unresolved.
Batman (at the onset of a personal psychological mid-life crisis) is forced to deal, in rapid succession, with the returning villain Black Mask and his gang (who target Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox), a crazed killer called Metalhead, and a sharpshooter assassin hired by Vincent Morelli to murder Commissioner Gordon. Batman begins to feel he has lost his edge, especially after his failure to capture Black Mask. He finds himself unable to meditate or even focus. As Bruce Wayne, he contacts holistic therapist Shondra Kinsolving for treatment. He also assigns Robin (Tim Drake) to train Jean-Paul Valley in detective work to aid them as an ally, hoping to guide his brainwashing away from making him a villainous threat. Despite the advice of everyone in his life, including Dr. Kinsolving, Bruce refuses to rest, and continues to pursue his self-imposed duty despite his worsening condition.
Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong, usurping power in Gotham's underworld and assaulting a police station, with Bruce's fatigue continuing to worsen. At the conclusion of this story, Bane and his henchman are shown monitoring Batman's performance.
Bane begins a series of encounters letting Batman know of his presence and his intentions. In the following issues, Bane interferes with encounters pitting villains Killer Croc and Riddler against Batman, and, to test Batman's limits, goes so far as to inject Riddler with the Venom drug. This escalation culminates in an assault on Arkham Asylum where Bane breaks the inmates free and supplies them with numerous weapons to escape. Meanwhile, Robin finds it difficult to work with Jean-Paul, due to the man's violent subconscious training and lack of social skills, and also finds himself being shut out from working alongside Batman.
Bane freeing all of the maximum-security inmates of Arkham Asylum, a notorious psychiatric facility in Gotham City. Aware that he would lose in a direct assault against Batman, Bane's plan consists of weakening Batman by forcing him to deal with the deadly villains simultaneously. Among the freed inmates, there are numerous high-profile villains, such as the Joker (who trapped Arkham's administrator Jeremiah Arkham), and the Scarecrow, as well as many less known villains, such as the Mad Hatter, The Ventriloquist, Firefly, Cavalier, and Victor Zsasz. The scenario creates a rift in the relationship between Robin and Batman, as Batman irrationally seeks to face the outbreak alone -- in later issues, Robin asks Batman if he is even needed as his sidekick anymore. A later flashback to this time period shows Batman pursuing Two-Face alone, being trapped and kidnapped to stand a mock trial; he is saved only by a rescue attempt from Robin.
Batman becomes weaker and weaker as each criminal is put away. The rescue of Mayor Krol from the combination of the Joker and Scarecrow takes Batman to his mental and physical limits: a dose of Scarecrow's fear gas makes him relive the murder of Jason Todd, which he considers to be his greatest failure. After this encounter, Bane makes his move and attacks Batman at Wayne Manor, where he is most vulnerable as his alter-ego. By this time, Bane had deduced the secret identity of Batman. The fight between Bruce Wayne and Bane ends in Bane breaking Wayne's back over his knee; Bane takes his body downtown to Gotham Square and throws it from a rooftop to demonstrate his superiority to the populace. With Batman incapacitated, Bane assumes control of Gotham City's underworld and takes over several illegal operations within it.
After his defeat, Bruce Wayne enlists the aid of Dr. Shondra Kinsolving to rehabilitate him and asks Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael) to take up the mantle of Batman so that Gotham has a protector. Tim Drake argues with Bruce to allow Dick Grayson (the former Robin) to become Batman, as he is more experienced and mentally competent. However, Bruce says that Dick is his own man now, with his own responsibilities and would only do so reluctantly; Dick later expressed resentment at not being asked to stand in as Batman. Bruce's rationale for this decision is revealed in later issues - secretly, he doesn't want Dick to have to face Bane, as he knows Dick's character will compel him to try. Bruce gives Jean-Paul strict orders never to engage Bane in combat; indeed, when Jean-Paul faces Bane, only his modified gloves save him from being thrown to his death.
Soon after, Kinsolving and Tim's father Jack Drake are kidnapped and Bruce and Alfred leave the country to find them.
Paul is shown as a different but not dangerous Batman until an encounter with the Scarecrow, which culminates in Jean-Paul being infected by Scarecrow's fear gas and the "System" - his programming as Azrael - taking over, in order to combat Jean-Paul's fear. Following this, Jean-Paul is unable to shake the influence of the System, giving into it completely after his first defeat at Bane's hands, and being increasingly influenced by it during the rest of his tenure as Batman. Gradually, Jean-Paul alienates Robin with his paranoia and arrogance.
Jean-Paul, in his new mechanical Batsuit, confronts Bane in a vicious battle and prevails, although many innocent citizens were put at risk. Jean-Paul leaves Bane broken mentally and physically, although he struggles with the choice of whether to simply kill Bane or hand him over to the police. Stating that he will let Bane go to Blackgate Prison, Jean-Paul continues to watch over Gotham after the fight, but grows increasingly unstable.
Jean-Paul Valley as he becomes increasingly violent and mentally unbalanced as he replaces Bruce Wayne as Batman in Gotham. During this time, he drives Robin away because he believes Gotham post-Bane to be so tough that only violence could answer its criminals. Indeed, in several issues Robin is left horrified as Jean-Paul ferociously attacks common criminals, often with a weapon and sometimes nearly to death. This surge of violence from Gotham's defender put pressure on Batman's relationship with Police Commissioner Gordon, who begins to distrust and even fear the new Batman and eventually comes to realize he is not the original.
All of Jean-Paul's actions are compelled by "The System"; on numerous occasions, he experiences the ghosts of his father and the legendary St. Dumas giving him guidance and he is driven to near insanity by the time the saga ends. He repeatedly redesigns his Batman costume, adding more gadgets and lethal weapons, including metal claws, a laser, razor-sharp Batarangs and a flame-thrower. Eventually, he also adds a Bat-symbol, matching the one used for the series' logo. Valley becomes compelled by a desire to be a better Batman than Bruce Wayne, especially when he discovers his lack of interest in detective work caused him to make false assumptions about Catwoman (he thought she would sell a powerful nerve gas to terrorists when she merely wanted to dispose of it so it couldn't be used to hurt anyone).
His questionable behavior climaxes when he encounters the serial killer Abattoir, who is keeping an innocent prisoner in a secret torture chamber: Jean-Paul purposely lets Abattoir die, thereby condemning the prisoner to death as well. Other notable villains Jean-Paul faces include Mr. Freeze, Joker, and Clayface. Of these villains, the most notable encounters are with Catwoman and the Joker, both of whom could tell Valley wasn't the original Batman (Catwoman noticed he didn't give out Bruce's pheromones; Joker possesses a psychotic bond with Batman but also witnesses his less-graceful movements).
Bruce Wayne and Alfred's search for Jack Drake and Shondra Kinsolving, with whom Bruce Wayne falls in love in the midst of his rehabilitation sessions. Their investigation leads them to the Caribbean and then Great Britain. Kinsolving's brother-by-adoption Benedict Asp kidnapped her to use her special powers to kill people at a distance. Asp demonstrates this new form of mass murder on a small English village. When Bruce Wayne finds Kinsolving, he finds himself caught in the middle of a telekinetic tug-of-war between Asp and Kinsolving. The battle climaxes with her refocusing her energy to defeat Asp, with a side effect of the battle being that Bruce's broken spine becomes healed. However, the drugs forced onto her by Asp, combined with the effects of the fight with Asp, reduce her mind to that of a child, and Wayne reluctantly puts her into a mental institution.
Bruce eventually leaves England to return home to a civilian life in Gotham, but Alfred remains in England, not wanting to see Bruce Wayne damage his body further. He does not return to Gotham until a while later, when Dick Grayson persuades him to do so in later issues.
Jean-Paul Valley sees visions of his dead father, who had programmed him at birth to be a deadly weapon. These visions tell Jean-Paul to avenge his father's death, and Jean-Paul searches Gotham for his father's killer. Though the killer, Carlton LeHah, had already been encountered and defeated (in Sword of Azrael), Jean Paul's conditioning had warped his mind to the extent that he no longer remembered the incident. He eventually comes to believe that Penn Selkirk, a Gotham mobster turned weapons dealer who has taken over the remnants of LeHah's organization, is his father's murderer.
Returning to Gotham, Bruce meets with Tim. Even though Jean-Paul disobeyed his order of not to go after Bane, Bruce is impressed with his results to let him remain as Batman and decides to retire. But when Robin tells him of Abattoir's death, Bruce sneaks into the Batcave and demands that Jean-Paul step down. Jean-Paul refuses and threatens to kill Bruce if he ever returns.
To rehabilitate his skills, Bruce asks the famed assassin Lady Shiva to retrain him. Instead, Shiva pits Bruce against several vengeful expert martial artists. Shiva's caveat is that these attacks will continue indefinitely until Bruce Wayne breaks his vow to never kill. Finally, in the midst of another attack, Bruce feigns using the fatal Leopard Blow Shiva had taught him, leaving his would-be assailant apparently dead. Shiva finally declares him worthy of fighting her at some point in the future. Only six masters appear in the storyline although seven masters are mentioned.
Now back in fighting shape, Bruce returns to the Batcave and resumes his role as Batman. Along with Robin and Nightwing, he tracks Valley down to Selkirk's penthouse. Coincidentally, Catwoman is chasing the same man because he owns a neural enabler which might allow her paraplegic friend to walk again. Selkirk already wants to kill Jean-Paul for destroying a valuable weapons cache in Gotham Harbor.
When they eventually all meet, mass fighting and gunfire ensue. The battle ends with Selkirk's helicopter crashing into the Gotham Narrows Bridge; Jean-Paul falls aflame into the Gotham River. Bruce and Catwoman save Selkirk and his aides just before the helicopter explodes from the leaking fuel. When Bruce tries to find Jean-Paul using the Batmobile, it explodes. Nightwing fears Bruce dead and takes his vengeance out on Jean-Paul on a party boat. The police arrive in time to prevent Nightwing from murder, but Jean-Paul escapes. However, to his shock, Jean-Paul finds Bruce waiting at Wayne Manor.
The final battle of the Knightfall saga takes place between Jean-Paul Valley and Bruce Wayne in the caverns surrounding the Batcave: rather than beating Jean-Paul at hand-to-hand combat, Bruce outwits him by escaping into a passage too narrow for Jean-Paul to go through in his armor, thus forcing him to remove most of it. Bruce then opens a hatch to the outside, which covered the very hole he fell into as a child, allowing sunlight to enter the night lenses in Jean-Paul's helmet. After being momentarily blinded, Jean-Paul removes his cowl, sees Bruce standing over him in the original Batman costume and concedes defeat, saying "You are Batman...and I am nothing." Bruce comforts Jean-Paul, who leaves to wander the streets of Gotham, homeless and destitute. Bruce decides not to take Jean-Paul to the police because it was his decision to make Jean-Paul the Batman.
Bruce reaffirms his partnership with Tim, resolving the tension caused by Bruce's unwillingness to accept help during the Arkham prison break. Bruce passes the mantle of Batman to Grayson so he can re-evaluate what it will take to restore his aura of invincibility. This begins the Prodigal storyline, a reference to Dick Grayson essentially being Bruce's prodigal son; Bruce had adopted Dick after his parents were murdered.
Because of the events of Knight Saga and Prodigal, considerable time passes before Commissioner Gordon restores his trust in the idea of a Batman working for good. Gordon can tell that he is not looking at the original Batman (based on Jean-Paul's costume and Dick's height, and the fact that Jean-Paul was more than ready to kill people), and he refuses to place blind trust in a costume after spending so long learning to trust the man. The Prodigal storyline was utilized as a way of tying up the numerous loose ends that Knightfall left, with Killer Croc, the Ventriloquist, Ratcatcher and Two-Face, along with many other, less notorious released inmates being returned to prison. In doing so, Dick avenges his worst mistake from his days as Robin, when a mistake in a confrontation with Two-Face caused a man to die and nearly killed Bruce. He also comes to appreciate the incredible physical and mental burden Bruce places on himself in donning the Batsuit. During the story, a firm bond arises between Dick and Tim as they share Wayne Manor together in Bruce's and Alfred's absence.
It's revealed in the later No Man's Land storyline that Bruce also used this time to set up contingency bases throughout Gotham.
When Bruce finally returns for good, he wears a sturdier (made of Kevlar), darker Batsuit and drives a new, state-of-the-art Batmobile. He again fights Colonel Vega KG Beast, and Dark Rider, in order to foil a plot to nuke Gotham City with a device the size and shape of a baseball. Troika comes from the Russian word for Triad. The saga also shows how Batman makes changes to his life as Bruce Wayne, his relationships with his 'family', plans to live without Alfred, and copes with the decision of making Jean-Paul his replacement.
He is found on the street by Bruce Wayne, and given money to leave Gotham to travel the world and find his purpose as had Bruce. His journeys take him to Europe, where he uncovers conspiracies within the Brotherhood of St. Dumas which had brainwashed him. Later, he returns to Gotham to aid Batman.
Batman and Bane later have a rematch, in which Bane is now in leagues with Ra's Al Ghul!
Azrael is tasked by Batman to track down the recently-resurfaced Bane. After meeting, the two men struggle, and Bane gets the upper hand with the aid of a small band of Santa Priscan soldiers and his old henchman Bird. He restrains Azrael and injects him with Venom, with the plan of using him as a super soldier to take over Santa Prisca. Azrael is able to resist addiction to the drug and eventually conquers Bane and flies him back to Gotham City. They arrive just as the massive earthquake occurs. Bane attempts escape but is unable; as a last-ditch effort he unsuccessfully tries to convince Azrael to form a partnership. Instead, Azrael reaffirms his dedication to Bruce Wayne.
Gotham City had suffered the results of a magnitude 7.6 earthquake in the earlier Cataclysm storyline. In response, the U.S government declared Gotham a "no man's land," destroyed all bridges leading to Gotham and forbade people from entering or exiting.
The city was swiftly carved up by gangs and various supervillains Batman had battled over the years. Jim Gordon and several members of the Gotham police department stayed behind to protect civilians. Oracle and Huntress also ended up on the inside. Bruce Wayne (Batman) left the city to lobby the government to not cut Gotham off, but failed. Gordon and his men waited for his return, but by the time he returned more than three months later, they believed he had abandoned Gotham.
Huntress attempts to keep order, fashioning a Batgirl costume. She soon discovers that criminals fear her more as Batgirl than they do Huntress and succeeds in holding territory of her own. When Batman returns, he allows her to continue to use the costume. However, when she fails to hold off Two-Face and his army of men and loses Batman's territory, she abandons the costume.
Batman and James Gordon's officers work separately to reclaim Gotham, piece by piece, by beating and subduing the gang leaders and then marking the reclaimed territory with graffiti. Various subplots emerge through the battles. Poison Ivy took up residence in Robinson Park and Batman allowed her to remain there as long as she cared for the orphans and distributed food.
Gordon once allied with Two-Face, but Two-Face betrayed the alliance. Two-Face also hired David Cain to kill Gordon, but Cain is thwarted by his daughter Cassandra. Cassandra later takes up the mantle as the third Batgirl to help clean No Man's Land up. Later, Two-Face kidnapped Gordon and put him on trial for breaking the alliance. Police officer Renee Montoya reaches out to Two-Face's Harvey Dent persona, whose defense leads to Gordon's acquittal, Dent's questioning concluding that Two-Face had essentially blackmailed Gordon into the alliance and hence making any alliance between them void.
The turning point for No Man's Land came with Lex Luthor arrived with his helicopters to rebuild Gotham. However, Luthor's covert plan was to take the deeds and much of the property in Gotham, since the original deeds had been destroyed, and many of the owners had died in the earthquake. Lucius Fox discovers the original documents and notifies Luthor. Luthor then attempts to kill Fox, but Batman intervenes, tells Luthor that Gotham is not for sale, and warns him to leave.
The United States government reverses the No Man's Land order and allows Gotham to rejoin the United States. Gordon and his surviving police officers were promoted. In the final scenes of the comic, the Joker attacks Petit's compound. Petit is killed and the Huntress barely survives. The Joker later kidnaps all of Gotham's babies. When Sarah Essen Gordon discovers the babies, the Joker murders her. Batman later convinces a grief-stricken Gordon to not kill The Joker, who gloats at Gordon about murdering his wife. Gordon shoots Joker through one of his kneecaps instead and lets Batman take him away to be incarcerated.
"Hush" opens with Batman rescuing a boy kidnapped by Killer Croc, whereupon Catwoman steals the ransom money. As Batman swings through Gotham City in pursuit of her, his rope is cut and he falls to the ground, fracturing his skull. His butler, Alfred Pennyworth, follows his instructions to summon Bruce Wayne's childhood friend, Thomas Elliot, now a renowned brain surgeon. Batman recovers, and discovers that Poison Ivy had used Catwoman to steal the ransom. Batman rescues Catwoman, and a romance blooms between them.
The pair track Poison Ivy to Metropolis, where they find that Poison Ivy has also taken control of Superman. By using a kryptonite ring that Superman entrusted to him, Batman stalls the Man of Steel while Catwoman lets Lois Lane fall from a skyscraper. Superman comes to his senses and saves Lois, and together the heroes capture Poison Ivy.
Later, in Gotham City, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are attending an opera (Pagliacci) when Harley Quinn tries to rob the theater. In the ensuing struggle, Dr. Elliot is killed, and it appears that the Joker shot him. Batman nearly kills the Joker, but former police commissioner James Gordon dissuades him from doing so. Dick Grayson returns to Gotham City for Elliot's funeral. Batman tells him of his suspicions that some mastermind is behind all his enemies behaving so out of character. Behind the scenes a man with a bandaged face appears at all of the crime sites and seems to be orchestrating the plot. He comes to be referred to as Hush.
After foiling an armored car robbery by The Riddler, Nightwing and Batman discover evidence that Ra's al Ghul is also involved in what Batman has come to think of as a grand plot. Batman seeks out Ra's, who tells him that someone from Batman's past has used one of his Lazarus Pits. Returning to Gotham, Batman finds the current Robin, Tim Drake, has been captured by a former Robin, Jason Todd, who had previously perished in the series Batman: A Death in the Family. While fighting Jason, however, it is apparent that Clayface is mimicking the identity of Jason.
Batman then finds a device planted in his computer which led him to seek his old friend Harold's help. He has a late-night meeting with Harold, his trusted mechanic who has been missing since No Man's Land. Harold admits that someone had treated his disfigured condition in exchange for planting that device, but he is shot and killed before he can name the mastermind. Thomas Elliot is discovered to be the trigger-man, and the face behind the bandages of the mastermind (it is later implied that Clayface had been mimicking Elliot when he appeared to be killed). Elliot held a grudge against the Wayne family since Batman's father, Dr. Thomas Wayne, had saved the life of Elliot's mother after a motor vehicle accident. Elliot had sabotaged his parents' vehicle in order to gain their inheritance. In the ensuing confrontation, Elliot is shot by Harvey Dent and plummets into the water, with Batman never having found a chance to unmask Hush (it is only assumed it is Thomas Elliot). His body is unable to be recovered.
In an epilogue to his face-off with Elliot, Batman discovers that the true mastermind is The Riddler. The Riddler had used a Lazarus Pit to cure himself of cancer, and during his time in the pit, deduced Batman's identity as Bruce Wayne. Having first approached Thomas Elliot with a cure for his mother's cancer (the Lazarus Pit), The Riddler had instead allied with Elliot against Bruce Wayne. Riddler was also the only villain who Batman did not believe acted in an unusual way during the entire saga; the robbery Batman foiled was fairly typical of Riddler at the time. The Riddler also tells him that he and Elliot referred to the plot as the "Hush" plot. Batman convinces the Riddler not to reveal his true identity to anyone else because a riddle which everyone knows the answer to would be worthless.
Another mystery begins troubling the Dark Knight Detective. Even though the man he fought at the graveyard was revealed to be Clayface, Jason Todd's remains are still missing from his grave. The Riddler even taunts Batman of his greatest failure to save Jason's life, and refuses to tell him where Jason's body is, prompting Batman to knock the Riddler across the room with blood gushing from what appears to be a broken nose; when questioned by an officer, Batman replies, "He fell."
In the final scene Batman and Catwoman meet. He continues to mistrust her and cannot be sure that she is not more aware of the plot than she admits. While trying to console him, Catwoman inadvertently tells him to "Hush" seconds before kissing him, bringing his fears to light. Catwoman breaks off the relationship with Batman. Though he states that he does trust her, she seems to feel he is not ready to trust completely.
When finding Kryptonite in the Gotham City bay, Batman came across a large ship in the water. It's later revealed that inside was Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin from Krypton. For a while, in the begining of her arrival into Clark's life, Batman didn't beleive she was the real Kara Zor-El. Batman also beleived that she may be a threat.
After Batman and Superman fight off some Amazonian warriors in Metropolis, it's revealed that Diana wants to take her to Theamascera to train her. While there, Suerman and Wonder Woman do not see eye to eye on the training or even Kara being on the island.
Later, a army of cloned Doomsdays attack the island, which turns out to be a distraction formed by Darkseid to kidnap the Kryptonian girl. Batman recovers a body, that of which is a Amazonian. They soon discover Darkseid has kidnapped Kara and they go for help, bringing in Big Barda into the mix.
They go to Apocalypse to find that Kara has been brain washed by Darkseid and has gone against the four heroes. Superman is then forced to use a Kryptonite ring to fight his cousin. While Superman and Kara battle, Batman confronts Darkseid with Mr. Miracle's weapons. Although this almost costs Batman's life.
Clark takes Kara to Smallville, where she will meet Clark's parents. When they get there, they are greeted by a furious Darkseid who disinagrates Kara after her attempt at saving Clark's life. This enrages Clark into almost killing Darkseid, but instead sends him into the Phantom Zone inside the Mother Box. It was planned, though, that Supergirl would be evaperated into ashe. She turned up alive, though, using her super speed to get out of the way and leave a pile of ashe behind, to trick Darkseid. Batman eventually learns to trust Kara and even trains her.
Batman was at her introduction to the other heroes where the JLA, JSA, and the Teen Titans along with the Outsiders all gathered to celebrate Kara becoming Supergirl!
When Superboy-Prime alters reality from the paradise dimension in which he is trapped (six months after his death), Jason is restored to life and breaks out of his coffin, but collapses thereafter and is hospitalized. After spending a year in a coma and subsequently as an amnesiac vagrant, he is recognized by Talia al Ghul, who restores his health and memory by immersing him in a Lazarus Pit in which her father Ra's al Ghul is also bathing. It is suggested at that time that exposure to the Pit's energies together with Al Ghul might have affected Jason's personality. On Talia's advice, Jason determines his death was never avenged, and prepares to confront Batman by traveling across the globe in the same path of trainings as his mentor.
When Batman expresses no remorse for sparing the Joker's life after Jason was killed, Jason is further angered and takes up the mantle of the Red Hood.
Shortly after the events of War Games and War Crimes, Jason Todd reappears in Gotham City as the Red Hood, hijacking a shipment of Kryptonite from Black Mask. In the midst of a battle with Batman, Nightwing, and Mr. Freeze, the Red Hood gives them the Kryptonite back, and tells them he has gotten what he truly wanted: a "lay of the land." Shortly afterward, the Red Hood finds the Joker (driven out of Gotham by Hush) and beats him with a crowbar just as the Joker had beaten Jason. Despite the violence of the beating, Jason has the Joker saved, intending to use him later against Batman.
The Red Hood assumes control over several gangs in Gotham City and starts a one-man-war against Black Mask's criminal empire. Over all, he strives to cleanse the city of its corruption, such as drug dealing and gang violence, and to kill the Joker in revenge for his own death. Because of his anti-heroic activities he repeatedly comes to blows with Batman and several of his allies. A Robin mask was found in the Batmobile, which never belonged to Dick or Tim, but it was of the style that Jason wore as Robin. Around this time, Batman discovers that Jason's coffin has always been empty, and he begins to question whether or not Jason had actually died. Despite his return, Jason's Robin costume remains in its memorial display case in the Batcave; when Alfred asked if Bruce wanted the costume removed, Bruce replied that the return of Jason "doesn't change anything at all."
Jason, the murderous Nightwing, knowing that Tim Drake has not only replaced him as Robin, but is reportedly a better Robin than he had been, Jason breaks into Titans Tower to confront Tim. Wearing an altered version of his own Robin costume, Jason quickly immobilizes the other Titans and strikes Tim down in the Tower's Hall of Fallen Titans. Furious that no memorial statue was made for him (despite his short tenure as a Titan), Jason demands that Tim tell him if he is really as good as Jason has been told. Tim says "Yes" and passes out. As he leaves, Jason tears the 'R' emblem from Tim's chest. In the Epilogue, Jason has apparently developed a grudging respect for his replacement as he states, "I'll admit. He's good". Jason is also left wondering if perhaps he would have been a better Robin and better person had he a life like Tim's and friends like the Titans.
Jason's return crescendos when he kidnaps the Joker and holds him hostage, luring Batman to Crime Alley, the site of their first meeting. Jason asks Batman why he has not avenged his death by killing the Joker, and Batman tells Jason that he will never cross that line. An enraged Jason explains that Joker deserves it, because he has done evil in the past and, according to Jason, is "doing it because he took me away from you". Despite this, Batman explains that it is not too hard for him to kill the Joker, it would be too easy; he has never once not fantasized about taking the Joker somewhere private and torturing him for maybe weeks before finally killing him, but refuses to go to that place. Jason offers Batman an ultimatum: Jason will kill the Joker unless Batman kills Jason first. Holding the Joker at gunpoint, Jason throws a pistol to Batman and begins to count to three while standing behind the Joker, leaving Batman with only a headshot if he wants to stop Jason pulling the trigger. At the last moment, Batman throws a batarang that cuts down an object and slices Jason's neck. The Joker takes advantage of the situation, detonating nearby explosives that engulf the platform they are on and send them plunging into the bay.
During the Infinite Crisis, Batman nearly broke his most sacred law. When it appeared that Alexander Luthor may have killed longtime ally Dick Grayson, Batman knocked down Luthor and threatened to kill him with a gun. Fortunately, Dick was still alive, and Batman avoided making what would have been the worst decision of his life.  Regardless, the incident shook Batman's reserve, and he realized that he had crossed the line. It was time to re-evaluate his identity and retrace the steps that forged him into the man he is today.
To this end, he departed Gotham City on a quest to "kill the bat". Along with Robin and Nightwing, he traveled to the Middle East where he re-honed his martial prowess under the tutelage of a desert cult known as the Cult of the Ten-Eyed Men. Batman returned to Gotham City with a stronger sense of self, and a clear optimistic view of the future. This optimism was challenged however when he found himself united with Ibn al Xu'ffasch anglicized as Damian Wayne- his alleged son with villainess Talia al Ghul. Batman attempted to become a father figure to Damian, but quickly realized that the young boy's mind was already diseased by a violent upbringing. Their time together was short, and Damian eventually returned to his mother.
Dr. Simon Hurt and the "Black Glove," a criminal organization dedicated to corrupting virtue, as they attempt to destroy Batman and everything for which he stands.
Using a mixture of physical and psychological attacks, the Black Glove tests Batman's resolve, forcing him to temporarily adopt the crazed persona of the "Batman of Zur-En-Arrh." He is then led to Arkham Asylum to face the Joker. Seemingly defeated, Batman is buried alive by the Black Glove, a group that includes Bruce Wayne's girlfriend, Jezebel Jet, who has betrayed him. With the assistance of Robin and Nightwing he turns the tables on his foes. In a final confrontation with Dr. Hurt, Batman is caught in a helicopter crash.
The storyline concludes with both Batman's fate and the true identity of Dr. Hurt still up in the air. Hurt himself repeatedly claimed to be Thomas Wayne throughout the story, while Batman apparently believed him to be Mangrove Pierce, a crazed actor. To further add to the confusion, a multitude of clues dropped throughout Morrison's run actually seem to suggest that Dr. Hurt is, in fact, the Devil himself.
In the hidden bunker, Batman escapes and confronts Darkseid. He states that he will make an exception to his "no firearms" rule and shoots Darkseid using the bullet that killed Orion. As Darkseid gets shot he fires the Omega Sanction from his eyes, and hits Batman, before the Omega Sanction hits Batman he silently says "Gotcha".
Superman having just returned from the 31st Century, where he was given access to the ultimate weapon, the Miracle Machine, a reality-altering device created by Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Upon seeing what has become of the earth, Superman goes into a rage as begins to use large blasts of his Heat Vision to decimate Darkseids forces en masse. He makes his way to the hidden bunker and attacks Darkseid, finding the charred corpse of Batman within.
It is later reveled unbeknownst to anyone that the Omega Sanction does not really kill its victims, it instead sends their consciousness through time and space to alternate realities and times. Bruce Wayne's mind still lives in the far distant past, where he is hanging out with cavemen.
It is unclear if Wayne's mind will be able to return to the present but his body was destroyed. Thus it is unclear how Wayne will be able to recover from his current disconnected state even if he is successful in returning to the present.
Whatever it means, the body left behind was recovered by Superman. He returned the cowl to Nightwing and Robin, to be left in a memorial similar to the one Batman made for Jason. At Alfred's insistence, no public funeral was held for Batman, and Robin, refusing to believe he was dead, prevented them from declaring Bruce Wayne dead, leaving his friends and family without a chance to properly honor him. Wayne's body was buried in an unmarked grave next to Thomas and Martha Wayne.
Some weeks later, as Gotham City was going through a rampant crime wave following Batman's disappearance, Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, the second Flash, who had returned during the Final Crisis, met each other at Wayne's grave for a private farewell to their friend. Although Hal was somber given the loss, coupled with the earlier losses of Arthur Curry and J'onn J'onzz, Barry reminded Hal that they, Superman, and Green Arrow all died and returned, and if anyone could beat the Reaper, it was the Dark Knight. Unfortunately, soon after they left, the criminal Black Hand, under the influence of mysterious force, dug Wayne's skull out of the ground, and used a black ring to begin the reanimation of Batman as a member of the Black Lantern Corps.
Naturally, following the events of "Final Crisis" that left the Batman Family without their leader. The family was in disarray, Gotham criminals took advantage of Batman's absence, and the question stood, "Is Batman gone?" Feeling a combination of obligation and hesitation, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake Wayne, Alfred, and Damian Wayne debated as to what the future of the Dark Knight should be, until an estranged Jason Todd turned up as having taken a twisted cowl (which seems reminiscent of Jean-Paul Valley) for himself. Todd decommissioned an arrogant Damian, making Dick, Tim, and Alfred feel an even greater sense of urgency to send the Caped Crusader back on the streets. However, Dick still refused, prompting Tim to hijack an old Batsuit himself and seek out Jason and his twisted Batcave. Jason managed to defeat Tim and severely injure him, leaving only Dick and Jason as the the heir to the cowl. As Alfred provided medical care for Damian and Tim was barely escaping with his life, Dick and Jason fought long and hard until Jason, vowing that he would see Dick "much sooner than you think," plummeted off of a moving train into the depths of the river below. The conclusion of this struggle found Dick accepting his role as the new Batman, with the darkest Robin yet, Damian, by his side. Tim, however, is far away from Gotham, believing that Bruce is not actually dead. He has taken the mantle of the Red Robin, and is currently exploring the globe for clues as to where his adoptive father is.
In the conclusion of the first arc The Grail, Tim has discovered that Bruce is lost in the past, but needs to stop the Council of Spidrs before he can continue his search. After Dick fights Jason (as the Red Hood), he advises him to throw Bruce's body into a Lazurus Pit.
The Bruce Wayne/playboy aspect of his character is a facade, while the masked and particularly dark, grim vigilante is marked as the "true" man. Usually, Batman is further separated from Bruce Wayne by the raspy and stony bass voice he usually assumes while costumed.
Another identity used by Batman is that of gangster "Matches Malone." Matches was a small-time arsonist who killed his brother and then committed suicide by burning himself to death. Becoming Matches allows Batman to operate within the criminal community as a respected member with preestablished credibility. Matches is often under suspicion of being a snitch to Batman however, and great lengths often have to be gone to maintain his "rep." Matches would later return to Gotham City, and reveal to Batman he had been innocent, and had faked his death. The real Matches was murdered by The Ventriloquist, for Batman's actions in his name, but Batman was able to preserve the identity and even avenge his death. He has since, when in the Malone persona, pursued it to the point of even being incarcerated as him in Blackgate Penitentiary.
Wayne guards his secret identity well, but several individuals know of his superhero alter-ego, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, The Flash (Jay Garrick, Barry Allen & Wally West), Green Lanterns Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner & Alan Scott, Plastic Man (Patrick "Eel" O'Brien), Red Arrow (Roy Harper), Vixen )Mari McCabe), Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce), Aquaman (Orin/Arthur Curry), Green Arrow (Oliver "Ollie" Queen), Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Red Hood (Jason Todd), Robin III (Tim Drake), Oracle (Barbara Gordon), The Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz), and his butler Alfred Pennyworth. The kindly Doctor Leslie Thompkins also is aware of Bruce's secret identity.
The villain Hush has attempted to take revenge on both sides of the Batman/Bruce Wayne persona, and he is noted throughout his run as a villain who has personal ties to Bruce Wayne and/or Batman; Hush is later revealed to be Thomas Elliot, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. Fortunately, most of Batman's enemies have dismissed the notion of Bruce Wayne as Batman because of Wayne's apparent dim-wittedness and self-absorption while the ones who do know prefer to keep the information to themselves for their own reasons. The Joker has had opportunities to learn himself, but he has always refused them, since it would personally rob the mystique of his enemy.
Batman is a normal human being who does not possess any superhuman abilities, but has character flaws that can be exploited by enemies.
As a young child, Bruce tended to be solitary and withdrawn, a condition only exacerbated by the murder of his parents. This lead to his current state as a loner who would prefer to be on his own rather than rely on others. His difficulty in trusting others is a constant issue for him to overcome, and perhaps his only weakness.
His longest and closest relationship is with Alfred, who represents a father figure, confessor and advisor. Alfred and he have clashed in the past, but share a deep and unbreakable bond. To the world at large, Bruce Wayne looks like a rich, good looking, dim-witted playboy. But there are times when Bruce has found love -- the beautiful Catwoman, Wonder Woman, Talia al Ghul, Andrea Beaumont, Vicki Vale, Sasha Bordeaux, Zatanna and some others. They have all reached Bruce's heart and have fallen in love with him. Bruce can love, it's just more difficult for him to after his parents.
Next to Alfred, his closest relationships are with his partners, the Robins and the Batgirls. Although they have not always been harmonious, due to his nature as an often harsh, strict and emotionally withdrawn mentor, it is clear that he views the Robins as his sons, although he views Jason Todd as the son he failed.
James Gordon remains a close friend and staunch ally, although their relationship has also been challenged by Batman's secretive nature. Still, Gordon remains arguably Batman's best friend.
His relationship with other superheroes and metahumans has been complex. Though a long time member of both the Justice League and the Outsiders, and a close associate of the Justice Society and the Teen Titans, he also does no fully trust them. This (warranted or not) has led to his keeping files on how to defeat allies and friends in case they ever cross the line. This stems from events revealed in the Identity Crisis incident where his memory was erased by other members of the Justice League to cover up their roles in the punishment of Doctor Light (Arthur Light), who had raped Ralph Dibny's (Elongated Man's) wife. In the past, this information has been used against him and his allies, first by Ra's Al Ghul, and then later by the OMAC Project.
Among the superhero community outside the Robins and Batgirls, he is closest to Superman and Wonder Woman, having a long established partnership with Superman and a romantic relationship with Wonder Woman. These relationships have never been smooth. Superman and Batman have often disagreed with each other over methods and trust. A particularly sour point was the arrival of Kara Zor-El; Superman believed Batman was being unneccessarily cautious about a potentially dangerous Kara, and Batman was shocked at Superman's willingness to reveal his secret identity to a girl with little actual memory of Krypton. Despite their disagreements, the two hold a deep respect for each other.
Batman has occasionally been arrogant, treating many of his allies with various degrees of disrespect. He often imposes his exacting standards on others as he does himself. He also sometimes overestimates his own abilities, allowing foes to take advantage of that.
Indomitable Will: He has no known superhuman powers, but he does have an extreme, almost superhuman "Force of Will".
Intimidation: It is widely known that Batman has the ability to instill fear in others, even the people that know him best are intimidated by him. Even those who aren't afraid of the likes of Superman fear Batman.
Interrogation expert: Batman is adept in interrogation techniques, often using law enforcement methods as well as torture. Several methods seen include hanging a person over the edge of a building by one leg or chaining a person upside down and beating them. He usually just plain uses his frightening appearance to get answers. "Fear is an excellent motivator" he once said.
Master Acrobat: Proficient in gymnastics and acrobatics.
Peak Human Conditioning: Through intense training, specialized diet, and biofeedback treatments, The Batman represented the pinnacle of human physical prowess. His physical attributes exceeded that of any Olympic level athlete that has ever competed. His strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes and coordination were at peak human perfection. Batman began his physical and mental conditioning when he was 11 and then intense physical training and weight lifting at age 12. He has mastered full body control by the time he was 18. Wayne abstains entirely from drinking alcohol, though he presented Bruce Wayne, his alter ego, as a borderline alcoholic (he creates this illusion by drinking ginger ale and pretending it is champagne). Batman's refusal to drink was directly linked to keeping his body in its absolute best. Bruce Wayne, since the age of 15, has created a strict diet to enable his body to develop and operate at its most proficient, along with biofeedback treatments (using portable/non portable machines to stimulate muscles to contraction). Batman has performed amazing physical feats due to his superior physique. He engaged in an intensive regular regimen of rigorous exercise (including aerobics, weight lifting, gymnastics, and simulated combat) to keep himself in peak condition, and has often defeated opponents whose size, strength, or other powers greatly exceeded his own. He has spent his entire life in pursuit of physical perfection and has attained it through constant intensive training and determination.
Martial Arts Master: Batman is one of the finest human combatants Earth has ever known. He trained in the US for various martial arts for 3 years. He has mastered 127 styles of martial arts including Muay Thai, Escrima, Krav Maga, Capoeira, Savate, Yawyan, Taekwondo, Judo, Jujitsu, Ninjitsu, Kendo, fencing, swordsmanship, Kenjutsu, Kali, Bojutsu, Francombat, Boxing, Kickboxing, Hapkido, Wing Chun, Parkour, Shorin Ryu, Silat, Chin Na, Kyudo, Aikido, Varma Ati, Jeet Kune Do, Shaolin, Ba Gua, Hung Gar, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, and Kenpo. His primary form of combat is an idiosyncratic admixture of Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Muay Thai, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, and Ninjitsu.
Genius-Level Intellect: (IQ 192 ) Batman is a brilliant, virtually peerless, detective, strategist, scientist , tactician, and commander; he is widely regarded as one of the keenest analytical minds  on the planet. Given his lack of superpowers, he often uses cunning and planning to outwit his foes, rather than simply "out-fighting" them.
Peak Human Strength: Batman engages in an intensive exercise regimen.
Wayne designs the costumes, equipment, and vehicles he uses as Batman, which are produced by a secret military division of Wayne Industries. Over the years, he has accumulated a large arsenal of specialized gadgets in his war on crime. The designs of most of Batman's equipment share a common theme of dark coloration with a bat motif. A prime example is Batman's car, the Batmobile, often depicted as an imposing black car with large tail fins that suggest a bat's wings; another is his chief throwing weapon, the batarang, a bat-shaped boomerang.
Batman keeps most of his personal field equipment in a signature piece of apparel, a yellow utility belt. Over the years it has contained items such as plastic explosives, nerve toxins, batarangs, smoke bombs, a fingerprint kit, a cutting tool, a grappling hook gun, and a "re-breather" breathing device. Superman had entrusted Batman with a ring made of kryptonite, to be used should the Man of Steel ever need to be reined in (due to being mind-controlled by a villain, etc.).
Batarangs (several different types), small explosives, smoke and tear gas pellets.
In a graphic novel entitled Batman: Son of the Demon, Batman sires an illegitimate child with Talia al Ghul named Ibn al Xu'ffasch who goes up to become a crime fighter in his own right as an adult. According to editor Denny O'Neil, these "Son of the Demon" graphic novels, as well as Kingdom Come stories that the adult Ibn appears in, are considered non-canon, and does not fit into the continuity of the mainstream DC Universe.
Recently however, writer Grant Morrison began scripting a storyline bringing the character of Ibn al Xu'ffasch (specifically called Damian in the current mainstream storyline) into the primary continuity. The canonical Ibn/Damian's relationship to Bruce Wayne, if any, has yet to be clarified.
|Characters||Batman/Bruce Wayne | Robin | Nightwing | Batgirl | James Gordon | Alfred Pennyworth | Lucius Fox | Ace the Bat-Hound | Batman Family|
|Notable enemies||The Joker | Penguin | Catwoman | Two-Face | Riddler | Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Ra's al Ghul | Scarecrow|
|Miscellaneous||Batman Publication History | Gotham City | Batcave | Arkham Asylum | Wayne Manor | Batmobile | Batsuit | Batarang | Wayne Enterprises|
|Current comic book series||Detective Comics | Batman | Batman Confidential | All Star Batman and Robin | Superman/Batman | Batman and the Outsiders|
|Comic storylines||Year One / The Long Halloween | Killing Joke | A Death in the Family | Knightfall | Cataclysm / No Man's Land | Hush | DKR | Batman R.I.P.|
|Notable creators||Bob Kane | Bill Finger | Neal Adams | Julius Schwartz | Dennis O'Neil | Frank Miller | Jim Lee | Greg Rucka | Paul Dini|
|1940s Serials||The Batman (Lewis Wilson - 1943) | Batman and Robin (Robert Lowery - 1949)|
|Adam West||Batman (TV series) | Batman (1966 film)|
|Modern Movies||Burton/Schumacher: Batman (1989) | Batman Returns | Batman Forever | Batman & Robin
Christopher Nolan: Batman Begins | The Dark Knight
|Animated||The Batman/Superman Hour | The New Adventures of Batman | Batman: The Animated Series | The New Batman Adventures | Batman Beyond | Justice League | Justice League Unlimited | The Batman | Mask of the Phantasm | SubZero | Mystery of the Batwoman | Return of the Joker | The Batman vs. Dracula | Batman: Gotham Knight|
|This box: view • talk • edit|
Batman Family member
This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Batman, and a member of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Batman Family members" category.
Justice League of America member
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
This character is or was primarily a member of the super-hero team known as the Outsiders, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Outsiders members" category.