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Bruce Wayne
Aliases: Batman; Matches Malone
Continuity: Batman
Notability: Main character
Type: Superhero
Gender: Male
Race: Human
Location: Gotham City
Known relatives: Thomas Wayne (father, deceased); Martha Wayne (mother, deceased); Phillip Wayne (uncle) [1]; Damien Wayne (biological son); Dick Grayson (adoptive son); Tim Drake (adoptive son)
Status: Alive
First: Detective Comics #27

Batman is a fictional costumed superhero and a major leading character featured in comic books published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Detective Comics, Volume 1 #27 in May, 1939 and has been seen consistently in print and other forms of media ever since. Batman's real name is Bruce Wayne. As a child, he witnessed the gruesome murder of his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, at the hands of a mugger and swore that he would dedicate his life towards fighting justice. To this end, Bruce trained himself to become the peak of athletic and mental perfection. To inspire fear in those who dared to cross him, he donned a dark cape and cowl and adopted the pseudonym, the Batman. Batman operates out of the fictional East coast location known as Gotham City and is known for possessing a bevy of hi-tech gadgets and equipment including his utility belt, the batmobile, the batboat, the batline and of course, his trusty batarang.

Originally referred to as "The Bat-Man" and still referred to at times as "The Batman", he is additionally known as "The Caped Crusader", "The Dark Knight", and "The World's Greatest Detective," among other titles.[2]

Overview Edit

In the original version of the story and the vast majority of retellings, Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, an American millionaire (later billionaire) playboy, industrialist, and philanthropist. Having witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on criminals, an oath tempered with the greater ideal of justice. Wayne trains himself both physically and intellectually and dons a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime.[3] Batman operates in the fictional Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his crime-fighting partner, Robin, his butler Alfred Pennyworth, the police commissioner Jim Gordon, and occasionally the heroine Batgirl. He fights an assortment of villains such as the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, Ra's al Ghul, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman, among others. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, martial arts skills, an indomitable will, fear, and intimidation in his continuous war on crime.

Batman became a very popular character soon after his introduction and gained his own comic book title, Batman, in 1940. As the decades wore on, differing interpretations of the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series used a camp aesthetic which continued to be associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, with varying results. The comic books of this dark stage culminated in the acclaimed 1986 miniseries The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller, as well as Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, among others. The overall success of Warner Bros.' live-action Batman feature films have also helped maintain public interest in the character.[4]

A cultural icon, Batman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from radio to television and film, and appears on a variety of merchandise sold all over the world such as toys and video games. The character has also intrigued psychiatrists with many trying to understand the character's psyche and his true ego in society. In May 2011, Batman placed second on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time, after Superman. Empire magazine also listed him second in their 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time. [5]

Highlights Edit

Abilities Edit

Equipment Edit

Vehicles Edit

Affiliations Edit

Alternate versions Edit

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • In his earliest appearances, Batman did not have the same moral barometer that becomes a foundation for the character in later years. Traditionally, Batman has a very strict code against killing, and maintains a strong anti-gun belief structure. Batman does not adopt his code against killing until the fourth story in Batman #4.

Recommended Reading Edit

See also Edit


The World of Batman

Batman miscellaneous

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. Earth-One continuity only.
  2. Fleisher, Michael L. The Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes Volume 1 Batman Collier Books 1976
  3. Beatty, Scott (2008). "Batman". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London
  4. "The Big Question: What is the history of Batman, and why does he still appeal?"; The Independent; July 22nd, 2008
  5. "Batman – Top 100 Comic Book Heroes". IGN Entertainment. Retrieved May 27, 2011

Appearances Edit

Comic appearances Edit

Alternative media Edit

All-New Super Friends Hour

Batman TV series

Batman: The Animated Series

Batman/Superman Hour

Birds of Prey

Challenge of the Super Friends


Justice League Unlimited

New Batman Adventures

Super Friends

Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show