|Alter Ego: Bruce Wayne |
Occupation: Multimillionaire Socialite
Relatives: Thomas and Martha Wayne (parents, deceased), Philip (uncle)
|Group Affiliation: Justice League |
Base of Operations: Gotham City
DETECTIVE #27 (May, 1939)
|Weight: 210 lbs. |
Two terrible moments forever changed the life of Bruce Wayne. The first came at age six,
when he roamed the far grounds of Gotham City's Wayne Manor and fell into a deep cavern swarming with bats. Though his
father soon rescued him, Bruce never again felt completely secure in his world.
The second came two years later, in an alleyway behind a movie theater in which the Waynes had just seen The Mark of Zorro.
There a mugger named Joe Chill shot Thomas and Martha Wayne in cold blood before fleeing into the night.
Though the police eventually showed, they were far too late to help
the Waynes; but physician ad social worker Leslie Thompkins arrived in time to bring loving comfort to Bruce before his young
heart was forever hardened by his trauma.
Together with Philip
Wayne, Bruce's uncle and legal guardian, and Alfred Pennyworth, the Wayne family butler, Thompkins gave guidance to Bruce
as he passed through his teens. But none of them could erase from Bruce the burning passion to punish all criminals,
an oath he avowed on his parents' gravestite. To that end, Bruce grew up training himself to the peak of physical and
intellectual perfection and, at age eighteen, began using his vast fortune to travel the world in search of those who could
teach him to fight crime effectively.
|| Years later, Bruce
returned to Gotham City, and began his war on crime. Before long, he came to realize that his skills were not enough,
that he would need an edge over his opponent--a guise that would strike terror into their hearts. Inspired by the bats
that had so horrified him as a boy, Bruce donned a blue and gray costume complete with cape and cowl and renewed his mission.
The results were immediate: soon, the criminals of Gotham began speaking in fearful whispers about the creature known
only as The Batman. Though The Batman's fight against corruption was a lonely one, he soon found
others who shared his passion for justice, chief among them police lieutenant James Gordon, one of Gotham's few honest cops.
Their friendship deepened over the years, and today, in his role as Police Commissioner, Gordon frequently uses the Bat-Signal
to summon the Dark Knight whenever his policemen are confronted with threats too great for them to overcome.
Batman's final case as a solo agent brought him face to face with Gotham's former
protector, the bloodthirsty vigilante called the Reaper. Ironically, hitman Joe Chill helped Batman bring down the Reaper--but
not without sacrificing his own life in the fight. Soon after, the Batman's life was changed once more, when he adopted
Dick Grayson, a young acrobat whose parents, like Bruce's, had been killed by criminals. Under Bruce's tutelage, Dick adopted the
guise of Robin and became Batman's partner, staying with his mentor until reaching adulthood. Eventually, the Robin
mantle was passed along to Jason Todd--who died tragically at the hands of the Joker--and finally to Tim Drake, the current Robin.
|| Batman is unique
among those crimefighters who hide their true identity behind a mask and costume in that his Batman guise is the "real" one;
his daytime role of bored socialite and philanthropist is actually the disguise. This persona is carefully crafted to
divert any suspicion that Bruce Wayne, principal stockholder in Wayne Foundation, an extensive world-wide empire of successful
businesses, is, by night, Batman.
Batman is an incomparable athlete skilled in virtually all forms of physical combat. Moreover,
he is an amazing detective, a brilliant escape artist, and a master of disguise and deception who plots his war on crime within
the Batcave, the cavern headquarters that lies beneath Wayne Manor.
The Batman never goes into action without his utility belt, which contains a wide array of devices such as lasers, gas pellets,
silken ropes, and Batarangs. His primary mode of transportation is the sleek and silent Batmobile.