Batman

BatmanBatman is perhaps one of the most popular superheroes of all time. Ever since he was introduced in Detective Comics in 1939 by creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Batman has become a household name in comics, radio, film, and television. Unlike most superheroes, he is completely human and has no superpowers of any kind. Yet, his appeal to the masses can be compared to the likes of powerful superheroes such as Superman and Wonder Woman.

Original Batman

In all of Batman’s stories, he is portrayed as a billionaire who fights a never ending crusade against crime and evil using only his intellect. But there is a reason behind his advocacy.

The Beginning

Born as Bruce Wayne, he is the son of wealthy yet charitable socialites Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne. His privileged existence is shattered when at age eight, his parents are murdered on their way home to Wayne Manor by a common criminal named Joe Chill. That same night, Bruce promises himself that he would spend his life fighting crime and corruption in Gotham City.

He starts training his mind and body for his mission, although Bruce knows that he needs to do something more to scare the criminals out of their wits. Just as he starts thinking of the perfect disguise, a bat flies through his window all of a sudden. Inspired by the bat, Bruce then makes up his mind to become Batman.

Thus, a new superhero is born.

Abilities

Batman Fight

Batman Fight

What makes this superhero unique compared to other superheroes is that he relies completely on his intellect and physical strength in order to defeat his enemies. He does not have any supernatural powers, like flying or invisibility. Rather, he is very much adept with his detective and scientific skills, which is why he is known as the world’s greatest detective and crime solver. He also travels around the world in order to hone his physical and mental skills and prepare for crime-fighting. Here are some of Batman’s other traits and abilities:

  • Uses law enforcement methods, like interrogation and torture, to extract information
  • Skilled in martial arts and nunjitsu, being compared to the likes of Bronze Tiger and Lady Shiva in the DC universe
  • Can tolerate excruciating pain
  • Can fight telepathy because of his mind control
  • Outstanding spy
  • Master of disguise
  • Skilled tactician and strategist
  • Savvy with many high-tech gadgets
With all the things that he has mastered, it is very easy to say that Batman is a genius of sorts.

Equipment

BatMobile

BatMobile

Because Bruce Wayne is a billionaire, he has access to many technologically savvy gadgets that he uses in his fight against crime, most of which share a bat motif. For instance, his costume, known as the Batsuit, does not only function to scare off criminals but also to protect him from impact and gunfire.

His primary vehicle is called the Batmobile, which is a black car with bat-like wings. It contains many other gadgets, like the emergency bat turn lever and mobile batcomputer. The Batmobile is kept in the Batcave, a secret headquarters beneath the Wayne Manor that can be accessed through a secret passage.

When he is on the move, most of his equipment can be found in his utility belt, a distinct part of the superhero’s costume. Some of the things that can be found in his utility belt include batarangs, grapple gun, smoke pellets, tranquilizer gun, and sonic devastator. He does not carry traditional firearms in his utility belt since he does not use the same weapons that killed his parents.

Batman Characters

Batman Family

Batman Family

Batman had a number of supporting characters in DC Comics and other media. He is a known ally of the Gotham City Police Department headed by Commissioner James Gordon, who is the earliest supporting character in the series. He is a portrayed as one of the few police officers who are still honest and uncorrupted.

Another prominent character in the whole franchise is Alfred Pennyworth, who is the butler of the Wayne family. He raised Bruce when his parents died.

Batman Family

The acclaimed superhero also trained a group of people who became collectively known as Batman Family. Some of the well-known members of the family include Tim Drake (Red Robin), Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), Jason Todd (Red Hood), Kate Kane (Batwoman), Helena Bertinelli (The Huntress), Bette Kane (Hawkfire), and Harper Row (Bluebird).

Love Interests

Bruce also had several love interests through the years. The earliest love interest was Julie Madison, who was often saved by the hero whenever she was in danger. During the Golden Age of Comics, Bruce had another love interest in the form of Linda Page. They dated for two years before breaking up.

Bruce also got involved with fellow superhero Wonder Woman, although nothing came out of their brief relationship. They opted to remain friends and part of the Justice League. He has also been connected to Batwoman, Poison Ivy, and Sasha Bordeaux.

Sidekicks

Robin

Robin

Perhaps the most popular supporting character is Dick Grayson, better known as Bruce’s sidekick, Robin. An orphan like himself, Bruce takes Dick under his wing and acts as his legal ward. He became known as Boy Wonder because he helped Batman solve many of his cases. The 8-year-old Robin’s costume consisted of a red tunic, yellow cape, green boots, gloves, and briefs, and a utility belt similar to the costume of his partner. Robin has undergone many incarnations through the years. After Dick Grayson came Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Damian Wayne, and Helena Wayne.

Holy Batman

Robin is also known for his catchphrase—exclamations which started with the word “holy”. For instance, there’s “Holy Smokes!” or “Holy Red Herring!” among other such expressions. Robin utters these during moments of intense experience. These exclamations have become so overused in the comics that it has also entered the American vernacular.

Gay Batman?

Some interpretations have regarded the characters of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson as homosexuals who are possibly in a relationship with each other. Even though DC Comics did not write Batman as a gay character, this interpretation still became popular upon the publication of the book Seduction of the Innocent by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham. According to the book, the story unconsciously stimulates homosexual fantasies because of the subtle homoerotic atmosphere between the mature Bruce Wayne and the young Dick Grayson.

When it comes to movies, the 1995 film Batman Forever and its sequel Batman and Robin, both directed by Joel Schumacher, allegedly contained homoerotic innuendos. The appearance of lesbian characters in the later editions of the comics further emphasized the homosexual angle of the series.

Allies

Justice League

Justice League

Because of his tireless pursuit for the good, Bruce also becomes one of the founding members of the Justice Society of America, later known as the Justice League. His frequent co-star is Superman, since both of them have the same goals. They are usually portrayed as close friends and allies, although they have a tense relationship at times.

Other members of the Justice League include Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, and Captain Marvel, among others.

Green Lantern Batman

Green Lantern is also one of the members of the Justice League, but his connection to Batman is more obvious in Batman: In Darkest Knight, a one-shot comic book published by DC Comics in 1994. Set in an alternate universe known as Earth-32, Bruce Wayne becomes Green Lantern, hence creating huge changes in the characters and events in that world. Earth-32 is just one of the 52 universes in the DC Multiverse.

Batman and Catwoman

Batman Catwoman

Batman Catwoman

Even though Catwoman was originally treated as a villain, later publications portray her as an antihero and even one of Bruce’s love interests. Her real name is Selina Kyle and she has an interest in robbing high-end jewelry stores. Her complex love-hate relationship with Bruce has been featured in many DC Comics during the Golden, Silver, and Modern Ages of comics.

It is very easy to spot Catwoman, with her skin-tight black catsuit partnered with a cat mask. She also sometimes sported retractable metal claws on her fingertips, as well as a cat tail.

Actresses who have portrayed Catwoman include Julie Newmar, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Anne Hathaway.

Batman Enemies

Because of his superhero status, Bruce had accumulated lots of famous foes. Most of his enemies do not have superpowers. They are usually costumed criminals or organized crime bosses, such as Black Mask Batman and The Joker.

Black Mask

Black Mask

Black Mask

Known as Roman Sionis in the real world, Black Mask is a former businessman who hated both of Bruce Wayne’s personas. He earned his alias because of the black mask he wore. He was the leader of “The False Face Society”, an organization composed of henchmen. Although he was killed by Catwoman, a second Black Mask emerged under the persona of Dr. Jeremiah Arkham.

The Penguin

Penguin

Penguin

Another prominent villain is The Penguin, a cunning crime boss whose tricks involve umbrellas and birds. He owns a nightclub known as the Iceberg Lounge, which he utilizes for his criminal activities. Although he often antagonizes Bruce, he also sometimes acts as the superhero’s informant.

The Joker Batman

Joker

Joker

Of all Batman’s enemies, perhaps the most well-known is The Joker. He is often depicted as having a manic clown-like appearance. He represents everything that the hero opposes, as he is bent on creating havoc in Gotham City. Actors who have portrayed The Joker in movies include Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill, and Heath Ledger.

Batman Bane

Bane

Bane

Bane is another popular villain, with his muscled look and immense strength. He is regarded as one of the equals of Batman in terms of strength and power, having once succeeded in defeating the superhero. His power comes from Venom, a steroid drug that is regarded by Bane as both his weakness and addiction.

Batman Cartoons

Aside from Batman comics, there were also many cartoons featuring this popular superhero on television. The first animated version was a television series shown in 1992 known simply as Batman. This started a string of new television shows lasting until the present day. Aside from having his own TV shows, the famous superhero also starred as part of an ensemble cast in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited produced by Warner Bros. Animation.

Batman Movies

The movie industry has made lots of films about this favorite superhero. Through the years, trilogies have been created and remade, and it is not unlikely that there will be more to come in the future.

Batman Actor

Christian Bale

Christian Bale

Nowadays, Bruce Wayne is no longer regarded simply as a DC superhero, since he has also been portrayed in various media through the years. In 1966, the Batman television series premiered on ABC network starring Adam West. The TV series became widely popular among the masses, which resulted to an animated adaptation known as The Batman/Superman Hour in 1968. It ended its run in 1977.

There are also a lot of movies that feature this favorite superhero. The first movie was a serial film titled, Batman, with the title character being portrayed by Lewis Wilson. Tim Burton also had his version of the said movie in 1989 starring Michael Keaton in the titular role. It became one of the highest-grossing films of all time and produced three sequels until 1997.

Another film series was produced in 2005, starting with Batman Begins starring Christian Bale. It was followed by top grossing sequels The Dark Knight in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. This hero is also slated to appear in the Man of Steel film sequels featuring Superman, and he is to be played by ben Affleck.

Other actors who portrayed this superhero include Robert Lowery, Val Kilmer, and George Clooney.

Batman Cast

Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway

The latest movie series known at The Dark Knight trilogy started with Batman Begins in 2005, in which the title character was played by Christian Bale. The main villain, Scarecrow, was played by Cillian Murphy. Another villain was Carmine Falcone, played by Tom Wilkinson. Other supporting characters include Michael Caine as butler Alfred Pennyworth, Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes who served as the hero’s love interest, and Gary Oldman as Commissioner James Gordon.

In the sequel, The Dark Knight, Bale reprised his role. This time, however, the major villain was Joker, played by Heath Ledger. Two-Face was also in the movie, played by Aaron Eckhart. Holmes was unable to reprise her role as Rachel Dawes and was replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The final film in the trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, introduced antagonists like Catwoman and Bane, played by Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy, respectively.

Batman Videos



Batman Merchandise

Aside from comics, film, and television, Batman stuff also became highly popular, such as shirts and other clothes, rings, shoes, mugs, and action figures. Toys mimicking the utility belt and Batmobile are also widely popular especially among little boys who idolize the bat-like hero. Video games like Arkham Asylum and Arkham City also feature the dark knight.

As one of the world’s most well-loved superheroes, Batman will surely be around for generations to come. Until today, his name still resonates as one of the greatest superheroes of all time for people of all ages.

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