As a young child, Bruce Wayne watched his parents murdered before his eyes. Thomas and Martha Wayne were walking home from the Monarch Theater one night with their son, when they were held up at gunpoint by a mugger who demanded the pearl necklace that Martha was wearing. When Dr. Wayne refused to surrender it, both he and Martha were shot dead in the streets. The killer was a criminal known as Joe Chill. Fortunately, physician and social worker Leslie Thompkins was making a house call that night, and arrived to give loving comfort to the traumatized Bruce. He was then raised on the Wayne Manor estate, with help from the wise and loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce had very few friends during his childhood.
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, disguise, and escape artistry. 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 successfully acquired various "practical" skills. While abroad, he studied and received training in multiple martial arts under various instructors and in different countries, man-hunting under Frenchman Henri Ducard, stealth and reconnaissance under the Japanese ninja Kirigi and other certified shinobi, hunting under the African Bushman (the Ghost Tribes of the Ten-Eyed Brotherhood, among others), traditional healing disciplines under Nepalese monks and even ventriloquism under skilled practitioners . His knowledge of so many varied disciplines has made Wayne an unconventional and unpredictable individual. At age 20, he attempted to join the FBI, but after learning about its regulations and conduct, Wayne deducted that he would never be able to completely oppose crime while working within the legal system.
Becoming Batman Edit
Bruce Wayne returned to Gotham City after many years of study and training with his body and mind developed to perfection. Despite having all of the skills and methods to fight crime, he still felt that there was something missing in the completion of his physical and mental arsenal. Wayne discovered the answer late one night while sitting in his manor. He recalled his fear of bats as a child after a large one crashed through one of the windows; he ultimately decided to make his appearance resemble a bat's. Wayne designed himself a costume equipped with experimental technology and set out against the crime and corruption that thrived in Gotham City. Wayne's tactics to oppose crime as a vigilante at night proved successful leading him to become an urban legend in Gotham City. He would reveal himself at a dinner of the most influential and corrupt figures in Gotham City promising them all that their reigns on the city would eventually end. Wayne's first ally is assistant district attorney Harvey Dent. Most of the Gotham City Police Department is sent in force to capture him. He gained his most powerful ally when he met police officer James Gordon, one of the few honest cops on the force. The two developed a working relationship operating outside of the law when they needed to.
Rogues Gallery Edit
Batman's presence in Gotham City generated a new breed of criminals, no longer the simple thugs and gangsters involved in Gotham Organized Crime, but more dynamic personalities. The first person inspired by him was Catwoman, a dangerous seductress using his style and methods towards her own ends. His next challenge was Dr. Hugo Strange, a mad scientist who had created Monster Men to do his bidding. He met his greatest nemesis when the Joker first appeared, a brilliant serial killer dressing like a clown and murdering people uncontrollably. He had been exposed to chemicals in an accident that drove him completely insane, and he swore revenge on Gotham for creating him. This confrontation led to the creation of the Bat-Signal, a giant spotlight displayed in the sky whenever there is danger and Batman is needed. There would be many more villains starting to appear within this time. The Scarecrow was an outcast who developed techniques to strike terror into the hearts of his victims for his own pleasure. The Riddler was another deranged genius who felt a psychological compulsion to demonstrate his intellectual superiority, and constructed elaborate crimes while delivering clues daring law enforcement to catch him. Poison Ivy attempted to destroy the city when an advanced connection to plant-life led her to wage a personal war against humanity. The psychotic Mister Freeze used dangerous experimental technology to take revenge against society when his wife died. Another crime boss appeared named the Penguin who acted as an eccentric criminal mastermind without any crippling mental illness other than a desire to prove himself. Many of these villains were kept in Arkham Asylum for the criminally insane.
The Long Halloween Edit
Batman and his trusted allies James Gordon and Harvey Dent met up on the rooftop of police headquarters one night, and they swore that they would bring down the organized crime syndicates led by Carmine "The Roman" Falcone and Sal Maroni that were completely controlling their town. Although it was necessary to bend the rules in their efforts, they agreed that they would never break them, and become as bad as the evil they fought against. Meanwhile a serial killer named Holiday began stalking prominent Mafiosos and shooting them dead. There was suspicion immediately cast on the three men in the triumvirate, and the possibility that it might be someone trying to remove their competition. Gotham's new breed of criminals was replacing the traditional gangsters, and the underground was slowly being taken over by costumed freaks with no respect for the old ways. Batman's presence is arguably the cause of this. Amongst the killings Falcone's son Alberto was murdered.
Bruce Wayne went on his first date with Selina Kyle around this time, who flirted with him as Catwoman by night unaware of his alter-ego. In his desperation, the Roman changed the game by employing super-villains in his activities. Falcone and Maroni each believed the other was responsible for Holiday, and their gang wars tore Gotham apart. Harvey Dent became a leading suspect because of his vindictive attitude towards criminals. Bruce Wayne was also suspected of involvement with the Roman's organization and arrested. His father Thomas Wayne had reluctantly performed emergency surgery on a young Carmine Falcone for bullet wounds and indebted him... making him indirectly responsible for the Roman's empire. Bruce's trial proved his innocence thanks to the testimony of Alfred Pennyworth. Dent later admitted this was a mistake, and Maroni brought himself into custody with the intention of spilling his secrets before he was killed. At the trial, Maroni smuggled in a bottle of acid and threw it at Dent's face during the prosecution, leaving him horribly disfigured. This also drove him insane, and he killed a doctor escaping from the hospital. They arrive at the conclusion that Harvey Dent was Holiday, and Batman attempts to find him after he escapes. While Gordon is transporting the gangster to a different cell, Holiday appears and shoots Sal Maroni in the head, finally revealing his real identity... Alberto Falcone, having faked his own death. Batman is disguised as the guard accompanying them, and he beats Holiday down before taking him into custody. Harvey Dent reappears calling himself Two-Face after the nature of his personal tragedy, taking a team of villains into the Roman's private office. As the two leaders battle, Batman arrives and puts most of the criminals down, but he is unable to stop Two-Face from shooting Carmine Falcone twice in the head. The three men, Batman, Gordon and Dent, have a final meeting on the rooftop of police headquarters. Dent is accused of betraying the things he believed in, but he insists that his methods were the only ones that actually got rid of the Roman and he did what he needed to. He's then arrested, and although Batman and Gordon have seen one of the best men they knew completely broken, they still maintain that Gotham City can be saved and ridden of evil. Neither of them is willing to give up.
Justice League Origins Edit
There are several stories of the first time Batman met Superman, the greatest of his friends and allies. In the first version, Superman came to Gotham viewing Batman as a dangerous criminal and attempted to arrest him for his vigilante tactics. They were forced to work together tracking down the dangerous psychopath Magpie, and Superman realized that although his own style of crime-fighting was suitable for his environment, the Bat-Man did what he needed to do to protect his city. They both gained respect for each other, although they doubted they would ever work together again. In another version, they both met as Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent while they were forced to share a room on a cruise ship. They are made aware of each other's secret identities when both are called upon to fight threats including Deathstroke and the Crime Syndicate. Superman later introduced him to Wonder Woman when they teamed up against Ra's al Ghul and Bizarro, and she disliked Batman at first for his methods. She later gained respect for him after they fought together as a team for the first time. There was a great team-up between many heroes to fight the alien Appellaxian invaders, including these three along with Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. Eventually they would decide that they could better protect the planet if they permanently joined forces... and they became the Justice League of America.
Following the events of Flashpoint in the new DCnU timeline, Batman is shown to meet Green Lantern and Superman in the same night while hunting down Parademons.
Bruce Wayne was on an excursion to the circus when he witnessed another tragedy that would shape his life. The parents of a young acrobat named Dick Grayson were murdered by the gangster Tony Zucco. He saw both great potential and something of himself in the boy that night. Although Bruce knew he could never replace Dick's father, he adopted Grayson as his legal ward to help him and provide guidance where he didn't have any when he was that age. He eventually revealed his secret identity as Batman. Dick wanted justice for his parents, and he agreed to a regiment of rigorous physical and mental training so that he could become Batman's partner. After several months Dick was finally ready to take to the streets as Robin, fighting crime alongside his mentor. They swore an oath late one night that they would fight together against crime and corruption, never swerving from the path of righteousness. Batman had realized for the first time that he did not have to be alone in his crusade.
Before he could go into action regularly, Robin had to pass a final exam and he proved himself by taking down the gangster Joe Minette. Their first adventures as a dynamic duo were a remarkable change in tone, with Robin's lightheartedness alleviating the grim seriousness. Dick's first solo mission was stopping Mad Hatter in a sex trafficking ring while Bruce was indisposed. Everything changed when Robin was targeted by Two-Face. A double-gallows trap caused Robin to inadvertently cause the death of an innocent man, after which Two-Face beat him within an inch of his life using a baseball bat and made Batman watch. Batman refused to let Robin go out with him anymore after the boy recovered because he didn't want to put him in further danger. Dick had to prove again that he really wanted this life, demonstrating his competence and resolve.
Robin began teaming up with other young heroes and sidekicks, starting with a fight against Mr. Twister where he worked alongside Aqualad and Kid Flash. Speedy and Wonder Girl joined them to fight an evil being named Antithesis who was mind controlling their mentors. This group decided to call themselves the Teen Titans and would go on to a long career with Robin as one of their core members. Dick eventually left Gotham completely to attend college at Hudson University.