Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger
Matches Malone, F.A.Batboy & Terry "Matches" Malone, Thomas Quigley, Ragman II, Detective Hawke, Sir Hemingford Grey, Frank Dixon, Sam Bradley, Jr., Gordon Selkirk
Thomas and Martha Wayne (parents, deceased), Dick Grayson (Nightwing, legal ward), Timothy Drake (Robin III, adoptive son), Damian al Ghul (alleged son)
Justice League of America, Outsiders, "Justice League of Arkham"
As Wayne: Batman #404.
As Batman: Batman #405.
Historical: Detective Comics #27.
NOTE: This profile does not yet contain any information on the reversal of Batman as a founder of the JLA in the wake of Infinite Crisis.
On a cold night in Gotham City, ten-year-old Bruce Wayne and his parents were accosted by a mugger as they came out of a downtown movie theater. The mugger, a small-time hood named Joe Chill, shot and killed the elder Waynes after relieving them of their valuables, and disappeared into the night, leaving young Bruce crying over his fallen parents. (Detective Comics #27) Later that same night, Bruce vowed to avenge his parents' death by declaring an all-out war against crime. (All-Out War #1)
He then spent the next fifteen years of his life developing his physical and intellectual skills to perfection, providing him with the weapons he would need to fulfill his vow. Just after he returned to Gotham City and turned himself loose on the underworld, Wayne was startled by a large bat that came crashing in through the window of his study. The bat inspired him to create the identity of the Batman, a cold, murky figure that would strike terror into the heart of Gotham's criminal under world. (Batman #404) In the years that followed, the Batman's one-man war on crime became the stuff from which legends are drawn. Before long, the hoods and mobsters that he battled in his earliest cases were replaced by villains of an altogether different sort, fiends like the murderous Joker, the cantankerous Penguin, and the enigmatic Riddler. Batman later gained an ally in his struggles when he took on Dick Grayson, Robin, as his partner. (Detective Comics #38)
At Superman's behest, Batman reluctantly joined as the JLA's sixth non-charter member. (JLA: Incarnations #3) (He assisted them once before this [Legends of the DCU #12]) For years, he served on the JLA frequently as a "reserve member." Batman ultimately left the JLA when its members refused to travel to the small European nation of Markovia to rescue his friend Lucius Fox. This forced Batman to form the Outsiders. (Batman and the Outsiders #1) After leaving the Ousiders (#32), he returned at the request of the Martian Manhunter to guide the League's newest members. (Justice League of America #250)
The Caped Crusader was then a co-founder of the next incarnation of the Justice League (Legends #6) and became its first leader, (Justice League #1) a position that he relinquished to the Martian Manhunter after the League gained international status and became a high-profile political organization. (#7)
When Batman's back was broken by Bane (Batman #497), Dick Grayson (Nightwing) assumed the mantle of Batman (III) himself, after Azrael proved too unstable. (Robin #0) Bruce Wayne reassumed the mantle again after his back was cured (Batman #515) After the international Justice Leagues fell apart, Batman was instrumental in forming the current League in cooperation with Superman. He remains an active member but prefers to stay out of the public eye.
Though the Batman is often loathe to work in groups, or other adventurers, he has always recognized the benefits of such alliances. His affiliation with the Justice League of America began early in his career. (JLA: Incarnations #2) At times he has strayed from that team, but remains active with them still today. It was during one of his rough periods with the JLA that Batman formed the Outsiders.
Bruce Wayne's close friend Lucius Fox had been kidnapped in Markovia by Baron Bedlam. When Batman requested the aid of the Justice League, he was denied. Batman resigned from the JLA and took his new task force to Markovia instead. They included old friends Black Lightning and Metamorpho, Markovia's Prince Brion (Geo-Force), the samurai Katana, and a girl whom he'd nicknamed "Halo." (Batman & Outsiders #1)
When they returned to Gotham City, Batman used Bruce Wayne's vast fortune to arrance the Outsiders' headquarters, and provided housing for those members in need. He even bought a Japanese book store for Katana to operate. (#6) The Outsiders followed him well, but the first challenge to his leadership came instead from his former partner, Robin. When the Outsiders teamed up with the Teen Titans against the Fearsome Five. In the end, Batman realized Robin's own great leadership ability and conceded the reigns to him for the rest of that battle. (#5)
The Batman's secret identity is closely guarded. But during an Outsiders mission against a Japanese crime organization, he was poisoned by a blowdart. The poison induced hallucinations, and the Outsiders reluctantly removed his mask to learn his identity. They used this knowledge to stage a play which helped bring him out of his fever. Afterwards, Batman voluntarily revealed his identity to them as a token of trust and gratitude. (#12-13) This proved unwise when Halo was kidnapped by Kobra. The villain forced her to divulge the team's identities. It is uncertain whether Kobra still retains this knowledge. (#25-27)
Ever the detective, Batman immediately set about discovering the true identity of Halo. The girl had remained amnesiac since her appearance in Markovia. Batman sent his associate Jason Bard, to the midwest to investigate her past. Harper's school yearbook led Bard to her real name and her parents in Arlington, Missouri. When Batman learned of her name (Violet) he noticed another mystery: Halo never used her violet aura. The decision was ultimately made to returned Halo to the care of her biological parents, Sam and Margaret. (#16) The Justice League's satellite headquarters was recently destroyed, but since Batman had designed the satellite's security system, he was able to override and use its remaining equipment to analyze Halo. This provided the last pieces to the puzzle of her identity. (#25)
His JLA connections came in handy when he called upon Superman to stop a rampaging Geo-Force. (#19) And his association with Superman also drew them together during a battle against I.Q. to save Alfred the bulter. (DC Comics Presents #83)
As the team grew in their confidence, so did they grow apart from Batman's personal agenda. Batman decided to withhold information from Geo-Force that the revived Baron Bedlam had allied with the Masters of Disaster and overthrown Markovia. Brion and the Outsiders were furious and the ensuing argument led to Batman's dissolution of the team. The others decided to continue on without him. (#32) Ironically, Batman was soon persuaded by the Martian Manhunter to rejoin the JLA as its new chairman. (JLofA #250)
He later mended his relationship with the Outsiders after they had moved to Los Angeles. He aided them once in defeating The Skull. (Outsiers Annual #1) And he rejoined them officially after they battled Eclipso and began the construction of a "Batcave West." (Outsiders #17-19)
Alas, the team's future was short, and he aided in just two more cases (#20-22) before the Manhunters beseiged the Earth and Batman was called back to the Justice League.
Batman's temporary successor, Azrael, opposed a new team of Outsiders when they were believed to have committed murder. (Outsiders v.2 #7) Bruce himself never partook in any further Outsiders adventures, but did attend Brion's wedding. (#24) He has also called upon Katana at least one time fights at Batman's side. (Day of Judgment #3-4)
The JLA's Own Worst Enemy?
Though he is often acts as a loner, Batman has come to accept the necessity to ally with other heroes. As a member of the Justice League of America, Batman's detective skills serve well as the team's tactician. Many members, including Superman and Wonder Woman often defer to him for leadership. When they reunited to form a "heavy hitting" JLA, it was the Batman who first sussed out the identity of their first major foe: the White Martians. (JLA #1-4)
The Batman is nothing if not prepared. And to this end, his efforts have served both as the JLA's greatest salvation and their near destruction. Wayne's paranoia nearly tore the team asunder when his secret files were stolen by Talia. He never told his friends in the League about these files, exhaustive dossiers that revealed their secrets and weaknesses. Talia gave the files to her father, Ra's al Ghul, who used it to cripple the JLA. Following this, the League voted to expel Batman, though he chose to resign instead. (#43-46) This was short-lived. Superman soon extended an invitation for Batman to rejoin. As a gesture to regain the trust of the other JLAers, both Batman and Superman agreed to reveal their secret identites to the team (some of whom did not know). (#50)
On the other hand, his preparedness once also brought the JLA back from their own deaths. When the JLA were killed in the ancient past by Gamemnae, certain protocols were set in motion to form a replacement League. (#69) The Batman had chosen the Atom and his own protegé, Nightwing, to lead them. Ultimately, this new hand-picked team helped defeat the Atlantean witch and return the JLA to their own time. (#75)
Batman has always taken advantage of his position in the JLA to shape the careers of other "worthy" adventurers. He recruited Plastic Man to help against Luthor's Injustice Gang (JLA #11) and even decided to give the rogue Huntress a shot. (JLA Secret Files #2)
His relationship with his best friends, Superman and Wonder Woman was put to its greatest test during the second great Crisis, wrought by Alexander Luthor and Superboy Prime. It began when Luthor's pawn, Maxwell Lord coerced Superman into nearly killing Batman. (Superman #219) Bruce was rescued by Wonder Woman, who then slew Lord. (Wonder Woman #219) Batman found it difficult to forgive either of them. And when Superboy Prime destroyed the JLA's Watchtower, it seemed the final nail had been driven. (JLA #119)
But after the tremendous sacrifice made by all Earth's heroes to defeat Superboy Prime and Alexander Luthor, Batman and his friends reconciled. All three agreed to take a sort of sabbatical from adventuring. Bruce himself chose to take a worldwide odyssey of rediscovery with Nightwing and Robin. His goal was to retrace his formative steps in hopes of rediscovering "the Batman." (Infinite Crisis #7)
This journey ultimately served to distance Nightwing from him — Dick had deduced that Bruce intended for Dick to succeed him as Batman. And when Nightwing learned that Intergang had infiltrated Gotham in their absence, he left Bruce and returned home. In the desert, Wayne wandered to a place called the "Empty Quarter" and faced a trial as he did years before. In this trial, his adversaries "killed" the demon inside of him. When Robin arrived, Bruce claimed that Batman was now gone. (52 #30)
Back in Gotham City, Bruce Wayne was presented with the legal issue of Tim Drake's custody. (Drake's father had recently been killed by Captain Boomerang.) Unlike the days of Dick Grayson's childhood, Wayne could no longer simply become the boy's ward. Instead, he chose to adopt Tim as his son. (Batman #654)
Ironically, Talia chose this time to present the Batman with his own true son! ... Or so she claimed. Supposedly, Bruce had fathered a son years earlier, when the two of them joined forces against a common enemy. To Batman's recollection, the night in question was shrouded in a drug-induced haze. The boy, Damian, had trained under Talia and was already more heartless than his maternal family. Damain was left with the Batman, in hopes that his "father" could instill some discipline. (Batman #655-656)
Damain proved to be an immediate danger to everyone around him. Jealousy and pride led Damain to attack Robin and Alfred, and to kill a new Gotham villain called the Spook. (#657) After saving his true, family Batman returned Damain to Talia, who declared war anew on the Dark Knight. (#657)
Batman can be a cold, avenging creature of the night. The Caped Crusader concerns himself only with his single-minded pursuit of justice and the vow he made on his parents' graves more than twenty years ago. The Batman simply cannot tolerate injustice in any way, shape, or form. Batman's intense and dominating personality has always disturbed his fellow Justice Leaguers, but very few of them have ever resented his presence. Batman is by far the most experienced and tactically gifted hero alive, and his special skills have snatched the League and its members from the grip of disaster on innumerable occasions.
Batman's switch from the JLA to the Outsiders was the result bad sales on JLofA.
After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, editor Denny O'Neill declared that Batman was never in the JLA. Taken verbatim from the rec.arts.dc.universe newsgroup:
"Subject: BATMAN/JLA: THE OFFICIAL WORD
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (PRIEST C)
Date: 15 Jul 1995 02:45:08 -0400
Denny O'Neil said:
Three things changed in Bat Continuity as a result of ZH: [items omitted] (c) Batman was never in the Justice League. Specifically which heroes Bats has and has not met is (I imagine) still being decided, and pretty much on an as-the-need-arises basis. Denny said ok to release this information.
This retcon was never substantiated in print. On the contrary, although he was no longer a founding member of the JLA, his early membership in the team was confirmed in Silver Age Secret Files #1 and told in JLA: Incarnations #2. The Infinite Crisis has reversed all of this. Batman is once again a founder of the Justice League.
Batman first appeared in the following aliases as follows: As Thomas Quigley (Brave And The Bold #177); as Ragman II (Brave And The Bold #196); as Gordon Selkirk (Superman: Secret Files And Origins #1)
In the DC/Marvel Amalgam universe cross-over (1996), "Logan Wayne" was known as Dark Claw.
The Batman has no metahuman abilities. Instead, he has sculpted his body and mind in various ways to become the ultimate mortal. He is a skilled detective, scientist, strategist and martial artist.
» FEATURED APPEARANCES:
Too numerous to list.
- Detective Comics, current (1937-)
- Batman, current (1940-)
- World's Finest, 323 issues (1941-86)
- Batman Family, 20 issues (1975-78)
- Batman & the Outsiders, 32 issues (1983-86)
- Batman Adventures, 36 issues (1992-95)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, current (1992-)
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat, current (1992-)
- Batman & Robin Adventures, 25 issues (1995-97)
- Batman: Gotham Knights, current (2000-)
- Superman/Batman, current (2003-)
... and others too numerous to list.