There are thousands of comic book characters who have influenced individuals and even larger audiences, but few have become legendary. Only a handful of comic characters have been able to transcend the nerd realm and enter the minds of mainstream audiences.
Of course, one of this handful is Batman, one of the most iconic superheroes of all-time, rivaled only by his DC counterpart Superman, who he’ll be battling soon in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. From the countless incarnations we’ve seen in comics, television, and movies, every Batman left a mark on entertainment.
However in order to understand the character and really grasp his motivations, actions, and importance, we must look at some of the definitive moments in Batman’s history. Having been around for 76 years, there is a lot to siphon through, but here we go!
This is Screen Rant’s 20 Things You Need To Know About Batman.
There Have Been Several Men To Take On The Mantle Of The Batman
Throughout the years, Bruce Wayne has had hundreds of enemies and only a few close friends. These friends are not only his greatest allies, but they also serve as Bruce’s form of contingency plan if he were ever unable to continue being Batman. There have been several instances where Bruce has passed on the mantle of the Bat to his chosen allies.
The most recent iteration of Batman finds commissioner Jim Gordon under the cowl. While Gordon has been a long-time friend of Bruce Wayne, since his earliest days in comics, Gordon has always been one of the “regular” characters in the comics. Now, a younger version of Gordon, first seen in Divergence #1, takes on the cowl while thinking that Bruce Wayne is dead. He recognizes that Gotham needs a Batman and decides he will take on the responsibility.
During the Knightfall stoyline, Bruce Wayne is put out of commission by Bane, his long-time foe, and so decides on Azrael, another DC hero, to be his replacement. But Azrael is later challenged by Wayne and loses his place under the cowl. One version of Batman that many of us are familiar with is Terry McGinnis’ version from the hit animated show Batman Beyond. In this incarnation, Bruce has grown old and wasn’t able to carry-on as the Caped Crusader. Having prepared for this day, he calls upon Terry McGinnis to take up the mantle in a sci-fi, futuristic version of Gotham City.
Finally, perhaps the most important and worthy successor to Bruce is Dick Grayson, the prodigal son. Dick was Bruce’s first Robin and his adoptive son. Dick received the best training and had earned not just Bruce’s trust and respect, but his love as well. Dick’s worthiness was proven through his countless achievements in battle and detective work. Bruce always felt like Dick was the best successor for him, but tried to protect him by not passing him the mantle for fear that he would die. Shown during the Knightfall story-line when Bruce gave Azrael the mantle to keep Dick out-of-the-way of Bane’s wrath.
From Campy To Dark: The Dark Knight Has Done It All
For those who have read Batman comics for years now, Batman has long since been a stoic idol for gothic superheroes. He is the quintessential dark hero and has set the tone for many other darker heroes to come along. However, even long-time readers forget that Batman was not always so broody and grey.
When Bob Kane created the character along with Bill Finger, he was indeed an early version of the Dark Knight we now know. However, the CCA (Comics Code Authority) cracked down on violence and sexualization in comics in the ’50s and ’60s, and Batman was hit the hardest. The CCA made an example out of Batman comics and the tone of the entire series was forced to change. This is when the campiness entered into the Batman mythos. Bruce Wayne became much more of a caricature of his former self, and began employing ridiculous gags and tactics to defeat his enemies, which inspired the campy TV show starring Adam West.
Thankfully, Batman writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams were able to revitalize interest in the character by redesigning and rewriting him as a dark, morose figure. This version of Batman became the truly defining version of the character we now know today.
Batman Has A Lot of Monikers
Batman, or “The Bat-Man” as Bob Kane originally called him, has had many famous monikers in the 76 years he’s been around. While he’s earned some of the names from villains and lovers, others he was given right off of the bat. For instance, one of the most famous monikers ever given to Batman was “World’s Greatest Detective.” This name became an immediate staple for the character, as Bob Kane drew inspiration from Sherlock Holmes when creating this new “Bat-Man.” Knowing that he wanted to create a vigilante who uses detective skills to solve crimes, Bob Kane created built-in credibility for Batman by giving him this now iconic moniker. Later down the line, Ra’s al Ghul, one of Batman’s most iconic foes, shortened the name to just “Detective.”
Another commonly used nickname for Batman is The Caped Crusader. Although the origin of Caped Crusader is uncertain, it has stuck around for ages. Considering that Bruce Wayne’s name was contrived from the names of both Robert the Bruce, a Scottish war hero, and Anthony Wayne, an American Revolutionist, it would seem as though Bob Kane and Bill Finger drew inspiration from their crusading namesakes and their idea to put a cape on their hero. One would conclude that the moniker stuck because he became exactly what it said, “The Caped Crusader.”
Even though there are plenty of other memorable monikers like Batsy or Beloved, no other name for Batman is as iconic as The Dark Knight. Having been featured as Batman’s moniker in not only the famous Batman comic, The Dark Knight Returns, but the most famous Batman movie, The Dark Knight, it’s safe to say this is the most recognizable name for Batman other than, of course, “Batman.” With Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s intentions of making a dark, brooding hero, there was an obvious combination between this tone and the existing idea of Batman being a modern-day knight. The connection was organic and easy, thus giving birth to The Dark Knight.
Batman Has Murdered… A Lot
Whether you’re a huge Batman fan or barely know anything about the character, the one thing everyone knows is that Batman NEVER kills. This, however, is actually false. Batman has killed a lot throughout his career and even done so more recently than you may think.
When Batman was first conceived, he would often kill criminals he deemed unworthy of life. He exacted a mean and vengeful justice, and really wasn’t all too torn up about it. One of the more brutal, early kills of Batman’s career is when he literally hangs a criminal to death using his Bat-Wing. Yeah, that’s right. Batman strangles a man in mid-air while flying back to the Bat-Cave.
Other notable kills include Darkseid in Final Crisis, Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight, The Joker in Batman: Arkham City and KGBeast in Batman #420. There are several other low-level villains who meet their brutal demise at the hands of the Bat, thanks to things like: kicks in the face, burning alive, car crashes, and the good ol’ sword to the back of the head.
Bruce Wayne and Batman Have Had Quite A Few Love Interests
With Bruce Wayne and Batman both being the suave hunks that they are, it’s no wonder they’ve both had their fair share of romance. Bruce Wayne has had several women come into his life in the comics, such as Julie Madison, his first comic love interest, Silver St. Cloud, a Gotham socialite, and most notably, Vicki Vale. She was a reporter who was hot on the tracks of figuring out Batman’s identity. Vicki and Bruce have always had romantic tension between them and have got together several times in the comics. Their relationship was also at the center of Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989, where Kim Basinger plays Vale.
Batman’s relationships, however, have been a bit more exciting and consequential. The longest running romance for Batman has always been a complicated on-and-off again affair with Catwoman. With Batman divulging his secret identity to her during the amazing graphic novel Hush, Catwoman has come in and out of Batman’s life.
Finally, the most consequential relationship of Batman and Bruce’s career and life involves Talia al Ghul, heir to the Demon and daughter of Ra’s al Ghul. When Ra’s determines that Bruce/Batman is a successor worthy of his mantle as The Demon’s Head, he tries to connect Bruce with his daughter Talia. Even though Bruce rejects the offer to become The Demon’s Head, he and Talia share a connection and even have a son together. Damian goes on to become the most current incarnation of Robin and forever links the Wayne family with the al Ghuls.
The Longest Running Batman Never Wore a Mask
We all know that there have been a huge amount of actors to portray Batman both onscreen and offscreen, but no other actor has owned the character like Kevin Conroy. Kevin has quite literally become The Batman in various animated efforts over the past 25 years. Conroy has portrayed the Dark Knight over 20 times throughout his career and no other actor has come close to portraying and embodying the character of Batman like him.
From Batman: The Animated Series to the Arkham video game series, he has shown us what Batman was meant to be. He has also had hands down the greatest Batman line ever: “I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman!” There never has, nor will there ever be a greater line that perfectly encapsulates the character, and no one will ever be able to say it like the master, Kevin Conroy.
As a bonus, he had an amazing skit alongside the voice of Justice League’s animated Superman, Tim Daly, called “Batman vs. Superman.” In the skit they fight and recite famous lines in their superhero voices. It’s a great homage to the upcoming Batman v Superman and all the work they’ve done to make the characters what they are today.
Bruce Will Punch Anyone In The Face
Batman has plenty of gadgets, but he also has two very convincing ways to convince people to do what he wants: his fists. We all know that Batman is one of the most fearless men in all of comics, and he isn’t afraid to put anyone in their place. In fact, Batman has a bit of a penchant for putting his fists in people’s faces when he decides it’s time for them to shut up and lay down.
An amazing example of this is when New God, Orion, starts getting smart with Batman. Unfortunately for Orion’s face, Bruce doesn’t take his comments so lightly. In front of Justice League members and other New Gods, the mortal known as Batman literally punches Orion straight across the jaw. It is either insane of Bruce to think he could or should do such a thing, or extremely admirable for a man to stand up to a literal god. Either way, it took some serious courage.
Funny enough, some of the people who often find themselves on the wrong end of Batman’s good side are Green Lantern’s Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner. They both are eccentric and cocky, but Batman has always had a distaste for them. He has only really ever had true respect for Kyle Rayner and John Stewart, while mostly tolerating the likes of Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner. Batman has punched both Lanterns right in the face, often scoffing at their “universe’s strongest weapon.”
Batman Doesn’t Win Just Because He’s Batman
In the eternal nerd debate of who would win in a battle between blank vs. blank, everyone loves to claim that Batman would always win because well, he’s Batman. This is a ridiculous notion, and flat-out wrong. As amazing and strong as Batman is, he doesn’t always win and won’t always win. If he did, he’d be one of the most boring characters in entertainment. He hasn’t grown to become the icon and face of superheroes he is today by winning every single battle. Sorry guys, but Batman loses.
There have been many losses over the years to the likes of Shiva, his martial arts mentor, Deathstroke, a super soldier turned assassin, Wonder Woman, Superman, Prometheus, and the Joker, but none was more devastating than the loss to Bane during the Knightfall series. Bane dominates Batman not only physically, but mentally as well. He deduces Batman’s identity, creates a brilliant scheme to wear him out, and then beats the hell out of him when he’s at his weakest. Everything comes to a head when Bane takes Bruce over his head only to slam him into his knee, effectively breaking the Bat. This defeat cripples Batman’s back, confidence, skills, and compromises the mantle of the Bat, forcing Bruce to get a less than worthy replacement.
Bruce Wayne Is Bat-God
If you are caught up with newest issues of Justice League: Darkseid War, then you’ll have seen the strongest version of Batman ever created.
In issue #42 of Justice League, the members of the League are successful at removing Metron from his Mobius chair. Batman jumps on and is instantly transformed into an all-knowing New God. With this power comes corruption, and while the chair is slowly altering Bruce’s mind, he is still the most well-equipped to handle the awesome mental powers of the chair. Even though Bruce is just a mere man, he has proven his mental strength and prowess by owning and handling the transformation the chair has put him through.
Batman Has Had The Most Successful Sidekicks In History
There are, hands down, no other characters who have sidekicks that are as useful, important, and interesting as those of the The Caped Crusader. Each iteration of Robin and Batgirl have been nothing short of amazing characters who have continuously held their own, mentally and physically, beside DC’s prized character. Then we have Batwoman, Oracle, and Huntress, who have also played important roles in the DC universe. Almost every sidekick that Batman has had has gone on to be so successful that they actually earn their own superhero identity.
The most notable accomplice is obviously Dick Grayson. For those who don’t know, Dick Grayson is the first Robin who went on to become Nightwing, the protector of Blüdhaven. While other sidekicks ran into issues such as drug-abuse and personal insecurities, Dick has always been a natural-born leader and man who makes his own way. In fact, this has always been Bruce and Dick’s biggest conflict. Despite this disconnect, Dick owes a lot of his success to Bruce’s teachings and mentorship.
Other Robins have a lot to give to Batman’s lessons through the years, but each has been able to grow as their own person and given the space to learn on their own. Bruce’s refusal to hold the hands of his sidekicks is what helps them grow independently and eventually make a name for themselves.
Batman Has The Greatest Rogue Gallery
DC is home to a pantheon of iconic villains that have even inspired their competitors to replicate some of their characters in hopes of creating their own successful foes. However, DC has always reigned supreme when it comes to villains. Although some of their greatest bad guys belong to the rogues galleries of heroes like the Flash or Superman, no other gallery comes close to that of The Dark Knight. Batman’s eclectic collection of baddies has not only helped give to the stories of the Batman, but also to the success of Batman in all forms of entertainment.
Batman, being such a well-rounded and imposing hero, needs an array of villains to challenge him on every facet of his character. For his deduction and logical skills he has the Riddler who is a narcissistic mastermind obsessed with killing Batman with one of his signature deathtraps. To match Batman’s strength there is Bane. This villain gets an enormous power boost thanks to the chemical known as Venom which also makes him extremely volatile. Representing the crime that Batman strives to strike down is The Penguin, a crime kingpin with a penchant for trick umbrellas. In order to attack Batman’s sense of humanity and trust, there is Harvey Two-Face Dent. Harvey Dent served as district attorney, but was later corrupted by an attack that left half of his face forever maimed.
Finally and most importantly, there is the Clown Prince of Crime himself, The Joker. He claws at what allows Batman to do what he does every night: his sanity. It takes a bit of madness to put on a cowl and flood millions of dollars into a secret crusade to fight injustice. This is why Batman, whether he admits it or not, teeters on the edge of sanity and insanity. The Joker constantly tests Batman’s convictions and pushes him to the edge, hoping to one day break not only his mind but his spirit as well. All of these villains, and many more, come together to create the most iconic group of villains any superhero has ever had.
Batman’s Greatest Weapon Is Not A Gadget
For a man who has billions at his disposal, you would think Batman could come up with a gadget to just defeat every villain instantly and go back to living a normal life. But if he did that we wouldn’t have Batman comics anymore, and it would just be boring. That is why his villains are also much more cerebral than most others. In order to combat the minds and motivations of his greatest foes Batman has one weapon in his arsenal that’s more useful than any of his gadgets: his mind.
Year after year, Batman has defeated some of the most cunning and powerful supervillains in the entire DC universe. It’s not just his smarts that get him through these tough situations, but his willpower as well. His stubbornness has kept him from not only dying but also from being corrupted.
A contemporary example of his mind’s ability to carry out great feats comes during the story of the latest video game, Arkham Knight, during which Scarecrow injects Batman with the fear toxin. Once inside of his own mind, Batman must overcome the Joker who is a part of his own consciousness. This Joker has haunted him the entire game, yet through the power of his mind, he defeats him forever. With the Joker locked away in the depths of Batman’s psyche forever, he snaps right out of the fear toxin hallucination and becomes immune to its effects.
There Have Been 8 Different Live-Action Batmen (including Batfleck)
Beginning in a serial distributed by Columbia Pictures in 1943, Lewis Wilson brought the first live-action version of The Batman to the screen. The next serial, still distributed by Columbia Pictures, starred Robert Lowery as Batman. Despite these serials being very old, both of these actors set a great standard for The Batman persona. But the first man to define the character for generations to come was Adam West, who co-starred in the famed Batman television show with Burt Ward as Robin and Cesar Romero as The Joker.
In 1989’s Batman, directed by Tim Burton, Michael Keaton suits up as the Dark Knight. For many, this was the first exposure to a darker version of Batman. This movie introduced the general public to the idea that Bruce Wayne and Batman can become both playboy and brooding hero. Inspired by Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Michael Keaton’s Batman finally became the dark and mysterious legend that we had seen in the comics. As much as everyone loved his portrayal during the 1989 and 1992 Batman films, he was replaced by two actors who were critically panned for their take on the Dark Knight.
Val Kilmer and George Clooney, along with the director Joel Schumacher, effectively killed the Batman franchise for almost a decade. Val Kilmer’s complete lack of facial expressions and inability to convey emotion made everyone begin to lose confidence in Batman. Then, Joel Schumacher, with the help of George Clooney, went to the completely opposite end of the spectrum. This gave birth to Bat-nipples, Bat-credit card, bumbling bane, a pun-filled Mr. Freeze (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger), and many other terrible directorial choices. Combining all these decisions was enough to keep Batman off of our screens for 8 years. After this time though, we were rewarded for our patience in the form of Batman Begins.
Beginning Christopher Nolan’s award-winning Dark Knight trilogy, Christian Bale gives us one of the best, if not THE best, live-action incarnations of Batman ever. His interpretation completely changed the game and finally gave us the truest version of Batman that we, as fans of the character, had longed to see since the first serials back in the 40s. Bale gave us the cocky, rude Bruce Wayne and a vicious, dark Batman that completed the correct dichotomy between the two personalities of the characters.
Ben Affleck, from what we’ve seen so far in the Batman v Superman trailers, looks to be the truest interpretation of Batman we’ve ever seen. Truly taking inspiration from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, he even wears a “mech-suit” to battle Superman. Although many have questioned Affleck’s acting abilities, he has shown a lot of promise in the past few years. These two aspects, along with his extreme love for the character is an exciting combination we haven’t seen from any other live-action Batman. He very well could turn out to be the best Dark Knight we’ve ever seen onscreen.
Batman: The Many Animated Voices
When talking about the animated voices of Batman there are only a few that really matter. Few of these men were able to leave a lasting impact and create their own unique version of the character. Obviously, the most successful voice actor to dawn the animated cowl was legend Kevin Conroy. As previously mentioned, he is more Batman than any other actor. Conroy has owned the character like no one else. With that being said, perhaps the second most recognizable voice to be used by the Caped Crusader was that of RoboCop’s Peter Weller. Having a voice as powerful as his, he completely encapsulated the grizzled and rage-filled Batman from the pages of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. In the animated adaptations of this graphic novel, Weller introduces us to the formerly retired Batman that still has the fires of rage burning within him. Weller is able to have the physical strain and mental exhaustion of this older Bruce Wayne come across in his vocal performance.
For those who are more acquainted with the contemporary animated features that Warner Bros. has distributed, Jason O’Mara is your Batman. With the exception of The Flashpoint Paradox, every New 52-inspired animated Batman has been voiced by O’Mara. He may not have the same emotional range as Weller or Conroy, but his voice does portray the cocky, stoic that Batman is known to be. Perhaps in time, he can grow to become the New 52’s version of Kevin Conroy, by continuously reprising his role and growing with the Dark Knight.
The younger generation will undoubtedly claim Will Arnett as their one and only Batman. Having voiced Batman in every Lego property involving the character, Arnett has taken the character back to his more campy roots from the 60s, while also infusing the arrogance that Batman has been shown to have in the newer comics. Unlike most of the other actors, live-action or voice-oriented, Arnett has made Batman funny without completely destroying Batman’s essence. He’s actually made a dark character accessible to a younger audience without completely butchering The World’s Greatest Detective.
Now for the older audience, Batman has and always will be Olan Soule, who portrayed Batman in the Superfriends series from the 70s. Olan Soule was previously the first voice actor to hold the record for most times portraying Batman. He was only surpassed by Kevin Conroy. However, Soule laid a lot of ground work for the character’s speech and quips. Even though the Superfriends’ Batman was a more campy product of the time, he showed us how to make Batman family friendly without becoming a joke of a character.
The Greatest Writers Behind The Bat
There have been so many writers to grace the pages of Batman comics with their pens, but within this pantheon of amazing authors, few stand out as much as Paul Dini, Frank Miller, Alan Grant, Bill Finger and Joseph Loeb.
First, Paul Dini is mostly recognized for his work on the animated series, but is also an accomplished comic book writer. He has spent almost his entire career writing for the Dark Knight, and has shown that he understands the character Batman more than anyone.
Then, of course, there is the legendary Frank Miller. The Dark Knight Returns has inspired almost every iteration of Batman that has come after it. His Year One comic also helped give us great insights to not just Batman but his closest allies. He has done a lot of world building and tone shaping for the character and the world he inhabits.
Now, Alan Grant may not have had such a lasting hand on the character, but he did create another extremely iconic story for our Dark Knight. The Batman: Knightfall series is one of the best instances where we see our beloved hero defeated, only to rise from the darkest depths and become triumphant once more. This story arc alone is enough to earn him a spot in Batman history forever.
Next we have one of the men who started it all, Bill Finger. Being one of the most important people in all of Batman’s history, Finger helped shape Batman into the dark vigilante that we know in love in the earliest days of his creation. He also created the most iconic villain of all-time, The Joker. Bill Finger even gave Batman his secret identity, Bruce Wayne.
Finally, Joseph Loeb is without a doubt another phenomenal writer that has given us some of the most definitive versions of Batman. With his stories Batman: The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, and Hush, he gave us a layered Batman, completely immersed in his world of allies and villains. Loeb has the natural ability to give us amazing storylines, while creating a sense of mystery. With Batman being the World’s Greatest Detective, Loeb was able to capture the noir element while remaining true to the superhero aspects of the character.
The Masters Who Have Drawn The Batman
Alongside the witty writers are the amazing artists who have drawn Batman and visualized the stories on the page. The three that stand out more so than the other dozens are Tim Sale, Neal Adams, and Jim Lee.
Tim Sale’s work on Dark Victory and Long Halloween have showcased his amazing ability at portraying action and movement on the page. His lines also helped created a world that seemed as dark and gritty as the one being described in the dialogue. There is an element of noir style in his illustrations as well.
Neal Adams was able to give Batman a real sense of strength and brutality, which carried over to other characters as well. His co-creation, Ra’s al Ghul is a character that has grown to be one of Batman’s longest-running villains and allies in some instances. The illustrations of Ra’s showcased him as a great match for the Dark Knight and allowed Batman to be challenged in a way few have ever done before.
Finally, Jim Lee has been the best at capturing the Dark Knight and the surrounding DC universe that he inhabits. His clean lines and colors are a perfect marriage between the animated versions of the character, with realistic character and environment portraits. His work in Batman: Hush has become one of the most recognizable versions of Batman ever. It gives us one the sleekest, domineering, human, and vulnerable versions of the Dark Knight ever.
Batman Has The Largest Arsenal In Superhero History
In Batman’s crusade against crime, he uses the largest arsenal in comic history to combat every enemy he has ever encountered. Beyond his intense training to become the ninja, detective, and martial artist that he is, Bruce also has hundreds of gadgets at his disposal. Even more, he has billions of dollars at his disposal that he can dump into his crusade at a moment’s notice. His most used and recognizable gadget is the “Batarang,” a bat-shaped shuriken, which has seen countless upgrades and variations.
Perhaps not as versatile as some of the other gadgets but just as iconic and important, is his grapnel gun. In every incarnation of the character, Batman has needed a tool to scour the city rooftops with ease and speed. As a superhero who can’t fly, it gives him the versatility he needs.
Finally, the most important and beloved gadget is his Batmobile. There have been dozens of versions, but the Batmobile as a singular object has been a staple in the character’s history. Batman’s car has survived the times when creators were giving every hero a vehicle, and came out on the other side as the most recognizable vehicle in comics history. All of these gadgets come together in the Bat-Cave to form the greatest arsenal in comic history for a hero who is deserving of each invention.
The Dark Knight Has A Touch Of Light
Batman doesn’t earn a moniker like The Dark Knight for no reason. We’ve seen him be the dark and broody protector of not only Gotham, but the world for years now. Most of his existence, shrouded in a persistent gloom, has added to the legend of his character. However, there have been a few shining moments of empathy and compassion that have come through beyond that cold and stoic persona.
One of the most empathetic moments of Batman’s existence comes during a famed episode of Justice League: Unlimited called “Epilogue.” In this episode, Batman is tasked with taking out Ace, an unstable, powerful girl with the ability to warp reality. With her powers growing out of control and a cataclysmic aneurysm on the way, Amanda Waller orders the Justice League to kill her. Batman volunteers for the mission and finds Ace. She is sitting all alone recounting her loneliness and time being tested on by CADMUS. Ace reads Batman’s mind and knows he doesn’t plan on killing her, but simply talking her into repairing the damage done to the world before her demise. Her only request being for him to stay with her in her last moments.
As one last act of compassion, Bruce holds her hand during her final moments. After her death, he carries her body out to the others with dignity and a saddened look upon his face. The entire scene is hard to watch without getting a lump in your throat, but it showcases Batman’s desire to help those in need regardless of who they are. Every other league member would have killed her, but Batman chose to comfort her and simply asked her to repair what she had done. It is a truly defining moment for the Dark Knight.
Batman Is The Justice League’s Safeguard
One of the main reasons everyone thinks Batman would win against his colleagues in a fight stems from the comic storyline that ran during Justice League #43-46 in 2000, called Tower of Babel. There was later an animated movie made about this storyline, aptly named Justice League: Doom.
It was in these pages, and in this film, that we saw the Justice League brought down to its knees thanks to Batman’s own contingency plans. Batman built these contingencies as a precaution in case any hero ever went rogue, much like their alternate world counterparts, The Injustice League. Vowing to make sure the safety of not only Gotham but the world, Batman knew he could not allow his Justice League to ever rule over humanity like The Injustice League did in their world. Unfortunately, Ra’s al Ghul compromises Batman’s files, learns the weaknesses of every JL member and effectively takes out the entire League.
Even though Batman is able to defeat Ra’s and save his teammates, the trust they all once had for him is tarnished. A vote is cast by the members of the Justice League to either expel or keep Batman on the team, thus resulting in Batman’s resignation from the League.
His Parents Weren’t Killed?
Almost everyone knows Batman’s origin: he swears to exact vengeance on evil when his parent are shot and killed in front of him. However, there is an extremely important comic story-line where his parents don’t die, but instead, Bruce is the victim of the murder. This switch occurs thanks to Barry Allen’s, The Flash, changing of the timeline during the series Flashpoint.
In this storyline, an alteration of history causes changes within the entire DC universe and every character’s history. In this new universe, Batman still exists, but it is actually Thomas Wayne, who turns to a life of vigilantism after his son, Bruce, is murdered. Even odder, Batman’s arch-nemesis is still The Joker, but he is in fact a she! The female Joker is revealed as none other than Martha Wayne who has gone insane after seeing her son murdered right before her eyes.
Thomas Wayne becomes a violent and murderous Batman who exacts “justice” in this new world and still remains as the stoic, gothic figure that the Batman is known for being. Thomas plays an integral part in helping The Flash reset the timeline, by killing The Reverse Flash, thus creating the New 52 universe.
Have we missed any other essential information about Batman? Let us know in the comments!
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