November 6, 1955
The Dark Knight
Patrick Wayne (grandfather)
- "I am vengeance! I am the night! I am Batman!"
- ―Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne was born on November 6, 1955 in Long Island, New York. He was the son of wealthy industrialists Thomas and Martha Wayne and was brought up in Gotham at Wayne Manor and it's wealthy splendor and lead a happy and privileged existence. Jarvis Pennyworth served as the family butler during most of his upbringing. The young boy was trained by his father in martial arts and the two would often go golfing together at the local country club. Bruce had several friends during his childhood including members of the Grayson and Gordon family. When Bruce was a young child, he witnessed his father sneaking into the house while dressed up in a costume that resembled a bat consisting of a pointed mask, and large, dark blue scalloped wings. The impressionable Bruce knew nothing as to why he wore the costume, but admired his father's outfit and openly asked if one day he might be able to wear such a fearsome costume. Dr. Wayne replied that he would keep the costume for Bruce to wear when he grew up, but had no idea how prophetic the innocent question truly was.
During the night of March 14, 1968, Bruce and his parents were walking to their car through a back-alley after seeing a movie at the theater when they were held up at gunpoint by a mugger, who attempted to steal Martha's pearl necklace, an anniversary gift from Thomas. In the ensuing struggle, both the Wayne's were shot dead in the streets. In the wake of this tragedy, Park Row was given the nickname "Crime Alley." Watching his parents be murdered before his eyes had a profound effect on young Bruce and after their funeral he swore to avenge their deaths and spend the rest of his life warring on all criminals. His uncle Philip Wayne and his wife Agatha became his legal guardians from then on.
After graduating high school, Wayne attended Harvard University where he majored in chemistry and minored in criminology. He also befriended his classmate and future lawyer Harvey Dent. Dent and Wayne enjoyed playing games of strategy, though Harvey always seemingly outmaneuvered the otherwise brilliant Bruce. This was also where he met his first longtime girlfriend, Julie Madison, through the theater department. They starred in several shows together and eventually fell in love. After finishing college, Wayne asked Madison to go with him to travel the world for a year, but she refused on the basis of wanting to focus on her acting career. In spite of this, with the vow to his parents still in mind, Bruce left intending to train himself to intellectual and physical perfection. During his travels, Wayne learned 127 major styles of combat, from Aikido to Yaw-Yan.[source?] He was trained in hand-to hand combat under the tutelage of the World Champion Boxer Ted Grant, stealth and reconnaissance under the Japanese ninja Kirigi and other certified shinobi, hunting under an African Bushman, traditional healing disciplines under Nepalese monks and even ventriloquism under skilled practitioners. Also during his travels, Wayne met and fell in love with a woman named Andrea Bane. He cared for her enough to even consider abandoning his crusade for justice to devote himself to her, but ultimately decided against it. Only several months after his leaving she would give birth to a son named Rodney, whom for years was falsely believed to be Bruce's own son.
Upon returning, he returned to his family's original estate, Wayne Manor, and joined a police academy and after five months Wayne graduated the academy and became a police officer in the Gotham Police Department, in part thanks to family friend Commissioner James Gordon, who had also helped young Bruce after his parents died. During his time in the police, Wayne also learned forensics. He also rekindled his relationship with Madison around this time. After a few years of success primarily working as a detective, Bruce was taken by surprise at a convenience store and shot by a crook, coming perilously close to dying in the process. Though seemingly unfazed by the experience himself, Julie told him she could not love a man who was constantly putting himself in danger and gave him an ultimatum between herself or his fieldwork. Before deciding anything for certain, Wayne first requested that he have time off from the Police Department. Commissioner Gordon gladly accepted the request.
- "A fitting end for his kind."
- ―Batman after failing to save Red Hood
Shortly after that, Bruce began to re-evaluate his future. In all his good work, he recognized the fact that law enforcement agencies more often than not were the victims of an endless bureaucracy that continually hampered them from meeting out true justice. Wayne also realized that he would lose Julie if he continued working the job. One evening later that week, a frustrated Bruce sat at a desk in one of his father's old study's drinking whiskey and pondering his dilemma when a bat flew into the room from an open window. Immediately, his mind harkened back to the image of his father, Thomas, dressed up as a bat-man. While attempting to shew the bat away, he accidentally dropped a bronze bust of William Shakespeare on the floor. Upon picking it up, Bruce discovered that the hinged head of the bust was pulled back from its shoulder, revealing a button. Confused as to what it was for, the young man pushed the button and suddenly sliding doors hidden behind a bookshelf opened which unveiled an elevator shaft. Wayne made his way down using the old but still functional elevator that lead him into the Batcave. There, he found not only suits of his father's but also one made for a woman, which he presumed to be for his mother as well as several gadgets. Having also heard of the legends about the "Gotham Bat-man", Bruce decided that it was destiny to become the new Batman. Wayne also knew that doing so would strike terror into the hearts of all criminals.
Now convinced that his father was some sort of crime-fighter, Bruce officially turned in his resignation at the Police Department and assumed control of his father's business interests at Wayne Enterprises. He then began to use all the resources at his disposal to prepare for his fight against crime, and secretly hired a few employees including family friend Lucius Fox to develop a more protective batsuit based off of his father's, bribing them to keep quiet. Soon enough, Bruce went on patrol for the first time as Batman, and managed to stop a small gang of criminals from attacking a young woman. A few weeks later, Wayne arrived as Batman at the Ace Chemical Plant to stop a heist by Red Hood and his men. As soon as he entered the plant, he witnessed a fatal shoot-out ensuing between security and the Red Hood's men. Systematically working his way through Red Hood's guards, Red Hood himself tried to escape, but was cornered by Batman who attempted to apprehend him. In retaliation, Red Hood fired a shot at Batman instead, but Wayne was able to ricochet the bullet which ended up piercing through Red Hood's helmet and into the criminals face. Wayne attempted to save the thug from falling over the railing only to lose his grip and watched as Red Hood plummeted into the vat of chemicals below. The next crook he fought was a thief named "Slugsy" Kyle who was trying to rob a warehouse. Kyle was able to knock Wayne out and tie him up, but he recovered and delivered Kyle to the police. This failure made Bruce decide to settle down with Julie and focus on his desk job duties at Wayne Enterprises.
Move to NYC and return as BatmanEdit
Madison had since moved to pursue acting in New York City, and Wayne set up a date to ask for her hand in marriage. On the date in Central Park, however, they are interrupted and later get involved in a series of murders involving the Apex Chemical Corporation. In response, Bruce became Batman again to solve the case. He took down several thugs and stopped the conspiracy's leader, corrupt businessman Alfred Stryker. After this, Wayne decided to continue acting as Batman in secret and also finally successfully asked Madison to marry him.
Shortly after this, Alfred Pennyworth, a retired intelligence agent and the son of the Wayne's old family butler, arrived at Wayne Manor, insisting on becoming their butler as a result of his father's dying wish. Despite not wanting or needing a butler, Wayne did not have the heart to reject Alfred, who on his first night in the manor discovered that he was Batman. Alfred later proved his worth by calmly attending to his employer's injuries after having been injured in the field. Pennyworth would from then on would be given support staff duties as well as his regular tasks.
Meeting the JokerEdit
- "You played your last hand, Joker."
- ―Batman to the Joker
At was at this time that the Joker first brazenly challenged Gotham's underworld and police department by announcing over the radio that he would kill three of Gotham's most prominent citizens; Henry Claridge, Jay Wilde and Judge Alan Drake. Bruce as Batman investigated the crimes and was startled to find two of the victims' bodies stricken with a macabre perpetual grin upon their faces, allowing the Joker to quickly become a noted criminal entity in Gotham's criminal underground.
Batman tracked the Joker down as he murdered the mob enforcer Brute Nelson at his home. The two fought, but Joker managed to get away. Later that night at ten o'clock, Joker, disguised as a police officer, bared witness to Judge Drake's death by the same deadly Joker venom as the two others before him. Batman soon arrived and he and the Joker clashed once again. After the Joker ran out of bullets, Batman gained the upper hand as the police arrived and apprehended the criminal, sending the Joker to prison.
Originally considered a vigilante who seriously injured many of his early opponents, Wayne as Batman proved to be effective against the open-acting crime organizations that the ineffective Gotham City Police Department could not. Batman began gathering the grudging admiration of Commissioner Gordon in his efforts, despite Batman's original heavy-handed methods of crime-combating operations.
Encountering the CatEdit
The Cat tried to persuade Batman to join her as King of Crime, but he refused. Then, despite leaving Denny on the yacht, Batman attempted to take the Cat to the police himself. However, the Cat jumped over the side and Batman decided to just let her escape instead. Despite still having a fiancée. he was clearly smitten.
Confronting his parents killerEdit
- "Chill, I want to tell you a story without an ending. Maybe you can supply it..."
While investigating a small-time crime boss named Joe Chill, Batman discovered that he was none other than the man who killed his parents. Batman later confronted him, revealing his secret identity and in anger pushed the older man off of a ledge. The mortally wounded and frightened Chill sought out his cohorts, and begged for their protection after explaining the encounter. However, upon learning that Chill's actions led to the hated Batman's existence, they instead turned on their boss and fatally shot him.
Luckily for Batman, Chill did not specify any names while explaining his hand in the crime-fighter's origin. Moments later, the men realized how valuable Chill's knowledge was to them and began questioning him. Before the dying Chill had a chance to reveal Batman's identity, Batman leaped down and dispatched the goons. Batman watched as Chill succumbed to his wounds, whom in his last breath addressed Batman as Bruce. Despite hoping that it would finally take the pain away, Wayne's contribution to Chill's death did not make him feel much better than before.
- Bruce: "I was only a child! There was nothing I could do!"
- Hugo: "But you wanted to do something. You were filled with anger. You desired... what? A need filled you... all-consuming, all-controlling. What was it, Mr. Wayne? What was it?"
- Bruce: "I... wanted..."
- Hugo: "Yes?"
- Bruce: "Revenge!"
- ―Bruce Wayne and Hugo Strange[src]
A few months later, Wayne encountered Professor Hugo Strange, a psychiatrist who declared that he had fully analyzed Batman from afar and would soon learn his identity. Shortly after this, Batman followed Judge Maria Vargas to a meeting with a couple of thugs. The thugs showed her a videotape and she handed over the money. However, the thugs claimed that it wasn't the entire tape and then demanded another hundred grand. Vargas insisted that she couldn't afford that much, but the thugs refused to listen and Batman intervened. During the chaos, the tape fell into the water below and the thugs managed to escape.
The police later arrived and took Vargas to the hospital. After discussing the situation with Commissioner Gordon, Batman learned that Vargas had just gone on vacation at the Yucca Springs Health Resort, the very same place where Strange worked. Batman figured that there was a connection and decided to pay Strange a visit, soon setting up an appointment. During the session, Wayne learned that Strange was the one who treated Vargas and was placed upon a machine. Bruce didn't want to be subjected to the treatment, but Strange went ahead with it anyway. After being asked about his childhood, Strange continued to press the issue and soon his machine discovered that he was Batman. Bruce left more stressed than before, but was unaware of the true nature of Strange's machine. Later, Bruce decided to take advantage of Dr. Strange's absence and examined his machine. Discovering a batch of tapes, he found Vargas' and watched it. The tape revealed that as a child she accidentally started the "Great Gotham Dock Fire" when she was playing with matches. Realizing the purpose of the machine, Wayne checked to watch his own tape but discovered that it was missing.
Strange had since decided to auction that tape among some of Batman's greatest foes, including Joker, Penguin and Rupert Thorne. Batman soon contacted Gordon, telling him about Strange's illegal experiments and that he used them to learn his identity. With both Batman and the police closing in on him, Strange decided to flee the state. After attempting to escape on his plane in the countryside, Batman appeared and fought him with a hammer. During the fight, Strange said that we would kill Wayne and take his place as Batman. Before he could get his chance, however, the deranged Professor was pushed over the edge of a cliff to his demise. His body was later found by the police a few days later, ending any possibility of his survival.
The Falcone problemEdit
Hatching a plan and the Holiday killerEdit
- "We can all dance around it, but we know what needs to be done."
- ―Batman, to James Gordon and Harvey Dent
Wayne went on his first date with Selina Kyle at the wedding reception of Johnny Viti, a member of the prominent Falcone crime-family. During the reception, Wayne and Vincent Falcone briefly spoke. Batman and his trusted allies James Gordon and Harvey Dent met up on the rooftop of police headquarters later that night, where they swore that they would bring down the organized crime syndicates led by Falcone, Rupert Thorne and Sal Maroni that were 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 himself at first suspected that Catwoman may have been behind the killings because of her apparent fixation on the family. However, she was able to clear her name.
In his desperation, Falcone changed the game by employing super-villains in his activities, including the Joker, Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy as well as the debut of the Riddler. Falcone and Maroni each believed the other was responsible for Holiday, and their gang wars tore Gotham apart. Dent became a leading suspect because of his vindictive attitude towards criminals. Wayne was also suspected of involvement with Falcone's organization and arrested. His father Thomas Wayne had reluctantly performed emergency surgery on Falcone for bullet wounds after being shot by armed criminals at a party they both were attending and from that moment on were indebted to him, making him indirectly responsible for the criminal 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. At the trial, Maroni smuggled in a bottle of acid and threw it at Dent's face during the prosecution, leaving him horribly disfigured and also driving him mad. Wayne and Gordon came to the conclusion that Dent was Holiday, and Batman attempted to find him after escaping.
flirted with him as Catwoman by night unaware of his alter-ego.
Dent reappeared calling himself Two-Face after the nature of his personal tragedy, taking a team of villains into Falcone's private office. As the two leaders battled, Batman arrived 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 was accused of betraying the things he believed in, but he insisted that his methods were the only ones that actually got rid of Falcone and he did what he needed to. He was then arrested, and although Batman and Gordon saw one of the best men they knew completely broken, they still maintained that Gotham was on the right track.
Taking on a sidekickEdit
- Bruce: "I know it must be very difficult."
- Dick: "If only I could have stopped him! I saw him coming out of the tent! I knew there was something wrong about him!"
- Bruce: "I know. You keep thinking... if only I had done something differently. If only I could have... warned them. But there isn't anything you could have done. There isn't anything either of us could have done."
- Dick: "Your mom and dad? Does the hurt ever go away?"
- Bruce: "I wish I could say yes. But it will get better in time. For you. That I can promise."
- ―Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson[src]
About a month later, Wayne was invited to Haly's Circus to witness the main act and family old family friends, the Flying Graysons. Unfortunately, John and Mary Grayson were murdered by the gangster Tony Zucco in a scheme involving protection money, which left their teenage son Dick an orphan. Wayne 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 out of both respect to the family and also to help him and provide guidance. Shortly thereafter he revealed his secret identity as Batman. Grayson 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 Grayson 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.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Bruce Wayne possessed no known superhuman abilities.
Genius-Level Intellect: Batman was a brilliant, virtually peerless, detective, strategist, scientist, tactician, and commander. He was regarded by some as one of the keenest analytical minds on the planet. Given his lack of superpowers, he often used cunning and planning to outwit his foes rather than simply "out-fighting" them.
Martial Arts Master: Batman was one of the finest human combatants alive. He trained in the US for various martial arts before traveling the planet to learn anything he could. Throughout his lifetime he mastered 127 styles of martial arts including Escrima, Krav Maga, Capoeira, Savate, Yaw-Yan, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Jujitsu, Ninjitsu, Kendo, Fencing, Swordsmanship, Kenjutsu, Kali, Bojutsu, Francombat, Boxing, Kickboxing, Hapkaido, Wing Chun, Muay Thai, Shorin Ryu, Silat, Chin Na, Kyudo, Aikido, Varma Ati, Jeet Kune Do, Shaolin, Ba Gua, Hung Gar, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, and Kenpo.
Weapons Master: Through his martial arts training, he became an expert on virtually all types of weaponry. He was an exceptional swordsman as evident in his fight with Ra's al Ghul. He was proficient at knife throwing, Escrima and melee weapons mastery. He also had been trained in fire arms.
Expert Marksman: Due to his training in Ninjitsu and at the Police Academy, Batman almost never missed his targets. He had been practicing accuracy since the early days of his training.
Master Detective: He was widely considered by the Superhero community to one of the greatest detectives alive, capable of observation, forensic investigation, and inductive and deductive reasoning of the highest caliber. Human intuition was an unlearnable trait and one of Batman's most effective tools. Given any mystery, he could usually arrive at the correct conclusions with a fraction of the data.
Master of Stealth: His Ninjitsu training made him a master at stealth capable of breaching high security facilities with ease and without being detected.
Master Tactician and Strategist: He commonly utilized cunning tactics to outwit his foes. He was an excellent leader and at times commanded the Justice Society.
Skilled Pilot: Wayne was able to fly the various versions of the Batplanes with ease as well as helicopters.
Skilled Businessman: Bruce was also a talented businessman.
Multilingual: Bruce was able to speak English, Spanish, French, Gaelic, Latin, German, Japanese, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek, Portuguese, Arabic, Sanskrit, Hindi, Thai and possibly more.
- Batsuit: The costume Batman wore was composed by kevlar and a little percentage of titanium; it was bullet-proof and resistant to various types of attack (explosions, impacts, falls, etc...). It was also flame-retarding and insulating. The gloves and the boots were reinforced to rebound the impact of punches and kicks. The gloves also had some metallic blades on their sides. The cape was very light and could be used to glide. The mask had a little percentage of lead, which shielded the face of Batman from x-ray powers or x-ray technology. The mask was also accessorized with some security systems (aggravating gas, electric blasts, ect...) like the utility belt. The mask was also a transmitter receiver de voice and video.
- Utility Belt: Batman kept most of his personal field equipment in a signature piece of apparel, a yellow utility belt. The utility belt had a button to call his car. Over the years it contained items such as plastic explosives, nerve toxins, batarangs, smoke bombs, a fingerprint kit, a cutting tool, a grappling hook gun, and a "re-breather" breathing device. Superman had entrusted Batman with a ring made of kryptonite, to be used should the Man of Steel ever needed to be reined in.
Batarangs (several different types), small explosives, smoke, tear gas pellets and sometimes hand guns.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Damn the physics! We're not going to die. We're not. I won't let us!"
- ―Bruce Wayne
As a young child, Bruce tended to be solitary and withdrawn, a condition only exacerbated by the murder of his parents. This lead to him being a loner who would prefer to be on his own rather than rely on others. His difficulty in trusting others was a constant issue for him to overcome.
His longest and closest relationship has been with Alfred Pennyworth, who represented a father figure, confessor and advisor. Alfred and Wayne would often clash, but shared a deep and unbreakable bond.
Although he had no superhuman powers, he was one of the world's smartest men and greatest fighters. His physical prowess and technical ingenuity made him an incredibly dangerous opponent. His knowledge of so many varied disciplines had made Wayne an unconventional and unpredictable individual. He was also a founding member of the Justice Society.
In contrast to his often busy and dedicated life as Batman, there were several times when Bruce found love.