Bruce Wayne (Batman)

batmanfilmHere I am again, this time answering to a request from casualgamer, who wants some information about the characters that are scheduled to appear in the upcoming videogame Injustice: Gods Among Us. So, I’ll start from the one and only character that doesn’t need an introduction at all: the Dark Knight himself, Batman. He surely had a long life in live-action adaptations, starting from the movie serials in 1943 and 1949, but reached universal celebrity with Adam West‘s camp portrayal of the character in the cult tv-series Batman. After the debatable dancing version of West’s, Tim Burton transformed Batman in a tormented and melancholy cold-blooded vigilante in Batman and Batman Returns with the face of Michael Keaton, but Joel Schumacher made him kitsch once again in the following Batman Forever (Val Kilmer) and Batman & Robin (George Clooney). Finally, Christopher Nolan created a memorable version of the character, portrayed by Christian Bale, with The Dark Knight trilogy. Let’s see in what these versions differ from the comics’ one.

Despite being told and retold many times, Batman’s origins preserve some common traits, known by everyone, I suppose: young Bruce Wayne, son of billionaire Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, witnessed to his parents’ murder. Coming back home from Monarch Theatre, in Gotham City, a robber, named Joe Chill, assaulted them to have Martha’s pearl necklace, and when Wayne tried to defend his wife, both him and her were killed. Clearly traumatized, the child was found by social worker Leslie Thompkins, batmancomics1who tried to comfort him the best she could: Bruce, anyway, closed himself to the world, and spent most of his childhood inside Wayne Manor, raised by Alfred Pennyworth, the family’s butler and a father figure for the child. Growing up, young Bruce Wayne decided to consecrate his life to freeing Gotham City, and the whole world for what he could do, from the evil that took away his parents from him. In order to achieve his goal, Bruce started travelling the world, searching for teachers and masters who could help him in his fight against crime. He learnt martial arts and gymnastics from Ted Grant, aka the American superhero Wildcat, one of the best fighters in the world, and many other combatants; man-hunting from French assassin Henri Ducard; stealth, moving in the shadows, reconnaissance and the art of disappearing in the darkness by Japanese ninja Kirigi; tracks-reading and hunting from the African tribes of the Ghost Tribe and the Ten Eyed-Brotherhood; medical science from Nepalese monks, and many other skills such as chemistry, physics, forensics, even ventriloquism. Having only his goal in mind, Bruce reached the maximum expertise in every field he practiced, bringing his body and mind to the peak of the human possibilities. With a remarkable preparation, a twenty-years-old Bruce tried to enter FBI, but gave up, understanding that the legal system would have been a limit for his mission. With a lot of experience and a steel-strong resolution, Bruce came back to Gotham.

In his home city, Bruce understood that nothing had changed in the years he passed abroad, but one thing: now he was ready for his war to begin. Alfred, despite some obvious worries, agreed to help him in his crusade. Only one thing was missing, even if Bruce didn’t know what. One night, thinking about it in one of Wayne Manor’s halls, a large bat broke a window and entered the room: the man batmancomics2remembered his phobia of bats when he was a child, and decided to make his personal fear a symbol of terror for all criminality. That same night, with the help of Alfred, he tailored a costume resembling a bat, and with some experimental technology from Wayne Enterprises, he started hunting down Gotham’s criminals. The Batman became an urban legend, until he made his public debut during a dinner between Gotham’s most important crime lords: during that event, the vigilante promised to the bosses that their reign was over, and that the city had a new protector. Using its allies inside Gotham Police Department, the mafia had Batman hunted down by every single policeman in town, while the hero could count on the support of the two honest law-defenders in Gotham: assistant district attorney Harvey Dent and Lt. James Gordon, who helped him from the inside warning him of the corrupt agents’ moves and arresting the ones Batman managed to capture. With the years, Batman cleaned up Gotham City from most of the organized crime, but his mere presence gave birth to a new generation of criminals, inspired by his figure: deranged psychos like the lethal Joker or ambiguous anti-heroes such as the thief Catwoman, a bunch of quaint maniacs that became more than a challenge for the Dark Knight. Batman became active also outside Gotham, and was among the founding members of the Justice League of America; he also became the best friend of Earth’s most powerful superhero, Superman, and trained many disciples and partners in his crusade, the first of them being Dick Grayson, aka Robin, another orphan with a thirst for justice.

Bruce Wayne is an obsessed man, different from the maniacs he hunts down just because his ultimate goal and the aim of his life is justice instead of personal realization or power. Batman is at the peek of human possibilities regarding strength, speed, agility, reflexes and combat training; he also has a genius-level intellect, and has at his disposal an entire arsenal of non-lethal weapons built with the patrimony inherited from his parents. Batman’s only rule in his crime-fighting crusade is never to kill anyone: for everything else, he’s just as brutal and violent as the criminals he fights, thus instilling fear in everyone who pursues crime in Gotham City.

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174 Comments

  1. […] quotes Shakespeare, and loves to use vanishing ink. In the comics, he didn’t originally face Batman, but just like the Archer, he comes from the rogue gallery of another famous superhero. Let’s […]

  2. […] almost at its end. In the fourth, terrible film of the tetralogy, Batman & Robin, we find Bruce Wayne accompanied to a beautiful socialite going by the name Julie Madison, portrayed by Elle Macpherson. […]

  3. […] off Gotham Bridge during the pursuit of Viti, and was saved only by the quick intervention of Batman, who caught him in midair. It was probably from that moment, starting with that shock and damage, […]

  4. […] was quite simple: if there was one man in the world capable of escaping his trap, that was surely Batman, the World’s Greatest Detective. Following his instructions, Carnado used a false face to […]

  5. […] Grayson for unknown reasons. Arguably, the original Robin isn’t exactly happy to see that Batman replaced him this fast, with a boy wearing his same suit and carrying his name… something […]

  6. […] to steal her purse. With her military training she easily overpowered him, and she was pleased when Batman, who intervened to “save” her, could but acknowledge the fact that she had done great […]

  7. […] When they came, she was quite surprised: Ra’s al Ghul had sent a powerful assassin after Batman, and Silencer had to protect the vigilante from him. She didn’t ask question, and she started […]

  8. […] to steal her purse. With her military training she easily overpowered him, and she was pleased when Batman, who intervened to “save” her, could but acknowledge the fact that she had done great […]

  9. […] solving mysteries and catching criminals together, often teaming up with other heroes such as Batman, Zatanna, Green Lantern and The Atom. These adventures helped him make a name for himself in the […]

  10. […] he obtained was only to be targeted by young Dick Grayson, the murdered couple’s son, and by Batman, the new vigilante who had declared war to the Families. Found and chased by them both, Tony Zucco […]

  11. […] tried to come back to her usual life, but she simply couldn’t be happy with it. She helped Batman, even without powers, against the Mud Pack, driven in by Lady Clay who was using her face to wreak […]

  12. […] leading an investigation on the matter. Thanks to the witnessing of Hansen’s servants, it was Batman the first one who identified and reached Phelps, but during a struggle on his van, Austin managed […]

  13. […] be portraying him as far as he’s completely covered by his costume. This twisted version of Batman is far more disturbing than it catches the eye, even more than all his teammates put together. Be […]

  14. […] the combined efforts of Dr. Fate and Hourman. He made quite a ruckus when he managed to influence Bruce Wayne and Alan Scott with his powers, with the unforeseen effect of unleashing the frustration of Batman […]

  15. […] more than simple robbers. Some rumor in the underworld had it that Bane had finally gotten rid of Batman, so the duo moved to Gotham City, aiming to make a name for themselves among the bloodiest and most […]

  16. […] would have allowed him to rule over Earth. He then approached several superheroes: Green Lantern, Batman and The Flash, promising to bring back to life, respectively, his girlfriend Alex DeWitt, Robin and […]

  17. […] of memorable moments. In Dick Grayson, Trigon sends Dick into a “dreamscape” where Batman has turned into a murderous monster, and there’s quite a gallery of dead supervillains he […]

  18. […] now divided in districts controlled by vicious gangs of criminals. While looking for Jeremiah, Bruce and Selina cross the once posh part of Gotham City, and meet with the brutal Mutant Gang, last […]

  19. […] enough for him anymore, and he now aimed to become the king of Gotham City, and not even Batman seemed to be able to stop him. The Flash came to the Dark Knight‘s aid, and together they […]

  20. […] to be Batgirl as well, until The Joker crippled her in revenge of the role she had in aiding Batman take down his organization. After Batman leaves town, Batgirl reinvents herself as Oracle and […]

  21. […] she faced David, saving the Commissioner’s life. This feat didn’t go unnoticed, and Batman started to observe her, along with Oracle. Batman learnt about the girl’s past, but he also […]

  22. […] week on Gotham another historical villain from Batman‘s rogue gallery will make her live action debut. In 13 Stitches, an unusual alliance between […]

  23. […] shortly after: a vengeful New Wave cloned her, sending the clone in her place to the Outsiders. Batman was suspicious as ever, though, and thanks to his mistrust the team avoided an ambush, trapped the […]

  24. […] even risking his own neck to protect the woman he loved. Also this plan failed, mostly thanks to Batman‘s paranoia: the clone got killed, Windfall was freed and rejoined the Outsiders, and the […]


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