Known Aliases The Dark Knight, The World's Greatest Detective, The Caped Crusader, Matches Malone, "The Goddamn Batman".
First DC Appearance Detective Comics #27 (May 1939) First Story Appearance Black and White, Chapter One
Weapons Wears a utility belt that holds a variety of non-lethal weapons including batarangs (modified boomerangs), a magnetic grapple gun, various gas and flash bombs, a rebreather, and various other tools for combat and detective work. Also owns a variety of heavily modified and armed 'Bat-Vehicles', the primary of which are the Batmobile, Batman's personal car, and similarly enhanced motorbikes, boats, and planes.
Powers Incredible intelligence honed to its highest capacity, strength, agility, and reflexes gained through decades of intense training. Martial arts genius: may well be the greatest hand-to-hand combatant on the planet. Sheer Force of Will.
Current Status Active
Bruce Wayne was born into the wealthy Wayne family to Thomas and Martha Wayne, and for the first eight years of his life, enjoyed a happy childhood. That all changed one night when his mother and father took a shortcut home after a trip to a local cinema. Both Thomas and Martha were robbed and murdered by a man named Joe Chill, right in front of their son.
Orphaned, Bruce lived in his father's house with only the family butler Alfred Pennyworth (whose machinations kept him out of the system that he should have entered as an orphan). Devastated by grief and rage (and some might say driven mad by it) young Bruce swore by the spirits of his parents that he would spend the rest of his life warring on all criminals, and made that his priority for the rest of his life. As soon as he was old enough, Bruce began traveling abroad, learning from great masters all over the world, including Giovanni Zatara, the great Silver Age hero, and David Cain, one of the world's greatest assassins.
Bruce returned to Gotham City at the age of 25 and began his war on the criminal element. However, he quickly found that his job was made much more difficult by the fact that his opponents didn't fear him. Pondering this in his study at Wayne Manor one night, a bat burst through his window, frightening him. Suddenly, Bruce knew what he had to do.
"Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot...so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible...a bat! That's it! I shall become a bat!"
Fashioning a costume after the bat, Bruce took to fighting crime throughout Gotham, using his parents' substantial fortune to both fund his private war against crime, and in public to found the Wayne Foundation, dedicated to helping crime victims and rehabilitating criminals.
In public, Bruce Wayne is an amiable but irresponsible and dead-minded playboy, more interested in business and women (the latter much more than the former) than helping others. However, he clearly considers Batman his 'true' self, and guards his secret identity very closely, sometimes putting his own life at risk to do so.
Batman has a reputation for being the best of the best, able to defeat criminals with metahuman advantages that he does not have. This however came at a price--Bruce as Batman is a very unsociable person, most always convinced that his way is right. Though at first an adversary of Superman, the two gradually became allies, and later friends, and eventually, a part-time member of the Justice League.
Batman also has a reputation for, as his arch foe the Joker put it, "always having a spare kid" around. Early in his career, Bruce Wayne attended a circus performance in which the Flying Graysons, John and Mary were killed when the circus refused to pay protection money. Their son, Dick Grayson, was taken in by Batman and trained to be the first Robin. Later, disagreements pushed Dick away until he left and became Nightwing.
Later, Bruce discovered a young boy named Jason Todd trying to steal the wheels from the Batmobile, and took him in, trying to rehabilitate him. Jason discovered that Batman was Bruce Wayne, and soon became the new Robin. Unfortunately, Jason was brash and impulsive, and very angry, and soon found himself the recipient of a lead-pipe beating from the Joker. Batman rushed to save him, but Joker detonated a device in the building where he had beat Todd, and Jason was killed...
For a little while, at least.
After Jason's death, Batman became increasingly violent and reckless, leading one young boy to come to the conclusion that Batman needed a Robin. Tim Drake, a natural detective that had years earlier deduced Batman's identity, and Robin's as well, petitioned Dick Grayson that he needed to reign Bruce in and become Robin again. Dick refused, but quickly realized that Tim was right about Bruce needing a Robin. Eventually, Tim Drake became that Robin, and was much better-prepared and better-armored that Jason or Dick had ever been.
More recently, after a bout of increased paranoia and mistrust led Bruce to constructing a satellite to keep tabs on the metahuman population--a plan that backfired when the site was co-opted for the sinister purposes of Maxwell Lord--Bruce went on a journey to rediscover the core of Batman. He returned from his year-long quest refreshed and re-centered, ready to take anything Gotham could throw at him. It was then that he discovered that he had an eight-year-old son, Damian, by the villainous daughter of Ra's al Ghul.
Now, Bruce embarks on a new quest--some say a fool's errand. Publicly announcing his ties to Batman--short of announcing that he is in fact, Batman himself--Bruce has decided to take the Batman brand global, forming Batman Incorporated and supplying heroes around the globe with tools they need to fight crime in their regions.