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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Batman (originally referred to as the Bat-Man and still referred to at times as the Batman) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero co-created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger (although only Kane receives official credit). In his 1989 autobiography Batman & Me, Kane acknowledged Finger as "a contributing force" in the character's creation. Comics historian Ron Goulart, in Comic Book Encyclopedia refers to Batman as the "creation of artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger" and published by DC Comics. The character made his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939).

Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy industrialist, playboy, and philanthropist. Witnessing the murder of his parents as a child leads him to train himself to physical and intellectual perfection and don a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime. Batman operates in the fictional Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his sidekick Robin and his butler Alfred Pennyworth, and fights an assortment of villains influenced by the characters' roots in film and pulp magazines. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime.

Batman became a popular character soon after his introduction, and eventually gained his own title, Batman. As the decades wore on, differing takes on the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series utilized a camp aesthetic associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in the 1986 miniseries Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by writer-artist Frank Miller. That and the success of director Tim Burton's 1989 Batman motion picture helped reignite popular interest in the character. A cultural icon, Batman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from radio to television and film, and appears on a variety of merchandise sold all over the world.

Supporting Characters

  • Alfred Pennyworth: The Wayne family butler trained extensively in sciences and combat medicine. While not attending to the domestic maintenance needs, he performs most of the supporting role in Batman's investigations. He is also the emotional safety net for Bruce during his constant episodes of identity crisis and sometimes even steps into the role of a father figure. His dry wit and quirky usage of classical humour provide for much of the comic relief in most of the stories that are otherwise very dark and morbid. On the big screen, Alfred was portrayed by Michael Gough in Batman (1987), Batman Returns (1990), Batman Forever (1994), Batman and Robin (1997) and Sir Michael Caine in Batman Begins (2005).
  • Robin: Batman's adoloscent sidekick originally introduced in the comics to capture the younger audience. Over the several decades of the Batman evolution, the role of Robin has been filled in by various characters. Dick Grayson, the first robin is Bruce Wayne's ward. Wayne takes Grayson in after the tragic death of his parents and trains him in various disciplines of combat, stealth and investigation. Later in the anthology, Grayson leaves his post as Robin to fight crime under the new independent identity of Nightwing and occassionally returning for a collaboration with the Dark Knight. Eventually, the post of Robin is filled in by another ward of Bruce Wayne, Jason Todd whose restlessness and uncontrollable anger results in his tragic death at the hands of the Joker in the Batman: A Death in the Family series. Tim Drake eventually succeeds as the next Robin after the Identity Crisis series. In the films, Robin is portrayed by Chris O' Donnell in Batman Forever (1994) and Batman and Robin (1997). In Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1986), the post of Robin is filled in by a 13-year old girl named Carrie Kelley.
  • James Gordon
  • Batgirl
  • Azrael


  • The Joker
  • Two-Face
  • The Riddler
  • The Penguin
  • Scarecrow
  • Mr.Freeze
  • Poison Ivy
  • Ra's Al Ghul
  • Bane

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Batman" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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