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Characters; Batman

Created in 1940 by Bob Kane, Batman is an unusual sort of superhero. While most superheroes depend on some special powers that they aquire or are born with, Batman is an ordinary human who has trained himself to an unusual degree in unarmed combat.

First appearing in "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" in Detective Comics number 27, written by Bill Finger and artwork by Bob Kane, Batman has been continuously in production in various media ever since.

The basic backstory of the character is that as a child Bruce Wayne witnessed his parents being murdered. The main help he has to deal with this is the family butler, Alfred Pennyworth. He is left with a feeling that he must do something to make a difference, but for a long time he is unsure what he can do.

Because his parents were rich, he has resources which allow him to do as he wishes, and for a long time he takes college and university courses in whichever subjects spark some interest. He also goes in for various sports, including a short period as a racing driver.

Eventually, he ends up with the right set of skills to be a crime fighter. Having returned to Gotham City, with the help of ever faithful Alfred, he begins claiming his life back as a businessman, but still has a problem with the crooks not being afraid of him.

Eventually, a bat from the caves in the grounds crashes through the window of his mansion, causing a momentary instinctive fear reaction, and he has the beginnings of his new alternate persona of Batman.

However there is still endemic corruption in the police and the legal services, so he identifies a few honourable and incorruptable individuals in each service, and begins feeding them information to help clean up the corruption. These included a policeman called James Gordon, and a prosecutor called Harvey Dent.

Once it ceases to be effective to bribe people to keep out of jail, the crooks become much more reluctant to pay the corrupt cops, lawyers, and judges, resulting in a shoot to kill policy about batman.

After most of the police are involved in an attack on Batman, which failed misserably, there was no way that the city officials could make any claim that there was no corruption problem, and action was required.

Eventually, a situation came up where Batman had to come out into the open, and his existance became common knowledge, and the people end up with a hero.

However the emergence of this larger than life character causes an escalation, with various supervillians emerging who feel that they have to defeat batman.

By this time however, Batman has become respectable, so the police and Batman cooperate to help deal with these villians. Not all of Batman's work is sucessful, most significantly in the case of the prosecuter Harvey Dent.

Batman had promissed Harvey protection, but somehow one of the crime bosses he was prosecuting managed to get some acid, which he used on harvey in court, where Batman couldn't protect him.

Not only did the acid disfigure one side of his face, but the trauma unhinged his mind, and he latched on to the failure to protect him and became Harvey Two-face.

On one occasion, Harvey and his henchmen took a bomb to a charity circus, wanting Batman to reveal himself, or the creame of society would pay the price.

One of the acts at the circus, a trapese troup called The Flying Graysons managed to get the bomb outside, where it exploded harmlessly, but in doing so, most of them fell to their deaths.

This left only young Dick Grayson left, who Bruce Wayne took in as his ward. Because they shared a similar history, they ended up working together as Batman and Robin.

Later on, a character known as Batwoman arrived on the scene, often working with Batman and Robin to stop the villians. Depending on where you read the story, you find that this was either the niece of Alfred, or the daughter of Jim Gordon.

Later on, Dick left Wayne Manor, striking out on his own as a character called Nightwing.

Later still, as the Justice League of America was being organised, they needed someone of Batman's stature to give it the international credibility which it needed. Both Batman and Superman took this role at various times.

Later on Batman ceased being an active member of the justice league until they ended up with a shortage of experienced superheroes to bring the younger recruits up to speed.

Superman was encouraged to persuade Batman to rejoin the league, and keep the youngsters enthusiasm from making them do anything rash. At the same time, the league was being restructured as a worldwide organisation, under a United Nations mandate.

During all this time a lot of the characters on the D.C. Comics roll of heroes and Villians kept appearing in crossover stories with each other, with nobody keeping adequate records of who did what, where and when.

Eventually, this because such a problem for them that they had to create a storyline called "The Crisis of the Infinate Earths", which explained all this by there being multiple "Parallel" earths, each with slight differences in their heroes and villians.

At the end of this plotline, there were only three earths left, one of which did not have any superheroes, with the remaining difficulties being due to an imperfect merging of the memories of other earths in to completely consistant timelines.

On the whole, Batman is a complex character who has been evolving for sixty five years, and looks likely to go on for a lot more years.

Batman has appeared in the following movies:

Batman has also appeared in a lot of books, including:

You can also see what other stuff about this character is available from amazon In America, In the UK or In Canada.