Two terrible moments forever changed the life of Bruce Wayne. The first came at age six, when he roamed the far grounds of Gotham Citys Wayne Manor and fell into a deep cavern swarming with bats. Though his father soon rescued him, Bruce never again felt completely secure in his world.
The second came two years later, in the alleyway behind a movie theater in which the Waynes had just seen "The Mark of Zorro." There, before Bruce's very eyes, a mugger shot Thomas and Martha Wayne in cold blood before fleeing into the night.
Though the police eventually arrived, they were far too late to help the Waynes; but physician and social worker Leslie Thompkins arrived in time to bring loving comfort to Bruce before his young heart was forever hardened by his trauma. Together with Philip Wayne, Bruce's uncle and legal guardian, and Alfred Pennyworth, the Wayne family butler, Thompkins gave guidance to Bruce as he passed through his teens. But none of them could erase from Bruce the burning passion to punish all criminals, an oath he avowed at his parents' grave site. To that end, Bruce grew up training himself to the peak of physical and intellectual perfection and, at age eighteen, began using his vast fortune to travel the world in search of those who could teach him to fight crime effectively.
Years later, Bruce returned to Gotham City and began his war on crime. Before long, he came to realize that his skills were not enough, that he would need an edge over his opponents -- a guise that would strike terror into their hearts. Inspired by the bats that had so horrified him as a boy, Bruce donned a blue-and-gray costume complete with cape and cowl and renewed his mission. The results were immediate: soon, the criminals of Gotham began speaking in fearful whispers about the creature known only as the Batman.
Though Batman's fight against corruption was a lonely one, he soon found others who shared his passion for justice, chief among them police lieutenant James Gordon, one of Gotham's few honest cops. Their friendship deepened over the years, and today, in his role as Police Commissioner, Gordon frequently uses the Bat-Signal to summon the Dark Knight whenever his policemen are confronted with threats too great for them to overcome.
Batman's final case as a solo agent brought him face to face with Gotham's former protector, the bloodthirsty vigilante called the Reaper. Soon after, the Batman's life was changed once more, when he adopted Dick Grayson, a young acrobat whose parents, like Bruce's, had been killed by criminals. Under Bruce's tutelage, Dick adopted the guise of Robin and became Batman's partner, staying with his mentor until reaching adulthood. Eventually, the Robin mantle was passed along to Tim Drake, the current Robin.
Batman is unique among those crimefighters who hide their true identity behind a mask and costume in that his Batman guise is the "real" one; his daytime role of bored socialite and philanthropist is actually the disguise. This persona is carefully crafted to divert any suspicion that Bruce Wayne, principal stockholder in Wayne Enterprises, an extensive world-wide empire of successful businesses, is, by night, Batman.
Batman is an incomparable athlete skilled in virtually all forms of physical combat. Moreover, he is an amazing detective, a brilliant escape artist, and a master of disguise and deception who plots his war on crime within the Batcave, the cavern headquarters that lies beneath Wayne Manor.
Batman never goes into action without his utility belt, which contains a wide array of devices such as lasers, gas pellets, silken ropes, and Batarangs.
His primary mode of transportation is the sleek and silent Batmobile.
Key Batman Episode Appearances
- World's Finest
- Cold Comfort
- Never Fear
- Double Talk
- Mean Seasons
- Over The Edge
- Animal Act
- Old Wounds
- Judgement Day
- Beware The Creeper
- Mad Love
For more history on Batman, visit Batman: The Animated Series