Two terrible moments forever changed the life of BRUCE WAYNE. The first came at the age of six, when he roamed the far grounds of 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 otherwise privileged world.
The second came two years later, in the alleyway behind a movie theatre in which the Wayne’s had just see the classic film The Mask of Zorro at young Bruce’s insistence. There, before Bruce’s eyes, a mugger shot Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne in cold blood before fleeing into the night.
The police arrived too late to help the Waynes, but physician and social worker Dr. Leslie Thompkins came in time to bring loving comfort to Bruce before his young heart was forever hardened by the trauma. Together with Philip Wayne, Bruce’s uncle and legal guardian, and ALFRED PENNYWORTH, the Wayne family butler, Thompkins gave guidance to Bruce though his teen years. But none of them could ease from Bruce the burning passion to punish all criminals, an oath he avowed at his parents’ gravesite. And it is this obsession that drives BATMAN, for Bruce vowed that no innocent should suffer the pain he has endured.
To that end, Bruce grew up training himself to the peak of physical and intellectual perfection and, at age thirteen, began using his vast personal fortune to travel the world in search of those who could teach him to fight crime effectively. He studied under the world’s greatest criminologists, psychiatrists, scientists, and martial artists, achieving mastery in every area he deemed necessary to aid in his planned war on crime.
Years later, Bruce returned to GOTHAM CITY and began his war. Before long, he came to realize that his skills were not enough, that he would need an edge over his criminal opponents – a guise that would strike terror into their hearts. Inspired by the bats that had so horrified him as a child, Bruce created the blue-and-gray costume, complete with cowl and cape, and renewed his mission. The results were immediate: soon, criminals of Gotham City began speaking in fearful whispers about the creature known only as BATMAN!
Though BATMAN’S fight against crime and 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; later, in his role as Police Commissioner, GORDON frequently used the BAT-SIGNAL to summon the Dark Knight in situations his officers were unable to handle.
BATMAN’S life underwent an additional change when he adopted DICK GRAYSON, a young acrobat whose parents had been killed by criminals. Under Bruce’s tutelage, Dick adopted the guise of ROBIN, becoming BATMAN’S partner, staying with his mentor until reaching adulthood. Dick went on to become NIGHTWING, a hero in his own right, while the mantle of ROBIN was assumed first by JASON TODD, then by TIM DRAKE.
Even after his back was broken by the Venom-fueled BANE, BATMAN did not give up his fight. While his place as BATMAN was taken by JEAN PAUL VALLEY, a.k.a AZRAEL, Bruce began an arduous quest to regain his strength and will to fight, including calling upon the beautiful but deadly LADY SHIVA to retrain him in the fighting skills he had spent years mastering. When Bruce did finally return, it was for good, adopting a darker look and stronger arsenal to reflect the changes in his body and mind BANE’S attack had wrought upon him. Since that time, he has returned to the Gotham night and attempted to rebuild his life as both BRUCE WAYNE and BATMAN, in addition to reaffirming his relationships with TIM DRAKE, DICK GRAYSON and ALFRED. In the aftermath of BRUCE WAYNE’S flight from the law as an accused murderer, BATMAN and his crime-fighting crew have become a stronger unit than ever.
Real Name: Bruce Wayne
Occupation: CEO/Philanthropist, Crimefighter
Base of Operations: Gotham City
Height: 6' 2
Weight: 210 lbs
First Appearance: BATMAN #1
Expert in most known forms of martial arts
Trained in all aspects of criminology
Mastery of the physical sciences
Trained in stealth and espionage techniques
Expert escape artist
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